“Ish? Ish?? Ish…Ishah!!!

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.” – Genesis 2:22-23

The Hope of Things to Come | Galveston, Texas | February 2021

“Ish? Ish?? Ish…Ishah!!! That’s how my seminary professor described Adam’s reaction to the first wedding ceremony ever. God is bringing the bride down the garden path to her husband-to-be. The groom is anticipating the arrival of his bride. And when the moment comes, Adam is delighted. The Hebrew poetry makes that clear, and so my professor’s imaginary first encounter between man and woman would reflect that.

The Hebrew word for man is “ish” and the word for woman is “Ishah.” Adam has been through a time of searching and learning that the animals, even man’s best friend, are no substitute for what he really needs. He needs a partner. He needs someone who knows what it’s like to be a living being. He needs a counterpart: the same, but different. So as he’s awakening from his deep sleep and in the post surgery grogginess, he sees something, someone. Very much the same, but delightfully different.

There is something magical in the attraction between a man and a woman. Sadly, however, that magic has been tainted by sin, and in our fallen world it is not always what it should be. But for a moment, perhaps we can imagine that special, holy, magical moment when Eve first met Adam. And in imagining it seek to capture a bit of it in our marriage relationships. 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. – Genesis 2:18-24

1 comment
  1. I love to think that she too might have said, “Ish” in a long drawn syllable and in a quiet breath of delight as she beheld her gift as well.
    Yes, may these thoughts enter the sanctum of every marriage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: