The Creation Of Woman Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 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 its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis in the Old Testament is a book of new beginnings. Each story tells something new that has yet to be told because the world was in a state of infancy. When God created man, woman, and all living things, He did so to what he created pleased him. The creation of woman was brought upon so that man would not be alone; woman was man’s partner for a lifetime in God’s perspective. Verses 18-24 discuss the creation of woman.
Upon doing any research and reading the passage, there were two puzzling thoughts that came to mind. Verse 22, “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man,” how did God take a simple rib bone and make a complete human being out of it? When thinking to myself about the complexity of the human structure, the systems of the human body, and the miniscule details that the human form demands, how can such intricate workings all come from a single rib bone? It is astonishing to think how this miracle was made. Verse 24: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh,” is the second of my puzzling thoughts. Genesis being the first book of the entire Bible, man and woman have just been created why is there talk about a father and a mother? If man and woman were the two sole existing humans, who are each of their fathers and mothers? The only thing that came to mind when contemplating over this thought was that it is the foreshadowing of how future relationships would work and how they are expected to work. In reading this passage, it was my understanding that woman was created as an equal to man.
She was his partner, “I will make him a helper as his partner” (Genesis 2: 18). I took the meaning of partner as something/someone just as important as the existence of man. When God created “every animal of the field and every bird of the air” (Gen.2: 19), He made a second form – a female form – as the partner to assist throughout the scheme of life. Creating a partner for all living things shows that God did not hold one above the other. Each partner has its own uniqueness and responsibilities; man and woman were created as equals. The J writer (Yahwist) wrote this particular passage.
According to the Yahwist, the motive for creation was it was not good for the human to be alone. Since this passage was written in the tenth century before Christ, the perspective of what a woman’s place should be was influenced by the current time period. A woman’s position was one of support to her husband (The Collegeville.). Woman is intended to be one in whom man finds support and strength (The Collegeville.). This suggests that the woman also stands for the institute of marriage.
The passage written later than when it actually happened, was influenced by the current time period’s ideas. Also, the J writer shows that when man named the animals, he had control over them. God creating woman and presenting her to man shows equality; “but woman’s existence, psychologically and in the social order, is dependent on man” (The Jerome.). Woman is dependent on man because she was taken from his rib bone. This passage has often been used to substantiate the view that woman is inferior to man. This is certainly not the intent of the author (The Collegeville.). This creation is one of the most puzzling aspects of this passage.
In the Sumerian language, “rib” and “life” are the same word (The Collegeville.). This information suggests how the woman and the rib are relatively connected. The actual “act of creation is a divine mystery” (The Collegeville.) that remains unsolved. I am in complete agreeance with the author’s opinion that woman is created as an equal partner. I think that the way she was presented to man as a helper and having a name already given to her from God, shows she is just as important. Although the fact remains that she is dependent on the man for her existence because she was taken from him.
I pass this off as being a minor detail, though, at least for her equality to man, not in her creation and existence. This passage also makes me think about how things would have been different if Adam and Eve would not have been banished from the Garden of Eden. Would in today’s society woman be seen as equals? Would woman have had to have fought through the late 1800’s until the present for such simple rights as to vote? I believe if woman was thought of as an equal in the beginning when God created man and woman, that they should both still be equal partners as God intended. Bibliography 1. The Collegeville Bible Commentary.
Pages 41-42. 2. The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Page 12. Religion Essays.