Eve (Hebrews Chavvah', חִוָּה, life or living, so called as the progenitor of all the human family; Sept. accordingly translates Ζωή in Ge 3:20, elsewhere Εὔα, N. Test. Ε῏υα, Josephus Εὐέα, Ant. 1:1, 2, 4), the name given by Adam to the first woman, his wife (Ge 3:20; Ge 4:1). B.C. 4172. The account of her creation is found at Ge 2:21-22. It is supposed that she was created on the sixth day, after Adam had' reviewed the animals. Upon the failure of a companion suitable for Adam among the creatures which were brought to him to be named, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and took one of his ribs (according to the Targum of Jonathan, the thirteenth from the right side!), which he fashioned into a woman, and brought her to the man (comp. Plato, Sympos. pages 189, 191). The Almighty, by declaring that "it was not good for man to be alone," and by providing for him a suitable companion, gave the divine sanction to marriage and to monogamy. "This companion was taken from his side," remarks an old commentator, " to signify that he was to be dear unto him as his own flesh. Not from his head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should tyrannize over her; but from his side, to denote that species of equality which is to subsist in the marriage state" (Matthew Henry, Comment. in loc.). Perhaps that which is chiefly adumbrated by it is the foundation upon which the union between man and wife is built, viz. identity of nature and oneness of origin. Through the subtlety of the serpent (q.v.), Eve was beguiled into a violation of the one commandment which had been imposed upon her and Adam. She took of the fruit of the forbidden tree and gave it her husband (comp. 2Co 11:3; 1Ti 2:13). SEE ADAM. The apostle seems to intimate (1Ti 2:14-15) that she was less aware than her husband of the character of her sin; and that the pangs of maternity were to be in some sort an expiation of her offense. The different aspects under which Eve regarded her mission as a mother are seen in the names of her sons. At the birth of the first she said "I have gotten a man from the Lord," or, as some have rashly rendered it, "I have gotten a man; even the Lord," mistaking him for the Redeemer. When the second was born, finding her hopes frustrated, she named him Abel, or vanity. When his brother had slain him, and she again bare a son, she called his name Seth, and the joy of a mother seemed to outweigh the sense of the vanity of life: "For God," said she, "hath appointed ME another seed instead of Abel, for Cain slew him." SEE ABEL.
The Eastern people have paid honors to Adam and Eve as to saints, and have some curious traditions concerning them (see D'Herbelot, Bibliothieque Orientale, s.v. Havah; Fabricius, Pseudepigr. V. Test. 1:103 sq.). There is a remarkable tradition preserved among the Rabbis that Eve was not the first wife of Adam, but that previous to her creation one had been created in the same way, which, they sagaciously observe, accounts for the number of a man's ribs being equal on each side. Lilith, or Lilis, for this was the name of Adam's first consort, fell from her state of innocence without tempting, or, at all events, without successfully tempting her husband. She was immediately ranked among the fallen angels, and has ever since, according to the same tradition, exercised an inveterate hatred against all women and children. Up to a very late period she was held in great dread lest she should destroy male children previous to circumcision, after which her power over them ceased. When that rite was solemnized, those who were present were in the habit of pronouncing, with a loud voice, the names of Adam and Eve, and a command to Lilith to depart (see Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, 2:421). She has been compared with the Pandora of classic fable (Bauer, Mythol. 1:96 sq.; Buttmann, Mythologus, 1:48 sq.; Hasse, Entdeckung. 1:232).
See Olnmsted, Our First Mother (N.Y. 1852); Reineccius, De Adamo androgyno (Weissenf. 1725); Thilo, Filius matris viventium in virum Jehovam (Erlangen, 1748); Kocher, Comment. philol. ad Genesis 2:18-
20 (Jen. 1779); Schulthess, Exeget. theolog. Forschungen, 1:421 sq.; Bastard, Doctrine of Geneva, 2:61; Hughes, Female Characters, page 1.