Where Christianity and rabbinic Judaism have condemned Eve as lustful and evil, many modern feminists have discarded Eve. Compared to Lilith, “Adam’s First Wife” who is not mentioned in Genesis, Eve has been labeled docile and obedient to patriarchy.
They “turn Eve in to Lilith’s negative opposite-submissive and compliant in contrast to Lilith’s defiance and rebellion… as if Eve were the root of all negative images of women, as if Eve were the problem Lilith came to solve. As feminists everywhere rally to support and reclaim the besmirched name of Lilith, Eve is left abandoned, doomed forever to be attacked from both sides–condemned by the rabbis [and others] for her rebellion and by the feminists for her submission–for being too bad and too good all at the same time” (Rosenfeld, pp.133-4).
As Phyllis Trible has noted, Eve’s story is read to be rejected (Eve, p. 251).
There are many ways to read the story of Adam and Eve. Some interpretations are better than others because they take into account more of the details, symbolism, and themes compared to alternative readings. The best analysis also takes into account the lexical and cultural setting of the text. I am not claiming to be providing the true interpretation, just my best effort to make a close reading of this very rich and complex narrative. Pardes speaks well for me:
“I do not mean to turn the Bible into a feminist manifesto but rather to show that, while the dominant thrust of the Bible is clearly patriarchal, patriarchy is continuously challenged by antithetical trends” (p.185).
Luckily, there are some scholars who read the story with an open mind. I set out to find what they have to say on the subject of Eve. Here is what I found.
Eve has come to stand for all women. Her story is weighed down by thousands of years of exegesis that has left her an unappealing character. Since she has come to stand for all women, the interpretation of her story has real consequences for the way women are treated and see themselves in our culture. Is the problem the patriarchal interpretation or the text itself? Many believe “that the core biblical symbols of Judaism and Christianity are male and unreformable” (Milne, Eve). On the other hand, reformists believe that the Bible can be redeemed as a positive spiritual resource for women through the interpretive process. They find that in many cases it is possible to find underlying matriarchal or egalitarian strategies in the biblical narratives. Can the same be done for the story of Adam and Eve? And if not, can women as readers make their own meaning out of misogynist texts?
Before I delve into these questions, first a note about my methodology. Most scholars agree that there are at least two different creation stories, one the product of the Yahwist (J) tradition (Genesis 2-4) and the other from a later Priestly (P) tradition (Genesis 1 & 5). However, I will not try to resolve the tension between the two different accounts of the creation. My aim is to focus on what we can learn about Eve by reading the text carefully. For my purposes, sorting out the original authorship and age of the various texts is not important to understanding the character of the Mother of All Living. Therefore, I will treat the text in a linear manner, attending one by one to the difficult issues the narrative presents for feminist readers.
The ‘adam and ‘adama
“Then the Lord God formed man (‘adam) from the dust of the ground (‘adama)” (2:7 NRSV).
Traditionally this verse is used to explain that since Adam was created first, Eve must be derivative and therefore secondary. Several scholars have made a persuasive case that Genesis 2:7 connotes the formation of a sexually undifferentiated “earth creature” (‘adam) from the earth (‘adama). Grammatically ‘adam is masculine and traditionally it has been argued that the first human was therefore male. Trible notes that God describes Adam as being taken from the earth just as Eve was taken from the man. Thus, if Eve is subordinate to Adam, then Adam is subordinate to the earth. However, the earth is not portrayed as dominate over man.
“On the contrary, the creature is given power over the earth so that what is taken from becomes superior to. By strict analogy, then, [this]… would mean not the subordination of the woman to the man but rather her superiority to him!” (Trible, God, p.101).
Time and time again in the Bible, the firstborn is not privileged over the second born in biblical narratives. Whether Eve is simultaneous or secondary, determining a power hierarchy between Adam and Eve based on birth order is a meaningless quest.
Prohibition Against Eating Fruit
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (2:16-17 NRSV).
