Some consider the information recorded in Genesis 3:20-24 as unimportant, but nothing could be further from the truth. The truths revealed in these verses will give you great insight into the heart and thinking of Adam and Eve. These verses also reveal God’s heart of love toward these two fallen individuals. Listen to these words, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’-- therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:20-24).
Why did Adam call his wife’s name Eve? Vs. 20
Most people read this simple statement of Adam calling his wife Eve, and don’t give it a second thought. However, this declaration has a very important meaning. Some people today choose names for their children that may sound nice, or have a nice ring to them. Others with multiple children give them all a name with the same first letter. Many others choose a name for their children from someone they like in their family. You may think, What difference does it make what Adam called his wife? But people in ancient times named individuals with a very specific purpose. They chose names that reflected something significant about their birth, or because of a hope or aspiration they had for their lives. When we come to Genesis 4:25, we will see that Adam and Eve named their third son, Seth, which meant for God or appointed for God, which revealed this couple’s faith in God’s will and His plan for this child.
So, what was the purpose and meaning of Adam naming his wife Eve? The name Eve means life, or life giver. Why is this important? Because this revealed Adam’s faith in the promise of God. You see Adam had a promise from God that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). Adam also knew the warning God gave in Genesis 2:17, that declared if they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would surely die. The Hebrew word die, literally means, so dying you shall surely die. This referred to them dying spiritually, and one day they would die physically. Adam believed that his ultimate deliverance would come through the descendants of Eve. This is why he called her life-giver! She was to bring life and deliverance to all mankind. Adam was therefore declaring his faith in the promise of God by calling his wife Eve!
We know from Paul’s writings in the New Testament that this seed of the woman refers to Eve’s descendants, and to a specific descendant, the Messiah to come (Gal. 3:16). In our previous study I fully explained this truth. Adam believed in God’s promise of deliverance from the power and control of the serpent. Eve’s name and the prophetic pronouncement of God was a promise of hope for Adam, and he believed it. Eve would bring forth the Messiah who would be the ultimate solution for the problem of sin.
In addition, note the names given to their first two children. These names reveal Adam and Eve’s faith as well. Cain was their firstborn child, and his name means from the Lord (Gen. 4:1). Their second son was named Abel, which means vanity, or to fill with vain hopes. Now I know you are thinking, Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like faith to me! No, it’s not a lot of faith, but it was probably a realization of what they came to believe. By naming Abel, a vain hope, this was a revelation of their struggle of faith in the promise of God. I believe they misunderstood the promise of God, and believed that their firstborn child, Cain, was going to be their immediate deliverance from the curse upon mankind, and their own eventual death. When they realized that this didn’t happen, they gave their next son Abel a name meaning vain hope. The naming of Abel was a recognition of the fact that their expectations were not realized. Adam and Eve had come to understand that there was no quick and easy fix for their sin and disobedience. As you study the names given to individuals in Scripture, it will yield great insight into the heart and lives of those who named them.
Adam and Eve’s return to faith. Vs. 20
Therefore, the names given by Adam and Eve are a very important revelation and insight into the heart of these two fallen souls. But the important thing to understand is that these names clearly enable you to see that this couple had chosen to trust God’s promise, which also revealed their repentance. When God confronted Adam and Eve there was no repentance. There was only finger-pointing and blame-shifting. Adam immediately blamed God, and then his wife in one sentence, and Eve blamed the devil. But there was no repentance, no confession, and no acknowledgement of what they had done.
Now you may think, Is there any hope for Adam and Eve? I believe there is tremendous hope for these two that one day we will see them in Heaven. Why do I say this? If you go back to the name given to Eve, this reveals Adam’s faith. If you consider the names given to their children, these reveal their faith as a couple. But there can be no faith without repentance. These two decisions must always go together. When you look throughout the Old and New Testaments you will see that faith is always connected with repentance, and unbelief will always inspire rebellion. Let me just give you a couple of examples. When Jesus first began to preach, notice that He connected these two decisions together. He said, “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Note that Jesus put repentance before faith! Jesus would not command people to repent and believe, unless He assumed that all men could repent before they believed. These two decisions must go together! Why must repentance and faith always go together? Understand it this way. When you believe, you must surrender your heart. Whatever sin is in your heart, must also be surrendered. Paul said, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10). So, when you believe, you are giving your heart to God. When you surrender your heart, you are surrendering all that is in your heart, which means you must give up any sin that is within. Faith is acknowledging the heart’s need before God, and Man’s biggest need is the forgiveness of sin.
