For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
~ 1 Timothy 2:13
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
~ Proverbs 18:22
House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
~ Proverbs 19:14
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
~ Hebrews 13:4
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
~ Ephesians 5:22-33
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
~ Revelation 21:9-10
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
~ Revelation 22:17
She Was Taken Out of Man, by Horatius Bonar. The following contains an excerpt from his work, “From Earth’s Morning: Or, Thoughts on Genesis”.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto 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.—Genesis 2:21-23
The peculiar process adopted by the Creator in forming the help meet was to intimate to man the nature of the companion presented to him and the closeness of the tie between them. Adam was thrown into a deep sleep, which made him insensible to pain, though, perhaps, not unconscious of what was passing. When in this state, God took one of his ribs and fashioned out of it a woman, healing the wound at once. Then God brought her to Adam, revealing at the same time to him the history of her formation. Adam recognizes Jehovah’s gracious purpose in this: he feels the void supplied; he acknowledges the oneness between himself and her; he gives her a name expressive of this. Her name is to be woman, Isha, derived from his own, Ish, man. Then follows the historian’s statement regarding the oneness of the two and man’s duty to make this tie paramount.
The marital relationship is closer than the filial. All other bonds must yield to this, however sacred and tender they may be. The words of the twenty-fourth verse are evidently not the words of Adam himself, but the comment of Moses upon the words of Adam. And a greater than Moses has enlarged this comment: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mar 10:6-9). (Therefore,) with one or two further remarks, we leave this passage.
1. As to Adam’s sleep: It was a heavy or deep sleep. It was a sleep sent directly from God. It was a sleep for a special end. In the case of Abraham and Daniel, we see the same thing (Gen 15:12; Dan 8:18, 10:9). A deep sleep from God fell on both these, when God designed to communicate visions to them. In their case, God caused them to sleep that He might show them what was to be done, (whereas) in the case of Adam, that He might actually do the thing. In both instances, the individuals were rendered unconscious to outward things by that which we call sleep. In that state, God took possession of them: in Abraham’s and Daniel’s case, of the soul; in Adam’s, of the body. It would seem to be intimated that God could not accomplish His design until Adam had been brought into that state that approaches nearest to death. There must be sleep in the first Adam ere God can take out of him the ordained spouse; and there must be death in the second Adam ere God can take out of Him the chosen Bride. In this way, there might be something prefigurative in Adam’s sleep.
2. As to the taking of woman out of man: As it was God that caused Adam to sleep, so it was God Himself that took the rib out of him. Thus, God shows Himself to us as at once the great Purposer and the great Doer of all things. “Second causes,” as we speak, are but the mysterious tools or instruments that He makes use of in carrying out His designs. He lays us to sleep each night, and He awakens us each morning with His own loving hand. He is the God of our nights and of our days. It was from Adam that God took the substance that He meant to fashion into woman, indicating that as man was formed first and as woman sprang from man, so man is to be her head. He from the dust, she from him. He directly from the Former’s hand, she indirectly and through him. “Adam,” says the apostle, “was first formed, then Eve” (1Ti 2:13). Therefore, says he, she is “not to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Thus, again, he states the gradation: (1) the head of the woman is the man, (2) the head of the man is Christ, (3) the head of Christ is God (1Co 11:3). Further, he adds that “the woman is the glory (or ornament) of the man”; for, says he, “the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1Co 11:8-9). Such is God’s order of things; such His assignment of place and rank to the creatures that He has made. We may be sure that there is a reason for this gradation, not merely a typical, but a natural one, whether we fully understand it or not. We cannot alter this law and be blameless. We cannot reverse it and not suffer loss. The construction of our world’s fabric is far too delicate and complex for man to attempt the slightest change without dislocating the whole. One star displaced, one planet thrown off its orbit, will confound the harmonies of space and strew the firmament with the wrecks of the universe. (Likewise,) one law lost sight of or set at naught will mar the happy order of God’s living world below.
In one age or nation, man treads down woman as a slave; in another, he idolizes her and sings of her as of a goddess. Both cases inflict a social wrong upon the race, in the latter case as truly as in the former. And who can say how deep an injury—both spiritual and social—has been wrought and how fatal an influence has been sent forth, by that fond sentimentalism that, impregnating our poetry and coursing like fever through the veins of youth, not only “costs the fresh blood dear,” but saps the whole social system, nay, propagates a principle of subtle ungodliness and creature-worship in its praise of woman’s beauty and idolatry of woman’s love.
