"Desire" or "Turning as used in Genesis 3:16
"Re: Hebrew teshuqa. Our English Bibles translate this word as
"desire" in Genesis 3:16, implying lust on the part of the woman. However,
the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament translates the word as
The true meaning of teshuqa is, in fact, "turning" with no implication
whatsoever of "desire" or "lust." Granted, these can be motives for "turning"!
What this passage (Genesis 3:16) is saying is this:
Eve is turning away from God toward the male, putting him between herself
and God. God is warning Eve that this turning away toward the man will
result in her coming under the domination of the male.
All of the best ancient versions of the Old Testament render teshuqa
with the idea of "turning." The distortion of the meaning of this passage arose
through the influence of the Talmud, a compilation of the traditions of the
Jews. The teaching, that God cursed all women through Eve, comes
not from the original Hebrew version of Genesis 3:16, but from the Babylonian
Talmud, which, in fact, teaches 10 curses of womanhood. The 5th curse is,
"Thy desire shall be toward thy husband."
This distortion was first introduced by Jerome through the Latin Vulgate
translation of the Bible in A.D. 382. A valid rendering of Genesis 3:16
"A snare has increased your sorrow and sighing. In sorrow you shall
bear sons/children. You will turn toward your husband and he will rule
The above material is taken from In the Spirit We're Equal by Dr.
Susan C. Hyatt. To purchase the book e-mail Dr. Hyatt at
firstname.lastname@example.org An excellent
discussion of the mistranslation is found in God's Word to Women by
Katherine Bushnell beginning in Lesson 13. To read that discussion,