Genesis 2:21-22 says, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”  The Lord had previously said in verse 18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  To meet a need Adam had for companionship, the Lord formed Eve out of Adam’s rib. 

Obviously, the Lord could have formed Eve from the ground just like He had done with Adam.  However, had he done that, Eve might have appeared to have no natural relationship to him.  She would have been a completely separate entity.  When the Lord presented Eve to Adam, he proclaimed, “…This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Verse 23).  The Lord must have told Adam of his wondrous plan to give him a mate that was made out of his own side.  Adam seemed to have complete understanding of how Eve was made and declared that.  Even though, at this point, there was no such thing as an earthly mother or father, the Lord declared in verse 24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be ONE FLESH.”  Here, the Lord created the institution of marriage, where two separate people are declared to be ONE.  Thus, we read in Genesis 5:2, “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and CALLED THEIR NAME ADAM, in the day when they were created.”  They were two people whom the Lord recognized as one.

It has often been said that Eve was not made from Adam’s head in order to rule over him or made from his feet so that she could be trampled on, but from his side so that she could be near and dear to his heart.  That is a precious thought and accurately portrays how the Lord deems men and women as equal.  The place and importance of men and women in the body of Christ is declared in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  This is not to say there are no differences between the roles of men and women in the church, but we are all equal in His sight.

With all that said, it is true that men and women have an equal number of ribs. Normally, both men and women have twelve ribs on each side, making a total of 24 ribs.  I suppose it is just an urban legend, born out of the truth that Eve was created from Adam’s rib.  Since the rib fable is so easily refuted with simple anatomic facts, it makes you wonder why many well-meaning Christians still continue to spread this story.  (CC)  505.6)