Drinking Deeply

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 4:15 PM

Adam's curse

The punishment of man consists in toil unto death. Not labour as such is a penalty, for man had been placed in the garden to dress it and keep it. But painful labour, death-bringing labour is referred to. This applies to labour in general, but the form in which the curse puts it is derived from the most primitive form of labour, that of tilling the soil. At the same time, this brings out the idea that man must henceforth labour for the most necessary food. His will be a veritable struggle for subsistence. In the sweat of his face shall he eat bread, and 'bread', perhaps, instead of meaning food in general, has reference specifically to food produced from the soil, in contrast to the more easily procured earlier nourishment, the fruit of the garden.
Biblical Theology - Geerhardus Vos p. 44 Emphasis in original


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