One of the most famous sculptures of a woman is best known for her imperfection. Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek statue believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. But the most notable thing about this sculpture is that she is missing both of her arms. Some say the missing limbs might provide important clues to her identity. Others find beauty in her imperfection.
In today’s passage we meet the first woman, sculpted into life by God Himself. The Bible tells us God created human beings at two distinct times. The first created human was Adam, formed from the dust of the earth and breathed into life by God Himself. The second was Eve, created as a companion for Adam.
It is interesting that God did not choose to make a second individual just like the first. Instead, He chose to make a different type of person, and He chose a different method of creating her. Eve was created specifically as a helper for Adam, and as the solution to a problem. God did not want Adam to be alone.
Eve is created from the rib of the man. Commentators note that in doing so, God performs the first surgery. He puts Adam to sleep, opens up his chest to remove a rib, and closes him back up. That rib is used to form Eve’s rib. The two are individuals, created to be different, yet, by using one piece from the man, God forever connects them.
Verse 24 speaks of the attraction between man and woman—the fact that the displaced rib seeks its owner. “That is why,” says the text, “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife.” God designed not only two individuals but also a complementary pair of helpers who could work and serve together.