Genesis is one of those books I tend to go back to more out of an interest in the creation of the cosmos. But occasionally I go back there out of a need to analyze and understand God’s
original intentions when He invented human relationships. I was unexpectedly struck by a new thought as I read it recently, and I wanna share it with you.
The scripture I got this from was Genesis 2:18-24.
God had made all the animals and had made the man Adam in His image. But God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (verse 18) God saw that Adam needed a companion, and not just a companion but a suitable companion. God also saw that nothing He had already made would suffice. He presented all of the animals to Adam but no suitable helper was found. (verse 20)
There are some scholars who believe that before Eve, God had presented a number of other female humans to Adam to see if any of them were suitable for him. There’s speculation as to the exact nature of these females and how they were made, but they would’ve been made differently than Eve, which is probably why they were unsuitable.
God decided He would make a female human out of one of Adam’s ribs. When Adam saw her he 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.” (verses 21-23)
Eve was a different kind of companion entirely, because she was a part of Adam. The very next verse states, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (verse 24) Polygamy is the nature of the animal
kingdom – it’s what works best for them – and perhaps Polygamy was going to be for the humans as well, if Adam would’ve found the previous females suitable (I don’t know if that’s the case). But the only suitable companion for Adam was someone who was a part of him, it appears that for that specific reason a more intimate system was required, one that didn’t involve “packs” of humans but the start of new families, and lovers in monogymous relationships becoming “one flesh”, because man and woman were originally one flesh to begin with.
No creatures in the animal kingdom have that kind of deep spiritual connection. They don’t really need it. Only humans bear God’s image, and because of that we need something more than just social activity – we need relationships – we need commitment – we need intimacy.
I don’t know if there was ever such a thing as “alternative human females” before Eve was created. But I know Adam was alone for a time, and that God saw that it wasn’t good.
I expect that God knew from the beginning that Eve would be necessary, and that He allowed this time of searching for Adam because without that experience he wouldn’t have understood why Eve alone could satisfy his relational needs. Had she been presented to him in that manner right away he may have always wondered, as people often do, what he was missing. Having spent all that time searching and finding nothing, his appreciation when he finally met Eve would’ve been much more complete.