Eve believes.

In previous posts, I ask if Eve is culpable for her sin. Was she formed second to provide a way for Jesus to be born of Adam, yet without Adam’s sin? The first reason why I question her culpability is that the nature of her sin is different than Adam’s. The second is that the serpent is to blame for her sin. The third is that she was called living.

The last reason  is that Eve believes God.

Christ was born of woman, from the line of Eve.

When God detailed the consequences of the serpent’s cunning interference, Eve was listening. Her ears heard the inferred promise to her, and she believed.

There will be war between Satan and the woman;
and between his children and hers.
But her child will destroy Satan;
Satan will only wound him.

This promise, typically taught as part of the Adamic covenant (seed covenant), was not actually about Adam, was it?

  • Adam is not Satan’s foe, Eve is! 
  • Adam’s children are not the ones who war with Satan, Eve’s are! 
  • Adam’s child will not destroy Satan, Eve’s will!

Could God make it more clear? Eve aligned herself with God, and God honored her belief in Him with this beautiful promise, this first covenant of grace.

God makes personal promises to his friends.

By believing this promise, Eve functions as the first of the patriarchs…er….matriarch. 😉 God also promises Abraham that his seed will bless all people. He again promises the same to Isaac and Jacob. David is promised an eternal seed. It is through this line, starting with Eve, that Jesus is born.

“Was it a special honor to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David to be mentioned as in this stream of blessing which was to descend to humanity? Then it is well for us to remember that the source of this blessing, on the human side, is Eve, of whom God said, to Satan, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman; . . . her seed…shall bruise thy head.” The promise honors Eve quite as much as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the honor could not have been conferred upon her but for the same reason as upon them,—namely, because of excellence found in her.” (Katharine Bushnell, God’s Word to Women, Para 84.)

When God makes promises, humans can believe or not. When Abraham believed God’s promise to him , it was credited to him as righteousness. Would not Eve’s belief also count as righteousness?

Her belief is evidenced when Cain is born.

Eve waits for the One God promised who will avenge the fall of humankind on the devil. When Cain is born, she names him, “God has given me the man!” She believes he is the One, not understanding God has much work to do through sinful mankind before he sends the Promised One born of a woman, but not man. She looked forward to the time God would redeem; much as we look back to that same Redeemer, Jesus Christ. She believed God.

Eve is formed through Adam (second), so the promised seed would also be Adam’s, but without Adam’s sin.

The stigma of sin is transferred through the father’s seed to his children (as evidenced by  male circumcision). For the promised seed of Eve to be born without the taint of rebellious humanity, there needed to be a way to insert him into the race of Adam without Adam’s sin. Thus, Eve must be formed through Adam. She must come from Adam, so that in time, Christ too descends from Him. But from Him BEFORE he was tainted with sin.

Eve is formed from Adam BEFORE he sinned, so she does not carry his taint. Her line now continues without Adam’s treacherous sin. But, of course it takes two to make babies, so every child born has Adam’s taint; yours, mine, everyone’s. Until the virgin. Until a child was born without the aid of a man and Adam’s tainted seed. It is then that Eve’s line, who we all descend from as well, continues from the perfect Adam. I already wrote on the significance of the Virgin Mary, here.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13

Eve is not to blame for the fall, Adam and the serpent are. How can we know this for sure? Because of God’s promise… and the serpent has been at war with women ever since.

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20 thoughts on “Eve believes.

    1. Food for thought:
      Katherine Bushnell proposes that Adam’s sin happened in the transition between
      Gen 1:31 “very good”—> Gen 2:18 “not good”

      Personally, I wonder if it is more along the lines of Adam’s failure to KEEP the garden. God’s charge to Adam was not about domestic servitude any more than God’s charge to women in the NT to KEEP the house.
      The “KEEP” of Gen 2:15 (to Adam) and Titus 2:5 (to wives) both contain the thought of watchman, guard, protector.

      Add to this, that Mary Magdelene took Jesus to be the KEEPER of the garden (John 20). Not a trivial detail, methinks.

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  1. How much of the last few posts are your firm convictions versus ideas you’re tossing out there as possibilities or to start a discussion?

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    1. ummm, this is a hard question. In my life, I’ve changed my mind a lot. When I get new information, I’m always open to a new take on something. And, I realize there is so much I don’t know. So, in that sense, nothing except the deity and atoning sacrifice of Jesus is sacred to me! 🙂 I always welcome discussion.

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  2. So to espouse this belief, you’ll have to say that Eve did NOT sin {again} before she had Seth, and that’s majorly assuming she did not sin purposely in the Garden. Then, so that Jesus is born without the taint of sin from a woman, I guess EVERY woman between him and Eve could not sin either – or sin would be passed on to Jesus????

    I believe the promise of the seed that would bruise Satan’s head is not so much glorifying Eve (or women) as much as it is glorifying an eternal God that would make it possible to be physically born of a virgin (an event totally foreign to ALL of human knowledge and experience).

