Eve in the Bible. The Meaning and Reality for Today
Eve in the Bible. That’s the name attributed to the first woman. Why isn’t she called Paula, Sacha, Beatrice? Why is there such an abrupt break from the previous verse about death? Read on.
Eve in the Bible. She is the mother of all humanity. If there’s one woman who has a unique role in humankind, it is her. What a paradox, she instigated the eating from the forbidden Tree and has the distinction of being the progenitor, the mother of every single human being who has walked planet Earth. The significance of the narrative of Eve in the Bible is monumental.
Strange, this placement in Genesis 3:20 of what we might consider a trivial event. But we’ve already come to understand the importance of both the placement and the meaning of names.
Eve is chock-a-block full of information. But you can only see it by looking at the Hebrew. Eve incorporates Rule 5, the meaning of a name, and Rule 7; a Hebrew word tells a story. In this case, the fascinating story of humankind AFTER eating from the forbidden Tree.
But first, we need to answer the question, why the abrupt break from the previous verse.
19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve (H2332); because she was the mother (H517) of all living (H2416).
Each of the first three chapters of Genesis is a scene. The opening scene in Genesis 1 is the remake of Earth, from tohu va bohu to it was very good. The second scene is Genesis 2, the creation of the first man and woman, their neshama-minds, and their instruction, which rendered them naked and not ashamed, wise, and not confused. The third scene is Genesis 3, the entry of the Serpent, the enticement, and eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It includes God’s judgment and ultimate death. That’s to dust shall you return at the end of Genesis 3:19, a sad story.
The curtain could come down, end of the show. Not so.
God told them to multiply and subdue the Earth. It is another way of saying create relationships and apply rulership — the two principal activities of humankind. God told them they would continue, but with sorrow. God says, “You’re definitely going to die, but you are also going to start the enterprise I’ve set for you.” “Both of you merit death, but I will extend your lives.”
Scene 4 is about to begin. It is a new era, a new age. The final five verses of Genesis 3 give us the foundational outline of this new world. The first act of which is naming the woman Eve in the Bible.
New World Society Commences
Let’s put some New Testament Bible verses in perspective with the understanding of this new era.
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
The above era goes all the way back to Genesis 1:1 and the make-over of planet Earth.
Genesis 3 is the beginning of an era where God not only let the Serpent into the Garden but also into the world, the new world, for Eve of the Bible and all her descendants.
2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world (G165) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
At UnlockBibleMeaning.com, check the meaning of G165. It is not our geographical planet. The word is aion, which means age, era. It’s a time period. We use the vocabulary aeon in English, in scientific circles to refer to 1 billion years. In Biblical terms, it generally covers seven thousand years.
This next passage reveals that this age of humankind is temporary. We hear science talk about the Big Crunch, or our Sun becoming a supernova and its heat destroying Earth, in BILLIONS of years. We don’t have to worry about that. I don’t know when this age will pass, but it will be long before any of this astronomical activity.
1 Corinthians 7:31
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.Below, we see that the actions of Christ, our Savior, and Messiah were already established, even BEFORE this world age began (1 Peter 1:20). His sacrifice covered Eve of the Bible and all of humanity that make a free choice to follow Him.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Eve of the Bible is the focus of this new world because she is the mother of ALL humans who would be part of it.
Role of the Mother
Eve of the Bible, Mother of ALL Living. As I write, we’re in the period of celebration of Mother’s Day in the USA and France. Our mother is Eve.
אֵם ʼêm ame; a primitive word; a mother (as the bond of the family); in a wide sense (both literally and figuratively (like father)):
KJV — dam, mother, ⨯ parting.
The KJV translated word dam (not the water reservoir) is used to refer to a hen and her chicks (Deut. 22:6). In the same way, the hen sits on the eggs until they hatch, Eve of the Bible, goes through her period of pregnancy until she gives birth. It is part of motherhood that perpetuates her descendants. Below are links to an entire section of the third book in The Explanation series, Audit of Humankind, devoted to the development of humanity, the human race on Earth. Eve of the Bible, the mother of ALL living, refers specifically to this incredible growth of population. God told the first man and woman to multiply and fill the Earth. Indeed, they have.
- Human Society, the Only Global Social Species (3.1)
- You are a Unique Individual among 7 Billion on Earth (3.2)
- Gender Equality, Gender Inequality, or Gender Compatibility? (3.3)
- Bride and Groom is a Cross-Cultural, Worldwide Phenomenon (3.4)
- Couple Relationship — Binding Husband and Wife in Marriage (3.5)
- Healthy Marriage, A Happy Twosome with Abundant Benefits (3.6)
- Family — The Cornerstone of Human Society (3.7)
- Parenting, Father & Mother have Essential Complementary Roles (3.8)
- Extended family. Many Generations = World Population (3.9)
- Ethnicity, Clans, Tribes, Where did They All Come From? (3.10)
- Nations Are Identified by Their Own Patriotic Ethnic Culture (3.11)
- Origin of Language, An Unsolvable Scientific Mystery (3.12)
- Globalization: Integration Versus Segregation of People (3.13)
Did you notice Strong’s reference to the “bond of the family” in H517? With a mother’s attachment to her child, physically and emotionally, she is the connection, the sticky glue, that holds the ensemble, the whole family, together.
