Women in Ministry

Naming of Eve and Adam’s Authority

Ready to Rule Together
Photo by Lajla Borg Jensen @ RGBStock.com


There is no evidence in both the incidents of Adam “naming” Eve that God had given him authority over her. I say this to counter the willy-nilly correlating of these incidents with a Hebrew custom that if you named something it indicated that you had authority over it.

If it was a Biblical custom, then its origins may lie in Adam naming the animals. However, the naming of the animals was only shown to be out of God’s interest to see what Adam WOULD name them. Yet, even if it did imply authority over the animals, this incident was by God’s leading, whereas the “naming” of his counterpart was not.


Note, that the first time that Adam saw the woman, he exclaimed out of his free will and NOT by God’s command, leading or for His interest (as with the animals), “she shall be called Woman.” By doing this, he did nothing wrong, but neither was he under God’s direction. He was simply responding to having seen His counterpart.

Then, later, when Adam names the woman, “Eve”, in Genesis 3:20, it is after the fall and God did not command this either (though He may have inspired the choice of name). So, once again, this could be simply Adam’s free will (perhaps with God’s inspiration), but because it is after the fall, it could also be argued that this was Adam’s first act of ruling Eve as Genesis 3:16 said would happen.

There is therefore no evidence that by Adam calling the person made from his side “Woman” and later naming her “Eve”, that these acts of naming her had any connection to having authority over her.


In an effort to prove their point that Adam had authority over Eve, some have argued that slaves, children, and animals were named by those who were over them. This was true, but slaves, children, and animals don’t equate to the Counter-part Woman given to Adam. She was not a slave, child or animal, but that teaching produces the fruit of people treating women this way.

Rather than be subject to him, the Woman was to be a strength alongside Adam (his Ezer Kenegdo – a help as his counterpart). She would be strong where he was weak and together they would have co-dominion over every living thing, with the mission to subdue the earth (see Gen 1:28).

(Note: Ezer is often used of God helping us. Kenegdo shows the help is of an equal. From word study of “help meet”, EZER KENEGDO, God’s Word to Women).


4 thoughts on “Naming of Eve and Adam’s Authority”

  1. God says to Eve that he will rule over her. The marriage sermon orders women to obey their husbands and Paul says that woman was made for man and man has authority over her given by God. Many times Jesus shows this authority when talking. Yet you deny it as heretics and sons of Satan. As Satan disbeyed God and wanted to rule as God you say it is ok for women to do so. It is wrong.

    1. I believe that it is important to note that the pronouncement that “he will rule over you” was made after the Fall of man and not at creation. It is one of several consequences of sin that came about when mankind fell from their original design.
      This particular outcome of male rule was not in God’s original plan but had become man’s new default that the woman would have to live with. This was not a good thing for either of them and in particular not for the woman.
      Furthermore, while God met us in our patriarchal bent, He was never bound by our Fallen circumstances and often elevated women. Deborah is a classic example of this.
      Finally, in Christ, in Whom is the redemption from the consequences of all sin, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female”. The redemption has begun spiritually and socially and will one day also include our physical redemption.
      In response your reference to the text “neither was man created for woman, but woman for man”, may I suggest my post “Husbands (and wives), Deprive and Dominate or Supply and Share” at https://realchurchlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/husbands-and-wives-deprive-and-dominate-or-supply-and-share/ . I believe that this text is understood best in it’s context and I attempt the explain this in that post.
      As for marriage, the Bible commands us in Ephesians 5:21 to “submit to one another” and in context shows that this is prescribed for marriage too. For more on this you can read my post (and, if you like, the links for further explanation), “Doesn’t the Bible say that wives are to submit to their husbands as their ‘head’?” at https://realchurchlife.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/doesnt-the-bible-say-that-wives-are-to-submit-to-their-husbands-as-their-head/ where I explain how I understand the Scriptures.

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