Genesis 2:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:23, NIV: "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.'"

Genesis 2:23, ESV: "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.”"

Genesis 2:23, KJV: "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

Genesis 2:23, NASB: "Then the man said, 'At last this 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, NLT: "'At last!' the man exclaimed. 'This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken from 'man.''"

Genesis 2:23, CSB: "And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called "woman," for she was taken from man."

What does Genesis 2:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God recognized earlier that it was not good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18), so He made a helper for Adam from his own rib. Symbolically, this not only represents the intimate closeness of men and women, but also their distinction from each other. God "built up" the woman from Adam's rib, instead of "forming" her as He had done in shaping dust into Adam. Men and women, in literal terms, each bring unique and necessary characteristics to the human family.

Adam's response to this good gift is delivered in the form an ecstatic poem. Adam was given the opportunity to name all of God's other animals (Genesis 2:19), and found that none of them were a good match for him (Genesis 2:20). Now, "at last," he finds a creature perfectly suited for him.

Future Israelites and others would use the phrase "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" to describe close family relationships. For Adam, it was also literally true. This "woman," as he would call her, was unlike any of the animals Adam had seen in God's creation. None of them were like him. She was of his very bones and flesh.

The woman, whom we will later come to know as Eve (Genesis 3:20), was like Adam in another important way. She would share his unique human relationship with God as one made in God's image (Genesis 1:27). Unlike any of the animals, Adam and Eve and the humans to follow would have the capacity to know God, truth, beauty, and reason. Together and separately, their existence would be defined by their relationship with the Creator.

God designed man and woman to be together instead of being alone. As the following verses make clear, the idea of this marriage connection was established before sin entered into the world. It was God's plan for humanity all along.