Genesis 3:20

20 Adam[a] named his wife Eve,[b] because she would become the mother of all the living.

Genesis 3:20 in Other Translations

20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
20 Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.
20 The Man, known as Adam, named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.
20 Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

Genesis 3:20 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 3:20

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 F7; 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 F8. 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 F9; which plainly refers to the affair between the serpent and Eve; hence Bacchus is sometimes called Evius F11: 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 (zwh) , "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 F12 hints.


F7 Apud Fagium in loc. vid. Baal Hatturim in loc.
F8 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 34.
F9 Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. v. 518, 519. Pers. Satyr 1. v. 101, 102. vid. Clement. Alex. ad Gentes, p. 9.
F11 Horat. Carmin. l. 2. ode 11. v. 17.
F12 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.

Genesis 3:20 In-Context

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Genesis 2:20; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13

Footnotes 2

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