Eve in the Bible personifies relationships. Remember, this is one of the two chief responsibilities God conferred on humans.
Spiritually. Eve represents the Church. The Church is the bond that holds all of God’s spiritual children together. She represents the Church. As an aside, this is why Eve is only named at this point in the narrative. Until sin entered the world, she was the woman, created from the man’s side, naked and not ashamed, who represented the Church, wise and with no confusion.
From this point on, in the story of humankind, Eve represents the one who was seduced by the Serpent and is now, during this age, using her own sakal wisdom and who is in confusion; this is both physically and spiritually. In this age, motherhood, womankind, females are very confused about their roles. They are at loggerheads with the other gender, and in particular, with themselves.
The man names his wife, Eve. He’s assuming His God-given role of leadership. You can see the translation of father in Further Study below. He is exercising the other injunction God gave humans, rulership. Unfortunately, both physically and spiritually, males are in confusion regarding their gender and their role in rulership. We’ll discuss this more next week.
Meaning of her name
The English name Eve leaves us totally in the dark concerning the deep significance of who the first lady really is. We’re going to follow rule 5 of mastering Biblical Hebrew to unlock Bible meaning. Names tell stories about the individual who carries it.
חַוָּה Chavvâh khav-vaw’; causatively from H2331 (חָוָה); life-giver; Chavvah (or Eve), the first woman:
KJV — Eve.
חָוָה châvâh khaw-vah’; a primitive root; (compare H2324 (חֲוָא), H2421 (חָיָה)); properly, to live; by implication (intensively) to declare or show:
KJV — show.
Eve, by her life, shows who she is. Just like each one of us. In Eve’s case, however, she’s flesh of my flesh declared by the first man. Reread the root meaning (H1319) and KJV translations of flesh, “messenger, preach, publish, shew forth, (bear, bring, carry, preach, good, tell good) tidings.” The meaning of the name Eve is directly related to having a proper say in how things are to be. She shows the way to her children and her family.
When Eve spiritually represents the Church, this is particularly important. I suggest you reread this post about the wisdom of the first woman in building her family by obtaining children. A mother is a real witness to show how to live and develop relationships.
Story of her Name
Naming ‘Eve’ in verse 20 presses home the meaning of life. This verse immediately follows after God pronounced the imminence of the death of the man and the woman. The question is, how does God’s plan continue? How can you save humans from death? Death, death, you shall SURELY die (Gen. 2:17) if you eat of the forbidden Tree. They did. In Biblical terms, we’d say, how does God REDEEM them? Eve’s name is associated with the story of REDEMPTION, how humans follow a trajectory from DEATH to LIFE.
Eve is Chava, which, according to H2332, is life-giver from H2331. She is the mother of all living (H2416), the last word in Genesis 3:20.
חַי chay khah’-ee; from H2421 (חָיָה); alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively:
KJV — + age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life(-time), live(-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, + merry, multitude, + (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.
חָיָה châyâh khaw-yaw’; a primitive root (compare H2331 (חָוָה), H2421 (חָיָה)); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive:
KJV — keep (leave, make) alive, ⨯ certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, ([idiom] God) save (alive, life, lives), ⨯ surely, be whole.
The name Eve sums up the entirety of God’s intention for humanity, particularly following their eating of the forbidden fruit. Below, I have re-ordered the list of Strong’s KJV translations to show you the progressive nature of the steps to take humans through their PHYSICAL lifespan and their SPIRITUAL life, on into their ETERNAL life in God’s Family. We can arrange the translations below differently, but God’s full plan is present. The following is a very brief overview of God’s plan, you might not be aware of some of the steps, but they’re all there, study and Bible corroboration can evidence it.
- Give life: Physical birth.
- Save alive, preserve alive: During this lifetime, until we return to dust.
- Revive, make alive: Resurrection for the multitude in Ezekiel 37, for example.
- Recover, repair, restore: Healing of broken bodies and especially minds.
- Nourish up: Role of the Church to feed the flock spiritually.
- Quicken: Resurrection to eternal life.
- Be whole: The ultimate goal of spiritual peace and prosperity in God’s Family.
It is not, and never was God’s intention to leave humans in a state of despair, abandonment, and even death. As we’ve seen, humans hid from their Maker, God’s plan calls for the restoration of the relationship He had with Adam and Eve previously.
And that plan is summed up in one name, Eve, the root of which is LIFE.
Many Bible contexts bare witness to this, and I leave that study up to you. One such passage is in Isaiah.
15 For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive (H2421) the spirit of the humble, and to revive (H2421) the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore (H7999 from Shalom) comforts (H5750 from Noah) to him and to his mourners.
19 I create (H1254 bara… God has NOT YET FINISHED CREATION, He CONTINUES to CREATE) the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, says the Lord; and I will heal him.
