Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder shows Eve giving Adam the fruit.
Spouse Adam Children Cain
more sons and daughters
Eve (Hebrew: חַוָּה, Ḥawwāh in Classical Hebrew, Khavah in Modern Israeli Hebrew, Arabic: حواء) was, according to the creation myths of Abrahamic religions, the first woman created by God. Her husband was Adam.
- 1 Name and origin
- 2 Eve in different religions
- 3 See also
- 4 Footnotes
- 5 References
Name and origin
Bible, Eve (Hebrew: חַוָּה, Ḥawwāh; Arabic: حواء, Hawwa'; Ge'ez: ሕይዋን Hiywan; "living one" or "source of life", related to ḥāyâ, "to live"; ultimately from the Semitic root ḥyw; Greek: Εὕα, heúā) is Adam's wife. Her name occurs only four times in the Bible, the first being Genesis 3:20: "And Adam called his wife's name Ḥawwāh; because she was the mother of all living" (a title previously held by the Babylonian creatrix Tiamat). In Vulgate she appears as Hava in the Old Testament, but Eva in the New Testament. The name may actually be derived from that of the Hurrian Goddess "Kheba", who was shown in the Amarna Letters to be worshipped in Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age. It has been suggested that the name Kheba may derive from Kubau, a woman who reigned as the first "king" of the Third Dynasty of Kish Another name of Asherah in the first millennium BCE was Chawat, Hawwah in Aramaic, (Eve in English).
Eve is the first woman mentioned in the Bible. Here it was Adam who gave her the name Eve. Eve lived with Adam in the Garden of Eden during the time Adam was described as having walked with God. Eventually, however, with the Fall, the pair were removed from the garden because she was encouraged by a serpent to take a fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and with the Temptation led Adam to eat of the Forbidden Fruit.
Eve is not a saint's name, but the traditional name day of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, has been celebrated on December 24 since the Middle Ages in many European countries, e.g. Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Scandinavia, Estonia.
Creation of Eve
- "And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man"
After her creation, Adam names his companion Woman, "because she was taken out of Man." "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Eve is also mentioned in the Book of Tobit (viii, 8; Sept., viii, 6) where it is simply affirmed that she was given to Adam for a helper.
An alternate tradition, originating in a Jewish book called The Alphabet of Ben-Sira which entered Europe from the East in the 6th century A.D suggests that Lilith, not Eve, was Adam's first wife, created at the same time and from the same dust. The tradition goes that Lilith, claiming to be created equal, refused to sleep or serve "under him" (Adam). When Adam tried to force her into the "inferior" position, she flew away from Eden into the air, where she copulated with demons, conceiving hundreds more each day. God sent three angels after her, who threatened to kill her brood if she refused to return to Adam. But she did refuse. So God made Eve from Adam's rib to be his "second wife."
Controversy regarding the "rib" continues to the present day, regarding the Sumerian and the original Hebrew words for rib. The common translation, for example, that of the King James Version, is that אַחַת מִצַּלְעֹתָיו means "one of his ribs". The contrary position is that the term צלע ṣelaʿ, occurring forty-one times in the Tanakh, is most often translated as "side" in general.. "Rib" is, however, the etymologically primary meaning of the term, which is from a root ṣ-l-ʿ, "bend", cognate to Assyrian ṣêlu "rib". Also God took "one" ( ʾeḫad) of Adam's ṣelaʿ, suggesting an individual rib. The Septuagint has μίαν τῶν πλευρῶν αὐτοῦ, with ἡ πλευρά choosing a Greek term that like the Hebrew ṣelaʿ may mean either "rib", or, in the plural, "side [of a man or animal]" in general. The specification "one of the πλευρά" thus closely imitates the Hebrew text. The Aramaic form of the word is עלע ʿalaʿ, which appears, also in the meaning "rib", in Daniel 7:5.
An old story of the rib is told by Rabbi Joshua:
- "God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam's head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the member which is hid, that is the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked."
Anatomically, men and women have the same number of ribs - 24. When this fact was noted by the Flemish anatomist Vesalius in 1524 it touched off a wave of controversy, as it seemed to contradict Genesis 2:21.
Some, for instance Samuel Noah Kramer, hold  that the origin of this motif is the Sumerian myth in which the goddess Ninhursag created a beautiful garden full of lush vegetation and fruit trees, called Edinu, in Dilmun, the Sumerian earthly Paradise, a place which the Sumerians believed to exist to the east of their own land, beyond the sea. Ninhursag charged Enki, her lover and husband, with controlling the wild animals and tending the garden, but Enki became curious about the garden and his assistant, Adapa, selected seven plants (8 in some version) and offered them to Enki, who ate them. (In other versions of the story he seduced in turn seven generations of the offspring of his divine marriage with Ninhursag). This enraged Ninhursag, and she caused Enki to fall ill. Enki felt pain in his rib, which is a pun in Sumerian, as the word "ti" means both "rib" and "life". The other gods persuaded Ninhursag to relent. Ninhursag then created a new goddess ( 7 or 8 to heal his 7 or 8 ailing organs including his rib) named Ninti, (a name made up of "Nin", or "lady", plus "ti", and which can be translated as both Lady of Living and Lady of the Rib), to cure Enki. Neither Ninhursag nor Ninti are exact parallels of Eve, since both differ from the character. However, given that the pun with rib is present only in Sumerian, linguistic criticism places the Sumerian account as the more ancient and therefore, a possible narrative influence on the Judeo-Christian story of creation.
Temptation, fall, and expulsion from the garden
The serpent tells the woman that she will not die if she eats the fruit of the tree: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and bad." So the woman eats, and gives to the man who also eats. "Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." The man and woman hide themselves from God, the man blaming the woman for giving him the fruit, and the woman blaming the serpent. God curses the serpent, "upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life;" the woman he punishes with childbirth (and the pain therein), and with subordination to man: "your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you;" and Adam he punishes with a life of toil: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground." The man names his wife Eve, "because she was the mother of all living."
"Behold," says God, "the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil." God expels the couple from Eden, "lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever;" the gate of Eden is sealed by cherubim and a flaming sword "to guard the way to the tree of life."
Eve as mother of humanity
According to the Bible, for her share in the transgression, Eve (and womankind after her) is sentenced to a life of sorrow and travail in childbirth, and to be under the power of her husband. While believers accept all subsequent humans have Eve as an ancestor, she is believed to be unique in that although all people after her were physically created from women, Eve herself was created from a man. Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Abel (or Habel), the first a tiller of the ground, the second a keeper of sheep. After the death of Abel, Eve gives birth to a third son, Seth (or Sheth), from whom Noah (and thus the whole of modern humanity) is descended. According to the Bible, Eve states "God hath given me [literally, "put" or "appointed", in Hebrew "shāth"] another seed, for Abel whom Cain slew" (Genesis 4:25).
Eve in different religions
Eve in Judaism
Even in ancient times, the presence of two distinct accounts was noted, and regarded with some curiosity. The first account says male and female [God] created them (Genesis 1:27), which has been assumed by critical scholars to imply simultaneous creation, whereas the second account states that God created Eve from Adam's rib because Adam was lonely (Genesis 2:18 ff.). Thus to resolve this apparent discrepancy, mediaeval rabbis suggested that Eve and the woman of the first account were two separate individuals.
Preserved in the Midrash, and the mediaeval Alphabet of Ben Sira, this rabbinic tradition held that the first woman refused to take the submissive position to Adam in copulation, and eventually fled from him, consequently leaving him lonely. This first woman was identified in the Midrash as Lilith, a figure elsewhere described as a night demon (the name Liyliyth being related to the Hebrew word for night, "layl").
The word liyliyth can also mean "screech owl", as it is translated in the King James Version of Isaiah 34:14, although some scholars take this to be a reference to the same demonic entity as mentioned in the Talmud.
In the Talmud, Adam is said to have separated from Eve for 130 years, during which time his ejaculations gave rise to "ghouls, and demons." Elsewhere in the Talmud, Lilith is identified as the mother of these creatures. The demons were said to prey on newborn males before they had been circumcised, and so a tradition arose in which a protective amulet was placed around the neck of newborns. Traditions in the Midrash concerning Lilith, and her sexual appetite, have been compared to Sumerian mythology concerning the demon ki-sikil-lil-la-ke, by scholars who postulate an intermediate Akkadian folk etymology interpreting the lil-la-ke portion of the name as a corruption of lîlîtu, literally meaning female night demon.
