Eve

Eve is the mother of mankind; she is the first woman to ever walk the Earth, the first mother, and the first wife. Apart from succumbing to Satan's temptation, not much is remembered or discussed when talking about Eve, but there is a lot more to think about when it comes to Eve.

Overview

Disclaimer: Liberty taken with the depiction of Eve.
Please remember no one knows what Eve looked like.
Eve is the first woman to walk the Earth and was created by God. Her creation is told in Genesis 1 and 2 and the story of her life spans to Genesis 5. Eve marries Adam, and gives birth to three sons: Cain, Abel, and Seth. The name Eve actually comes from the Hebrew word meaning "to live"[1].
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Progeny

We are all descended from Eve, which is why she is called the mother of all. Only 3 of her children are given by name and we are told the order in which they are born: Cain, then Abel, then Seth. Genesis 5:4 states that she had other son's and daughters as well, but does not name or indicate the ordering of the other children. We know that male children, particularly the ones God's chosen people were to be descended from were the primary focus in the family trees listed in Genesis. Thus, is it is possible that female children were born to Eve between Cain, Abel, and Seth, but unlikely that any unnamed male children where born before Seth.

Eve's first three sons can be seen as a metaphor representing the 3 main factions of mankind today: the wicked and the Godless (Cain), those who were killed for their faith (Abel), and the living followers of God (Seth). The fate of each son also reflects the state of the world. Cain is able to successfully kill Abel, cutting Abel's line off, just as non-believers were the ones who killed Jesus and have been prophesied to persecute God's people until the end of time. However, in following this path, Cain brings a curse upon himself and his own line most likely dies in the flood (unless someone married into Shem's line to produce Noah or his sons). Abel dies in his faith without producing any descendants, like Jesus and Paul. Seth is the rewarded with a flourishing line with includes Enoch who is taken straight to Heaven without dying, and Noah who survives the flood. The blessing of being the only son to have a lasting progeny ensured that it was through Seth that Eve's progeny continued.
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Character

Most of what we know about Eve comes from her interaction with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The serpent is able to temp Eve to eat the fruit through the promise of wisdom and becoming like God. Eve not only falls to the temptation, but convinces her husband to eat the fruit as well. For this reason, many believers and non-believers view Eve negatively. Many of these people blame her for the fall of man and/or the sexist views established by the patriarchy.

However, we are also told that she is the mother of all life. In fact, one thing that science and the Bible agrees upon is that we all stem from common origins. Everyone on earth today has the same ancestors if you step back in time far enough, which scientists estimate to be roughly 5,000 to 7,000 years ago.[2] If you're curious, the Biblical timeline places Adam and Eve at approximately 4,000bc which is approximately 6000 years ago.[3]

Discussion

During my teenage years, as I suffered immensely through the pains known only to women, I often found myself angry with Eve. Like many who only look at the surface of the story, I felt like everything I went through was her fault. I reasoned that if Eve had only resisted the temptation, death, pain, sorrow, hunger, and war would not exist. Basically, the entire human race, along with the planet itself, was punished because she listened to the serpent... It took quite some time for me to realize that there was much more to Eve's story than I was ascribing. To understand the situation better, I needed to understand three major ideas concerning Eve's story.
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Eve's Ignorance

In hindsight, it's easy to say that Eve's decision to listen to the serpent was foolish. However, we have much more information than Eve did at the time. Reading back through Genesis 1-3 and keeping in mind that nothing else has happened in the world when all of this takes place, you have to question what Eve did and didn't know.

In Genesis 2, we are told that Adam witnessed God create life with his own eyes. When God creates the garden of Eden, Eve has not been created yet. Thus it is Adam who is given audience to the majesty and glory of God's power. Like us, Eve learns about all of these things second hand. The lack of first hand experience could not only cause Eve to doubt what she has been told, but it may have made her feel outcasted as well. Imagine that Adam has a special bond with God simply because he was created first and able to witness these things; perhaps Eve felt like a third wheel at times. We are not told anything to indicate that this is how Eve felt, but it after thinking about the situation, it is possible that at times she felt disconnected and lacking. This would explain why the serpent approached Eve instead of Adam.

Eve had the privilege of walking and talking with God daily, however, we don't know what time frame in which all of this happened. God created Eve on the six day, but when did the serpent approach Eve and when did Eve actually eat the fruit? We aren't told how often God visited Adam and Eve in the garden. Since He was not physically there when Eve spoke with the serpent nor when the two ate from the tree, we can assume that His physical presence came and went. If God only visited Adam and Eve once a day, it is possible that Eve had only had one conversation with God before disobeying Him. It is also possible that Eve stayed in the garden for thousands of years before eating from the tree. We don't know. What we do know is that Eve's relationship with God may not have been fully cemented at the time of the sin; this too would have made Eve weaker and more vulnerable to the devil's temptations.

