Eve Part 3

Eveimages (2)

Many women writers have defended Eve and her actions, and have wrestled about possible interpretations of Adam and Eve and their ‘fall’ from grace. Their fresh perspectives on Eve and her submission in eating the fruit has allowed womens’ voices to be heard from their own experience and not from that of a patriarchal view. Women throughout the ages have tried to reject the projection of sin put upon them by their male counterparts. Women are able to bear the burden of sin on their own if need be but having to be patriarchy’s scapegoat is not acceptable. Sadly, many women have accepted their ‘inferiority’, and this can be seen for example by the ambivalence with which many women and even young girls view their bodies.

Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) spent much of her life meditating on Adam and Eve and the meanings to be gleaned from their time both within and outside Paradise in terms of person to person relationship; relationship to God and relationship to Satan. Hildegard was benign to Eve, seeing in her the person who bestows divinity onto humanity and seeing in her also the prefiguration of Mary. Pain in childbirth is not seen as inevitable or a curse. Rather, each time the mother gives birth, the hidden God is revealed. By giving birth, God’s image is revealed in every child who is born.*

Christine de Pizan (1365-1430) became a writer to avoid destitution after the death of her husband and father. She exchanged letters (Querelles des Femmes) with the male humanists of the era, arguing for equal status of women.  She was disillusioned by the male writers of the time in their denigration of women. She rehabilitates Eve (The Book of the City of Ladies), arguing that Eve was made in the image of God and asserting that Adam and Eve’s souls were of equal value. She states that Eve, being fashioned from the rib of Adam shows surely that she should be at his side as companion, not as slave, and that a master craftsman’s hand must have been at work to make Eve out of Adam.

Sarah Joseph Hale (1788-1879) prefaces her book ‘Woman’s Record’ published in 1853, with her understanding and interpretation of the fall. She contends that Adam needed assistance in cultivating his good qualities and, ‘left to himself, his love becomes lust; patriotism (becomes) policy; and religion, idolatry. He is naturally selfish in his affections and selfishness is the sin of depravity’. She also contends that Eve took the apple because of her ‘higher faculties of her mind … (her) desire for knowledge and wisdom …(and that Adam ate with) compliance (typical of a person of a) lower nature … (and motives no higher) than gratifying his sensuous inclinations’.

Richard Lewontin of Harvard University tells us that according to the Haggadic legend, the celestial cloner put a great deal of thought into technique. In deciding what of Adam’s organs to use for Eve, He had the problem of finding tissue, what the biologist calls ‘totipotent’ i.e. not already committed in development to a particular function. So He cloned Eve-

”not from the head, lest she carry her head high in arrogant pride, not from the eye, lest she be wanton-eyed, not from the ear, lest she be an eavesdropper, not from the neck, lest she be insolent, not from the mouth, lest she be a tattler, not from the heart, lest she be inclined to envy, not from the hand, lest she be a meddler, not from the foot, lest she be a gadabout. But from the rib, a ‘chaste portion of the body’. In spite of all the care and knowledge, something went wrong, and we have been earning a living by the sweat of our brows ever since”.

And I read this somewhere – if Adam had not accepted the apple from Eve he would still be waiting for his supper –

* Pamela Norris: The Story of Eve. Picador 1998

Next week I will wrap up with Lilith & Eve

with thanks to google images for above image ..

70 Comments on Eve part 3

  1. Eve being the scapegoat for the patriarchy is an interesting perspective. I have always viewed Eve as the original feminist. She ignored the rules of forbidden fruit laid out by the patriarchy and took a bite. And where was the alpha male whilst all this was happening? Oh that’s right he was eating the fruit he had forbidden!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip

    • Thank you Debbie for coming by! Yes, an original feminist along with her sister Lilith! Hope you had a wonderful July 4th weekend.

  2. Now I’m thinking of Persephone eating the forbidden fruit, and so taking the Darkness into herself and becoming Queen of the Underworld. Ah, those forbidden fruits.

