Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Who said it? In verse 23, the man had been speaking. If these are his words, then it raises a couple of interesting questions.
(1) How would the man know what a father or mother was – neither he nor the woman had a mother or father?
(2) Why would ministers quote the man that clearly “blew it” in the Garden and is credited with playing a major role in the “Fall of Mankind”?
Nothing is said about the LORD God speaking the words, as the text usually reveals when he speaks. So, this leaves one other party as the primary option for who is speaking – the unnamed narrator in the account – the one who told us – "In the beginning God created . . .”
Now let’s examine the words of the above verse. I have no doubt that some readers will be very surprised by what their own Bible says.
(1) a man shall leave his father and his mother – Did you get that? The man shall leave his father and mother. It does not say “a woman shall leave her father and mother.” Yet, most people picture the bride leaving her mother and father and going to groom. If the wedding ceremony reflected what this verse actually says, wouldn't the parents of the groom walk him down the aisle so he could leave them and go to the bride?
(2) a man shall cleave unto his wife – Once again let’s look at what the verse DOES NOT say – a wife shall cleave to the husband. The Hebrew word translated “cleave” literally means “to be glued together.” The man is the one doing the cleaving – he is the one gluing himself to his wife. The man is the one doing the gluing and the woman is the one he is gluing himself to (forgive the grammar).
(3) they shall become one flesh – As you probably remember, the woman was created from the man’s rib, so at first they were one flesh. But after the woman was created, they were two, not one anymore. If the man leaves his father and mother; and, if the man glues himself to the woman -- they will then become one flesh. Becoming one flesh, however, is dependent on his actions – not her actions.
Isn't it amazing how much we can learn from one small verse! I hope this Bible Study has been informative and interesting for you. If it has, before you move on to whatever is next on your schedule, please consider doing one or more of the following:
(1) If you know a couple that is about to get married, share this Bible Study with them – or at least the bride.
(2) If you have a daughter, share this information with her.
(3) If you are already married, you may want to make a copy for your spouse. I have a sneaky feeling that more husbands than wives will be receiving those copies.
(4) Forward this Bible Study to others. Share it with as many as possible.
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The next series of BHC Bible Studies will focus on the Creator’s vision of the role of women in His creation. If religions and governments followed the principles established in the opening account of the Bible, the world would be a much different place. This will be a series of studies that every mother and father should make sure their daughters, families and friends clearly understand. They should be prerequisites for membership in any Bible based institution.
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