3. As to the taking of woman from the side of man: From neither extremity of Adam’s body did God take the woman, signifying that she was neither to be man’s lord nor man’s drudge, but his fellow, with this inferiority only: she was taken out of him, and therefore he was to be her head. From the part that lies nearest his heart did woman come. She was not so much to partake of man’s intellectual as of his loving nature. It was not from man’s thinking forehead or sinewy arm that she sprang, but from those parts where it may be said there is the least of man to be found. From the region where the warm blood flows, the heart throbs, the pulses take their rise, and the fountain of life wells up did woman come. From that quarter of man’s being where, in all ages, affection has been conceived to make its home, where joy and sorrow have their flowings and reflowings, where fear and hope are each hour sinking and swelling, did woman come. The fragrant plumage of the turtle dove tells us out of what spice grove she has come. So does woman’s tender nature of itself declare that it is from the region of the kindly and the gentle that she has been brought forth.
As it was out of the bosom of the Father that the Eternal Son came down to us laden with the Father’s love; as it was out of the bosom of the Son that the church came forth, at once the object and the reflection of His mighty love; so it was out of man’s side, man’s bosom, that she came forth who was to be at once the embodiment of his gentler affections and the being round whom these affections were to cling. And as it was on the high priest’s breast—his place of love—that the names of Israel rested in jeweled splendor, so is it on man’s breast that woman is to rest. And so it is hereafter on the breast of the eternal Bridegroom that the church is to repose—in more than earthly glory—in that day when His left hand shall be under her head, and His right hand shall embrace her (Song 2:6); when she shall be set as a seal upon His heart, as a seal upon His arm forever (Song 8:6).
4. As to the making of woman from a rib of man: One of those protecting circles that prevents the sinking in of the flesh upon the heart and gives the heart full room to play was to be taken out entirely that out of it woman might be formed. The bone and the flesh were both taken—the softer and more solid parts of man’s body—that it might be seen how truly she was of man’s very nature, though in some respects different. Not a separate being formed out of the dust in which man could not recognize a part of himself, but a being thoroughly identified with him—not merely like him, but one with him, so that her absence would be the absence of a part of himself—a blank, a void, without whom he would be incomplete…Thus woman, taken from the very shrine of man’s corporeal sanctuary (for the apostle teaches us to call our bodies temples, 1Co 6:19), is linked with all the sacred or tender associations that are called up by that well-known but mysterious word—heart.
5. As to the making of the woman: The expression is a very peculiar one. It is neither of the two former that have been already employed—“created” or “made.” It is, literally, “builded.” The word is a very common one, occurring about four hundred times, but here only in so peculiar a sense. It is the word used referring to the building of a city, a house, a family, a temple, a throne, an altar, and such like. And there is surely some signification in applying such a word to the formation of woman. Of man it is said he was made, of woman she was builded. Now, man was the type of Christ; and of the latter, in reference to His human nature, it might be said simply He was “made”—formed at once. But the woman signifies the church, taken out of the wounded side of her dying Lord. And of the church it is often said she is “builded”; “in whom,” says the apostle, “all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph 2:21-22); and again, “for the edifying”—literally, the building—“of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
By the term building, applied to the formation of Eve, God has thought fit to shadow forth to us the process by which, age after age, the church (which is the second Eve) was to be fashioned into a help meet or counterpart for Christ, the second Adam. Yet, as the second Adam was far more glorious than the first, so does the second Eve—taken out of His pierced breast—far transcend the first, God in all respects bestowing more cost and pains upon the new creation than upon the old. For redemption has brought in not simply a new order of things, but one far higher than that which it is designed to replace: the one being earthly, the other heavenly; the one fleshly, the other spiritual; the one human, the other divine. Thus the church, Christ’s chosen Bride, springing from His smitten side, is builded; builded by the same Almighty hands that built the wondrous heavens; builded, as was the temple of old without sound of axe or hammer; builded, at once as the city of the Lamb’s special habitation and the companion for His dearest fellowship, without whom this goodly universe would have been incomplete to Him. For even in it, though renewed and glorified, it would have been found that it was not good for Him to be alone (see Gen 2:18). For Him, no help meet could have been found had not the Father provided this “glorious church,” and had not He Himself in the greatness of His longing for that help meet, consented to sleep the deep sleep of death upon the cross that thus she might be taken out of Him, whose beauty—as seen pictured in the Father’s purpose—had already ravished His heart (see Song 4:9). (Her) presence alone could make even the better paradise complete, and His heart’s desire was union with (her) throughout eternity (Joh 15:9; 17:23-26).
