Mrs. Adam was the first wife and the first mother. Named Eve by her husband Adam, this woman is highly significant, because Scripture bases foundational teaching on her and her marriage. Where did this woman come from to be Adam’s wife?
Eve was quite literally a Dream Girl, as Adam slept deeply while God prepared her. His joyful excitement upon meeting her can only be imagined as he 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.”
What is God’s best gift to a man besides salvation? Adam and I know the answer from personal experience. (Hint: See Proverbs 18:22)
Where Did Adam Get His Dream Girl?
Did Eve really come from Adam’s rib? Come now, is that even possible?
Which is easier: to make Adam from dirt or Eve from a rib? The Creator who made Adam from dirt could certainly perform the simpler task of making Eve from a rib. After all, He’s the Creator. “With God all things are possible,” according to Jesus (Matthew 19:26).
Thus it is certainly possible for Yahweh to fashion Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. But did He really do this?
Absolutely! The historical record in Genesis is crystal clear:
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. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:18,21,22 NASB)
Adam knew the origin of the new rib-creature. He named her Woman, because “she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:21-23)
Some scoff at the clear statements in Genesis regarding Eve’s creation by Yahweh, dismissing them as poetry or symbolism. But these Genesis statements do not fit the forms of Hebrew poetry in the poetical books of the Old Testament.
Symbolism is refuted by Adam’s choice of a name. The name Woman that Adam assigned to the new rib-creature and Adam’s reason for the name show that the literal interpretation of the Genesis record is correct. The record of Eve’s origin is neither poetic nor symbolic. It is literal fact. Yahweh made Eve from Adam’s rib.
Yahweh made Adam out of dirt, and all humans, including Eve, descended from that one original human — Adam (Acts 17:26). Eve was made out of Adam’s rib, and all other humans descended from that original pair in the usual way (except for Jesus of Nazareth).
Eve could physically prove she was one of the original humans. Navels are anatomical evidence of descent. Adam and Eve did not have navels because they were not descendants. Neither was ever connected to a mother by an umbilical cord, so neither had the scar formed by severing the cord. Adam and Eve were the originals of the human race.
Checking belly buttons is one of several ways to distinguish someone from Adam when you hear somebody exclaim, “I don’t know him from Adam!” If he has a belly button, then he is not Adam!
Although Adam did not have a navel, he may have had something else: a ribbel, the scar formed where God extracted a rib to make Eve. We don’t know whether Yahweh left a scar on Adam or not when He closed up the flesh where He removed a rib. God could have performed a scarless operation. Or He may have left a prominent ribbel for a powerful reminder and teaching aid for thousands of descendants that came along in the 930 years of Adam’s life. It could even have been a cherished reminder for Eve herself, a distinctive mark of the sacred bond between Adam and Eve.
Some have doubted the Genesis record because today everyone has 12 pairs of ribs for a total of 24 ribs. Some think men should have fewer ribs than women, because God took one of Adam’s ribs to form Eve. However, removing a rib does not change the genetic DNA blueprint passed to offspring. The loss of a parent’s bone does not affect the child, because it does not change the DNA blueprint.
Why did Yahweh make Eve from a rib? Why that particular bone and not another? Why not the pelvis, or collar bone, or a femur?
A possible reason has been discovered through the development of bone grafts. The rib cage is an almost endless supply of bone, because ribs grow back. As long as the outer membrane covering the rib, the perichondrium, is left intact, the rib will grow back. Ribs are the only bones in the human body which regenerate themselves.
Today surgeons use bone from ribs to reconstruct damaged bones like skulls, eye sockets, and jaw bones. The removed rib regenerates within two months provided the perichondrium has been left intact.
So perhaps Adam grew back his missing rib! Since Adam was in perfect condition before sin, he may have regenerated the rib within days.
Scoffers have long derided the Genesis account of Eve being made from Adam’s rib. But now modern medical science illuminates the reasonableness of the Biblical record. Blessed are those who believed the Bible’s report on Eve’s origin from Adam’s rib — before medical science discovered rib regeneration.
Why did the Creator make ribs for Adam and Eve and their progeny? What good are ribs? They actually benefit us in multiple ways. Ribs form a protective cage around our internal organs. In adults, ribs are one of the few bones that make red blood cells in the bone marrow. Chest breathing muscles attach to the ribs.
Questions to Ponder
- Why do you think Adam called Eve “flesh of my flesh” when she was made from his rib bone (Genesis 2:23)?
- Do you doubt some Biblical concept because you think it is at odds with current scientific thought?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 18th article in a weekly series on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam (with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
Read the sequels:
Adam’s Princess: Prolific & Problematic …coming soon…
How Many Children Did Adam Have?
How Long Did Adam Live?
Adam and the Gospel
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday February 10, 2016 A.D.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found 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….Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. (Genesis 2:18-24; 3:20 NASB)