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Genesis 3:14 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the LORD God said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Jehovah Elohim said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this, be thou cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. On thy belly shalt thou go, and eat dust all the days of thy life.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then said Yahweh God unto the serpent—Because thou hast done this, Accursed, art thou above every tame-beast, and above every wild-beast of the field,—on thy belly, shalt thou go, and, dust, shalt thou eat, all the days of thy life.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Jehovah God saith unto the serpent, 'Because thou hast done this, cursed [art] thou above all the cattle, and above every beast of the field: on thy belly dost thou go, and dust thou dost eat, all days of thy life;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the LORD God said vnto the Serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed aboue all cattel, and aboue euery beast of the field: vpon thy belly shalt thou goe, and dust shalt thou eate, all the dayes of thy life.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this thou art cursed above all cattle and all the brutes of the earth, on thy breast and belly thou shalt go, and thou shalt eat earth all the days of thy life.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Yahweh Elohim said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the serpent, 5175
{5175} Prime
נָחָשׁ
nachash
{naw-khawsh'}
From H5172; a snake (from its hiss).
Because x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thou y859
[0859] Standard
אַתָּה
'attah
{at-taw'}
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
hast done 6213
{6213} Prime
עָשָׂה
`asah
{aw-saw'}
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
this, x2063
(2063) Complement
זֹאת
zo'th
{zothe'}
Irregular feminine of H2089; this (often used adverbially).
thou x859
(0859) Complement
אַתָּה
'attah
{at-taw'}
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
[art] cursed 779
{0779} Prime
אָרַר
'arar
{aw-rar'}
A primitive root; to execrate.
z8803
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
above all x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
cattle, 929
{0929} Prime
בְּהֵמָה
b@hemah
{be-hay-maw'}
From an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collectively).
and above every x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
beast 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
of the field; 7704
{7704} Prime
שָׂדֶה
sadeh
{saw-deh'}
From an unused root meaning to spread out; a field (as flat).
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
thy belly 1512
{1512} Prime
גָּחוֹן
gachown
{gaw-khone'}
Probably from H1518; the external abdomen, belly (as the source of the foetus (compare H1521)).
shalt thou go, y3212
[3212] Standard
יָלַך
yalak
{yaw-lak'}
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x1980
(1980) Complement
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
and dust 6083
{6083} Prime
עָפָר
`aphar
{aw-fawr'}
From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud.
shalt thou eat 398
{0398} Prime
אָכַל
'akal
{aw-kal'}
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
of thy life: 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 3:14

_ _ Genesis 3:14-24. The sentence.

_ _ And the Lord God said unto the serpent — The Judge pronounces a doom: first, on the material serpent, which is cursed above all creatures. From being a model of grace and elegance in form, it has become the type of all that is odious, disgusting, and low [Le Clerc, Rosenmuller]; or the curse has converted its natural condition into a punishment; it is now branded with infamy and avoided with horror; next, on the spiritual serpent, the seducer. Already fallen, he was to be still more degraded and his power wholly destroyed by the offspring of those he had deceived.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 3:14-15

_ _ The prisoners being found guilty by their own confession, besides the personal and infallible knowledge of the Judge, and nothing material being offered in arrest of judgment, God immediately proceeds to pass sentence; and, in these verses, he begins (where the sin began) with the serpent. God did not examine the serpent, nor ask him what he had done nor why he did it; but immediately sentenced him, 1. Because he was already convicted of rebellion against God, and his malice and wickedness were notorious, not found by secret search, but openly avowed and declared as Sodom's. 2. Because he was to be for ever excluded from all hope of pardon; and why should any thing be said to convince and humble him who was to find no place for repentance? His wound was not searched, because it was not to be cured. Some think the condition of the fallen angels was not declared desperate and helpless, until now that they had seduced man into the rebellion.

