Woman’s Origin

SOURCE: Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary, 1981, page 17.

Origin of Woman (Genesis 2:21-23).

And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And 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.

The creation of woman was something special, above even the creation of man. While man was made from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7) and was dust refined, woman was made from man and was dust doubly refined. On the average, she has a smaller physique than man, finer features, and a more delicately poised emotional nature. She is referred to in scripture as a “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 2:7)—not that she is inferior mentally and certainly not biologically, but is weaker physically—having only about two-thirds the physical strength of a man her size.

In the making of woman, God performed the first surgical operation. And, like a modern surgeon, he put the patient to sleep—into a “deep sleep”—in order to make the operation painless. Opening up the side, he took a rib therefrom and closed up the flesh again. And the rib “builded he into” a woman, so scholars say the Hebrew text reads literally. While beyond our comprehension and certainly beyond man’s ability to perform, this need not surprise us, for scientists think they have discovered that every cell of the body carries within it a code for the structure of the body as a whole. But the point of primary significance is that the first woman was actually a part of the first man—bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, as he expressed it, either by inspiration of God or as a result of God’s explanation to him of what he had done. That is why he called her “woman” (Hebrew, ishah, feminine of ish), the male of the species called adam, which was also a proper name of the first man as Eve (Hebrew, havah, living, or life) was of the first woman.

The manner of the woman’s creation and the general teaching of the scriptures relative to the divinely intended relationship between man and woman, led Matthew Henry to express beautifully the sentiment that woman was “not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.” And the scriptures speak of woman as “the glory of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:7). Every step and stage of her creation and presentation to man was designed to make her special in his sight, far above any animal that had been created, and for the enoblement of marriage between man and woman.

Incidentally, only one woman was made for the one man, and monogamous marriage was God’s intention for the race. Also, woman did not evolve from a lower form of life, as Adam did not; but both came into existence by special creation by the Almighty. And for either a man or woman to deign to mate with an animal was considered degrading and worthy of death (See Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23; 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21).