Before Eve is created in this version of the story, Adam has a relationship with God and receives the prohibition against eating the fruit. Did Adam neglect to tell Eve about the rules of the garden when she showed up? Furthermore, God never speaks to Eve to explain that she is forbidden to eat the fruit. Perhaps it was all a big misunderstanding later when Eve eats the fruit!
Eve as a Helpmate
“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (‘ezer) as his partner.” (2:18 NRSV)
A great deal has been written about the meaning of ‘ezer. Traditionally the word has been translated as “helper” and taken to mean servant or some hierarchically lower position than Adam.
This translation “is totally misleading because the English word helper suggests an assistant, a subordinate, indeed, an inferior, while the Hebrew word ‘ezer carries no such connotation. To the contrary, in the Hebrew scriptures this word often describes God as the superior who creates and saves Israel” (Trible, God, p.90).
Of the 21 occurrences of ‘ezer in the Hebrew Bible, 8 come from the root ‘zr, meaning “rescue.” The other usages mean “strength.” The word can be translated to mean that Eve was created to rescue or save Adam. “The text itself seems to put her in the position of a support for a person who is helpless” (Lerner, p.67). Most commentators do not insist that Eve actually had power over Adam, though that is a possible interpretation. “Rather, she is created to be a strength or power equivalent to Adam” (Bellis, p.54). The term signifies a reciprocal relationship of mutual assistance (Bechtel, p.113). Therefore, the term ‘ezer is a term of honor and dignity, not reproach. Other ways of translating ‘ezer is as “an aid fit for him,” “alongside him,” “corresponding to him,” all of which suggests an equal partner (Lerner, p.71). “It is the cultural context that determines superiority and inferiority, not the act of helping” (Bechtel, p.113).
Taken from Adam’s Side
“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs (zela) and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib (zela) that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman” (2:22-3).
Again, the long-standing argument has been that since the woman was taken from a part of the man, she is secondary and less important. This gets back to the thinking that Adam is superior to Eve because he was created first. Logically this would mean that animals are superior to humans because they were created first. Then there is the rib. The “word zela means a component, or, more often, a side-wall, or simply a side, as in: a side-wall of the Temple in Ezekiel 41″ (Reisenberger). In the biblical vocabulary, zela never means “rib.” The woman then is one side of the first human being. The rabbinical tradition suggests that “Adam was originally a hermaphrodite, split down the middle into male and female” (Rosenfeld, p.139). This may be taking the description too far, but it certainly is an inventive understanding!
Bone of My Bone
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (2:23 NRSV).
In the past I have read this phrase as an indication that the man wished to subsume Eve into his identity. Recently I learned that “‘bone of my bones’ and ‘flesh of my flesh’ is a poetic way to describe the woman as a “very real physical part of the original whole, as in the other six occasions in the Bible, when this idiom is used, each of which describes blood ties and close kinship” (Reisenberger). Trible understands this idiom as a statement of unity, solidarity, mutuality, and equality (God, p.99). Note too that Adam seems pretty happy about Eve’s arrival.
Issa and Is (2:23)
“This one shall be called Woman (issa), for out of Man (is) this one was taken” (2:23 NRSV).
Customarily an equation is made between Adam naming the animals and then having dominion over them with his naming of the woman and having dominion over her. Since it was God’s idea for man to “dominate” the animals, it must be divinely sanctioned that a man have power and control over a woman. There’s just one problem with this logic: Adam does not name the woman isha– God already referred to her as isha in the previous verse (2:22). The man is simply acknowledging the nomenclature used by God.
The “wordplay between is and issa also suggests a complementary relationship between the man and the woman. The man, ha’adam, is called is in order to emphasize the unity of substance between himself and the woman, issa” (Simkins, p.45).
The pun highlights the similarity of women and men, not the subordination.
“The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”‘ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (2:23 NRSV).
At this point in the narrative, the pace slows as we are invited to listen in on Eve’s thoughts and motivations. “The woman eats from the fruit of the tree because she has discerned in its three distinct attributes: ‘that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise’ (3:6).
“In one brief moment, the primordial female has a keen vision of the totality of the human experience as complex and multilayered, and is able to differentiate lucidly and distinctly between three areas of human experience, the physical, the aesthetic, and the intellectual” (Aschkenasy, p.126).
Eve’s reference to the fruit being good invokes the language of God’s assessment of creation. “Until this point God has been the sole arbiter of what constitutes goodness… In other words, she is judging God’s work. In so doing, even before taking the fruit, she is developing wisdom, the capacity to make independent judgments” (Lerner, p.94).
Now some would argue that before eating of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Bad, she didn’t really know what she was doing. However, her words to the serpent belay otherwise.
“In actuality, before she ate, Eve was capable of telling the serpent about the interdiction, who prohibited it, and the dire results. Now, if one knows what is wrong, the authority behind it, and the consequences, where is the deficiency in the knowledge of good and evil? Then what was Eve missing, and what did she hope to gain by eating of the tree? Apparently, knowing what is wrong, acknowledging its authority, and being cognizant of the sanctions were insufficient. What was missing was an explanation for the proscription. Were such an explanation forthcoming it would remove the arbitrariness of the command” (Kimelman, p. 253).
Eve had already started formulating her theological questions before the arrival of the serpent. Will I really die if I eat from the forbidden tree? Why would knowledge kill me? If I don’t die, will I become a god? The “snake functions to extend the direction of Eve’s thinking rather than to instigate it” (Kimelman, p. 245). Though Eve later confesses to being deceived by the serpent, she seems to be fully aware before she eats. Eve may be understood as a seeker of wisdom.
“Theologically astute, Eve is able to engage in rational and thoughtful conversation…Yet she yearns to be smarter…the serpent tempts her with the fruit that she truly craves, the fruit of the tree of knowledge. What Eve wants is for her eyes to be opened, to be able to see with divine understanding” (Day, p.117).
As we shall see, the search for divinity becomes an ongoing theme for Eve.
Eve Offers Adam the Fruit
“and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her” (3:6 NRSV)
All my life I have imagined Eve, alone, standing at the tree and talking to the snake. However, in a closer reading of the Hebrew I noticed that
“the serpent addresses the woman with plural verb forms, regarding her as the spokesperson for the human couple…the woman continues to be emphasized in the design of the story while being portrayed as equal with the man in creation” (Trible, God, pp.108-9).
In other words, Adam is with Eve during this episode but says nothing. He’s completely passive throughout the scene. Adam does not indicate that the woman “tempted” or “seduced” him. He simply states that “she ‘gave’ (ntn) him the fruit, in the same way that Adonay Elohim ‘gave’ (ntn) him the woman. No one is arguing that God ‘tempted’ or ‘seduced’ the ‘adam by giving him the woman” (Bechtel, p.111). Although she acts independently and does not seek advice from the man, she is not secretive or deceptive. “Far from deliberately misleading her man, she functions as his ‘royal taster'” (Lerner, p.95). Adam though seems to have accepted the fruit without any deliberation.
The Origin of Sin?
The eating of the forbidden fruit is seen by interpreters as the first act of disobedience, the origin of sin for which Eve is held responsible. However, God does not blame Eve for bringing sin into the world. The ideas of “The Fall” and the origin of sin are not found in the story itself. There is no explicit reference to sin.
“It is not until Cain and Abel…are involved in the act of murder in Genesis 4, that sin (hatta’t) comes knocking…Adam and Eve are not mentioned in Genesis 4, when sin is introduced. Nor are they mentioned again in the Hebrew Bible despite the fact that the frequent prophetic concern with sin, judgment, punishment and banishment would provide many suitable instances in which the primaeval sin could be cogently cited” (Meyers, Gender Roles, p.127).
The Hebrew Bible never claims that the sins of the children of Israel were precipitated by Eve’s choice in Eden. In fact, Yahweh’s response to Eve and Adam’s eating of the fruit ‘The man has become like one of us’ (Gen. 3:22), does not suggest a fall but an increase in status to be almost godlike.
