What is the Hebrew Word for Life?

The Hebrew Bible tells us, God breathed life into the first human beings, Adam and Eve. From that time on, God has not stopped bringing (and breathing) life into this world. But do you know what the Hebrew word for life is?

Let’s take a deeper look at the Hebrew meaning of life and what the Word of God has to say about it. 

The Hebrew word for life is חיים, pronounced Chaim. In today’s Israel, there are many people who carry this name, Chaim in case of men and Chaya – women. Another feminine name linked to Chaim is Chavah – the name of the first woman on earth. But more on that later.

L’Chaim, to life!

Perhaps you recognize the word Chaim from a different context. Maybe you’ve heard Jewish people raise a toast with the expression “L’chaim”? It means “to life” and it’s usually followed by clinking glasses in celebration. 

Yes, good old “cheers” would not have been enough. The Jewish culture truly celebrates life. It is beautiful to see how the Jewish people value marriage and children, seeing each life as a gift from God.

The Book of Genesis

What Does the Name Eve Mean in Hebrew?

As mentioned above, the first woman on earth was named Chavah. That is the Hebrew name that the English Eve or Eva derive from. In the very beginning, the first woman received the name that meant “to live, to give life, or to breathe”. 

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” 

Genesis 3:20

As Adam spoke the name of his wife, he called forth her identity and calling. Chavah was the woman that brought life into this world. She was the very first woman to become pregnant and carry a precious life in her womb. 

As she gave birth, God breathed life into her child’s lungs as he entered into the world. Eve was the mother of Cain, Abel, Seth, and many other sons and daughters. And as the verse above explains and the Hebrew meaning suggests, Eve became the mother of all humanity.

Green Apples in Ein Zivan

Did Adam and Eve Speak Hebrew? 

What a fun thought to ponder. We don’t know what language Adam and Eve spoke, as the Bible does not say anything about it. But we do know that they received Hebrew names! 

We already know the Hebrew meaning of Eve, or Chavah. And Adam? His Hebrew name, אדם, means “human” or “of the earth”. Everything God does makes sense and so does this name, because Adam was the very first human, and God made him from the dust of the earth: 

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Genesis 2:7

Commandments Given to Adam and Eve 

God commanded Adam and Eve, the human and the mother of living, to be fruitful and increase in number. God first created Adam and Chavah, and then He invited them, His creation, to also create life together. 

And from Eve’s womb, God brought forth the lives of many sons and daughters. 

“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:28

God also commanded Adam and Eve to rule over the earth with Him. They enjoyed perfect lives in the Garden of the Lord and in fellowship with Him. They gave names to animals and ate the bounty of the earth. 

In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam they can eat from any tree except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

Jewish Woman looking at Books

Eve and the Serpent 

As mentioned, we know Eve to be the very first mother to bring life into this world. However, she is also known for committing the first sin. Her action brought sin and death into the world. The serpent (who was banished from Heaven) lead Eve into a trap of deception. 

The serpent approached her, and the first thing he said was, “Did God really say…” 

This accusation against the voice of God led Eve into a very dangerous trap. Before she knew it, Chavah allowed the accusation to penetrate her mind. Deceived, she thought her disobedience was good, pleasing, and would give her wisdom.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” 

Genesis 3:6

Eve took the bate of the wicked serpent and disobeyed God. Next, she also led her husband into deception and sin. The consequences for her disobedience were multifold. She would bear children in pain, she would feel insatiable desire for her husband, he would rule over. 

This sin brought division between mankind and God, as well as a power struggle between men and women. The mother of life, ironically, started the domino effect that led to life on earth being cut short.  

Eve’s Life Redeemed in the Messiah

We see the effects of the sin that Adam and Eve committed every day. Every human being on this earth sins and endures pain, sorrow, and suffering. Men experience the painful toil of working and women experience pain in pregnancy and labor. 

We still see the division between men and women, between husband and wife. The one who was creating life, as her Hebrew name suggests, needed that life redeemed! If she instigated hereditary sin, who could redeem the life she brought forth? 

God knew that Adam and Chavah could not redeem life in and of themselves. That is why He sent the second Adam! (1 Cor 15:47) God’s Son, Yeshua, made a way for us to live a different life… a redeemed and united one! 

