Most English translations of Genesis 2:21-22 read, “The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up flesh in its place. And the rib that the Lord God took from the man he built into a woman.”

The description of the woman made from the man’s “rib” has led to the mistaken conclusion that women are inferior to men because they originate from one small part of the male anatomy. Yet the Hebrew word צלע (tsela) does not mean “rib,” but rather “side.” According to Exodus, for example, God told Moses to make four gold rings for the Ark of the Covenant, “two rings on one side (צלע; tsela) of it, and two rings on the other side of it” (Exod 25:12). Likewise, when God takes one tsela from the man to make the woman, Eve comes from an entire side of Adam’s body, not a single rib.

Adam’s own words clarify that Eve comes from one of his sides when he declares of his wife, “Finally, this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” (Gen 2:23). Had Eve been created from the man’s rib alone, Adam would only have been able to say that she was “bone of his bone.” As Adam’s bone and flesh, the woman is the man’s “other half.” When man and woman cleave to one another and return to being “one flesh” (2:24), the two equal halves of humanity are brought back together. The primordial couple in Genesis represents God’s vision of equality and complementarity between the genders.



  1. I recall being in a Bible study on Gen 2-3 with a new couple that was older than me. She happened to say (as she had apparently been taught) that her husband had “one less rib” than she did because of the way Eve was built. I was in such shock that I blurted out right then and there, “No, he does not!” and I could tell it was like I had emotionally slapped her across the face. Yikes! The Bible study was very subdued after that incident. Which goes to show it is important to translate using accurate words.

    • Dear Donald, as a matter of fact: Yes, women are equal ; they have been created from a side of Adam, not from a head bone nor foot bone but from our side wich I assume makes them even! And Yes, compared to women, men do have a couple of ribs less!

        • My pastor taught me that woman was actually created from the Helix curve. dna taken from Adam and used to form the woman, bone of his bone flesh of his flesh

          • Yes. Biblical Scholars that I have studied under said that the kjv uses the word that means “side”. But the word that means dna in the translations is curve. Which could mean side or the helix curve of the DNA from Adam.

      • Physiologically nothing changed for men. It was surgery, not genetic modification. If a man is amputated, does it mean that his future children will have one limb less? No. Likewise the case of Adam and Eve. Taking one part out of him does not genetically modify him and future generations to have that part missing.

          • Catchy title.
            Also the picture of marriage and oneness was a Hebrew word which I can’t find at present that meant they were equal but opposite, like a right and left hand, a mirror image. Interesting

          • Gen.2:23 as you stated above says bone of my bone”, as I was looking at the same scripture in The KJV it states bone of my bones”, meaning a bone(one) from Adams bones(many). and makes sense to me since ribs do have flesh attached to them in reference to where Adam says flesh of my flesh. Just commenting on what I’m seeing in my bible. And this is the definition I’m getting from the strongs dictionary(Gen.2:22)rib- Pronunciation: tsā·lä’
            Part of Speech: feminine noun
            Root Word (Etymology): From צָלַע (H6760)
            TWOT Reference: 1924a
            Outline of Biblical Usage:
            side, rib, beam
            rib (of man)
            rib (of hill, ridge, etc)
            side-chambers or cells (of temple structure)
            rib, plank, board (of cedar or fir)
            leaves (of door)
            side (of ark)
            This is just what I see, thanks for the article.

      • GOD’S PURPOSE for EVE was that she provide ADAM with a COMPANION, and a HELPMATE, and further down the timeline of CREATION, in the Scriptures Commonly Referred to as “The Chapter On Marriage”, Men are described as The Head of the Family, and Women Cherished, yet in Loving Subjection.

        • So a smart women would never get married. Why would she give up her freedom to be treated like a dumb child. Men have all the powers and they tend to use it. “rule of thumb” comes to mind.

    • Goes to show how people can’t differentiate between surgery and genetic modification. And how ignorant they are also about human anatomy.

      • Frank that was not nice ! Insulting people intelligence. We are all here to learn , and at the same time displaying grace and love , we are talking about God’s creation also lets not forget that He made us in His image .

    • It is obvious that “tsela” is not “rib”. And Eve was “made” by genetic manipulation,not from Adam- and not even from Adapa,his Sumerian predecessor…If she were to be “made” from Adam ( or his genetic material ).she could not have a XX chromosomes (female) but XY,like Adam (male). Doubling the X to XX would have resulted in an identical Madame Adam,which was obviously not the case. And the technology required would have been enormous…

      • You’re right that tsela doesn’t mean rib, Roland. Personally, I would caution against importing modern notions of genetics into the ancient biblical text. The original writer and readers did not know what chromosomes were, hence the original message of the Bible cannot be one about chromosomes.

        • Why is the notion out there that no one knew about chromosomes or DNA, back then. Just who do we think we are in our ignorance to think they did not know.
          We now have rediscovered what was always their.

        • I think it a terrible mistake to imply or suggest that Adam or his lineal decendants were in some way or anyway for tbat matter, less intelligent than todays man. My opinion is that our science cant even figure out how the pyramids and other object were built. Which suggest a certain ignorance and inablity on modern mans part & brain. “My thought are not your thoughts, for my thoughts are far above your thoughts” “God” in the “Holy Scriptures” Adam walked and talked with God. He had full and complete access to the creator and sustainor of all creation.

        • Roland we are talking about God the creator of everything even of modern science and technology for this simple reason i would belief that, no technology would be enormous for God

      • Roland Berger, i believe that eve was just the alteration of the cromosomes. A woman has got 2X cromosomes and the male XY, just one of the “ribs” is removed, instead of XX one of the legs of the X is removed and you are left with a Y. So to explane it to the ancient it is easy to say, a woman is XX and a man has one of the ribs removed and is left with a XY.

      • Looks like God chose the side of Adam with the X chromosome, not the Y chromosome. Hence woman is XX, man is XY.

    • Christian or shall I rather say Baptists, many don’t know much. They are on high defense of the King James Bible, though there are just too many miss translations of the Greek or Hebrew words and wrong interpretations.

    • A&E were not two individuals but both from the same side as HaADaaM an uncorupted seed of ADaMHa, saved from the NePhaLIM mixed seed

      • Kallie You quote ” saved from the NePhaLIM mixed seed” yet I find no scripture to state anything close to that. Can yo supply scripture?

    • Appreciate your discussion. Also, the Book of Jubilees (Book of Divisions) clearly says that she was made from a rib. The Book of Jubilees was of Hebrew origin 100’s of years before Jesus. Although it is not considered canonic, it indicates how the Hebrews interpreted the story.

      • Thanks for your comment, Dan. Standard English translations of Jubilees make it sound like the text is clearly speaking of “ribs,” but the English goes beyond what the Hebrew actually says. The English translation of Jub 3:6 says that God “took for the woman one rib from among his ribs, and this rib was the origin of of the woman from among his ribs.” However, none of this specificity or repetition of the word “rib” appears in the Hebrew. All the Hebrew says is that God “took as the woman one of his sides (אחת מצלעותיו) and it was for him as a woman” (cf. Jub 3:11). While English translations add several references to “ribs” because that’s what they think the Hebrew is referring to, there’s no reason for this assumption based on the original language.

