DAUGHTER OF EDEN: Eve’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith
GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Biblical Fiction
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2023
The first time she opens her eyes, Eve gazes on One whose beauty nearly blinds her, whose breath is in her lungs. Her Creator takes her hand and gives her to one like her and yet different. Together, she and Adam experience pure joy as they explore Eden. But her favorite moments are when the Creator comes to walk with them, day after day.
Until everything changes. With one act of disobedience, Eve finds that her world is no longer a friendly place. With remorse in her heart, she must face the unknown future–the births, the deaths, the sacrifices, the loss of the one home she has ever known. Perhaps worst of all is the loss of trust, not only with her Creator but with the man who shares her life. How will they ever survive out of Eden?
Bestselling biblical fiction author Jill Eileen Smith imagines the life of the first woman to ever live, unspooling a story of love, loss, and the promise of redemption.
The woman looked at her husband and brushed a tendril of wet hair from his eyes. “This is a good place Adonai Elohim has given to us.”
He leaned up on one elbow, bent over her, and kissed her nose. “We have not even begun to discover all that is hidden here. Didn’t He tell us there are gold and precious stones in Havilah like the jewels that adorn the heavenly messengers? Tomorrow, after we care for the animals, let us return and search for them.” His eyes sparked like the dark of polished onyx, a stone they had recently found on one of their walks.
“Tomorrow might be too soon,” she said, cupping his chiseled cheek. “One of the ewes is due to give birth, and didn’t the Creator say the council would meet in the evening, after our walk in the cool of the day?”
Adam looked into her eyes, his gaze drawing her closer, if that were possible. “What would I do without you to remind me? I had forgotten about the ewe.”
“But you recalled the meeting?”
He nodded. He had known the Creator before she had, and the Creator had told him things, explained the earth and Eden to him even before she drew her first breath. Was it not in the naming of the beasts of the field and every living thing that they found no one to complete Adam?
“You have named the animals. Why have you not named me?” she asked. While his name was connected to the earth and she to him, she often found “woman” somewhat wanting.
He kissed her, pulling her out of her musings. For a moment she wondered if he would embrace her again, but he stood instead and pulled her to her feet.
“I did name you,” he said, intertwining their fingers. “You are woman because you were taken out of man.”
“But you are Adam. Even the Creator says so.” She didn’t mean to pout, but suddenly she wanted something more, something unique to describe her.
“Let me think on it.” He sifted her hair between his fingers and gazed on her with such love that suddenly “woman” did seem enough. What else could he call her anyway? He was an adam as she was, yet she was very different.
“Shall we walk back to the place where Adonai Elohim meets us, or do you want another chance to show me you can swim faster?” He chuckled at the look she gave him, then placed his arm about her. “My woman, taken out of man. You are everything I could have imagined and so much more.”
She leaned against him, content. She had no need to compete with him except for the sheer joy of using her strength and feeling the freedom of her limbs. To race him allowed her to laugh at his playful ways. The cheetahs did not laugh like Adam did, nor the ostrich, though they could outrun her.
“Let’s walk along the river on the way back,” she said, smiling up at him. “Perhaps we will see some of the gold of Havilah along the way.”
He led her to the bank of the rushing waters, both searching the grasses and the dirt beneath. But they reached the center of Eden too soon, having spotted nothing.
Then the woman heard the sound of the Creator walking nearby. She turned to Adam and took his hands. “He’s here!” Delight filled her, for she dearly loved these moments, far more than finding gold in the rivers or in the land.
“Yes!” Adam said.
They hurried to meet Him, hand-in-hand. This was her favorite time of day.
Adonai Elohim appeared in the center of the garden not far from the Tree of Life. They hurried closer, and she fell at His feet and kissed them. Gratitude to Him for creating her always overwhelmed her when she saw the beauty of His face. His body, which He assumed in order to walk among them, was like theirs, only His torso was like topaz, His face like lightning, His eyes like flaming torches, His arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and His voice like the sound of a multitude. And yet they did not fear His brilliant presence. When He spoke to them alone, sometimes He spoke in whispers.
