EVE BECOMES A BELIEVER.
75. The New Testament, in several passages, carries forward
the thought of all believers being, in some special sense,
the seed of the woman. At present we will call attention to
one instance only, explaining first, however, that the fact
is not emphasized (but clearly implied, nevertheless),—for
God knew from the first the tendency of the church toward
Mariolatry. John 1:12-13 declares: "As many as
received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born,
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will
of man, but of God." That word "born" might, perhaps,
with greater propriety, have been here translated
"begotten," since the two words are identical in the
original. "Sons" of God, here, of course, mean children of
either sex. Now fix your thoughts for a moment on the last
part of the quotation. The "not" and the "nor" are
distinctly eliminative, and the word "man" in the phrase,
"nor of the will of man," is not the title of
the race,—mankind, but the specific term used of the adult
male or husband; in other words, it is aner, not
anthropos. Most commentators pass this fact by
unnoticed, or declare one word is used where the other is
meant, but this is very doubtful. The scholarly Bengel says:
"The will of man is contained in 'the will of the flesh,'
and yet it is mentioned separately, as if it were the
greater, and in some measure the more guilty part of it. For
Christ had a mother, but one who knew not man." See par. 83.
76. Let us analyze these words in John's Gospel:
1. In the birth of the sons of God, natural descent
("blood") is counted out.
2. Natural appetite ("the will of the flesh") is
3. The "will of man" (the husband), is likewise
4. But, in that it is not mentioned, the will of the
female is not counted out. This prophecy concerning
womanhood, made in Eve's day, fulfilled in its first stages
in Mary's day, will have its complete fulfillment only in
the regeneration of every human being who becomes a child of
God. Mary had a wonderful character which Protestants do not
enough appreciate. She reached that high pinnacle of purity
and self-renunciation from which she could regard dishonor
with scorn, and allying her will with the will of her God,
in the conception of the Head of a new race (when she said:
"Be it unto me according to Thy word"), she became,
in her own person, the one to realize the promise that the
Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.
which talks of "the divinity of man" (not meaning likewise
"the divinity of woman"), and the "natural conception of
Jesus," robs woman of her crown, and will quickly reduce
her, in public esteem, to the level of the woman of
The Bible, from its opening chapters, pictures woman as
allied with God, in the eventual salvation of the world;
paganism represents her as allied with the devil, for the
ruin of man; this is one great mark of distinction between
the true and false religions. God spoke to Satan of a coming
Victor over him. Satan heard, and Eve, too. They both
believed; and Satan began to persecute the woman who was to
bring forth a conqueror, while she began to expect
deliverance. We know of this expectation from Genesis 4:1.
On the birth of her first-born she exclaims (and oh, the
pathos of it!), "I have gotten a man,—even The Coming
One!" Neither the translation committee of the A. V. nor of
the R.V.could content themselves to leave this as in the
original, without the supply of additional words. Such an
exclamation on the part of Eve did not comport with the
traditional representation of her character. In such cases
it is not necessary for us to imply that there was any
intention to mislead,—for it is impossible to lead into
truth which one cannot at all apprehend, unless it be indeed
the work of inspiration.
78. The earliest Hebrew often employs "v" (or "w," which is
the same letter), where later Hebrew employs "j.” The future
form of the verb "to be" is jhjh, "he will
be," but in earlier times it might stand jhvh,
which is the name for "Jehovah," "Jahve," or "Jahwe," as the
name is variously spelled in English. Higher Criticism holds
that the name "Jahve" can be traced back to some
inconspicuous tribal god, and Wellhausen, one of the chief
higher critics, blasphemously asserts: "Whatever Jahve's
real nature may have been—the god of thunder or whatever he
was—it retreated more and more into the background as
something secret and
transcendent, and no questions were asked concerning it” . .
. "Jahva had incalculable moods; he caused his face
to shine, and he was wroth, it was not known why; he created
good and evil, punished sin and tempted to sin. Satan had
not then robbed him of some of his attributes." Those
who choose such instruction we leave to themselves;
we consider it too
polluting to the sense of all reverence for God to deserve
return to the
as to the name and
character of Jehovah.
79. Payne-Smith gives the true explanation: "Jehovah" means literally "He will come," that is, "The Coming One.” He says: "The name is really man's answer to and acceptance of the promise made in Genesis 3:15, and why should not Eve, to whom the promise was given, be the first to profess faith in it? . . . She, did not know the meaning of the words she uttered, but she had believed the promise, and for her faith's sake the spirit of prophecy rested upon her, and she gave Him on whom her hopes were fixed the title which was to grow and swell onward till all inspired truth gathered round it, and into it, and at length Elohim, the Almighty, set to it His seal by calling Himself (to Moses, Exodus 3:14), 'I shall be that I shall be.'" Eve was constituted the progenitor of Jesus Christ, and of all believers, because she was the first believer on Him,—the first redeemed through faith in His name.
80. Test the truth of this assertion, not by the witness of
man, but by your own spiritual experiences. Had you sinned,
and confessed, and been comforted by God with the assurance
that there was One who would conquer your enemy for you; and
had you accepted that One by faith,
what would that have
meant to you but the witness of sin forgiven?
And next, we are told that having been so assured of coming
victory through Another, God turned upon Eve and pronounced
a solemn curse--having binding force for all time upon all
her female descendants upon her head. Monstrous! What a
slander upon God's mercy!
81. The Hebrew word "Jehovah," we learn from O. T.
quotations in the N. T., and from the Septuagint Greek
version, can be identified with the N. T. name "Lord.” The
Hebrew word "Anointed," that is "Messiah," is identical with
Christ. The name "Jesus" of the N. T. is identical with
"Joshua" in the O. T.,—the name of the One who leads into
the Promised Land of rest from all our enemies (see Luke
1:74). He who was born of woman, having no human father, was
fittingly named by woman. Eve bestowed upon Him the title
"Lord;" Hannah first called Him "The Anointed," that is,
"Christ" (1 Samuel 2:10), and the Virgin Mary was instructed
to name Him, before He was born, "Jesus" (Luke 1:31). That
name which is above every name, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, at
which "every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and
things in earth, and things under the earth," was
bestowed upon Him by three holy women of old, prophetesses
of God,—Eve, Hannah, Mary.
May women never cease to honor that name, most holy, most
exalted, world without end!
Note on Paragraphs 75 and 76
Dean Alford comments on the proper translation of verse 18 of this same first chapter of John, as follows: “It would be well for the student to bear in mind as a general rule, that no word or expression is ever ‘put for’ another: . . . and where an unusual construction is found, it points to some reason in the mind of the writer for using it, which reason is lost in the ordinary shallow method of accounting for it by saying that it is ‘put for’ some other word.” It seems amazing, therefore, that he should nevertheless assume that aner (“husband”) is put for anthropos (“mankind”) in verse 13. There is yet a stronger reason than Dean Alford’s for never assuming this, as to Holy Scripture,—“Every word of God is tried,”—Proverbs 30:5, R. V.
 The final “h” in these Hebrew words is merely a vowel-letter—see par. 6.