6. As to the closing up of the flesh instead of what was taken out: Adam was not to be the loser in any way or sense, but the gainer. All deficiency was replaced, all loss supplied. God would teach him the nature of woman and the object of her creation (wrapping up in this also a type of things to come), but He would teach it in a way that would not leave man the sufferer. Jacob’s lesson was to be learned by halting on his thigh all his life after (see Gen 32:31); but Adam’s was to be learned by looking at his help meet, and then while remembering how she had been “builded,” to feel that she had cost him nothing beyond the sleep into which he had been so mysteriously thrown. A sleep, but nothing more—this was all the price for a boon so precious! No abiding pain, loss, or weakness—he was still the same Adam as when he came from the hands of his Maker.
Neither has the second Adam suffered loss for us. It did indeed cost Him much to redeem us. It cost Him a darker, sadder, and more troubled sleep than Adam’s. But it is all over now! He retains nothing of the weakness, sorrow, or darkness of His low estate. He is not less the King of glory because He was once the humbled Jesus. He does indeed appear in heaven “a Lamb as it had been slain” (Rev 5:6). He may, perhaps, retain the wounds of the cross; but more than this, He does not. All other traces of His humiliation are erased. He has lost nothing by the Bride that He has gained. Nay, He has won much; for His weakness, sorrow, shame, when here, have bought for Him new strength, gladness, and glory. Hence, the song of angels: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev 5:12).
7. As to the woman’s introduction to the man: “He brought her unto the man.” God Himself, as if standing in a father’s room, and acting the father’s part, brings the bride to the bridegroom. As a beloved daughter, He presents her to her future husband. He joined their hands and pronounced over them the marriage-blessing: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 1:28). A stranger, and yet no stranger—a part of himself, the filling up of his being, she was brought before him and knit to him in inseparable bonds. And it is thus that the true Eve speaks of herself in the Song, “The king hath brought me into his chambers” (Song 1:4); and again, “He brought me to the banqueting house” (Song 2:4). Of her also it is written, “She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework” (Psa 45:14), and again, that she is “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). One of her special characteristics is that she is “given” of the Father to the Son; and in that day when He comes in His glory, she shall be caught up to meet Him in the air and be brought into His presence by the Father, there to have the marriage service celebrated and, as a “chaste virgin” (2Co 11:2), to be presented to Him to Whom she has been so long betrothed. Then shall that song be sung to which all the new creation shall echo: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev 19:7-8).
8. As to Adam’s recognition of her: Whether by revelation or consciousness we know not; but Adam knows the woman thus brought to him and calls her woman, as being a part of man. This is his response to God’s introduction of her. He acknowledges the oneness and receives her as Himself. We have God’s consent in bringing, the woman’s consent in coming, and now we have Adam’s consent in receiving. Thus is the marriage completed by the full concurrence of all.
And so it is with the second Adam, too. He receives and owns His Bride. He welcomes her as indeed part of Himself, one with Himself. “Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11). Again it is written, “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph 5:30). Thus recognizing the mysterious oneness between Himself and His Bride, He expresses His admiration of her beauty as the “fairest among women” (Song 1:8), “all glorious within” (Psa 45:13); she responds with joy and speaks of Him as “fairer than the children of men” (Psa 45:2). “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (Song 4:7) is the utterance of His admiring love of her; she replies, “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven…His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely” (Song 5:10-11; 15-16). And in the happy consciousness of possessing Him and His love, she gives vent to the deep feeling of her satisfied soul, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away” (Song 2:16-17).
Reverence consists of love and esteem, which produce a care to please, and of fear, which awakens a caution lest just offence be given. That the wife thus reverence her husband is the will of God and the law of the relation.
When Eve was formed by the Lord God and brought to Adam so as to effect a marriage union, there was shadowed forth that highest mystery of grace, of God the Father presenting His elect and giving them to Christ.
—A. W. Pink