Let me give you another example in Scripture. Jesus taught the parable of the two sons, in Matthew 21:28-32. Remember Jesus compared the two sons to show the difference in their two hearts. He taught, “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.” Notice again that Jesus connects relenting, or repenting, and believing in Him. This is the reason why He said tax collectors and harlots go into the kingdom before the Pharisees, because they were like the first son, who refused to go into the vineyard, but later relented. The Pharisees were like the second son, who agreed to go, but never went to labor. A true heart of faith will always repent and believe the Father’s command. This is why repentance and faith must always go together.
In another example, Paul taught in Acts 20:21, and explained his method for preaching. He declared that he would continually go, “Testifying to the Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again, Paul connects repentance and faith. This is why I believe that Adam and Eve indeed repented and put their faith in God again.
Should you believe The Gap Theory? Vs. 20
The statement of Adam calling his wife Eve, “The mother of all living,” should obviously be the biggest reason why you should reject The Gap Theory in the creation story. This theory teaches that there was another earlier civilization in the gap between Genesis 1:1, and Genesis 1:2. Some have theorized that this is why the Earth was without form and void, because there had been some catastrophe or some judgment prior to Genesis 1:2. However, if there was a previous civilization in the “supposed” gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, then Genesis 3:20 is incorrect. Eve could not be the mother of all living. This is why you should not entertain the idea of The Gap Theory, and millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Genesis 3:20 is really the death nail in The Gap Theory, and any speculation that there were other human beings before the Garden of Eden. I would encourage you, that when you hear The Gap Theory raised, you should simply point people to Genesis 3:20, and ask them to consider this phrase that Eve is, “The mother of all living.”
Tunics of animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve. Vs. 21
Why does God replace the fig leaves that Adam and Eve made for themselves with tunics that were made from animal skins? This is a very important question to answer, and it reveals another powerful insight into the heart of God. For man to cover himself and his sin by his own works, was simply not acceptable to God. If they wanted to cover the shame of their nakedness and sin against God, this covering must be provided by the work of God alone. Coverings and garments as revealed in Scripture are a picture and metaphor of salvation. Isaiah wrote, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorned herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Also, we read in Revelation 7:13-14 as John sees a great multitude in heaven, he declared, “One of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’” Notice in both of these passages that the robes or garments are the proof of salvation. The robes in Revelation are made white only because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
What God does in Adam and Eve’s case is that He sees their fig leaves as insufficient and not acceptable to Him. Therefore, “He made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Notice that the text says that He made the tunics. These were animal skins, which meant that an animal had to die and blood had to be shed. I believe that this was a picture of the sacrificial system of the old covenant and its beginnings. Why did animals have to die? Because someone must take the punishment for the sin of man. This is why God ordained the substitutionary sacrificial system to constantly remind men that their sin had a consequence. When Jesus came and spoke of giving His life as a ransom for many, the people would have had some comprehension of what that meant, because of the system God had already set up (Matt. 20:28). The word ransom means redemption or atonement. Adam and Eve also must have realized that innocent blood had to be shed to cover their sinfulness (Rev. 3:18).
Without the robe of righteousness or the garment of salvation no one will ever enter into the presence of God, and especially not into the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Remember the Parable of the Wedding Feast that Jesus taught? Let me quote a small portion of this parable. Jesus taught that He was preparing a great wedding feast for His bride, but when He came to the feast to see His guests, “He saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matt. 22:11-13). The wedding garment in this parable is the same robe of righteousness or garment of salvation that the Scripture declares each individual person must possess to enter the Marriage Feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-8). Why? Because this robe of righteousness that He has provided for His church is the result of His work, not Man’s, just as Adam and Eve’s covering of animal skins was the product of God’s work alone.
The most important question each person must answer is this: have you placed your faith in the finished work of Christ, in His death and resurrection, or faith in your own good works? When you stand before God and He asks you why He should let you into heaven, what would you say? I will say, “Because I have put my faith in the shed blood of Christ, and because I believe that He rose again” (Rom. 3:25; Rom. 10:9)! I sincerely hope this will be your answer too!