The Alphabet of Ben Sira Midrash goes even further and identifies a third wife, created after Lilith deserted Adam, but before Eve. This unnamed wife was purportedly made in the same way as Adam, from the "dust of the earth", but the sight of her being created proved too much for Adam to take and he refused to go near her. It is also said that she was created from nothing at all, and that God created into being a skeleton, then organs, and then flesh. The Midrash tells that Adam saw her as "full of blood and secretions," suggesting that he witnessed her creation and was horrified at seeing a body from the inside out. The Alphabet does not record this wife's fate. She was never named, and it assumed that she was allowed to leave the Garden a perpetual virgin, or was ultimately destroyed by God in favor of Eve, who was created when Adam was asleep and oblivious. It should be noted here, that both Lilith and the Second Wife are free from any curse of the Tree of Knowledge, as they left long before the event occurred.
Genesis does not tell for how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, but the Book of Jubilees states that they were removed from the garden on the new moon of the fourth month of the 8th year after creation (Jubilees 3:33); other Jewish sources assert that it was less than a day. Shortly after their expulsion, Eve brought forth her first-born child, and thereafter their second — Cain and Abel, respectively.
Another Jewish tradition---also used to explain the "male and female He created them" line, is that God originally created Adam as a hermaphrodite [Midrash Rabbah - Genesis VIII:1], and in this way was bodily and spiritually male and female. He later decided that "it is not good for [Adam] to be alone," and created the separate beings of Adam and Eve, thus creating the idea of two people joining together to achieve a union of the two separate spirits.
Only three of Adam's children (Cain, Abel, and Seth) are explicitly named in Genesis, although it does state that there were other sons and daughters as well (Genesis 5:4). In Jubilees, two daughters are named - Azûrâ being the first, and Awân, who was born after Seth, Cain, Abel, nine other sons, and Azûrâ. Jubilees goes on to state that Cain later married Awân and Seth married Azûrâ, thus, accounting for their descendants. However, according to Genesis Rabba and other later sources, either Cain had a twin sister, and Abel had two twin sisters, or Cain had a twin sister named Lebuda, and Abel a twin sister named Qelimath. In the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Cain's twin sister is named Luluwa, and Abel's twin sister is named Aklia.
Other pseudepigrapha give further details of their life outside of Eden, in particular, the Life of Adam and Eve (also known as the Apocalypse of Moses) consists entirely of a description of their life outside Eden. Generally in Judaism Eve's sin was used as an example of what can happen to women who stray from their childbearing duties.
According to traditional Jewish belief, Eve is buried in the Cave of Machpelah, in Hebron.
Eve in Christianity
In Christian tradition Eve is often used as the exemplar of sexual temptation, a tendency not found in Judaism where Lilith plays that role. Furthermore, the serpent that tempted Eve was interpreted within most Christian traditions to have been Satan, although there is no mention of this identification in the Torah. In fact, Genesis does not even hint at any of these readings. While such ideas are found in some of the Jewish apocrypha, their adoption by many Christians but not by modern Judaism marked the radical split between the two religions. Writings dealing with this subject are extant in Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic. They go back undoubtedly to a Jewish basis, but in some of the forms in which they appear at present they are Christianized throughout. The oldest and for the most part Jewish portion of this literature is called Primary Adam Literature (see Life of Adam and Eve). Before we discuss this Primary Adam Literature we shall mention other members of this literature, which, though derivable ultimately from Jewish sources, are Christian in their present form; The Book of Adam and Eve, also called the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan and a Syriac work entitled Cave of Treasures. This work has close affinities to the Conflict, but is said by Dillmann to be more original.
