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19. And out of the ground the am to see what he would call LORD God formed every beast of thein; and whatsoever Adam callthe field, and every fowl of the ed every living creature, that was air, and brought them unto Ad- the name thereof.
e ch. 1. 20, 24. f Ps. 8. 6. See ch. 6. 20.
poses connected with his creation, that no female help. A man, wishing to he should remain in dreary solitude, a say something to his wife, will address stranger to the blessings of society, her as follows: 'My help meet, hear having none with whom to share the what I am going to say.' It is worthy sweet interchange of thought and feel- of observation, that the margin has for ing, or to partake the cares, occupa- help meet, as before him; and this tions, and comforts of life. Indeed it gives a proper view of her condition, for is scarcely possible to conceive how, she literally has to stand before her with the constitution God had given husband to serve him on all occasions, him, it would have been possible for and especially when he takes his food; man to have been happy in Eden itself she being then his servant. Say to a if left to a state of utter loneliness. woman, 'Leave thy husband !' she will The Creator, therefore, kindly purposed reply, "No, no; I will stand before to fill this dreary void, to complete what him. Roberts. was wanting to the felicity of his crea
19. Out of the ground the Lord God ture, in the formation of a being like formed. Or Heb. ‘had formed.' This himself and every way suited to the verse and the following seem to be inexigencies of his condition.- -1 An serted here, immediately prior to the help meet for him. An help or com- account of the woman's formation, in panion suitable for him. The exact order to intimate the necessity there rendering of the original is, 'An help was for a new creation to supply Ad as before him,' i. e. one corresponding am's lack of a companion. On a surto him, one adapted to him, a counter-vey of all the animal tribes there was part of himself, one like him in person, none found suitable for the purpose. disposition, and affection, united to him. With this, however, was connected in the tenderest tics, always present another reason, to wit, the naming of before him to aid, sympathise with, the animals, which is especially menand comfort him ; in a word, a second tioned.—I Brought them unto Adam. self. Such was the merciful provis- That is, conducted them by a secret ion which the Most High determined supernatural impulse, as they were afto make for man that his cup of inno- terwards brought to Noah to be gathcent bliss might be full. This is the ered into the ark. This like most othpolite way of speaking of a wife in the er parts of the narrative of the creaEast, though it must be confessed that tion, has been the subject of infidel cavthey associate with this term too much il. It being ascertained, say the objectof the idea of a servant. Does an aged ers, that animals are exclusively adapt. person advise a young friend to get ed to the respective regions which they married; he will not say, 'Seek for a inhabit, it would be contrary to their wife,' but "Try to procure a thunive, an nature to leave their indigenous clihelp meet.'
A man who repines at his mates, and they would not assemble at single state, says, 'I have not any fe- one place. Of course, the account canmale help in my house.' A widower not be received as a literal fact, but says, “Ah! my children, I have now must be understood in some mythola.
gical or figurative sense. Thus a mod- ded others; inasmuch as the expresern materalist and skeptic asserts, 'that sion, 'every beast of the field, and every the representations of all animals being fowl of the air,' may only denote the brought before Adam in the first in- field and climate of Paradise. As to stance, and subsequently of their being the reasons of such a proceeding, it may all collected in the ark, if we are to un- have fulfilled a number of benevolent derstand them as applied to the living purposes, though not particularly meninhabitants of the whole world, are tioned by the sacred historian. (1.) It zoologically impossible.' Lawrence's might have been the means of assuring Lectures on Physiology, $ 2, c. i. p. 130. Adam of the power and dominion over If by the expression 'zoologically im- the animal creation with which he was in. possible' it be only intended that such vested by his Maker; for when he beheld a concourse of animals could not be various species of beasts thus coming to effected by their own natural instincts, crouch at his feet, to sport and gambol be. no one will doubt the assertion. Sup-fore him, he might conclude that they posing-what by the way really re- were innoxions, and subjected to his aumains to be proved—that there was thority by an overruling power. (2.) By then the same diversity of climate that such an appointment the Almighty might exists now, we inay admit that those design to give him such a knowledge peculiar to the polar regions, and to the of their nature and properties as was torrid zone, would certainly never as requisite in his peculiar situation in the semble in any one spot without an im-infancy of the world. Had he remainmediate exertion of divine power. But ed ignorant of the ends which they he, at whose word the immense variety were intended to serve, he could not of living animals burst into being, could have used them to any beneficial or surely bring them together, and, when valuable purposes. Many years must so congregated, could easily have sup- have rolled away before he could have plied them with the means of support. learned this by experience; and it might Till it can be shown that the Deity therefore suit the benignity of the Dicould not perform, or that there could vine Being to communicate to Adam be no sufficient reasons for performing, how his dominion over the creatures such a