Genesis 3:20
And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Adam called his wife’s name Eve.—Heb., Chavvah; in Greek, Zoë. It has been debated whether this name is a substantive, Life (LXX.), or a participle, Life-producer (Symm). Adam’s condition was now one of death, but his wife thereby attained a higher value in his sight. Through her alone could human life be continued, and the “woman’s seed” be obtained who was to raise up man from his fall. While, then, woman’s punishment consists in the multiplication of her “sorrow and conception,” she becomes thereby only more precious to man; and while “her desire is to her husband,” Adam turns from his own punishment to look upon her with more tender love. He has no word for her of reproach, and we thus see that the common interpretation of Genesis 3:12 is more than doubtful. Adam throws no blame either on Eve or on his Maker, because he does not feel himself to blame. He rather means, “How could I err in following one so noble, and in whom I recognise Thy best and choicest gift?” And with this agrees Genesis 3:6, where Adam partakes of the fruit without hesitation or thought of resistance. And so here he turns to her and calls her Chavvah, his life, his compensation for his loss, and the antidote for the sentence of death.

Genesis 3:20. God having named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth; Adam, in further token of dominion, named the woman, and called her Eve, that is, life. Thus Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve, of the living soul. Though for her sin she was justly sentenced to a present death, yet, by God’s infinite mercy, and by virtue of the promised seed, she was both continued in life herself, and made the mother of all living. Adam had before called her Isha, woman, as a wife; here he calls her Evah, life, as a mother. Now, 1st, If this name were given her by divine direction, it was an instance of God’s favour, and, like the new naming of Abraham and Sarah, it was a seal of the covenant, and an assurance to them, that, notwithstanding their sin, he had not reversed that blessing wherewith he had blessed them. Be fruitful and multiply. It was likewise a confirmation of the promise now made, that the seed of the woman, of this woman, should break the serpent’s head. 2d, If Adam did it of himself, it was an instance of his faith in the word of God.

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.This verse and the next one record two very significant acts consequent upon the judgment: one on the part of Adam, and another on the part of God.

The man here no doubt refers to two expressions in the sentences he had heard pronounced on the serpent and the woman. "He," the seed of the woman, "shall bruise thy head." Here it is the woman who is to bear the seed. And this seed is to bruise the serpent's head; that is, in some way to undo what had been done for the death of man, and so re-invest him with life. This life was therefore to come by the woman. Again, in the address of the judge to the woman he had heard the words, "Thou shalt bear children." These children are the seed, among whom is to be the bruiser of the serpent's head, and the author of "life". And in an humbler, nearer sense, the woman is to be the mother of children, who are the living, and perpetuate the life of the race amid the ravages which death is daily committing on its individual members. These glimmerings of hope for the future make a deep impression upon the father of mankind. He perceives and believes that through the woman in some way is to come salvation for the race. He gives permanent expression to his hope in the significant name which he gives to his wife. Here we see to our unspeakable satisfaction the dawn of faith - a faith indicating a new beginning of spiritual life, and exercising a salutary influence on the will, faintly illuminating the dark bosom of our first parent. The mother of mankind has also come to a better mind. The high and holy Spirit has in mercy withdrawn the cloud of misconception from the minds of both, and faith in the Lord and repentance have sprung up in their new-born souls.

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. The word signifies either a living, or, the giver or preserver of life. Though for her sin justly sentenced to a present death, yet by God’s infinite mercy, and by virtue of the promised Seed, she was both continued in life herself, and

was made the mother of all living men and women that should be after her upon the earth; who though in and with their mother they were condemned to speedy death, yet shall be brought forth into the state and land of the living, and into the hopes of a blessed and eternal life by the Redeemer, whose mother or progenitor she was.

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.

And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Eve] Heb. Ḥavvah, that is, Living, or Life. The man is represented as calling his wife by this name, because she was the mother of the whole human race. The word is evidently of great antiquity; for it is not found with this spelling in Biblical Hebrew, but in the form of ḥayyah. The sound of the name “Ḥavvah” (Eve) was sufficiently close to that of the root meaning “Life” (ḥay) to suggest connexion. Whether ḥavvah was an old form, or a name taken over from the primitive people of Palestine, we have no means of deciding.

20–21. These two verses are a parenthesis interrupting the thread of the narrative. Probably they contain materials current in some other thread of tradition, and inserted here at the close of the judicial sentence.

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. Genesis 3:20As justice and mercy were combined in the divine sentence; justice in the fact that God cursed the tempter alone, and only punished the tempted with labour and mortality, mercy in the promise of eventual triumph over the serpent: so God also displayed His mercy to the fallen, before carrying the sentence into effect. It was through the power of divine grace that Adam believed the promise with regard to the woman's seed, and manifested his faith in the name which he gave to his wife. חוּה Eve, an old form of חיּה, signifying life (ζωή, lxx), or life-spring, is a substantive, and not a feminine adjective meaning "the living one," nor an abbreviated form of מחוּה, from חוּה equals חיּה (Genesis 19:32, Genesis 19:34), the life-receiving one. This name was given by Adam to his wife, "because," as the writer explains with the historical fulfilment before his mind, "she became the mother of all living," i.e., because the continuance and life of his race were guaranteed to the man through the woman. God also displayed His mercy by clothing the two with coats of skin, i.e., the skins of beasts. The words, "God made coats," are not to be interpreted with such bare literality, as that God sewed the coats with His own fingers; they merely affirm "that man's first clothing was the work of God, who gave the necessary directions and ability" (Delitzsch). By this clothing, God imparted to the feeling of shame the visible sign of an awakened conscience, and to the consequent necessity for a covering to the bodily nakedness, the higher work of a suitable discipline for the sinner. By selecting the skins of beasts for the clothing of the first men, and therefore causing the death or slaughter of beasts for that purpose, He showed them how they might use the sovereignty they possessed over the animals for their own good, and even sacrifice animal life for the preservation of human; so that this act of God laid the foundation for the sacrifices, even if the first clothing did not prefigure our ultimate "clothing upon" (2 Corinthians 5:4), nor the coats of skins the robe of righteousness.
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