Eve: Powerful Partners or Submissive Seductress

Genesis 2-3
Adapted by Steitz

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
After separating the day from the night and the sun from the
moon and the crawling things from the swimming and flying
things….God finally said, “Let us make humankind in our
image, to be like us. Let them be stewards of the fish in the sea,
the birds of the air, the cattle, the wild animals, and everything
that crawls on the ground.” And so, humankind was created as
God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them; female
and male, God made them.
Of course, like much of scripture….it isn’t that easy. The very
next chapter, tells the story of how humans came to be in a
different way….
At the time when God made the heavens and the earth, there
was still no wild bush on the earth, God fashioned an earth
creature out of the clay of the earth and blew into its nostrils
the breath of life. Then God took the human and settled it in
the garden of Eden so that the land might be cared for. God
told the human, “you may eat as much as you like from any
of the trees of the garden – except the Tree of Knowledge of
Good and Evil. You must not eat from that tree, for on the
day you eat from that tree, you will die.” Then God said, “It
is not good for the human to be alone. I will make a fitting
companion for it.” So from the soil God formed all the various
wild beasts and birds of the air but none of them proved to be a
fitting companion for the human.
So God made the human fall into a deep sleep, took one of the
ribs and from that rib, God made a second earth creature. The
first human said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of
my flesh. This one shall be called woman for out of man this
one was taken.
Now there was a serpent in the garden, which was more crafty
than any other animal that God had made. The serpent said to
the woman, “Did God say, You shall not eat from any tree in
the garden?” The woman said, “We can eat from the trees in
the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden
that God said, ‘Don’t eat from.”
The snake said to the woman, “You won’t die! God knows that
on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be
like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the
tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would
provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and
also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
When the Lord God discovered what had happened. God
cursed the serpent and cursed the ground. And God drove the
humans out of the garden.