FIRST ADAM... THEN EVE... THEN ???
The Word of God abounds with exhortations such as
these..."add thou not unto His words lest he reprove thee and thou
be found a liar" (Prov 30:6), .... "I testify unto every man that
heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book, if any man shall
add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are
written in this Book and if any man shall take away from the Words
of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of
the book of life" (Rev 22:18,19).
In a world that seems to be overflowing with
"authoritative" voices, God has given us these passages as beacons
to guide us safely to the harbor of truth. The currents are
swift, however, and the oceans of religion are filled with beacons
of another sort. Tides run swiftly to the ports of tradition and
religious myth, and many an honest and well-meaning individual is
caught in their deceptive flow. Per^^haps most beguiling of all is
that every harbormaster holds a copy of God's Book in his hand.
These are men of renown, respect and position. They have earned
their reputations in a very competi^^tive arena and have risen to
the top of their "callings" in grandiose and charismatic fashion.
Popularity, influence, and in most cases, wealth, asssure them
continued success. They have contributed a great deal to molding
the religious clime of our day. Without entirely realizing it,
many of their teachings have taken a position of equal authority
alongside the Word of God itself.
As a result, modern evangelism has become a house built upon
sand. It's foundations are laid upon a bed of Christian cliches,
phrasology, and terminology, that are completely foreign to the
Bible. To challenge the validity of such extra-biblical expres^_
sions as "accepting Christ" and "inviting Christ into your heart",
is tantamount to heresy. But alas, man's words HAVE replaced the
words of God: Words which He had chosen so precisely and preserved
so faithfully through the centuries: only to find the masses of
our day following men who have twisted the scripture to their own
(and our) destruction.
The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how easily we
accept as "Biblical truth", that which is little more than
religious tradition. I offer for your consideration the issue of
One of the most widely accepted ideas concerning the early
chapters of the Word of God is the belief that Cain was the first
child born to Adam and Eve. When someone asks the
question..."where did Cain get his wife from?", very few
Christians are able to give a Biblical answer. Those of us who
are able to answer at all, usually are unable to show from the
Bible WHY we believe the way we do. I believe that God has indeed
given ample evidences concerning this issue IF we will pay close
attention to his Word and lay aside our preconceived ideas.
Please take a few moments to read Genesis chapter 1:1-2:3.
Notice that our attention is directed primarily on the
"chronology" of events recorded there. In fact, the days are
actually numbered for us and they unfold consecutively.
From Gen 1:1 through 2:3, God has given us a very brief
account of His entire work of creation up to and including the
seventh day: a day in which He rested from all His work. Read it
again, if necessary, and follow each day as God gives us the
account. Notice that it was on the SIXTH day He created male and
female and gave them the commission to be fruitful and multiply
(1:27-31). Keep this important point in mind as we continue.
Now lets read a little further. From verse 4 of chapter 2,
through verse 8, God is giving us a CLOSER LOOK at the SIXTH
day... "every plant of the field was in the earth...there WAS NOT
MAN to till the ground...the Lord God formed man out of the dust
of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
and man became a living soul". God then says that He planted a
garden eastward in Eden and there he put the man whom he had
formed. From verse 9-14, God gives us a closer look at what the
garden was actually like. Beginning with verse 15 we read..."And
the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to
dress it and to keep it". Next, God gives man the command to
avoid eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil and the consequences for disobedience are clearly spelled
out for him..."thou shalt surely die" (verse 16,17).
After all this detailed information, God says... "it is not
good that man should be alone: I will make him (future tense) a
helpmate his like". This passage assures us that it is still the
sixth day for BOTH of them were made on that day.
God then brings the man all the beasts of the earth and all
the fowls of the air that he might name them (verse 19,20). In
verses 21 and 22, we get a CLOSER LOOK at exactly how God made the
female. In verse 23, after she was formed, we find Adam making
this statement..."This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my
flesh. She shall be called WOMAN BECAUSE she was taken out of
man". This is a very pivotal text and is one which can very
easily be by-passed without too much consideration. Lets read
that verse again and pay particular note of every word recorded.
"SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN BECAUSE SHE WAS TAKEN OUT OF MAN".
Notice that Adam said she SHALL BE (future tense) CALLED WOMAN.
Adam was precisly correct for she WAS called woman for the
remainder of chapter three. Also of note is the fact that she was
being called woman for a specific reason...BECAUSE she WAS taken
out of man. More on this later.
Beginning with verse 1 of chapter 3, God has SKIPPED AHEAD
in time to when the serpent comes on the scene, but before we
examine these events, a word of explaination may be in order.
Although this portion of Genisis is recorded for us in
chronological order, we must realize that NOT ALL events that
actually took place are mentioned. From verse 4 of chapter two
through to our present text, for instance, no mention has been
made concern^^ing God's command to the man and woman to replenish
the earth. Also absent is any mention of the seventh day, the day
on which the Lord rested from His work. We are certain these
events did take place because they ARE recorded in chapter 1
verse 28 and chapter 2 verses 2 and 3. The answer is simple if we
remember HOW the Lord is giving this record. Chapter one was a
GENERAL STATEMENT of His entire work of creation: including His
day of rest found in 2:1-3. Chapter 2, beginning with verse 4,
however, MORE DETAIL is given concerning those events which God
chose to emphasize. God simply did not see fit to RE-RECORD
certain incidents and therefore He SKIPPED AHEAD in time to the
Temptation. Time had passed. We cannot know how much, but some
amount of time had definitely gone by. How do we know ? Because
chapter two ends with the man and the woman being united by God
and chapter three begins with the temptation. No seventh day and
no command to multiply.
The following is a sequential account (events unfolding in
the order of their occurrance) of the temptation and fall of
verse 1..."He said to the WOMAN, yea hath God said ye
shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?"
verse 2,3..."and the WOMAN said unto the serpent, we may
eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden but of the
fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said, ye shall not eat of it lest ye die."
verse 4..."and the serpent said unto the WOMAN, ye shall
not surely die."
verse 5..."for God doth know...your eyes shall be opened
and ye shall know...good and evil."
verse 6..."and when the WOMAN saw that the tree was good
for food...she did eat and gave also unto her husband
with her and he did eat."
verse 7..."and the eyes of them both were opened."
verse 8..."and they heard the voice of the Lord God
walking in the garden..."
verse 9..."and the Lord God called unto Adam and said
where art thou?"
verse 10..."he said, I heard thy voice...and I was
afraid...and I hid myself."
verse 11..."hast thou eaten of the tree?"
verse 12..."and the man said, the WOMAN whom thou gavest
me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat."
verse 13..."and the Lord God said unto the WOMAN, what
is this thou hast done? and the WOMAN said, the serpent
beguiled me and I did eat."
verse 14...God curses the serpent...
verse 15..."I will put enmity between thee and the
verse 16..."unto the WOMAN he said, I will greatly
multiply thy sorrow and they conception: in sorrow thou
shalt (future tense) bring forth children."
verse 17-19...God curses the ground and the man...
verse 20..."and Adam called his wife's name Eve because
she was the mother of all living."
Remember why Adam called the female "woman"? It was BECAUSE
she had been (was) taken out of man. This account of the tempta^_
tion has referred to the female NINE times. In every instance she
has been called "WOMAN". In the midst of all this, the context
seems to change abruptly and verse 20 informs us that Adam changes
the way he addresses his wife. All of a sudden he names her
"Eve". (The events are sequential remember). Why the sudden
No need to be in the dark: we have the reason recorded
for us... "BECAUSE she WAS the mother of all LIVING". Our only
problem is, that no birth has been mentioned. Some will say that
the word "was" in this passage really means that Eve "WAS TO BE"
the mother of all living.