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  2. Lydia Roskey here: Shalom! in the glorious name of Yeshua, I read in a archaeology mag. that Eve was made from the male organ????? Your explanation makes a whole lot more sense. This also goes with the idea, when a man and woman, in the Jewish faith, meet and exchange vows, each one has found his other half. I love it!! His “bershite” if I am saying it properly. love4LIFE, Lydia

    • Hi Lydia, Thanks for your post! The sexualized reading shows up in some modern scholarship, but there’s little basis for it in the text; this kind of interpretation constitutes “eisegesis” (“reading into” the text from outside disciplines such as biology, anthropology, etc.), rather than “exegesis” (reading information “out of” what the text actually says). I’m glad that the translation of “side” resonated with you! It certainly paints a lovely picture of equality.

      • Dr. Nicholas, have you ever thought about the rib being DNA? I am no scientist but the model of DNA looks like a ladder and maybe even a rib. I agree male and female were created by God and female is the other half of male being equal. I also think of God having the male and female characteristics since we are both made in his image, his likeness. He is described throughout the scriptures as having both attributes. Something to think about. Thank you for your teachings. I am new but enjoy learning! Blessings! ~ Lisa

        • Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Lisa. Since the Bible doesn’t mention a “rib,” but rather a “side” (tsela), the DNA ladder comparison doesn’t quite work. I am also reluctant to think in terms of DNA because the ancient Israelite didn’t know that DNA existed, so such a reading would have made no sense to original readers. Also, if God were working with DNA, then God would need to be working with the physical body when creating the woman from the man’s side, but the event occurs in a non-physical, visionary experience. See the following post:

        • Yes Lisa! I’m thinking the same way. I believe it to be about DNA more so the “ bloodline”. It makes since to me because throughout the Bible, it speaks of the bloodline right? Yehusha specifically, blood of the lamb, saved by his blood, the Nephalim, and so on. Perhaps there are 2 creation stories in Genesis?? Maybe that first creation wasn’t human? Or maybe the bloodline was tainted? Which prompt the Most High to recreate man(kind)in His image?

          • MeMe: Genesis 1 gives the Creation of the Earth and its inhabitants. Chapter 2 hones in on the particular of the creation of Mankind.

          • So your saying God who is without flaw. Perfect in all things, made a mistake? I think you are creating something that is not implied or mentioned.

      • That equality is also from Gen 2:18 a “help meet” Ezer Kenigdo in Hebrew (if I have that spelled correctly) which means equal but opposite like a R and L hand. Mirror image? It’s interesting he makes her from Adam (a part of him) instead of from the dirt like Adam.

        • Thanks, Deborah. Yes, “knegdo” means “juxtaposed” or “standing against,’ so it’s good to think in terms of both equality and a mirrored image.

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    • I think you mean bereshit, (beer-i-sheet), beginning.
      and I’ve always thought that when a man and a woman come together in all senses, they are truly ‘the person’s ‘other half’.

  3. That would mean that Adam and Eve were likely genetically identical except for the removal of the xy chromosome and the insertion of the xx chromosome. This would, of course, change Eve from a male with primary and secondary male sexual characteristics into a woman with primary and secondary female sexual characteristics. Interesting to think about. Must have been the Creator’s plan all along–men have nipples. 🙂

    • Well, if you take a look at the verses pertaining to the creation on man, you will see Adam was CREATED and Eve was BUILT from Adam! Like him, but different!

      • Thanks for your comment, Michael. Genesis 2 says that Eve was “built” (בנה; Gen 2:22) and that Adam was “formed” (יצר; Gen 2:7). The word for “created” (ברא) never describes the creation of Adam alone, but only God creating “them” (plural) — i.e., men and women (cf. Gen 1:27; 5:1-2). Both Adam and Eve are “created,” and Genesis 2 describes the specific processes by which each gender was created.

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        • The way I understand that is that the human being as male and female was created in terms of both of them being present genetically in the man when the man was created. In a sense one could say that when the woman was made out of the man, God “brought out” the woman from the man. I’m not saying that the man was androgynous or was some kind of a man-woman hybrid. No, what I’m saying is that he uniquely had all the stuff needed to have a woman made out of him. I’d appreciate your comment on this.

          • Thanks, Franc. The the ancient Israelites weren’t aware of genes or genetics as a scientific field. Hence, to interpret the text “genetically” is to “read into” the text a modern scientific notion that would not have been germane to the original writers/readers. My policy is “not to go beyond what is written” (1 Cor 4:6), so from my perspective, it is closer to the original authorial intent to see the creation of the woman as a visionary, symbolic act of God to show Adam that she is his “other half.” The goal of the text is to express equality, rather than biology.

      • “Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” ― Matthew Henry, MH might not have been anatomically correct, but I think he caught something of the essential sentiment.

        • Agreed 🙂 The “beside” language aligns with what Genesis is trying to do in describing the woman as an ezer k’negdo (equal partner) for the man.

          • Your interpretation, Dr. Schaser, makes it clear that the ancient text describing creation is a poet’s explanation of a theological matter. Thank you.

        • Reply for Dr. Nicholas J. Schaser Read your “ezer k’negdo” and something struck me. “Ezer” is help indeed. But “neged” suggests a face-to-face basis for the helping! Psalm 23 says “You prepare a table before me neged by enemies”. So, at an extreme, a wife can be a confrontational helper! And in by Igbo culture, most are! Nothing can tame a man as a physically weaker but emotionally tough woman negdo! Paul’s “trouble in the flesh”. Just my thoughts. But of course, the goal is to end up being “kindly affectioned one to the other”.

  4. THe article Lydia is referring to is found in Biblical Archaeology. several months back. Interesting interpretation by any means.

  5. I am like a scholar, carrying on the work of my father minister of YHWH Elohim and mother it has been revealed to me, that Eve was taken from Adams side, i totally agree with you. I agree with many things that you teach, not all but i compliment the Great work of sharing and teaching.Bless you real Good Shalom

  6. Is this story to be taken literally? “half” of Adam cripples him so that he is not in an “Eden/paradise” and so is Eve the other “half”; at worst they are to suffer and die. Genetics of xx and xy chromosome raises other issues. Is it a parable about the relationship between men and women?

    • Its important to remember that the creation account is a piece of historical narrative, not a 21 century scientific text book. It is historically accurate but not a medical explanation of what happened.

      • Shalom Dr Eli. Interesting comment. We believe that what we have in ‘The Bible’ is a Divinely inspired book where GOD told us in the original language what we need to know. No more and no less. The Driver Handbook for your car does tell you how to set up the End Float on a Half Shaft for you to be able to drive and appreciate the car. So don’t dig deeply into your Bible to try and find Genetics or Quantum Theory, interesting though it is, but not essential for Faith in the Creator. Enjoy Life.

      • Yahweh made the heavens and earth in seven days. But the sun, our measure for days, years and seasons, was made on day 4. Creation days 1 to 3 cannot then be according to our measure. Indeed, none of the creation days belongs to our mundane measurements. Again, the order of creation determined by creation days need not follow the sequence of our sun-based timing. A hospital for patient care is created first in the mind of its prospective owner, then designed on day 2, construction on day 3, and patient care first created appears at the end.

