Water and blood

Adam's deep-sleep and the building of the Bride

For the Theology of the Sexes course, Alastair Roberts assigned us to read some chapters from James Jordan’s Trees and Thorns together with the first chapters of Genesis. (It so happened that I’d just read Trees & Thorns a few months before taking the course, but I do not count myself amongst those who complain about re-reading James Jordan.)

Amongst the many wonderful insights in that book, Jordan notes that the word used for Adam’s “deep sleep” is not the ordinary word for sleep, the kind we all do each night. It refers to a state more like death. Jordan says that this deep-sleep is “the place where covenants are made; it is de-creation preceding either total death or resurrection” (James Jordan, Trees & Thorns, 110). At least in some symbolic sense, Adam dies. Then, having placed Adam into death, God builds a bride for Adam from his side. Adam wakes again to see this woman, and delights over her with singing. Even prior to the Fall, we see this pattern established: Adam deep-sleeps, his bride is built from his side for him, and he wakes again to see her.