This cannot be the case for a number of
reasons. First and foremost among them is because God did not say
it that way. He surely could have, had He meant it that way. He
chose rather to use a past tense verb, (and the translators agreed
with Him), to say EXACTLY what He wanted to say. Others argue
that since no birth was recorded, none could have taken place. If
we follow that line of reasoning then Cain could not have had a
wife at all, for the birth of his wife is NOT recorded anywhere
in the Word of God. In fact, we do not read of the birth of ANY
woman BY NAME until Genisis 22:23 ! If her birth had to be
recorded in order for her to be born, then she wasn't born at
all. But the fact is she WAS born and her birth WAS NOT recorded.
This should not present a problem however. Remember, God chose to
leave out certain events before, didn't He? Well He chose to
leave this one out too! How can I make such a statement? Because
it is a biblical fact that God, for reasons known only to Himself,
does not record the birth of the first female!
Let's pick up our account where we left off and we will see
that the entire context continues to unfold in sequence...
verse 21...God made them coats of skins
verse 22...God said "man has become like one of
verse 23...The Lord sent him forth from the garden
to till the ground from whence he was taken...
verse 24..."So He drove the man out..."
Chapter three closes with that final passage; chapter four
opens with this one..."And Adam knew his wife Eve and she bare
Cain". Everyone agrees that this is the precise point in time
when Cain was born. And why shouldn't we? God is unfolding
events chronologically for us and thus far, the only birth
recorded is that of Cain. But if we pay close attention to the
words of that text, we will discover that the female was ALREADY
called EVE when Adam "knew" her! It does not say, Adam knew the
"woman" and she bare Cain. Those who believe that Cain was the
firstborn child of Adam and his wife have a real dilemma here.
Nine times she was referred to as "woman" in the detailed account
of the temptation and fall, but NOT ONCE after Adam called her
Incidentally, the word "Eve" in Hebrew is the word "Chavvah",
pronounced "khav-vaw", and means "life-giver". Those who are
familiar with the contents of scripture, probably are aware of how
the names of children are usually selected in the Bible. The
births of the twelve sons of Jacob are a perfect example. Each of
those children were named in memory of a specific situation that
existed AT THE TIME OF THEIR BIRTH (see Gen 29:32-30:24). This
was a standard initiated with the creation of the first
female,"...she shall be called woman BECAUSE...", "...Adam called
his wife's name Eve BECAUSE...". According to the inspired
record God has given us, the female was ALREADY CALLED EVE when
Adam knew her and when she gave birth to her son Cain.
One of the notions that lends itself to the idea that Cain
was the first child born, is our conception of time. It would
seem to us that the record of events are not only chronological
but that they also occurred in RAPID SUCCESSION. This simply is
not the case. We have already observed that certain events
between the sixth day and the episode in the garden were Divinely
omitted: a fact that may not have been previously noticed. Maybe
certain events between the fall of man and the birth of Cain were
also left out. Granted, it SEEMS to us that as soon as the man
transgressed, God was on the scene to pronounce the curse and cast
them out. If all this happened on the same day, then the woman
would have had no time to give birth to a child.
Could she have had a child BEFORE the fall into sin? No,
because of what the bible teaches elsewhere, "...ALL have
sinned...", and "...in Adam ALL DIE...". And besides, when the
curses were being pronounced, she was still being called "woman".
No, if there was one, a child had to have been born somewhere
between verse 19 and verse 20 of chapter three. But what about
the time element? Most of us think along these lines concerning
the fall of man...the woman transgressed, she caused the man to do
likewise, God was immediately present to curse and cast them out
of the garden..."lest they eat of the tree of life and live
forever". He then hurriedly assigned a guardian to the entrance
of the garden to keep the man from entering again. After this,
Adam knew his wife Eve and she bore Cain - the first child.
Time, and our apprehension of it, can be extremely misleading
when reading ancient Biblical history. Occasionally we find
references that inform us in a general way about these things.