      • I believe the Word of God. Period. Just because we can see the affect we have on creation and the revelation of how creation responds to our inputs, we are so smart. I am suspect of mans “science” and how it declares to know all and understand the nature of Gods creation…Job anyone? We are in darkness and think we are so smart with our “science”. It always strikes me how the Bible is always subordinate to “science”. “…and He will send them strong delusion…”

        • Stephen, I suggest that there is a third way to look at it. Take Copernicus who went AGAINST the perceived correct interpretation of the Bible (that Sun goes around the earth, not the other way around). Religious power-brokers of the day murdered this great Christian Scientist much like ASIS did their people. It wasn’t that science is higher than the Bible of course not, but science when the theory has been PROVEN can adjust our FALSE interpretation of the Bible. I can’t remember who put it this way: But basically God gave two books to the world as revelation.

        • So your saying God who is without flaw. Perfect in all things, made a mistake? I think you are creating something that is not implied or mentioned.

    • Hi Winston, Thanks for your post and questions. While the Adam and Eve account isn’t quite a “parable,” which has its own definitional and narrative parameters, Eve’s being built from Adam’s side is certainly more about the relationship between men and women than it is about chromosomes. Rather than dwell on the biology of the event, the text prefers to make a theological statement about God and an anthropological statement about the nature of humanity. For more, see

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    • KJV speaks of Eve being “a help meet for (Adam)”. Dr. Schaser disclosed the Hebrew as “ezer k’negdo” in one of his comments here. That could be translated as “tough help” that could cripple, if I’m right. They both need help from above to end up “kindly affectioned one to the other”, and to jointly raise holy seed unto Yahweh. Not focusing on the Father, Yahweh, means trouble galore and spiritually dead children. They must be one, not just sexually with themselves as “one flesh”, but also spiritually with Yahweh, for harmony and peace. Just my thoughts.

      • Thanks for your comments, Yahka. I certainly agree that the human couple should be at one in spirit with God, along with being “one flesh” with each other. There’s always room for further closeness in the human-divine relationship.

    • Eh? God closed back the opening with flesh, no? It’s pretty obvious there wasn’t a crippled Adam in Paradise. And the creation account of the first man and woman is not a parable. If something as fundamental as the beginnings of humankind is a parable, then we are all living a parable. Like in “the matrix”, maybe?

  7. Hi 🙂 This concept maybe hard to believe our bodies are made of billion of cells! The most important part of a cell is the cell membrane! So If God were to change the material in the cell to become consistent to Eva’s biology then the rib would transform to a mass of cells then to the body of Eve! This is to say the xy chromosome would become xx! What do you rhink

  8. I have often wondered why, if woman came from Man why would every other living creature come from Woman? Wouldn’t God be capable of creating both male and female equally,especially knowing how the human race would then treat women as inferior up to the present day in many countries? The God in the Bible seems to be a misogynist and petty tyrant, compared to the New Testament. It just doesn’t make sense most of the time.

    • Hi Ruth. Contrary to what most people think, the God of the NT comes off sounding much harsher than the God of Hebrew Bible (or so it seems). Every living creature doesn’t actually come from woman – just other humans. I hope you’ll take some of our courses and discover that the God of Israel has a very high view of woman!

      • Dr Eli, I know you’ve asked for summaries of references, rather than links, in the comments. Well, Ruth’s concern that Yahweh (OT rather than NT) is misogynist and a petty tyrant is something that needs more than a-100-word comment. I have had to address such thoughts in some posts. One is a rejoinder to Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion where he calls Yahweh misogynist, etc., titled “The Yahweh Reality” in the section titled “Dawkins versus Yahweh”. The second is a piece titled “The Yahweh Fraud?” in a section titled “Yahweh not ‘blood-thirsty'”. Both are posted at .

      • True, Dr Eli, other living humans. To Yahka: society has placed women as inferior pro se however, it was after eve sinned that The Most High cursed woman see Genesis 3:16.

  9. They were ONE, Man AND Woman joined physically. Then God split them into ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN, Two Halves, which then, when re-joined are being ONE again.

  10. My understanding is much different. ..Of/from the Bone and pattered after his Flesh design which means DNA and modeled in his flesh covered likeness having a similar circulatory system and skeletal features. All of this is precision and exact in a math sense of the word refrenced by Adam in his statement. A ratio replica of Adam yet female. All have math and context references made throughout the scriptures. “Let us make man in our image and likenes” taken from an entire creation point of view. Which means it can be proven in a court of law as fact.

    • As I mentioned above, we have to careful about applying scientific analysis to an ancient narrative text. But that said, a very interesting observation.

  11. If Eve was made from the whole “side of Adam. Adam would have died in the process. But a rib easily regrows and can be spared.

    • We need to be cautious about ascribing scientific details to an ancient narrative text. But that said, I’m confident that God could pull it off : – )

    • Paul, for how Adam could be cut in half and live to tell about it, see
      There is no evidence in the text for understanding the Hebrew word “tsela” as “rib”; it always means “side” in the Hebrew Bible. As another example, cf. 2 Samuel 16:13a: “David and his men went along the road, while Shimei went along the side (tsela) of the hill opposite him.” In Adam’s case, when God takes his tsela, God removes an entire “side,” rather than a single rib.

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      • Isnt there an instance in 1 Kings 6:34 where the same hebrew word refers to a “chamber” in Solomon’s Temple? I have heard speculation that Adam was originally created as both male and female, just as Yahweh is neither male nor female, but both. What was removed was a “chamber”, or more specifically his female portions, the “chamber” of a female which is her womb. His womb was removed along with his other feminine attributes, and from that womb a woman was created. Thus she who was once one with Adam became his external other half, the woman.

        • Thanks for your comment/question, Troy. Yes, the Hebrew tsela is used of a Temple “chamber” five times in 1 Kgs 6:5-34. The notion that Adam was originally created both male and female is based on rabbinic midrashic interpretation (which takes its cue in this case from Greek mythology and anthropology), but it doesn’t appear in the Bible itself. Since it doesn’t appear in the biblical text, I wouldn’t give it too much weight.

          • I would like to delve into this a bit more. In these articles, IBC is often examining how ancient Jewish thinkers understood a vague or difficult text. Is it not fair to then ask the question of whey the Genesis Rabbah puts for the idea of a fully-male-fully-female initial being? Could you also discuss the original text uses of Hebrew terms for mankind vs. an individual physical man? Thank you in advance. I look forward to additional light you can shed on this topic.

          • Great questions. (1) When Genesis Rabbah posits an initial being that is both male and female, the rabbis draw less on the Bible and more on classical Greek creation myths — the midrash even uses a Greek loanword (androgynous) in its retelling of the story (Gen. R. 8:1). Thus, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the notion that Genesis Rabbah accurately interprets the original biblical intent in this particular case. (2) In Hebrew, the word “adam” (אדם) means “human” or “humanity,” while the word “ish” (אישׁ) means an individual “man.”

          • Thank you, Dr. Schaser. Are the Greek creation myths to which you refer recorded [much] prior to GR? I am no expert on this, for sure. The early range accepted for GR seems to be fairly contemporaneous with the early period of the Greek philosophers. I think you’re saying that there are much earlier Greek creation stories.