“To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pangs (‘issabonech) in childbearing (heron); in pain (‘eseb) you shall bring forth children'” (3:16 NRSV).
In Genesis 3:17 Adam is told that he will eat of the fruit of the ground only through ‘issabon, usually translated as “toil,” so it only seems fair to translate Eve’s ‘issabonech (the female form of the word) as toil as well. The word ‘eseb is from the same root as issabon and therefore is also accurately translated as toil (Bellis, p.61).
Here’s another reason for not translating ‘issabonech as “pain.” The word heron usually translated in this verse as “childbirth,” is in fact the word for conception or pregnancy, not labor. “The Bible does preserve a vocabulary…associating the birth process with pain or suffering, but none of those words is present in this passage” (Meyers, Gender Roles, p.131). Since pain is not usually associated with conception and pregnancy, it would be very odd to use the term in this context. Therefore Carol Meyer’s offers this translation of the verse: “I will greatly increase your work (‘issabonech) and your pregnancies (heron); with toil (‘eseb) you shall give birth to children.”
As a group-oriented society, as opposed to our individualistic culture, the ancient Israelite household was the strongest institution before the monarchy. Women wielded a tremendous amount of authority in running the household. Also, to survive in the inhospitable hill country of Israel, a high birth rate was required to produce a workforce. This afforded women a great deal of respect for their power over life and death. “The female contribution to society is intensified as both the woman’s contributive labor and her pregnancies are quantitatively increased” (Meyers, Gender Roles, p.131).
Thus Meyers and others argue, 3:16-17 can be read as God’s acknowledgment that to survive outside the Garden, women’s conception must increase which in turn increases men’s physical labor to produce more food for an enlarged household. In essence, 3:16-17 describes a reciprocal “ecosystem.” Rather than cursing Adam and Eve, God is describing the normal limitations of life (Bechtel, p.106-107). Throughout the Bible, childbirth is considered a blessing so it seems incongruous to think of Eve’s increased pregnancies as a curse (Schmitt, p. 19).
Only the snake and the earth are explicitly cursed by God.
“The ‘punishment’ described in the poem of 3:14-19 simply represents the characteristic burdens and pain of man and woman as traditionally perceived in Israelite society…The work of the pair is here simply described as the work of survival” (Bird, p.75).
Whether we think of God’s proclamation in 3:16-17 as a punishment or predictions of what life will be like outside of Eden, it’s the man who gets the greatest number of harsh words (Schmitt, p.20). At the very least, God considers him equally culpable with Eve.
Historically this verse has been used to restrict a woman to the role of wife and mother. God does seem to be defining gender roles here (Fewell/Gunn, p.35) but that does not mean that parenting is solely a woman’s responsibility or that a woman should be barred from all other vocations. If the woman’s role is limited, then we would have to assume that the man’s role should also be restricted to being a farmer (Bechtel, p.98). Certainly Adam and Eve’s sons and descendants were not restricted in their vocations. Logically then, women could also be shepherds, farmers, builders, musicians, blacksmiths etc. as well as being mothers.
The Woman’s Desire
“yet your desire (tesuqa) shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (3:16 NRSV).
The Hebrew term translated here as “desire” has the meaning of attract, impel, affection. Later interpreters of the Bible saw the woman’s desire for procreation as submission to a man’s desires for sexual fulfillment. However, the man’s desire isn’t mentioned in the text. Assuming for the moment that we don’t know what the text means by “he shall rule over you” the woman’s desire could be viewed as part of the intimacy between the couple. What if the text describes a mutual sexual desire? “Their mutual attraction is textually well anticipated by the loneliness of the first human person who has no companion (2,18), by the recognized mutuality of the first couple (2,23) and by the striking statement that they will become ‘one flesh’ (2,24)” (Schmitt, p. 15). There is no reason to assume that the woman’s desire subordinates women to men. How “curious, in a story where the man is passive and compliant and the woman active and assertive, for such a man to rule over such a woman’s sexuality!” (Fewell/Gunn, p.36).