    This is a fabulous post and what a great discussion. Thank you. Wonderful scholarly work. I didn’t know that about Hildegaard of Bingen although I’ve loved her spiritual poetry and songs. I don’t know the rest of these writers viewpoints either, but I know we need the feminine to balance the masculine in the world and in ourselves. We see what happens when the masculine runs wild–not men, but the Masculine. And I agree with some others that the problem is not just how men view women. It’s how we view ourselves. I am my own worst critic and demoralizing influence.

    • Thank you Elaine – and what you say about viewing ourselves – I found this on a scrap of paper today probably paraphrased: Germaine Greer: be clear about equality – women to be free to define their own values.

      And on another scrap: Kahlil Gibran: ‘God said, Love your enemy and I obeyed Him and loved myself’. I need constant reminding and belong to the same club as you!

      I so appreciate your coming by thank you again!

  3. Good Morning Joe, Good Morning Susan,

    Joe, you do not have to apologise. Your thoughts about the poem are right on. Too often we conclude that everybody should think as we think but the purpose of writing, in my opinion, is to spur people to think and consider. No two people look at a picture or a painting and see the same thing. So is it also with a book, a poem, a song. The creative spirit expresses itself though the artist, the writer, the singer, the musician and each person that receives it will feel and see and think something else.
    So no apology needed. That you were able to see the plight of women from another perspective enriched my thought life.


    P.S. Susan, thank you for letting us hash this discussion out on your blog.
    Love you.

  4. About the Mother’s Day Poem, responding from imperfect memory, and overwhelmed by the many listed assaults against the women, I thought the Its were the assaults themselves.

    With a fresh re-reading, I see the Its symbolized a type of person who has no worth, as the men treated the women thus. The men thought of the women as “puny its.” Refection by the writer was that the women had no power, no voices. And that the criminally behaving men saw absolutely no value for a human being. My apology.

    • Hi Joe,
      Sorry for not getting back when you posted but I was getting ready to get some much needed rest.
      Yes, it was Lysistrata by Aristophanes. My thoughts on that I will write in an email to you and to Susan. It is something that I would not like to go into detail with on a blog at the moment.

      • Responding while I’m at my computer Patricia. Just a thought – perhaps you could blog about this at some stage? I agree, this is not the platform.
        Shalom, Susan

    • Hi Joe, Hi Susan,

      One of the reasons that this series that Susan has written on Eve and Lilith has been so poignant and may I say, alive, is because the series examines not only how some men view women but how women view women. Unfortunately, the threat does not always come from the male species. We women have a lot to do among ourselves when it comes to accepting each other and learning how to cooperate in a team situation, and learning how to respect each other.

      I don’t know the title of the book at this moment, but I remember reading about a group of women in either the Homeric times or after who actually came together against war. I must look up that title and get back to you on it.

      Eve, part 3 where Susan points out women who have tried in some way to change the viewpoint about women shows that this ancient problem, even in those times was only seen by a few women.

      If all women were to open their eyes and band together as one force, I believe there would be changes in how women are treated. Therefore, i purposely used the word Its in my title on the Mother’s Day poem, which is actually a poem that can apply to any situation and any holiday with what women are experiencing in the world at this moment.

      It bothers me that we as women are not speaking out for other women. We have not gotten past our mistrust of each other and as long as we can be divided we will never be strong enough to stop women from being handled as its.

      The its of these world have no voice and are connected with the treatment of Eve after the fall.


      • Thank you for this comment Patricia; you highlight in this how women can undermine other women … – see my next post (which I’m battling with) but hope to get up tonight or tomorrow ..
        Shalom to you,

        • Susan, you’re welcome. I look forward to reading your next post. I probably won’t get to it right away because I like to sit and relax as I read your words and feel the effect they have upon me.

  5. To Patricia Garcia and Susan Scott,

    I feel compelled to share this here, about your immensely deep feelings about the horrible treatment of women by men, and how beautifully you wrote on this! This is unforgettable!

