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Eve...Before the Fall


Eve. 



So much has been wrapped up in her story in the garden.



We have placed so much emphasis on the fall of man, i.e. Eve, that we have lost who she was created to be. We tend to find our identity within the fallen Eve. So much so that we attach thatidentity, (the fallen Eve), to the way God created woman to function, and in turn to ourselves.



For the sake of brevity and getting a true grounding in who we as women were created to be, I want to look at Eve before the fall. Before sin entered the world. Eve…as God’s Image Bearer and as man’s strong Ezer. 



A side note about sin entering the world:Scriptures indicate that sometime between the creation week and the fall of man in the garden Satan and ⅓ of the angels rebelled against God and were thrown down to earth. This rebellion had to take place after the creation week because God pronounced on each day that what He had created was good, including man(i.e. Humankind: man and woman). If rebellion had entered before creation, through Satan, I hardly think God would have pronounced it good. Satan was a created being, as were the angels who followed him in his rebellion. Satan, as a created being, was pronounced good. Ezekiel 28:15 says of Satan, “you were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.”  So that gives us a little background to consider what happened. Satan as well as humans had the ability to choose to obey God, or turn from Him.  It was his own prideful desire that led him to his rebellion. So sin was not a created thing, but rather a choice to follow our own desire over God’s desire for us. When we choose our own desire over and against God’s desire for us then we can blame no one but ourselves, not God and not even Satan. 



Now let’s get back to Eve before the fall. If we want to know who God created the very first woman in all of creation to be, we have to get back to Genesis…in the beginning…before the fall, before that serpent slithered onto the scene.  



“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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ” Genesis 1:26-28 (emphasis mine).



Did you get that? The designation, ‘man’ in the first part of these verses is referring to mankind…both man and woman. And man, as male and female were created to be the image bearers of God. 



Eve… as Image Bearer



The fallen view of a woman says that she is a temptress, or at the very least that she is morally weak and unable to withstand Satan’s scheme. After just one bite of the forbidden fruit, we forget that the female was originally created equal to her male counterpart as an image bearer of our creator almighty God. Yet the blueprint for the woman is found before that fatal bite. She was created to be God’s image bearer…in His image and likeness. 



Let’s dive into that scripture a bit more. It begins with the words, “Then God said, Let us …”, so here we see God basically in discussion with Himself. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit…the triune God were all present and active in creation. That’s oneGod in three. It’s where we get the concept of the Trinity.  I don’t have the space or bandwidth to dive into that concept in this article, but we see in this that God, who is in relationship with Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, created us for relationship as well. There is no hierarchy within the Godhead. Therefore there is no hierarchy in the relationship between man and woman. God created man, male and female, as one flesh and they were given one name. Man.  



“This is the written account of Adam’s line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them ‘man.’" Genesis 5:1-2 (added emphasis). 



In referring to the one name ‘man’, Herbert Lockyer, in his book All the Women of the Bible, says it this way, “This inclusive name implies that the divine ideal for man and wife is not merely that of association but an indissoluble unity. God made them ‘one flesh’ and gave them one name.”  



So in unity, they share in the role of being God’s image bearer. And as such, God blessed them and then gave them the mandate to be fruitful and multiply, to rule and subdue the earth. As His own image bearers, God gave them the same name (Adam=man), the same blessing, and the same function. 



We are given the invitation as God’s image bearers to learn all we can about Him. To fully know Him and be fully known by Him. To know and be fully known is the desire of every man and woman’s heart isn’t it? Only God can fill this seemingly insatiable need. Insatiable, because we seem to look to everyone and everything but God to fulfill that role in our lives. As God’s image bearers…we were created to intimately know and walk with God and to be a reflection of His character. Our great high calling is to make Him known. 



Eve… As ezer


As God’s image bearers we are to be in strong and healthy relationships with one another.  The second chapter of Genesis gives us further understanding of man in relation to woman. We see in this account how Eve, as an image bearer of God reflects the ‘ezer’ facet of God’s character. 



Here we read again (the same story as Chapter 1, but in greater detail),  the story of the creation of man. God created man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15).  And then God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).  And so God brought all creatures he had created to Adam to see what he would name them (Genesis 2:19).  Still no suitable helper was found. The created animals were not suitable for only man was the image bearer of God. 



“So the LORD caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:21-25. 



Note that ‘woman’ was not her name. She was called ‘woman’ because she was taken out of man (literally part of man), this was more of a general designation than an actual name.  Remember further on in Genesis 5:2 we read, “male and female he created them…and called them Adam.”  So the first woman came out of man. She is the female part of man, God’s image bearer…and at this point man (who was two in one), becomes two separate physical beings.   This, I believe, is part of the mystery of God’s creation that is so hard to wrap our heads around. So I am just trying to lay it out as I have found it written in His Word. 



Also, note that we don’t even know her as Eve at this point in the creation story. Adam renames her Eve after the fall. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 



In Genesis verse 20,  we read, “no suitable helper was found” for Adam. What exactly does that mean?  In this passage, the word helper in the original language is Ezer (pronounced ay-zer). The word helper in our English language does not adequately render the true meaning of this word. On its surface, we might think it just means that woman was created as a lowly servant. And so we might then derive that woman is subservient to man. Some people think that the first woman, and therefore all women in general, were created to be nothing more than sidekicks to men…basically subordinate assistants. But this could not be further from the truth. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible gives us this definition for helper:



5826 - ‘azer - aw’ - to surround i.e.) protect or aid. Help, succour. 



Biblical scholars have pointed out that the word ezer is used on 16 separate occasions in the Old Testament in reference to God. These are times of powerful acts of God as man’s rescuer, protector, helper/ezer in times of trouble and need. 



Moses named one of his sons Eliezer. In Hebrew, this means “My God is my helper”, (Eli = my God” Ezer = “my helper”). In Exodus 18:4 we learn that Moses named his son Eliezer because God had powerfully delivered Moses from Pharoah’s sword. 



Ezer has also been found to be a powerful Hebrew military word. So, instead of seeing the first woman as a weaker counterpart to man, we see her as a warrior, created to be man’s strong helper. Wow…just wow! 



Adam was in need of an ezer. One who would come alongside him in this spiritual war zone. They were about to face their adversary. And while it didn’t quite turn out the way we would have hoped, nevertheless this team was God’s choice.  And it still is…we are still in a war zone.



And so what does all this mean? It is clear that the intention of God in creating humankind was for men and women to be working together as equal partners in God’s created world. God created them and blessed them. 



Just as the first woman was, we too are God’s image bearers and ezers. And so, we are to love God with our whole hearts. When we do that it leads us to love our neighbors (beginning with the men in our lives) as ourselves. While sin entered the world and wrecked creation as it was meant to be, God made a way through the seed of woman…Jesus Christ… to redeem and restore all of creation to its original purpose. Because of His great sacrifice,  we are not bound to the effects of sin. We are not bound to the strife and struggle of man against woman/woman against man … that began all the way back in the garden when that serpent slithered onto the scene.  We need only to take Him as our Lord and Savior, to turn from our own sin, and turn back to God to begin to reclaim this world once again as the Kingdom of God. Let’s do it! Let’s advance the Kingdom of God on earth!! 



Thank you, Jesus! 



Blessings,



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