Adam’s reaction to Eve – the key to creation flourishing

Before Eve came on the scene, Adam only had the company of animals, which was nice, but at his first sight of Eve in Genesis 2:23, he yells out, “Finally, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” (The Message). The animals were cute and all that, but this was more like it, someone just like him. 

But she wasn’t quite like him, was she? She obviously had different body bits to him, but Adam, interestingly, doesn’t comment on that at all. Nor do we see him scratching his head as if he’s thinking, “Wow, she’s a bit on the spongy side; hope she has muscle enough to skin a beaver.” Quite the opposite; all he can think of is, he’s met his match, not only his match as a perfect companion, but also his match as an equal, and he is thrilled with both. 

And we see that again in his jubilant response in verse 23, when he yells out “she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” And we see what he meant by that in the words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’. For ‘man’ it was ish and for ‘woman’ ishah, the same three letters ish in both, to make it clear that he understood – and revelled in – that she was just like him, his equal, his other half, made of the same stuff he was. But he did add an ah on the end of ish in recognition that, yes, there were a few bits different on her, but his focus was on the ish they shared, that despite the little differences in appearance they were equals in every way otherwise. 

And the reason for that is made clear in verse 24: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united with his wife.” Which seems like an odd statement, because there aren’t any “fathers and mothers” yet, and Adam’s father was God (Luke 3:38). But this would obviously be the pattern for the future, that man and wife would stride out into life together, fully equipped to fulfill the purpose God had made them equals for.  

Which, as God had made clear in the previous chapter, was for the two of them to be co-administrators of his creation to make it flourish. And his reason for their physical differences was to enable them to “be fruitful and increase in number,” Genesis 1:28.

So now we have this picture of man and woman as equals, because it’s in them being equals that they would successfully govern together, and in their differences produce their own little humans, who in turn would leave the nest and make many more patches of the planet flourish too. 

But it was Adam’s reaction to Eve that gives us the key to how this creation would flourish under human rule. He loved her, not only the sight of her or that she was his perfect match in every way, but also that God had given her skills and qualities that perfectly complimented his, so that together they would make a formidable team.     

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