miracle, objections of this na- was to be exercised, and how their powture can have no weight. But we mayers and qualities might be made subbe content to take less elevated ground, servient to the comfort and convenand to understand the passage in a re- ience of man. (3.) In seems plainly stricted signification. The Heb. word intimated by the historian that the as39 kol, all, it is well known, does not sembling of so many animals together invariably mean all in the largest sense, was in part designed to convince Adam but sometimes many or much ; and of his solitary condition, and of the nethat it was designed to be received cessity of a partner to the completion with some limitation in the present of his happiness. The various species case is evident from the fishes of the of creatures doubtless came in pairs; he sea not being specified, and the inutility saw them adapted to each other in exterof giving names to such animals as nal form and identity of instincts, while were to inhabit distant regions of the for himself there was not found an globe, and which Adam might never help meet for him.' Though lord of the afterwards see. It is also uncertain creation, yet panting for something unwhether the assemblage consisted of possessed; though surrounded with those only which were within the pre- living creatures, yet feeling the listlesscincts of the garden of Eden, or inclu- | ness of solitude, he would discern that
he alone was destitute of a companion, generations. If the second, the mean a cheerless and lonely hermit roving ing evidently is, that they were brought amidst a wilderness of delights. And to Adam that he might see by deeply when he received from the bounty of contemplating them, by attentively heaven his new-created bride, he would studying their nature and properties, be impelled to increased veneration of by observing the peculiar habits and inhis beneficent Creator. (4.) The im- stincts of the several species, how they position of names upon the animal cre- were most appropriately to be named. ation by their new master, might like. To do this correctly so shortly after his wise be intended to call in to play the vo- creation would seem to have required a cal powers with wbich he was endowed. stretch of intelligence absolutely miracHe must early have acquired the use ulous, and we deem it not unlikely that of language, as an associate would have he was supernaturally assisted in doing been given him in vain, unless they it. However this may be, it is strenucould have communicated with each ously contended by Buchart and others, other through the medium of speech; that the names of the animal tribes they would have been deprived of all which we meet with in the Hebrew the pleasures arising from rational and Scriptures are the same that Adam social intercourse. If language was gave them at the beginning, and these, heaven-taught, and certainly the hu- as is well known, are for the most part man faculties appear unequal to its in- significant. Josephus says, 'God brought vention, no period agrecs so well with to Adam the several species of animals the revelation as that when Adam exhibiting them to him male and female, formed the vocabulary of the living and he imposed upon them the names creatures.- In the above enumeration by which they are even now called.' we may not have assigned all the real so long, however, as the question rereasons for bringing a part of the animal specting the claims of the Hebrew to becreation to Adam for the purpose speci- ing the primitive language remains enfied, but we have stated enough to con-compassed with all the difficulties which vince us, that, so far from being objec- modern researches in comparative phitionable, it was an instance of Cod's lology have thrown around it, this indulgent care and tenderness to the can be regarded only as an hypothesis, first man; and consequently that it venerable indeed for its antiquity, bui cannot be urged against the literal in- lacking in that clear evidence which terpretation of the history. - To see alone can command belief in reflecting what he would call them. Heb. 7329Dr minds. In fact the whole subject of call him or it, i. e. each one of them; an language, its origin, development, diveract which implies his being invested with sities, &c. is one which, from its pecusovereignty over them, as is plain from liarly subtle and complex nature, is perwhat is said of bestowing names, Dan 1. haps more calculated to task the pow7. Num. 32. 38, 42. The phrase, 'to see ers of the human intellect than any what he would call them,' may be un- other which comes within the range of derstood either of God or of Adam. If its inquiries. A bare entrance has as the first, it is spoken after the manner yet been made upon it, as a theme of of men, implying not that he would philosophical investigation. And thereby receive any new information, whatsoeder Adam called every living but simply that a demonstration would creature that was the name of it. This be made of the extraordinary wisdom is but another mode of saying, that Adand sagacity of his creature, one which am's choice of names entirely met the should strikingly impress all future divine approbation, so that no necessity 20 And Adam gave names to and he slept; and he took one of all cattle, and to the fowl of the his ribs, and closed up the flesh air, and to every beast of the field: instead thereof: but for Adam there was not found 22 And the rib, which the LORD an help meet for him.
God had taken from man, made 21 And the LORD God caused he a woman, and b brought her a 8 deep sleep to fall upon Adam, unto the man.
g ch. 15. 12. i Sam. 26. 12.
h Prov. 18. 22. Hebr. 13. 4.
existed for changing them in any res- others when favoured with visions and pect. It was therefore a virtual attest- revelations from God. Nor do we see ation to the wonderful wisdom and sa- any objection to Lightfoot's supposigacity evinced in the transaction.
