And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam 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.”
When I watch combat sports, I often think of the beating and bruising suffered by the fighters’ ribs. Those bones serve to protect the inner organs from the blows, and I have always thought of our ribcage as just a framework of protection. A little research, however, will indicate that the ribs serve two other very critical functions. First, they work in conjunction with the diaphragm to allow our breathing. Second, they provide a support to which the muscles and other tissues of the torso can attach. Without the ribcage, we could not stand upright or even take a breath, which means that those bones serve as a necessary support if life is to continue as designed.
I have always read this account in scripture and realized like many people that making woman from a physical part of man speaks of the close union that God desires between husband and wife. What I previously missed was this idea of support. Yes, the Lord desired to give man companionship, but the creation of woman was not simply about Adam having a friend or someone to talk to. God made Eve with the intention of having her join Adam to become one unit. The cure for Adam’s loneliness was not a source of companionship outside of himself. The cure was to give him a companion who would be a part of him from the start. This equation is not 1+1=2. The equation is 1+1=1. Eve was created from Adam in order to become one with him again, an indispensable companion and support.
God could have made Eve from the dust as well, but the Lord instead chose to create her from the same living substance as Adam. He had gone from dust to life, so she would be formed from that which was already alive. Although I am certain that they enjoyed their time together in the garden, this companionship was not about just having fun. The purpose of the union was to take a man and give him the perfect complement physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Eve would be the woman that he would need in that garden. Father, give us new revelation of this design for mankind and how it is to inform the way we live