- Bible Verses
- Genesis 3:19
“and to dust you shall return”
KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)
TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT
WORDS OF GOD IN RED
This powerful verse is a quote from God. He reminds us of our place in the greater cosmic scheme of things. God says these words after Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The English Standard Version (ESV) is: “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”.
This verse has related verses in the Bible which all describe we people as coming from dust and returning to dust and ashes. To see these related verses, follow these links: Genesis 18:27 “am but dust and ashes”, Job 30:19 “I am become like dust and ashes”, and Ecclesiastes 3:20 “all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again”.
The phrase ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ is inspired by these verses. It is used in funeral services and is contained in the Book of Common Prayer used in Anglican churches.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in Western Christianity, is also inspired by these Bible verses. It derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches. Palms were placed before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. The ashes are put on the heads of participants while reciting the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
To get what Genesis 3:19 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.
Verse with Popularity
“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.”
Very high popularity:
3,600 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Genesis chapter 3 using average monthly Google searches.
Genesis 3:19 Translation & Meaning
What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.
|KJV Verse ||Original Hebrew ||Meaning/ Definition |
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
|“In the sweat” ||בְּזֵעַ֤ת ||Perspiration || sweat |
|“of thy face” ||אַפֶּ֙יךָ֙ ||Properly, the nose or nostril; hence, the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire || face |
|“shalt thou eat” ||תֹּ֣אכַל ||To eat (literally or figuratively) || eat |
|“bread,” ||לֶ֔חֶם ||Food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it) ||bread |
|“till” ||עַ֤ד ||As far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with) ||till |
|“thou return” ||שֽׁוּבְךָ֙ ||To turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbial, again || return |
|“unto” ||אֶל ||Near, with or among; often in general, to ||unto |
|“the ground;” ||הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה ||Soil (from its general redness) || ground |
|“for” ||כִּ֥י ||(by implication) very widely used as a relative conjunction or adverb (as below); often largely modified by other particles annexed ||for |
|“out of” ||מִמֶּ֖נָּה ||Properly, a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses ||out |
|“it wast thou taken:” ||לֻקָּ֑חְתָּ ||To take (in the widest variety of applications) || wast taken |
|“for” ||כִּֽי ||(by implication) very widely used as a relative conjunction or adverb (as below); often largely modified by other particles annexed ||for |
|“dust” ||עָפָ֣ר ||Dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud ||dust |
|“thou” ||אַ֔תָּה ||Thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you ||thou |
|“art,” || ||(No Hebrew definition. English implied.) || |
|“and unto” ||וְאֶל ||Near, with or among; often in general, to ||and unto |
|“dust” ||עָפָ֖ר ||Dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud ||dust |
|“shalt thou return.” ||תָּשֽׁוּב׃ ||To turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbial, again || return |
See Genesis 3:19 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.
Verse Search Popularity Levels What do people search for?
Use the scale on the left to tell how often the verses below are googled compared to each other.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 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.
20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.
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