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Word Study

 "RIB" as used in Genesis 2:21-22

Rib - Strong # 6763 (Hebrew = tslea) Normally translated as side, corner, chamber or flank not rib

We wonder why would translators choose to translate a word as rib since Young's Analytical Concordance shows that the other 41 times it it used it is translated as side, corner, chambers or flank.  It seems unimportant until one realizes that the blood and water came from the side of the second Adam and by His death, we live.

In God's Word to Women Katharine Bushnell says that the originator of the "rib" theory was Rabbi Joshua, who wrote, "God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned within Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam's head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high.  If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into things; if from the ear, then she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the head, she will desire to make all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout.  Therefore, I will create her from the member which is hid, that is the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked." (1)

We can thank Charles Trombley for stating the case, as follows, in his book Who Said Women Can't Teach.  "The Bible says God made her from man's side, but Jewish fables said she was made from his rib."

It's amazing how theologians take one simple verse and work it over until any semblance of the original truth is gone.  But that's the story of religious confusion, each theorist telling the world what God really meant since He couldn't, wouldn't or didn't say what He meant and didn't mean what He said.  Why did Rabbi Joshua substitute the word "rib" for the "side" knowing it was an incorrect translation? Apparently to strengthen the low opinion most rabbis had of women and to justify masculine insecurities built upon the false premise that woman and not man was responsible for sin and death." (2)


1 Katharine Bushnell, God's Word to Women, (1923; privately reprinted by Ray Munson, N. Collins, NY), para. 43.
2 Charles Trombley, Who Said Women Can't Teach? (South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge Publishing Inc., 1985), p. 71.

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