Did you know that Eve wasn’t called Eve until after the Fall?
Er … what?
Yes, I was surprised too, especially because I was half-way through writing my book Forever Loved: Eve’s Story when I discovered this, and had to go back and change what I’d written!
There’s incredible significance in Eve’s name, and why she is only called Eve after she’s sinned. It’s a revelation of God’s love, and it’s mind-blowing!
Genesis 3:20-21 says:
Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
The word Then follows immediately on from the curses of Genesis 3:14-19 (after Adam and Eve have sinned).
Adam and Eve sin by eating the fruit God tells them not to. They run from God and hide. For the first time, Adam and Eve know guilt, shame and fear. Their world collapses. Blessing turns to cursing.
Then Adam names his wife Eve!
This is incredible!
Eve means Life!
In the midst of death, darkness, and despair, Life is proclaimed!
Can you imagine: Adam calling his wife ‘Life’, when that’s the exact thing they’ve just lost? And why does he change her name anyway?
Let’s step back a few verses to Genesis 3:15
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
God curses the serpent and promises a saviour who will crush the serpent’s head. A promise of Life, through Eve.
Adam’s renaming of his wife is prophetic, and echoes what God has already spoken. Eve will be the mother of all who live, but more than that: Life, in the person of Jesus, will come through her.
What mercy! What grace! Eve has just sinned. She has turned her back on God and run. And yet, God seeks her out. He chooses her. He speaks Life, hope and promise over her (through his own words, and through Adam’s).
I don’t know how much of this Eve understands at the time. Even if she grasps just a little of it, imagine how undone she must be at God’s incredible love, his mercy and his grace.
She has done nothing to deserve this.
And there’s more:
God then makes the way.
He makes animal clothing for Adam and Eve. He sheds blood for them. He clothes them. He covers their shame. He redeems them.
What a picture of God’s love for us: Jesus crucified, his blood shed for us; resurrection Life made available to us.
Just as with Eve, God meets us in our deepest, darkest places. He seeks us out. He speaks hope and Life over our now and over our future, irrespective of what we’ve done or who we are. He has purpose, plan and promise for us.
What a God!
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
Receive God’s love afresh today. He speaks a new name of promise and Life over you. His arms are open wide to you.
Want to know what Eve was called before she was called ‘Eve’?
Find out in my Bible devotional Treasures Hidden in the Story of Eve where I explore the beautiful significance of both Eve’s names, what they mean for us as women today, and several other gems hidden in Eve’s story:
You can also listen to my message Eve: A New Name … where I share more about Eve, what name changes in the Bible mean, and the new name God speaks over you.