Main point summary
God made woman to be in a special, relational union with man.
Then the Lord God said,
“It is not good that the man should be alone;
n I will make him a helper fit for 1 him.”
o Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed 1 every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens
and p brought them to the man
to see what he would call them.
And whatever the man called every living creature,
that was its name.
The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field.
But for Adam 1 there was not found a helper fit for him.
So the Lord God caused a q deep sleep to fall upon the man,
and while he slept
took one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man
he made 1 into a woman
and brought her to the man.
Then the man said,
“This at last is r bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was s taken out of Man.” 1
t Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother
and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.
And the man and his wife were both naked
and were not ashamed.
God made woman to be distinct from yet corresponding to man. None of the animals could fulfill this role. Man was made unlike the animals, created in God's image. God created another being in his image, woman, distinct from man, yet sharing a relational capacity corresponding to man (2:18). Therefore, woman and man are distinct. There is no crossing over between the two. They were made for distinct purposes. They were given distinct biology. And yet they share the image of God equally (1:27). And they reflect the image of God in unique ways according to how God created them. God made man and woman with distinct roles . God made man and placed him in the garden to work it and keep it. And Adam begins doing this (2:19-20). He names all of the animals that God brings to him. After naming them (how long would that have taken?!), God puts Adam to sleep and creates Eve out of Adam's rib. Twice, prior to God creating Eve, it is said about her that she is a helper (2:18; 2:20). Therefore, Adam's role is directed towards his calling to work, exercising dominion over the earth that God has given. And Eve's role is directed towards supporting or helping Adam in his work, exercising dominion over the earth that God has given him. And here's the point: there's nothing demeaning about this. Eve is a glorious creation of God, made in his image, with a distinct purpose. Different role does not equal different value/significance. God made man and woman to become one flesh. Adam's response to Eve displays God's purposes. The first thing Adam does is name her Woman (2:23), the first of two times that he names her (see 3:20). Then, we are told of an even more intimate purpose of God in creating Woman: a close, intimate, monogamous union between a man and a woman: "therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." This is the institution of marriage: a deep, intimate, meaningful relationship/covenant/union between a man and a woman. The fact that a man is told to leave his father and his mother further solidifies the bound of marriage between one man and one woman. And this relationship is intimate and pure at the deepest level: "they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and [yet] were not ashamed." There is no shame in the intimate, sexual, covenant union of marriage.