Two Part Harmony

The man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23–24)

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). By creating a person like Adam, yet very unlike Adam, God provided the possibility of a profound unity that otherwise would have been impossible.

A different kind of unity is enjoyed by the joining of diverse counterparts than is enjoyed by joining two things just alike.

When we all sing the same melody line, it is called unison, which means “one sound.” But when we unite diverse lines of soprano and alto and tenor and bass, we call it harmony; and everyone who has an ear to hear knows that something deeper in us is touched by great harmony than by mere unison.

So God made a woman, and not another man. He created heterosexuality, not homosexuality.

Notice the connection between verses 23 and 24, signaled by the word therefore in verse 24:

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

In verse 23 the focus is on two things: objectively, the fact that woman is part of man’s flesh and bone; and subjectively, the joy Adam has in being presented with the woman. “ At last, this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”!

From these two things the writer draws an inference about marriage in verse 24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

In other words, in the beginning God took woman out of man as bone of this bone and flesh of his flesh, and then God presented her back to the man to discover in living fellowship what it means to be one flesh.

Verse 24 draws out the lesson that marriage is just that: a man leaving father and mother because God has given him another; a man holding fast to this woman alone and no other; and a man discovering the experience of being one flesh with this woman.