A FEW VERSES LEFT TO ANSWER
Before I get to those few verses, I do need to talk a little
about wild grasses and weeds. The Hebrew words for those are not
in Gen.3:17. Not there because the curse never included them,
they are a part of God's natural plan for the face of this earth,
and in many ways actually stop the spread of thorns and thistles.
God knew that man in this age since the Noachian flood would take
many centuries to spread around the world and settle all land
areas on the earth. It was in His plan to give to the people of
Israel (especially the 10 tribes of Samaria) many of the most
fertile and productive land areas on this round globe. Until the
time would arrive for those peoples to inherit those lands,
the wild grasses and weeds preserved those rich top soil
surfaces. They say the healthy fertile top soil is only about 12
inches in depth or less. Grasses and various kinds of weeds have
been of great value to the earth that was within the lands God
had before planned would be given to the children of Israel.
Without those grasses and weeds, open top soil is eventually
blown away and the land can become a desert. History tells us
that many of the deserts of the world were once very fertile
productive areas. Often it was the sin of man, wrong farming
practices, that produced many of those deserts we have today.
Yes, physical sin is still very much a part of human life,
and with those physical sins comes physical curses.
With effort, some a lot, some not so much (my experience in
that garden in southern Ontario, and elsewhere I have lived) man
can till the ground, remove the grasses and weeds, and find
relative ease in producing from the land.
This was NOT the case for Adam and his offspring, as I
maintain they had to fight constantly for every inch they tilled,
with thorns and thistles coming up every hour of every day. And
that is where the HUGE DIFFERENCE lies between their cursed
ground before the flood and our relative comfort since the
What then about the prophecy that the day will come when the
"plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him
that soweth seed" (Amos 9:13) ?
First, notice that Amos in this context as well as his whole
book says not one word about "Adam's curse." Amos never quotes or
mentions Genesis 3:17.
Secondly, Amos does not say that this can never happen
today. He does not say that such a thing will never be able to be
performed on the earth, somewhere, until that new age comes that
he is speaking about, when Israel will be gathered and planted
and the tabernacle of David that is fallen is again raised.
He simple tells us that at that time of the things he speaks
about in his context, the harvests and seeding times will flow
one into another.
Is this type of thing happening today? Do not be too swift
to answer with a NO! For you will be WRONG!
Many a year ago, I lived for about 15 months in that part of
England known as East Anglia, north of London about one and a
half hours. It is the driest part (year round) of England, and so
most of the grain crops are grown there. Usually there is no
winter to call a winter, so much so that my next door neighbors
(an old couple who had lived there for decades) had a winter
garden, which just continued into the spring and summer garden.
What a wonderful climate was that part of England. A little
foretaste of that prophecy in Amos 9.
Then, we have those parts of southern California where all
the fruits and vegetables grow year round, that feed most of us
constantly who live in North America. Once more an area of the
world where the sower overtakes the reaper.
I would imagine there are parts of New Zealand and Australia
where there is such moderation and climates conductive to an all
the year around productivity from the land.
So what does Amos 9 mean? It means that when much (not all)
sin, physical and spiritual, is no longer running rampant on this
earth during that time known as the millennium (the 1000 year
rule of Christ after He returns - Rev.20), when man is living
in harmony with nature, no more polluting the land, sea, and air.
When God works some miracles to restore things as somewhat closer
to as they were in the garden of Eden, when the lion shall lay
down with the lamb, and when there will be much more temperate
climates for all nations, then the reality of the sower
overtaking the reaper (as parts of southern California experience
even today) shall be just that much MORE abundant and widespread.
What Israel shall experience as foretold by Amos will be the
general pattern for all nations during that age to come.
That is what Amos chapter 9 is all about, and has nothing
really to do with Adam's curse. It has nothing to do with Amos'
time, or our time today and what is going on, but has everything
to do with the coming age and how things will be just that much
better under the rule of Jesus Christ, because sin in general
will be greatly eliminated.
What about Romans 8:21-22? Is not the whole earth groaning
in pain and under heavy bondage because of the curse given to
Adam? What did Paul mean in those verses?
Notice, once more, the context never alludes to, never
quotes from, never comes close to saying anything that is
contained in Genesis 3:17. Paul does not use any phrase
that resembles "the curse on the ground" or "the ground that God
cursed because of Adam's sin." The book or letter from Paul to
the Roman Christians is full of doctrine, and citations from the
Old Testament that Paul uses to back up his theology and
statements. The apostle Paul was fluent in proving his doctrinal
positions by quoting whenever he could, some verse or verses from
the Scriptures they had back then, namely what we call the Old
Testament today. To believe that Paul in chapter 8 and verses
21-22 would NOT have quoted from or used Genesis 3:17 (if that
verse proved his thought and in fact inspired his thought)
together with his statement that we do find in those two verses,
would be completely out of character for him and the way he
dialogues his points as he moved along in his theological
In fact we do not find Paul or any apostle of the NT in any
of their letters mentioning anything about this curse on the
ground from Adam's sin, if that curse was still on the ground.