“Where have you been today?” He asked as He always did when they met. Today His voice sounded like Adam’s in tone and strength.
“We swam the length of the Pishon throughout the land of Havilah,” Adam answered as he draped one arm over her shoulder.
“It is beautiful there, though we did not see the gold or onyx or bdellium near the river. But I can swim as fast as Adam. Next time I will win.” She glanced at Adam, then turned to hold Adonai Elohim’s fiery gaze.
Adonai laughed, and they joined Him.
“My wife loves to compete with me, and I love to catch her.” Adam gave her an affectionate look. “We had hoped to return tomorrow to search out the jewels and gold You have placed there, but my wife has reminded me that one of the ewes is about to give birth, so we will remain near until her time.”
They continued to walk throughout the vast garden, passing near a forest of trees where small animals approached the Almighty, all eager for His attention. He knelt to touch each one. As the woman watched, her heart ached with love for Him and the way He cared for even the smallest of His creatures.
The sun in the expanse above them grew lower in the west, and the air cooled their glowing skin. Adonai Elohim led them back toward Eden’s center, then up a nearby rise in the land, when all at once an opening in the trees illumined the path with unearthly light. He motioned them to follow Him, and as had happened several times before, they found themselves on the mountain of God and entered a place not of the earth and yet still part of the earth. As if God’s heavenly dwelling place had come to tabernacle with them on this vast and marvelous planet.
Angels of varying ranks came and knelt before Adonai Elohim, each one larger and stronger than they, each one colorful and shining like translucent jewels. The woman watched in awe as each angel spoke to Adonai Elohim in a language she did not understand. His nod or smile caused each one to bask in His approval.
The angels moved and took seats in a circle fanning away from the Creator while Adam stood near the throne, as Adonai had indicated. She clasped Adam’s hand as she always did in these meetings, standing open and unashamed before the angelic group. Adam had spoken once or twice at these gatherings, but she had been too caught up in the awe of looking from one angelic being to another to open her mouth. The archangel Michael held the highest rank, but Lucifer seemed to shine brighter, like a star of the dawn. Gabriel, a third powerful angel, stood near Adonai Elohim’s throne.
The council of God was present, and her heart grew light with joy. If she could have flown like the Spirit of God who moved in the midst of them, she would have done so for the unsurpassable thrill of being in God’s heavenly presence. How privileged they were to be here.
The discussion carried on around her about things she could not comprehend. The heavens they spoke of were apparently above the clouds in the earthly expanse, far, far above them. The council of God normally met there, Adam had told her, except for these rare occasions when God wanted to bring heaven to earth.
Adam glanced at her, his heart in his gaze. Such love moved and breathed in this place. Such acceptance and beauty. How could they possibly take it all in?
“I never want to leave,” she whispered in his ear.
“I can take Adam and his wife to the jewels of Havilah, my King,” one of the lesser angels offered, drawing her back to their discussion.
“Or perhaps I could show them,” Lucifer interjected, “since I am a guardian of the garden of God.”
She looked at the angels and wondered why any of these beings would want to show her and Adam the things of earth when they preferred to discover the glories of its depths on their own. She heard Adonai Elohim speak, more in her heart than in His usual audible voice, assuring her that she could explore the space He had created for them, to the farthest reaches of the land in Eden and the surrounding rivers.
He then declined the angels’ offer, affirming that she had not imagined His voice in her heart.
Love for the Creator rose anew within her. How blessed she was to glimpse what His highest heavens must be like—where many millions of angels and other hosts resided. Was Eden as beautiful? Would God ever show them heaven as well as earth?
But no. God had created earth for the adams, humankind, to fill and subdue it and tend to the growing and living things. This was their domain under His authority, the place where He would reside with them.
God with us, she thought. What more could she ever want?
Jill Eileen Smith, Daughter of Eden
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2023. Used by permission.
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a King, Star of Persia: Esther’s Story, Miriam’s Song, and The Prince and the Prodigal. She is also the author of the nonfiction books When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams and She Walked Before Us. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.
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