The Man’s Companion (Genesis chap. 2, verse 23)

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh
she shall be called woman
for she was taken out of man.”

At last Adam has found a being different from the animals with whom he can share what he is in the deep. A being with which he can eventually break down the wall of the isolation in which he found himself.

The human being created by God is able to communicate with Adam because he is “flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones.” Bones and meat, just like Adam’s rib. In fact, the being newly created is able to communicate with Adam, is able to move like him. A being that is able to let him know when she suffers or rejoices, when she is angry or when she is calm.

In fact, in Hebrew “flesh” – basar – is not just skin, muscle, fat and nerves, but much more. It represents the ability to express what is inside. In Hebrew “flesh” is the body, which is, basically, the messenger of the soul.

To indicate a relationship so deep and complete the Hebrew text plays on two words sound almost identical, i.e. ish and ishah. These two words are usually translated as “man” and “woman”, although in reality should be translated rather with “man and his companion”.  The woman is the companion of the man, because Adam and human being that God has placed alongside him represent two separate individuals. However they are also potentially united by a profound communion of intent.

And even though the Bible says “she was taken” this doesn’t mean that the woman is in a subordinate position to him. Indeed, the word ishah (companion) is linguistically more full than ish (man). From man derived something that is bigger than him. The woman, in fact, is able to make a synthesis between the two and this synthesis is called with a word: love!

Simone Venturini


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