Drawing upon the statement in II Cor., xi, 3, where reference is made to her deception by the serpent, and in I Tim., ii, 13-4, where the Apostle enjoins submission and silence upon women, arguing that "Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression", because Eve had tempted Adam to eat of the fatal fruit, some early Fathers of the Church held her and all subsequent women to be the first sinners, and especially responsible for the Fall because of the sin of Eve. She was also called "the lance of the demon", "the road of iniquity" "the sting of the scorpion", "a daughter of falsehood, the sentinel of Hell", "the enemy of peace" and "of the wild beast, the most dangerous." "You are the devil's gateway," Tertullian told his female listeners in the early 2nd century, and went on to explain that all women were responsible for the death of Christ: "On account of your desert – that is, death – even the Son of God had to die." In this way Eve is compared with the Greco-Roman myth of Pandora who was responsible for bringing evil into the world.
In 1486 the Renaissance Dominicans Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger took this further as one of their justifications in the Malleus Maleficarum ("Hammer of the Witches"), a central text in three centuries of persecution of "witches". Such "Eve bashing" is much more common in Christianity than in Judaism or Islam, though major differences in the status of women does not seem to have been the result. This is often balanced by the typology of the Madonna, much as "Old Adam" is balanced by Christ - this is even the case in the Malleus whose authors were capable of writings things such as "Justly we may say with Cato of Utica: If the world could be rid of women, we should not be without God in our intercourse. For truly, without the wickedness of women, to say nothing of witchcraft, the world would still remain proof against innumerable dangers", but were aware that a large percentage of those accusing witches were female as well, and they perhaps feared losing their support: "There are also others who bring forward yet other reasons, of which preachers should be very careful how they make use. For it is true that in the Old Testament the Scriptures have much that is evil to say about women, and this because of the first temptress, Eve, and her imitators; yet afterwards in the New Testament we find a change of name, as from Eva to Ave (as S. Jerome says), and the whole sin of Eve taken away by the benediction of Mary. Therefore preachers should always say as much praise of them as possible."
It is interesting to note that in pre-industrial times, misogynous authorities were often (such as in The Romance of the Rose feminist debate) just called "The Roman Books", due to the perceived paternalistic attitude of both Pagan & Christian Romans to gender problems.
In another example of "Eve bashing", Gregory of Tours report that in the Council of Macon (585 CE), attended by 43 bishops, one bishop maintained that woman could not be included under the term "man", and as being responsible for Adam's sin, had a deficient soul. However, he accepted the reasoning of the other bishops and did not press his case, for the holy book of the Old Testament tells us that in the beginning, when God created man, "Male and female he created them" and the term used was Adam which means earthly man; he called the woman Eve, yet of both he used the word "man."
Eve in Christian Art is most usually portrayed as the temptress of Adam, and often during the Renaissance the serpent in the Garden is portrayed as having a woman's face identical to that of Eve.
Some Christians claim monogamy is implied in the story of Adam and Eve as one woman is created for one man. Eve's being taken from his side implies not only her secondary role in the conjugal state (1 Corinthians 11:9), but also emphasizes the intimate union between husband and wife, and the dependence of the latter on the former "Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh."
Eve in Gnosticism
Eve too has different roles within Gnosticism. For example she is often seen as the embodiment of the supreme feminine principle, called Barbelo (from Arb-Eloh), barbeloth, or barthenos. As such she is equated with the Light-Maiden of Sophia (Wisdom), creator of the word (Logos) of God, the "thygater tou photos" or simply the Virgin Maiden, "parthenos". In other texts she is equated with Zoe (Life). Again, in conventional Christianity, this is a prefigurement of Mary, also sometimes called "the Second Eve". In other Gnostic texts, such as The Hypostasis of the Archons (The Reality of the Rulers), the Pistis Sophia is equated with Eve's daughter, Norea, the wife of Seth.
As a result of such Gnostic beliefs, especially among Marcionites, women were considered equal to men, being revered as prophets, teachers, travelling evangelists, faith healers, priests and even bishops.
Eve in Islam
Eve is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, she is nevertheless referred to as Adam's spouse, and Islamic tradition refers to her by an etymologically similar name - حواء (Hawwāʾ). Mention of Adam's spouse is found in verses 30-39 of Sura 2, verses 11-25 of Sura 7, verses 26-42 of Sura 15, verses 61-65 of Sura 17, verses 50-51 of Sura 18, verses 110-124 of Sura 20 and in verses 71-85 of Sura 38. Accounts of Adam and Eve in Islamic texts, which include the Quran and the books of Sunnah (Hadith), are similar but different to that of the Torah and Bible.
