Repeatedly during the six days of creation, God stated that what He had created “was good” or “was very good” (See Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). Yet after He had created Adam and “placed him in the garden of Eden” (2:15), He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (v. 18).
Adam needed a helper. God allowed him to see and to name the animals and birds He had created, “but for the man no helper was found as his complement” (vv. 19-20). God had “formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils” (v. 7). He also had “formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky” (v. 19).
Now, to meet Adam’s specific need for an appropriate helper, God caused Adam to enter a deep sleep. While he was sleeping, the Lord removed one of his ribs and fashioned from it a woman, whom He placed before Adam. Now Adam was fully awake, for he responded joyfully, almost as if to say, “Yes! At last! She is perfect to be with me, because she came from me!” (See v. 23.)
The man and the woman were different, but both were human beings with human qualities. They complemented each other. This compatibility is a foundational element of marriage, an institution we see clearly described in Genesis 2:24-25. The woman was “the mother of all the living” (3:20), so Adam called her Eve, which means “life.”
B. Nathaniel Sullivan
Christian educator, Bible teacher, and Editor
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