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We remark, that man was made alone in the world. There was, for a time, no individual person of the same nature besides himself. I assume it to be undoubted, as in the introduction of this part of my undertaking I have insisted, that the whole kind, male and female, was comprehended in the original announcement of the divine will for their creation: the woman being then ordained to be made for the man, the word “man" must be understood to have a plural signification; and, where it is afterwards stated that “God created them male and female," the verity of the statement is in no sense impugned or detracted from, because the sentence in which it is to be found is a summing up of the whole act of creation. In the first place, we are informed that God made man; and, in the next, we are particularly instructed in what man did consist; that he did consist of two parts, male and female.
now to consider how the woman created. The first chapter presents us with the fact of her creation; the second with an enlarged account of it, giving some particulars which in the former narration had been necessarily omitted: the first, that man was created, male and female; the second, how, the whole kind having been included in one person, the division into two persons was effected. In all probability, there was but little difference in regard of time; but yet there was, as there must have been, a difference; and therefore, and because the one was taken from the other, there was a priority: “ Adam was first formed, and then Eve.
Although Eve was in being, as a member of the whole kind, in the first instance, in her own individual capacity she was not in being; and the apostle, from whom we have the observation, has done well in using the word translated “ formed,” and not that which signifies “created :” there was no creation after the creation of man“ in the image, and after the likeness” of God. It is the account of the second chapter, “ And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man”—he is now speaking of him in the singular number—" should be alone.” The work had been incomplete, if the man were alone. His nature and design required fellowship; and the multiplication of his kind was also concerned in the matter. Although this reason appears as given after the actual creation of man, yet we are not to believe that it then presented itself, so to speak, for the first time, to the mind of the Creator; it is, rather, displayed for information ; it is stated as an argument wherefore man should not be alone; it was not good; it was not consistent with the grand purpose of his creation; and we learn from it, that that purpose demanded there should be male and female. God formed this “help meet” for man, by “ causing a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.” Adam was, consequently, made in the completeness of his nature before the formation of the woman
-“ and he slept; and he,” that is, God, “ took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
Eve formed, and brought unto Adam: he received her as his wife, making use of these words of acceptance: “ This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife : and they shall be one flesh.” Such was the manner of the formation of the woman, and such was the means by which mankind was brought to its perfectness; for, it is clear, that the kind was not perfect until the woman was brought to the man. They were now both of them as well formed as created, “woman," as the commentator notices,
being in all things like man, only he made out of the earth, and she out of him.” This was the main difference.
There has been much dispute as to the precise time in which the woman was formed, whether it was immediately after the creation of man, or whether after man had been established in the garden of Eden, according to the order in which the circumstance is related in the second chapter. I am unable to set the formation of the woman in other time than immediately after the creation of man. The account of the second chapter is, we are to remember, a repetition, and, in considerable instance, an enlargement, of the statements of the first, as this very preface would tell us: “ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when
they were created;" and we may not receive its order as intended to be exact, because Moses explains and amplifies as he goes on, and his explanation is not so much guided by regard to time as by a design to inform. One instance in point will shew that this suggestion is not incorrect. In the eighteenth verse God says, “ It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.” Next to this, and previously to the account or description of the mode in which he produced this “ help meet for him,” is the history of the giving or assigning of names by Adam, at the command of God, to the fowl, the cattle, and the beast; and, at the end of it we find a statement, “ But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him;" and then we have the particular manner in which the woman was formed. Some translators have rendered the word " said,” in the eighteenth verse, had said; and, if the emendation be right, the matter is easily explained; nor is it at all contradicted by the statement I have quoted, for that seems but to tell us the more strongly of the real formation of the woman, and to mark the difference of her creation, as being equal to that of the man, from the creation of all other animals. Moreover, the declaration of God's will in it, is exhibited directly after the account of the putting of man in the garden of Eden; and we may judge, that the Historian, from the manner in which he introduces this event, would signify, that not only was the man now placed in the garden, and not only to him was
the injunction given not to “ eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” but that the woman was there placed together and at the same time with him, and that she was a party, personally, in the receiving of this prohibitory injunction; and he appears to correct himself, as not having before been sufficiently explicit, or to be desirous that all misapplication should be avoided concerning the whole kind, and with this view to recal himself, and to say, “ And God had said, It is not good that the man should be alone.” Having done this, he narrates the incident of the naming of all other animals by Adam, with a re-statement that they were made out of the ground, or from the original earthly mass, and then acquaints us with the formation of the woman. If we ascribe the formation of the woman to a period after the delivery of the injunction not to touch the tree of knowledge, we understand her not to have been included in the threat of it, as of personal denunciation, from the Creator. I do not say that, if it had been so, she would not in fact have been included in it, because she undoubtedly would have been, as being derived from the substance of man, after its delivery; but she must be supposed to have received her knowledge of it from him: and this is a supposition not at all warranted by Scripture; the contrary, indeed, is to be inferred from the words which passed between herself and the serpent“ Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the