Eve meaning | Eve etymology

Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Eve in Biblical Hebrew
Biblical female character
Browse Biblical names alphabetically

Search this site

This project depends on the support of readers like you.
Please help...

The name Eve in the Bible

Eve is the wife of Adam; traditionally the first human female, but that tradition is presently under attack; see for more info the Chaotic Set Theory.

Legends that are much younger than the sources of our book Genesis report of a predecessor of Eve, named Lilith. See our article on the name Lilith for a rebuttal.

The name Eve shows up too in the Greek New Testament, where it is spelled Ευα; Eua (2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Timothy 2:13).

Etymology of the name Eve

Most (if not all) translators and interpreters derive the name Eve from the verb חיה (haya), meaning to live or have life:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

In Genesis 3:20 it reads that Eve was named this way because she was אם כל־חי; mother of all life. The Hebrew word אם ('em), mother, comes from the same root as אמה ('amma), mother city, cubit, tribe/ people; hence the phrases Mother Babylon and Mother Jerusalem. The phrase "all life" returns six times in Scriptures and never just mankind is meant (show me). Hence the "mother of all life" is the biosphere; all living things.

And hence the NOBSE Study Bible Name List, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, and even BDB Theological Dictionary report in dubious unison that the name Eve means Life.

But note the difference between the verb that means to live and the name Eve: חיה and חוה. The verb is spelled with a yod but the name is spelled with a waw. These two letter sometimes interchange, but this verb, and all its many derivations are always spelled with a yod. So yes, Eve is the mother of all life, but her name simply doesn't mean life. It's a leap of critical neglect to assume that when parents call their baby Bob, and say, "because that was the name of our dog," they are doing this because they mean to propone that the name Bob means dog.

The name חוה (Eve) is identical to the Hebrew root group חוה (hwh I, II & III):

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Eve meaning

Eve does not mean 'the girl of the two,' and is also not the model for all wives bound to goof up (Keil and Delitzsch' Commentary on the Old Testament). Man and woman are both under the label Adam, and their drive to group up lodge in Eve.

The name Eve denotes the collectivity that is common to the behavior of living things. We should never forget that multicellular creatures, even humans, are in fact highly efficient colonies of single cellular creatures.

The name Eve means Gathering, Declaration or Humility, because she was the mother of all of life.

עABARIMPublicationsFor the Love of the Word