By the Sweat of the Brow


After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit they were driven from the Garden. This means they were ‘driven’ from the hunter-gatherer stage. Agriculture began in the upper Tigris area between 8,000–7,000 BC. When it came down to the Persian Gulf area, the shift to agriculture felt like banishment from Eden.

God said, “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread” (Gen.3:19 RSV).

By using their heads, their brains, they would survive. After all, they did eat of the Tree of Knowledge and with that tasting, the first unwritten commandment came into being.

    Thou shalt not be stupid, for the stupidity of the fathers (and mothers)

    is visited upon the first and second generation, as surely as their iniquity

    is visited upon the third and fourth generation.

This is not in the Bible or the Catechism, but you have to admit that children do suffer for their parent’s stupidity, as well as the parents themselves.

So was using their brains to survive a curse?  Or the blessing of God’s Providence.

Agriculture arrived. Raising grain and animals. Raising Cain and Abel. Cain, a tiller of the soil, represents the shift to agriculture; Abel, the shepherd, the domestication of animals. Both were gigantic steps in cultural evolution, yet both are compressed within phrases in Genesis. 

What do you think of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge? Was it a gift or curse to humanity? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. You may also reach me via Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

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