Given all the recent discussion on Adam and Eve (see here, here, and somewhat related here) I thought I’d make use of the Oxford Biblical Studies free offer and post this excerpt from the Jewish Study Bible‘s commentary on Genesis 2:18-24:
Man’s fulfillment requires companionship. As a talmudic rabbi observes about v. 18 , “Even though a man has several sons, it is forbidden to him to be without a wife” (b. Yebam. 61b). The LORD’s creation of woman from man emphasizes the close connection between them and lays the groundwork for the understanding of marriage (and its association with procreation) in v. 24 . The creation of the woman after the man and from a part of his body need not imply the subordination of women to men. According to Ramban (Naḥmanides, a great 13th‐century Spanish rabbi), the point of v. 24 is that men are to be different from the males of the animal world, who mate and move on to the next partner: A man “wishes [his wife] to be with him always.” Promiscuity is thus a degradation of God’s intentions in creating human beings male and female. It is interesting that although polygamy is amply attested in the Tanakh, v. 24 indicates that the ideal, Edenic condition is monogamy (see also Mal. 2.14–16; Prov. 5.15–23 ).
As well as this excerpt from the commentary on 2:21-23 from the New Oxford Annotated Bible:
Just as the connection of humanity to the ground is affirmed in the making of the first human (“᾽adam”) from earthy “humus” (“᾽adamah”) ( 2.7 ), so also the connection of men and women is affirmed here through the crowning event of creation: the making of the woman from a part of the man ( 2.21–22 ). The man affirms this connection in a jubilant poem ( 2.23 ) featuring a word play on “man” (“᾽ish”) and “woman” (“᾽ishah”). This concluding song of praise of the woman corresponds to God’s concluding affirmation of all of creation as “very good” in 1.31 .