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9 Things You Didn’t Know About the First Mother, Eve

We don’t know a whole lot about Eve. We don’t know exactly how many children she had nor at what age she died, although Adam was 930 years young when he passed away. So who was this mysterious woman who begat us all? We tried to fill in some of the blanks.

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She may have been wife No. 2

According to Jewish tradition, Adam was henpecked before he ever met Eve. Her name was Lilith, and she was created from clay just as Adam was, and at the same time, making them equals. Or, at least, that’s how Lilith saw it. Adam had other ideas. So an irate Lilith, according to the anonymous medieval book, The Alphabet of Ben-Sira, ran off with demons and did some begetting of her own. God threatened to kill her brood if she didn’t return. When she ignored His command, God created Eve from Adam’s rib (or side). Since she was “of man,” she would now be subservient to her husband.

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She may have had more than one lover

A fringe doctrine known as “Serpent Seed” posits that Cain was actually the love child of Eve and that talking, apple-peddling serpent, aka, Satan. One of the most famous proponents of this theory is the Wasilla Assembly of God in Alaska, the church Sarah Palin attends.

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She was responsible for the invention of epidurals

You can thank Eve the next time you’re in the delivery room screaming for pain meds. As part of her punishment for eating from the Tree of Knowledge, God said to Eve, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.”

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Eve was a mother to many

The Bible only tells us that Adam and Eve had three sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth.) But in The Works of Josephus, (Flavius Josephus was an early historian born in 37 C.E. in Jerusalem), it is stated, “The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was 33 sons and 23 daughters.”

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Other religions aren’t as judgy of Eve

Like Christians and Jews, Muslims believe that mankind originated with Adam and Eve (in the Koran, Eve is referred to as Hawwa). But unlike Christians and Jews, when it comes to Eve, Muslims are less judgmental. The Muslim website, The Revival, states, “Islam preaches that every person is responsible for their own actions. In the Koran, Allah holds both Adam and Hawwa equally responsible for the sin of eating fruit from the tree that He had commanded them to stay away from.”

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Eve used to have a different name

She was originally called “Ishah” because she was taken from man, or “Ish.” Only when they leave the Garden does Adam—who has been going crazy naming things—give her the name Eve, which means “Mother all of living,” from the Hebrew word chayah: “to live.” Check out these common phrases you never knew were from the Bible.

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Adam was OLD

According to Genesis 5:3, Adam was 130 years old when his last son, Seth, was born.

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Eve was quite the seamstress

Eve was the first in a lot of things: She was the first mother, first mother of a murderer (Cain), and a founder of the garment industry. She and Adam, says Genesis 3:7, “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”

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Eve was a hot mama

According to the Talmud, the biblical figure Sarah was the Scarlett Johansen of her day. But as beautiful as she was, she was no Eve. “All women in comparison with Sarah are like monkeys in respect to men,” says the Talmud. “But Sarah can no more be compared to Eve than can monkey be compared with man.”

Sources: faithstreet.com, bibleencyclopedia.com, biblegateway.com, biblicalarchaeology.org, therevival.co.uk, thedailybeast.com

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.