Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #8 The Formation of woman #1

The Formation of woman

“The woman was of the man.”

Adam, having been formed in the image, after the likeness of the Elohim on the sixth day, remained for a short time alone in the midst of the earthborns of the field. He had no companion who could reciprocate his intelligence; none who could minister to his wants, or rejoice with him in the delights of creation; and reflect the glory of his nature.

The Elohim are a society, rejoicing in the love and attachment of one another; and Adam, being like them though of inferior nature, required an object which should be calculated to evoke the latent resemblances of his similitude to theirs. It was no better for man to be alone than for them. Formed in their image, he had social feelings as well as intellectual and moral faculties, which required scope for their practical and harmonious exercise. A purely intellectual and abstractly moral society, untempered by domesticism, is an imperfect state. It may be very enlightened, very dignified and immaculate; but it would also be very formal, and frigid as the poles.

A being might know all things, and he might scrupulously observe the divine law from a sense of duty; but something more is requisite to make him amiable, and beloved by either God or his fellows. This amiability the social feelings enable him to develop; which, however, if unfurnished with a proper object, or wholesome excitation, react upon him unfavourably, and make him disagreeable. Well aware of this, Yahweh Elohim said,

“It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a help fit for him”. {a Genesis 2:18.}

But previous to the formation of this help, God caused “every living soul” (kol nephesh chayiah) to pass in review before Adam, that he might name them. He saw that each one had its mate; “but for him there was not found a suitable companion”. It was necessary, therefore, to form one, the last and fairest of His handiworks. The Lord had created man in His own “image and glory”; but He had yet to subdivide him into two; a negative and a positive division; an active and a passive half; male and female, yet one flesh. The negatives, or females, of all other species of animals, were formed out of the ground; {b Genesis 2:19} and not out of the sides of their positive mates: so that the lion could not say of the lioness,

“This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; therefore shall a lion leave his sire and dam, and cleave unto the same lioness for ever”.

The inferior creatures are under no such law as this; as primaries, indeed, the earth is their common mother, and the Lord, the “God of all their spirits”. They have no second selves; the sexes in the beginning were from the ground direct; the female was not of the male, though the male is by her: therefore, there is no natural basis for a social, or domestic, law to them.

But in the formation of a companion for the first man, the Lord Elohim created her upon a different principle. She was to be a dependent creature; and a sympathy was to be established between them, by which they should be attached inseparably. It would not have been fit, therefore, to have given her an independent origin from the dust of the ground. Had this been the case, there would have been about the same kind of attachment between men and women as subsists among the creatures below then.

The woman’s companionship was designed to be intellectually and morally sympathetic with “the image and glory of God”, whom she was to revere as her superior. The sympathy of the mutually independent earthborns of the field, is purely sensual; and in proportion as generations of mankind lose their intellectual and moral likeness to the Elohim, and fall under the dominion of sensuality; so the sympathy between men and women evaporates into mere animalism.* But, I say, such a degenerate result as this was not the end of her formation. She was not simply to be “the mother of all living”; but to reflect the glory of man as he reflected the glory of God.

To give being to such a creature, it was necessary she should be formed out of man. This necessity is found in the law which pervades the flesh. If the feeblest member of the body suffer, all the other members suffer with it; that is, pain even in the little finger will produce distress throughout the system. Bone sympathizes with bone, and flesh with flesh, in all pleasurable, healthful, and painful feelings. Hence, to separate a portion of Adam’s living substance, and from it to build a woman, would be to transfer to her the sympathies of Adam’s nature; and though by her organization able to maintain an independent existence, she would never lose from her nature a sympathy with his, in all its intellectual, moral, and physical manifestations. According to this natural law, then, the Lord Elohim made woman in the likeness of the man, out of his substance. He might have formed her from his body before he became a living soul; but this would have defeated the law of sympathy; for in inanimate matter there is no mental sympathy. She must, therefore, be formed from the living bone and flesh of the man. To do this was to inflict pain; for to cut out a portion of flesh would have created the same sensations in Adam as in any of his posterity. To avoid such an infliction, “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept”. While thus unconscious of what was doing, and perfectly insensible to all corporeal impressions, the Lord “took out one of his ribs, and then dosed up the flesh in its place”. This was a delicate operation; and consisted in separating the rib from the breast bone and spine. But nothing is too difficult for God. The most wonderful part of the work had yet to be performed. The quivering rib, with its nerves and vessels, had to be increased in magnitude, and formed into a human figure, capable of reflecting the glory of the man. This was soon accomplished; for, on the sixth day, “male and female created he them”: and “the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, he made a woman, and brought her unto the man”. And

“God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill again) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth”.

Believing this portion of the testimony of God, need our faith be staggered at the resurrection of the body from the little dust that remains after its entire reduction? Surely, the Lord Jesus Christ by the same power that formed woman from a rib, and that increased a few loaves and fishes to twelve baskets of fragments after five thousand were fed and satisfied, can create multitudes of immortal men from a few proportions of the former selves: and as capable of resuming their individual identity, as was Adam’s rib of reflecting his mental and physical similitude. It is blind unbelief alone that requires the continuance of some sort of existence to preserve the identity of the resurrected man with his former self. Faith confides in the ability of God to do what He has promised, although the believer has not the knowledge of how He is to accomplish it. Believing the wonders of the past, “he staggers not at the promise of God through unbelief; but is strong in faith, giving glory to God”. {c. Romans 4:20.}

Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 47–49). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

File:Michelangelo, Creation of Eve 01.jpg
Creation of Eve, Fresco by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, between 1509 and 1510

*

Notes & quotes

a. Genesis 2:18 (ESV): 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

b. Genesis 2:19 (ESV): 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens 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.

* animalism: Among the numerous animals that are prominent in religion and magic, the wild animals of the forests, the sea, and the air that are most important for the hunter are the most significant. Hunting and gathering societies, rooted in the earliest human cultures, believed that they not only had to kill animals—which were economically important as nourishment and raw materials—but also that they had to avoid their revenge. { Encyclopaedia Britannica > continue reading}

c. Romans 4:20 (ESV): 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,

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Preceding article: Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #7 Corporeal and spiritual change

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Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  2. Father counterpart of the mother
  3. Dignified role for the woman
  4. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  5. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  6. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.

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