Genesis 2:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:22, 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."

Genesis 2:22, ESV: "And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man."

Genesis 2:22, KJV: "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

Genesis 2:22, NASB: "And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."

Genesis 2:22, NLT: "Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man."

Genesis 2:22, CSB: "Then the LORD God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man."

What does Genesis 2:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse described God's removal of Adam's rib. Now God uses that rib to build a woman. Of course, the ultimate reasons why God chose to work in this way are a mystery to us. To this point, the only description of God's creative process has been of forming man and animals out of the earth, the dust of the ground. He could have formed this woman in the same way, but chose not to. Most likely, this was in order to emphasize the nature of the relationship between men and women.

God's creation of Adam used the Hebrew word yi'ser, which represents taking some existing substance and molding it into shape. In the case of woman, however, the Hebrew root word is banah, meaning "to build." God "built up" the woman from the foundation of Adam's rib. That word is similar in meaning, but carries some sense of "adding" what was not there before.

As Adam will say in the next verse, this origin connects man and woman at a fundamental level. They were literally made of the same stuff. They corresponded to each other. At the same time, this choice of Hebrew words says something important about the differences between men and women. Man was "formed" from existing material, but woman was "built up" from the foundation of man's rib. In other words, God added something in making the woman which was not included in that rib. While man and woman are intimately linked, and literally made for each other, they are also created as unique and separate genders. Male and female are not interchangeable or replaceable: they are exceptional.

When she is complete, God brings the woman to Adam. The God who provides has now given Adam the greatest of all possible earthly gifts: a helper, a companion, a wife. God is the giver of all good things (James 1:17), and Adam's response in the next verse will show us that he was overwhelmed by the goodness of this blessing.