Another thing we have to consider is that nothing bad had ever happened to them, and lies didn't exist. Eve was ignorant of these things and likely the concept of death as well. Did Eve know what it meant when God say they would "surely die?"

When the serpent suggested she eat the fruit, Eve would not know who was telling the truth, just as today many can not distinguish God's voice from the devil's. In Genesis 2 we see God explain explicitly to Adam not to partake of the Tree of Knowledge. Eve knows the rule in Genesis 3, but we never see God tell Eve this rule. Did God tell Eve off record, or did Eve learn from Adam? Then her doubt may have been in Adam rather than God; note that this doesn't excuse her as she could have simply called upon God and asked Him if Adam (and the serpent) spoke the truth, but it does give more insight to her possible thought process.
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Adam's Role

Adam knew the rule too, and we know he was told directly by God. Adam also witnessed God create Eve (partially—at least enough to know that Eve was made from his rib). It is possible that Adam knew more than Eve, making him the more responsible. In Genesis 3:6, it says Eve took the fruit and ate "and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Did they eat the fruit at the same time, or did Eve eat the fruit first?

I imagine Eve plucked two of whatever the fruit was, then found Adam. I imagine Adam would have been shocked at both the sight of the forbidden fruit and Eve's declaration that the serpent said it was ok. Perhaps they argued about it, perhaps not. Adam may have been entertaining the thought when Eve took the first bite, and either wishing to die with her or seeing that she did not drop dead immediately, Adam also ate. Or perhaps they counted to three and took the first bite together. I don't know, but what I do know is that it isn't possible that Eve ate the fruit at the tree then walked to Adam and convinced him to eat. Why? Because the first thing they realized was that they were naked, and they were ashamed! Eve would not have approached Adam naked right after eating the fruit, similarly Adam would have thought Eve was crazy when she came wearing fig leaves and blushing at his own nakedness. Adam must have had the chance to 1) refuse the fruit, 2) tell Eve not to eat the fruit, and/or 3) call out to God for back up. He did none of those things making it just as much his fault. Furthermore we learn in 1 Timothy 2:14 that Eve was deceived and Adam was not, which means Eve was confused during the act by Adam knew they were doing something wrong. This is why man was cursed to till the ground and do hard labor with a uncooperative Earth.
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Eve Had to Eat the Fruit

The final important point is that Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit; they had to fall. If God knew they wouldn't eat from Tree of Knowledge, or He was determined to keep them innocent forever, why would he even put the tree in garden? God was giving them (us) a choice—Him or the world. He knew the they would choose wrong. When expelling mankind from the Garden of Eden God drops His first prophecy of Jesus and the first allusion to the end of days battle told in Revelation. Which means He knew the Jews would reject Jesus and crucify Him and that we would become a sin filled society. He could have nipped everything in the bud right there and killed Adam and Eve, after all He did warn them they would die. He could have started over and created two new people or something else entirely. But He didn't. This was His plan all along, for us to chose Him willingly, with full consciousness, knowing both good and evil.
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Conclusions on Eve

I tackled this issue in more depth in the post Untainted Words of God: Adam & Eve. In that post I discussed the meaning of the term helpmeet and discuss the issue of interpreting passages of the Bible to assert Eve was to blame for our current state, thus lessening the position of women. Eve was no more to blame for our predicament than Adam, and is actually just the victim of Satan lies. Throughout the Bible Satan twists God's Word to fool people into doing the wrong thing. In Eve's case, the lie worked. We should learn from Eve's mistake so that we can recognize when we are being hustled.
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Bible Verses

21And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.Genesis 1:21-23 KJV
And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.Genesis 3:20 KJV
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.Genesis 3:6 KJV
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.Genesis 3:16 KJV
1And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. 2And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.Genesis 4:1-2 KJV
And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.Genesis 4:25 KJV

Other Bible Verses on Eve

  • Genesis 1:26-28
  • Genesis 3:1-24
  • 1 Timothy 2:13, 14
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3
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References

  1. Campbell, Mike. "Eve". Behind the Name. 2015
  2. "Common Ancestor of all Humans Lived 5000 Years Ago". Associated Press. July 5, 2006
  3. "Bible Timeline". Biblehub.com
  4. "Bible Timeline". BibleHistory.com

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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