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Genesis 3:17 says

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;

What does the it refer to where Adam shall eat of all the days of his life,.. the cursed ground.. or the tree that he was forbidden to eat from and did so anyway?

I know that superficially gramatically seen one can say it was the ground that he was to eat of for the rest of his life, but I wonder.. what if in sorrow Adam shall eat of that tree for the rest of his life? In disobeying Gods command, Adam chose to not honor Gods authority over his life but chose (for) himself.

So if it's the continual eating of the tree.. that would -at least for me- explain so much better how the people of God in the whole Old Testament just structurally seem to be incapable of letting God be the One who is in charge, acknowledging that He is the ultimate source of knowledge, and He is the best decider for what's good or bad for you. It's as if the people just can't stop eating from that tree, wanting to decide for themselves what is good or not.

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    It's the ground. Besides proximity, the first "it" is grammatically masculine like the word for "tree", and the second "it" is feminine like the word for "ground". Of course, this doesn't mean that the effects of eating from the tree aren't permanent and recurrent. – Luke Sawczak Jun 19 '19 at 17:21
  • Why does it say "Adam knew his wife", in Genesis 4:1?. Why is the word "knew" (passed tense of know) used in such close proximity to Gen 2, where the tree of knowledge is mentioned? – Constantthin Jun 19 '19 at 23:36
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I would render Gen 3:17-19 as follows:

And to Adam He [God] said, "because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which 1 commanded you saying, 'you shall not eat of it'":

Cursed id the ground for your sake - in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life -

and both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the herb of the field -

and by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground -

for out of it you were taken -

for dust you are, and to dust you will return.

There are thus several reasons why the verb תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֔נָּה = "you shall eat of it" cannot refer to the forbidden tree, but must refer to the ground:

  • The literary structure as shown above does not allow it.
  • "Ground" is the immediate antecedent.
  • The grammar also requires it. the "tree" is masculine singular and the "ground" is feminine singular. The "it" in תֹּֽאכֲלֶ֔נָּה = "you shall eat of it" is feminine singular.
  • Adam and Eve were barred any access to the forbidden tree because as it was in the garden of Eden from which they were subsequently banished (Gen 3:23, 24).
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Indeed, I do believe it is the tree that Adam continued to eat of and not the “ground”.

These things are parables. The “ground” is the “adamah” and speaks of the common man who does not have the Spirit of God within them as Adam did (the Breath of lives was breathed into Adam by God).

The “adamah” (the “ground”) is the people of this earth who do not know God as they do not have His Spirit breathed into them and are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them. They serve the flesh with their carnal minds and cannot please Him. The carnal mind of the adamah is hostile to God....but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Ephesians 4:17-18 KJV (17) This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

The “adamah” is by nature “children of wrath” whom we have also taken out from to receive His Spirit so that we may serve Him in a spiritual mind….one of peace and joy. The "others" in Ephesians 2:3 is the "adamah" ...the people in the outside world who live in the lusts of the flesh and only live to fulfill the desires of the flesh in their wrath.

Ephesians 2:1-3 KJV (1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The Spirit of God (the Breath of Life) was breathed into his “nostrils”…that is, into his wrath.

By nature, the “adamah” are children of wrath….and the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.

Only with the Spirit can we then work the righteousness of God.

Philippians 2:13 KJV (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The outside people (the “adamah”) cannot please God in their carnal minds as they serve the flesh only and not the Spirit as they do not have His Spirit within them. Only through His Spirit can we please God while the carnal mind (the mind of the "adamah") cannot at all. The carnal mind cannot serve God and is not subject to His law.

Adam was formed from the dust of the “adamah”…the common man. He was a humble man (the “dust”) among men at the time just as those who are called today.

1 Corinthians 1:26 KJV (26) For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

God formed Adam from the "dust" of the people of the world (the "adamah").

James 2:5 KJV (5) Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

I do believe Adam was the first man to receive the Spirit of God and not necessarily the first man physically formed. These are all parables hiding spiritual things.

"Nostrils" = the wrath of man that does not work the righteousness of God.

