Marriage is one of those immutable Biblical precepts beginning in the initial chapter of Genesis and found throughout the scriptures. Final references are seen in the last chapter of the Bible. The marriage relationship defines how God ordered the caretakers of His earthly creation. It began when the Godhead created man, or the species more commonly termed mankind.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him…” Genesis 1:27a
Man in this verse is from the Hebrew Adham and is used primarily to denote the human race. But then God noted that mankind would be differentiated into male and female.
“…male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27b
Male is from the Hebrew zakar and is gender specific as is female from a different Hebrew base.
More specific details are found in Genesis chapter 2.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…” Genesis 2:7
The word ‘formed’ is the Hebrew yatsar which is the same base term for ‘create’. However, there is a different term used for the origin of the woman.
“Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man (Adam) He made into a woman…” Genesis 2:22a
The word ‘made’ is from the Hebrew banah which means to build or to make something from that which already existed. Contemporaneously one might consider cloned vs. created.
The purpose for the woman was/is to join with the man to fulfill God’s instructions to increase in numbers and have dominion over all other living things.
“And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’” Genesis 2:18
“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over…every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:28
The origins of Adam and Eve introduce the order of the husband and wife where the wife is considered the weaker of the two and dependant on her husband for protection and guidance.
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life…” I Peter 3:7
The husband and wife are to complement one another to form an indestructible and permanent unit. And while the wife is considered to be subservient to her husband for God’s purposes of order, both share equally in God’s grace for eternal life.
“…there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
After God made woman from Adam’s rib He presented the woman to Adam.
“…and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:22b-24
And even though Moses made provisions for divorce, it was originally intended that the marriage unit be life lasting. Jesus referred to the above scripture when teaching the Pharisees about divorce.
“The Pharisees came and asked Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’…And Jesus answered…‘Because of the hardness of your heart he (Moses) wrote you this command. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female…and the two shall become one flesh… Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’” Mark 10:2, 5-9
The God ordered relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, bridegroom and bride is found in the Old Testament to illustrate God’s relationship with the nation of Israel.
“And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and in justice, in loving kindness and mercy…” Hosea 2:19
And the Bible ends with Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
To be continued.