Chapter 4, verse 3 is a good example..."and in the process of time
it came to pass..."; In this text there is no way of knowing
exactly how much time has elapsed. In other places we are given
precise information concerning the passage of time..."And Adam
lived one hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his
likeness..."(5:3). We are not always so fortunate, however. Most
often, an accurate perception of time can only be obtained by
carefully analysing both the larger and the immediate contexts. I
believe this to be the circumstance dictated by Genisis 3:7 - 4:1
and following. I do not believe that this portion of scripture
was meant to convey the idea that it all took place on the same
day. We must not allow any false notions of time to guide our
understanding of God's Word, so let's lay that " feeling " aside for
a moment and look closely at the recorded events...
The text immediately following the Fall of mankind is the
place to begin: chapter 3, verse 7..."And the eyes of them both
were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed
fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons." This act of
gathering leaves, and of fashioning instruments to sew them
together had to have taken at least some little time to
Time which could have been used far more profitably
by rushing to the tree of life to eat of it also and live forever
- if that had been their immediate craving. But their most
pressing desire was not to sin again. In fact the opposite was
true. They wanted to hide the evil they had already done! And
the Lord patiently waited for them to accomplish their feeble
Notice also the serene, almost casual nature of the
next passage..."And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in
the garden in the cool of the day." (whether we under^^stand this
verse to mean..."they heard the voice of the Lord (as He was)
walking in the garden..." or..."they heard the voice of the Lord
(as they were) walking in the garden..." has no bearing on the
issue in question.) This line seems to be oozing with calm and
tranquility. To this point in the narrative, there isn't the
slightest hint of urgency to cast out the sinful man. I should
think that if God was anxious to expel the man and to prevent him
from feasting upon the tree of life, He would have done so as soon
as there eyes were opened! But no, neither God nor man were
immediately concerned with that tree. Furthermore, this unhurried
atmosphere continues, as God calls to the man and questions him
concerning his act of diso^^bedience. The woman also was querried
and each of them, (includ^^ing the serpent), were addressed
personally during the horrible anathema (v 9-19).
I believe that the content of that ominous malediction was a
sufficient detterent to keep the man and the woman long from
displeasing the Almighty a second time. Long enough, I suggest,
for Adam to have "known" the woman and for her to have brought
forth at least one female child - the future Mrs. Cain? Who
knows. His wife may have been born much later; but we are certain
of this much...it is at this very place that Adam decides to
change his wife's title from " woman " to " Eve " and the ^SBible ^S says
it was because she was the mother of all living .
It is true that man, now full of sinful tendencies,
eventually would have "stretched forth his hand and taken also
from the tree of life", so the Lord clothed them with coats of
skin and sent them forth from the garden. There are, of course,
objections to these conclusions and it is necessary to examine
them in the light of "what saith the Lord".
1. Some will say that every verse of Scripture from Genesis
2:15-4:1 belong exactly where it is except verse 20 of chapter 3.
Keep this in mind as we consider this argument...If we agree that
solid Biblical evidences are needed before we cast aside long
respected and widely accepted views that men teach, what kind of
proof should we require before we are so bold to say that God
means something other than exactly what He is saying...or that He
shouldn't have made that statement when He did because it didn't
happen in quite that order? (While it is true that many places in
God's Word are not chronologically sequential, they always are
self-evident and easily discovered). If we are going to say that
all of the account in question is in it's proper place except
where the woman is named Eve in 3:20, my question is...where then
does it belong? Surely, we can't eliminate the verse entirely.
All agree on that. The verse cannot belong in chapter 2 anywhere
because in chapter 3 the female is continually addressed and
referred to as "woman". Also, we have to consider the fact that
the fall into sin didn't happen until Gen 3:6: If Adam named her
"Eve" before the fall, and she really was named for the reason
God says, that would mean that she gave birth to at least one
daughter who was without sin !