To think that such a worldwide, century after century, nation
after nation, battle with the ground to make anything grow
because of thorns and thistles sprouting up everywhere, and
someone, at some time, inspired to write NT books, would
not bring up the subject and refer to Genesis 3:17, is just very
improbable to say the least. And, surely such a phenomenal curse
in nature would have given the preachers of the Eternal one of
the greatest tools whereby to prove to the world there was a
literal being called God and that the Jewish Scriptures were His
inspired word, yet not one writer of the NT ever resorted to
proving this assertion by that means. The subject is just
not brought up or talked about anywhere in the NT. And further
more, come to think of it I have never found (in 50 plus years of
reading the whole Bible) any passage after Genesis 8 to the last
verse of Malachi, that discusses or even mentions the "curse on
the ground and eating herbs in the sweat of your brow" being
still with us because of Adam's punishment that God gave him.
Truly, Paul had a wonderful opportunity in his 8th chapter
of Romans to have added to verses 21-22 something along the lines
of: "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth
in pain together until now, because the curse on the ground from
the days of Adam is still with us." But Paul did not add those
words to verse 22, and for one very good reason. HE WAS NOT IN
HIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT THINKING ABOUT OR TALKING ABOUT THE PHYSICAL
GROUND OR PHYSICAL PLANT LIFE OR ANIMAL LIFE AT ALL! HIS
CONTEXT WAS ONLY CONCERNING PHYSICAL HUMAN BEINGS, AND THIS I
SHALL NOW PROCEED TO EXPLAIN.
The KJV translation is SOMEWHAT confusing to many, yet if
read carefully, even the KJV gives us the truth of WHO Paul was
talking about in Romans 8:18-25. The word "creature" and the
phrase "the whole creation" is where many are taken off track and
led astray, but then even with those old A.D. 1611 words the
logic of the context gives us the correct interpretation as to
what those old Greek words are standing for.
To answer and expound this section of Romans would take many
pages, for it is one of the most argued over, as to its meaning,
in the NT, by the Bible commentators. I would refer the reader
to VINE'S DICTIONARY OF NT WORDS (under the words
"Create....Creature" - Strong's Concordance number 2937), THE
ENGLISHMAN'S GREEK CONCORDANCE, where every place in the NT is
listed that contains the Greek word (#2937) as used in Rom.8 for
"creature" (KJV), and BARNES' NOTES ON THE NT.
It is Albert Barnes who goes into great detail expounding
what he considers the truth of the matter on Romans 8:18-25. I
especially refer the reader to Barnes' Bible Commentary for the
in-depth details. I would agree with Barnes except on verse 22,
yet I can see his understanding of this verse could be the
correct one, it is possible. But in this study I will remain
with what I consider is the more likely contextual truth as to
what Paul was saying, but will comment later on Barnes'
understanding of the verse in the light of our overall subject of
I will quote each verse and in very brief form, give you the
teaching on that verse from Albert Barnes, while using my own
words. If you have studied VINE'S and the ENGLISHMAN'S
CONCORDANCE, you will readily see that this Greek word (number
2937 in Strong's Con.) is often used in the NT for human persons.
Paul is talking to Christians about walking in the Spirit
and not the carnal flesh, and the Spirit in them will mean they
kill the carnal desires of living or practicing sin. The Spirit
also bear witness that Christians are the children of God,
joint-heir with Christ, and if Christians suffer through trials
and troubles for Christ, they will be glorified with Him one
Paul's mind is now focussed for a while on human suffering
and human frailty that Christians partake of in this physical
life, often for the sake of Christ Jesus, but tells his readers
that what sufferings Christians now may have, cannot be compared
to the glory they shall have (verse 18).
For(a connecting word, going on to explain verse 18 more)
the earnest expectation of the creature(the Christian) waits for
the manifestation of the sons of God.
Christians are in the world, subject to trials, calamities,
sufferings of many kinds, and although they have here and now
evidence that they are the sons of God, yet they are still
waiting for the time when they will be delivered from all the
problems and sufferings of this life and be free from them and be
in the glory that Christ now has.
