[Heb., Hhaw·wahʹ, “living one”].
The first woman and the last reported of God’s earthly creative works.
Jehovah the Creator knew that it was not good for the man to continue by himself. However, before proceeding to create the woman, God brought various beasts of the earth and flying creatures to the man. Adam named these but found no helper among them. It was then that Jehovah had a deep sleep fall upon Adam, removed a rib from his side and, after having closed up the flesh, built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman. No doubt knowing by direct revelation from God his Creator and Father how the woman came into existence, Adam was pleased to accept her as his wife, saying: “This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” even as was apparent to his very senses. As his complement Adam called his wife ʼIsh·shahʹ (woman or, literally, female man), “because from man this one was taken.” (Gen. 2:18-23) Thereupon God pronounced his fatherly blessing upon both of them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.” They were also to have the animal creation in subjection. (Gen. 1:28) As a work of God’s hands, the woman was perfectly suited for being a mother and a complement to her husband Adam.
DECEPTION AND DISOBEDIENCE
Then came a day when the woman, while not in the company of her husband, found herself near the tree of knowledge of good and bad. There a cautious, lowly serpent in seeming innocence asked: “Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” The woman replied correctly, doubtless having been instructed accordingly by her husbandly head, who was one flesh with her. But when the serpent contradicted God and stated that violating God’s command would result in being like God, knowing good and bad, the woman began to look upon the tree from a different viewpoint. Why, “the tree’s fruit was good for food and . . . something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon.” Moreover, the serpent had said she would be like God if she ate. (Compare 1 John 2:16.) Completely deceived by the serpent and with a strong desire for the prospects tied up with eating of the forbidden fruit, she became a transgressor of God’s law. (1 Tim. 2:14) As such she now approached her husband and induced him to join her in disobedience to God. Adam listened to his wife’s voice.—Gen. 3:1-6.
The immediate effect of their transgression was shame. Hence they used fig leaves to make loin coverings for themselves. Both Adam and his wife went into hiding in between the trees of the garden when they heard the voice of Jehovah. Upon being directly questioned by God as to what she had done, the woman stated that she had eaten because of being deceived by the serpent. In pronouncing sentence upon her, Jehovah indicated that pregnancy and the giving of birth to offspring would be attended by pain; she would crave for her husband and he would dominate her.—Gen. 3:7-13, 16.
After their violation of God’s law, Adam is reported as naming his wife “Eve,” “because she had to become the mother of everyone living.” (Gen. 3:20) Before driving Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden to face the hardships of a cursed ground, Jehovah extended undeserved kindness to them by providing both of them with long garments of skin.—Gen. 3:21.
BIRTHS OF CHILDREN
At the birth of her first son Cain, outside paradise, Eve exclaimed. “I have acquired a man with the aid of Jehovah.” (Gen. 4:1) Interestingly, Eve is the first one reported using God’s name, indicating that the name Jehovah was known to the very first humans. Later she gave birth to Abel as well at to other sons and daughters. At the age of 130 another son was born to her. Eve called his name Seth, saying: “God has appointed another seed in place of Abel, because Cain killed him.” She could properly express herself in this way at the births of both Cain and Seth, since it was by means of the reproductive powers God had given her and Adam and only by God’s unmerited kindness in not putting her to death immediately upon transgressing His command that this was possible. With the birth of Seth the Genesis record concerning Eve comes to a close.—Gen. 4:25; 5:3, 4.
AN ACTUAL PERSONAGE
That Eve actually lived and was not a fictional character is testified to by Christ Jesus himself. In being questioned by the Pharisees concerning divorce, Jesus directed attention to the Genesis account with reference to the creation of male and female. (Matt. 19:3-6) Additionally, there are Paul’s words to the Corinthians, expressing fear that their minds might be corrupted somehow, “as the serpent seduced Eve by its cunning.” (2 Cor. 11:3) Then, in discussing woman’s proper place in the Christian congregation, Paul presents as a reason for not permitting “a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man” the fact that Adam was formed first, and he was not deceived, “but the woman was thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.”—1 Tim. 2:12-14.