Throughout the Bible marriage is described as a relationship that produces joy. Deuteronomy requires a newly married man to not go to war for a year “to be happy with his wife” (24:5). “The normal expectation is that ‘the wife of a man’s youth’ (Prov 5,18; Isa 54,6; Mal 2, 14-15) and ‘the husband of a woman’s youth’ (Joel 1, 8) will bring happiness to each other during their lives” (Schmitt, p.21).
Furthermore, the Hebrew Bible “nowhere says the wife must obey or honor her husband. One looks in vain for ‘marriage prescriptions’ to clearly delineate the wife’s subordination to the husband. One wonders whether this silence is not as eloquent as speech” (Vos, p.46-47).
Is the dualistic, oppositional interpretation of gender relations in Genesis really essential to the text? Assuming that the man’s rule over the woman is about domination, then the woman’s desire would have a negative connotation. In this context where God describes the difficulties of agricultural labor, it is possible that women’s pregnancies and desires are taking place under less than ideal conditions, conditions that God had not originally intended. One possible reading of this verse is that a woman will have a strong sexual desire to overcome her reluctance to go through the pain of childbirth.
If indeed this is a curse, then it is “a striking fact, too often ignored, that the first explicit reference to female heterosexual desire in the Bible appears in Yhwh’s description of the negative consequences of Eve’s food transgress” (Stone, p.41).
In other words, the woman is cursed to have heterosexual desires! Given the Bible’s ongoing praise for heterosexuality, it seems very odd for it to be considered a curse. Therefore, to make sense of the woman’s desire, we need to know more about the man’s rule.
Man to Rule (msl) the Woman?
“and he shall rule (msl) over you” (3:16 NRSV).
In Genesis 1:16 God gave the sun and the moon the task of exercising dominion (msl) over the day and night.
“The structure of Genesis 1 makes clear, however, that the assignment of dominion both to the planets and to the human beings are expressions of a reciprocal relationship between the created phenomena: the planets fulfil their ruling function in relation to the light and therefore life on earth, and analogically the human beings fulfil their ruling function in relation to the earth and the animals on earth. Their dominion is… relational, because it is based on interdependency. As sovereigns of the earth and the animals, people are at the same time dependent on the sun, the air, the waters and the plants of the earth” (Van Wolde, pp.27-8).
Thus, msl has nothing to do with male supremacy. The root msl can also mean “to be like” (Schmitt, p.8). Although this would be an unusual translation of the term, this rendition has much appeal. If msl meant he will be like you as in the man having the same desire as the woman, this understanding would integrate all the references to an egalitarian relationship, such as Adam’s enthusiasm for Eve being united with him bone for bone, flesh for flesh. The woman then would be attracted to the man and he would be mutually attracted to her (Vogels, p.206). Many commentators who insist that the woman’s desire and the man’s rule are curses rather than statements of fact find these verses to be eitiological, an attempt to explain why there is disharmony between men and women. Thus, if women are subordinate to men, this was not God’s original plan. Thus, a man’s rule over a woman is a corruption of the type of relationship God envisioned for humanity. Hardly a recommendation for patriarchy.
The most basic poetic element of the Hebrew language is parallelism where one line mirrors a second line. Genesis 3:16 is an example of this poetic feature where the first line logically connects to the second line. The integrity of the form requires that a woman’s desire be mirrored by the idea of a man’s rule. Simkins provides one explanation of how the two concepts are connected. He argues that as the man makes the earth fruitful through his toil and rule of the earth, so the woman becomes fruitful through her labor. The man “rules” the woman because she is dependent on him to become pregnant. However, he is dependent on her to provide more laborers to work the earth so that they can be “fruitful and multiply.”
The Naming of Eve
“The man named his wife Eve (Chava), because she was the mother of all living” (3:20 NRSV).
Note the exaltation with which Adam names Eve when he gives her the honorific title of Mother of All Living.
