I came across some interesting observations of Genesis 3 recently:
- Genesis 3:12, "And the adam said , 'the woman whom you gave with me, HE gave [3fs] to me from the tree and I ate'"
- Genesis 3:15, [speaking to the serpent god says,] "He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise to HIS heel."
- Genesis 3:20, "And the adam called the name of his woman Chavah (later: Eve) because HE was[3fs] mother of all living."
In each of these three places, the masculine pronoun "He" (heb: hu, הוא) is used. Biblehub provides wrong annotation below it on their website.
Now I know that the second one (Genesis 3:15), the "he" is generally thought of as referring to "the seed" which is a masculine noun. But in the second half of 3:15, God says to the serpent "you" shall bite his heel, not "your seed" shall bite the heel of "her seed." Given how the pronoun is used for the woman in 3:12 and 3:20 around this, i'm not so sure now. This "he" could be referring directly to the woman. That certainly matches the second half of the verse about the enmity between the woman and the serpent which will be carried forth in their seed. As in: "Ishshah shall strike his head and Nachash shall strike the woman's heel"
I also believe that "seed of the woman" is a unique concept here (this is the only place the feminine particle is attached to the end of "seed"). Elsewhere there is only the seed of the man that goes on down.
Eve also has a large amount of agency in this story. The serpent has the conversation with her. She is the one that reaches out and acts and gives to "her man" (another striking and unprecedented possessive word - except for Sarah giving Hagar to Abraham in Genesis 16:3).
There seems to be more here than what might be considered "scribal errors" with all this gender confusion in pronouns and agency and seeds in the story. This all seems to "take place" BEFORE Eve is cursed into the role of the breeder (slave to the land of her womb) and Adam into the role of the slave of the land of the dirt.
Can anyone help clarify why these pronouns are as they are? I know there is likely not one direct answer, but I wonder how the learned crowd here at SE have learned to interpret this critical part of the text. It really seems to me to be something more than a mixup by some scribe somewhere.
One initial take I have found involves the idea that Adam was made in the image of God as both "male and female" at once and then split in half into woman and man in Genesis 2. In Genesis 5:2, "male and female he created them" followed by "he called them adam." It could be that there is a sort of play on the male/female blending (androgyne) in a single being which is then divided in the world.