The Fall and The Curse

It’s worth considering the fact that there is a distinction between The Fall (Gen 3:1-13) and The Curse (Gen 3:14-24).

Here’s what I mean:

The Fall (The instant Adam & Eve eat the fruit):

  • Man is cut off from God
  • Man’s eyes are opened
  • Man and woman feel shame due to their nakedness
  • Adam and Eve begin their march towards death

The Curse (Some time after they eat. An hour? Later that same evening? A day later?):

  • Serpent is cursed more than any other animal
  • Serpent crawls on belly
  • Serpent eats dust
  • Hostility between serpent and woman
  • Prophecy of minor blow to Seed; major blow from Seed
  • Woman to experience intensified pain in childbirth
  • Woman desires man, but he will rule over her
  • Ground is cursed because of man
  • Pain overshadows toils of life
  • Thorns and thistles will frustrate labor
  • Work will be harder till death
  • Humans are banished from the Garden

Not only are the penalties of The Fall and The Curse distinct, but while The Fall brought about its consequences immediately, The Curse was a separate thing that God added to man’s plight over and above his fallen condition.

In a way, this reminds me of God’s charge to Jeremiah:
[+] Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.   (Jer 1:17)

In short, while there are inherent penalties for sin, God is not beyond adding punishments on top of the ‘natural’ consequences of sin.

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