What does the Old Testament mean to you? To many people, it’s just a list of rules, stories and factoids from long ago that don’t have any relevance to them or their lives today. But the truth is that God’s Word is alive, vibrant and relevant to our lives today. In this course, we will explore the first half of the Old Testament – commonly known as “the Law of Moses” – and see how it demonstrates God’s character, His holiness and justice, and what He is like as an all-loving Father who desires a relationship with us more than anything else.There is a lot of excitement and speculation about Genesis 2: 18-24 and its implications for the origins of humanity. These verses make claims that are contrary to the prevailing scientific paradigm, but at the same time are very interesting.
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Genesis 2 18 24 old testament
The Old Testament is a prequel to the New, but it is also a standalone book of scripture filled with beautiful, useful and insightful stories about people, places, and events that were foundational for the Messiah. The Old Testament helps us come to understand God’s original plans for humanity and the world from the very beginning; these plans were put into place by God himself before the creation of men and women.
Genesis 2:18-24 NLT
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Created to Serve and Preserve Earth — Genesis 2: 18-24
Gen 2:18 Then God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.
21 So God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
22 And the rib that God had taken from the man God made into a woman and brought her to the man.
23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”
24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This Genesis text of the creation and naming of the animals, the creation of woman and the celebration of the relationship between the man and the woman, is very familiar. It focuses on the human couple belonging in a web of emerging life.
There are two factors which can influence our ecological reading of this text: its familiarity and its focus on the human couple. We need to make sure that neither stops us attending to how the human, the holy and the habitat are interconnected in this narrative.
Gen 2:18-24, the first reading for the 27th Sunday of Ordinary time, belongs in the wider context of Gen 2:4b-25. There we encounter the ancient storyteller narrating the origin of the universe in what may seem today to be a very primitive account. However, the early verses of Genesis 2 speak of unfolding and emerging which evoke contemporary stories of the origins and ongoing expansion of the universe. The seer tells of forming an Earth creature from the Earth itself — the adam from the adamah (Hebrew text of Gen 2:7). The task of the adam is to “serve” and to “preserve” (to till and to keep) the adamah, the Earth given as home. We hear that Earth precedes the Earth creature in this narrative of the emergence of the universe — as it does in our contemporary scientific narratives.
It is at this point that our focus on Gen 2:18-24 begins. The Creator discerns that it is not good for the Earth creature/the adam to be alone. However, we note the anthropocentric perspective here. The implication seems to be that it is not good for the Earth creature to be the lone one of its type. It may also imply that one Earth creature alone is insufficient to serve and preserve Earth. For contemporary readers, the different possibilities that the text evokes enable us to draw into our meaning-making some of the different ways in which we tell our stories of origins across a range of human cultures today.
As the narrative continues we encounter the divine intention to make a helper (an āzer in Hebrew) for the adam. This helper is not an inferior being. In fact there are texts within the Hebrew Bible that name the Divine as āzer (Ex 18:4; Deut 33:7; Ps 70:5). The āzer is the one who might remove the aloneness which accompanied the adam and his serving and preserving of the adamah. The text of Gen 2:18 evoking the aloneness of the adam/the earth creature opens into divine creativity and rich images of the countless animals being formed and brought to the Earth creature in order to find this āzer/helper. The verses Gen 2:19-20 which recount the activity teem with creativity. They draw contemporary readers into the unfolding of the universe and all its constituents — into the world of today.
But the adam still cannot find a living creature that shares his same being. Reponding to this lack, the storyteller recounts an amazing act of divine creativity. Earlier in Gen 2:7 we heard that the adam was formed “from the dust of the ground” and into the nostrils of this first creature, the Creator breathed the breath of life. The verse concluded with the phrase: the adam became a living being. We hear this story as teeming with life — the human and other-than-human intimately related in life.
God continues the creative process of seeking a companion for the adam. It becomes more complicated: a rib is taken from the adam and formed into a new creature that the storyteller names as “woman”. A climatic exclamation emerges from the adam: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
There is no hint in this extraordinary exclamation of inferiority on the basis of gender. Divine creativity has brought forth humanity as male and female through different processes but with a shared outcome. It is this which is celebrated in the exclamation:
This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called Woman
for out of Man this one was taken (Gen 2:23).
And while the text emphasises the creation of the human couple, it cannot be separated from the whole emergence of the heavens and earth and all living beings into which we are drawn as readers and listeners. This entire narrative of creation invites us into a material world, a created world, a world in which divine creativity is forever at work in the unfolding of the universe.
Genesis 2:24 Meaning of They Become One Flesh
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Explanation and Commentary of Genesis 2:24
The Triune God existed perfectly in himself before he created the world. On the sixth day, he brought forth the crown jewel of his creation. Adam was the crown jewel because he was the image of God the creator. God made Adam totally complete in himself, and yet also to be further completed by his union with his wife, Eve, who God made from the rib bone of Adam, so that he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23).
As one flesh, a man and his wife are an image together of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who is one God, in three persons. This is a great mystery because the Trinity is a mystery. Part of this union is a severing of a previous union between a child and his parents. When a man or woman joins another in matrimony, they leave the household of their youth. A godly father gives his daughter away to a groom in a similar way as Adam’s Heavenly Father gave to him his wife. This is a ritual symbol of the conjugal relationship that is forming, the sacred and unbreakable bond of what “God has joined together (Mk 10:9).
This has more than symbolic implications. It is also practical. A husband and wife would do well to prefer their spouse over their parents. A husband’s loyalty is to his wife, not his mother. A wife should not run home to mom and dad whenever there is a conflict with her husband. This is difficult to learn, but crucial for a healthy marriage relationship.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Genesis 2:24
#1 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother…”
It is right for a young man to leave the household of his parents when he is able so that he can begin to build a life of his own, cultivating his relationship with God and learning to begin to fulfill his God-given purposes in life. He should learn to become independent of his parents so that he can someday be the head of a wife, and even become useful to his parents in some way.
#2 “…and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
As the young man is going along, living the life entrusted to him as an image-bearer, God will likely look at him, unless he is called to live as a celibate, and say, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). At which point he will bring to his attention a young woman who he has called to be his helper in life. He will notice her, court her, marry her, and they will become one flesh. Their independence from their fathers’ houses will be an extension of the young man’s independence recently gained. They will reflect the image of God both as complete individuals, and as a conjugal relationship, likely including children of their own who will one day go forth like arrows (Ps 127:4) and do the same.
Biblical Translations of Genesis 2:24
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.