No one wants to make that assertion. Besides, the people who
want to move this verse somewhere else, need to put it somewhere
after Cain was born so their "idea" about Cain being the first
child born would not have to be altered. But the problem with
trying to re-position the text to someplace after Cain's birth is
the fact that we would have to change the language used in verse 1
of chapter 4,..."Adam knew Eve " to "Adam knew the woman ". If we
dare go this far we would be guilty of not one but two
offences...moving the text and changing the language: all this
just to support something we have been "taught". Anyone who is
willing to engage in such Biblical "gymnastics" is just not being
honest and doesn't care about scriptural accuracy at all and this
study is not intended for that person. For those who don't want
to tamper with the language or the position of Gen 3:20, but still
insist that Cain was the first offspring, the answer must lie in
2. There are those who say that Gen 3:20 belongs exactly
where it is, but it doesn't mean that Eve was the mother of all
living persons . It means rather that she was the mother of all
living " creatures " and " beasts ", therefore her title was changed
Well, we know for sure she wasn't the physical mother of
these creatures because they were made (and even named) before she
was created (see 2:19,20). The law of nature established by God
concerning the reproduction of living organisms would also
eliminate such a possibility...all things shall bring forth " after
their kind " is the Divine Decree of Genisis 1. The "living beast"
advocates are left then, with a mere hypothetical application of
Gen 3:20. Let's examine that theory in the light of Biblical
Picture their scenario...the Lord Almighty has just made the
man in His own Image and given him dominion over all the works of
His hands. He gathers all of the lesser creatures together and
brings them to Adam to see what he would call them. Next, He
creates the female to be a companion and helpmate for the man.
Adam calls her "woman" because she was taken from his own body.
God blesses them and gives them the commission to multiply and
fill the earth and subdue it. The Lord rests on the seventh day.
Eventually, the serpent slithers his evil path toward the
unsuspecting woman and beguiles her. She, in turn, causes her
husband to follow. One cool day, God is heard walking in the
garden and the man and his wife hide from the Lord's presence.
After calling them out and giving each of them an opportunity to
confess their mutinous act, He proceeds to pronounce the terrible
curses upon the serpent, the woman, and upon Adam and all his
descendents. At this most solemn and portentious of moments, Adam
decides to call his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of
all living... beasts ? If Adam thought of his wife as the mother
of all living creatures and beasts - even hypothetically - why not
call her that from the beginning ? Why wait until such a place
and time to make so "frivolous" a statement ? Surely we cannot
believe that "all of a sudden" it was revealed to Adam that his
wife was - hypothetically - the mother of all living creatures. I
think some honest consideration of these arguments will quickly
eliminate the "living beast" opinion.
3. "Eve was the mother of the spiritually living " is the
claim from another school of thought. "The seed of the woman
(Christ) would someday bruise the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15),
and all who would believe and follow that Great Redeemer of
mankind would become spiritually re-born - "living", if you will.
It is in such a sense that Eve was called "the mother of all
living". A good point, to be sure, but not entirely true! The
fact that Eve was the original female progenator of the Christ
child is beyond dispute but this was hardly the reason her name
was changed when it was. We must keep in mind that she was also
the original female progenator of the entire human race - both of
the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead.
It could be deduced that Eve was the mother of the future
Messiah, by virtue of the fact that all mankind ultimately sprang
from her, but we cannot conclude that she was named "Eve" for that
rather obscure reason. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was yet
some 4000 years in the future and we again have the problem of the
language of Gen 3:20..."because she was ...". Everyone agrees that
there is a difinative difference between the word "was" and the
term "was to be". They simply do not mean the same thing.
Either Adam named her for something that already happened to
her or because of something that he knew would eventually happen
to her. We know he called her "woman" because of something that
had already occurred; i.e. "she was taken from man". If he called
her Eve because of something that eventually would happen to her,
why not call her Eve back on the sixth day when they were given
the commission to be fruitful and multiply ? Adam knew at that
time she would bring forth children. Why continue to refer to her
as "woman" ? Why does the Lord God Himself, who uses words so
precisely, continue to call her "woman" ? It would be far more
Biblically consistant to change her name then.