When we sin, go through pain and suffering, or experience division in relationships, we can run to our Heavenly Father for help. When we run to Him through the perfect redemption of Yeshua, we find all that we need to live a godly life. 

Doctor looking at x-ray

Eve and Hebrew Words for Life and Salvation

Through Yeshua, whose name means salvation, Eve’s life and her daughters’ lives have been redeemed. Women can live at peace and in unity in relationships, especially with their husbands. God also gives grace to women to endure the excruciating pain of childbearing and labor to bring precious lives into this world. 

Through Yeshua, Adam and his sons have been redeemed by giving them strength to work for and with God, and to be at peace in their relationships, especially with their wives. 

The one trespass of Adam and Eve brought condemnation to mankind. However, the one righteous act of Yeshua brought justification and life for all! 

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.”

Romans 5:17-18

Yeshua and the New Meaning of Life 

Yeshua restored all and gave a new meaning to the word life. In Yeshua, we have abundant life, life to the full, resurrection life, and eternal life. He Himself is the way, the truth, and the life.

Although in Hebrew Eve was the mother of the living, only the Messiah can bring life from the death. Let’s take a look at two women in the Bible whose lives were greatly impacted by the resurrection life of Yeshua. 

Martha was a woman who encountered the resurrection power of Yeshua and it changed her life, as well as many others. In desperation, she ran out to meet Yeshua to ask Him why He let her brother Lazarus die. 

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

Yeshua explains to Martha that He Himself is the resurrection life. In their next interaction, Martha not only understands in her mind that Yeshua is the resurrection and the life, but she gets to see His resurrection power in action! 

“Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

John 11:39-40

Yeshua was inviting Martha to put her faith into action by believing Yeshua really did have the power to bring her brother back from the dead! Yeshua called Lazarus out from the tomb, and he came back to life for all to see.

Olive Tree in Gethsemane

The Hebrew Meaning of Eve Revived

Another woman in the Bible who was greatly impacted by the resurrection life of Yeshua was Mary Magdalene. The Gospels say she had seven demons. Yet, when she encountered Yeshua, He set her free! 

In return, Mary gave her whole life to Yeshua. She was near Him when He was on the cross, and she was the first one to meet Him when He arose from the dead! 

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”

Mark 16:9

Out of all of the people in the entire world, Yeshua chose Mary to be the very first person he revealed Himself to when He rose from the grave! And what did she do? She faithfully went and told others that He was alive. She spoke life to those who needed a message of hope.

Mary, a descendant of Chavah, had personally experienced Yeshua’s power to redeem life. She then proclaimed life to others! Like her Hebrew mother, Eve, she is an example of bringing new life into the world – eternal life in Yeshua. She proclaimed life free from sin and death. 

To Live, to Give Life, to Breathe

Let us be ones who don’t just know about the resurrection life of Yeshua, but the ones who walk in the resurrection life of Yeshua! Like the Hebrew name of Eve, may we live and breathe the resurrection power in our daily lives. 

For the sons of Adam, it is time to work for the Lord with all of your heart and to bring peace and unity in your relationships. 

For the daughters of Chavah, it is time to give up control, submit to the Lord’s leadership, find joy in the painful moments of being a mother or friend, and to give life to those around you.

So, with all of this talk about the Hebrew word for life, what have we discovered? …Yeshua is life! החיים הו ישוע 


7 Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know: Free PDF Download

With the use of the Hebrew language God revealed Himself to mankind. This ancient tongue held the greatest spiritual truths that guided our lives through the ages. And in each generation, they are discovered anew.

We know the Bible can be hard to understand and you want to get more out of it. Which is why we want to teach you seven Hebrew words that will transform the way you read the Bible.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Kayla Muchnik enjoys communicating who God is through writing, dancing, and discipleship. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two daughters. In 2021, Kayla and her husband started Muchnik Media, a freelance media business focused on writing and videography. In April 2023, she published a book called, “How’s Your Heart? – Bible Study and Adventure Workbook.” On a normal day, you can find Kayla spending time with God with a pen in one hand and a cappuccino in the other, dancing around the house with her two daughters, or drinking a tea at night with her husband and talking about the day.
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