Explanation of the Meaning of Genesis 3:16 in Context.
Only eleven Hebrew words are addressed to the woman in Genesis 3:16. When translating them into a modern language more than eleven words are required. They are needed to make clear the meaning that is communicated by those eleven words, by the grammar that ties them together, and by their context.
The following explanation takes into account the words in verses 15 and 17 to which the first line of Genesis 3:16 is linked. (It is necessary to pull in content from the verses above and below because of the use of a two Hebrew word linking structure called a linchpin. The two words of the linchpin are shown in bold. The information imported from the linked in context in verses 15 and 17 is shown in italics.) And the explanation presents the instruction shown in italics that the woman receives from the Lord God in the rest of the verse.
“As a disobedient human,
I will cause you to have sorrowful–toil (from doing fieldwork, as will the man, after I curse the earth)
but I promise you will conceive (the promised victorious Offspring, for I have confirmed you in your warfare against Satan).
Now that you are mortal,
it will be with effort that you will deliver children.
Your loving desire is still for your husband but I warn you that in his ongoing rebellion against me he will rule over you.”
by Rev. Bruce C. E. Fleming draft copy © April 15, 2019
from Dr. Joy Fleming translation summary © draft copy March 23, 2019