The purpose of atonement.
It is essential for a Christian to understand this concept of atonement for sin under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The word atonement means a covering for sin. This covering for sin under the Old Covenant was the robe of righteousness or the garment of salvation that I have already spoken of previously. However, many Christians have little understanding of this truth today. Let’s look at the sacrificial system set up in the Old Testament.
In Leviticus 1:2-5 God told Moses to, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock--of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.’” This was what people had to do under the Old Covenant to receive atonement for their sin. Each person had free will to offer to God a sacrifice; they also could refuse. If God invites you to come of your own free will, that means that you have a free will. God will never force anyone to come to Him. You are not a robot. You are made in the image of God, which means you have a sovereign will just as God does! He has never forced anyone to worship or serve Him, and He never will. The Lord wants all people to come, because they choose to come, which reveals they know Him and love Him freely. Then the one offering the sacrifice had to put his hand on the head of the bull, and kill it himself. The priest didn’t kill the sacrifice. No, the one offering the sacrifice had to do the killing. By putting his hand on the sacrifice, he was transferring his own sin to the bull, giving the one making the offering the understanding that this animal was dying as a substitute for his sin. When a person made this sacrifice in faith and obedience to God, the sacrifice was then accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. Remember, the word atonement literally means a covering. This person’s sin was then covered! Then Aaron’s sons would bring the blood and sprinkle it all around the altar that was by the door of the tabernacle.
When people read this account, many have said to me, “This was really a bloody and messy way to worship God.” But the death and the shedding of blood was meant to be a continuous revelation to every single person who offered a sacrifice, that there was a cost for their sin. An innocent animal had to die, and their blood had to be spilled instead of the person making the offering. That animal was accepted as a substitute in the place of that worshipper. What a reminder this must have been to every individual of the cost of their redemption. Christ also was the sinless Son of God, innocent of any sin, Who gave His life for all mankind. Christ was the innocent one slain for the guilty. We too must understand that Christ’s innocent life was given as a substitute for guilty lives, yours and mine!
Today our sin is put away!
As I have just explained, under the Old Covenant once a worshipper offered their sacrifice for their sin, they received a temporary atonement or covering for their sin. The temporary nature of this sacrifice was revealed in the fact that the sacrifice was needed annually. However, a worshipper was extremely grateful for God’s forgiveness, as King David declared, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps. 32:1). But today we have an even greater blessing relating to our sins. Under the New Covenant, God declares that He doesn’t just cover our sins, but completely puts them away. In Hebrews 9:26 the apostle declared, “But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” The words put away mean that God has annulled, removed, or abolished our sins. What a glorious truth that your sin, and the penalty for it, has been annulled, cancelled, and made null and void. This means that you are forever set free from the penalty of sin, and its control over you. This is what Jesus has done for you by dying in your place and then raised for your justification, as the Scripture states so clearly (Rom. 4:25). What Jesus did on the cross was accomplished once and for all people. His crucifixion was the final solution to the sin issue for all Mankind, and for all time. He simply wants you to put your faith in what He has done, and then justification will be all yours.
Is public nudity wrong?
This series of verses in Genesis 3 also answers the questions that many ask today concerning public nudity. Is there anything wrong with nudist colonies, or nude beaches, or exposing yourself in this way? People have said to me, “If God created Adam and Eve in the garden and they were naked, why can’t we get back to this kind of lifestyle?” The only problem with this reasoning is that people forget that Adam and Eve were both naked in their innocence. But as soon as they sinned, they immediately chose to cover themselves with fig leaves. God approved their choosing to clothe themselves by His act of giving them more suitable clothing. This means that clothing is now not optional. God specifically declared in the Old Testament that a man or woman was not to look on the nakedness of another (Lev. 18:7-18). This is why it was sinful for Ham to see the nakedness of his father Noah (Gen. 9:22). In the New Testament this is why the Apostle Paul encouraged women to dress modestly (1 Tim. 2:9). It is also important to note that God doesn’t tell anyone what they should wear; His only command is that you should be modest in your attire. The same encouragement would be for men, just as it is for women.
The revelation of His love to all mankind.
