Eve is named Living.

In previous posts, I ask if Eve is culpable for her sin. Was she formed second to provide a way for Jesus to be born of Adam, yet without Adam’s sin? The first reason why I question her culpability is that the nature of her sin is different than Adam’s. The second is that the serpent is to blame for her sin.

Another reason why I question her culpability is that she was called LIVING , or the source of life.

The consequences

When God gave his law to Adam, He said the consequence of disobedience would be death. See how this plays out.

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock …
You will crawl on your belly …
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you…
19 By the sweat of your brow …
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

To the serpent, God says he will be defeated by the seed (offspring) of his enemy, the woman. His head will be crushed. He will die. Why? “Because you have done this.”

To Adam, God says he will encounter difficulty in staying alive and ultimate death. Why? “Because you have done this.”

To Eve, God leaves out the phrase, “Because you have done this.” He talks to her about the consequences of living with sinful man: pain in childbirth, unfulfilled desire and domination. God doesn’t mention death.

The contrast

In verse 19, God told Adam he will return to dust in death. In the very next verse, Adam gives his wife a name that stands in stark contrast to his death sentence. Adam named her Eve, which means living, after becoming acquainted with death.  He recognized the contrast between them.

There are two deaths; spiritual and physical. Consider. Adam was the only man to give physical life. From now on, it falls to woman to create life. And spiritually, Adam brings death to his progeny. But the woman has a new name, and with it an unspoken promise. Eve, through her offspring, will restore life – spiritually. So, Eve is truly the Mother of all the Living: all those who come to life in Christ; her seed!

On the point as to all believers being “the seed of the woman,” Dr. Monroe Gibson asks, “Who are her seed?” and replies, “Many superficial readers think it is all mankind. In a certain sense, of course, all mankind are ‘the seed of the woman;’ but suppose you include all mankind, where do the seed of the serpent come in [with whom her seed are at enmity]? Is it not quite obvious that ‘the seed of the woman’ cannot mean all mankind,—but simply those who are not only literally, but spiritually the ‘seed of the woman,’ those who are found on the side of good, the side of God and righteousness? Those who are of an opposite spirit are the seed of the serpent, ‘the children of the devil.’ In the same way, when . . . we are told that ‘Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living’ [3:20], most readers take it in the sense that she was the mother of all mankind. But why give her a name to indicate a thing so obvious? On the other hand, when you take the ‘living’ in the spiritual as well as the literal sense as those ‘alive unto God’, those who are to have the ‘life’ which God gives through His Son, how beautifully all the references correspond! ‘The seed of the woman,’ ‘the mother of the living,’ ‘the generation of Adam.’ There is, properly speaking, no present tense in Hebrew only the past and future. So when the future is used, it may denote the present, running on into the future. So here, it is not only ‘I will put enmity;’ but I am putting, and will put enmity between thee and the woman. The work is begun. . . . She is the first type and representative of all the separated ones who constitute the Church of God.” (The Ages before Moses, page 122. From God’s Word to Women, Paragraph 83.)

The choice

And then there is this.

And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Is it possible that Eve was not banished from the Garden? Since her desire was now for her husband, she chose life with him outside the garden as we learn in chapter 4, but it wasn’t required. (I assume Eve physically died at some point, even though the text doesn’t say it. I’m trying to point out what the text actually says.)

Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.”

If this be true for deliberate sinners, much more is it true for a wholly deceived person. We have shown that Eve was a believer. We see no reason why Eve should have found a “flaming sword” between herself and the tree of life. Adam was thrust out of Eden, with a flaming sword between himself and the tree of life, “lest he put forth his hand and take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” But if Eve was already “living” spiritually, the same motive could not have existed for cutting off her access to the tree of life; she already had eternal life. (KB, GWtW, Paragraph 96.)

The conclusion

Eve, deceived into eating the fruit, is shown mercy. She is not sentenced to death. Instead, she is called the source of those who will live. The Genesis account doesn’t specify her banishment from the Tree of Life, and God never details a “Because you have done this” to her. She doesn’t fall as Adam, and her seed will not carry the stain of his sin. This is critical to defeat her mortal enemy, Satan.

6 thoughts on “Eve is named Living.

