The New Zealand Evangelist
Gen. III. 20. “And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”
He gave her this name, not because she was to be the mother of all mankind, but because she was to be the mother of him by whom the forfeited life of men was restored. When she was brought to Adam at first—when she was united to him in marriage under the blessing be fruitful and multiply—when she seemed destined to be the mother of mankind in a state of immortality, living indeed, living and never dying—he called her name simply Isha—woman—the feminine of Ish—man—because mankind were to be equally the descendants of both. But now, after the sentence of death had been pronounced both upon them and their posterity—after she was doomed to be the mother of a dying race, who were one after another to drop into the grave—he calls her Eve, or page 82 Chavah—Life. How inappropriate such a name, unless we refer it to her as the mother,—not of mankind doomed to mortality, or if possessed of natural life, yet no more than is ascribed to the brute creation,—but of the promised seed, that was to bruise the head of the serpent, vanquish death, bring life and immortality to light, in whom all nations were to be blessed, and through whom alone eternal life was to be obtained! She was no more the mother of mankind than Adam was the father, but the promise of deliverance was through her seed, not his. It was fulfilled when “God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.” This promise was a distinguished honor bestowed upon the woman, fully warranting a change of name, as was done in aftertimes to Sarai, Abram, Jacob, and others. To commemorate the honour conferred, and the blessing secured by the promise to the woman, Adam gave her a new name, most probably by divine direction; he called her Eve, Life; and thus in accordance with the beautiful simplicity of primeval times, he took an effectual method of publishing and preserving this all important promise, and transmitting it uncorrupted and unimpared to posterity. It was embodied in a household word; recorded in a family name—a name that could never be forgotten; and every time that Eve, the name of the mother of mankind was repeated, either by Adam or any of their posterity, their faith might be strengthened by the reference to the promised seed, through whom deliverance from death would be effected, and eternal life would be infallibly secured.