Genesis 2:21-22

 

Translation

יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים׀ תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל־הָאָדָם וַיִּישָׁ֑ן וַיִּקַּח אַחַת מִצַּלְעֹתָיו וַיִּסְגֹּר בָּשָׂר תַּחְתֶּֽנָּה׃ וַיִּבֶן יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים׀ אֶֽת־הַצֵּלָע אֲשֶׁר־לָקַח מִן־הָֽאָדָם לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיְבִאֶהָ אֶל־הָֽאָדָֽם

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man and he slept. Next, He took from one side a rib then closed the flesh below it. Then the LORD God built a woman from the rib He had taken from the man, then He brought her to the man.

Commentary

from one side … flesh below it: The general understanding of this verse, taken from this phrase, is that it emphasizes the oneness of, and the intimacy between the man and the woman. Metaphorically, the “shared” rib signifies that man and woman are metaphorically one (joined) and they are always at each other’s side1)Sarna, p. 22.

built a woman: some Jewish commentators draw a connection between the use of the וַיִּבֶן (/vay⋅yi⋅ven/) meaning built and the word for discern,  בִין (/vin/ rhymes with seen) arguing that the author meant to convey the idea that the woman was endowed with intelligence greater than that of man.

 He brought her to the man: Many commentators note that the construction of this phrase is suggestive of a father presenting his daughter to her soon-to-be husband. In any case, this verse is widely understood to mean that the institution of biblical marriage is established by God Himself.

Preliminary Translations

My translation conventions can be found here.

Mechanical

21and-caused-to-fall, the-LORD-God, a-deep-sleep over-the-man and-he-slept. And-took one from-his-side then-shut flesh underneath-it(f). 22and-built the-LORD-God the-side which He-took from-the-man for-the-wife and-caused-to-bring-her to-the-man

Literal

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man and he slept. Then He took from one side and closed the flesh below it. And the LORD God built the side which He had taken from the man into a wife and brought her to the man.

Commercial Bible Translations

  • (nas) And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
  • (kjv) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
  • (niv) Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
  • (net) Then the LORD God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
  • (nlt) Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

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