And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.(Genesis 3:20)
Genesis three is a primal chapter of scripture. It is essential to any true understanding of the plight of man, death in the world, the nature of sin, Satan’s wiles, and most importantly, God’s salvation.
Every detail of this foundational chapter is set in place by the Holy Spirit of God, that we might benefit by this unique revelation of why the world is as it is.
Therefore the naming of Eve, who up to this point is referred to as “Ishah”, (the woman), is not incidental, but of signal importance to we who believe.
The significance of the naming of Eve, (literally,”Chavah”), can only be appreciated when the dreadful sentence of death is passed upon Adam in the previous verse. “Adam (dust) you are and to Adamah (dirt) you shall return!”.
Of all of the penalties pronounced upon Adam this one must have been the most awful and unthinkable. The man who had been created as God’s regent, commissioned to “subdue the earth”, and to “fill it” with his children, has now been sentenced to death, something he had no immediate understanding of.
Adam was to begin dying from the time of the pronouncement, for death is a state of being, a spiritual status, long before any physical dissolution. Death is separation, from God, from Eve, from Love, well-being and Shalom, it is depression, despair, breakdown, decay, disintegration, fear, illness, and finally a humiliating return to dust.
Because Adam and Eve revolted against their own creator, they must die. They are now separated from their environment and from each other as well as from their God, who was the source of their life. Everything has changed and those changes rapidly begin to manifest themselves, as we will see.
They must leave the garden of delights, the only home they have ever known, they have forfeited it. They now know shame, fear and deep remorse, even regret. The couple must now endure the reign of death.
This is the context that is set for the naming of Eve, the mother of all living. There are two interpretations for Adam’s act of naming her. Either it is an act of proud defiance or of humble faith. The Sons of Adam and Eve have alternated between the two options ever since.
If it was an act of defiance, Adam is saying, “we will live, in spite of your sentence, we will make a life for ourselves, we will define life on our own terms, the children of Eve will indeed live!”. Some speculate that the goddess worship of the Ancients was actually “Eve” worship.
Goddess worship often involves serpent worship as well, and the pursuit of “hidden wisdom” runs throughout the universal paganistic mystery religion. The secret knowledge Eve was looking for is still sought by the sons and daughters of Eve.
On the other hand, I believe the naming of Eve was an act of faith. True God had pronounced death upon the guilty couple ,and in doing so, upon the whole race of men, but not until after he had indirectly given them the promise of Life, through the woman.
Because of that promise , Eve will indeed be the “mother of all living” for “the seed of the woman” shall bring life! With the crushing of the serpent’s head, comes the reversal of all that the serpent has wrought, thus there shall be Life for the dead.
Thus for Adam and Eve, through faith in the promise, the last Word shall not be death and decay, but through the woman, and through the seed of the woman, Life shall again prevail.
They would indeed both die, and be returned to the dust from which they came, but in continuity with all of the seed of the woman down through the generations, they would look forward to the day Isaiah and Paul ,among others confidently proclaimed,
Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body[b] they shall arise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
And the earth shall cast out the dead.(Isaiah 26:19)
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.(Ephesians 5:14)