In a previous post, we learned that God cuts Adam in half and uses his entire side to create the woman. But how did God split Adam without killing him? Assuming Adam’s survival, does he keep only half of his body after Eve’s arrival?

According to Genesis, “The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his sides” (2:21). For modern readers, Adam’s “deep sleep” (תרדמה, tardemah) connotes a hospital patient’s sleep via anesthesia. However, the practice of anesthesiology was unknown in ancient Israel; Genesis does not have modern medicine in mind. Rather than physical sleep, tardemah denotes a visionary trance. Later in Genesis, when the “word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision… a deep sleep (tardema) fell upon Abram” (15:1, 12). In the midst of Abram’s tardemah, he becomes a covenantal witness of God’s unconditional promise of Canaan (15:13-21).

As with Abram, when Adam goes into a “deep sleep” he actually goes into a visionary trance. In fact, the ancient Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, translates tardemah with ἔκστασις (ekstasis)—literally “standing outside oneself” (cf. the English word “ecstatic”). The Jewish Greek translator of the Septuagint understood the Hebrew tardemah to indicate Adam stepping outside of himself in a trance and having a vision of his body divided into two equal parts. Instead of splitting Adam physically, God provides him with a vision to show him the meaning of the relationship that he will have with his wife: a fully equal partnership with a person who constitutes his “other half.”

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189 COMMENTS

    • The article on splitting the adam is satanic nonsense. In B’reshit 2:21 the hebrew word first used for rib is miTsal’otayv which is a plural and means ‘from ribs of him’. The hebrew then says ‘and he shut up flesh being place of her’. Verse 22 states ‘And he built, Y’hovah Elohim, the rib that he took from the man for woman,’ Once the ‘literal’ hebrew is understood it is clear that it is a rib and not a complete side.

      • Thanks for your comment, Mikhael. Calling the article “satanic” was a nice touch. The fact of the matter is that outside of Genesis 2:21-22 the Hebrew “tsela” never — ever — means “rib,” it always means “side” (nearly 40 times in the Hebrew Bible). Thus, when you translate it “rib,” you’re not taking the actual Hebrew language “literally”; rather, you are importing an English meaning into the word that does not exist in the original, literal Hebrew.

        • I am amazed that you had the guts to print my input. You are once again missing the point. miTsalotayv is a plural and to translate it as ‘from sides of him’ and then to dismiss the final word Tach’tenah which means ‘being place of her’ shows how little real understanding you have of the original hebrew. Chavah was formed from one of Adam’s ribs. The word before miTsalotayv is achat which means ‘one of’. Further vaYis’gor Basar means ‘and he shut up flesh’. The fact that tsela is translated as side in other passages is irrelevant.

        • In Sh’mot 30:4 Tsal’otayv the tenth word is ‘ribs of him’ and the fourteenth word is Tsidayv which means ‘sides of him’. Tsal’otayv could also be rendered ‘boards of him’ but it would not make sense to be rendered sides of him. Sh’mot 37:27 shows the making of the housing for carrying the altar and once again Tsal’otayv is ‘ribs of him’. The word rib has not been imported and hebrew words can have more than one English meaning. The Hebrew word for hand can also mean side for example.

        • Dr. and Michael…I suspect you BOTH are taking things literally like fundamental Christian interpretation of Scripture.(see my comment on previous article) God gave us His Image and His “GIFT” of Science and Mathematics to reveal ABSOLUTE truth. We ALL better use it including atheists! The Genesis account is TRUTH……Eve came from modified cloning of Adam…….Y chromosome substitution with an X ……..

        • Perhaps it is for us to trust His word. Eve is the only female created in this manner. No other female animal was created in this manner. Adam and Eve are special, therefore when a man and a woman are joined together in marriage is it not symbolic of putting Adam back together again as one?

          • Hi Ina. Yep, that’s exactly what’s going on — when Adam and Eve cleave together, they go back to being “one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

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          • We are human beings not animals !!! Do animals have vocal cords to speak as humans ? Can animals think as a human think ? Can animals reason like humans ? Can animals rule over nations ,people ,tribes and governments ? YHVH gave man the rulership over all animals on land ,in the waters ,in the sky and everything that creepeth and crawls .Adom named all of the animals .Man has been given dominion on the animal kingdom .

  1. The word says NOTHING about cutting Adam in half, thats a grose exageration. Genesis 2:21-22 Gen 2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 

    • This is not a literal story. If Eve was created from Adam’s physical body, why do women have two X chromosomes and men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome? Where did the extra DNA come from?

      • Elaine, you are missing a point, I am afraid. The fact is, that in order to produce GENETICALLY a woman from a man, a Creator does not need EXTRA DNA! The opposite process should require an extra Y-chromosome. Theoretically, a man can be “cloned” and turn to a woman just by doubling his existing X-chromosome. Thus, genetically, the Genesis story is much more plausible compared to a fictional, “reversed” story about a man created from a woman. THEN some Extra DNA – the Y-chromosome, should be taken from elsewhere.

      • This is indeed a literal account, not just a story. Genesis 1 and 2 are written as historical narrative. Adam and Eve were literal people, otherwise the rest of the Bible about the 2nd Man, the Lord from heaven and the Last Adam (Christ) make no sense. I don’t fully agree with this article’s explanation of the text, but in some way, God made Eve from some part of Adam’s side. The configuration of X and Y chromosomes in the man and women would have been no problem for a God who created Adam from the “dust of the ground”.

      • It has nothing to do with DNA. Vision: What see’s the eyes or the mind? Does a disembodied hand feel any pain, or can it move without the mind? Adam and Eve enter into this realm as one, but it is Eve (fem. aspect of Adam) arises in this realm in a male body, with in sweetness and truth, but is unrecognized by the world. John 17:16-18 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” She returns to her senses.

        • I retract; “It has nothing to do with DNA.” The Gospel of Thomas v 29 Jesus said, “It is amazing if it was for the spirit that flesh came into existence. And it is amazing indeed if spirit (came into existence) for the sake of the body. But as for me, I am amazed at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty.” The Gospel of Philip – “Do not despise the lamb, for without it no one could see the king.”

