The second story of man’s creation comes from a different perspective than the first. While the first creation account is objective, the second is subjective—instead of defining man from the outside, it describes life as human beings experience it, from the inside. But the two accounts relate to each other, because all of our subjective experiences correspond to the objective reality that we are created in God’s image.
The second creation story is distinguished by its separate account of the creation of the first woman, Eve.
So the Lord caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and brought her to the man.
The man 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.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Gen. 2:21–25)
Immediately following this passage, Genesis 3 begins with its account of the Fall of man, linked with that mysterious tree called the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:17). From then on, Adam and Eve find themselves in an entirely new situation—their world is turned upside down.
In the state of original innocence, Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil. Then, at the prompting of the evil one (in the form of the serpent), they disobeyed God’s instruction and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In the second situation, our first parents experienced sin and its consequences.
These two opposite situations correspond to two different aspects of human nature: our created nature and our fallen nature. When Christ referred his questioners back to the beginning, he was directing them to look at man’s created nature.
To learn God’s intent for marriage, we must look back to that state of original innocence. “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard,” Jesus says. “But it was not this way from the beginning.”
Even though man has lost his innocence and our hearts have grown hard, God’s design for marriage hasn’t changed.
Originally posted 2019-05-21 12:17:30.