Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Last week, we read about God forming the first female out of Adam’s side (verse 21) and the reason for the creation of the marriage union (verse 18). In Genesis 2:24 we read a summary statement about how the marriage relationship is to function and what it is to produce.
We can break this verse down into four points:
- Marriage is an exclusive union between one male and one female. This verse represents God’s original, pure definition of marriage.
- Marriage forms a unique family unit. The building block of society, in God’s view, is the family unit. The nucleus of this family unit is the husband-wife relationship.
- The marriage relationship is to be the closest possible relationship on the human plane. The word translated “joined” in the New King James Version is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means “to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon). This describes the close emotional bond that is to develop between a husband and wife. Later, Christ expounded on this verse by saying, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Though there are some circumstances where divorce is permitted, God’s standard is that marriages are to stay intact until death (Romans 7:2).
- Husband and wife are to become “one flesh.” This teaches us two things. First, we learn that the husband and wife are to form one unit. They are to think and act in unity and express a level of mutual care and love for each other that is deeper than any other human relationship (Ephesians 5:22-33). Second, this phrase describes the sexual union between husband and wife. Sex, in the Bible, is described as a very pure act when it is practiced within the marriage union. It is designed to physically and emotionally bond a married couple (1 Corinthians 7:2-4) and provide for reproduction (Genesis 9:7; Malachi 2:15).
To learn more about God’s standards for marriage, read “How to Have a Happy Marriage.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The Serpent.”