        • The so-called “Y” chromosome is NOT something extra– it’s something missing. What is missing is part of the second X, making the male chromosomal pattern look like XY. Also: all embryos begin as female. At some point early in fetal development, the XX fetus begins to develop female sexual characteristics, but the XY does not. Because it is missing part of the XX sequence, it develops male characteristics. So it looks as if Adam came from Eve, not the other way around. Taking Eve out of Adam to be a “helper” is just more patriarchal, primitive nonsense, and totally unscientific.

          • Johanna, the Genesis account has nothing to do with chromosomal patterns. You are entitled to your opinions about the Bible, but the visionary description of Eve as “half” of Adam is not “patriarchal,” it is the exact opposite: it expresses a metaphor for *equality* between men and women, not a patriarchal power-play for male dominance. More, the message is anything but “primitive”; rather, since patriarchy and anti-female sentiments still exist in modern societies, the egalitarian message remains timely.

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          • [Off the original topic but, Dr. Schaser, please grant me some leeway]

            Johanna, you wrote: “all embryos begin as female” but also wrote “Because [the XY fetus] is missing part of the XX sequence, it develops male characteristics”. How can both be true? The XY fetus would already be male.

          • The Y is independent of the X genetically, therefore Adam didn’t come from Eve…Bible says Eve came from Adam…”at last flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.”

        • Indeed, Bible is absolute and inerrant truth IF we accept God’s gifts of science and wisdom AND His Son Jesus. Obviously Eve was a modified “clone” of Adam….2 stem cells from “rib” marrow….Y chromosome removed from 1st, X from 2nd and inserted in first. Gen 2:23

      • I have been looking at the creation account in Genesis and reading various thoughts on whether the jewish people considered this literal history given by God or whether it was poetry written to illustrate that God created, but not necessarily that He created exactly that way. I’ve heard our pastor say that it wasn’t until the last 100 years that people began to take the creation accounts as literal history. I’m trying to understand where his point comes from and whether or not that is a fair assessment. I’d always thought it was the opposite, actually. Thanks so much for

        • Hi Melissa, Genesis 1 has been variously interpreted throughout history. Some ancient interpreters understood the days of creation to be longer than 24-hour periods, while others read the text more literally. Your pastor likely means that it has only been in the past 100 years or so that people have been trying to square Genesis 1 with Darwinian notions of evolution. If you’re interested in the topic of interpreting Genesis 1, here’s a book suggestion: John Walton, “The Lost World of Genesis 1.” It’s an easy read and I think it will be eye-opening for you.

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    • Hi Noel, while you’re correct that the text says nothing about Adam being “cut” (כרת), it does say that God “takes one of his sides” (ויקח אחת מצלעתיו; Gen 2:21). If God takes a complete side of Adam, then God is rending Adam in half, taking one side and leaving the other. The Hebrew text does not describe the taking of a “rib,” but rather a “side.” See my previous blog post, “Did Eve Come from Adam’s ‘Rib’?”

      • I thick it is all mere speculation by interpreting literally a word from the Bible. Does it mean that the God need to split Adam in the process of creating Eve? Is the God incapable to create women from nothing? But the Bible need to emphasize that the DNA of Adam and Eve had related each other. Simply come to a conclusion that the concept of family was God’s plan through which man to multiply in the world. Also see blessing of the God to Noah, Abraham, Jacob that emphasizes that their generations will be multiplied and blessed.

      • Assuming that Adam was having a trance, and he sees his body being cut into “sides” – this means the “side” that Adam saw God took was part of the trance. Now the text says God formed Eve from this “side.” But wasn’t the “side” a trance?

        • Yes, on the trance reading, God’s building of the woman occurs in the trance world, rather than the real world. That is, the text is describing the theological import of the woman’s creation, rather than the actual biological creation (Genesis is less interested in biology, and more interested in anthropology and theology).

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          • As Walton points out, the author of Genesis is more interested in function than material creation. Thus, the vision is depicting God’s desired function for the man and woman, which is what Dr. Schaser is implying. Thank you, Dr. Schaser.

          • That’s right, Scott. Walton’s work is extremely helpful for understanding the theological goals of the biblical writers. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • I agree with you, Noah, however I will do further research for myself and ask the Holy Spirit for the correct interpretation and understanding.

    • Neither did the author here say God cut Adam in half. That was part of his reasoning for the fact he was NOT cut open. We now know that DNA strands are paired. So taking tissue from any part of Adam, or any excretion or even a flake of skin, God could have taken two X chromosomes from Adam, paired them and made Chava. So taking only one “side” of man’s DNA, God created woman! This is actually a good explanation. Believe what you want, but do yourself a favor and keep an open mind when deciding what that is.

    • The root of your disagreement is because you are reading a translation. The word translated as “rib” does not mean rib in Hebrew but means “side”. So, if you want to be so literal, then you would have to read the text as saying God took one side from Adam. Saying that that could imply the idea of God cutting Adam in half is not so far off! Besides that, when you understand the word tardema – as described in the article – as being in a trance-like state where Adam received a vision, this makes total sense.

  2. Hi This reading and the reading about Eve is so awe-inspiring. Everything makes perfect sense. The bible talks about two becoming one. How perfect. God is indeed awesome. Who can instruct God? I’m in awe…i really am.

    • Dellareese am also in awe. God is sovereign. He chose to create me whereas He could have chosen otherwise. In the beginning God. What about before the beginning and from the beginning? Could the wise men take us beyond the beginning? Genesis1:God created in His image(Spirit).female inside male created them.

  3. i like teaching but i only have so much time, when you send me 3-5 e-mails a day is to much. especially when most of them are reprints i am almost think of canceling my subscription.

  4. Greetings and blessing to you and yours. Tardemah actually has a couple of meanings. “a lethargy or (by implication) trance:-deep sleep.” I do not see anesthesia. Further it says that Adam “slept”. Here the word yashen is used which also has the meaning of sleep in it. So by proxy, Adam was put to sleep. Now with Abram, he was given a “vision” where you would seem “outside oneself”. Same word but two different meanings. And I have checked a couple different versions, and no where does it say “that God provides him with a vision…”.

