Dr. Alice C. Linsley
A reader has asked: If there are several "layers" of "Adam", would there also be several layers of Eve, Eden, Tree, and Serpent?
The biblical text always speaks of something older, some prior action that solicits a response from later generations. The later generations are enjoined to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is a thick cultural web surrounding the God of the early biblical Hebrew.
In Genesis, Adam's wife is called Hava (חוה) which is descriptive of her role as the birther (Gen. 3:20). Adam describes Eve as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, suggesting that she and he have the same father, as did Sarah and Abraham.
As Adam's half-sister, Eve would have produced Adam's heir, which is Cain, the firstborn son. This may explain the royal affix -itti- in Genesis 4:1, where Eve claims to have acquired a man or a ruler with God's help.
E. A. Speiser (Anchor Bible Commentary on Genesis, p. 30) believes that the word qaniti (Gen. 4:1) is in assonance with "Cain" (Qayin). However, the word that appears in Genesis 4:1 is Akkadian, not Hebrew. Iti or itti is an Akkadian affix that appears with rulers’ names, and in reference to deities. For example, itti šarrim means "with the king." Another example: itti-Bel-balatu means "with Bel there is life."
Itti appears in royal names such as Nefertitti. Even today among the Oromo of the Horn of Africa the affix designates persons of high social standing: Kaartuumitti, Finfinneetti, and Dimashqitti.