|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:20,21 God named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth; Adam named the woman, and called her Eve, that is, life. Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve of the living soul. Adam probably had regard to the blessing of a Redeemer, the promised Seed, in calling his wife Eve, or life; for He should be the life of all believers, and in Him all the families of the earth should be blessed. See also God's care for our first parents, notwithstanding their sin. Clothes came in with sin. Little reason have we to be proud of our clothes, which are but the badges of our shame. When God made clothes for our first parents, he made them warm and strong, but coarse and very plain; not robes of scarlet, but coats of skin. Let those that are meanly clad, learn from hence not to complain. Having food and a covering, let them be content; they are as well off as Adam and Eve. And let those that are finely clad, learn not to make the putting on of apparel their adorning. The beasts, from whose skins they were clothed, it is supposed were slain, not for man's food, but for sacrifice, to typify Christ, the great Sacrifice. Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons of fig-leaves, a covering too narrow for them to wrap themselves in, Isa 28:20. Such are all the rags of our own righteousness. But God made them coats of skin, large, strong, durable, and fit for them: such is the righteousness of Christ; therefore put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 20. - Arraigned, convicted, judged, the guilty but pardoned pair prepare to leave their garden home - the woman to begin her experience of sorrow, dependence, and subjection; the man to enter upon his life career of hardship and toil, and both to meet their doom of certain, though it might be of long-delayed, death. The impression made upon their hearts by the Divine Clemency, though not directly stated by the historian, may be inferred from what is next recorded as having happened within the precincts of Eden ere they entered on their exile. And Adam called (not prior to the fall, reading the verb as a pluperfect (Calvin), nor after the birth of Cain, transferring the present verse to Genesis 4:2 (Knobel), but subsequent to the promise of the woman's seed, and preceding their ejection from the garden) his wife's name Eve. Chavvah, from chavvah = chayyah, to live (cf. with the arganic rent chvi the Sanscrit, giv; Gothic, quiv; Latin, rive, gigno, vigeo; Greek, ζάω, &c., the fundamental idea being to breathe, to respire - Furst), is correctly rendered life - Work) by the LXX., Josephus, Philo, Gesenins, Delitzsch, Macdonald, &c. Lange, regarding it as an abbreviated form of the participle mechavvah, understands it to signify "the sustenance, i.e. the propagation of life; while Knobel, viewing it as an adjective, hints at woman's peculiar function - חִיָּה וֶדַע - to quicken seed (Genesis 19:82) as supplying the explanation. Whether appended by the narrator (Delitzsch, Lange) or uttered by Adam (Kalisch, Macdonald), the words which follow give its true import and exegesis. Because she was the mother (am - Greek, μαμμα; Welsh, mani; Copt., man; German and English, mama; - Gesenius) of all living.
(1) Of Adam's children, though in this respect she might have been so styled from the beginning; and
(2) of all who should truly live in the sense of being the woman's seed, as distinguished from the seed of the serpent. In Adam's giving a second name to his wife has been discerned the first assertion of his sovereignty or lordship over woman to which he was promoted subsequent to the fall (Luther), though this seems to be negatived by the fact that Adam exercised the same prerogative immediately on her creation; an act of thoughtlessness on the part of Adam, in that, "being himself immersed in death, he should have called his wife by so proud a name" (Calvin); a proof of his incredulity (Rupertus). With a juster appreciation of the spirit of the narrative, modern expositors generally regard it as a striking testimony to his faith.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Adam called his wife's name Eve,.... Whom he had before named "Ishah", a woman, because taken from him the man, Genesis 2:23 and now gives her a new name upon this scene of things, which had taken place; which is derived not from "Chavah", to "show forth", to "declare"; as if she was called so, because of her discourse with the serpent, being loquacious and talkative, and telling everything she knew, according to some Jewish writers (g); but from "Chayah, to live", as the reason given in the text shows. She is called Aeon "(Aevum)" by Philo Byblius, the interpreter of Sanchoniatho (h). The word "Eve" is retained in many Heathen writers, and used to be frequently repeated in the Bacchanalian rites, when the idolaters appeared with serpents platted on their heads (i); which plainly refers to the affair between the serpent and Eve; hence Bacchus is sometimes called Evius (k): the reason of Adam's giving her this name follows:
because she was the mother of all living; which reason is either given by Moses, when from her had sprung a numerous offspring, and would be continued to the end of the world; or if given by Adam was prophetic of what she would be; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "because she would be the mother of all living"; and the ground of this faith and persuasion of his, that he and his wife should not die immediately for the offence they had committed, but should live and propagate their species, as well as be partakers of spiritual and eternal life, was the hint that had been just given, that there would be a seed spring from them; not only a numerous offspring, but a particular eminent person that should be the ruin of the devil and his kingdom, and the Saviour of them; and so Eve would be not, only the mother of all men living in succeeding generations, but particularly, or however one descending from her, would be the mother of him that should bring life and immortality to light, or be the author of all life, natural, spiritual, and eternal; and who is called "the life", which is the same word by which the Greek version renders Eve in the preceding clause. It was with pleasure, no doubt, that Adam gave her this name; and it appears that this affair of her being seduced by the serpent, and of drawing him into the transgression, did not alienate his affection from her; and the rather he must needs cleave unto her, and not forsake her, since her seed was to break the serpent's head, and procure life and salvation for them; and by means of her there would be a race of living men produced, which would propagate his species to the end of time: for all living can only respect them, and not other animals, though in some sense they may be included, as our English poet (l) hints.
(g) Apud Fagium in loc. vid. Baal Hatturim in loc. (h) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 34. (i) Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. v. 518, 519. Pers. Satyr 1. v. 101, 102. vid. Clement. Alex. ad Gentes, p. 9. (k) Horat. Carmin. l. 2. ode 11. v. 17. (l) Mother of all things living, since by thee Man is to live, and all things live for man. Milton's Paradise Lost. B. 11. l. 160, 161.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Adam called his wife's name Eve—probably in reference to her being a mother of the promised Saviour, as well as of all mankind.
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