    • Thanks for your response, Thomas. You’re right that Genesis says Adam “slept” (ישן yashen), but being asleep does not preclude having a vision. The only other time that yashen appears in Genesis is at 41:5, speaking about Pharaoh: “And he slept (yashen), and he dreamed a second time, and behold (הנה hineh): seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.” Here, Pharaoh sleeps, but he also “beholds” grain in a vision. Since this is the only other time yashen appears in Genesis, we should expect that Adam also beheld a vision while asleep.

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      • Still did not explain to me how you know Adam had a vision, when the Bible does not say that, although with Abram it did. So, tardema, in Adam’s case, means deep sleep and he yashen, which means slept. We ARE told by the Bible that Abram did have a vision, so he was placed in a trance. It seems to me you are just rationalizing, not taken in the context of the passages. We are not to add to the Word, nor take away from, Deuteronomy 4:2. Assumptions are a good way of misinterpreting the Word.

        • By your account tardemah only has one definition…trance, but in fact tardemah has two meanings, which is trance AND DEEP SLEEP. Since, it does not say that Adam was given a vision, but instead it says, just three words later, he yashen, which means SLEEP. I see no way for anyone to believe or continue to believe that in this instance, with the word yashen being used(in the same sentence), tardemah would have to mean deep sleep, which is a translation of the word from Hebrew. Please dont respond with yet another circular explaination thinking when i think linearally.

        • I just joined up and read all of your comments. I graduated from George Fox Seminary way back in 1984, so I’ve been at this for some time. However, having said that, I am constantly learning and believe that some of this will have to be sorted out when we get to Heaven. Anyway, here’s my two cents worth. Tsela (F) noun, is used literally (KJV) as a side of a person (19x), chamber (11x), rib (2x), boards (2x), corners (2x), another (1x), beams (1x), halting (1x), leaves (1x), planks (1x). You could make a case for either one.

          • Thanks for your input, Richard. Notice that the two times (2x) that the KJV says that tsela means “rib” (according to Strong’s) these usages come from Genesis 2:21-22. That is, the only instances in which Strong’s claims the word means “rib” are found in the verses under examination in the above article. It would make sense that tsela does not mean “rib” in Gen 2:21-22, since none of the other 40+ instances ever means “rib.” These data, along with the linguistic and contextual data, point strongly to the fact that tsela, in the context of the Adam and Eve narrative, means “side.”

      • The difference is that we are told about Pharaoh’s dreams, but nothing about any dream Adam may have had. I think it is dangerous to invent things from our own imagination, that are not explicitly stated in the Word of God.

        • Thomas and Harold, thank you both for your judicious responses. You’re both right that Adam slept and that Genesis does not specify a dream. However, the text states that Adam was in a “tardema,” which by definition is an ecstatic visionary experience. Again, the Jewish author(s) of the Greek Septuagint (the text from which the New Testament takes most of its quotations) understood the Hebrew to be saying that Adam was “ekstasis” — i.e., that he had a visionary experience “outside of himself.” My interpretation is not my own; it dates back to the Greek translators of the Hebrew Bible.

          • I believe the Bible and the Genesis account. We’ ll understand it better in heaven. God can do anything the way He chooses. The Angel of God rescued Peter from the “high security prison” of the day, the fortified gates opened on their own accord. God’s Automatic doors well ahead!

        • It amazes me that reading all the comments on here that Gentiles are telling Jews what the Word of G-d is actually saying when it was Jews who wrote The Word of G-d. This is a contradiction coming from Gentiles who were grafted into the Natural Olive Tree who were wild by nature. If you have the Spirit of G-d in you, then the Holy Spirit will give you revelations into The Holy Scriptures. Do I believe Adam was in a Trance? Tardema? Yes , of course he was. Is anything too hard for YHVH? No.

  5. The interplay of words חַוָּה (em kol chai – the mother of all life Genesis3:20. Chavayah experience of life. Yechaveh Ps 19:3.). אדם, אֲדָמָה makes for creative use of of the imagination in Hebrew story telling.

  6. This is a very enlightening explanation and makes perfect sense. I had never given this much thought and just accepted the fact that in some manner God created Eve from Adam. I wish I was financially in a place where I could take one or more of your courses, but at the moment it is impossible. But I do enjoy reading all the articles here. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Genesis 2:23The man (Adam)said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Was Adam a crazy man after this “visionary trance” thinking this “Woman” he called her, “because she was taken OUT of man”? God is God. He could have used every part of Adam to make Eve and would have still kept him alive and kept his body intact. I do enjoy reading your posts because I like to bounce it off Holy Spirit. But this one didn’t bounce. God bless.

  8. Amazing how our limited minds can cause a total confusion! Why can we not believe in a God who is without our limits?

  9. Speaking about the subject is too hard and it needs to a deeply thought and a search but we can point to many applied words: similar- equal- homological- Replication and Cloning simulation definition.This Cloning is advanced that scientists have done yet. Thomas Johnson said: I do not see anesthesia, I agree with him but it is an extraterrestrial anesthesia because, first both of them don’t have Genital and reproduction when God sent both of them to Earth at that time they paid attention that have a Genital.As a result, it is may be had a spiritual corpse in Paradise and

  10. , the earth exchange their corpse .it means that the earth acts as a bad filter and it can exchange their natures. We are like them. When we were born anybody knows about the earth and then the earth exchange our natures. Of course, the case is not for MOSES and other prophets or is less than usual people and it points TO A BIG SECRET.I don’t know English very well and I do apologies to you. Best wishes for you and your family Mohammad Afroozeh MS.c Analytical Chemistry

  11. Is it really so important how G-d created Eve? To me it does not matter how it was done! G-d our Father has created so many awesome things in the world that we live in! Looking at Nature and all its Wonders shows us a creative Loving G-d. Blessings to you all!

  12. God first created life, male and female in one being. In His image. Then He separated them . In His image. He is three persons in one. We are male plus female plus Holy Spirit. Three in one, yet one. In his image.

    • No, YHVH is One. YHVH created man and from man he made a woman from him. We are not “Holy Spirit.” Y’Shua Himself poured out His Holy Spirit on both Jews and Gentiles. Read Acts 2:38 and Acts 10. We are human beings made of flesh and blood. We are not greater than Adonai. He is the Creator of everything that has ever been created in heaven, on the earth and in the earth.

