First Eve receives her life and then her name from Adam. But in between these two events the whole world falls apart.
Between Eve’s creation and her naming, the couple rebel, death and curse are unleashed and the LORD pronounces fearful judgements. Yet the most hopeful verse comes next:
“Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
“Eve” is very similar to the Hebrew verb “to live”. And that’s what Adam calls her. He doesn’t call her “Woe” or “Death” or “Suffering”, though all those words would have been ringing in his ears. He calls her “Life.”
Just previously he’d blamed the whole sorry mess on “the woman whom thou gavest to be with me!” (Genesis 3:12) But he’s forgotten the blame-game now.
Now he looks at her and sees a source of universal blessing!
How is that possible?
The great 16th century reformer, Martin Luther, commented on this verse:
[Adam] looked to Eve as mother of all the living – he saw through to life when everything around him was being subjected to death.
This is such a remarkable fact it demands an explanation. And Luther points us towards the only possible explanation. Something must have happened between the blame of verse 12 and the name of verse 20.
And that “something” was Genesis 3:15. Luther calls the verse, “This first comfort, this source of all mercy and fountainhead of all promises.”
In verse 15 the LORD speaks of “the seed of the woman” who will bruise the serpent’s head. He will crush the oppressor and reverse the curse. He would strike the serpent’s head even though he himself would be struck in the process.
There would be a birth – a miraculous birth. And this child would deal a costly but decisive death-blow to Satan. He would crush Satan’s head, but he’d be injured in the process.
Here the Christ-child is promised. And this changes everything. Even in the midst of terrible judgement Adam knows that the LORD is not finally against us, but for us… and soon to be with us.
Therefore, now when Adam looks at the woman he doesn’t see “this woman you put here.” He sees ‘Eve’, the mother of all the living. She would be the source of blessing not curse. From her would come the Seed who would put to rights what they had done wrong.
Because of Christ, Adam saw through to life when all around him was death.
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