Were Adam and Eve married in the Garden of Eden?

by Matt Slick
3/12/15

There is no account in the first few chapters of Genesis that mention a marriage ceremony between Adam and Eve. It's simply stated that Adam was the husband of Eve in Genesis 3:6 so we can conclude that they were married. Let's take a look at the Scriptures that lead up to the first occurrence of the word husband in the Bible, in the English.

  • Man is formed.  "Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being," (Genesis 2:7).
  • Not good for man to be alone. "Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him,'" (Genesis 2:18).
  • God made Eve. "So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place, 22 the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man," (Genesis 2:21-22).
  • Husband.  "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate," (Genesis 3:6).

The Hebrew word for "husband" is אישׁ, eesh.  It is translated into different English words depending on the context.

  • "man, i.e., a male or female human as a class or kind in contrast to other classes of created beings (Ex 19:13)...husband, i.e., a male spouse in a marriage (Ge 16:3)1
  • KJV, "translates as “man” 1002 times, “men” 210 times, “one” 188 times, “husband” 69 times."2
  • אִישׁ man, husband, each3

So the Hebrew word "eesh" means man, man, husband, etc. Is translated into the English does husband in Genesis 3:6 in the following Bibles: ASV, ESV, GNT, HCSB, KJV, NLT, NRSV, RSV, AND YLT.

The first occurrence of the word wife in the English Bible is found in Genesis 2:24.

 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed," (Genesis 2:24-25).

This is right after the Lord fashioned one of Adam's ribs into Eve and Adam said "this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man," (Genesis 2:23).  Verse 24 does not say they were married, but it is the basis of marriage. Therefore, it would seem fair to say that Adam and Eve were married.

The word for "wife" in the Hebrew is אִשָּׁה, issa

  • אִשָּׁה, issa, woman, wife, female.4
  • אִשָּׁה [’ishshah /ish·shaw/] n f. From 376 or 582; TWOT 137a; GK 851; 780 occurrences; AV translates as “wife” 425 times, “woman” 324 times, “one” 10 times, “married” five times, “female” twice, and translated miscellaneously 14 times. 1 woman, wife, female. 1a woman (opposite of man). 1b wife (woman married to a man). 1c female (of animals). 1d each, every (pronoun).5

Finally, it seems fair to say that since Adam and Eve were the only two people alive and since God gave them to each other, then they were married. After all, the Bible says...

  • “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate," (Matthew 19:6).
  • "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate," (Mark 10:9).

Adam and Eve were husband and wife because they were joined by God.

  • 1. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLH 408, #3). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 2. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible: Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (H376). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  • 3. Futato, M. D. (2003). Beginning Biblical Hebrew (282). Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns.
  • 4. Futato, M. D. (2003). Beginning Biblical Hebrew (282). Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns.
  • 5. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible: Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (H802). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.