I considered the word teshuqah ("desire") in Genesis 3:16 in a previous blog post, and the manner in which I did so should be checked against how the word is used elsewhere in Scripture, to see if it is consistent with how the word's used elsewhere in Scripture. So let's take a look at that.

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Genesis 4:7 (original)

I [am] my beloved's, and his desire [is] toward me.

Song of Solomon 7:10 (original)

Now, these are the only two uses of the root word in Scripture, and they do match each other, but they are a slightly different form of the word as it appears in the original of Genesis 3:16. I don't know what specifically that significance is, but I'm going to presume that both words are functionally synonymous across Scripture. If this assumption is incorrect, my suggestion about Genesis 3:16 still holds validity—that particular form of the word is unique in Scripture—but this assumption being correct doesn't in itself validate my suggestion, either.

In other words, for readers who don't know the jargon of formal logic, my suggestion for how the word teshuqah should be read is just that: a suggestion, not the only possible way to read that line. I do think my suggestion fits the original phrasing better than the current punctuation. It's worth noting that my approach to the punctuation also fits with the argument that teshuqah is supposed to mean "turning", not anything lustful.

Now, the way I looked at the word was to assume the added verb was just that: an addition that was overriding some meaning that was already in the text. I checked if the "thy desire to thy husband" could actually be tied to the clause before it rather than the one after it, insofar as sentence structure goes. So let's apply that to the two other reference.

Let's start with Genesis 4:7. It's the same book and very close to Genesis 3:16, so it's most likely used in the same way. It's also probably the same human author, even if you don't think Moses wrote all the Pentateuch. (A case can be made that Moses was not the only human author, but that's irrelevant here.)

Genesis 4:7 presumably has an "and unto", which affects the parts of speech involved—but if I look at the original word used there, it's a preposition, usually translated "to", "into", or "towards". It isn't an "and" (which is a conjunction)—which just strengthens the argument that it's supposed to be part of the "sin lieth at the door", rather than a new clause altogether. Prepositions are used in phrases, not clauses.*

*clause
a sequence of words in a grammatical construction that does have both a noun and a verb
phrase
a sequence of words in a grammatical construction that does not have both a noun and a verb
original KJV:

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

modified to account for parts of speech and actual on-page words in the original:

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door[,] its desire towards you, and thou shalt rule over him.

The "it" refers back to "sin"—it's the meaning that makes sense, although the English construction adds another possible meaning—so this adjustment actually keeps the meaning in the original translation that added words. Cadence was a bit clearer to follow in the original translation, per English construction, but this is evidence supporting the methods I'm applying to focus on actual original text rather than words that have been added later.

So now let's look at teshuqah in Song of Solomon. There is no clause in Song of Solomon 7:10, so we'll have to expand that reference.

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

I [am] my beloved's, and his desire [is] toward me.

Song of Solomon 7:8–10

This one starts talking from the guy's perspective and then shifts to the female…but at what point does the perspective shift? The added words and where the transitions divide the context put verse 9 in the man's mouth.

However, notice what, precisely, verse 9 says. The English could have been said by either the man or the woman, plus it being said by the man means the woman speaks in verb-less sentence fragments for verse 10—and, if you look at the original text, the word choice and genders in verse 9 indicate that it was actually spoken by the woman, not the man.

But the woman also displays a willingness to build off what the other person says. (Which are quite common in conversation, frankly, and that's how they're used here.) Look at verses 8 & 9 again:

Man:

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples

Woman:

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.I [am] my beloved's, and his desire [is] toward me.

Song of Solomon 7:8–9

Aren't flattery and compliments back and forth a major part of fondness and romance?

So the context is the man and woman flirting, and it builds together into verse 10—which, from looking at the original has the grammatical components of being a continuation from verse 9, rather than a new line in itself…and looking into some of the words, the "towards" is added altogether (not included in any other verses with that specific word form).

In this case, though, there's still an omitted verb—and the context suggests the implied verb is go or speak (which seems to have a quite different literal definition from how it's translated, but the imagery conveyed is comparable).

original KJV:

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

I [am] my beloved's, and his desire [is] toward me.

modified to account for parts of speech and actual on-page words in the original:

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I, of/for/to my beloved and his desire towards me.

Song of Solomon 7:8–10

The comma after "I" is called a "comma of elision" and indicates a word has been omitted and must be defined by the context.

Multiple possible correct meanings is common in some forms of communication, and Song of Songs is an example of two such forms: poetry and flirtatious back-and-forth. It's quite possible—perhaps even likely—that multiple meanings were intended, whether or not any of the word play is double entendre. So while although I can't give a strict 1:1 suggestion for what is meant by the reference, the context itself indicates that a direct or strict 1:1 meaning is unlikely.

Putting all three references together only supports my suggestion that words and punctuation might have been added to the original text withoutsufficient reason , and some of the other-than-KJV translations of the verses containing teshuqah also demonstrate that. So, as of yet, my method of double-checking the accuracy or necessity of words added is still working.

What do you think of this manner of looking at these verses? Do you see other potential meanings or implications that I missed?