ESV Genesis 2:20b-22
“But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
Walton sheds light upon this particular passage by explaining how this deep sleep was like a trance or a state of seeing a vision. And it was within this trance that Adam saw a vision of Eve being formed. What God showed Adam was like the visions shown to other prophets, where physical images represent what is going to happen. Thus, Eve being taken from Adam isn’t actually how she was made, but a way of showing Adam how Eve is half of mankind. Rib here is perhaps better translated as side.
The significance of Eve’s role here lies in the significance of Adam’s position. Walton argues that Adam’s formation as stated in Genesis 2:7 is an establishment of Adam’s priestly role as caretaker of the Garden of Eden. God prepared beforehand for Adam to be the priest/leader of mankind at that time. And his main job was to take care of the garden, which was the dwelling place of God. It’s all very temple-like really.
After God ordered matter, he dwelt there, namely in the Garden, the sacred space. This explains how God was walking through the garden later after Adam and Eve sinned. This also helps explain why it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. The job of caring for the sacred garden was too much for Adam to do alone. And the most suitable helper for him was not an animal, not another man, but a woman, the other side of the human race. God shows this to Adam in his dream. Eve and Adam together make the best priestly team in maintaining a sacred space.
I find this section fascinating. This advocates women helping in the church. This advocates men and women together making a safe place for a family to thrive. This advocates women’s sacred equality with men before God. And this explains why homosexuality is not according to God’s established order.
So, why then in the levitical law does it seem that God excludes women from the priestly duties? Walton believes that this was done because the inclusion of women too often lead to sexual perversion.
Walton, John H. The Lost World of Adam and Eve. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015. Print.