A similarity in particular, Sura 7 recounts:
“ By deceit he [Satan] brought them to their fall: when they tasted the tree, their shame became manifest to them and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan was your avowed enemy?” They said: “Our Lord we have wronged our own souls and if You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be lost. ”
(Surah Al-A`raf 7:22-23)
However, the Quran does not suggest that God created Eve independently from Adam, as opposed to some beliefs that she was. It is generally believed by Muslims that Eve was created from Adam's rib to be his partner and companion.
“ O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.” ”
(Surah Al-Nisa 4:1)
Another difference is that Eve is not blamed for enticing adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and nor is there the concept of original sin. As a matter of fact, the Quran indicates that Adam initiated the eating of the fruit but God simply blames both of them for the transgression as they both ate the fruit.
Then Satan whispered to him (Adam); he said, "O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate? And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred. (Quran - 20:121-122)
However, there are hadiths– which are contested –, saying the Prophet Mohammed (narrated by Abu Hurrairah) designates Eve as the epitome of female betrayal. “Narrated Abu Hurrairah: The Prophet said, ‘Were it not for Bani Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not for Eve, no woman would ever betray her husband.’" (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 611, Volume 55) An identical but more explicit version is found in the second most respected book of prophetic narrations, Sahih Muslim. “Abu Hurrairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying: Had it not been for Eve, woman would have never acted unfaithfully towards her husband.” (Hadith 3471, Volume 8). The above verses from the Quran (20:121-122) are the reason these accounts are disputed and the authenticity of these hadiths is challenged. As the Quran never blamed Eve for the sin that they both (Adam and Eve) committed together and to condemn all the women in the world for a sin that Eve committed is against a basic Quranic teaching which states that no soul is accountable for the sins of another, Say, is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. (6:164)
- ^ American Heritage Dictionary
- ^ http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=1+Timothy+2.13&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0155
- ^ The Weidner "Chronicle" mentioning Kubaba from A.K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (1975)
- ^ Munn, Mark (2004). "Kybele as Kubaba in a Lydo-Phrygian Context": Emory University cross-cultural conference "Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbors in Central Anatolia" (Abstracts)
- ^ Dever, William K (2005), "Did God Have A Wife? Archaeology And Folk Religion In Ancient Israel" (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
- ^ Hebrew = Ishah, woman, and ish, man
- ^ Polano, Hymen (1890) The Talmud. Selections from the contents of that ancient book... Also, brief sketches of the men who made and commented upon it, p. 280. F. Warne, ISBN 1150733624, digitized by Google Books on 7 July 2008
- ^ Kramer, Samuel Noah: "History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine "Firsts" in Recorded History" (1956)
- ^ Kramer, Samuel Noah (1944, republished 2007), "Sumerian Mythology: A Study of the Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millenium BC" (Forgotten Books)
- ^ Genesis 3
- ^ This (Gen.3:17) is the point at which Adam is first used as a proper name.
- ^ Hebrew Havva, "life".
- ^ Genesis 4
- ^ translated from the Ethiopic (1882) by Malan. This was first translated by Dillmann (Das christl. Adambuch des Morgenlandes, 1853), and the Ethiopic book first edited by Trump (Abh. d. Münch. Akad. xv., 1870-1881)
- ^ Die Schatzhöhle translated by Carl Bezold from three Syriac MSS. in 1883 and subsequently edited in Syriac in 1888
- ^ Tertullian, "De Cultu Feminarum", Book I Chapter I, Modesty in Apparel Becoming to Women in Memory of the Introduction of Sin Through a Woman (in "The Ante-Nicene Fathers")
- ^ Krosney, Herbert (2007) "The Lost Gospel: the quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot" (National Geographic)
- Genesis ii.7-iii.23
- Paulinus Minorita, Compendium
- Flood, John (2010) "Representations of Eve in Antiquity and the English Middle Ages" (Routledge)
- Pamela Norris (1998) "The Story of Eve" (MacMillan Books)
- Elaine Pagels (1989) "Adam, Eve and the Serpent" (Vintage Books)
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