The Courage of Eve

When Adam was introduced to the Garden of Eden, he was shown all the animals and gave them each a name. In doing so, two things became readily apparent: every animal had a partner but he did not, and in fact, none of these animals were suitable—or meet—to be his helper. Thus Eve was created as his help meet and he named her Chavva— which means in Hebrew, “giver of life.”

Eve was also given the title, “Mother of all Living” (Genesis 3:20) even though she would not and could not have children until after the Fall. This implies that her role of nurturing and fostering life was more than just a physical reproductive ability to have children. She was the mother of ALL living—flowers and trees, beasts and even Adam. These were her domain to beautify, promote, encourage, and foster. There is both sweet and terrible irony in this title. Despite being the mother of all living, through her actions she introduced mortality and eventually death to all living. Yet also, through her choice, she made it possible for all to come to the earth, prove our allegiance, and then enjoy immortality and even Eternal Life.

She traded up for all of us.

The action of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge is considered a transgression rather than a sin for good reason. Adam and Eve were in no way prepared to comprehend the subtlety or deception that Satan employed. They knew the penalty for disobedience was death—but what was that? They had never seen death. They had never known falsehood. When Satan presented himself to them his arguments were taken at face value. And with his cunning, Satan knew just which argument to use.

After having no success with Adam, Satan approached the innocent Eve with a promise certain to win her cooperation: “Then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” ( Moses 4:11).

Eve knew God. They had walked and talked together in the Garden. She knew that God is wise and loving; He is power and beauty and wisdom and all that is good. The desire to be like Heavenly Father and Jesus drove her to partake of the fruit. And so she did and coaxed Adam into partaking also.

Immediately afterwards, Adam and Eve were filled with shame—for the first time they felt naked and not knowing else to do, they took fig leaves and fashioned them into a covering. This might hide their sense of physical exposure and shame, but they soon found when the Lord arrived that it was no real remedy.

Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, away from all the abundance they had known and the presence of God that they had enjoyed. A flaming sword was placed to block their return. Then they received curses of sorrow. Eve’s sentence was pronounced:

“I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Moses 4:22).

But God would not forsake them in the lone and dreary world. Before sending them off, He made them clothes—not the flimsy fig leaves that they had come up with, but garments that would really cover their nakedness.

We may guess that the animal chosen for this purpose may very well have been a lamb; we may presume that it was a domestic animal, as was later required in the Law of Moses for sacrifices.  And this event must have had a powerful impact upon Eve. I imagine that throughout her life, whenever they made sacrifices, she would always reflect back on that day, on that first sacrifice. I imagine that she might feel like this:

Today we made sacrifice, a lamb–white wool and soft, like clouds billowing over hills the sun burned hot.

I ached when I saw crimson stain the wool, the blood of life poured out, the body quivering then stilled. I wept tears that remembered a first time, a first shedding of lamb’s blood.

We were children then, not knowing what we’d done, partaking of forbidden fruit. No longer to walk with God in the cool of the Garden; His voice would not reach our ears; our eyes would be blind to His presence.

Children, we thought our hands could fashion a remedy of leaves to hide our shame, to cover our nakedness and make the thing undone.

Then the lamb was led forth from Eden, I knew not why; the crimson flow of blood that met the blade I could not fathom. But the stillness as of sleep, the silence and the stillness would not cease; thus I learned of death.

When the lambskin was worked into a garment; then I learned the price of my transgression. For my sin to be redeemed, for my shame to be covered, required the sacrifice of life, of blood.

And God himself, my Friend, He had who walked and laughed and sang with me in the Garden—He would pay the price.

Despite these traumatic events, I am in awe that Eve would have the courage and wisdom to carry on, and even to say, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient” (Moses 5:11).