  1. Fodder for those who do not believe in federal headship: Verse 23 of Gen. 3 says “the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground FROM WHENCE HE WAS TAKEN.” Eve was not created from the ground; only Adam was.

    However, when God said “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil,” we know that BOTH Adam and Eve had this knowledge (Gen. 3:7), so the banishment would be necessary for both of them in order to protect the tree of life from their consumption.

    Isn’t it easier to see that when God spoke of Adam, he included Adam’s wife in the consequences of Adam’s sin? After all, women experience Adam’s judgment (or the ground’s judgment for Adam’s sake) just as much as men (we live on this same sin-cursed earth, don’t we?) AND, when God gave Eve her consequences for her sin, it was actually above and beyond what she would experience through Adam’s consequences (maybe even a DOUBLE penalty). Adam/man would NOT experience pain and sorrow in childbearing, nor would they be “ruled over” as women are. As I see it, women experience twice the suffering and consquences for sin as men do. Is that because the woman sinned first, then encouraged her husband to sin, too?

    Adam had to choose between his love for his wife and his love for God. I’m sure when he chose his wife, that pained God deeply!!! At the time of God’s banishment of them from the Garden, the consequence of 3:16 was already in place for Eve. Of COURSE, she would go with her husband; after all, he was now “ruling” over her. God dealt only with Adam because the wife was one with him.

    In a way, gender rolls is hard to distinguish from this account of Adam and Eve because they WERE husband and wife; THIS relationship IS treated differently in NT teaching than the rolls of male and female.


  2. So when Adam said Eve was the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20), was she GOING to be the mother of all living or ALREADY the mother of all living? Did this statement of what was presently so imply, rather, a future event? [I don’t believe so.]

    It still fits, Kay. {smile}


  3. Well, some claim that before Eve was named Eve she was still referred to as Adam along with the man and when the man was banished, she was banished with him.

    You know, I think what happens sometimes, is that we women are taught that all the problems in the world are because of us or because of a women named Eve. And when we are futherer taught that man fell because Adam listened to his wife and that men need to stop listening to their wives, that once we actually read Genesis without that filter or lens, we can get a bit miffed when we see what actually went down.

    (Here’s a modern day example of the teaching that it’s all the woman’s fault. Preacher Jack Schaap:
    “Ask Adam what he thought about getting his theology from a woman. It damned the whole world. The reason your sorry soul is going to Hell is because a woman told Adam what God thinks about things.”
    Link to transcript:

    Anyway, after hearing enough of that taught over and over again by men who want to hold women far more responsible that what was ever fair, we ladies can get a knee jerk reaction and start turning the tables and start holding men solely responsible for what went down.

    Do I think the man’s sin was greater than the woman’s?
    Yes. But she is still guilty and I have no trouble beleiving she was expelled from the garden as well for doubting the goodness of God to begin with.
    I truly don’t know which way it happened. I don’t think the text is that clear

    But I do know that women need to stop listening to preachers like Jack Schaap and to start making mass exoduses from churches that get the Genesis story so wrong and who try to hold women far more responsible than what the text ever implies.

    I also feel that talking about it like this, hashing it out a bit, is good because we really do need to stand up against the dreadful misinformation and scripture twisting that men like Schaap are guilty of.


    1. I agree, Mara– the text isn’t quite clear whether God was viewing both Adam and Eve as “the adam” (“human”) at the time they were cast out, or whether it was just Adam that was cast out. But here’s the thing. Those who say both Adam and Eve were cast out together, usually also say that when God called to “the adam” after the Fall, saying “Where are you?”, He was just calling the man, because the man had “federal headship.” But if God casting out “the adam” meant BOTH Adam and Eve, then God calling to “the adam” would have ALSO meant both of them. And if God calling to “the adam” meant He called to both of them, then that verse can no longer be used as evidence of federal headship.

      And yet if “the adam” did not mean both of them, then it was also only Adam who was cast out, and Eve just sort of chose to go along with him– which also goes against the idea of federal headship, for if God did not consider Eve worthy of casting out, in what sense was Adam being held accountable for her?


      1. Very good point.

        They can’t have it both ways. No matter how much they want to mess with it to make it say what they want in order to prop up their sacred cow, it doesn’t hold water.
        It is either true one way or the other. They can’t switch it around to serve their personal agenda at whim.


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