_ _ I. The sentence passed upon the tempter may be considered as lighting upon the serpent, the brute-creature which Satan made use of which was, as the rest, made for the service of man, but was now abused to his hurt. Therefore, to testify a displeasure against sin, and a jealousy for the injured honour of Adam and Eve, God fastens a curse and reproach upon the serpent, and makes it to groan, being burdened. See Romans 8:20. The devil's instruments must share in the devil's punishments. Thus the bodies of the wicked, though only instruments of unrighteousness, shall partake of everlasting torments with the soul, the principal agent. Even the ox that killed a man must be stoned, Exodus 21:28, Exodus 21:29. See here how God hates sin, and especially how much displeased he is with those who entice others into sin. It is a perpetual brand upon Jeroboam's name that he made Israel to sin. Now, 1. The serpent is here laid under the curse of God: Thou art cursed above all cattle. Even the creeping things, when God made them, were blessed of him (Genesis 1:22), but sin turned the blessing into a curse. The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field (Genesis 3:1), and here, cursed above every beast of the field. Unsanctified subtlety often proves a great curse to a man; and the more crafty men are to do evil the more mischief they do, and, consequently, they shall receive the greater damnation. Subtle tempters are the most accursed creatures under the sun. 2. He is here laid under man's reproach and enmity. (1.) He is to be for ever looked upon as a vile and despicable creature, and a proper object of scorn and contempt: “Upon thy belly thou shalt go, no longer upon feet, or half erect, but thou shalt crawl along, thy belly cleaving to the earth,” an expression of a very abject miserable condition, Psalms 44:25; “and thou shalt not avoid eating dust with thy meat.” His crime was that he tempted Eve to eat that which she should not; his punishment was that he was necessitated to eat that which he would not: Dust thou shalt eat. This denotes not only a base and despicable condition, but a mean and pitiful spirit; it is said of those whose courage has departed from them that they lick the dust like a serpent, Micah 7:17. How sad it is that the serpent's curse should be the covetous worldling's choice, whose character it is that he pants after the dust of the earth! Amos 2:7. These choose their own delusions, and so shall their doom be. (2.) He is to be for ever looked upon as a venomous noxious creature, and a proper object of hatred and detestation: I will put enmity between thee and the woman. The inferior creatures being made for man, it was a curse upon any of them to be turned against man and man against them; and this is part of the serpent's curse. The serpent is hurtful to man, and often bruises his heel, because it can reach no higher; nay, notice is taken of his biting the horses' heels, Genesis 49:17. But man is victorious over the serpent, and bruises his head, that is, gives him a mortal wound, aiming to destroy the whole generation of vipers. It is the effect of this curse upon the serpent that, though that creature is subtle and very dangerous, yet it prevails not (as it would if God gave it commission) to the destruction of mankind. This sentence pronounced upon the serpent is much fortified by that promise of God to his people, Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder (Psalms 91:13), and that of Christ to his disciples, They shall take up serpents (Mark 16:18), witness Paul, who was unhurt by the viper that fastened upon his hand. Observe here, The serpent and the woman had just now been very familiar and friendly in discourse about the forbidden fruit, and a wonderful agreement there was between them; but here they are irreconcilably set at variance. Note, Sinful friendships justly end in mortal feuds: those that unite in wickedness will not unite long.

_ _ II. This sentence may be considered as levelled at the devil, who only made use of the serpent as his vehicle in this appearance, but was himself the principal agent. He that spoke through the serpent's mouth is here struck at through the serpent's side, and is principally intended in the sentence, which, like the pillar of cloud and fire, has a dark side towards the devil and a bright side towards our first parents and their seed. Great things are contained in these words.

_ _ 1. A perpetual reproach is here fastened upon that great enemy both to God and man. Under the cover of the serpent, he is here sentenced to be, (1.) Degraded and accursed of God. It is supposed that the sin which turned angels into devils was pride, which is here justly punished by a great variety of mortifications couched under the mean circumstances of a serpent crawling on his belly and licking the dust. How art thou fallen, O Lucifer! He that would be above God, and would head a rebellion against him, is justly exposed here to contempt and lies to be trodden on; a man's pride will bring him low, and God will humble those that will not humble themselves. (2.) Detested and abhorred of all mankind. Even those that are really seduced into his interest yet profess a hatred and abhorrence of him; and all that are born of God make it their constant care to keep themselves, that this wicked one touch them not, 1 John 5:18. He is here condemned to a state of war and irreconcilable enmity. (3.) Destroyed and ruined at last by the great Redeemer, signified by the breaking of his head. His subtle politics shall all be baffled, his usurped power shall be entirely crushed, and he shall be for ever a captive to the injured honour of divine sovereignty. By being told of this now he was tormented before the time.

_ _ 2. A perpetual quarrel is here commenced between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil among men; war is proclaimed between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. That war in heaven between Michael and the dragon began now, Revelation 12:7. It is the fruit of this enmity, (1.) That there is a continual conflict between grace and corruption in the hearts of God's people. Satan, by their corruptions, assaults them, buffets them, sifts them, and seeks to devour them; they, by the exercise of their graces, resist him, wrestle with him, quench his fiery darts, force him to flee from them. Heaven and hell can never be reconciled, nor light and darkness; no more can Satan and a sanctified soul, for these are contrary the one to the other. (2.) That there is likewise a continual struggle between the wicked and the godly in this world. Those that love God account those their enemies that hate him, Psalms 139:21, Psalms 139:22. And all the rage and malice of persecutors against the people of God are the fruit of this enmity, which will continue while there is a godly man on this side heaven, and a wicked man on this side hell. Marvel not therefore if the world hate you, 1 John 3:13.