            Re. adam and ish, many trees have been felled to discuss the appearance of only “adam” prior to the creation of “Eve”, with “ish” appearing only after that. Does that have significance on its own (w/o Greek creation myths in the mix)?

          • Thanks for your questions, Neville. Genesis Rabbah dates from the 5th century AD, long after the Greek creation stories, some of which appears as early as Homer and Hesiod (c. 8-7th centuries BC). On Adam, it’s true that “ish” only shows up after the creation of the “woman” (ishah). This shows that the “human” (adam) is only called a “man” insofar as he relates to his human equal and counterpart, “woman.” For the biblical writers, “gender” becomes relevant only when more than one gender exists. But I wouldn’t put too much weight on the idea that the “adam” was “androgynous.”

          • Actually there is an explicit notion that ha-Adam is BOTH Male and Female (Gen.5:2), and many not so obvious hints as well, such as zekra wa niqab [we] created though in many places, but Gen.5:2 is perhaps the most explicit on the issue of duality of man.

  12. So if Eve was formed from Adam’s side, rib, or any part thereof then she and all women were not formed from the dust of the ground like Adam. Although the Bible said God covered the part with flesh, that material is likely different from the man’s flesh as evidenced in a woman’s more delicate & refined skin. And since the man is missing a part of his anatomy, he is always drawn to the woman who the Creator fashioned out of him. Their bond is divine and must always be preserved.

    • Interesting Interpretation, Chona. But I’m not certain that text wants to really suggest that man and woman are somehow materially different.

    • Ms Regala,
      Men and women have the same number of ribs. Guys have not been shortchanged.Although, my 7-year old granddaughter told me very matter-of-factly last week that she thinks women are far superior to men because they live longer, they can have babies, they can make chocolate chip cookies, and in her class at school the girls are way smarter than the smelly old boys. Yeah, I know, but go try and argue with her.

  13. I agree 100%. When I was studying the Hebrew original i came to that conclusion as well that this rib thing is just a translation stuff. Yes God created us like that and that was His plan since the beginning. Actually woman was created as a double defense to man. If man will fall, he will be saved because of her. Because we see when woman ate the fruit her eyes were not open only when both of them ate then their eyes were open. Offspring of them was a third ring of defense.

  14. Is that then why Yeshua was born from a virgin? And is God Himself a complete male and female union? We are created in His image. What will it be like for us in heaven? I have more questions than answers

    • Shalom Gabrielle, Trust me – we all have more questions than answers! Let me encourage you to sign up for some of our courses. That will at least help you get started with one or two.

    • With the xy chromosome, there is an obvious tendency to violence (else, why are violent criminals almost universally male?). If that violent tendency can be harnessed by the love of God, men can become protectors of the weak and innocent, working to make this world more just. Perhaps both Adam and Eve had xx chromosomes until Adam had his changed at the moment of the Fall and depravity set in. The genetic makeup of other animals must have been changed as well. Isaiah says that, in the Millennial Kingdom, “the lion will eat grass like the ox.” (Isaiah 65:25)

  15. i just love all this new revelations,we never learned these things from theology school

    • Hi Ernesto, Great question. Although “tsela” (side) and “tselem” (image) look and sound similar, they are unrelated words without any shared root. To give you a similar example, “moshia” (savior) and “mashiach” (messiah) sound alike and share some Hebrew letters (and we might even be tempted to equate their respective English meanings), but there is no actual relationship between the two. Again, this was a great question — keep asking questions like these and digging through the Hebrew!

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  16. Hello, praise be God to you and yours I will disagree with the statement that women are “equal” to men. Please be aware I do not think women are inferior nor should they be treated as slaves but in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1Corinthians 11:3, it cleary states that God is first, Jesus second, then comes man, then women. Weomen were not put here as equals but as “helpers” (Gensis 2:20). They are both children of God, but as with Adam, it’s man that has to answer for what happens, not woman (Gensis 3:9). I wish I had more room.

    • Hi Thomas, Thanks for your response. The fact that the woman is called a “helper” (ezer) in Genesis (2:18, 20) does not disqualify equality between the genders. If anything, the fact that the woman is called an ezer would point to her superiority, since the term most often refers to God (e.g., Exod 18:4; Deut 33:26; Ps 33:20; 115:9-11; 121:1-2; Hos 13:9). While the NT passages can be variously interpreted, there is nothing in Genesis 2 that discounts the notion that men and women are equals.

      • Correction, the term of ezer is translated as help or aid. In all the verses you posted does not refer ezer as discribing God, but rather what God is doing. But in 1 Corinthians 11:3 woman is refered to as gune, which mean wife. And it states God’s heirarchy, which places woman under man. And in Ephesians 5:22-24 uses the term gune again and it clearly says that woman must submit to their husbands. And again it states the God’s heirarchy.

        • While most English translations render ezer as “help,” it has the same meaning when translated “helper.” For instance, Ps 33:20 states, “Our life waits for the Lord, he is our help[er] (עזרנו) and our shield.” Whether one translates ezer here as “help” or as “helper,” it means the same thing. Notice that the term “help[er]” is descriptive of God (just like “shield”). Ezer is a noun, not a verb, so it cannot describe “what God is doing”; rather, it describes God as someone who helps (i.e., a helper). This is the case for every instance of ezer in the Bible.

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        • Sorry but my concordance, from Hebrew to English, does not have ezer has a noun, but rather a verb. As you said, if YOU translate it as helper then yes it would be a noun, but my translation does not have the er in helper, so it would seem that the word used here is a verb. And in Psalms 33:20, “He is our help…”, could imply that He gives us help, a verb. Most words have several meanings. You have to look at the context of the passage to realize which meaning it is refering too.

          • Hi Thomas, which concordance are you using? Even Strong’s (the most accessible [and flawed] concordance in the public domain) lists ezer as a noun. Notice your citation of Psalm 33:20: “He is our help”: “help” is a noun, not a verb. You noted that we need to pay attention to context: “help” in this context is a “thing” (i.e., a noun). When the verse goes on to say that God is a “shield,” it parallels its predecessor “ezer” (help) as a descriptive noun. Both “help” and “helper” are nouns, so either word is appropriate.

    • The fight for equality of the sexes can take place at two levels, the mundane and the spiritual. Yes, at the spiritual level, we have Yahweh as head of all, then Yeshua (Jesus) as head of others, then man as head of woman. Yet, in this spiritual context, the oneness of Yahweh and Yeshua is such that many can confuse Yahweh with Yeshua. So ought it to be between man and woman. So Yeshua prays in John 17:21 “That they may be one …” The mundane fight is another matter – man and woman’s inhumanity to man and woman.

