Spare Rib

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Genesis 2:18-25

Spare Rib” was a feminist magazine launched in 1972.  Its title was a defiant play on the account of Eve’s creation in Genesis 2.   ‘Woman is far more than a spare rib’, was the message.

And the Bible would agree.  Eve’s origins are far more exalted than Adam’s.  He came from dirt!  She was dust twice refined as Matthew Henry, the 17th century Bible scholar, put it.

And the progression of creation is very revealing.  The climax is Eve.  From plants, to fish and birds, to land creatures, to man… to woman. Man may be the head of creation, but woman is the crown!  She is not only included in the divine image but necessary to it.

And her creation from the man’s side was a wonderful testimony to Eve’s equality with Adam.  As Matthew Henry went on to say:

“Eve was not taken from Adam’s head that she should rule over him, nor from his feet, to be trampled under foot, but she was taken from his side that she might be his equal, from under his arm that she might be protected by him, near his heart, that he might cherish and love her.”

The background to Eve’s creation is Genesis 2:18:

The LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Adam needs companionship and help.  He needs another alongside him – his complement.  More than this, he needs her because he can’t do what he’s supposed to. “Helper” means Adam is inadequate.  And it’s a term that is most commonly used of God in the Bible.  It’s not at all intended to be diminutive.

And so a bride is created for Adam.

But the way she’s created is quite incredible.  Remember that this is paradise.  This is before sin, curse and death have entered the world.  Nevertheless, to create a bride, Adam must go down into a death-like sleep.  Great violence will be done to him.  His side will be pierced.  And from him will come another – his complement, his bride.  Then he is raised up and brought together with her in a time of praise, singing and consummation.

This is what it takes for the man to get a bride.

And of course the whole thing is a preview of Christ and His bride, the church.  Even before sin, the gospel is preached.

It is not good for The Man – Jesus – to be alone.  God the Father desires the very best for His Son – a wife, a bride to share life with.  But the creation of the bride will be costly.  Christ must have violence done to Him.  His side is pierced.  He goes down into death, but rises up again new to be united to His people.

And we look forward to the consummation – the marriage feast when there will be much praise and singing.

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