Genesis 3:19
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
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.”

King James Bible
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

American Standard Version
in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.

English Revised Version
in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Webster's Bible Translation
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou shalt return to the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:19 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And unto Adam:" the noun is here used for the first time as a proper name without the article. In Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 2:5, Genesis 2:20, the noun is appellative, and there are substantial reasons for the omission of the article. The sentence upon Adam includes a twofold punishment: first the cursing of the ground, and secondly death, which affects the woman as well, on account of their common guilt. By listening to his wife, when deceived by the serpent, Adam had repudiated his superiority to the rest of creation. As a punishment, therefore, nature would henceforth offer resistance to his will. By breaking the divine command, he had set himself above his Maker, death would therefore show him the worthlessness of his own nature. "Cursed be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat it (the ground by synecdoche for its produce, as in Isaiah 1:7) all the days of thy life: thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field." The curse pronounced on man's account upon the soil created for him, consisted in the fact, that the earth no longer yielded spontaneously the fruits requisite for his maintenance, but the man was obliged to force out the necessaries of life by labour and strenuous exertion. The herb of the field is in contrast with the trees of the garden, and sorrow with the easy dressing of the garden. We are not to understand, however, that because man failed to guard the good creation of God from the invasion of the evil one, a host of demoniacal powers forced their way into the material world to lay it waste and offer resistance to man; but because man himself had fallen into the power of the evil one, therefore God cursed the earth, not merely withdrawing the divine powers of life which pervaded Eden, but changing its relation to man. As Luther says, "primum in eo, quod illa bona non fert quae tulisset, si homo non esset lapsus, deinde in eo quoque, quod multa noxia fert quae non tulisset, sicut sunt infelix lolium, steriles avenae, zizania, urticae, spincae, tribuli, adde venena, noxias bestiolas, et si qua sunt alia hujus generis." But the curse reached much further, and the writer has merely noticed the most obvious aspect.

(Note: Non omnia incommoda enumerat Moses, quibus se homo per peccatum implicuit: constat enim ex eodem prodiisse fonte omnes praesentis vitae aerumnas, quas experientia innumeras esse ostendit. Aris intemperies, gelu, tonitrua, pluviae intempestivae, uredo, grandines et quicquid inordinatum est in mundo, peccati sunt fructus.

Nec alia morborum prima est causa: idque poeticis fabulis celebratum fuit: haud dubie quod per manus a patribus traditum esset. Unde illud Horatii:

- Post ignem aethera domo

- Subductum, macies et nova febrium

- Terris incubuit cohors:

- Semotique prius tarda necessitas

- Lethi corripuit gradum.

Sed Moses qui brevitati studet, suo more pro communi vulgi captu attingere contentus fuit quod magis apparuit: ut sub exemplo uno discamus, hominis vitio inversum fuisse totum naturae ordinem. Calvin.)

The disturbance and distortion of the original harmony of body and soul, which sin introduced into the nature of man, and by which the flesh gained the mastery over the spirit, and the body, instead of being more and more transformed into the life of the spirit, became a prey to death, spread over the whole material world; so that everywhere on earth there were to be seen wild and rugged wastes, desolation and ruin, death and corruption, or ματαιότης and φθορά (Romans 8:20-21). Everything injurious to man in the organic, vegetable and animal creation, is the effect of the curse pronounced upon the earth for Adam's sin, however little we may be able to explain the manner in which the curse was carried into effect; since our view of the causal connection between sin and evil even in human life is very imperfect, and the connection between spirit and matter in nature generally is altogether unknown. In this causal link between sin and the evils in the world, the wrath of God on account of sin was revealed; since, as soon as the creation (πᾶσα ἡ κτίοις, Romans 8:22) had been wrested through man from its vital connection with its Maker, He gave it up to its own ungodly nature, so that whilst, on the one hand, it has been abused by man for the gratification of his own sinful lusts and desires, on the other, it has turned against man, and consequently many things in the world and nature, which in themselves and without sin would have been good for him, or at all events harmless, have become poisonous and destructive since his fall. For in the sweat of his face man is to eat his bread (לחם the bread-corn which springs from the earth, as in Job 28:5; Psalm 104:14) until he return to the ground. Formed out of the dust, he shall return to dust again. This was the fulfilment of the threat, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," which began to take effect immediately after the breach of the divine command; for not only did man then become mortal, but he also actually came under the power of death, received into his nature the germ of death, the maturity of which produced its eventual dissolution into dust. The reason why the life of the man did not come to an end immediately after the eating of the forbidden fruit, was not that "the woman had been created between the threat and the fall, and consequently the fountain of human life had been divided, the life originally concentrated in one Adam shared between man and woman, by which the destructive influence of the fruit was modified or weakened." (v. Hoffmann), but that the mercy and long-suffering of God afforded space for repentance, and so controlled and ordered the sin of men and the punishment of sin, as to render them subservient to the accomplishment of His original purpose and the glorification of His name.

Genesis 3:19 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ecclesiastes 1:3,13 What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun...

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good...

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable to any of you...

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.


Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away...

Psalm 90:3 You turn man to destruction; and say, Return, you children of men.

Psalm 104:29 You hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor...

for dust.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken on me to speak to the LORD, which am but dust and ashes:


Genesis 23:4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burial plot with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

Job 17:13-16 If I wait, the grave is my house: I have made my bed in the darkness...

Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job 21:26 They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.

Job 34:15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust.

Psalm 22:15,29 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue sticks to my jaws; and you have brought me into the dust of death...

Psalm 104:29 You hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Proverbs 21:16 The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Romans 5:12-21 Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned...

1 Corinthians 15:21,22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead...

Cross References
Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--

Romans 5:17
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

Genesis 2:7
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 3:18
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

Genesis 18:27
Abraham answered and said, "Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

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