  17. Interesting is that the church (the bride of Jeshua) is also born out of the side of the crusified Jeshua, see John 19:34 and 1 John 5:6,8

  18. I do apologize, I do realize that was not the question but rather comments from others. I do believe that women did not just come rom the rib as Gensis 2:23 states “….bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh…”

  19. I am a physician & I am surprised that there are many of you out there that still take this story literally. I have as a physician dissected & operated on many human bodies and let me tell you forthright ALL humans male & female have 12 ribs on each side. As to the DNA the study of embryos shows that we all start out as more female than male. The embryo has a ridge of sexual tissue that contains the making of either sex. If xx female & if xy male organs. Great allegory not science. Rich Guthrie MD

    • You are right, Rich–the Bible is not a science textbook. But everything it does contain is truth and there are profound physical processes that took place at the Creation and the Fall. That is the backdrop of what the Bible asserts. The Fall was a physical as well as spiritual catastrophe. The Apostle Paul notes that the entire Creation is “groaning” in anticipation of something better. That something better is a restoration of Edenic circumstances during the Millennial Kingdom. Having been once cleansed by water (the Flood), the earth will be cleansed by fire before the Kingdom begins. Metaphor.

      • Just as we are cleansed by water baptism from our past sins, we are doused with flames of fire at the filling of the Holy Spirit. Just as we are redeemed by God on an individual level, so the earth will be ultimately redeemed from its fallen state. Lovely metaphor–our G-d is a wonderful poet as well as an artist and inventor. 🙂

    • Hello Richard,
      I am by no means a Physician or Scientist but I have heard that only 15% of humans on the planet are RH Negative blood types. (no Rhesus Monkey antigen) Many are reported have an extra rib and or vertebrae. This sort of leads into the Adam/Eve “rib” question.. It is unknown as to the species in our evolutionary past has caused this. So I’m wondering if this might fit into all of this this. I’m thinking a possible missing link. If there are any studies presently
      going on which brush up against these thoughts, please advise. At this point in time, God only knows.

  20. So if woman was taken from the side of the man, was the man diminished in any way by this action? In order to receive his mate, did he have to sacrifice some of who he was so that he could become who he needed to be? It is difficult for us (well, me at least) to comprehend the taking of something from something without it being reduced, even if that reduction leads to a future enhancement. If woman was taken from the side of man – his other half, what was he before she was taken? Cont…

  21. cont… Was man physiologically different, emotionally different, intellectually different (in the way his mind worked)? Women and men are not the same in these ways, yet Scripture is clear that woman was taken from man. Did the female attributes come from Adam (the original, pre-Eve Adam), or were these gifted to her by God after she came from the side of Adam? Was Adam left unchanged, and if so, how? This was not a minor surgical procedure. This is a big deal? This is a very interesting topic.

    • Hi Ray, Thanks for your careful response and questions. For answers to questions around what the Bible means when it says that Adam was cut into two equal sides, follow this link:
      The text doesn’t dwell on the physical, biological specifics because its goal is to say something beyond biology. The splitting of Adam is something that happens outside of the physical world….

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  22. This makes sense in a language that has differing or opposite sides working together (man-strong/woman-fragile). This is very different than the individualism we often see in English.

  23. I would suggest that possibly what the text is describing to us is actually the process of either mitosis or meiosis – taking a body of cells and splitting it into two, creating two distinct sets of cells. If you’ve ever watched the process of mitosis, it appears as if one cell emerges from the ‘side’ of the original cell. This would have been on a grand and super-complex scale!

  24. As I see it Eve must have come from the right side of Adam and that is why men are always left wondering. 😉

      • I was told that the translation of rib was actually womb. This would make sense thatvivam a woman. God formed Adam with a whole body includi by Woman inside him because one day he would make Adam to sleep and bring her out of him to be his help mate.

  25. So interesting! We must be careful in trying to figure God out in a logical and scientific way. God is God. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.Our minds are to dull to comprehend the greatness and bigness of God. We will only ever know in part. God creating Eve by using Adam’s “rib” or his “whole side” after he created man in His image. I imagine Adam, being formed in God’s image having both male and female charactistics. I envision God pulling the feminine more sensitive side out of Adam and so created Eve.

  26. It’s so exiting to read your interpretation of Scripture and cannot help to feel my heart aching inside me at the scrip revealed. Shalom beloved nation of Hashem our G-d. This is my response to “Adam’s rib”, just one of the many other interpretations I’ve seen. Bless Yesra’el peace to Yerushalayim in the name of Yehoshua ha Mashiach Ben Hashem. Hope I did it right? Shalom all

  27. The rib comes from the side. The human rib is the only bone that will regenerate. Genesis also says that God “closed up the place with flesh” (NIV). If He had taken a whole side, would that not include bone? (Your argument).

    • Thanks for your question, Roger. Certainly, since God took the whole side, this would include the bones of that side (i.e., half the rib cage, all the bones of one leg, one arm, etc.). However, God is not working with actual flesh and bone when he takes one of Adam’s sides. Rather, Adam is viewing his own surgical bifurcation in a visionary trance. The creation of Eve is meant to tell Adam (and the reader of Genesis) about his equal relationship with his wife, rather than provide an anatomy lesson. For more on this,

  28. Thank you for your wonderful Hebrew highlights, revealing more of the glorious works of God. Always interesting and enlightening. What I would like to understand, if ever possible, is how could original translations be so awkward or inaccurate? Somewhere in the past, in other translations such as the Septuagint, other Hebrew/Aramaic, Syriac, Latin, Armenian or other texts, it would seem someone would question “rib” and use “side”. No? Is there a traceable etymology?

    • Great question, John. The fact that English versions translate tsela as “rib” is certainly confusing, since pretty much any Hebrew scholar you talk to will tell you that it should be translated “side.” To your translational question, the ancient rabbis rightly understood the Hebrew to mean that Eve was taken from Adam’s side. The following is from a 5th century midrash (biblical interpretation): “It is written, ‘He took one of his ribs’: מצלעתיו [means] one of his ‘sides’ (סטרוהי)… as you read, ‘For the second side (צלע) of the tabernacle’ [Exod 26:20]” (Genesis Rabbah 8:1; cf. 17:6).

    • That the writer of Genesis means “side” (not “rib”) has been known since antiquity, so the fact that modern English translations do not reflect this meaning is certainly odd 🙂

  29. As strange as it might seem, the idea that God created Eve from Adam’s sexual organ was put forward by Dr. Ziony Zevit, Professor of Biblical Literature at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Although I am not qualified to debate this issue, I can say, after sitting in on a number of Dr. Zevit’s lectures, “Pick your battles carefully.” Dr. Zevit knows Hebrew backwards and forwards.

    • Hi Stuart. Thanks for your important note. Yes, Dr. Zevit is a wonderful scholar whose work I deeply respect. And, as I noted, he’s not the only scholar to forward this interpretation. However, he also concludes that tsela should be understood as the entire side of a vertical human, which would include (at least part of) the male reproductive organ. To focus solely on that piece of anatomy is over-reading, in my opinion, and to get there we need to “read into” the text from disciplines outside biblical text criticism.

  30. Hello, as a child when I read this passage I imagined an old man whittling a rib bone 🙂 Now I imagine THE Master geneticist, master biologist, physicist, etc. removing stem cells from a rib marrow, altering a few genes and voila! Woman! Probably still wrong, but….

  31. Dear DR. NICHOLAS J. SCHASER, Is the “Eve” you refer to in your article a normal female member of the species Homo sapiens, or something else? Probably not the “Eve” of the relatively small band of humans that the evidence suggests to be genetically ancestral to all later modern humans. Because she was born from another female human, and not magically “derived” from some part of the male anatomy. So, to summarize: 1. women and men are equal in importance, and 2. women give birth to boys and girls, and that is where we ALL come from. Not a rib.