“Adam, who once named Eve isha to his ish, now renames her Chava, a word that can be translated as something like ‘lifeforce’… He chooses this name because he now sees her as the ‘Mother of All Living Things.’ Adam recognizes that Eve is responsible for nothing less than giving them life, a new, unpredictable life” (Rosenfeld, p.148).
This does not appear to be a case of naming for the sake of dominating her or deciding what her character will be. Instead “of thinking of name-giving as a determiner of an entity’s essence, the Hebrews regarded naming as commonly determined by circumstances” (Ramsey, p.34). Adam’s naming of Eve should be seen in the same light as Eve’s naming her children. It is an act of recognition not the description of subjugation (Schmitt, p.3). Traditionally Adam’s naming of Eve has been used as evidence for his authority over her. In ancient Israel women were typically the ones to name their children “yet scholars have not taken this as evidence that mothers exercised more authority within the family than did fathers” (Otwell, p.18). Adam’s naming of a woman is an exception to the rule and an opportunity to play the role of a mother. We could call this pregnancy envy; however, I am inclined to see this as another example of mutuality between the man and the woman given the results of my analysis above. Call me a radical here, but I do believe that humans are capable of appreciating each other without resentment.
The Naming of Cain
“Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have produced a man with the help of the Lord” (4:1 NRSV).
Eve rejoices in her creative powers. For her, motherhood is a privilege rather than a punishment (Bronner, p. 3). In addition, she joyfully proclaims her near godlike creative powers. Eve sees herself as a partner in God’s work of creation. Many commentators find this quite hubristic of Eve yet she is not condemned in the text for her sentiments. She gives no indication that she sees herself subordinate to Adam; rather, she clearly sees herself as a partner with God.
“The primordial mother still treats procreation as if it were an outcome of a transaction between God and her alone. Such transactions, in fact, are a common topic in maternal naming-speeches (cf., Gen. 30:24; 1 Sam. 1.20); they serve, in a sense, as a female counterpart to the long conversations men have with God concerning seed and stars” (Pardes, p.187).
At Cain’s birth Eve calls her son an “is,” a man. Pardes proposes that this is a subversive comment referring back to Adam naming her an “issa.” If Adam can call her a woman, then she can name a man (p.182). “Eve turns the tables by proclaiming that the ‘man’ she acquired was done without the assistance of Adam” (Bronner, p. 3). Eve has no intention of being ruled by any man.
The Naming of Seth
“she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, ‘God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel'” (4:25 NRSV).
These are the last words we hear from Eve. Adam even takes them away from her in Genesis 5:3 where he is given the credit for begetting and naming Seth. “Eve is doubly excluded from this description: by the implication that she served as a vessel with no role in shaping Seth’s ‘likeness and image’ and by the change in the attribution of the name” (Lerner, p.167). Her naming speech for Seth has been completely erased. She has disappeared, never to be mentioned again in the Hebrew Bible.
Taken all together, the evidence suggests that Eve was the world’s first theologian. To liberate the text from misogynist readings, it is important to re-examine traditional interpretations which assume that Eve was a temptress and that there was a “Fall.” Eve is essential to the action of the story which gives every indication that men and women are bound together in mutual dependence.
It is telling that Eve is ignored by the rest of the Hebrew Bible. She was not considered of theological interest to the ancient Israelites. They did not place on her shoulders the blame for life’s troubles. So why should we?
For Further Reading
Aschkenasy, Nehama – Woman at the Window: Biblical Tales of Oppression and Escape (Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1998)
Bal, Mieke – Lethal Love; Feminist Literary Readings of Biblical Love Stories (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987)
Bechtel, Lyn M. – “Rethinking the Interpretation of Genesis 2.4B-3.24″ in A Feminist Companion to Genesis, Athalya Brenner, ed., Feminist Companion to the Bible 2. (Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993)
Bellis, Alice Ogden – Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes: Women’s Stories in the Hebrew Bible (Westminster: John Knox Press, 1994)
Bird, Phyllis A. – “Images of Women in the Old Testament” in Religion and Sexism, Rosemary Radford Ruether, ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974) 41-88
Bird, Phyllis A. – “Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh,” Theology Today 50 (Jan. 1994): 573-84.