    You wrote, at WALK ON, ” Its, A Mother’s Day Poem. ” No doubt, “Its” is correctly and intentionally spelled that way!

    This blog can be accessed at:


    Greetings and Many thanks, Patricia!

  6. Hi,
    I am familiar with Hildegard of Bingen and her writings and also with Christine di Pizan writings. Pizan’s ideas flow along the lines of my own ideas about God’s reason for creating woman. We were never created to be second grade citizens. We were created to be equal partners. Somehow along the way, the essence of what it means to be a woman became a threat and the war between man and woman began. Women were downgraded to a level where many are treated worse than animals. Our value and our input into society is frown upon and that is sad.

    I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much for adding to my enlightenment of women’s struggles.


    • We wonder what it is about women that patriarchy felt/feels threatened by … thanks for commenting Patricia.

  7. This blog was published 15 October 2012

    http://www.OPPT.SA.com/blog:2 OPPT = “ONE PEOPLE”S PUBLIC TRUST”

    200,000 year old Annunaki Cities discovered in Africa (Michael Tellinger)

    Other topics discussed in blog include public governance — something that appears of concern similar to Gardenofedenblog.

  8. Ditto, Susan, your and Kern’s conversation. Thanks for the references. I didn’t know so many books were written theorizing Adam and Eve’s condition. Fascinating. Thank you.

  9. Just got back from lunch, had forgotten to mention:

    Michael Tellinger’s SLAVE SPECIES OF GOD was copyrighted 2005, and the publisher posts:


    Now, we’ve got all the puzzle pieces laying around on this Gardenofedenblog!

  10. I just came up from my home basement where I hoped to find the Cremo book.

    Instead, I found SLAVE SPECIES OF GOD, the Story of Mankind from the Cradle of Humankind, by Michael Tellinger.

    Amazing book, addresses concerns in Susan’s most recent posts, “‘…..Provides explicit answers to why our modern world has become so senseless and chaotic by revealing the very secrets of our prehistory…”

    On page 443, I see mention of —“the arrival of the Anunnaki on earth some 443,000 years ago. It is important to keep track of the time references because they play a crucial role in supporting many of the activities and developments of human origins and the creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve, some 2000,000 years ago.”

    This book of over 560 pages should be your blog reference.

  11. I have the book by Michael Cremo, Forbidden Archaeology, and now there is “The Hidden History of the Human Race.

    Amazon posts a review: “Hidden History is a detective novel as much as a scholarly tout de force. —The victim is man himself, and the role of the assassin is played by numerous scientists.” Dr. Michael Rothstein, Politiken Newspaper, Denmark.

    This book is available Kindle Edition for $6.07.

  12. Thank you for those references, Susan. It’s always refreshing to get a perspective other than the usual patriarchic one. There are so many great writers out there that I love but whose views on women / Eve make me want to go back in time and give them a piece of my mind!

    Also I loved that last line — it made me laugh and it’s so true!

    • Kern, a shaking of Milton; I, a smack to Milton and all other egg heads; you a piece of your mind to writers on Eve whose views are clearly not in tune with yours – some real shaking up going on here! Thanks Celine for coming by, and have a great weekend! 🙂

  13. I don’t exactly remember the sources of this argument for intervention from outer space, but,
    a natural evolution of a Darwinian kind, would take place in a more or less continuous sequence of cellular modifications.

    But an ABRUPT CHANGE from primitive nonverbal homo erectus into homo sapiens would require special attention. I do not know enough about the topic of biological evolution, so I feel I am not really justified to claim that alien intervention dramatically altered the speed of evolution.

  14. There must have been a lot of primitive nonverbals, so it is reasonable to think there were many
    genetic conversions done, probably over several generations.

    Why not also think there were many Adams and Eves being created as well over these generations?

  15. My assumption is that the primitive nonverbal homo erectus, became genetically modified by the Annunaki during the time of Adam and Eve and were converted to Homo Sapiens.

    From Latin, derivative, sapience; Latin sapient ‘being wise;’ sapienta= wisdom

    That was when “innocence” was lost.