  13. Amazing revelation! We know that some species are asexual. Taking from this, one could postulate that the tardema Adam went through may be similar to a type of anesthesia wherein the patient has conversations with the doctor, but afterward remembers nothing. Consider that Adam may have been originally asexual. After possibly cloning Eve from Adam, we get two complementary pieces to the human species puzzle. I have heard God described as the greatest mathematician to ever exist. Perhaps it goes way beyond that. He is the greatest Scientist-Doctor-Botanist-Architect-etc.-etc. too! He chose not to leave Adam alone, but gave him a-partner-Eve!

  14. Yes, Jan Short, Genesis 1:27 says explicitly that one of the aims of God by creating humanity, was to show himself in his full spectrum: Male AND Female: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” In other words: “… in the image of God he created them; male and female…”

  15. Hebrew understanding is not about literal understanding. It is about images and metaphors and stories (midrash) that explore, preserve and impart an understanding, at A point in history, in an oral history culture. Eve coming from Adam reflects the idea of relationship between man and wife in a patriarchal society with God as Creator. It’s about relationship and origins.

    • Misinterpreted as patriarchal, I would say. Both the Hebrew “ezer” and the Greek “ Paraclete” reference God, and Holy Spirit in role as Comforter, respectively. So, as Dr Schaser has said, they are equal at the very least, bringing balance to each other. I really don’t know how God did the creation of woman but I do believe that the why of it may be to create a hunger for something more. This hunger leads us to search for God; it is ultimately satisfied in Him.

      • I do have a different question, related to the trance idea. N.T. Wright , in his book on Paul, seems to believe that he was practicing a mantra or repetitive prayer to induce a trance on the road to Damascus. Obviously, in both the Old and New Testaments , there were those who had visionary trances. However, nowhere in Scripture do I see God telling us to do that on purpose; the trance always seems initiated by God. What do you understand about this topic? It is an important one as many are recommending such practices in the community of believers.

        • Thanks for your question, Lois. While I haven’t read Wright’s book on Paul (so I’m not sure exactly what he argues), there’s no textual evidence that Paul did anything to induce a trance. My policy is to go only as far as the text allows, and in this case, the Damascus Road passages don’t allow an argument for a self-induced trance.

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  16. ‘For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.’ 1 Corinthians 13:12 I enjoy debates on these articles; but, while some enlighten, others are just for the sake of debate. The author’s words, too, are sometimes only opinion. We want so much to understand the Word that we approach all manner of ways to do it. In the end, faith should prevail. Our Creator can do anything, whether we understand it or not. Rejoice–HE is in control.

  17. The Hebrew הַצֵּלָע (has.sê.lá) does mean side as well as Beams but it also can mean the rib of an person or an animal. The English translation “Rib” makes more sense than God taking the entire side of Adam. This reminds me of the teaching that the word “Woman” means “the man with the womb”! It ignores the etymology of the old english word wifman “woman”, a compound of wif “woman” where we get the word Wife. In Daniel 7:5 the word translated “Ribs” is the Aramaic word עִלְעִין (‘il’in) which means the same as the Hebrew in Gen 2.

    • Thank you for your very erudite response, John. Your move to עלע in Daniel 7:5 is wonderful, and you’re absolutely right that it is the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew צלע. By the time Daniel was written in the 160s BCE, עלע (which can also mean “side”) was more commonly understood to mean “rib” in Aramaic, which is probably the best way to render Dan 7:5. However, Genesis 2 was written no later than the 6th century BCE when צלע held the primary meaning of “side,” which is always what it means in its 40+ appearances in biblical Hebrew.

      • “צלע held the primary meaning of “side,” which is always what it means in its 40+ appearances in biblical Hebrew”

        Is this really how you see it? Never “corner”, never “planks”, never “boards”, never “person”, etc. ? I did not look up all the instances, so I’m legitimately asking this.

        • Thanks, Neville. Sure, when speaking of the Ark of the Covenant, in particular, the term could refer to its “boards” or “planks.” But since it could also just refer to its “sides,” I didn’t parse the Hebrew into related English terms (just for the sake of clarity re the fact that צלע doesn’t mean “rib”).

  18. I don’t see the problem. It takes nothing away from the truth that God created both male and female in two different ways. So what if he used a rib from the man or a whole side? He’s God! He can do it any way he wants! He is still to be worshipped and adored!!

  19. Far-fetched explanations. So, your God has a physical body and created mankind in His physical image? God created mankind in his spiritual image, male and female, one entity. Read the book! In Hebrew, the male and female SPIRITUAL image is the word ‘adam’ preceded by the two-letter word that represents “God’s perfection”. When God takes one “side” of the newly created spiritual image and separates the male side from the female side, that sacred two letter Hebrew word is no longer in front of either the male or female resulting spirit. The physical body comes later (coat of skin).

    • Thanks for your response, Jack. The God of the Bible certainly has a body, and God created humanity in a physical image that mirrors the divine image–that is, a physical structure and shape. See my latest blog post: “What’s So Wrong with Making Images of God?”

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  20. To remove a rib……one is hardly SPLIT!……..in practical terms you are talking about a 4- 6 cms. incision over the 12 th. rib……. hardly major !!

    • True, Robert. But on my reading, God does not perform a modern surgical procedure; rather, God removes Adam’s entire side in a vision (outside of the physical world). Remember that the ancient Israelites didn’t have anesthesia, so the idea of putting someone to sleep in order to go “under the knife” was not a known concept.

  21. Q.How did God split Adam without killing him? A. Death had not entered into the world at that time. Let’s just say Adam was only half a man before God brought him Eve! Marjorie

    • Hi Marjorie, I agree that Adam was only “half a man” (figuratively speaking) before Eve came around! She completes him so that the two can become “one flesh.”

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      • I fully concur with your excavation from a Hebrew perspective. But one question eludes me. God split Adam in two equal parts, then why is man physically stronger than women?

