Genesis 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 3:17, NIV: "To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,' 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life."

Genesis 3:17, ESV: "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 3:17, KJV: "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

Genesis 3:17, NASB: "Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; With hard labor you shall eat from it All the days of your life."

Genesis 3:17, NLT: "And to the man he said, 'Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it."

Genesis 3:17, CSB: "And he said to the man, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it': The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life."

What does Genesis 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After pronouncing curses on the serpent/Satan in response to his deception and on Eve in response to her sinful choice, God now turns to Adam. Compared to the punishments given to Eve and the serpent, this curse is longer and more detailed.

Adam's sin was not, simplistically speaking, that of listening to his wife. Taking godly counsel is always a good thing (Proverbs 15:22). Instead, Adam sinned by not standing up and speaking the truth to his wife when she invited him to participate in her sin. And, judging by the description of Eve's conversation with the serpent, for failing to protect and lead her as he should. God makes clear that Adam was independently responsible for his choice to eat from the tree. He wouldn't be allowed to get away with passing the blame to her or anyone else.

As with Eve, Adam's curse is one of hardship in doing the necessary work of life, in doing something that would otherwise have brought great joy and meaning to his existence. Instead of easily producing crops as seeds were planted, as had been the case in the garden up to this point, the ground would be cursed. Adam will suffer great pain in getting the ground to yield edible crops in doing his daily work. And this curse will afflict him all the days of his life.

It's interesting to notice that Eve's curse involved pain and struggle in her family relationships, while Adam's involves pain and frustration in his working life.