(28) Why, when the man saw the woman who had been formed in this manner, he proceeded to say: “She” (for “this,” touto) “is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she has been taken out of man?” (#Ge 2:23).{4}{woman, virgo, or virago, is here looked upon as derived from vir, “man;” he also derives gyneµ from gennaoµ.} He might have been amazed at what he had seen, and have said in a negative manner: How can this exquisite and desirable beauty have been derived from bones and from flesh which are endowed with neither beauty nor elegance, being of a form so far more beautiful, and endowed with such excessive life and grace? The matter is incredible because she is like; and yet it is credible, because God himself has been her creator and painter. Again, he might have said affirmatively: Truly she is a living being, my bone and my flesh, for she exists by having been taken from that bone and flesh of mine. But he makes mention of his bone and flesh in a very natural manner; for the human or corporeal tabernacle is the combination of bones, and flesh, and entrails, and veins, and nerves, and ligaments, and blood-vessels, and breathing tubes, and blood. And she is called woman (in Greek gyneµ) with great correctness, as the power of producing with fertility, either because she becomes pregnant through the reception of the seed, and so brings forth; or, as the prophet says, because she was made out of man, not out of the earth, as he was; nor from seed, as all mankind after them; but of a certain intermediate nature; and like a branch, brought out of one vine to produce another vine.

(29) Why he says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh?” (#Ge 2:24). He here orders man to behave himself towards his wife with such excess of affection in their intercourse, that he is willing to leave his parents, not in order that by that means it may be more suitable, but as they would scarcely be a motive for his fidelity to his wife. And we must remark, that it is very excellent and prudently done, that he has avoided saying that the woman is to leave her parents and cleave to her husband, since the character of the man is bolder than the nature of the woman; but he says that the man ought to do this for the sake of the woman; for he is borne on by a cheerful and willing impulse to the concord of knowledge, to which, becoming wholly devoted, he restrains and regulates his desires, and clings to his wife alone like bird-lime. Especially because he himself, delighting in his master-like authority, is to be respected for his pride: but the woman, being in the rank of a servant, is praised, for assenting to a life of communion. And when it is said that the two are one flesh, that indicates that the flesh is very tangible and fully endowed with outward senses, on which it depends to be afflicted with pain and delighted with pleasure, so that both the man and woman may derive pleasure and pain from the same sources, and may feel the same; aye, and may still more think the same.