Eve: “Mother of All the Living”
Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. (Genesis 3:20)
This is a short passage that, in context, seems a bit out of place.
God has just finished proclaiming the consequences of the man and the woman’s sin. Next, God clothes them and banishes them from the garden in Eden. But between these two events is this short sentence of Adam naming Eve.
It seems odd. Like a quick note just tucked into major events. However, there is important truths packed in these few words that we do not want to miss.
The Kindness of Adam
Eve was created for Adam to be his “ezer.” This is the Hebrew word for “helper” or “help meet.” However, as I have mentioned before, this word means so much more than just a helper or assistant. This word is more like a hero, a rescuer, a protector. This word is used many times throughout the Old Testament to describe God as Protector and Savior. This is a much heavier and precious meaning than just someone who washes the clothes and picks up around the house. (Not that those things do not matter, they do. However, it also means spiritually supporting your husband and helping him avoid sin and pursue righteousness.)
Unfortunately, Eve abdicated this role and led her husband into disobedience to God’s command. She was, in that moment, the opposite of an “ezer.” She failed her husband.
As a result, Adam would endure great hardship all the days of his life. Since death was also a consequence of their sin, Adam’s life would end and his body would decay. Adam would eventually become the dirt which he would spend all his days battling to produce food.
Adam could have spent the rest of his life blaming Eve. He could have named her something that meant “pain” or “heartache” or “difficult” or “death.” However, he named her “life.” He said she would be the “mother of all living.” What a beautiful show of mercy, grace, kindness, and love.
A Prophetic Name
Not only was naming the woman Eve a great grace and kindness shown to her, it is also prophetic.
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
In verse 15, God gives us the first glance of the coming Messiah, the One who would redeem His children from the ultimate result of sin and the one who will one day crush the head of Satan (Romans 16:20, Revelation 12:9).
Adam referring to Eve as a mother, reiterates God’s revelation of a coming Seed. Eve was not only the mother to all mankind but from her lineage, Jesus would be born.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus came that He might give life to those who are dead in sin. So, not only was Eve the mother of those who would be physically alive, but through her, she is the mother of the One who would bring life.
She ushered death into creation, but her Seed would bring life. She is mother to those who have been given life in Christ. She is the mother of the all the living in this temporal world but more, she is mother of all the living in Christ.
Even in this short and often skipped over verse, a verse that seems to be out of place, we find the Gospel. We are dead in our sin, yet God, in His mercy, showed us grace, by sending the Seed of Eve to bring us eternal life.