  16. Susan I also want to say that I am enjoying the comments made here; which in itself is a learning for me… thanks again…love this space

  17. Good morning Susan ! I am greeted by your lovely post today, yesterday I just read a few lines and there was power cut and I could not read your post completely. Today reading your post made me happy, it was not only very informative but also made a lot of sense to me. I remember the arguments among the youth in my younger days, specially in the parish; where the guys would always make a joke about eve being responsible for all the misery, and also stating that she started the blaming game etc… somehow deep within I could never digest. Added to this is the way women were treated, and still are treated as low class citizens everywhere.. to see women has equals requires a totally different paradigm and understanding, the amount of injustice and cruelty women face is mainly because they are considered lower beings with no sense of identity. When I come across women who have suffered so much violence, I shudder because they have accepted it as part of their lives; and they also think its ok to be abused and beaten by their husband…reading your posts triggered so many thoughts in my mind … I am glad to hear the positive side of eve and I do appreciate you for all the effort to find the appropriate reference to this post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, and its a pleasure to be here…

    • Thank you Genevive. A pleasure to find you here. I think I also laboured under that idea in my much younger days i.e. Eve and her wilful ways were responsible for everything awful; even today educated/sophisticated women think there is something ‘wrong’ with them if e.g. unhappy with their partners and that is their fault. How wonderful if women could stand up and be counted and NOT pass on this baggage to e.g. their offspring … or amongst their communities … I’m reminded again of Malala Yousafzai along with Kailash Satyarthi who received the Nobel Peace Prize last year for their struggle against the suppression of children and their right to education …

  18. These writers and their interpretation of the creation of Eve, her actions, and her status in relation to Adam make a refreshing antidote to the vast literary catalogue of patriarchal perspectives. Case in point, Milton’s take:

    He in delight
    Both of her beauty and submissive charms
    Smiled with superior love…

    I love Milton but those lines always make me want to reach back in time and give him an almighty shaking. Thank you for these references, Susan, and for the reminder that feminism has been around for far, far longer than than we tend to think–probably, in fact, since Eve was wrought from Adam’s rib. 🙂

    • Thank you Kern! Well, Milton was a ‘product of his times’ I suppose but I also want to smack him! Condescension has been around a long long time; and good on women who will not collude ..

  19. I have learned so much from this post and the comments, Susan. Will now go and read the posts I missed in this series.

  20. adjustment to omission_ —no humans on our planet for the first 200,000 years the annunaki were here—the species, homo erectus had been evolving on earth for over 1,800,000 years. —
    In the beginning —–etc.

  21. BACK TO BIBLE SCHOOL. Genesis 26, Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;” Why the plural for the Creators? And the meaning of “Our Image. Marshall Klarfeld, in his book, THE ANNUNAKI WERE HERE! “There were no humans on our planet for the first 200,000 years (that) the ANNUNAKI were here. In the beginning the ANNUNAKI had no interest in this primitive nonverbal Homo Erectus.”

    Zecharia Sitchin went on to describe the need for genetic modifications.

  22. Hi Susan … fascinating and informative post – none of which I knew … but Adam couldn’t have survived and spread his seed without Eve or equivalent by his side … he was/is only one half of the puzzle that is life …

    Cheers Hilary

  23. This is one a stimulating post on the Genesis of Adam & Eve. All the comments are to be commended. Lewontin points out that the rib used in cloning was a ‘totipotent’ bone piece; that testifies to superior medical science. Rubin’s comment returns me to walks in my girlhood beside our late headmistress who was a Cambridge graduate, I would comment to her about the biblical reference of after the flood no gods could visit earth, but prior to that time the inter-space visitors frequented this planet and married the beautiful daughters of men, who inherited superior intelligence and became the leaders of the earth. My superior and senior mater explained that the earth had a previous Genesis until a great change occurred in the cosmos and planet earth reeled millions of space miles into a new galaxy after which the visitors (gods/ messengers) could not tolerate this atmosphere and lost contact. However, it led to the superior leaders committing inter-marriage of brother to sister, or to cousin, in an effort to preserve the intellectual gene. (Abram to Sarai, half-sister, as beautiful as a lily). Rebecca selected Jacob for his intelligence in preference to the elder twin Esau, the hairy-hunter, and deceived blind Isaac and took the hereditary blessing, which had been sold to him by Esau.