    • Thanks very much for your comments, Christopher. Insofar as Eve is so named because she is the “mother of all living” (Gen 3:20), the biblical writers frame her as a female member of the human race (i.e., homo sapiens). The ancient Israelites are presenting a narrative that agrees with your summary: (1) women and men are equal in importance (and in basic anatomy, apart from genitalia), and (2) women give birth to “all the living,” so that women are the source from which all subsequent human life comes.

  32. I heard of it before but I didn’t buy into it. Out of curiosity, I tried reading one Christian bible and compared it with the Hebrew bible and saw just how different they are when translated to English the otherwise same verses. In the English version, it appears that the message is that Eve was just part of Adam instead of being his equal. G-d isn’t patrilineal nor is He after the natural hierarchal ranks as we can see in the themes of Genesis wherein the younger (or more ‘inferior’ ones) outweighed the older ones. Shalom.

    • Good question, Rudy. In biblical Hebrew, the “rib” is not specified; rather, the term used is “bone(s)” (עצם) or sometimes “human bones” (עצם אדם e.g., Num 19:16). Just like the ancient Hebrews didn’t have words for specific bones like “femur” or “acetabulum,” or “proximal phalanx,” the Bible doesn’t contain a specific word for “rib” bone.

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  33. Interesting discussion – but the whole question of Adam and Eve is misplaced. The story of the creation of Adam and Eve is not factual – the first humans did not come from the region described in Genesis 2, nor during that timeframe. The Adam and Eve story is a theological story – it expresses the belief that God created the world, including humans – and that everything God made is good. That’s the truth of the creation stories.

  34. in this time and age of truth as you dig dipper, for truth i dig more deeply yo yhis controvessy. the spiritual kingdom of Genesis I is diefferenrt ferom Genesis II while the first is a kingdom, the econd is a garden, and the craetions is Gem. I are all created spirits the garden differs for they ar all FLESH COATED SPRTS OR SPIRITS CLOTHED IN FLESH. deeper, adam is not created but formed from dust (adamu) a lifeelss dust that have life when God breathe the life turning into a living soul. deeper, the woman is the one created

  35. not formed from dust that why God did not breathe the life for dhe came from life of a (now) living adam. the serpent like woman is created not formed deeper, they are not equal in the garden Adam is lower than the woman and the serpent , he was formed not created, deeper, serpent is higher than adam and woman, by creation for he (serpent) was created separately not from other beast but not taken or from any beast deeper, he is like adam and woman with two aarms, two feet can stand erect, walk and talk like both

  36. Translations from the original Hebrew to ALL other languages are ALWAYS subject to human interpretation. EVEN the original language is subject to INTERPRETATION. Religious scholars (of ANY religion) ALL claim that “theological” evidence, hermeneutics (what was the interpretation of the original READERS?) and “divine” instruction (spiritual influence, ie: “born again” people CONVINCED the Holy Spirit of God gave THEM the ABSOLUTE TRUE interpretation. No wonder we have so many conflicting religions on the planet and even within specific religions and historically have even caused more human misery and suffering than human selfishness. Is there hope for TRUTH? (see next comment)

  37. (ANSWER to previous comment)….. Is there any hope for Truth? ABSOLUTELY……God’s “GIFT” of the Scientific Method and Mathematics) Why do I say this? God (Creation/CREATOR) is PERFECT…therefore His physical and spiritual laws are PERFECT. We are CREATED in God’s image….most religions “created God in our human image…it’s BACKWARDS! The God/Spirit/Love of Creation, since we are Created in His Image, gave His Creation a solution to revealing Truth without bias……the Scientific Method….a process that reveals truth WITHOUT human bias, opinion…….. BECAUSE the “process” MUST be repeatible by others! Based on this premise of truth revelation through Science and Mathematics and NOT

  38. The article in reference suggests that there was a loss of meaning in translation of the “rib” vs the whole “half” of Adam’s body in Eve’s creation in the original Hebrew. Again…”human” interpretation. Whether the “rib” was used or some other part…..I believe God’s “Gift” of Science reveals that Eve WAS created from Adam (“at last flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”) via “modified cloning of Adam.” The “rib” is a rich source of stem cells and maybe the “rib” mistranslation was “prophetic?” Either way, I believe as many others who have commented on this article do,

    • Daivid Brown, science is a great tool but it does not answer all questions. Not all things are repeatable. The beginning is not repeatable. The most important message in Genesis 1 is that God is separate from His creation and that creation did not create itself. How was it done? We don’t know. We are puny in our understanding and science based on the definition that it must be repeatable is a definition made for pragmatic purposes. Even science starts out with a priori assumptions, for example, there is nothing that exists outside of matter, it is a closed system ,no,miracles allowed, etc

  39. A very good blog! Unfortunately, many men act superior to women and even expect them to be their personal slaves. I have always seen woman from Adam’s side. A helpmeet. The man is the head of the house as CHRIST is of the Church. Women are not in front, behind, above or below a man. She is by his side. That is where she came from. Eve had to have flesh, she could not walk around with just bone. God made men stronger physically. Women endure more (i.e. childbirth, etc). They are a team, together with CHRIST. Thank you! Shalom!

    • Thanks, Vida. I agree that the Bible portrays men and women as a “team” of equal partners. Well put. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

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      • Thank you Dr. Schaser. They become ‘one/one flesh’ in GODs eyes. There must be teamwork or that relationship becomes too heavy/burdensome. It is not meant to be that way. Endure together or they fall. Amos also states, if one falls, the other can lift him/her up. A three folded cord cannot be easily broken. (God, husband, wife=3). Not sure I have that in the right context but, that is my stand. Shalom!

  40. Good morning. How about this. In the English speaking Bible, it starts with, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth”. So far so good right???? Not quite right. The Torah starts with the word “Bereshite” which means ‘Before there was anything’. Think about that. There was no time, sound, light,…………..nothing. Quite different from the English Bible.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mack. So, בראשית (bereshit) could mean “In the beginning,” but based on the Masoretic vowel pointing, there’s no “the,” so it means something closer to “At [God’s] starting point.” The ancient Aramaic translation (the Targum) uses בקדמין (“When formerly,” or “beforehand”). Thus, some translations (rightly, in my opinion) translate Gen 1:1: “When God began to create the heavens and the earth….” But the first word of the Bible can’t mean “before there was anything,” because when God begins to create (1:1) there is already “stuff” present: “the earth,” “darkness,” “the deep,” and “waters” (cf. Gen 1:2-3).

  41. I think that there is a little mistake when they translated “one of his ribs”; if you review the bone anatomy, you’ll find that LITERALLY , there two pairs of ribs missing and at the end ofvthe sternum bone there isa “xiphoid process” where those pairs were original attached.

  42. Blessings , can you please suggest a true Hebrew to English bible that you use so I can purchase to help me in my studies . Its Name and ISBN number . Thank you Stefan

  43. Dr. N.J. Schaser I agreed that God made Amdam He made Adam a deep sleep and took a side rib in singular form which means God made Eve out of Adams’ HALFside as such Genesis discribes as Adam said you a bone of my bone, flesh my flesh and I called you as my helper. Therefore; God made Adam and Eve complete Humen being not half that’s when Adam and Eve cleaved together to confirmed as ONE Body regardless of different occasions.