God intends to revive (H2421), to bring about circumstances so that humankind learns how to have a spirit of humility and contrition. He will, heal, lead, restore, and comfort. All the implications included the meaning of the name Eve.
Notice what God is upset with humanity: going on forwardly in the way of his heart. That’s this world age, the continued eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, humankind making their own decisions regardless of God. Because of humanity’s iniquity of his covetousness, God has hidden Himself from humans. This hiding refers to putting humans out of the Garden of Eden; we’ll see why. But remember, God puts a veil between Himself and humanity because humans hid themselves from God first. Humankind obliged God to put up a barrier, as we shall understand in a few articles.
This barrier will fall as God says in verse 16, “I will not contend forever,” but, in the meantime, there are thorny times because of man’s iniquity and covetousness. This world is the time of sorrow in the social, vocational, and governmental fiber for humankind. We are thrashing and flailing around, applying our own wisdom to find solutions, a period that God told Adam and Eve about.
Thankfully, this is followed, in verse 19, by the creation of peace and healing for those near and far, all of humankind. All the living of which Eve is the mother. In a nutshell, we have a summary of the whole puzzle climaxing in that Peace and Prosperity so desired by, but so distant from humankind.
Eve in the Bible is much more than a name; it is life-giver. Even more than just living, it should be a life of peace and physical and mental prosperity (3 John 1:2). Eve is the knowledge that healing, restoration, and comfort are on the way for her children, ALL her children.
This reviving includes a less comprehended but vital puzzle piece to which the Bible continually refers. There’s an example in 1 Kings 17:22 in the story of the widow in Sarepta who’s son suddenly dies of a sickness, Elijah, God’s prophet is summoned, and he prays to God, “And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived (H2421).” The dead son regains life, he is once again a nefesh chaya (Gen. 2:7); this is life-giving in the form of a resurrection to physical life. Eve refers to reviving even the long time dead, that’s why the Bible refers to the restoration of ALL her children. It’s another step in the plan of God.
‘Eve’ has a more profound meaning than meets the eye.
A verse in 1 Timothy 2:15 referring specifically to Eve says, “notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” Grammatically, the Greek is incorrect; as can be seen in the English, the subject is singular, she and after the comma the pronoun is plural, they. Much debate has taken place to figure out why. Let’s go beyond to the crux of the matter, “she (Eve) shall be saved”, from what? From death, which she incurred for eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve being the mother of ALL living, they can only be her descendants, humankind, who will also be saved. God is the God of the LIVING, not the dead.
Notice that faith, charity, holiness, and sobriety are involved, just as we saw contrition and humility were in Isaiah 57:15 above. That’s the 6th point of how humans function, it’s self-reproach. In New Testament terms, that’s repentance, which leads to forgiveness.
‘Eve’ portends wondrous things, which the Bible previews and which I can expound, but to say I grasp them would be an exaggeration. Here’s what I mean, let me just add one final point about ‘Eve’ from the same context in Isaiah 57 in verse 13, “he that puts his trust in me (God) shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.” We already discussed the holy mountain, God’s headquarters, where Lucifer originally was. This verse indicates that he that puts his trust in God, the he being the descendants, ALL the descendants of Eve, can inherit that Holy Mountain. Wow!
Frankly, although this piece of the puzzle, about our future abode and occupation, is mentioned many times and in various places in the Bible as God’s ultimate goal for humankind, little is said about this matter. The name Eve in the Bible summarizes God’s plan of redemption of ALL her descendants from the tohu va bohu, into which we’ve plunged ourselves, all the way to God’s Holy Mountain.
This article is an excerpt from chapter 5.1 of the book Agony of Humankind.
I suggest you go over to UnlockBibleMeaning.com and do a search on this world, beginning of the world, and similar phrases. You’ll see that there are numerous Bible references to the 7000 years of the story of humankind. When you think about it, the Bible doesn’t reveal much about the Universe BEFORE the arrival of humanity nor about the Universe AFTER humankind becomes Godkind. Knowing God, there will be an incredible story, a new chapter, but we are not privy to that information. We have enough difficulty with God’s Word, His information for us during this age.
You can’t have a mother without a father. Here’s the Biblical Hebrew for father. It reflects his role of preeminence in the real sense of the term.
I simply remind us all here, that the preeminence of the man and the eminence of the women go hand-in-hand. Fitting rulership, related to the man, and appropriate relationships, related to the woman, work together in tandem to succeed.
אָב ʼâb awb; a primitive word; father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application:
KJV — chief, (fore-) father(-less), ⨯ patrimony, principal. Compare names in ‘Abi-’.
A wise man once said, Teach you me, what I do not know.
Let’s get started with The Explanation.
- Inventory of the Universe
- Audit of the Universe
- Audit of Humankind
- Origin of the Universe (Commentary on Genesis 1)
- Origin of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 1:26–2:7)
- Origin of Woman (Commentary on Genesis 2:8–25)
- Agony of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 3)
You can read all the books of The Explanation series online. Buy the books at your favorite store. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.