Flesh is not the whole story of the first human union. Being united in flesh alone is not enough to ensure a good working union between distinctive members (man and woman). This is why God also gave humanity marriage, for the good ordering of the first human union. The first marriage can be viewed in two important ways, the unification of:
1) Adam and Eve under a common relational order, and
2) the human race to Adam under a common relational order.

Firstly, in Genesis 2 there is no clear break between Eve’s creation (vs23) and her wedding (vs24), the narrative flows immediately from one to the other. While there may have been real/measurable time between the two events, the way the story presents them indicates that Eve was never created to exist independently of Adam (relationally unaccountable/a separate relational construct). The fact that Eve was born from the flesh of Adam makes her human, however it is their marriage that unites them relationally.

Secondly, in the beginning (after Eve’s birth) humanity consisted of exactly 2 people. This means when God wed Adam and Eve together he was not only uniting them as husband and wife but he was also uniting the entire human race under a single relational order. Establishing the order (context) for right relating between all humans.

The only way of maintaining unity between distinctive individuals is through a common relational order/structure imposed on and adhered to by all members. For unity to be maintained questions like “who would lead and who would follow?” needed to be resolved for unity to exist in the image of God. God gave mankind marriage to order and govern human relationships, making the family unit the basis for building and sustaining the union of the human race. This is so that all mankind would be one family, united in marriage and flesh. This is why the Bible says:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
(Genesis 2:24, ESV).

Marriage and the creation of new families needs to be seen as a unification process rather than destroying one union to create another. This passage is not saying that marriage is a process that breaks union between children and their parents. Rather marriage alters the dynamic and complexity of their relationship for the good of all. Therefore every new marriage adds to and enhances the human union through the cycle of marriage, sex, conception and birth. Increasing the complexity of the connections and relationships within the human union, strengthening the whole. The fact that humans are conceived and born from the flesh of their parents is a profound mark of their membership in the human race/family. However it is the fact that they are born into a family that provides each new member a stable relational context for living and operating in unity.

In my next post I will discuss the general union of all things in Genesis 1-2.

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