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And YHVH ELOHIM (read Adonai Elohim) caused a deep sleep

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to fall upon the adam and he slept, and He took one of his ribs

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and closed up the flesh in the place where the rib had been.

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Then THE PERSONAL AND ETERNAL GOD who is also THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS caused the man to fall into a trance-like state, and he was out. He took one of his ribs and then filled in the deep part of the cavity that the removal had left.


1: “deep sleep”

This is one word not two, but it usually means something more than ordinary sleep. BDB says that this type of sleep, when mentioned in the Bible, is usually brought about by divine agency. A trance is also a good translation. Those are the ways this word was used in ancient times. In our modern era we would likely say that God sedated Adam just like we are given powerful anesthesia before a surgery.


The word used here means “rib, side, or something bent.” It is obvious that a rib is intended here because God took “one of” them, implying that Adam had several. Luther may have been right when he speculated God took out the rib and its accompanying flesh, not just the bone.

3: “where the ribs had been”

This is an interesting choice of words. We usually think this means that God sealed up the wound, meaning he did something to the skin to keep Adam from bleeding. However, the word used here means “beneath, underneath, below, or instead of, in the place of.” The mental picture I have had up till now would better be expressed with the phrase “over top of,” but that is the opposite of what the text says. It seems that the concern here is that God took a chunk out of Adam, but don’t worry, God filled in the place where that had been so that Adam did not have a hollow spot inside him. Of the possible meanings of the word, “in its stead, or in its place” seem to fit best, but we need to keep in mind, just like the ancient Hebrews surely would have, that the word basically means “beneath.” So the meaning “instead of” carries with it the concept of something deep, not something superficial.