Bledstein, Adrien Janis – “Are Women Cursed in Genesis 3.16?” in A Feminist Companion to Genesis, Athalya Brenner, ed., Feminist Companion to the Bible 2. (Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993)
Bronner, Leila Leah – Stories of Biblical Mothers: Maternal Power in the Hebrew Bible (Dallas: University Press of America, 2004)
Busenitz, I.A. – “Woman’s Desire for Man. Genesis 3:16 Reconsidered” Grace Theological Journal 7 (1986) 203-212.
Day, Linda – “Wisdom and the Feminine in the Hebrew Bible” in Linda Day and Carolyn Pressler, eds., Engaging the Bible in a Gendered World: An Introduction to Feminist Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Katharine Doob Sakenfeld. Linda Day and Carolyn Pressler, eds. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006) 114-27.
Fewell, Danna Nolan and David M. Gunn – Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993)
Foh, Susan T. – “What is Woman’s desire?” Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1975) 376-83.
Kimelman, Reuven – “The Seduction of Eve and the Exegetical Politics of Gender” in Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Reader, Alice Bach, ed. (New York: Routledge, 1999)
Lerner, Anne Lapidus – Eternally Eve: Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, and Modern Jewish Poetry. HBI Series on Jewish Women. (Brandeis, 2007)
Meyers, Carol – “Gender Roles and Genesis 3:16 Revisited” in A Feminist Companion to Genesis, Athalya Brenner, ed., Feminist Companion to the Bible 2. (Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993)
Milne, Pamela J. – “Eve and Adam: Is a Feminist Reading Possible?” Bible Review 4 (1988):67-84.
Otwell, John H. – And Sarah Laughed: The Status of Women in the Old Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977)
Pardes, Ilana – “Beyond Genesis 3: The Politics of Maternal Naming” in A Feminist Companion to Genesis, Athalya Brenner, ed., Feminist Companion to the Bible 2. (Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993)
Ramsey, G.W. – “Is Name-Giving an Act of Domination in Genesis 2:23 and Elsewhere?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 50 (1988) 24-35.
Reisenberger, A.T. – “The Creation of Adam as Hermaphrodite–and Its Implications for Feminist Theology,” Judaism 42 (1993), 447-52
Rosenfeld, Yiskah – “You Take Lilith, I’ll Take Eve: A Closer Look at the World’s Second Feminist,” in Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism, Danya Ruttenberg, ed.
Schmitt, John J. – “Like Eve, Like Adam: mshl in Gen 3,16,” Biblica 72 (1991), 1-22
Simkins, Ronald A. – “Gender Construction in the Yahwist Creation Myth” in A Feminist Companion to Genesis, Athalya Brenner, ed., Feminist Companion to the Bible 2. (Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993)
Stone, Ken – Practicing Safer Texts: Food, Sex, and Bible in Queer Perspective. Queering Theology Series. (Bloomsbury: T & T Clark, 2005)
Trible, Phyllis – “Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread” Andover Newton Quarterly, v. 13 (1973) 251-58.
Trible, Phyllis – God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1978)
Trible, Phyllis – “Not a Jot, Not a Tittle: Genesis 2-3 after Twenty Years” in Eve and Adam: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Readings on Genesis and Gender, Kristen E. Kvam, Linda S. Schearing & Valarie H. Ziegler, eds. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999) 439-44.
van Wolde, Ellen – “Facing the Earth: Primaeval History in a New Perspective” in Philip R. Davies and David J.A. Clines, eds., The World of Genesis: Persons, Places, Perspectives (Sheffield Academic Press, 1998)
Vogels, Walter – “The Power Struggle between Man and Woman (Gen 3, 16b),” Biblica 77/2 (1996), 197-209.
Vos, Clarence J. – Woman in Old Testament Worship (Amsterdam: Judels & Brinkman, 1968)