And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many. (Moses 4:26)

This phrase about Eve being “the mother of all living” is one that puzzles me.  Yes, I know she was the woman we all came from, but it seems like it has depths to it that need exploring.

It was given to Eve even before she ever had children.  I wonder if “mother” also communicates Eve’s ability to nurture.  Perhaps this ability was evident to Adam before she bore children.

What do we learn from the fact that Adam gave Eve this name?  It tells us he had this huge appreciation for her future role.  How did he get this appreciation or knowledge?  Or how did he even know what a “mother” was?   How did he know how she would become a mother?

If I may be permitted to speculate, I suspect that when the Lord married Adam and Eve and commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth, He also explained to them howthat was to be done.  And since the Lord teaches so well, He must have explained it in such a way as to emphasize the sacredness and the miracle of it and how it fit into the plan of salvation.

Seen this way, Adam’s naming of Eve is his gasp of wonder.  I think Adam was in awe of the powers of creation that were part of Eve’s body and he wanted to remember that, and so he made it part of her name.  It is likely that Eve wouldn’t have allowed that name to stand if she hadn’t been similarly thrilled with what her body would allow her to do.

So, it seems to me that in Adam’s name for Eve we see a consciousness of and respect for the woman’s part in bringing about the creation of new human life.

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