Adam’s Rib

“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” (Genesis 2:21,22).

This amazing record of how the first woman came into being has been the object of much ridicule, but it is completely and literally true. However, the “rib” which God used was most likely not a rib at all. Rather, the Hebrew word in most of its occurrences is translated either “side” or “side chamber.” This would probably be a better translation here, as well.

It may be that Eve’s body was formed by God from Adam’s side, or from something within the “chamber” of his side. Any such “surgery” must at least have involved the shedding of blood. Since “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11), and since the circulating blood in one’s body cleanses and renews both flesh and bones, such a primeval blood transfusion from Adam’s body would be uniquely appropriate to bring life to Eve’s body.

Adam’s “deep sleep” thus becomes a prophetic foreshadowing of the deep sleep of death into which one day “the last Adam” (I Corinthians 15:45) would enter, when a spear “pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34). As Adam’s sacrifice gave life to his bride, so did the death of Christ quicken “the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; . . . That He might present it to Himself a glorious church” (Ephesians 5:25,27). As Eve thenceforth shared Adam’s very life, so do believers today constitute Christ’s beloved Bride, and we are “hid with Christ in God,” so that Christ Himself is “our life” (Colossians 3:3,4). HMM

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