  22. I didn’t take the time to read all the responses, so please forgive me if my comment has already been addressed. My Strongs denotes “tardemah” (H8639 a lethargy implying a trance or deep sleep). This word is derived from another word “radam” (H7290 to stun, stupefy, or cast into a deep sleep or death). Also, God shut up “sagar” (H5462 close up, repair, shut in ) the flesh instead “tachath” (H8478 “bottom” as depressed or humbled) So I believe the literal meaning of the Scripture which is that the woman was built from the man’s bone and flesh

    • I agree with you that Eve was built from Adam’s bone and flesh (that’s what the text says, after all). The question is whether she was built in the physical world or the visionary world. I think that Adam saw Eve built in a God-given vision, but I certainly agree with your point about bone and flesh.

      • Thank you for your suggestion regarding the lexicon. 🙂 Again regarding God building up the woman from an earthly flesh & blood man rather than him just given a vision. Again we can’t dispute that God “removed a “rib” , sewed up his flesh and built the woman. This could not have transpired in the spirit realm. A spirit doesn’t have flesh & bone (Lk 24:39) Gen1:26 -28: The Vision was already given Mankind (in the spirit realm prior to their formation) when God spoke out His Vision for Creation, both Male & Female heard Him give THEM dominion

        • Thanks for your response! So the thesis of my post was that we can indeed (and should) dispute that God removed Adam’s “rib,” because the Hebrew says that God removed Adam’s “side.” But I think you’re right that God made a declaration of the divine will for humanity beforehand in Gen 1:26-28.

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  23. I think a lot of space and brain-power is wasted here. The Hebrew word for rib is tsela. Tsela has been mistranslated for hundreds of years+. Tsela means “SIDE” not rib. The ancient colloquialism shows that woman, “Eve”, was equal to Adam. Not next to Adam’s head, which would mean she is superior, and not by his feet – which would mean inferior. NO by Adma’s tsela or side. In Exodus, Adonai tells Moshay to put rings on the Ark of the Covenant, on the tsela (sides) of the Ark. Put rings on the ribs?!?! B. Hal Miner, ThD., Pastor

  24. Here’s a strange interpretation I came across. The premise is that woman was created from Adam’s penis bone, which also accounts for why human males don’t have one. (“The baculum [also penis bone, penile bone, or os penis, or os priapi] is a bone found in the penis of many placental mammals. It is absent in the human penis, but present in the penises of other primates, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee.”) Pretty radical, right?

    • Hi Rich, thanks for your comment. Yes, it is a pretty radical interpretation, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. This interpretation has little going for in light of the context of Genesis 2 — the “side” language is necessary for understanding the male-female relationship that the text works very hard to express, and this interpretation flattens that context. Still, it is a fairly common reading in scholarly circles.

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    • Hi Francisco. Thank you for your question. There is no biblical instance of demons influencing people’s dreams; rather, in the biblical tradition, it is God who presents and interprets dreams (cf. Gen 20:3-6; 28:12; 31:24; 40:8; 41:25, 32).

  25. I believe, God put Adam into a deep sleep. Then He took a rib from Adam’s side and made it into a woman. Eve. I have never heard of Adam losing a whole side before. Please send a comment back to me, thank you.

    • Hi Mary, pretty much all English translations of the Bible say “rib” instead of “side,” but every other time that the Hebrew word “tsela” appears in the Bible it always means “side.” Therefore, a better way of understanding Eve’s creation is that God took an entire “side” from Adam. The upshot is that English translations aren’t always perfect. Thanks for you comment/question.

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  26. I was taught from my Jewish source that God took Eve through Adam from rib , back vertebrae , out the front side – pulling Eva out of his rib spiritual heart location forward – from backside forward out front side.- so 2 facing God with Eva in front, the glory of man.?? Whether that is correct or not?? – It’s just what I was taught.

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for your response. I haven’t heard that interpretation before, but the Hebrew text doesn’t explicate the details. Based on the Hebrew, it is best to understand Eve being built from an entire side of Adam, rather than his rib alone.

    • Thanks, Archie. That’s correct: in every other instance in the Bible, the word “tsela” means an entire “side” of something (e.g., the side of the Ark of the Covenant, the side of the tabernacle, the side of a hill). Thus, it would make more sense to translate “side” in Genesis 2:21-22 as well, rather than “rib.” This is also makes more sense on a figurative level, since it shows that the woman is made from “half” of the man, so that the two sides complete one another (i.e., are equal partners).

  27. I find this very interesting here. Years of studying had lead me to this conclusion. God did the splitting images just like a cell splitting in two. One cell became a female. The cell came from Adam’s rib, but it didn’t come out of his body! God made Adam in very deep sleep so the cell can move from the rib of Adam into the open environment of the world. Once it out of the body it begin to develop in a high speed mode which take about God 6 hours to do a woman name Eve.

  28. I love all these comments. The “side” theory makes sense, but also the “cell”. Bible does not explain how G-d does something, it is Mystery!!!

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  29. God is Spirit, he does not have a body. Phil 2:5ff Jesus, as God, took on the likeness of men. Adam and Eve were not spirit beings, nor spiritual beings but human beings in a perfect state. In God’s image means being one who can think, feel, and do. Adam was a being who had intellect, emotion, and will. In this sense we are in God’s image. Adam and Eve in their perfect state were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, so able to procreate. I see the sleep and rib as literal. No need to see it otherwise.

    • Thanks, David. Actually, with regard to the English translation of “rib” there is a need to see it otherwise, because nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible does “tsela” ever mean “rib”; it always means “side.” Yes, God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), but that does not preclude God having a body since “spirits” (including God’s Spirit) appear embodied (cf. 1 Kgs 22:21-23; Lk 3:22). Your interpretation of “image” as “intellect, emotion, and will” echoes Maimonides’ interpretation, to which you are fully entitled.

  30. rib….source of stem cells……deep sleep was not mere anesthesia…probably more of an extended coma like state…(although he may have had dreams!)….because Eve was a mature young women when God presented her to Adam. 2 stem cells were removed from Adam’s rib marrow ….the Y chromosome was removed from one and discarded. An X chromosome was removed from a second stem cell and inserted into the nucleus of the first, seconded cell discarded. First cell is induced to begin cleavage and form a blastula and is placed into a suitable in vitro proxy womb where gestation is completed= baby Eve.

