God created the woman, Eve, because He did not want the man, Adam, to be alone. And He performed the first marriage, as it were, when He brought Eve to Adam. to be.
By doing so God offers us a number of symbols, which provide insight into how He intended marriage.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (to be separate, to be alone)… (Genesis 2:18)
I shall make (bring about, bring forth) a helper (someone who helps, a protection), suitable for him (who is striking, who equates to him, who is parallel to him). (Genesis 2:18)
… the LORD God caused the man (Adam) to fall into a deep sleep; … took one of the man’s ribs … Then … made a woman from the rib. (Genesis 2:21-22)
… and He brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:22)
… The man said, she shall be called ‘woman,’ (ishshah) for she was taken out of man (iysh). (Genesis 2:23)
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
It is not good for the man to be alone.
God is a God of relationships. He is a Trinity in Himself. His character is love.
Love only has a reason to exist within relationships.
God created the animals and plants for His pleasure and as beautiful surroundings for mankind.
God created man and breathed His breath of life and His character into him, because of the desire for a relationship, to be able to give His love to man, in the hope that man would want to live in a similar love relationship with Him.
This is why God did not want man to remain alone, or, as the Hebrew can also be translated according to the OLB: should live separate and be lonely as a result.
This is why God created a second person for Adam: Eve.
The help suitable for him.
God created the woman, Eve, as someone who suited the man, Adam.
According to the meaning of the Hebrew word translated as ‘suitable for him’, Eve was created, ‘parallel’ to Adam, ‘corresponding to’, or as Adam said: bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
A man and a woman are of equal value at creation. They are not created to live alongside each other, but to live together.
They also live ‘opposite each other’. Not in the sense of two armies confronting each other, but they live within each other’s field of vision. Man and woman are created to live in an open relationship with each other, so that they are always able to look each other in the eye.
Although man and woman are created equal, they are nevertheless very different as far as personality is concerned. Because of the difference in character and sentimentality, a woman has a different view of things than a man.
The woman is created as a helper for the man. Man and woman complement each other.
The Hebrew word translated as helper has an undertone of protection as well.
One of his ribs.
This undertone of protection is given full expression in the fact that God formed the woman from one of Adam’s ribs.
In marriage this rib is put back in place in the man as it were
Ribs are a protection for the heart and lungs.
The heart, as the seat of the soul, a person’s personality and the place of his or her reflections.
A wise man shares the reflections of his heart with his wife and involves her in his own life and the decisions that have to be made. A woman has a completely different view of things and the man and woman’s joint insight is the best guarantee of wise decisions.
The lungs remove the waste products from the blood (volatile, harmful materials that are breathed out) and provide the body with oxygen (that is breathed in).
Breathing is generally viewed as the spiritual symbol for prayer in the Christian world – prayer as spiritual respiration.
The woman is a part of the protection of her husband’s prayer life.
A man who does not live in harmony with his wife risks drifting apart from her, as a result of which he will lack part of the protection of his prayer life.
That is why Peter wrote this warming:
… be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)
‘Hinder’ is a rather weak translation for the Greek word, which speaks of ‘chopping off’ and ‘chopping down’ (the same word is used in Matthew 7:19 (and elsewhere) – Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down (chopped down) and thrown into the fire., and in Matthew 18:8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.)
God brought her to the man.
God did not let Adam look for the partner for life whom He had created for him.
Neither did God let Eve, after having created her, look for the partner for life for whom she was to be a helper.
God brought Adam and Eve together and He thus performed the first wedding.
Adam and Eve’s names were quoted up to now, because that is more personal, but the Bible speaks continually of ‘the man’ and ‘his wife’. This indicates that marriage is not limited to the first man and woman. It is a universal institution.
Man and woman are a duality within marriage.
God Himself wants to be the binding factor in marriage, so that marriage becomes a trinity, of which Ecclesiastes said:
… A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
This symbolism is rendered beautifully in the Hebrew words for man and woman.
When Jesus repeated the words His Father spoke in paradise, He added a conclusion to them:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’.
So (so that) they are no longer (no more) two, but one flesh. Therefore what (who, whoever) God has joined together (has brought under one yoke, united), let no one separate (break apart). (Matthew 19:5-6)
She shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.
As Adam had given the animals names, he also gave the helper God had created for him a name. He called her ‘woman’, because she was taken out of the ‘man’.
This symbolism with the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ is lost in our use of language, but Eve was literally taken out of Adam, as is deduced in Hebrew ‘woman’ (ishshah) or ‘man’ (iysh).
That is why a man leaves his father and mother.
When a sentence begins with ‘that is why’, there must also be a ‘why’.
Why does a man leave his father and mother
Because the woman is taken out of the man.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother, and forms a oneness with his wife.
In the same way as the body, that is taken out of the earth, will return to the earth once again, the woman, because she has been taken out of the man, will once again be reunited with a man, in marriage.
In order to marry, a man must leave the family in which he has been brought up, in order to take on his own responsibility.
In marriage, the man is under Jesus’ authority, and no longer under his parents’ authority.
Everyone will have to give account of his or her personal life, but a man will also have to give account to Jesus for everything concerning his marriage and his family.
And is united to his wife.
Marriage is not some kind of loose commitment between a man and a woman.
It is a union between a man and his wife, between a woman and her husband.
A man must be ‘united’ to his wife. In Hebrew ‘be united’ has the meaning of sticking to, grasping hold of, taking hold of.
In marriage the rib, from which the woman is formed, is put back in its place as it were.
The man and his wife, the woman and her husband, are united in marriage in a strong bond, of which God Himself is the binding factor. This is a unity of spirit, soul and body.
This requires a spiritual unity of soul with soul in the first instance, i.e. getting to know and appreciate each other as a personality and adjusting to each other ‘in the spirit’.
The official marriage ceremony can also be seen as ‘being united to his wife’. Marriage is a social event and must be solemnised according to the regulations of the local government.
And they become one flesh.
… and they will be one in every respect.
When man and woman are united to each other in marriage they will form a oneness in the visible world as well.
‘Flesh’ is seen as a relationship between soul and body in the Bible.
In the spiritual sense ‘flesh’ refers to the manner in which someone, as a soul, as a personality, handles the stimuli from his body and from the world around him. Man and woman should discuss things with each other, in order to reach joint decisions and to be on the same wavelength as far as he world is concerned – each according to his/her own nature, temperament and contribution, but as a oneness nevertheless.
This is very important, among other things as far as the raising of children that may be born out of their relationship is concerned.
Marriage is smallest unit of society. Good marriages and stable families are therefore the foundation of a healthy community.
In the physical sense, ‘flesh’ refers to the sexual unity between man and woman.
This physical experience does have a spiritual dimension however.
Sexual intercourse is not only a joining of two bodies, for at that moment mutual influence of the souls of the man and the woman also takes place.
God has decreed that children can be born out of sexual relationship. This is why He has clearly placed sexual intercourse within the protection of marriage, so that these children can grow up in protective surroundings of love and faithfulness.
In order to emphasizes this, God has sealed the woman’s sexuality from birth.
The Bible does not talk about wedding ceremonies as such.
It does mention engagement, however, as a time of preparation for marriage. The commitment between the future bride and bridegroom during this period is regarded as definite.
It is also assumed that an official wedding ceremony takes place, before the man and the woman start to live together. Bride and bridegroom are mentioned in many texts.
See the study ‘The third person in marriage’ as well.
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