Summary: Woman was brought forth out of man, as the church was brought forth out of Christ (#11 in The Christian Victor series)

“FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”

I hope no one has counted how many times I have said that when a verse begins with the word ‘for’, or ‘therefore’, it is important to go back and see what it’s referring to.

Well, this ‘for’ that we see at the beginning of our text verses today does not refer back to the previous verses. In truth, Ephesians 5:31 is a direct quote of Genesis 2:24, and that word ‘for’ refers back to previous verses in that chapter in Genesis. So we need to go there and spend some time there today, in order to get a hold on this mystery Paul is revealing to us in Ephesians 5.

Genesis 2:18, 21-25

“Then the Lord God said, ’It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ … 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 the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to 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.’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”


I suppose the first thing that ought to be done here, is to lay to rest the issue of where we stand on the literalness of verses 21 and 22 in Genesis 2.

I want to read a portion of Henry M. Morris’ commentary titled, “The Genesis Record”, (Baker Books, 1976, pg 100)

“It is likely that the word ‘rib’ is a poor translation. The Hebrew word tsela appears thirty-five times in the Old Testament and this is the only time it has been rendered ‘rib.’ Most of the time (in at least twenty of its occurrences) it means simply ‘side.’ The thought evidently is to stress that woman was made neither from Adam’s head (suggesting superiority to him) nor from his feet (suggesting inferiority), but from his side, indicating equality and companionship. Probably the verse should be translated somewhat as follows: ‘And he took one of his sides, and closed up the {remaining} flesh in the stead of {that which he had taken} ; and the side, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man’. “

Morris goes on, “In what sense did the Lord God take one of Adam’s sides? A ‘side’ would include both flesh and bone, as well as blood, released from the opened side. Adam could later say, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.”

God performed the first major surgery in history. If He closed up the flesh, what does that mean but that He first opened the flesh? He could have made the woman out of the dust, as He had the man. He could have simply spoken her into existence. He could have baked her in the oven if He wanted to.

But He opened the man’s side, or as Morris puts it, took one of his sides, and made a woman. Do I believe this to be a literal account? Yes I do. I have absolutely no problem with it at all.

God can do whatever He wants to do, any way He wants to do it. He has a purpose for what He does, and in this particular case the purpose is fairly apparent, in retrospect. As we’ve covered before, so I won’t dwell on it, we have a type here of the piercing (or opening) of the last Adam’s side for the sake of the church.

Another perspective from this is the actual relationship between the man and woman, and Christ and His bride.

That is what we are primarily going to focus on today, but I wanted to be sure to make clear that because of what this teaches about Christ and the church, if for no other reason, I accept it as a literal, historical account of the making of woman.

But there is other reason to believe it is true and literal; and that reason is that God’s word is true. It’s not a fairy tale. It can be trusted; indeed, the man who will not trust it has set his foot on a course of doom.

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