For(once more connecting with the above to explain even
further) the creature(the Christian) was made subject to vanity,
not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in
The renewed creature, the Christian, has been placed on this
earth with all its trials, troubles and problems, not because
Christians chose it for themselves and prefer it so, but it was
the wise reason of God to have it so. The word "vanity" here
means the Christian is frail and dying, physical, hence exposed
to all kinds of trials, temptations, and sufferings. It is not
of their doing as such (Paul is not talking about silly things we
may do to bring problems on ourselves), but it is the way God has
set up this physical life that Christians must continue to abide
in until death. But the hope the Christian has is to one day be
in glory with Christ Jesus, when all the cares of this physical
life will be gone forever.
Because(going on to explain the hope Christians have) the
creature(the Christian) itself also shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children
This is the ground for the hope. The soul that is renewed,
the Christian creature, shall be delivered from that which
corrupts in every way, and tends to pull down, be hard to bear,
gives sorrow, produces difficulties, and finally physical death
and the final corruption. The Christian desires and hopes for,
longs for that glory that will bring liberty from all corruptions
of the mind, soul, and body, for the day the Christian will be
the glorified eternal child of God, eternally free from all the
various corruptions and sufferings of this present physical life.
For(connecting and explaining the previous thought more)
that all the creature(original Greek, see Green's or Berry's
Greek/English Interlinear, it's the same word # 2937 in Strong's
Con. as used above) groans together and travails until now
(original Greek, see the above mentioned Interlinears).
Here is where I would disagree with Albert Barnes. Paul now
proceeds to expand on his thought that Christians are subject to
the problems, trials, cares, sufferings, and ultimate death that
physical life produces, and is now telling or reminding the
Christians to whom he is writing, that their sufferings of
whatever kind, is not peculiar to just themselves as Christians,
but that ALL MANKIND, ALL HUMAN CREATURES, are subject to the
same often sufferings and trials and cares of this life. It is
just a part of the human plane of existence. They did know this,
as Paul said, "for we know." Every person, every human creature,
that lives long enough will have sufferings and problems
to face at some point in their life. They knew it from the
experience of life and they knew it from reading the book of
And not only they(the word "they" is not in the Greek but it
is implied) but ourselves also (Christians) which have the
first-fruits of the Spirit, even we (Christians) ourselves groan
within ourselves, waiting for the sonship (as the Greek
should read) to wit, the redemption of our body.
As other human creatures are subject to sufferings, as it is
a part of physical life, then we Christians should not feel we
shall escape from such sufferings that all others must have from
time to time. We also have times of sorrow and groaning for one
reason or another within ourselves, and so because of it, we long
and desire with waiting patience for the day we shall be the
glorified sons of God, when our bodies shall be redeemed from
this corruptible moral flesh to immortality (see 1 Cor.15:35-58).
I submit, as Barnes does except in verse 22, that the whole
CONTEXT is talking about physical human beings, carnal or
spiritual, walking in the sin of the flesh or in the light of the
Spirit. Christians being children of God through the Spirit, a
joint-heir with Christ, so suffering with Him now, which
sufferings are not unusual for all mankind have them in one way
or another way, but we Christians have a hope they, the rest of
humanity does not have, we long for that hope and that day when
we shall be free from all sufferings, and be immortal glorified
children of God, which we are not as yet, so we patiently wait
for that day, and hence we then realize that the present
sufferings in this physical life cannot be compared to the glory
which shall be revealed in us.
Albert Barnes and verse 22
For the sake of the argument, and because Barnes' view on
this verse may be the correct one. Let us look at what he says,
and then I will answer in the light of our subject - Genesis
3:17, and the curse on the ground.
Quote: "......That the whole creation, Margin, 'every
creature.' This expression has been commonly understood as
meaning the same as 'the creature' in verses 20,21. But
I understand it as having a different signification......It
refers, as I suppose, to the whole animate creation; to all
living things; to the state of all created things.......It is
just an argument from analogy.....The whole creation is in just
this condition; and we are not to be surprised, therefore, if it
is in the condition of the believer.....in a state of bondage,
imperfection, sorrow, and sighing for deliverance......."
