Genesis 2:23
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.
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(23) This is now.—Literally, this stroke, or beat of the foot in keeping time. It means, therefore, this time, or colloquially, at last. Adam had long studied the natural world, and while, with their confidence as yet unmarred by human cruelty, they came to his call, grew tame, and joined his company, he found none that answered to his wants, and replied to him with articulate speech. At last, on waking from his trance, he found one standing by him in whom he recognised a second self, and he welcomed her joyfully, and exclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:” that is, she is man’s counterpart, not merely in feeling and sense—his flesh—but in his solid qualities. In several of the Semitic dialects bone is used for self. Thus, in the Jerusalem Lectionary (ed. Miniscalchi, Verona, 1861) we read: “I will manifest my bone unto him” (John 14:21), that is, myself; and again, “I have power to lay it down of my bone” (John 10:18), that is, of myself. So, too, in Hebrew, “In the selfsame day” is “in the bone of this day” (Genesis 7:13). Thus bone of my bones means “my very own self,” while flesh of my flesh adds the more tender and gentle qualities.

She shall be called Woman (Ishah), because she was taken out of Man (Ish).—Adam, who knew that he was an Ish (see Excursus at end of this book), called the woman a “female Ish.” The words of our Version, man and woman (perhaps womb-man), represent with sufficient accuracy the relation of the words in the original.

Genesis 2:23. This is now bone of my bone — Probably it was revealed to Adam in a vision, when he was asleep that this lovely creature, now presented to him, was a piece of himself, and was to be his companion, and the wife of his covenant. In token of his acceptance of her, he gave her a name, not peculiar to her, but common to her sex: she shall be called woman, isha, a she-man, differing from man in sex only, not in nature; made of man, and joined to man.

2:18-25 Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proof of this he named them all. It also shows his insight into the works of God. But though he was lord of the creatures, yet nothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are all our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by special grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both of prudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is so near and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is to be done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes for covering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: they needed none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was man in his state of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favours did he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yet man, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soon became as the beasts that perish.Whether the primeval man was conscious of the change in himself, and of the work of the Supreme Being while it was going on, or received supernatural information of the event when he awoke, does not appear. But he is perfectly aware of the nature of her who now for the first time appears before his eyes. This is evinced in his speech on beholding her: "This, now" - in contrast with the whole animal creation just before presented to his view, in which he had failed to find a helpmeet for him - "is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh;" whence we perceive that the rib included both bone and flesh. "To this" counterpart of myself "shall be called woman;" the word in the original being a feminine form of "man," to which we have no exact equivalent, though the word "woman" (womb-man, or wife-man), proves our word "man" to have been originally of the common gender. "Because out of a man was she taken;" being taken out of a man, she is human; and being a perfect individual, she is a female man. 23. Woman—in Hebrew, "man-ess." And Adam said.

Quest. How knew he this?

Answ. Either,

1. By his own observation; for though it be said that he was asleep till the rib was taken out and restored, yet he might awake as soon as ever that was done, the reason of his sleep ceasing, and so might see the making of the woman. Or,

2. By the revelation of God, who put these words into Adam’s mouth, to whom therefore these words of Adam are ascribed, Matthew 19:5.

This is now; or, for this time the woman is made of my bones, &c.; but for the time to come the woman as well as the man shall be produced another way, to wit, by generation. Made of my rib and flesh; i.e. God hath provided me a meet help and wife, not out of the brute creatures, but nearer hand, a part of my own body, and of the same nature with myself.

And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,.... Of "his bones", because made out of a pair of his ribs, as some think, one on each side, and therefore expressed in the plural number, "and of his flesh", a part of which was taken with the rib; this Adam knew, either being awake while she was made, though asleep when the rib was taken out; or by divine revelation, by an impress of it on his mind; or it might have been declared to him in a dream, while asleep, when, being in an ecstasy or trance, this whole affair was represented unto him: and this was "now" done, just done, and would be done no more in like manner; "this time" (o), this once, as many render it; so it was, but hereafter the woman was to be produced in the way of generation, as man:

she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man: her name was "Ishah", because taken from "Ish", as "vira" in Latin from "vir", and "woman" in our language from "man".

(o) "hac vice", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vatablus, so the Targum; , Symmachus & Theodotion; "hoc semel", Fagius.

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.
23. This is now, &c.] The exclamation of joy and wonder is expressed in the rhythmical language of poetry. It is as if the man, after passing in review the animals, recognizes instantaneously in woman the fulfilment of his hope. “This is now” is equivalent to “here at last”; the German “Diese endlich.”

bone of my bones] A strong metaphorical phrase to denote that the woman is different from all the animals, and is absolutely one with the man. For similar expressions used of near relationship, compare Genesis 29:14, Genesis 37:27; Jdg 9:2; 2 Samuel 5:1; 2 Samuel 19:12-13; 1 Chronicles 11:1. This proverbial expression may have furnished the symbolism of the story.

she shall be called, &c.] The marg. by pointing out that the Hebrew for “woman” is Isshah, and for “man” Ish, shews the resemblance in the sound of the two words. This is fairly reproduced in the English words “Woman” and “Man”; and in Luther’s rendering “Männin” and “Mann.” The LXX is unable to reproduce it. The Latin attempts it with questionable success, haec vocabitur virago, quoniam de viro sumpta est.

