The institution of marriage

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Gen 2:24 KJV

The inspired author adds this explanatory comment to Genesis 2 which teaches marriage as a Divine institution.  Christ directly refers back to this passage in Mark 10:6-8 when addressing the question of marriage and divorce.  The Pharisees were trying to entrap Christ on the subject and the Lord points to the Garden as the intention and plan of God.  This points to the historicity of Adam and Eve.

Does this mean that there was no marriage or procreation prior to the Garden of Eden?  Is this what Christ was saying?  Not strictly speaking, Christ was highlighting the intention and plan of God.  Did marriage as a Divine institution start in the Garden?  Sure.  Just as the Garden of Eden is the first revelation of God’s Law and purpose.  Does this categorically rule out procreation prior to the Garden?  I would suggest not.  There is much procreation today which is outside (& ignorant) of the Divine ideal just as there was at the time of Christ.  Any OEC position must also allow that procreation predated Genesis 2 – (although they justify this difference by referring to ‘the current creation’, an unbiblical term and simple device to enable them to reinterpret Scripture while claiming to be literalists).

Note: for discussion of Christ quoting both Gen 1 and Gen 2 in one passage see this post.


2 thoughts on “The institution of marriage

  1. Mark Taunton

    It’s not only Jesus who combines the details from Gen 1 and Gen 2! The narrator of Genesis (who is God the creator himself, as Jesus taught in Matt 19) said this (Gen 5:1-3):
    “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.”
    From this it is clear that the creation of man (male & female) in Gen 1 is the creation of Adam the father of Seth. They are one and the same event.


    1. COD Post author

      Well that’s a better argument than put by The Lampstand et al at least when they ignore the different sorts of old testament citations. I will revert later. However, let’s begin by addressing the arguments on the table for the differences between Gen 1 and 2 shall we?



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