Note, this is he says, "ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY." My dog does
not groan with "Oh, poor old me, this is such a dogs life, I'm
suffering so, just waiting for the age of glory to come." She
knows nothing about that age to come, nothing about Jesus
Christ, nothing about the promise of immortality. As long as I
feed and water her, take her for walks, pet her some, she is
perfectly happy. My dog would be no different if the Kingdom of
God was on earth at this moment, my dog would not know the
Kingdom of God was on earth. The birds outside are taken care of
by the Lord, they are quite happy. remember what Jesus said about
the birds? "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not,
neither do they reap, nor gather into barnes; yet your heavenly
Father feeds them...."(Mat.6:26). I doubt that Jesus thought they
were in sorrow, or under a curse, unless it was coming from
mankind in some way. The birds in my neighbourhood seem quite
content and well looked after by the Lord, I doubt it would be
any different if the Kingdom of God was already here. The trees
grow and bloom, they seem quite happy and healthy where I live,
and so did all those trees in the South American "rain forests"
until man started to cut them down and mess them up. The rivers
flow to the sea, the wind and air do their jobs, so does the sun
and the moon. The flowers bloom and blossom, and the bees
"buzzzzz" around quite content for the most part. Remember what
Jesus said about the "lilies of the field"? ".....Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do
they spin; And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his
glory was not arrayed like one of these" (May.6:28,29). I see
here in what Jesus said no thought on His part that the lilies He
knew of in Palestine were under some curse, groaning so to speak
in hardship, and longing for the Kingdom when they would be
happier and healthier. Some lilies in some parts of the world
today where MAN has polluted the ground and the air, probably
would tell you if they could speak, that they are under a curse,
but a curse from the hands of man not God. In the time of
Christ, He thought the lilies where He walked were just fine, nay
more than fine, He said Solomon with all his glory was not
"arrayed like one of these." Physically those lilies had more
glory than all the physical glory Solomon had. Now, that tells me
the ground where they were growing was pretty good for them.
Now, man comes along with his sin and carnal fleshly desires
that can unsettle just about anything. If I kicked my dog she
would not be happy, she's let me know more than once in no
uncertain way when I by mistake, nearly stepped on her. If I spew
poisons into the air the ozone above the clouds is not happy and
gets sick, and we suffer more harmful rays from the sun getting
through to our skin, and we are not happy, for we get more skin
cancers. On and on it goes as sin from humans, those that are in
the flesh, as Paul said earlier in this chapter, who are not
subject to the laws of God and neither indeed can be, as they
pollute themselves and the physical world, THEN IN ANALOGY....all
creation, in a FIGURE so to speak, CRIES OUT IN PAIN, SORROW,
SUFFERING, and GROANING.
As Paul looked at the carnal mind, not being able to be
subject to the law of God, as he looked at the result of this
carnal flesh living, the sin it brought, as he looked in
CONTRAST, IN PLACING THIS BALANCE SCALE ALONG SIDE THE BALANCE
SCALE OF THE GLORY AND THE AGE TO COME, that Christians were
waiting patiently for, he saw a VAST DIFFERENCE ! As he saw the
world under overall sin and carnality, and what the world needed
to escape that corruption, what the world WOULD BE LIKE in the
future, what all nature would be like, unscarred, unpolluted,
sweet through and through, then with that in contrast to each
other, in a FIGURE OF SPEECH, in ANALOGY, this world of physical
creation.....was crying out in sorrow and groaning with
sufferings, also wanting and waiting, for that day when the
children of God NOW, would be made IMMORTAL, and Jesus would be
back on the earth to bring to pass all the promises in
the Word of God concerning the removing of MOST spiritual and
physical sin, and so a nearly full perfect utopian world and age.
ALL OF THE ABOVE I HAVE NO TROUBLE ACCEPTING, BUT THIS
PASSAGE IN ROMANS 8 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENESIS 3:17. OH,
INDEED, IT HAS MUCH TO DO WITH SIN PER SE AND SUFFERINGS, BUT
NOTHING DIRECTLY WITH GENESIS 3:17 AND THE CURSE ON THE GROUND OF
THORNS AND THISTLES AND EATING ONLY HERBS.
NO MORE CURSE - REVELATION 22:3 ?
Notice, nothing is added after the word "curse." So we have
no alterative but to "come and let us reason together, says the
Lord" concerning what maybe the curse here spoken about.
The CONTEXT may help and give us some clues. The old
physical earth along with all physical human sinners who have not
REPENTED and come into the immortal glorified family (sons and
daughters) of God the Father, have been BURNT UP in the fire
that shall engulf this earth, before the New heavens and New
earth comes into being (end of chapter 20 into chapter 21).
Chapter 21, 22, is the New earth wherein dwells ONLY
immortality and perfect holy righteousness, when no more
suffering, pain, sorrow, and no more DEATH will exist.
Looking up the word "curse" in Strong's Concordance of the
Bible, we find it used MANY times, under various situations and
within different contexts. The readers are asked to study those
verses for themselves.
Then we have a curse that the law brings on all people, as
shown in Galatians 3:10,13, from which we can be redeemed by
Christ Jesus and His sacrifice of death on the stake.
