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few words. For the words are both very proper to sig nify, and elsewhere in scripture do signify, what we have here said ; and it became the wisdom of God, to Jay before the prinitive church some short abridgment, which, by its well-contrived brevity, might comprehend the sum of the things to be believed ; and then it is our duty, to form high and honorable thoughts of what God speaks. Neither is it unreasonable, that the whole should be wrapped up in some enigmatical or obscure expressions. For the bright shining light reserved for noon-day, was not suitable to the first dawn of the day of grace. Moreover, God had not then desisted from appearing to our first parents; but explained to them, by frequent instruction and the gracious illumination of their mind, those things which belonged to faith and godliness. And indeed it was wholly reasonable, that above all they should carefully keep this proinise of salvation, as a most valuable treasure, diligently meditate thereon, and explain it by mutual conversation to each other and to their children. Some other things seem to belong to this subject, which, being briefly related by Moses, we shall explain a little more particularly
XXVII. Moses, having distinctly related what God had said to the serpent, to the woman, and to Adam, subjoins, Gen. iii. 20. And Adam called his wife's name EVE, because she was (or was constituted) the mother of all living. It is not necessary, we here suppose with some, a *proteron hysteron, as if this name had been given before the fall; at the same time, when Adam called that help, which had just been given him, Ischah, woman ; for there is no reason, why we should contend, that things were done at the same time, which Moses
* A way of speaking, when we place that after, which should come before,
relates on different occasions, and after other intermediate narratives. We own, indeed, that sometimes a thing is related after, which had been done before : but this is not usual, unless the affinity of the subject with what goes before or follows makes it necessary. But there is no such affinity here ; unless we would say, that this denomination bears some respect to the words of God, before narrated by Moses, in the sense we are presently to shew. Nor can we prove, that the word VATTKRA, and he called, is to be rendered in the
preterpluperfect tense, and he had called; that Moses's meaning should be, Adam was greatly deceived, who had promised life to himself and his posterity from his wife; whom he afterwards found to prove the cause of death. For, 1. The following words, which explain the reason of this denomination, are not the words of -Adam, deceived in his expectation ; but of Moses, shewing the truth of the matter. 2. If we will have -them to be the words of Adam, we ought to change HATHA, she was, into THÆCHAIVEH, she will be, and to have something understood, as, he imagined, or the like; to this effect; Adam had called her name Eve, because he imagined, she would be the mother of all living, but, from the event, he learned the reverse. But we do not take upon us so bóldly to make free with the sacred text: let us therefore dismiss this ungrounded PROTHUSTERON.
XXVIII. But why was she called Chavah, Eve? Some of the Rabbins ridiculously derive that name from CHIVÆH, which in Piel denotes to signify or disclose, “ because she was a great talker,” according to Baal Hatturim. Fagius writes, the Jews thus express it, “ because she was a great talker, and uttered many empty words to the serpent, till, being insnared in her talk, she sinned, and as soon as she made her hus
band to sin, he called her Chavah," or Eve, as we render it. But these things are repugnant to the express declaration of the Holy Spirit, who gives a quite different reason for the name ; for he shews, that this name is derived from chAIAH, to live, not from CHIVÆH; and the jod is changed into vau, to put some difference between the name of the woman and of a beast, which in Hebrew is called CHEVAH, as Aben Ezra has not improperly observed.
XXIX. No less ridiculous is Lyranus, who says, that Eve in Hebrew denotes life, but subject to penalties : most of all, Peter Comestor, author of the Scolastic history; “ that Adam then deploring the misery of his posterity, called his wife Eve, alluding to the cries of infants: the male newly born crying A, but the female E; as if we should say, all born of Eve will say A or
, E.' This perhaps might be pardonable in poor Comestor, and in the age in which he lived: but it is highly ridiculous, that, amidst so great a light of knowledge, Cornelius a Lapide, in his commentaries, should not blush to call such triding by the name of pious contemplations. There is nothing in the word CHAVAH, that can denote anguish or penalty. But let us proceed to what is serious.
XXX. Moses explains the reason of the denomination in these words ; because she was, or was constituted, the mother of all living. By all living, sometimes
, is understood all men in general, as Psal. cxliii. 2. And it is certain, that, except Adam, all that ever did, do now, or shall hereafter live, derive their origin from our mother Eve. But if this alone was intended, here it might be asked, 1. Why Adam chose to call his wife the mother, rather than himself the father of all living, as the natural origin of all is equally due to both? 2.
. Why, as we have shewn from the series of the Mosaic
history; he gave this name to his wife, not till after the fall; seeing, if we attend to natural generation only, she became the parent, not so much of the living as of the dead? 3. Was this a thing so very worthy of notice, since it was self-evident, that all who were to exist, were to descend from her, who was the only woman in the world?
XXXI. It seems therefore more adviseable, and more becoming both the faith and piety of Adam, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, who accurately relates those things, to understand by all living, both the Lord Christ, who is the fountain of life, and the elect, who, being united to him, are quickened by his Spirit. The woman was constituted the mother of these living, by the word of promise, by which she was expressly appointed to have that seed, who was to bruise the serpent's head. Wherefore Adam, who by sin became the father of all who die, 1 Cor. xv. 22. called his wife Eve, from his faith in God's promise, believing, according to the word of God, that no man should have true life, but what would be derived from her. However, the original of this was not in the woman herself, but in the principal seed, that was to descend from her. This name therefore contains a confession of Adam's faith, and shews, what Adam taught his children, and to what hope he formed them by the word of God: who, in the very name of his wife, as often as he repeated it,' would have a lasting monument both of the promise of God and of his own hope.
XXXII. Peter Martyr, that most excellent interpreter of scripture, saw and taught these things long ago: · who thus comments on the place.
“ Adam knowing that her seed would bruise the devil and death, justly and with propriety, chose to call her by that nanie, by Vol. II,
which this salutary promise of God might at all times occur to his mind. Now, Adam had entertained hopes of life by Christ; and when he perceived, that his wife was to be the mother of him, and of all those that were to be quickened by him, called her name Eve, because she was the mother of the living.” Fagius in like
” manner: “We doubt not but Adam, by giving that name to his wife, had a view to the promise concerning the seed that was to bruise the serpent's head; by which he hoped, that his wife was to be that person. Wherefore he named her Chavah, which we call Eve, as if you would say an enlivener ; because dead mankind was to be made alive by her offspring." See also Pareus and others, all agreeing in the same thing.
XXXIII. Eve discovered the same hope, wher, upon bringing forth her first-born, she cried out KANITHI ISH ÆTH JEHOVAH, Gen. iv. l. Which words are variously rendered by interpreters. That which we think most agreeable, is, with Reuchlin, Pelicanus, Fagius, Forsterius, Luther, Clarius, Scindlerus, and many others, to take ÆTH, as usual, for the sign of the accusative case, and the meaning be, I have gotten a man Jehovah.
Remarkable is the Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan “ And Adam knew Eve his wife, who was taken with a longing for that angel, and conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten the man, that angel of the Lord." . Certainly our pious mother continually revolving in her mind that promise of God, which was the ground of all her consolation, as soon as she bare that male child, observed in his birth a sign or token, that the promise would be performed. She therefore joyfully exclaims, she had now obtained that promised seed: not that she imagined Cain was that seed, but that, in his birth, she could see the first multiplication of mankind, and, in that multiplication, an