_ _ 3. A gracious promise is here made of Christ, as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. Though what was said was addressed to the serpent, yet it was said in the hearing of our first parents, who, doubtless, took the hints of grace here given them, and saw a door of hope opened to them, else the following sentence upon themselves would have overwhelmed them. Here was the dawning of the gospel day. No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. Here, in the head of the book, as the word is (Hebrews 10:7), in the beginning of the Bible, it is written of Christ, that he should do the will of God. By faith in this promise, we have reason to think, our first parents, and the patriarchs before the flood, were justified and saved and to this promise, and the benefit of it, instantly serving God day and night, they hoped to come. Notice is here given them of three things concerning Christ: — (1.) His incarnation, that he should be the seed of the woman, the seed of that woman; therefore his genealogy (Lu. 3) goes so high as to show him to be the son of Adam, but God does the woman the honour to call him rather her seed, because she it was whom the devil had beguiled, and on whom Adam had laid the blame; herein God magnifies his grace, in that, though the woman was first in the transgression, yet she shall be saved by child-bearing (as some read it), that is, by the promised seed who shall descend from her, 1 Timothy 2:15. He was likewise to be the seed of a woman only, of a virgin, that he might not be tainted with the corruption of our nature; he was sent forth, made of a woman (Galatians 4:4), that this promise might be fulfilled. It is a great encouragement to sinners that their Saviour is the seed of the woman, bone of our bone, Hebrews 2:11, Hebrews 2:14. Man is therefore sinful and unclean, because he is born of a woman (Job 25:4), and therefore his days are full of trouble, Job 14:1. But the seed of the woman was made sin and a curse for us, so saving us from both. (2.) His sufferings and death, pointed at in Satan's bruising his heel, that is, his human nature. Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, to draw him into sin; and some think it was Satan that terrified Christ in his agony, to drive him to despair. It was the devil that put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, of Peter to deny him, of the chief priests to prosecute him, of the false witnesses to accuse him, and of Pilate to condemn him, aiming in all this, by destroying the Saviour, to ruin the salvation; but, on the contrary, it was by death that Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, Hebrews 2:14. Christ's heel was bruised when his feet were pierced and nailed to the cross, and Christ's sufferings are continued in the sufferings of the saints for his name. The devil tempts them, casts them into prison, persecutes and slays them, and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But, while the heel is bruised on earth, it is well that the head is safe in heaven. (3.) His victory over Satan thereby. Satan had now trampled upon the woman, and insulted over her; but the seed of the woman should be raised up in the fulness of time to avenge her quarrel, and to trample upon him, to spoil him, to lead him captive, and to triumph over him, Colossians 2:15. He shall bruise his head, that is, he shall destroy all his politics and all his powers, and give a total overthrow to his kingdom and interest. Christ baffled Satan's temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, cast him out of the bodies of people, dispossessed the strong man armed, and divided his spoil: by his death, he gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil's kingdom, a wound to the head of this beast, that can never be healed. As his gospel gets ground, Satan falls (Luke 10:18) and is bound, Revelation 20:2. By his grace, he treads Satan under his people's feet (Romans 16:20) and will shortly cast him into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10. And the devil's perpetual overthrow will be the complete and everlasting joy and glory of the chosen remnant.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 3:14

To testify a displeasure against sin, God fastens a curse upon the serpent, Thou art cursed above all cattle — Even the creeping things, when God made them, were blessed of him, Genesis 1:22, but sin turned the blessing into a curse. Upon thy belly shalt thou go — No longer upon feet, or half erect, but thou shalt crawl along, thy belly cleaving to the earth. Dust thou shalt eat — Which signifies a base and despicable condition.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 3:14

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, (m) Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and (n) dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

(m) He asked the reason from Adam and his wife, because he would bring them to repentance, but he does not ask the serpent, because he would show him no mercy.

(n) As a vile and contemptible beast, (Isaiah 65:25).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
thou art:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Exodus 21:28-32 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox [shall be] quit. ... If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Leviticus 20:25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

dust:

Psalms 72:9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
Isaiah 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, [and] shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Micah 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
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Gn 3:1; 9:6. Ex 21:28. Lv 20:25. Ps 72:9. Is 29:4; 65:25. Mi 7:17.

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