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Eve: Life and Help: A Type of Christ
TitleEve: Life and Help: A Type of Christ
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book
Pagination78-79
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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In very significant ways, Eve is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. For example, Eve is named Life; Jesus Christ is Life. The Hebrew name Eve signifies life and refers to Eve as a bringer of life to her great posterity. Genesis 3:20 provides this explanation of Eve’s name: “Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Although foreign words are used elsewhere in the story (Adam, cherubim, Eden, Pison, Havilah, and so forth), only Eve’s name is attached to an explanation—an emphasis on Eve’s significance in the story.

In Genesis 4:1–2 the author shows the appropriateness of Eve’s name by recounting that Eve gave birth: “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain. . . . And she again bare his brother Abel” (Gen. 4:1–2). These verses show that Eve, in accordance with her name, is a life-giving entity. But Eve as life is not limited merely to biological considerations. God’s cursing of the serpent includes the promise that Eve’s seed would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15); this seed is none other than Jesus (Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14), who will destroy both the serpent and death. In other words, Eve the life brought forth Jesus the Life, and it is Jesus who brings spiritual life to humankind and who subdues Satan.

The scriptures reveal that Jesus Christ is the Life. He is the “Word of life” (1 John 1:1) and the “Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). He “giveth life unto the world” (John 6:33). Also, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36). Stated differently, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11–12). Jesus taught Martha, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Then, as proof of His great power to restore life, Jesus Christ raised Martha’s brother Lazarus from the dead. As Paul stated, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord” (Rom. 6:23). Just as Eve has given physical life to all of God’s children on this earth, Christ gives immortality through the Resurrection.

Eve is a help; the lord is a help. Only two individuals in the Bible are explicitly identified as help (Hebrew ‘ezer): Eve (twice) and God (sixteen times; see Ex. 18:2–4; Deut. 33:7, 26, 29; Ps. 20:1–2; 33:19–20; 70:1–2, 5; 89:19; 115:9–11; 121:1–2; 124:8; Hosea 13:9). No others—including kings, queens, ranking military officers, prophets, or priests—are presented as help. Moreover, the vastly powerful and commanding Pharaoh of Egypt, together with his officials and representatives, is specifically depicted as not being a help (see Isa. 30:1–5). The fact that God is called a help provides insights into why Eve is called a help. In what manner is God a help? The prophets reveal that God is a help because He sustains and preserves the lives of all His people.

In sum, twice Eve is called a help (Gen. 2:18, 20), and as such she, like the lord Himself, served to sustain life. She was no more a subordinate to Adam than the lord is a subordinate to the mortals for whom He is a help.

The chart below sets forth several ways in which Eve was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ.

Six Items Regarding the Significance of Eve

Life

The scriptures identify two individuals as life—Jesus and Eve.

Eve: In Hebrew, Eve means life; also, “Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20).

Jesus: The “Word of life” (1 John 1:1) and the “Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). Jesus taught, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Crushing the Serpent

God’s cursing of the serpent includes the promise that Eve’s seed would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15); this seed is none other than Jesus (Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14), who will destroy both the serpent and death. In other words, Eve the life brought forth Jesus the Life, and it is Jesus who brings spiritual life to humankind and who subdues the serpent.

Help

Only two figures in the Old Testament are called help (Hebrew ‘ezer), God and Eve (Gen. 2:18, 20). Help does not indicate a subordinate. God is called a “help” (‘ezer) sixteen times (Ex. 18:4; Deut. 33:7, 26, 29; Ps. 33:20; 115:9–11) in the Old Testament, and He is not a subordinate. He helps mortals where they cannot help themselves. Eve is a help in a way similar to God: she is an enabling help to Adam. One prominent scholar has translated help as “power.”

Power

Scholars have noted that the word help is used in poetic synonymous parallelisms with power. That is to say, help is used by ancient Hebrew poets to be synonymous with power. Eve is twice referred to as help (Gen. 2:18, 20), which associates her role with that of power.[1]

Good

The frequently attested formula “and God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31), referring to the various forms of creation, signifies more than the great quality of God’s works. Good, in Moses’s language, also refers to the absence of evil. This meaning sheds light on God’s statement that “it is not good that man should be alone,” which is followed with “I will make him an help” (Gen. 2:18). Eve’s absence from the Creation was “not good.”

“To form” versus

“to build”

The verb used to describe Adam’s creation is the same one used to describe a potter forming an earth vessel: “The lord God formed [Hebrew ytsr, “fashioned”] man of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7; emphasis added). A different verb (Hebrew banah, “to build”), however, is used to describe God’s creation of Eve—He built her from the rib of Adam (Gen. 2:22). This same verb describes the building of fortresses, towers, and God’s tabernacle and temples. Adam, therefore, was fashioned as a potter forms a vessel, and Eve was built like the building of a temple. Eve’s creation is thus unique from all of God’s other creations.

 

 



[1] Brünn, “The Roots ‘ezer-oz,’” 8–14; Freedman, “Woman, A Power Equal to Man,” 56–58; Talmon, “Synonymous Readings,” 335–83.

Chart by Donald W. Parry. Eve: Life and Help: A Type of Christ.

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