Instead of “from man.” mê-ish. LXX and Targ. read “from her husband” = mê-ishâh, which adds to the resemblance in sound.

As a matter of philology the derivation is inaccurate. Probably Isshah is derived from a different root, anash. But nearly all these popular derivations of words prove to be inaccurate when judged by scientific etymology. They are based upon the assonance, or obvious resemblance in sound; and this, while it cannot fail to catch the ear and cling to the recollection of the people, is notoriously to be distrusted for supplying the real derivation.

Verse 23. - And Adam said. Either as being possessed, while in a sinless state, of a power of intuitive perception which has been lost through the fall, or as speaking under Divine inspiration (vide Matthew 19:4-6). This now. Literally, this tread, step, or stroke, meaning either this time, looking back to the previous review of the animal creation, as if he wished to say, At last one has come who is suitable to be my partner (Calvin); or, less probably, looking forward to the ordinary mode of woman's production, this time she is supernaturally formed (Bush). "The thrice repeated this is characteristic. It vividly points to the woman on whom, in joyful astonishment, the man's eye now rests with the full power of first love" (Delitzsch). Instinctively he recognizes her relation to himself. Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. The language is expressive at once of woman's derivation from man (γυνὴ ἐξ ἀνδρός, 1 Corinthians 11:8, 12) and likeness to man. The first of these implies her subordination or subjection to man, or man's headship over woman (1 Corinthians 11:3), which Adam immediately proceeds to assert by assigning to her a name; the second is embodied in the name which she receives. She (literally, to this) shall be called Woman (isha, i.e. maness, from ish, man. Cf. Greek, ἀνδρίς (Symmachus), from ἀνήρ; Latin, virago, virae (old Latin), from vir; English, woman (womb-man, Anglo-Saxon), from man; German, manninn, from mann; Sanscrit, hart, from nara; Ethiopic, beesith, from beesi), because she (this) was taken from Man. Ish, the name given by Adam to himself in contradistinction to his spouse, is interpreted as significant of man's authority (Gesenius), or of his social nature (Meier); but its exact etymology is involved in obscurity. Its relation to Adham is the same as that of vir to homo and ἀνήρ to ἄνθρωπος. Genesis 2:23The design of God in the creation of the woman is perceived by Adam, as soon as he awakes, when the woman is brought to him by God. Without a revelation from God, he discovers in the woman "bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh." The words, "this is now (הפּעם lit., this time) bone of my bones," etc., are expressive of joyous astonishment at the suitable helpmate, whose relation to himself he describes in the words, "she shall be called Woman, for she is taken out of man." אשּׁה is well rendered by Luther, "Mnnin" (a female man), like the old Latin vira from vir. The words which follow, "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall become one flesh," are not to be regarded as Adam's, first on account of the על־כּן, which is always used in Genesis, with the exception of Genesis 20:6; Genesis 42:21, to introduce remarks of the writer, either of an archaeological or of a historical character, and secondly, because, even if Adam on seeing the woman had given prophetic utterance to his perception of the mystery of marriage, he could not with propriety have spoken of father and mother. They are the words of Moses, written to bring out the truth embodied in the fact recorded as a divinely appointed result, to exhibit marriage as the deepest corporeal and spiritual unity of man and woman, and to hold up monogamy before the eyes of the people of Israel as the form of marriage ordained by God. But as the words of Moses, they are the utterance of divine revelation; and Christ could quote them, therefore, as the word of God (Matthew 19:5). By the leaving of father and mother, which applies to the woman as well as to the man, the conjugal union is shown to be a spiritual oneness, a vital communion of heart as well as of body, in which it finds its consummation. This union is of a totally different nature from that of parents and children; hence marriage between parents and children is entirely opposed to the ordinance of God. Marriage itself, notwithstanding the fact that it demands the leaving of father and mother, is a holy appointment of God; hence celibacy is not a higher or holier state, and the relation of the sexes for a pure and holy man is a pure and holy relation. This is shown in Genesis 2:25 : "They were both naked ערוּמּים, with dagesh in the מ, is an abbreviated form of עירמּים Genesis 3:7, from עוּר to strip), the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." Their bodies were sanctified by the spirit, which animated them. Shame entered first with sin, which destroyed the normal relation of the spirit to the body, exciting tendencies and lusts which warred against the soul, and turning the sacred ordinance of God into sensual impulses and the lust of the flesh.
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