  31. The little bit that I read makes no sense to me at all. I have read the Genesis account many times and it does not say God split Adam in two but that he put Adam into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs and made Eve. As far as I am concerned it is just a bunch of stupidity to say God cut Adam in two. There is no evidence of any such thing in the Bible.

    • Marie, your summary of the Genesis account is, indeed, what it says in English. However, the Bible is written in Hebrew, not English. In Hebrew, it does not say that God took one of Adam’s “ribs” — that is a poor English translation. Rather, the Hebrew says that God took one of Adam’s “sides” (צלע), of which Adam can only have two; hence, in taking one of these sides, God takes half of Adam’s body. The English translation obscures what the Hebrew actually says. There is ample evidence for this reading, provided that the reader can read Hebrew.

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      • I have followed this thread judiciously. Its quite interesting. I would have enrolled immediately but can’t for financial constraints. The question at the back of my mind at the literal interpretation of tsela as “ribs” instead of “side” is that wouldn’t it be correct to “think” that one of sides is a rib? This is what it would mean for me even if I read it in hebrew (sorry, I don’t know if I am being tainted by my knowledge of the translated English version) Second. Does the word tsela specifically and strictly imply “side which cn only b 1of2”

        • Good questions, James. First, one of Adam’s sides would certainly include ribs — half of the rib cage to be exact. One of Adam’s “sides” would also include an arm, leg, half of his face, etc. That is, the biblical image is of God taking “half” of Adam, not just one rib. Second, “tsela” can be one of many sides (e.g., the Ark of the Covenant has four “tselas” or “sides”). In Adam’s case, since humans have two equal “sides” or “halves,” the picture is of God taking one of the two. Thanks for following the discussion so closely!

        • Thank you so very much for clearing this up. May I apologize to you on behalf of Mikhael for referring to the submissions as satanic. I believe that there are clear biblical pillars or filters to judge religious and/or textual assertions and interpretations. Being scholarly does not obviate our responsibility for respectfully presenting divergent views. The Pharisees thought they knew it all but ended up killing the Prince of Life (branding His doctrines and Miracles as satanic). Keep up the good work!

          • Thanks, James. I’ve got pretty thick skin, so I tend not to give much mental space to those kinds of comments, but I do appreciate your kind and judicious words. I’ll keep up the work if you keep contributing to the discussions 🙂 Thanks again!

      • The one of Adam’s sides could be anything of Adam’s incl. cells -haploid, diploid- , ribs, sides, bones, etc . I believe the details is with God. Let’s not worry too much about how He did it. But accept in awe and wonder that He did it. Mystery, and real!

        • …..thus cementing God’s idea of the holy matrimony, marriage between man and woman, and procreation during which time the haploid cells each from a man and woman re-unite to make the baby human. God’s mystery still thousands of years ahead of scientific discoveries! I just love to reverence God!

  32. I also believe that God was able to put Adam into a deep sleep without the benefit of any drugs because God is God and He can do anything He pleases but He cannot sin. If you had read and paid attention to what the account in Genesis says you would know this.

  33. Start at the beginning, on the sixth day he created man, Genesis 1, verse 27: And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. This is on the sixth day, the discussion you are having is after the seventh day which is the Sabbath day in modern tradition. First explain the man/him and male & female/them before you even start talking about rib or side.

    • Robert, this particular article is about Genesis 2; for a post on Genesis 1:27, see “What’s So Wrong with Making Images of God?”

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  34. I fully concur with your excavation from a Hebrew perspective. But one question eludes me. God split Adam in two equal parts, then why is man physically stronger than women?

    • Thanks, Wayne. Re physical strength, (1) I think it depends on the man and the woman we’re talking about… but more importantly, (2) since the “splitting” of Adam takes place in a vision, it is something that happens outside of the physical world — hence, Genesis is not making a comment on physicality, but on ontological equality.

      • Dr. Schaser, if the splitting happened only in a vision then what is your understanding of how/when/where Eve was *physically* created?

        • Great question! I don’t think the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 have anything to say about *physical* creation; rather, the texts describe “functional creation” — God “creates” (ברא; bara) insofar as God assigns *function* to the waters, land, sun, moon, etc., but the texts don’t describe God physically building the materials. Something similar can be said about the way God “creates” the human and his wife in Genesis 2. For more on “functional creation,” see two books by John Walton: “The Lost World of Genesis One,” and “The Lost World of Adam and Eve.”

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  35. At first I thought that I undetstood, but then you lost me. Now I’m really confused. Are you saying that woman is literally made from one of man’s physical sides, or that man merely had a vision of this happening?

    • Hi Elisha. I’m saying that Adam had a vision of the Eve-making event, which happened outside of the physical world. Likewise, when Abram has his vision in which he splits animals in half (see Gen 15:10), he does not do this in the “real,” physical world. Since the language is the same in Genesis 2 and 15, I’m arguing that, as with Abram’s splitting of visionary animals, God “splits” Adam in a visionary experience. Thanks for your question!

      • Hi there. The side thing I get. Also. As a geneticist I can totally support an advanced level cloning happening to bring Eve out of Adam. You disagree but it actually makes the most sense. Ok let’s say Eve was only taken from his side in a vision by a trancing Adam, where did the physical Eve come from?

        • Thanks, Helizna. If you take my reading — and you certainly don’t have to, you won’t hurt my feelings 🙂 — then the text never tells us where the “physical” Eve comes from, as is the case with all the other people (like Cain’s wife) outside of Adam’s immediate family. I’m reluctant to call it “cloning,” because a.) I want to avoid “coming up with” an explanation (particularly a modern, scientific one) that never appears in the text, and b.) the ancient Israelites had no conception of “cloning,” so that explanation would have had no meaning to the Bible’s original readers.

  36. Some how we have left out the words of our Supreme Rabbi. Rabbi Yeshua haMeshiach says: For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. Matt. 19:5-6. Obviously, Yeshua adds his support to the rabbinical position. He sees the man and woman as split. He sees that they are not whole. He sees that marriage, real marriage, causes the split to be repaired.

