"The Mother of All Living"

Earl Kimbrough
Waycross, Georgia

Eve occupies a unique place in the history of the world by virtue of being the first woman. Since she was the first woman it was also her lot to be the first bride, the first wife and the first mother. Her name means "life" or "living" and was bestowed upon her "because she was the mother of all living." Eve is mentioned only twice outside of Genesis, but there is much about her life that has a direct bearing upon women today.

Eve's Place in Creation

Eve was the first woman because of the will and creative act of God and not because of any evolution from lower forms of life. Her place in creation is second to Adam. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve" (1 Tim. 2:13). The manner of her creation is set forth in these words: "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 of the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man" (Gen. 2:21-22). Her physical body was thus made from the rib taken from Adam's side, but her soul, no less than Adam's, came from God for she too was made in the image of God.

The Holy Spirit tells us that Eve was created for the purpose of being a "help meet" for Adam. The word "meet" conveys the idea of likeness, correspondence in nature. The Revised Standard Version renders it "a helper fit for him." The purpose of woman's creation in the beginning is the purpose for her existence today. "For the man is not of the woman. but the woman is of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the wonian for the man" (I Cor. 11:8, 9). Woman is to be an aid and companion to her husband. She is to, be the keeper of his home, the bearer of his children, the comforter of his life. When she forsakes these sacred duties to carve for herself a career outside the home, she endangers the happiness of both her husband and herself and undermines the purpose for which God made her.

Eve's Place in the Home

After God created Eve he brought her unto Adam and she became his wife. The first home was thus brought into existence. Before this Adam was alone with none to provide his need for love and companionship. God saw that this condition was not good and therefore created Eve and the home. It was God's will also that within the sacred relationship which the home provided children should be brought into the world. God commanded Adam and Eve to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," and ordained the home as the institution in which this was to be done.

The creation of the home was not an experiment with God. He endowed it from the beginning with all things necessary to accomplish its mission. The home is not the product of evolution. It cannot be improved upon by man. But just as men have sought to improve upon God's plan for the organization, work and worship of the church, so they have tried to improve God's plan for the home. Polygamy, divorce and remarriage, "trial marriage," and other forms of immorality are man's attempts to "improve" the home. Men need to learn that God doesn't operate by trial and error methods. The home as God ordained is abundantly sufficient, even in this modern age, to accomplish what God intended.

Shortly after the creation, man corrupted his way before God and the home too was corrupted. Polygamy on the one hand and divorce on the other were among the corrupting forces. During the Patriarchal and Jewish eras polygamy and divorce were tolerated by the Lord because of the hardness of man's heart, but when Jesus came upon the scene he pointed men back to the home as it was in the beginning. "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:4-6). When asked why Moses commanded divorce, Jesus replied: "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adulteryz and whose, marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" (Matt. 19:8, 9).

Christ restored woman's place in the home to that which God ordained in the beginning. She is to be the one and only companion her husband has. He is to love her as his own body and as Christ loved the church. He cannot put her away for another, unless she proves unfaithful. What a contrast there is between God's plan for woman in the home and the corruptions which men have introduced!

Eve's Place in the Fall

God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve fullv understood this command and the penalty for its violation, but she was deceived bv the devil. When she was tempted she reached forth her hand, plucked the fruit and ate of it. She gave unto her husband and he joined her in the transgression. They were, consequently, driven from the Garden of Eden and the tree of life. God said unto Eve, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children ; and thy desire shall be unto thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen. 3:16). Paul refers to woman's part in the transgression and gives it as a reason for her subjection to man and for the prohibition against her teaching or usurping authority over man (I Tim. 2:11-14). Women, therefore, cannot serve in the Lord's church as elders, deacons, evangelists or as teachers when the teaching is over men.

God fearing women respect God's law. They recognize the purpose for their existence. They realize what their duties are and endeavor to carry them out. They seek not to usurp authority in the church or in the home. They are the women who are towers of strength for truth and righteousness and whose price is far above rubies.

Truth Magazine II:5, pp. 7, 9
February 1958