When I was very young, another boy told me that God took a rib from Adam and made Eve out of that.  Then he told me that’s why a man has one less ribs than a woman.  I tried to visualize how that would work, but he told me it says that in the Bible, so I didn’t argue with him.  It sounded a little strange to me so I asked my mother.  She told me that was what the Bible says.  She read GENESIS 2:18-24 to me, specifically verse 21 and 22. I asked if that was the reason men have one less ribs than women.  She laughed and said, “Honey, I don’t know but since you’re a boy, let’s find out. Let me count your ribs.”  With that, she started counting my ribs.  Since I was very ticklish, she didn’t get far before I was squealing and laughing.  She quit, grabbed me, and gave me a big hug.  I forgot all about how many ribs either a man or a woman had.
Later in my high school Biology class, we were studying the human skeleton.  Mr. Lewis told us that a human has 12 pairs of ribs.  I was going to ask the question, but another student’s hand shot up before I had a chance.  He asked “Doesn’t a man have less ribs than a woman?”  Mr. Lewis smiled, but several students laughed. That made me glad I hadn’t ask the question.  Mr. Lewis said, “No.  Men and women have the same number or ribs.” He continued, “I know your question is from the Book of Genesis where God took one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve.”  (This incident took place long before teachers weren’t permitted to say anything in school about the Bible). So Mr. Lewis continued, “I’m glad you know what the Bible says, because that’s exactly what it says.  When God removed the rib from Adam, that only meant that Adam had one less ribs.  But that doesn’t mean that all males from then on had one less ribs than females. If someone accidentally cut off a finger or lost an arm or leg in an accident, would we expect his children, after the loss, to be missing a finger, arm, or leg?  No.    They would have the number of fingers, arms, or legs before, like the number of ribs Adam had before God’s surgery.”
While in the Seminary, while studying the Book of Genesis, the professor put another slant on this.  He said that the Hebrew word for “RIB” in GENESIS 2:21 is “TSELA”, which can also be translated  “SIDE”.  Using that, he explained that Adam and Eve were actually Siamese twins, joined at the side.  So what God actually did was to remove Eve from the side of Adam. While I tried to visualize what Adam would have looked beforehand, hands went up all over the classroom, while two or three didn’t wait before asking, “What??” The professor laughed and said, “It looked like all of you were about to go to sleep.  I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.”  He then explained that the Hebrew word “TSELA” CAN BE translated “SIDE”, but to conclude then that means Adam and Eve were created at the same time as Siamese twins, contradicts the entire account of Adam and Eve in the creation and numerous other scriptures that states that Adam was created first and then Eve.  Just because it COULD BE translated “SIDE” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be translated as “RIB”, just as GENESIS 2:21-22 is translated.  God created Eve from a rib from Adam, just as stated.
Jesse R. Spurlock
Pastor Emeritus
Highland Park Baptist Church


305 W. Jarman Dr.,

Midwest City, OK 73110

(405) 830-3940

e-mail: jesse.spurlock@cox.net