Recently, I came across some articles that men and women have the same amount of ribs. I am wondering whether God took a physical ribs from Adam to create Eve? Or is it a illustration?
Hi, Daniel. My husband and I had a conversation about this recently, interestingly enough, because he was remembering when his biology teacher, in reference to this, said it would be like if one of us had a finger removed. He asked, if we then have children, would they only have nine fingers? Of course, the children would still be born with ten fingers. So then, the fact that men and women have the same amount of ribs does not reflect that God did not take a rib from Adam to create Eve.
As far as whether or not God took a physical rib from Adam to create Eve, as far as I can ascertain, there is nothing in the text to suggest that it was not literal and only an illustration. It does illustrate, however, the oneness God meant for there to be between man and wife. It is a literal event that illustrates God’s design for marriage.
Hope this helps!
@htdaniel I appreciate what @psalm151ls said. Another possible explanation, see the NET Bible, is that this word should actually be translated as ‘side’ rather than rib. It would still be literal in the sense that God took some part of Adam as far as I know - especially given the detail that God ‘closed up the place with flesh’. However, it does not say that God had to replace his rib, so might that have implications for what God did or did not take?
Traditionally translated “rib,” the Hebrew word actually means “side.” The Hebrew text reads, “and he took one from his sides,” which could be rendered “part of his sides.” That idea may fit better the explanation by the man that the woman is his flesh and bone.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.