    I do like the reference to the possibility that Eve believed God and it was counted to her for righteousness. But since it doesn’t directly say so in the text, I guess that’s supposition too. (It’s easy to discount other suppositions when they don’t line up with what we might want to teach and great to include them when they do – consistency is the key.)

    Oh, and I sure do want to know the answer to John’s question, too.

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  3. Some observations:

    “Christ was born of woman, from the line of Eve.”

    Taking Genesis literally: Isn’t every human being on the planet (including Jesus Christ) descended from the line of Adam and Eve?

    “Adam’s children are not the ones who war with Satan, Eve’s are!”

    Aren’t Eve’s children also Adam’s children?

    “The stigma of sin is transferred through the father’s seed to his children (as evidenced by male circumcision).”

    Wondering why you think that the sin nature sin is passed on only by the father and not the mother? Is there scripture to support this idea?

    “By believing this promise, Eve functions as the first of the patriarchs…er….matriarch.”

    There is no response recorded from either Adam or Eve in Genesis 3 so we cannot know for certain if either or both of them believed what God was saying. My guess is that both Adam and Eve believed what God was saying in Genesis 3:14ff.

    One thing we do agree on: “the serpent has been at war with women ever since.”

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    1. Hi Marg! Thanks for commenting.

      Isn’t every human being on the planet (including Jesus Christ) descended from the line of Adam and Eve?

      Yes. But how many are descended ONLY from Eve (woman) without the help of Adam (man)? Mary gave birth without man’s seed. I wonder if there is more than just a miracle birth God was going for? Man’s seed had to be removed from the equation, because it is from woman (Eve and her descendents) that Satan would be defeated. Why else would Genesis 3:15 say it was Eve’s seed and leave out Adam?

      “Adam’s children are not the ones who war with Satan, Eve’s are!” Aren’t Eve’s children also Adam’s children?

      Genesis 3:15 says it is the woman’s offspring that would war with Satan’s offspring. Jesus called the Pharisees the sons of the devil. And John and Paul refer the the devil’s children. So we know that some humans (who are all physically from Adam and Eve) are spiritually the devil’s offspring. So, it stands to reason that this part of the verse is taking a spiritual meaning. Hence, it is Eve’s offspring in a spiritual sense (believers) that war with Satan’s children. I believe this gives us a clue that Eve was a believer at this point. Humans who believe God are her offspring. The verse does not recognize Adam as fathering believers, only Eve. So, I am assuming she is the start of the spiritual line of God’s children because of her faith ultimately in her child, the coming Messiah.

      Going to break this up in parts…

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    2. “The stigma of sin is transferred through the father’s seed to his children (as evidenced by male circumcision).” Wondering why you think that the sin nature sin is passed on only by the father and not the mother? Is there scripture to support this idea?

      My answer was getting too long, so I made it a post. Look for it this week!

      “By believing this promise, Eve functions as the first of the patriarchs…er….matriarch.” There is no response recorded from either Adam or Eve in Genesis 3 so we cannot know for certain if either or both of them believed what God was saying. My guess is that both Adam and Eve believed what God was saying in Genesis 3:14ff.

      True! I assume too that Adam believed, repented and was shown grace! But…

      We DO have Eve’s response when Cain is born in chapter 4. We assume a level of understanding on her part, but its a logical one. Most Biblical scholars (and even the Rabbis) agree she thought Cain was the “seed” God was referring to. This indicates her hope/belief. And, the text says it is through Eve that Messiah comes. It is woman that Satan wars with; HER offspring and HER seed. I’m not making that up or assuming something that isn’t written. It is not Adam’s offspring and seed. There is something that separates Eve’s seed from his. What I assume is exactly what that difference is…belief in God’s promise and righteousness that comes by faith. I am not saying women are sinless. I AM saying Adam is punished for his sin, and we don’t see Eve punished in the same way. She is not held responsible. Some assume its because Adam was the “head” or responsible for her and all mankind, so he got the punishment, not her. I assume its because he rebelled against God, and Eve didn’t.

      Either way, Eve is given an inferred promise (through God’s word to Satan) and Adam is not included. She is the matriarch…the founding person God promised a Messiah through.

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      1. I am inclined to agree that Eve believed in a future Redeemer and that this faith was credited to her as righteousness, just as Abraham’s faith in a future Redeemer was credited to him as righteousness. I am also inclined to agree that Eve believed that her first born would be that Redeemer.

        But I don’t understand this comment: “So, I am assuming she is the start of the spiritual line of God’s children because of her faith ultimately in her child, the coming Messiah.” This is true, but her children (offspring) are also Adam’s children (offspring). Even Mary, the mother of Jesus is a decendent of Adam.

        I actually believe that one of the reasons Eve was not cursed like Adam, was because Eve honestly admitted and confessed her sin (Gen 3:13). Whereas Adam deflected his guilt and seemed to blame Eve and even God for his sin (Gen 3:12). Perhaps Eve’s honest confession brought her pardon.

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      2. “This is true, but her children (offspring) are also Adam’s children (offspring).” I’ll go rabbinical and answer with a question.