tion, that such was the nature of Ad20. But for Adam there was not am's sleep at this time, that the whole found an help meet. The particle 'but scene of Eve's creation was presented here stands adversative to an idea that to his imagination in a divinely inspired is implied but not expressed, viz. dream : for it is evident from v. 23, that that all the males of the brute creation Adam was fully apprized of the circumwere supplied with mates, but for man stances of her origination. Took no such provision had yet been made, one of his ribs, &c. Whether there as among all the animals none was
was some peculiar organization in Adfound suitable for him.-'All that he am in order to provide for the producsaw were fit to be his servants, none tion of the woman, or God substituted his companions. The same God that another rib for the one taken away, finds the want supplies it. Rather than we need not inquire. The account of man's innocency shail want an out- the woman's formation has indeed been ward comfort, God will begin a new made the subject of the frequent procreation; not out of the earth, which fane cavils of the enemies of revelation; was the matter of man; not out of the but there is surely nothing in the narrainferior creatures which were the ser- tive calculated to weaken its credibility, vants of man; but of himself, for dear- or to reflect upon the wisdom of the ness, for equality. Doubtless such was Almighty Architect. The miracle is in man's power of obedience, that if God the creation, not in the choice of subhad bidden him yield up his rib, waking, jects to create from. That omnipofor his use, he had done it cheerfully; tence which bids the embryo grow up but the bounty of God was so abso- into the full proportion and stature of lute, that he would not so much as con
a man, can with equal ease expand the sult with man's will to make him hap- smallest atom of nature into the perpy. As man knew not while he was fect symmetry of the human frame. made, so shall he not know while his That there was moreover an imporother self is made out of him ; that the tant mystical meaning intended to be comfort might be greater, which was conveyed by this mode of formation seen before it was expected.' Bp. Hall. sufficient to vindicate it from all re
21. Caused a deep sleep to fall upon proach, will appear from a subsequent Adam. As this deep sleep is said to note, see on v. 23. have been caused in a supernatural way, 22. Made him a woman. Heb. the Sept. version is probably correct in way yon builded her to a woman ; rendering it extacy or trance, such as whence our bodies are called 'houses,' usually fell upon the prophets and Job, 4. 19. 2 Cor. 5. I.----And
23 And Adam said, This is of my flesh: she shall be called now i bone of my bones, and flesh Woman, because she was kiaken
out of man. I ch.29. 14. Judg. 9.2 2 Sam. 5. 1. & 19. 13. Ephes. 5. 30.
k 1 Cor. 11.
brought her unto the man. Heb. 143 as their own bodies : he that loveth led, conducted, that is, presented her to his wife
, loveth himself. For no man the man. Compare the Latin phrase ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourducere uxorem, to lead, i. e. to marry, a isleth and cherisheth it, even as the wife. It can scarcely be supposed that Lord the church; for we are members she was, after her formation, taken to
of his body, of his flesh, and of his a distance from Adam and then recon
bones. For this cause shall a man ducted into his presence. It is far more leave his father and mother and shall rational to understand the term of simply be joined unto his wife, and they two presenting her to him on the spot where shall be one flesh. This is a great she was created, which was doubtless mystery; but I speak concerning Christ the same where Adam was reposing at and his church. On which passage the time. The word implies, moreover, Macknight remarks that 'Adam, in the formal solemn bestowment of her whom the human race began, was a in the bonds of the marriage covenant, natural image of Christ, in whom the which is hence called the covenant of human race was to be restored; and God,' Prov. 2. 17, implying that he is his deep sleep, the opening of his side, the author of this sacred institution. and the formation of Eve of a rib ta
23. This is now bone of my bones, ken out of his side, were fit emblems of and flesh of my flesh. Heb. DYDA Christ's death, of the opening of his side nay, this is for this time, this once, on the cross, and of the regeneration implying that it was only on this of believers by his death. The love occasion that woman was to come into which Adam expressed towards Eve, being in this manner; thereafter the and his union with her in marriage, ordinary mode of her production should were lively images of Christ's love to be different. The phrase, “bone of my believers, and of his eternal union with bones, and flesh of my flesh,' points not them in one society after their resuronly to the woman's origin, but also rection. Thus the circumstances which to the nearness of the marriage rela- accompanied the formation of Eve, betion, to the partnership and love, that ing fit emblems of the formation of the was henceforth to subsist between them. church, we may suppose that they Their being both as it were of one flesh were brought to pass to prefigure that I shows that the nuptial state was de- great event; and by prefiguring it, to signed to be one of the utmost mutual show that it was decreed of God, from tenderness and endearment, and the the very beginning.' Com. in loc. Thus foundation of affection being thus laid many valuable purposes were answer in their identity of nature, strongly ed by the creation of Eve from a rib ta. evinces the indissoluble bond of that ken from the side of man; and this union. The language of Paul more consideration should fortify our belief over, Eph. 5. 28, 32, shows that the of the fact as recorded against the scorn creation and marriage of our first pa- and sarcasms of infidel objectors.rents were intended to be typical of the 11 She shall be called woman. That is, union between Christ and the church; being partaker of my nature she shall -So ought men to love their wives l be in effect called by my name i