The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.
I don’t know why I’ve never noticed this before. Why does Adam only name Eve after they sin? Further, of all the things to do after receiving the curse from God, he does this covenantal, marital act: he gives her a name.
I know this isn’t in this text, nor was it on the mind of the original writer, but it reminds me of the odd line in Revelation where God promises to give each person a new name that only He and they will know.
It seems that in the whole sweep of redemptive history, the Bride of the first Adam received a new name when he brought death, just as the Bride of the second Adam receives a new name when he brings life.
See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.
In these discussions on women’s roles in church leadership, a favorite little one-off argument by Egalitarians (and a pretty darn good sound bite) is that the very idea of exclusive male headship is part of the curse laid upon humans in the Genesis Eden story. In Genesis 3, this is what God speaks over the woman as a curse in response to her sin:
“I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t done the research on the Hebrew or scholarship on those lines to know exactly what these lines really might mean.
Honestly, both sides could use them. Conservatives could say that the curse is that women will desire the authority that God rightfully gave men. Egalitarians would say that man’s “rule” over women is the curse.
This week, I’m meditating on a few particular aspects of the Advent event. I’m thinking through and writing about how, in Jesus, God inhabited our creaturely form, care-taking function, comprehensive fallenness, and communal formation.
As I said in the teaching I gave over the summer about the Nature and Narrative of the Bible, the opening chapters of the Bible describe this divine act of creating in very architectural terms; the same words are later used in describing the building of the tabernacle and the temple. In this we see that God’s act of creating was, in essence, building this world as his temple in which he would rest (for more on this see John Walton’s amazing book, The Lost World of Genesis One, or just watch this short video).
In the story, he builds and establishes this Temple-World, and then creates and ordains two priests–Adam and Eve–to be his representatives in this temple to care for it and work in it faithfully. In the ancient world, temples were usually placed in the midst of large and beautiful gardens which acted as extensions of the temple itself; to care for the garden was to care for the temple, and to make the garden larger was to expand the scope and size of the temple.