When you consider the promise that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent, and the effort of the Father to pursue Adam and Eve to cover their shame with the sacrifice of an animal, we see the awesome testimony of His love for them, and for all of us! This revelation of His love was announced by the angel of the Lord to Joseph concerning Mary, “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). God’s love for all mankind was finally fulfilled when Jesus proclaimed on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30)! Finished was the plan of the Father to redeem us all! If anyone wants to be saved from their sin and forgiven by God, they must simply put their faith in the acceptable sacrifice that Jesus has provided. When you do that, He will then clothe you in a garment of righteousness, a righteousness that you could never attain by your own good works. It is a free gift of God, just as it was for Adam and Eve (Eph. 2:8-9).
Why did God send Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden? Vs. 20-24
When you read Genesis 3:23, that God “sent” Adam out of the garden, and then in Genesis 3:24, you read that “He drove out the man,” you immediately think, “Wow! That doesn’t sound like a lot of love toward them. However, in reality it is a tremendous display of love and grace toward them. Why do I say this? Let’s read the text again. God declared, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’-- therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:22-24). To understand God’s reasoning, you must ask yourself the question, why wouldn’t God want Adam and Eve to partake of the tree of life? The answer is clearly expressed in the text. It was because if they ate of the tree of life, they would then have to live forever in their sin. There would have been no redemption. So, by denying them access to the tree of life, God was lovingly giving them, and all human beings, the opportunity to experience forgiveness and eternal life free of sin. God didn’t want them to partake of eternal life until they and their children were first redeemed. When we receive the forgiveness and redemption that Jesus promised, we can then experience abundant life now and one day eternal life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He also promised, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s love for all Mankind is what moved Him to give His Son as a sacrifice for all of us. If we will receive Him by faith, He allows us to experience real life today, and everlasting life forever. We should all be thankful that the Father made sure that our first parents were not allowed to eat of the tree of life and live forever in their sin. As a believer you have free access every day to the Bread of Life by believing and hearing His voice (John 6:47-48). Don’t miss this awesome opportunity!
One day, when you get to Heaven, you will see the tree of life. You will not only see it, but partake of it. Jesus promised in Revelation 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Think of it, the very tree of life that was in the garden is still waiting for us in Heaven. Those who have believed and followed the Savior will then finally get to eat of it and live forever! John also records in Revelation 22:2, “In the middle of its street and on either side of the river, was the tree of life.” There in the presence of God, you will have complete access to the tree of life. And I guarantee you that partaking of it will be so much better than partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The man has become like one of Us.
Before we leave this topic of the Garden of Eden, note this very important phrase where God declared, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us” (Gen. 3:22). Notice, the plural pronoun, “Us.” This plural pronoun that God uses to refer to Himself is very important to understand. The plurality of the Godhead is taught to us by God Himself! This is not the first time we have read this in Genesis. In Genesis 1:26 God declared, “Let Us make man in Our image.” This is not a translation error, but fully intended by God. All these plural pronouns are referring to a plurality of persons in the Godhead, which are revealed in the New Testament as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul concluded his epistle to the Corinthians by a prayer asking that, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14). It is also why you see the Father speaking from Heaven over the Son, and the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus in the form of a dove at His baptism (Matt. 3:16-17). It is also why Jesus claimed that He was one with the Father, making Himself equal with Him (John 10:30-33). God even revealed this plurality of the Godhead in the most well know passage of the Old Testament, the Shema, found in Deuteronomy 6:4. God declared, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” This passage makes it absolutely clear that there is only one God in the universe, not three Gods. However, the word “one” in this verse is the Hebrew word, Ehad, which is a word that can also denote a compound unity. In Numbers 15:16, God refers to one law and one custom that the people possess, but this is obviously referring to hundreds of laws and customs that God had given to His people. The word Ehad is used again here. Also, this same word is used in Joshua 9:2 where Joshua and the people are referred to as being in one accord, which is a unity of many. Therefore, God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is called God, the Son is called God, and the Holy Spirit is called God in Scripture. The Scripture reveals that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all do the same work that only God can do. In addition, Scripture reveals that all three persons each possess the same attributes that only God possesses. All these passages make it abundantly clear that these three persons are the one true and living God. For a complete investigation of this issue, please go to my study on this topic at https://www.covenantkeepers.org/bible-studies/discipleship-studies?layout=edit&id=461, and there you will find all the verses to back up these concepts.