Genesis 3:18
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

King James Bible
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

American Standard Version
thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou eat the herbs of the earth.

English Revised Version
thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Webster's Bible Translation
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Genesis 3:18 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And unto Adam:" the noun is here used for the first time as a proper name without the article. In Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 2:5, Genesis 2:20, the noun is appellative, and there are substantial reasons for the omission of the article. The sentence upon Adam includes a twofold punishment: first the cursing of the ground, and secondly death, which affects the woman as well, on account of their common guilt. By listening to his wife, when deceived by the serpent, Adam had repudiated his superiority to the rest of creation. As a punishment, therefore, nature would henceforth offer resistance to his will. By breaking the divine command, he had set himself above his Maker, death would therefore show him the worthlessness of his own nature. "Cursed be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat it (the ground by synecdoche for its produce, as in Isaiah 1:7) all the days of thy life: thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field." The curse pronounced on man's account upon the soil created for him, consisted in the fact, that the earth no longer yielded spontaneously the fruits requisite for his maintenance, but the man was obliged to force out the necessaries of life by labour and strenuous exertion. The herb of the field is in contrast with the trees of the garden, and sorrow with the easy dressing of the garden. We are not to understand, however, that because man failed to guard the good creation of God from the invasion of the evil one, a host of demoniacal powers forced their way into the material world to lay it waste and offer resistance to man; but because man himself had fallen into the power of the evil one, therefore God cursed the earth, not merely withdrawing the divine powers of life which pervaded Eden, but changing its relation to man. As Luther says, "primum in eo, quod illa bona non fert quae tulisset, si homo non esset lapsus, deinde in eo quoque, quod multa noxia fert quae non tulisset, sicut sunt infelix lolium, steriles avenae, zizania, urticae, spincae, tribuli, adde venena, noxias bestiolas, et si qua sunt alia hujus generis." But the curse reached much further, and the writer has merely noticed the most obvious aspect.

(Note: Non omnia incommoda enumerat Moses, quibus se homo per peccatum implicuit: constat enim ex eodem prodiisse fonte omnes praesentis vitae aerumnas, quas experientia innumeras esse ostendit. Aris intemperies, gelu, tonitrua, pluviae intempestivae, uredo, grandines et quicquid inordinatum est in mundo, peccati sunt fructus.

Nec alia morborum prima est causa: idque poeticis fabulis celebratum fuit: haud dubie quod per manus a patribus traditum esset. Unde illud Horatii:

- Post ignem aethera domo

- Subductum, macies et nova febrium

- Terris incubuit cohors:

- Semotique prius tarda necessitas

- Lethi corripuit gradum.

Sed Moses qui brevitati studet, suo more pro communi vulgi captu attingere contentus fuit quod magis apparuit: ut sub exemplo uno discamus, hominis vitio inversum fuisse totum naturae ordinem. Calvin.)

The disturbance and distortion of the original harmony of body and soul, which sin introduced into the nature of man, and by which the flesh gained the mastery over the spirit, and the body, instead of being more and more transformed into the life of the spirit, became a prey to death, spread over the whole material world; so that everywhere on earth there were to be seen wild and rugged wastes, desolation and ruin, death and corruption, or ματαιότης and φθορά (Romans 8:20-21). Everything injurious to man in the organic, vegetable and animal creation, is the effect of the curse pronounced upon the earth for Adam's sin, however little we may be able to explain the manner in which the curse was carried into effect; since our view of the causal connection between sin and evil even in human life is very imperfect, and the connection between spirit and matter in nature generally is altogether unknown. In this causal link between sin and the evils in the world, the wrath of God on account of sin was revealed; since, as soon as the creation (πᾶσα ἡ κτίοις, Romans 8:22) had been wrested through man from its vital connection with its Maker, He gave it up to its own ungodly nature, so that whilst, on the one hand, it has been abused by man for the gratification of his own sinful lusts and desires, on the other, it has turned against man, and consequently many things in the world and nature, which in themselves and without sin would have been good for him, or at all events harmless, have become poisonous and destructive since his fall. For in the sweat of his face man is to eat his bread (לחם the bread-corn which springs from the earth, as in Job 28:5; Psalm 104:14) until he return to the ground. Formed out of the dust, he shall return to dust again. This was the fulfilment of the threat, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," which began to take effect immediately after the breach of the divine command; for not only did man then become mortal, but he also actually came under the power of death, received into his nature the germ of death, the maturity of which produced its eventual dissolution into dust. The reason why the life of the man did not come to an end immediately after the eating of the forbidden fruit, was not that "the woman had been created between the threat and the fall, and consequently the fountain of human life had been divided, the life originally concentrated in one Adam shared between man and woman, by which the destructive influence of the fruit was modified or weakened." (v. Hoffmann), but that the mercy and long-suffering of God afforded space for repentance, and so controlled and ordered the sin of men and the punishment of sin, as to render them subservient to the accomplishment of His original purpose and the glorification of His name.

Genesis 3:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Joshua 23:13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you...

Job 5:5 Whose harvest the hungry eats up, and takes it even out of the thorns, and the robber swallows up their substance.

Job 31:40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the fraudulent: he that does keep his soul shall be far from them.

Proverbs 24:31 And, see, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there shall come up briers and thorns...

Isaiah 7:23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand sliver coins...

Isaiah 32:13 On the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yes, on all the houses of joy in the joyous city:

Jeremiah 4:3 For thus said the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

Jeremiah 12:13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit...

Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Hebrews 6:8 But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is near to cursing; whose end is to be burned.

bring forth. Heb. cause to bud. herb.

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away...

Psalm 90:3 You turn man to destruction; and say, Return, you children of men.

Psalm 104:2,14,15 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out the heavens like a curtain...

Romans 14:2 For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs.

Cross References
Genesis 3:17
And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Proverbs 24:31
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.

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