Category: Eve


Eve in the Bible was the wife of Adam, the first man that God created. Eve was the mother of Cain and Abel and Seth and “other sons and daughters” (Genesis 4:1–2, 25; 5:4). Eve was the first woman, the first wife, and the first mother in the world.

The name Eve comes from the Hebrew word chavâh, which means “the living” or “life.” She was called “Eve” because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). God created her after allowing Adam to see that he did not have among the animals a suitable companion—that is, there was no other creature like himself. So God created Eve as Adam’s counterpart. Eve was made in God’s image, just as Adam was (Genesis 1:27).

God gave a command to Adam and Eve while they were living in the garden of Eden. He told them not to eat of a tree called “the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” because, He warned, on the day they ate of that tree, they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden without incident, but at some point Eve gave into the temptation to eat from the forbidden tree. She was deceived by the serpent (1 Timothy 2:13–14) who, it is generally believed, was a creature used by Satan. The serpent sowed doubt in Eve’s mind by asking her whether God had really meant what He said in forbidding the tree (Genesis 3:1). Then, the serpent fed Eve a lie: “You will not certainly die. . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5). Eve took some of fruit and ate it and then brought some to her husband, Adam, who also ate. Adam and Eve immediately understood what they had not previously understood—their eyes were opened to both good and evil. But God had not lied—death came as a result of Eve and Adam’s disobedience.

Death came to the whole human race as a result of what Eve was tricked into doing and Adam’s subsequent choice to sin. Two specific curses were given to Eve and all her daughters. First, God multiplied Eve’s pain in childbearing. Second, God pronounced that the relationship between man and woman would be characterized by conflict (Genesis 3:16). These two curses have been proved true in every woman’s life throughout history. No matter how many medical advances we achieve, childbearing is always a painful and stressful experience for a woman. And no matter how advanced and progressive society becomes, the relationship between man and woman remains a power struggle, a battle of the sexes full of strife.

Eve was the mother of all the living and also the first to experience these specific curses. However, Eve will be redeemed along with Adam because of the second Adam, Christ, who was without sin (Romans 5:12–14). “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. . . . ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45).

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(Genesis 3:16):

As God pronounces judgment on Eve for her part of the transgression in Eden, He says, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This verse causes some puzzlement. It would seem that a woman desiring her husband would be a good thing, and not a curse.

The Hebrew phrase in question does not include a verb and is literally translated “toward your husband your desire.” Since this judgment is predictive, the future tense verb “will be” is added for clarity: “Your desire will be for your husband.” The most basic and straightforward understanding of this verse is that woman and man would now have ongoing conflict. In contrast to the ideal conditions in the Garden of Eden and the harmony between Adam and Eve, their relationship, from that point on, would include a power struggle. The NLT translation makes it more evident: “You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

God is saying that Eve would desire to rule over her husband, but her husband would instead rule over her. Replacing the mutually interdependent relationship the Lord had created was a desire for one spouse to lead the other. Sin had wrought discord. The battle of the sexes had begun. Both man and woman would now seek the upper hand in marriage. The man who was to lovingly care for and nurture his wife would now seek to rule her, and the wife would desire to wrest control from her husband.

It is important to note that this judgment only states what will take place. God says that man and woman will live in conflict and their relationship will become problematic. The statement “he shall rule over you” is not a biblical command for men to dominate women.

In the New Testament, God affirms His ideal relationship between man and woman in marriage. Christ-like qualities are emphasized. What the curse of sin created, believers in Christ are called to correct by living according to God’s Spirit. Ephesians 5: says that the wife should willingly submit to her husband’s authority in the home, in essence, refusing to scratch the curse-fueled itch to seize control (verses 22-24). Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally and sacrificially, just as Christ loves the Church (verses 25-30). The whole passage begins with an emphasis on mutual submission to one another: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (verse 21).

From the beginning, God’s focus has been love and respect between husband and wife. Though sin has tainted the original beauty of this relationship, God commands believers in Christ to pursue this ideal relationship between husband and wife, an ideal perfectly illustrated in Christ’s relationship with the Church.