Many people believe that the first two people God created in Genesis were originally named “Adam” and “Eve,” but the Bible never calls them that until after they had been banished from the Garden. Only “the man” and “the woman” are referred to as living in the Garden. The woman is not called “Eve” until Genesis 3:20, which was after the Fall, right before they were expelled from the Garden. From Genesis 1:1 to 3:19, the names “Adam” and “Eve” are never mentioned. The first mention of man is in Genesis 1:26, and the Hebrew word translated “man” is adam.
Genesis 1:26–28 (NIV)1
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Note that when God first mentions man, He says, “let them rule.” So they shared in this responsibility before getting the boot from the Garden. Please read Genesis 1:26, in an article on the Internet titled “Common Verses: An Explanation of Verses Sometimes Used to Support the Trinity,” for more on “us” and “our” used in this verse [the verse is listed in blue on first page, click on Genesis 1:26 and it will take you to the article to read].
Chapter One of Genesis should end with verse 3 of Chapter Two. Chapters and verses are good for reference, but devoid of authority when it comes to understanding the Truth. The same is true for manmade headings, because there were no headings, chapters, or verses in any of the manuscripts, which the Bible was translated from. In my NIV Study Bible, right before Genesis 2:4, is the manmade heading, “Adam and Eve,” so you would think those names will follow, but they do not.
Genesis 2:7 and 8 (NIV)
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
In those two verses we saw “the man” used three times.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
Here we find the man referred to five times, but with no name.
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
Here the NIV first uses “Adam” as the name of the man, but the NIV Study Bible notes say it can be translated “the man,”. As it is in the NJB, YLT, ASV, CSB, and ERV. In Hebrew, both “the man” and “Adam” are the same word [הָֽאָדָ֜ם] with a definite article, and should be translated “the man.” I looked at one of my Bible Encyclopedias and it reads: “Genesis 2:20, it has the definite article [הָֽאָדָ֜ם] indicating “man” or “the man” rather than “Adam.””2 I wanted another opinion of the text, so I asked a language expert, Bob Wassung, and he agreed that “Adam” is not the way this verse should be translated.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs [took part of the man’s side] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [part] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ [not Eve] for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
So this entire section, inaccurately sub-titled “Adam and Eve,” says nothing about either one by those names. Verses 21–25 are packed. I have read many commentaries about the woman being made from: (1) one of Adam’s ribs; (2) his side; (3) behind his rib; (4.) part of the man’s side. The NIV Study Bible has notes on verses 21 and 22, which say verses 21 and 22 can be translated as I did, in brackets, in each verse. This fits with verse 23, which says: “…This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh….” Okay, this fits with the NIV Study note: “took part of the man’s side”? If I took part of your side, it would be bone and flesh! The Word itself answers the arguments of the commentaries.
Do we see verse 24 [above] elsewhere in the Bible? Yes, Ephesians, the apex of revelation to Christians:
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
From the creation of man and woman, God’s divine intention for marriage was a “one flesh” relationship, that is, one man and one woman being sexually joined together God’s plan for a husband and wife was, and still is, monogamy.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
I recommend a class on DVD: One Day With The Creator, Segments 9 and 10 for a lot more on these records in Genesis 3:1–6. We see in these verses, the woman four times, and her husband once. Now we are up to the Fall of man, which is the NIV sub-heading of this section of Scripture.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Whereas the man and his wife had both been naked and felt no shame [Gen. 2:25], we see in 3:7 that “…the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked….” This is not saying they sudden realized they were physically naked, for obviously they could see that all along. But because of their sin [disobeying God] they were now looking at things differently and felt the shame they never had before. So they made clothes out of fig leaves, and when they heard God walking in the Garden, they hid. God’s original plan was mankind living in an earthly Paradise with Him, and when the Lord Jesus finally restores Paradise, God will once again dwell with men. How awesome will that be?!
Genesis 3:13, 15 and 16
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
This is exposited in detail in One Day With The Creator, so all I will say is that verse 15 is the first reference to The Man we now know as Jesus Christ [which is what he is called in: 1 Tim. 2:5], and it shows that although the Redeemer would first have to suffer, he would one day crush the serpent’s head. In the above verses we see the woman four times and her husband once.
Genesis 3:17, 20 and 21
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 20 Adam [The man] named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
It is questionable whether any of those verses should read Adam. Translations I use a lot have the man in verse 20: the NJB, NRSV, and YLT, as well as notes in the NIV. What we see is that in his fallen state, Adam changed his wife’s name from ishah (“my other self”) to “Eve,” which basically means, “babymaker.” This was a much less intimate and much more utilitarian name, indicating how his perspective of her had changed. Prior to that, when they were living peaceably in the Garden, it was the man and the woman.
Genesis 5:1 and 2
1 This is the written account of Adam’s line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.”
Here we see the words “Adam” and “man” used interchangeably, and from here on, “Adam” is usually what we find when Scripture speaks of the first man. Note that in verse 2 God called their name “man.” To this day, we refer to all humans, male and female, as “man” or “mankind.” Another interesting thing is that in Matthew 1:1 we see the only other use of the phrase, “the book of the generation of.” In Genesis 5:1 it refers to Adam, while in Matthew it refers to Jesus Christ. A verse in 1 Corinthians capsulizes this dual connection:
1 Corinthians 15:45
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
The Bible is the story of two men, two “Adams.” The first Adam ruined everything by his disobedience, and the Last Adam is repairing the damage. Romans 5:12–21 elaborates upon the stark contrast between these two men, and verses 18 and 19 beautifully sum it up:
Romans 5:18 and 19 (E. W. Bullinger’s translation)
18 So then as by means of one (act of) transgression (sentence came) upon all men unto condemnation, even so by means of one righteous act also (the free gift came) upon all men to justification unto life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also by the obedience of one shall the many be made righteous.