    • Great point, Barry — very well stated. I had never thought about it before, but I think you’re right that Jesus’ view aligns with the rabbinic notion of Adam being split into two sides to form man and woman (Genesis Rabbah 8:1; 17:6) which, in turn, supports the reading of Genesis that I’ve proposed. Thank you for your insight!

      • Gen1:27 bara our of nothing spirit man later made from dust and put spirit man in physical body. Reverse order on animals in 2 accounts

  37. Yes Rabbi Barry I agree with you on that one. The word Ecude also means the pural of one. Which is in Dem. Although it talks about Hashem and Spirit( I don’t know how to spell it in Hebrew) being the power of one. I get arguments about this.

  38. This is an interesting discussion. It is possible there may be a misunderstanding concerning how the words “side” and “half” may be commonly used in English. In English, the word “side” and “half” are typically not used interchangeably unless the word “side” is prefaced by something for which there are explicitly only two of. As a result, the word “side” is often used in a figurative, abstract and directional sense. It often points to WHERE something is located and can be used to denote the SIDE of something that is multifaceted. The word almost creates an imagery of a finger

  39. Whereas the word “half” is typically used literally and concretely and is often physically measurable. For example, if one were to order a “half” of an animal in a restaurant, the waiter may decline the order informing the customer that their restaurant does not serve a concretely meadurable “half” of an animal. However, if the customer were to order a “side” of an animal, the waiter may request clarification from the customer concerning WHICH side (portion) of the animal the patron would like. The customer may reply that they would like a “side of ribs”, to which the waiter would

    • …comply by bringing the patron a portion of the animal coming from the “side” of its ribs, but not the animal’s entire “half”.

  40. Since the Hebrew word “צֵלָע” is translated using a more figurative and abstract word of “side” rather than a more literal and concrete word of “half”, it is possible that Adam may not have been split into exactly two halves to create Eve, but that she came from a portion of Adam that was directionally located on the “side” of his ribs.

    • Thanks for your question and comments, Deborah. The reason that we should think of “side” in terms of a “half” is because the text says that when men and women “cleave” to one another, the two become “one flesh.” So the “half” terminology is helpful for understanding the equality that the Bible is trying to express between men and women.

      • 2nd response- Dr. Schaser, I’m back again, and I think I have it now. I concur with you, Rabbi Albin, and Deborah. It resolves my brain fog giving me better understanding. What GOD joins (two individuals becoming one flesh) is smoother for me. The ‘side order’ helped to bring a conclusion. That is where we came from, the side. GOD gave Adam a ‘side order’ (Eve). That is what wives are…a side order, at their husbands side. Adam had the first major surgery in a deep trance with GOD being his surgeon. Thank you to ALL! 🙂 Shalom!

  41. I find Dr Eli’s exposition regarding Eve’s creation the most plausible I have yet encountered — and that is not always the case! There have been many mistakes made by English translators of the Tanach and I believe the decision to use the word rib instead of side is a case in point. Cannot understand why some view this exposition as “fundamentalist”. Bizarre.

  42. As I read the blog and ‘some’ of the comments, I had to stop and think for a bit. I don’t know or understand Hebrew nor do I know ‘how’ GOD made Eve from Adam. Right? Wrong? I don’t know! What I do believe is GOD created man (Adam) and made woman (Eve) from his creation (Adam). Exactly how it was done or the way HE did it, is HIS business. I simply believe HE did it (it is HIS WORD=TRUTH) because HE did, I am here, saved, awaiting HIS return so I may be with HIM! Thank you! Shalom!

    • It seems to me that we’re “playing” with semantics here.The simplest fact is that God made man (Adam) in His image. And whilst we refer to God as masculine (Father) He is in general terms gender neutral. Adam was a complete image of God – mind, body and spirit. (cf Father, Son & Holy Spirit).
      After a while of studying the bible you start to notice the feminine side showing (particularly) in the nature of The Holy Spirit. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the meanings of El Shaddai “The Breasty One”?
      So regardless of the “How”, all God did was separate the feminine part of Adam from the masculine part. Logic might suggest (since we know these two were different from all others) that Adam may have been initially created with enough chromosomes to be both Male AND Female (and for the record, I do NOT mean “Shemale”)

      • God is always referred to as He or Him not she or her or they or them. Father is masculine, how Yeshua referred to Him!

        • While it’s true that Jesus refers to God as “Father” (a common title for God in Jesus’ day), God is not “masculine,” nor is God “gendered.” Genesis 1:27 states that both males and females are made in God’s “image” (tsela), which means that God’s image includes the aspects that men and women share. In other words, the divine image does not include the physical aspects that mark biological sex, and therefore cannot be “masculine” in any physical sense.

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  43. After reading through the various comments, I’m reminded of the words, “What you know may not be so!” It pays to make our words sweet because we may have to eat them, not to mention that we will also give an account for them, oy vey!

    Dr. Nicholas, I appreciate your article and the Hebraic perspective you have shared. Thank you for the privilege to learn from your teachings. I appreciate your patience and gracious responses. Blessings!

  44. I always thought of it as cloning but in the opposite sex. However God did it, they are half of a whole. It takes a Male and a Female to make a child and a family. They are different but equal. The male has outer strength and the female inner strength. They should complement each other. Thank you for this lesson. Shalom

  45. I don’t know why I keep having this thought whenever you mention Eve being taken from Adam’s side, but it brings to mind the Afikomen from the seder- which is broken in two, and one side, or half, of it is hidden. Also, it reminds me of when the soldier pierces Y’shua’s side, resuling in the outpouring of water and blood. Any connection, or am I just weird?

  46. he he…very hot. Out of nothing God created man in Gen1:26 male&female(male will always suppress female,substituting male for man). So, isn’t it even easier for him to make man from man?Now I know I have confused u. In His image(Spirit)created man(male&female). John1 in the beginning was the Logos(God’s Word). God is His Word. The Word became flesh. Either way it alters no iota, He remains the omnipotent one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph, the four pillars of the foundation of the pyramid. Think on this:what scientists call the big bang was the voice of God. Abba.

