40. The separation of Eve from Adam was, then, an exceptional instance within the human race of what is well known to take place in lower orders of life. Professor Agassiz, the naturalist, in describing gemmiparous or fissiparous reproduction, says: “A cleft or fission, at some part of the body, takes place, very slight at first, but constantly increasing in depth, so as to become a deep furrow. . . . At the same time the contained organs are divided and become double, and thus two individuals are formed of one, so similar to each other that it is impossible to say which is the parent and which is the offspring.” Each human body retains still abundant traces of a dual nature, in almost every organ and part.
41. The Bible is not a treatise on science, but wherever rightly translated it is found not to contradict science. Nothing could be more unscientific than the representation that Eve was made from a single bone taken from Adam’s body. We have already (par. 24, and Additional Notes thereon), commented on the possible original bisexual nature of the human being,—the androgynous, or hermaphrodite state, which persists, imperfectly, to the present time within the human family.
44. We pass on to Genesis 2:24. Here is something most interesting. God seems to interrupt the ancient history, as given by Moses, and steps forth, as it were, in His own person, to address humanity directly and impressively in the words, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife.” Some have attributed these words to Adam, who was speaking in the previous verse, or to Moses, but Jesus Christ speaks of them as God’s own language, in Matthew 19:4, 5, saying “Have ye not read, that He which made [no “them” in the original] at the beginning, made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.” Many commandments are promulgated in masculine terms, though meant equally for both sexes, but in this instance the case is different: One man and one woman stand before the Almighty, on the very occasion of their differentiation into two sexes, and God enunciates a law as lying between those two just formed, which indicates for all time the duty of husband to wife, not of wife to husband. And then, in the Hebrew original expression, “for this cause ought the man,” the word for “man” is not the generic term meaning “man-kind,” it is ish, “husband,” corresponding to isha, “wife, in the expression “his wife” of this verse. When man and woman marry, there must be created a line of cleavage, on the part of one or both, between parent, or parents, and children. This Scriptural marriage law declares that the line of cleavage shall separate the husband from his parents rather than the wife from her parents. We will continue this subject in our next Lesson.