Genesis 2:7 KJV (7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The “ground”…the “adamah”…the people of this world who do not have His Spirit….is cursed for his (Adam’s) sake.

All men (the “adamah”) die through Adam as death passed upon all men.

Cursed is the ground (the adamah = common mankind) for “thy sake” …which is the Hebrew word (abuwr) for “crossed over, transit". It is death that has “crossed over ” from Adam unto all men (the adamah).

Genesis 3: KJV (17) 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;

Cursed is the “ground”…the adamah….for your sake. Death passed upon all men (the adamah) by one man (Adam). By one man the sin entered into the world and death by the sin....and so death passed upon all men for all have sinned.

Romans 5:12 KJV (12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

The curse of death passed upon ….crossed over…unto all men by one man Adam. For as in Adam all (the adamah) die.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 KJV (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

In sorrow (worrisome labor/pain) shall you eat of it (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) all the days of your life.

Adam was instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Doing so continually brings forth “thorns” and not figs. Speaking evil is bearing bad fruit (thorns and thistles) and brings forth evil things in one’s life when one speaks evil of another in judgment of another. One reaps what one sows (the labor). The wages of the sin is death.

We are not as “gods”…that is, “judges” supposedly for God…when we speak evil of others because they do not follow our particular church’s handwriting of dogmas….the teachings and commandments of men. We cannot say "Lord,Lord" and continue to do these things and not do what He says: to have love for one another. We cannot hide ourselves behind fig leaves only (Lord, Lord) but must bear forth good fruit by doing His will.

Luke 6:43-46 KJV (43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (44)For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (46) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

When one judges another…speaking evil of one another (judging another based upon our church handwritings), we are then not a doer of the law of Christ who commanded us to have love for one another.

We act as a judge (a “god”) when there is really only One Judge and One Lawgiver. We must not judge another as an “evildoer” for not following our carnal commandments that a church scribe wrote for us to keep and serve.

Remember how the woman added her own carnal commandment (“neither shall you touch it”) to God’s commandment and then presented it as though God commanded it. Many are doing the same thing today and are continually eating from the “tree” we are not supposed to as they act as judge, jury and executioner of others in their words...bearing thorns and thistles. One is not above the law but must be a doer of it.

James 4:10-12 KJV (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (11) Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (12) There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

With what judgment we judge for others, we shall be judged. We shall eat the fruit of our ways.

Matthew 7:1-3 KJV (1) Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Men are as trees and death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. We must choose life and not death.

Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV (20) A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. (21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

By eating from that “tree”…using our tongues to speak evil (the thorns and thistles) of another in judgment upon them…we shall reap evil things (eat of those evil things) within our own lives. Evil things come from it. The fruit of those things is death.

For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Genesis 3: (18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; (19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

To return unto the “ground”…the “adamah”…speaks of to be given over to a reprobate mind to be filled with all unrighteousness because we do not retain God in knowledge. We go back to sowing after the flesh and reaping decay of the mortal flesh.

We who once knew God by His Spirit within us but are given over to serving the works of the flesh (which the “adamah” does) as judgment upon us for serving and worshipping the handwriting of church dogmas as we use them to speak evil of one another that do not follow our particular church “law”. We have no understanding of the Scriptures because of these things.

Romans 1:28-32 KJV (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

As judgment, God gives them over to a rejected mind to be filled with all unrighteousness when we act as judges ("gods") of others using the handwriting of church dogmas (the carnal doctrines and commandments of men) as a basis for. They go back to serving the flesh....to work the "adamah" that the world does.

Genesis 3:23 KJV (23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

They exchanged the truth of God into THE lie….the same lie from the beginning and worship and serve the “creature” (the formation…the ordinances of men …for example: “neither shall you touch it”) more than the Creator.

They set aside the commandment of God to have love for one another in order to worship and serve the handwriting of church dogmas which are used to speak evil of one another in their judgment of who is “good and evil” as they see themselves as being wise “judges” for God.

Romans 1:25 KJV (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

We then return to the “dust” ….being considered the lowest by this world as they speak evil of us instead of being the praise of God through us.

Deuteronomy 28:37 KJV (37) And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

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