  47. I’m glad that Mikhael raised the issue that he raised. It gave Dr. Schaser an opportunity to expand on his lesson. It’s unfortunate, the tone that Mikhael chose. Reading some of the back-and-forth on this reminds me that there are plenty of closed-minded people out there. People who have all the answers. People incapable of entertaining something different. Letting it present a vista that is new to them. These are people for whom there is nothing worse than thinking they might be wrong. Oh wait, there is something worse: Admitting that they are wrong. The horror.

  48. To the respect that God used one of Adams ribs to fashion Eve, it is interesting that the only bone in the human body that can regrow is the rib, if that rib has been removed from the body correctly.

  49. I think this goes deeper than two people. Adam is humanity. Inasmuch as Eve is literally part of him, he is part of her. In other words, humanity is both one and many. One substance, multiple persons. Love your neighbor as yourself because, on the most fundamental level, your neighbor is yourself.

  50. Not sure I’ve seen so much response to an IBC posting before this one! Interesting input from a myriad of perspectives, but here’s the BOTTOM LINE: ‘Adam’ (=”Man” in paleo-Hebrew) and ‘Eve’ lived during the 5th millennium BCE (from a generous reading of Torah genealogies), but clearly later than Göbekli Tepe in Anatolia, so clearly weren’t the first literal humans; they may have been early members of an ethnic group that later came to identify as “Hebrew” – but the notion that the humans that were already living on all the continents at that time “don’t count” is absurd.

  51. Excellent article. It’s often difficult for people to recognize their own paradigms, not to mention needing a switch. But that is exactly what is going on here. Your work appears to fall right in line with that of John Walton’s Lost World of Adam and Eve. The way this sets up Adam and Eve as high priests in the cosmic temple is amazingly profound.

    Blessings!

    • Thanks, Nathan. Yes, Walton’s “Lost World” series is very important work, and I certainly agree with his reading of Adam and Eve. Thanks again for your input!

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  52. Dr Arnold Murray and l believe Eve was the curves taken from Adam which would explain the shape of the rib , and the desire mankind has for the shape of a woman , either way God cannot be put on limitations , creating for God is simple.

  53. צלעֹה translated does not mean “rib.” It means be a side or an architectural element. Written 3,500 years ago this phraseology could be understood “and God took the DNA Helix from Adam.” Moses does use mythological language but language that can be understood in any generation. Amazing.

  54. Thank you for this article on Adam’s experience of ‘tardema’.
    A realm of wonder, a place of creation and a deep mystery. Thank you for this invitation to sit, learn, ponder and engage.

  55. Woman taken from Adam’s side or flank, when he was put into a physical “deep sleep”. He may have been given a “vision” just as Abraham was given one (of what though? Bible doesn’t say). Bible says Adam was once alone, when he awoke, he beheld this “vision” in 3-d.

  56. If God explained the meaning of covenantal relationship between a man and his wife while in this “visionary trance”, why’d he stand by, watch his beloved commit suicide, and ate only after his natural eyes didn’t see her “die” after all? (Maybe Adam didn’t any have ears to hear…)

  57. It is totally sad,associating ‘cloning’ with the action of the everlasting God. What a mess we have led ourselves into now. Judge not, only Believe.

  58. You mention that the King James is not the best Bible to use. (I use the Hebraic Roots Bible), but what translation do you suggest?

    • Thanks for your question, Lou. I tend to recommend the English Standard Version (ESV), but that translation (as with all translations) is not without its own issues. Though I have my problems with the ESV, it tends to be the translation that I find best represents the Hebrew and Greek.

  59. Splitting Adam in half….?…….. according to my Bible, God took one of Adam’s ribs and around that He formed Eve……for our almighty God that will be as easy as pie…….Thank you……God bless Israel..!

  60. Dr Nicolas contradict himself and leave people confused. While we agreed with you that God took one of the sides of Adam to create Eve, you cannot come later and say that Adam was half man and the woman came to Complete him. Isn’t two sides that make full?

    • Louis, the creation of Eve occurs in a visionary experience of Adam’s. Eve’s “completion” of Adam is metaphorical and theological; the two separate people make “one flesh” (Gen 2:24) — a statement of the mutual equality and reciprocity within the relationship.

  61. What does it mean—God created man,created them male and female? Help me understand this scripture.Also interpret for 1 Corinthians 11:7

    • The word translated “man” is אדם (adam), which really means “human” or “humanity”; thus, a better translation of the verse is, “God created humanity, male and female he created them.” The text describes God’s creation of all humanity, both men and women. 1 Cor 11:7 is highly complex and based on first-century understandings of anatomy and medicine. We will write a separate post on it soon.

  62. Wow. So many opinions. Correct me if I am wrong please, but I was taught the the word for rib actually meant curve which was the DNA, of course unknown about for centuries later. It would not have required cutting him in half to retrieve DNA.

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  63. I always enjoy discussions. I love the way Jewish people are allowed to discuss back and forth.
    Thank you all.

    • Thanks for reading, Maree. On this site, everyone is allowed to discuss — Jew and Gentile alike. We appreciate your interaction with our materials.

  64. I appreciate every effort that every one trying to express his point in order to shed light on the mystery of creating Eve out of Adam!
    Somebody was trying to sweat on proofing the equality of Eve and Adam, which is great, however, for God to crest the Women from Adam Rib ( which take no brainer at his side) it may indicate something more and beyond equality, which is UNITY!
    Searching for equality may trigger a fight or a discomfort, but, looking into unity promote harmony!
    I thing God is for harmony. He said that’s why man leave his parents house and go to stick to his wife. and in another passage, The Spirit asking the women to forget about her nation and her fathers house and join her husband.
    Thus, unity is far important than equality because unity is a will of God, having said that I do believe that God gas created Adam and Eve on His image which imply a sense of equality. Bless you all. Thanks

  65. interesting article, full of information. i read all the comments i just want please tell me that side mean pieces in every man part 2nd adam was male and female both before woman took 3rd abraham did not make parts of birds because we read bible in urdu which translate from english

    • There’s not biblical evidence that the first human was both male and female before the building of the woman, but the “human” (adam) is first called a “man” (ish) after he meets the “woman” (ishah); that is, “gender” only comes to the fore when both male and female are created.

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