Given God said it is not good for man to be alone and created Eve for Adam, what is significant about the phrase “because you heeded the voice of your wife”?

  • What is your question exactly, you seem to pose more than one. The text doesn't say that Adam needed an helpmeet to 'obey the command to be fruitful'. well, at least that is not how I read it.
    – sara
    May 13, 2019 at 6:11
  • I remove a question. Can Adam be fruitful without a wife ? He absolutely needed one for it right ?
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 6:19
  • The question is the one in the title, the second one is a hypothesis I did.
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 6:36
  • What it seems you’re trying to ask is, if Eve was given as a helpmeet to Adam for procreation, was God blaming Adam because Adam listened to Eve when in fact Adam had no reason to ever listen to Eve. That’s what it sounds like you are saying. Is that correct? May 13, 2019 at 12:36
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    The Law of Vows in Numbers 30 states that as a husband is over his wife, he can annul any vow she makes, presumably that it be a bad vow. When Eve agreed to eat the fruit, in effect she made a vow, a bad one. Adam could have, and should have, rebuked her, but instead he acquiesced and finalized her vow. It's not wrong for a man to listen to his wife, but ya gotta be careful.
    – moron
    Oct 24, 2021 at 0:42

3 Answers 3


God did not create woman to be a sexual tool or incubator for man, to make possible his 'sole function' of reproduction. God created woman because "it is not good that man be alone" (Genesis 2:18). Woman completes man just as much as man completes the woman; they mutually imply the other by virtue of their incompletness—as physical creatures with an animal nature—without their counterpart.

In this verse, Adam is upbraided for obeying the disobedient words spoken by Eve. He was not being upbraided for listening to his wife, that is, simply for the sheer act of listening to a woman. In this context, "the voice of" Eve was one calling upon Adam to violate the clear words of God, that's why "listening" to them (which here means proceeding to do what they call for) was worthy of condemnation.

  • It seems like you got the same impression I did when I read this question. It’s not sufficiently obvious this is the question, or at least I’m hoping it’s not the question. May 13, 2019 at 15:05
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    Yes, I think that the subtlety is on "the voice", because the text doesn't say : "because you have listened to your wife", which it would certainly be, as you say more or less, simply for the sheer act of listening to our wife. But he says : "because you have listened to the voice of your wife". Your explanation about the voice that is calling upon Adam is too far from the text for me. To continue the reflexion I need a biblical definition of a voice if someone has one …
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 17:36
  • I think that it's that part of the Ge 2:17 commandment which has been transgressed when Adam had listen to the voice of his wife : "You will eat freely from all garden's trees".
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 18:03
  • "The voice of your wife" is simply a Hebraic way of saying "your wife." It simply refers to complying with what is suggested, asked, prompted for (Genesis 16:2), or even demanded (Exodus 18:24). Unless you are familiar with Hebrew or Hebraistic phrases and terminology, reading too much into a single word is a very common and prevalent trap of exegesis of both Testaments. May 13, 2019 at 21:30
  • On "voice" I thought about Gen 3:8,10. (I plan to learn Biblical Hebrew).
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 21:42

Adam was not chastised because he listened to the woman, he was chastised because he listened to Eve instead of the command He had given him.

Both parties are equally valuable, they may have different roles in His plan but each wouldn't be able to achieve that without the other.

One of the values I was always taught was a reminder that He took one of Adam's ribs to make Eve, not a toe, so that Adam could step on her, nor his hair, so she could be over him, but a rib, so that both could be equal partners in the creation, which emphasizes the importance of family* in my opinion.

*Family as the concept of the union between man and woman and possibly children

  • Adam was chastised for exactly 2 things : because he has listened to the voice of his wife and because he ate from the tree, which is an explicit transgression of the G.od's commandment (in Ge 2:17).
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 17:51

Despite finding the question to be rather difficult to decipher, I get the impression from some of the comments that the OP is asking about this phrase because you have heeded the voice

“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭

This phrase occurs in other places in Scripture and it basically means to follow instructions. Here are some examples

“So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭16:2‬ ‭

The context is Sara telling Abram to sleep with her maid

“and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭15:26‬ ‭

If you obey God's Commandments then these will be guaranteed.

“So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭

Jethro instructs Moses how to set up government over the people in Israel. And Moses listens to him

“No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.” ‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭2:24-25‬ ‭

Eli’s sons fail to listen to what their father told them to do

So in light of this, God is saying to Adam, because you obeyed your wife and did what she told you to do, I am cursing the ground, and so forth.

This puts into light the fact that Eve actively instructed Adam to eat. It wasn’t Adam who initiated, it wasn’t Adam who was curious to eat, it wasn’t Adam that intended to eat. Eve was not silent, according to this verse Eve instructed Adam to eat. And God chastises Adam for obeying his wife rather than obeying God’s instructions not to eat.

This goes to show that the woman had exercised dominance over the man and the man in his state of innocence obeyed, to both their detriment.

  • Thanks a lot for that answer, really interesting and helpful, specially the conclusion : This puts into light the fact that Eve actively instructed Adam to eat. It wasn’t Adam who initiated, it wasn’t Adam who was curious to eat, it wasn’t Adam that intended to eat. Eve was not silent, according to this verse Eve instructed Adam to eat. And God chastises Adam for obeying his wife rather than obeying God’s instructions not to eat.
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 20:15
  • But in fact, we don't have the word rather in the scripture but and. That means that we have two reproaches and not one with rather. The two sins given in Gen 3:17 is given below in my answer for fireshark519's answer. The question is in what the fact that Adam obey to Eve is a sin ? Did G.od said to Adam : Don't obey to Eve !? It doesn't seem like it.
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 20:53
  • Of course, it says and it follows that if Eve instructed Adam to eat and he ate, the two events would be tied together. Adam listened to Eve and ate. You are making an additional observation, namely that Adam was guilty of listening to Eve. Adam was guilty of eating the fruit which was as a result of listening to Eve. May 13, 2019 at 20:56
  • Yes (but for me it's not additional ahaha), when I read the text, I see : Because [sin1] AND [sin2]. And not : Because [sin1 consequent of something]. So 2 reasons for the curse.
    – gustav.b
    May 13, 2019 at 21:11
  • Its a sin if God forbade it. God didn’t forbid Adam listening to his wife, God did forbid eating of that fruit May 13, 2019 at 21:21

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