Adam to rule over Eve: What the . . .
How the mistranslation of Genesis changed the relationships of men and women and has altered culture for too long
(This post has reference links only.)
Probably the biggest problem modern women have with the Adam and Eve story, including religious ones, is the edict in Genesis that reads:
But here’s the thing. That’s not how the Hebrew should be translated.
Scholars have long since known that certain aspects of the Bible have been tampered with. Many were just simple mistakes, like many common translation errors. It can be difficult to translate something directly, especially if the context is bunged up. There is a saying: “reading a work in translation is like kissing through a veil. It is still a kiss but not at all satisfying.”
Others, unfortunately, were deliberate. Perhaps the scribe didn’t agree with the scripture or verse, context be damned. Some were changed in order to change a culture that was deemed dangerous — dangerous to power they were seeking or thought they were losing. These are called theological agendas.
This is also called manipulation.
The attempt to remove the female power, the divinity within womanhood, was one such deliberate omission.
And yes, it drives me bonkers.
But, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is also the God of Ramona, and the God of you, and of every female that has existed on the planet and will come after us. Our time is now; we are to emerge from the wilderness.
I am not a feminist; at least not in the traditional sense. While I like the sentiment of female empowerment, I’m not sure that word is accurate. The word sounds like we are being given something we didn’t have before, or taking something we deserve. And yes, I understand that women have lacked substantial power in the history of humankind. But the more I study the allegory of Adam and Eve, the more I see that we were already gifted with power, with divinity. We were born empowered. And with a correct understanding, a correct translation, both men and women will be able to see that women were created with power. It is divine.
So, this whole rule over thing.
It’s not correct.
As Ricky said to Lucy, “Let me ‘splain.”
Culture has passed down this idea that Eve was cursed: cursed with enlargement through pregnancy and cursed by having Adam “rule over her.”
1. Neither Adam NOR Eve were cursed. It never says that in Genesis or other scriptures about Adam and Eve. Two entities were cursed: the serpent (Satan) and the Earth. (The earth was the only real innocent in this entire scenario and didn’t “deserve” being cursed, but as the scripture indicates it was for Adam — and Eve’s — sake. It was changed from its Eden state to one where both would have to labor for their keep. In the long run this was good for them.)
2. Rule over is a mistranslation of rule with.
Can you see how that would change the entire man/woman, husband/wife dynamic?
When the Hebrew word “msh’l” (rule) is used in combination with “bet” (with, in, by, at) then it becomes “rule with” rather than “over.”
Both were called as head of the human family. They were equal in status and power. This was to be the prototype for their posterity to follow, an equal partnership. They each had their stewardships, distinct and different, and yet natural enough to blend without difficulty. Adam and Eve were meant to stay together, stick together, and help each other out with their duties. One was not to leave the other behind.
For instance, Eve was gifted as a natural nurturer and Adam was left mostly in charge of labor to feed the family. But Eve helped in the fields and Adam assisted with the teaching of the children. Theirs was a synergistic partnership, a model for how we can be.
Each couple must find what works best for them, how that synergy will look like, without one dominating or ruling over the other. And the process does not have to be painful. Challenging, yes, at times. But when each has a commitment to the partnership, that can usually carry one over the bumps in life and grant patience when your partner is driving you crazy.
It’s time to start rethinking what we think we know about our first parents.
You can read more about the divinity of women in my upcoming book, “We are Adam: the Partnership of Adam and Eve in the Garden and what it Means for You”, set for a September 2020 release by Cedar Fort.
And of course you can read more at RamonaSiddoway.com