        Why doesn’t God say Adam will war with Satan? Or that Adam’s children will have enmity with the serpent? Or that Adam’s seed will crush the snake?

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  4. Linda- we both wanna know the answer to John’s question?

    Linda said: “So to espouse this belief, you’ll have to say that Eve did NOT sin {again} before she had Seth, and that’s majorly assuming she did not sin purposely in the Garden. Then, so that Jesus is born without the taint of sin from a woman, I guess EVERY woman between him and Eve could not sin either – or sin would be passed on to Jesus????”

    Did she really say that Eve did not sin, or women did not? Or did she just claim that sin passes from man to child (male and female child) while it does not pass through the female (gene)? A bit like my freckles- both men and women can have freckles, but I got the skin that easily gets them from my red-headed father and not my dark-haired mother? Did she call this a result of Eve not sinning, or of Eve’s sin being different from the man’s?

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  5. Thanks, Retha, for the clarification. Guess I just have trouble with the statement that Eve was not “tainted” with sin…should have stated in that way.

    Paul himself stated that he was the “chief of sinners.” Though some of those sins were done in ignorance, I believe Paul even would have said that he bore the consequences for HIS OWN sins, not those of another.

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  6. I’ve been thinking about the comparison between Paul’s sin and Eve’s. Paul said himself that because he acted in ignorance, God had mercy on him. A thought struck me today – you said Eve thought what she was doing was for the best. No doubt. But it wasn’t in GOD’s best interest, it was in hers. Paul thought what he was doing actually was in GOD’s best interest. (killing Christians) He was zealous for God, but misdirected.

    And a side note about today’s false prediction leading many to believe the rapture was coming. They were not deceived into sinning. =)

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  7. Paul said himself that because he acted in ignorance, God had mercy on him. A thought struck me today – you said Eve thought what she was doing was for the best. No doubt. But it wasn’t in GOD’s best interest, it was in hers. Paul thought what he was doing actually was in GOD’s best interest. (killing Christians) He was zealous for God, but misdirected.

    —————————-

    It seems in the context of zealous for God, but misdirected?

    I guess we could look at Eve in the same way. The serpent told her she would be like God if she ate. She was deceived into believing she could be more like God, and she may have thought possibility be closer to him in that way. In that context it would tempting to alot of people.

    I doubt either Adam or Eve saw far enough in the future as to what would truly happen if they did eat personally.

    Doing things either by directly sinning or being deceived into doing them all have consequences. Thankfully, Jesus came so we would have mercy upon us.

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  8. I guess I’m not sure that the potential complexity of responsibility is being taken into account (here, or generally in Christian circles of thought about sin). Christians are instructed not to lay stumbling blocks for each other. If we cause a brother or sister to stumble, they are responsible for their sin. But we are also responsible.

    With respect to Eve’s sin, I don’t think it is an either-Satan-or-Eve proposition. I think it is more fair to say that both Satan and Eve were responsible for her sin.

    This is why I see your point that Eve is not necessarily blame-shifting when she mentions the serpent. It is possible that she is explaining (not excusing herself for) what happened, and then admits she ate.

    (This is also why it occurs to me to wonder whether we are being too hard on Adam when we say he tried to blame-shift his responsibility to Eve. Mentioning Eve seems reasonable when explaining what happened. To me, it seems more clear that Adam was wrongly blaming *God* — because pointing out that God gave Eve to Adam seems way more than what is necessary to explain what happened!)

    I personally find it more helpful, in general, to focus on what is known (all people are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve) than to speculate about what is not (how genetics may or may not play into the transmission of sin). Though this whole discussion is thought-provoking, I believe that your points about what the Bible does and does not say (contrary to many traditional commentators’ attempts to “explain”) give us plenty to chew on.

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  9. The problem I have with this concept of Eve believing is that the Scriptures have not yet established “believe God, and it will be counted to you as righteousness.” That principle is an eternal one– but it is not in the text, nor is there any indication Eve would have understood it. Nor does the passage specifically say that Eve’s words at the birth of her son came from that kind of faith.

    Just as I encourage complementarians not to read more into the text than is actually there, I’m cautious about egalitarian approaches that appear to do something similar. I’m with Verity on this one– Eve was at least partially responsible for her sin, but it was at a different level than Adam’s fully-aware culpability.

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  10. Have a look at the verses under the Greek for “seed” (sperma)

    When Jesus advised Nicodemus of the necessity of being “born again” could we say that involves having the “DNA” of God planted in us (figuratively)

    Looking back, you did a very nice post about the way the “second Adam” redeemed His bride https://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/women-in-the-text-creation-order-conclusion/

    To the one who assumes that you are saying women are somehow “superior” to men, every one of us with the exception of Eve has Adam’s post Fall genetic material. (There is no conception nor birth mentioned before the Fall). We are ALL sons of Adam by birth. We can be sons of the second Adam (Rom 5:14, 1 Cor 15:45) by rebirth

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