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Lutheran pastor and professor H.C. Leupold, on Genesis 3:16. These words are not often understood, and at first glance they may rise the ire of many a modern woman (and not a few modern men.) Yet they go far in explaining just why the world is the way it is, for both men and women. I’ve always felt that “your desire will be for your husband” carried more than just a sexual sense, but I had never quite found out what it meant. (Maybe I’m not old enough yet.) Leupold does an able job of explaining it. He also does well in explaining the results we see in the fallen world of these decrees of God, and the sin that occasioned them. If you ponder what Leupold says and what Genesis 3:16 says, I’m sure you’ll see plenty of examples of the behaviors and attitudes Leupold refers to. (Note also that when Leupold refers to the “East”, he means the Middle East; East as opposed to the Western, European world.)

Enjoy the quote, and let me know what you think about what Leupold says, or even what Genesis says.

Listen as Leupold lays it out for us and unpacks these terse phrases:

The second part of the penalty is: “Unto thy husband thou shalt be attracted.” Teshûqah might be rendered “desire” or even better “yearning.” This yearning is morbid. It is not merely sexual yearning. It includes the attraction that woman experiences for man which she cannot root from her nature. Independent feminists may seek to banish it, but it persists in cropping out. It may be normal. It often is not but takes a perverted form even to the point of nymphomania. It is a just penalty. She who sought to strive apart from man and to act independently of him in the temptation finds a continual attraction for him to be her unavoidable lot.

The third part of the penalty is: “he shall rule over thee.” She sought to control him by taking control into her own hands (2 Tim. 2:14) and even by leading him on in the temptation. As a result her penalty is that she shall be the one that is controlled. Man’s position in reference to woman now is fixed: he bears the rule. When all is done in the spirit of Christ, such rule is not harsh or unnatural; nor is it cancelled. There it expresses itself in such a way that it is not to be felt as a burden. But where sin prevails, such rule may be degraded into a miserable domination, such as the East has particularly, experienced. God did not ordain this harshness, but man transcended his rights, and sin poisoned a necessary restriction. This word, then, does not reflect the narrowness of the East but is a wholesome restraint and reminder for womankind.

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