3:17 ground. Man’s natural relationship to the ground, to rule over it, is reversed; instead of submitting to him, it resists and eventually swallows him (2:7 and note). The earth, frustrated by the Creator’s assignment to disharmony, longs for restoration (Rom. 8:20–22).
in pain. Labor itself is a blessing because man’s work reflects the activity of the working God (2:2 note). But the object of man’s labor, the ground, is cursed and becomes a source of frustration.