Ok. The Fall. I think everybody who reads this (all three of you) is pretty familiar with the story. Well, I was wondering, did Adam and Eve sweat before the Fall? What do you think? Hmmm…
This came up briefly during a study session the other night, but seeing as the Neuromuscular Junction was slightly more present on our minds at the moment, it didn’t really get to be fleshed out. Well, let’s go to the text and see what that says.
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
The first thing that I notice, which happens to be a very interesting side note, is that God did not tell Eve that she would now experience pain in childbirth, but that her pain in childbearing would be multiplied. For something to be multiplied into a greater magnitude, the initial amount cannot equal zero. Anyway, just some extra grass for free — put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Moving right along. Here in verse 19 is the reference to sweat. Notice in verse 17 who God is talking to in this section. Hm, I guess we women are out of luck as far as functional sweat glands are concerned. In addition, when I read this verse, I don’t think “oh, yes…this is when people started to lose water and sodium from their pores.” I tend to think “hmm…now Adam will sweat when he works the field, which maybe means that working that field will now be harder than it was before –which tends to jive with the reference to thorns and thistles.” After all, God did command Adam and Eve to tend the garden in the previous couple chapters.
Finally, a more scientifically-directed note. What is so evil about sweat? True, it can turn a good date bad or sour an important interview, but physiologically, sweat is an important thermoregulator, just as panting is for dogs, the dampening of front paws is for cats, and the fanning of the large ears is for elephants. When did “not mentioned in the Bible until verse 19” start to mean that “none of it occurred in verses 1-18?” Forgive my bluntness, but according to that kind of logic, people in the Bible didn’t perform many physiologically important functions conducive to life (yeah, don’t even get me started on thermodynamics). Adam and Eve sweat, bled and voided before the Fall. God said His Creation was good…not perfect.
This is just another example of how many of today’s Christians don’t take the time to study the Scriptures and let the words structure their theology and doctrine. Instead they do the opposite, forcing it into their own mold, handed down by the previous generation guilty of the same sin.