  44. I don’t think it matters whether Eve was made from one of Adam’s ribs or from his side; neither translation expresses subordination. To get subordination out of either of those expressions requires that you insert a preconceived idea into the text. God could have taken Adam’s DNA from a toenail and made eve and the result would have been the same. From the context–which is really the only way we can get at the meaning–we learn that the idea was that Eve was the being who “corresponded” to Adam in a way that none of God’s other creatures did.

  45. God created EVERYTHING! Why would someone limit Him and assume it would have been too big a procedure for Him to do? Even way back then just saying

  46. Did Eve come from Adam’s rib? ABSOLUTELY…..the interpretation that says the rib would only make bone of my bone instead of flesh. The problem is refusing to be a child of God and realize we are Created in God’s Image. Being a child of God ….we are able to use His GIFT of the Scientific Method that has revealed and is still revealing God’s PERFECT Laws. Sadly…..religion has allowed satan to usurp God’s GIFT of Science resulting in perpetual antagonism between Science and TRUE FAITH in God.

    Science has revealed God “blueprint” of life…DNA. The “rib” is a rich and easily accessible SOURCE of stem cells. Eve was created by God by taking 2 stem cells from the rib marrow. Y chromosome is removed from one and discarded…cell is saved. An X chromosome is removed from the second stem cell and is injected into the nucleus of the first second cell, second cell is discarded. The modified first cell is induced to begin cleavage and form a blastocoel that is placed either in a surrogate indigenous Simian female or in vitro artificial womb… way of knowing. Nine months of gestation/morphogenesis and “baby Eve” is born. The “deep sleep” God placed Adam into may have been extended suspension because when God presented Eve she was already an sexually mature young women. This Scientific explanation fulfills the Scripture without violation of God’s PERFECT Laws. (If Laws are PERFECT, “magic” explanations become an oxymoron) “At last, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone and even blood of my blood. Eve is a female clone of Adam fulfilling “I will call her women becomes she ‘come from man'”
    In Christ Jesus…david

  47. Man and woman are not equal and were never created equal. Man was created in the image of God. This verse was a concern for years as it did not fit with the rest of the bible however I heard it suggested that what was taken was that which would support life in other words God performed the first ever blood transfusion because as it is said the life is in the blood. Not a rib or anything else .

  48. Why do surgeons use the ‘rib’ when requiring ‘bond’ for a repair to another part in the body? Because, when a rib or a portion of it are removed from within its sheath, the bone (the only bone in the body) with rejuvenate itself after removal… God knew what he was doing when taking a part of Adam’s side and used it as an ‘Eve starter bone’!

  49. Seems to me that Troy Davidson above, July 12, said it well. Many years it became clear to me that the woman has an organ that a man does not have. The man has a organ the woman does not have. When these two are joined we have the blessing of procreation since these two special organs (not possessed by the other) are completely complimentary to each other.

    Is is not apparent that the “chamber” to which Davidson refers is truly the womb. Adam was created with both of these and the Lord took the womb and made a womb-man, or shall we say “woman.” Consider what I say and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

  50. The Rib being a flat bone is one of the highest DNA producing bones. God did cause Adam to fall into a deep sleep, took what He needed to create Eve and closed up the flesh. Could “Side” refer to one entire side of the DNA Double Helix thus making Eve an exact female copy of Adam with total equality.

  51. The article is nonsense. The word for “rib” in Hebrew IS צלע. The word for side is צד. Check it online if you don’t have a Hebrew dictionary.

  52. All mammals have a panel bone , man is a mammal but does not one. Mammals function by smell, man function by touch, holding hands , hugging, kissing that lead to other things. Eva was told if she touched it she would die . the touching it lead to the eating, to eat is to PARTAKE. It was probation to procreate. The fruit and tree is meddafur . Sex is big thing in the Bible. Have more to say latter.
    C J

  53. It was always apparent to me he was talking about Adams genetic material. We talk the same way about our children. They are our flesh and blood, related to us. The same species, only directly from us. God made Adam from the chemicals of the soil. He used already existing materials. He created out of nothing his soul and spirit. Then he built the woman (Bana) from Adam. Our physical bodies are all built individually in the womb. Our invisible immaterial soul and spirit are created out of nothing. Then God gives the Spark of life. Man does not ever create life. God does. The Hebrew is absolutely necessary to understand. So I have been following this teaching.

  54. I have often thought that God’s word for “chromosome” might be “rib”. Thinking about it, women have 23 X chromosome pairs and men have 22 X chromosome pairs and one pair is XY. Looking at the Y chromosome, it appears to be 1/2 of the X chromosome. Could Hod have taken that 1/2 chromosome and made another human from that!?? Is everything needed for life in that 1/2 chromosome and the other 22.5 DNA information is what makes each individual??!?? God is good

  55. Is it not more likely that Eve was of the exact parentage as Adam? We know that beings are created from two parents. Their DNA is from both “halves”.
    When the Bible says Adam was formed from the dust of the ground it means that Our Heavenly Parents (yes God has a wife) partook of the food of this earth to form the first inhabitants thereof.
    Brigham Young mentioned this in his Journal of Discourses.

  56. As I am reading all these comments, I asked the Lord: “What is it that you want to teach us in this beginning part of the Bible?”
    And the thought came to me that the Church is the Bride of Christ. Adam was created in the image of God, Was God then, like Adam at creation, also containing male and female?
    When our Lord Yeshua, received a human body, He “bought” His Bride. Thinking this, it makes it more understandable to see how when we are in heaven, we are not married anymore to one another. but in perfect union with Christ. One being? What are your thoughts about this, dr. Nicholas?

    • Thanks for your questions, Gabrielle. So, there’s no textual evidence that Adam was both “male and female” before Eve came along. The creation of Eve happens while Adam is in the midst of a vision, not in biological reality (see More, God is beyond gender insofar as God does not procreate and because both male and female are created in God’s image. On being “one” with Christ, Paul likes to use this terminology in his letters, but we would have to ask ourselves about the meaning behind this mystical language.

    • Thanks for your question, Johan. There is no biblical Hebrew word for “rib,” since the notion of a “rib” that is distinct from any other “bone” (עצם) doesn’t come up in the Bible.

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  57. Interesting, be it the rib or half body, first cloning in history.
    Further comment by David, that God had a wife–possibly Sophia, which would also explain the sons of God?

    • Hi Floris. Thanks for your comment and question. There’s no biblical evidence at all that “God had a wife.” You’re right that, according to Proverbs, “Wisdom” (Hebrew: Hokhmah; Greek: Sophia) is personified as a woman who was with God at creation, but there’s no connotation that Wisdom is God’s wife or that the two “procreate.”

  58. Thank you for this interesting article and also the article “splitting the Adam”. My view to some comments: Reading the Bible, I ask myself who wrote the text to whom and what did the writer communicate to the readers. I think Moshe (inspired by God) wrote Genesis to Israel to tell them about their origin and how God relates to man. For me the essential of this text is not the explanation of the DNA, but that God created man and woman. And them as equals depending on each other and belonging together. I’m so glad to learn from you!