    In Jerusalem is housed the discovery of the Book of Lions, which was found and translated by the late Professor Yigal Yadin. The Book of Lions I am given to understand refers to the antediluvian creation from which the Levites were descended. I have as yet to visit that part of historical record but find Rubin’s explanation exciting.

    Thank you Susan, this is a thrilling post.

    • Thank you Gillian – I love those biblical stories you mentioned and the learning and the metaphor of them whether or not we take them as fact. Cain and Abel is also an interesting one that comes to mind. And Isaac and Ishmael — the mothers of them are interesting too!

      I’ll look up the Book of Lions.

  24. It’s really such a joy to read this series Susan, and such interesting perspectives. Quite some time ago I tried researching how Lilith, as Adam’s first mate, was created and the what that implied then that Eve was created from a part of Adam. Perplexing and fascinating – all of it!

    • Thanks Deborah for coming by! Genesis 1 vs 27 says about them being created equal: ‘So God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’. Perplexing and fascinating it is .. 🙂

  25. Thank you for this affirming post. I was especially taken with the anatomical discussion about Eve’s creation. I appreciate your illuminating historic overview and scholarship. Looking forward to Lillith.

  26. Susan I loved this post! The history and theory behind the story of Adam and Eve truly is thought-provoking. I especially loved your last comment that if “Adam had not accepted the apple from Eve, that he would still be waiting for dinner.” In some cases, that statement is more true than you realize.

    But I have also heard that Adam’s rib was used to create Eve as it was under his arm to help support him. It surrounded his heart to protect his love for her. She was made as an equal so that Adam and Eve could support one anther to work side-by-side… neither was to be better than the other. Some place along the line that thought went haywire!

    It is sad what women have endured over the centuries. Plus, women are still treated poorly in many parts of the world. I sincerely hope this mindset changes. Great post!

    • Thank you Gwynn! Yes the image of his arm around her heart to protect her is loving and kind. Much is written by commentators these days about the original paradisal state .. as a psychological metaphor for what we face in our contemporary lives.

  27. NASA’S New Horrizons – – –

    “When the Voyager 2 mission passed by Uranus and Neptune for the first time, their descriptions matched the ancient Sumerian descriptions, as discussed in Zecharia Sitchin’s The 12th Planet.”


  28. Susan, I love the research you have done that provided centuries-old thoughts about Eve.

    The Harvard Professor also has a good imagination, as I read it in this blog, about cloning.

    There is a respectable amount of research and contemplation about the role of Alien visitors from outer space who were advanced enough to do genetic modification on humans. The writer who wrote the novel about “Enkie,” and who also wrote the book about “Planet-X” indicated that these aliens first modified humans in South Africa who worked in the mines to obtain gold. The modification is asserted to have been done for the purpose of making working minosr more muscular. The same writer wrote about the Planet-X aliens who set up a base in Iraq where oil was to be found for useful energy. This writer who was educated years earlier at a university in England was able to read ancient stone tablets in Iraq from which he acquired his information. Of late, there are some disputes about specific findings and interpretations by this author. The events in Iraq took place, I believe, about 12,000 years ago, before the book of Genesis and about Eve was written.

  29. I will add one more name to your list of august writers: Mary Astell (1666-1731), sometimes dubbed as the first English feminist. She thought women were just as deserving of an education as men and she says so in her “Serious Proposal to the Ladies for the Advancement of Their True and Greatest Interest.” Later she founded a charity school for girls.

    Incidentally, Richard Lewontin may have found his information about the origin of Eve in Haggadic legend but it is also found in the book of Genesis.

    Your posts are always thought provoking, and reflective of lots of research on your part, Susan!

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