Here's a portion of a handout I used last week in my adult SS class on marriage. We're working our way through the Bible in order to establish a biblical foundation before we get to practical issues. Next week we will deal with Genesis 3. The first half dozen points are sketchy because they were covered the week before. The last point is taken mostly from Jim Jordan's excellent essays on Liturgical Man, Liturgical Women and will serve as a bridge to the the first couple's failure in Genesis 3.
What can we learn about Marriage from Genesis 2?
1. God instituted marriage; it is not a human cultural artifact.
2. God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman.
3. Marriage is a covenant
• Man torn in two (as covenants are always made)
• Malachi 2:14-16
4. God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.
• Bigamy and polygamy are violations of God's intention for marriage.
• Genesis 4:19 (Lamech)
• The Patriarchal sin of concubinage (Gen. 16, 29, etc.).
• Lev. 18:18 forbids polygamy.
5. God instituted marriage for companionship
• Gen. 2:18, "it is not good that the man should be alone"
• Malachi 2:14
6. Marriage creates a new household.
"leave father and mother," Gen. 2:24).
"one flesh" refers not just to sex but to "one new corporate person"
7. The married couple is called to fulfill the "cultural mandate" (Gen. 1:26-28; Gen. 2:15) together.
8. The woman is the glory-form of humanity (Gen. 2:23; 1 Cor. 10:7-9).
• Eph. 5:27; Rev. 21:1-4
9. The woman is called to be finisher.
• Gen. 2:18, 20
• Jesus & the Church - Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1, etc.
10. Although men and women are equals, they are nonetheless different in a ways that are profoundly, even mysteriously fitting.
11. The difference/separation between men and women gives rise to poetry
• Song of Songs
12. Sexual intimacy and pleasure is intended for married couples.
• Outside of marriage sex is not good but "fornication" (KJV) or "sexual
immorality" and "adultery."
• Gen. 20:30; 34:1ff.; 39:9;
• 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13, 18; 7:2;
13. In marriage there should be no barriers between a man and a woman; they should be fully open to one another (Gen. 2:25).
• What about clothing?
• Clothing and Glory, Clothing and Shame
• Exod. 28:2 (Luke 12:28)
• Clothed for war and office - Gen. 41:42, 1 Sam. 17:38, Luke 24:29
14. Divorce was not envisioned or needed in the pre-fall situation.
• "one flesh" - Gen. 2:24
• "from the beginning it was not so" - Matt. 19:8; Jer. 3:8; Mal. 2:16;
15. Since men are the one’s so prone to forget this, they have a special mandate in Scripture: Men are to think and behave first as brothers to women, especially in Christian marriages.
• Song of Songs 4:9-12, 5:1
• 1 Cor. 9:6, "a sister wife [aÓdelfh\n gunai√ka]"
• "weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Cor. 12:22)
16. Adam was called to be the liturgical leader, and Eve to respond to Adam's leadership and instruction.
• Paul finds meaning in the order of their creation - 1 Tim. 2:12-13
• Adam's priestly duty - "guard and serve the garden" (Gen. 2:15)
• He receives his instruction from Yahweh before the woman is made.
• Gen. 3:17
• We see prophetesses like Miriam (Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4-5), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14ff.), and Anna (Luke 2:36); and various “wise women”; as well as women leaders of the nation (Deborah, and Miriam, Micah 6:4). But we never see women as priests. We see women as deaconesses at the Tabernacle (Ex. 38:8; Jud. 11:40; 1 Sam. 2:22), and perhaps women among the Levite singers (1 Chron. 25:5-6, where v. 6 almost certainly refers only to the children of Heman; compare v. 2, v. 3, and vv. 4-6a). But we never see women as priests.
• The priests were males only, and they alone entered the new form of the Garden sanctuary, Tabernacle and Temple. They alone supervised the sacramental meals of those sanctuaries. They were the primary teachers in Israel as “angels of Yahweh of hosts” (Mal. 2:7). This reservation of the primarily liturgical office, teaching and sacrament, to men is precisely in line with Genesis 2-3.