    • Hi, Gabriela. Thank you for contributing to the discussion! I fully agree with you that Genesis is written to and for Israel, in order to tell them something about themselves and their relationship with God. You’re right that the text is concerned with theological and anthropological truths about God and humanity (in this case, the equality of men and women), and not concerned with biology or DNA. Thanks again for your judicious response.

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  59. I am struck here by the different thought processes. Christians tend to over-spiritualize, while Jews tend to over think. The Holy Spirit did not just dictate what to write, but God did show His shaliachim and they wrote. And who cares if the ancients knew about DNA? God did, and was fully capable of manipulating it if He chose. The main point is what you made on the OP- woman was made from man’s side, making her equal but different. That’s what the text says, so take that to the bank! And no other interpretation can change the p’shat meaning.

  60. Did Eve come from Adam’s “rib”?……ABSOLUTELY……the “marrow” of his “rib”……a rich source of adult stem cells. Genesis 2:23 “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Simple….Eve is a CLONE of Adam.

  61. Adam Missing a rib I can imagine but Missing a whole side? A side of what? I assume the Lord does not include certain info in the Bible for a reason & it is primarily for developing & salvation of our souls as Billy Graham puts it. It’s for rebuking, teaching, training & correcting us into the image of Christ & You shall know the truth & the truth shall set you free. Praise the Lord & Glory be to God!

  62. Ah. I have not read Homer in decades and have never actually read Theogony. There is some crazy disturbing stuff in there. I thought you were referring to Symposium, but if Plato is referencing these earlier works then I see your point.

    However, I am confused on a related point. In the “Splitting the Adam” comments (at and here (above, at you cite Genesis Rabbah 8:1 as supporting the “sides” view. That is only two sentences after the reference to androgynous creation. That’s a very fine-grained breakdown of what’s trustworthy and what’s not. Is that intentional?

    • The reading of “side” rather than “rib” is secure without bringing Genesis Rabbah into the discussion. I noted the midrash to show that something similar appears in the rabbinic literature, but we don’t need the rabbis in order to make the point. More, the midrash can be correct about the reading of “side” and also wrong about other aspects of the Genesis narrative — we don’t need to agree with the rabbis on all their points… even they don’t agree with each other on all their points 🙂

  63. Nice try here but a lot of spilled ink.

    Google the name of Ziony Zevit, a professor of Near Eastern Studies in California, who has written about this exact topic and what it means. His conclusions, as shocking as they are, make a great deal of sense as he unpeels the onion layers of support for his thesis. Highly provocative but incredibly original – and likely correct.

  64. Eve was made from a rib (ribs are at the side of humans) – no where does Scripture declare a male has less ribs than a female (a bit like the apple of Martin Luther).
    More problematic is the claim made about the primordial couple – the author does not believe in the reality of Adam and Eve as all liberals and evolutionists.

  65. What does that really mean that He took one half of hip? Did he cut out his brain, his lung, his arm and his leg? The story about Adam and Eve is still very confusing. To me, it makes me sense not to speak about side of body, but about side of mankind. My English is not perfect, but in my native language we say “someone from his parent side” to refer his family ancestors… God said he made Adam, but he did not say how many men or woman were created…

  66. I have explained this to my daughters as “side”. I told them that a good way to think of this is boys are XY and girls are XX. God took one side and made woman.

  67. US
    Love this . All my life i wondered why Yahveh put men over women and now with the Hebrew word explained i know i was right all along.

    Thank you so much for explaining this and Yahveh bless you.

  68. The clarity of the explanation coupled with Adam’s description of the woman says it all. I have expunged the idea of woman coming from one rib of the man. Science has it that man has same number of ribs on his sides.

    • Thanks for this input, Joseph. I agree with you that Adam’s description of the woman as “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” shows that she was not made from a single rib 🙂

  69. Just because it says side and not rib specifically doesn’t mean the Lord didn’t take a rib from Adam to create Eve in the NASB it says the “Lord closed up the flesh in the that place”. Also ribs can grow back.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mark. The Hebrew says that God “closed up (sagar) flesh in place of it.” The question we’d have to ask is, what is the “it” to which the author is referring? Is it a “rib” (which does not feature in the text), or is it a “side,” which is what the Hebrew word means? The Hebrew for “close up” (sagar) can mean a variety of things: (1) “close up” (2) “give over” or (3) repair, rebuild. Did God “close up” a single space for Adam’s “rib”? Or did God “repair” an entire “side” of Adam’s flesh? The Hebrew text seems to push the reader to the latter option.

  70. Adam = mankind. mibesari = from the man; besar = person. “This is now side of my sides, and person of my person.”

    • “This is now side of my sides, and a human of my mankind (human from my male organ).” Besar has more meanings!

  71. Hi there, in Genesis 2:21, YHWH only fills up the side with flesh. But shouldn’t that include bones too (cf. vs. 22)?

    • Great question, Calvin. The Hebrew for “flesh” (בשר; basar) can mean one’s “body” more generally, rather than just the skin (or epidermis), so that Gen 2:21 can refer to the entire human side (flesh, bones, blood, organs, etc.) with the single reference to “flesh.” Indeed, this is the way that בשר is used in the initial chapters of Genesis (i.e., as the full body or person): see, Genesis 2:24 and several times throughout Genesis 6-9.

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  72. Hebrew TsLAh means side rather than rib. However, if one is careful he can notice that root SGR which follows right after (Gen.2:21), commonly translated as “closed up” means CAGE, and that may quite well establish the association with a rib cage, not necessarily a whole cage, just side of.

  73. Hi Makaveli. Gen. 5:2 NIV, NKJV is mankind. it can also be humans or creatures as GOD,s creations. I found the discussions useful and very interesting far from wat i was taught. thanks for bringing up this discussions.

  74. The rib is the only bone in the body that will regrow and is one of the key sites of stem cells, necessary for human life. From a medical perspective the rib makes a great choice.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nick. From a linguistic perspective, the Hebrew word צלע is not equivalent to the English word “rib,” so the original language doesn’t offer us that translational choice (despite many English translators making such a choice).

  75. Does this really matter?!? We can never know exactly how God did it (until we get to Heaven, by which time we probably won’t care) because it was a supernatural process, in a universe before the whole of creation was “cursed” because of Adam’s disobedience.

    • Tim, one could ask the “does this really matter” question about any point of biblical interpretation. If the implied answer is “no,” then we might as well stop reading the Bible altogether. In truth, it does matter. The erroneous notion that the woman was created from the man’s “rib” has been used to subjugate women and to view them as lesser than men. Unfortunately, this goes against the spirit and language of Scripture, which describes the woman being made from the man’s “side” in order to convey the truth that women and men are equal. Thus, right interpretation has ramifications for how we live here and now, and can help future Bible readers ensure a greater level of human flourishing. On “getting to Heaven,” see the following IBC article:

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Jewish Gospel of Matthew or The Hebrew Psalms: How To Worship God. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  76. Thank you for the clarifying teachings of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures. I am truly blessed with these teachings!


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