The fact is, that she was called "woman" because she was
taken from man and she was called "Eve" because she was the mother
of all living. Thats the account we are given in His Word.
A note of interest is found in the statement Eve makes at the
time of Cain's birth. She seems to be surprised because she had
gotten " a man ~ from the Lord: the implication being, this birth
was unusual because of the gender of the infant. Could her
astonishment be because she had previously brought forth only
female offspring ? This brings us to the final and, by far, the
most widespread reason for rejecting the exact words of God...
4. Because the "traditional" interpretation espoused by
all the "famous" Bible teachers is...Cain was born first. How
could so many "great men" be in error about the same subject ?
Texts such as these..."let God be true and every man a liar" (Rom
3:4), ..."Great men are not always wise" (Job 32:9), should be
powerful influences when (and IF) we ponder such questions.
A contextual outline of our subject material as it is found
in the Sacred Word of God is offered in closing...
Gen 1:1 - 2:3 ...An overview of God's entire creative
Gen 2:4-8 ...An in depth review of the sixth day, which
includes the creation of man.
Gen 2:9-14 ...Details concerning the Garden God has
Gen 2:15-22 ...God puts man in that Garden to till it.
He warns of the forbidden fruit. The animals brought to
Adam and he names them - the female is created.
Gen 2:23 ...Adam calls the female "woman" because she was
taken from man.
Gen 2:24,25 ...The two said to be husband and wife and
they were not ashamed of their nakedness.
Gen 3:1-6 ...Choosing not to record a second time, both
the commission to the man and woman to multiply and the
day on which He rested, God moves us ahead in His
narrative to when the serpent tempts the woman. She
yields to that temptation and her husband follows.
Gen 3:7 ...The eyes of them both were opened.
Gen 3:8-19 ...God confronts them in the Garden concerning
their rebellion and the curses are formally and
Gen 3:20 ...The woman has become the mother of all living
and Adam changes her name to Eve for that specific
Gen 3:21 ...God prepares for them coats of skin and
readies them for expulsion from their haven in Eden.
Gen 3:22-24 ...The man is finally driven from the Garden
to till the ground from which he was taken.
Gen 4:1 ...Adam knew his wife, Eve; and she conceived and
bore Cain. She exclaims, I have gotten "a man" from the
Gen 4:2 ...She further bore Abel.
Gen 4:3-7 ...The offerings of Cain and Abel to God.
Gen 4:8-10 ...Cain slays his brother, Abel, and is
questioned by Jehovah.
Gen 4:11-16 ...A curse is pronounced upon Cain and he is
banished from the presence of the Lord.
Gen 4:17 ...Settling in the land of Nod, Cain "knows his
wife" and she bare him Enoch.
Whether you decide that Cain married his younger or his older
sister is of little practical value in your service as Christians.
What is imperative, however, is the principle I hope to have
established...God's Word is entirely trustworthy and our beliefs
can be and must be the result of dilligent, personal, and
prayerful meditation upon that Book! If we are not faithful in
this discipline, and continue rather, to allow men to tell us what
to believe, we shall surely share in their end; about whom it is
written..."Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the
sheep of My pasture...I am against them that cause My people to
err by their lies and their boasting; I have not sent them and
they profit not My people at all" (Jer 23:1,32).
"If they speak not according to My Word, it is because there
is no light in them" (Isa 8:20). Have those men who promote the
so-called "Cain first" theory spoken according to God's inerrant
and infallible Word? I submit that they have not. It is fitting,
I think, that in this study at least, the Lord Jesus should have
the final word..."Take heed what ye hear" (Mk 4:24).
comments and inquires welcome:
PO Box 531
Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
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