Who Were Adam and Eve? - Story & Genealogy

Instructor: Debbie Notari
In this lesson, we'll learn about Adam and Eve and the Biblical account of the way in which sin entered the world. It all boiled down to one man, one woman, and a crafty serpent.

Adam and Eve

In the Beginning

The very beginning of the Bible (common to both the Christian and Jewish Bibles), Genesis 1:1, tells us that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The entire process took six days, and on the sixth day, God created a man. He named the first man 'Adam,' which means a combination of 'blood' or 'red' and 'soil.' Because God created Adam literally out of the soil, this name fits perfectly! It is thought that the soil in Eden had a reddish tint. Genesis 1:26 states: 'And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth'(1:26).

There are two interesting facts to note in this verse. First, God refers to himself as 'us.' This could be confusing, since the Hebrews were a monotheistic society. However, in Christian tradition, the Hebrew God is a triune God, meaning that, although he is one, he has three distinct parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The other significant point in Genesis 1:26 is that God immediately gives the man a job. He is to be in charge of the whole earth and everything that lives upon it.

The Creation of Eve

Verse 27 continues on to say that God also made a woman on the sixth day of creation. The story of how he created Eve is found in Genesis 2. It states: 'And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man' (2:21,22). Eve, a beautiful, fitting partner for Adam, is literally formed out of his rib! We can just imagine how Adam feels when he wakes up and sees her standing there. He has noticed all of the other creatures around him, but there was no one like him until now. He was alone, and now he is not.

It is Adam who names Eve, calling her 'Woman,' because she was literally taken or formed out of man. It is important to note that the word 'Eve' is an English translation of her literal name 'Chavah,' which means 'Mother of all Life' or simply 'life.' Both Adam and Eve were naked, and not worried about it. There was no shame or self-consciousness.

A Warning

God planted a garden named the Garden of Eden. He gave it to Adam and Eve as their home and expected them to take care of it. We can only imagine how lovely it must have been! Every type of plant, tree, bush, fruit, and vegetable grew there. God also planted two very specific trees in this garden: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life would bestow eternal life on anyone who ate its fruit. But, although Adam and Eve could eat from any tree in the garden, God forbade them from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned Adam that anyone eating from this tree would die.

Temptation

The next part of the story is very intriguing. Eve and a serpent, or snake, engage in conversation. It is interesting to note that Eve doesn't seem surprised that the reptile can speak. Although it isn't explicitly stated, we wonder if all of the animals in Eden could talk. At any rate, the serpent begins to question Eve about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is probable that this serpent is being used by Lucifer, a fallen angel, but that is another story.

The serpent says to Eve, 'Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' (3:1). Eve replies that although it is true that she may eat of any tree of the garden, there is one that is forbidden and that they will die if they eat its fruit. The snake immediately contradicts God by saying, 'Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil' (3:4b, 5). There it was: an alluring temptation. We can almost hear Eve's thoughts. 'I won't die? I will be like a goddess? One little bite can't hurt...'

Suddenly, that tree looks good. She wants it. She just knows it will make her wise, like God! Who wouldn't want that? So, she takes a bite. But not wanting to be alone in her decision, she offers the fruit to Adam as well. Some believe that Eve was deceived, but that Adam was deliberate in choosing to sin against God. But there is debate about who is most responsible. Some cultures blame the woman, and women in those cultures are sometimes demeaned, but other cultures or religions place the greater blame on Adam. It is worth mentioning that the New Testament seems to support the latter.

God Confronts Adam and Eve

In the early evening, God enters the garden in search of Adam and Eve who are hiding. Guilt produces that effect in people. Finally, after Adam hears God calling, he tells God that he heard his voice and hid because he was naked and afraid. God aptly asks, 'How did you know you were naked? Did you eat of the forbidden tree?'

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