The Church and Its People

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Genesis 3:20

Dear members and friends,

The ancient stories, especially those that contain deeper meanings, are often puzzling to us. The story of the fall in Genesis 3 begins with the serpent deceiving the woman, followed by eating the forbidden fruit, and thus ending with the consequential statement by God. Right after hearing the awful statements of the consequences for their actions, the first thing the man decided to do was to name the woman (or wife). In other words, the woman was nameless until this moment!

Another puzzling point arises from the very name that was given to the woman: Eve means “life” in Hebrew. According to the Bible, the woman was named as Eve “because she was the mother of all living.” Swedenborg explains the symbolic meaning of Genesis 3:20 bellow:

The man here means the individual of the earliest church, or the heavenly person. His wife and the mother of every living thing means the church. The word mother is used because this was the first church, while the word living is used because this church believed in the Lord, who is life itself.

Swedenborg jumps into such explanation because he believed that Adam and Eve are not two individuals, but symbolize the first generation of humans after creation. Also, this reflects that learning and acquiring truth became vital to humans after losing their capacity to connect to God directly. In other words, when humans were no longer able to live by the inspiration of love directly from the Creator, understanding and discerning what it means to love and how to express that love became essential and central to human spirituality. According to Swedenborg, the church is where such truth can be learned and cultivated because the church symbolizes the union of good and truth, where the Creator is present.

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee