Marriage 1: God’s Original Intent EGP Blog post from April 3, 2004

God’s Original Intent

Genesis 1:26–27 (NASB)

[26] Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky° and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” [27] God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:26 Lit heavens

This passage show that God made both Adam and Eve on the sixth day. Funny note: Adam didn’t make it a day without having Eve.

Why was Eve created?

Genesis 2:18–20 (NASB)

[18] Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable° for him.” [19] Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky°, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. [20] The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky°, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam° there was not found a helper suitable° for him.

Genesis 2:18 Lit corresponding to
Genesis 2:19 Lit heavens
Genesis 2:20a Lit heavens
Genesis 2:20b Or man
Genesis 2:20c Lit corresponding to

18a. God stated that it’s “not good for the man to be alone.”

The word translated “alone” (H905) literally means “separated, implying a part of the body.” It comes from another Hebrew word (H909) that means “divided or solitary.”

18b. So He stated that He “will make a helper suitable for him.”

The word translated “helper” (H5828, ‘ezer) comes from another Hebrew word (H5826) that means “to surround, as in protect, aid, help, succor,” where succor means “help or render relief to someone in danger or distress.”

The word translated “suitable” (H5048, neged) can also be translated “counterpart or mate.”

19-20. Companions but no counterpart

God created the animals of the field (i.e., land animals) and birds of the sky, but Adam still didn’t have a counterpart (‘ezer neged). So, why create animals before a counterpart? God was probably stating his foreknowledge of Adam’s need and then created the animals so Adam could see them as couples and lead him to realize what he was missing, and in turn, realize how special Eve was.

How was Eve created?

Genesis 2:21–22 (NASB)

[21] So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. [22] The Lord God fashioned° into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:22 Lit built

The word translated “deep sleep” (H8639) can also be translated “lethargy,” which means “excessive drowsiness or abnormally deep sleep.” This is much like the modern anesthetics used in surgeries.

The footnote for the NIV says it could be translated that God “took one of a piece of his side.” So, why do different translations say somewhat different parts? Literally it says “And He took one from his side, and closed up the flesh underneath.” The Hebrew word for “side” used here (H6763) can be translated “rib or side.” It comes from another Hebrew word (H6760) which means “curve” (i.e., like a rib has a curve to it).

The word translated “fashioned” here (H1129) literally means “to build.”

Why use a piece of Adam?

The rib, as most parts, contains DNA; God could have easily altered the DNA to make a female, a process similar to cloning. Ribs, being cartilage, regenerate, meaning Adam would grow his rib back in time. It signifies the need of companionship and symbolizes the roles in a relationship.

“The Eternal was bringing into being not only another individual, but a new one, totally different, with another sex. Someone has said that ‘woman was taken not from man’s head to rule over him, nor from his feet to be trampled upon, but from his side, under his arm, to be protected, and closest his heart, to be loved.’ She is also represented in the story of creation as wholly dependent upon her husband and not complete without him. Similarly, man is never fully complete without the woman. It is God’s will that it should be so. Since woman was formed from man’s side, she is bound to him. He is obligated to give her the full protection and devoted shielding of his arm. The two beings make up a complete whole, the crown of creation.” (Pfeiffer, 5–6)

How does this process of creation affect us?

Genesis 2:22–24 (NASB)

[22] The Lord God fashioned° into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. [23] The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She° shall be called Woman°, Because she° was taken out of Man°.” [24] For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:22 Lit built
Genesis 2:23a Lit This one
Genesis 2:23b Heb Ishshah
Genesis 2:23c Lit This one
Genesis 2:23d Heb Ish

22b. The first marriage

After Eve was created, God brought her to Adam, making the first marriage. God, being the Father, gave His daughter, Eve, to Adam in the same sense that an earthly father gives someone his daughter’s hand in marriage. Adam needed a companion, and God provided one.

23a. Flesh and bone

In awe of the creation, Adam declared, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Adam reiterates the usage of bone and flesh here; therefore, the “piece of side” most likely included both.

23b. He then calls her woman because she is from man

The Hebrew word for “woman/wife” (H802, ‘ishshaw, pronounced “ish-shaw’”) and the Hebrew word for “man” (H376, ‘iysh, pronounced “eesh”) sound very similar to each other.

The ”-shah” is a feminine ending, much like the ”-a” in Spanish, thus signifying gender. The words we use for gender today originated in Middle English, being “man” and “woman”. In that time, “woe” was spelled “wo”, thus making it “woe to man”, where woe is defined as “overwhelming sorrow or grief, great trouble or disaster.” It’s sad how relationships have changed so much from their original intent that this point of view would be taken and accepted.

24. Leave and cleave

This, all together, signifies that a man should leave his parents, cleave to his wife, and become one flesh. So, make sure the one you unite with is worthy enough to become one flesh with.