Paul in the book of Romans tells us that the law of God
shows us that we are sinners, held under the death penalty. That
is indeed the curse of the law, and holding us under death for
being sinners. Paul goes on to show that through the perfect
sinless life and death of Christ, we who have faith in that
sacrifice can be forgiven of our sins and made at-one with the
Father, justified, be declared righteous, and have the death
penalty removed. The curse of death on our heads from the law of
God showing us we are sinners is removed by Christ Jesus taking
our sins upon Himself in His death.
This is a very real curse on all mankind. It is the ultimate
of all curses the Bible speaks about, for Paul tells us in the
book of Romans that ALL have sinned (except of course Jesus
Christ). Without this curse being lifted from us, all mankind
would die, would never attain to eternal or immortal life. DEATH
is a very real ENEMY for sure. It is the GREATEST curse mankind
faces. And Paul was inspired to tell us in 1 Corinthians 15
that of all our enemies, the LAST enemy, DEATH, will finally be
It is the book of Revelation that tells us WHEN death will
be NO MORE! Death will finally come to an end, when this present
physical earth and all therein is burnt up (2 Peter 3:7-10;
Rev.20) and then the NEW earth appears, wherein God the Father
comes to dwell, and only immortal perfect holy righteousness
shall exist. The curse of SIN and DEATH will have been
This, sin and death, is I submit, the CURSE that is spoken
about in Rev.22:3.
IN SUMMARY FORM
The Eternal God placed Adam and Eve in the beautiful garden
of Eden, and they were without sin. He cerated them to do work,
for He told them to "dress and keep" that garden, it would take
some work to keep it looking nice, otherwise if the natural
plants and grasses, herbs, and fruit trees, could look after
themselves and everything look like some wonderful price winning
English country garden, then God would not have instructed them
to "dress and keep it." I deduce from that that the garden in
Eden would have soon been over-run with wild grasses and weeds
and other things, making it look far from what God intended it
look like under the working hands of His new created humans,
although under such conditions wild animals and birds would have
thrived. But the Lord wanted it to look "dressed and kept" for
humans to live in. A lesson being taught here from God. Mankind
is not to live in a wild, sloppy, uncared for environment, in his
immediate home living circle.
The Devil entered the garden, deceived Eve into disobeying
God, and she got her husband to disobey also. Sin was there and
had now come to humans.
Eve was to be punished in her life time, and so was Adam.
His punishment was a curse on the ground with thorns and thistles
to such a degree that for him and his offspring it would be a
running battle to ever get anything to grow. And his curse also
included herb eating, indicating no fruits of the garden and
possibly no animal flesh was going to be allowed in their diet.
Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and not allowed to
Somehow Lamech, the father of Noah, was told that in the
days of his son, comfort would come from the sweating hard toil
because of the ground which the Lord had cursed.
All was destroyed by the worldwide flood, and God had
resigned Himself to realize the heart of man was evil from his
youth. And so the Lord would no more curse the ground, nor
destroy all in whom was the breath of life as He had done. There
would always, while the earth remained, be seed time and harvest,
summer and winter, day and night.
The Eternal placed a rainbow in the sky as a covenant that
no more would He kill all breathing creatures with a worldwide
Eventually, in the process of time, God chose a people to be
His light to the world for His laws and to show nations how to be
happy, peaceful, bountiful, prosperous, fruitful, and blessed
He would bring them into a land, a "good land" and one that
was so physically splendid, that it could be termed a "land
flowing with milk and honey."
The people of Israel, like all other nations of people,
sinned, disobeyed, went astray from the laws, commandments,
precepts, statutes, judgments of God, both mentally, spiritually,
and physically. The natural result was sin in the body, mind,
family, persons to persons, and even in some natural physical
elements of the earth.
Much of the earth and its ground not yielding bountiful
blessings to mankind is the result of mankind's physical sins
that he has continued to practice most of the time from
the days after the Noachian flood, and not because God has
continued to cast a cursing spell on that ground.
Sometimes, even today, pockets of individuals through the
study of the Bible, or just through logical common sense, get in
full harmony with the Lord's physical laws of nature and the
land, to produce crops, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and
animals(that God created to be eaten, the law of the clean
animal) that just make the mouth water as they say, and do so
with minimal effort, only with a dressing and keeping, as first
given to Adam and Eve.
When, during the coming 1000 year age of Christ ruling this
earth, when the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem, when much of sin is put away from off this
earth, then mankind will be in harmony with physical nature. So
for ALL nations in that age, the ground will blossom and bring
forth its bounty as does those famous English country gardens
today, when they are dressed and kept by the work of
human hands, who continue to follow that law first given to our
parents, in the garden of Eden.
Written July 1999
All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published,
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