The Divine Origin of Marriage
“Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.”—Matt. 19:6, NW.
1. (a) What is marriage? (b) Who is its main party, who may the lesser party be, and who first thought of it?
MARRIAGE is a close union between two parties. The main party to the marriage is called the husband. The other or lesser party to it is called the wife. The lesser party or wife may be a single person or individual or it also may be an organization made up of two or more persons. But the organization, because it is made up of a number of persons, does not form a number of wives; it forms just one organizational wife, because all the members of the organization are in one union to the one husband. The marvelous idea of marriage to a wife, whether as a single person or as an organization, was not thought out nor worked out by man nor by any of the animals lower than man and before man. Marriage was first thought of and set up by the Creator, the Maker of man and of the animals and plants that mate or pair. That Creator or Maker is God, the producer of all the universe seen and unseen.
2, 3. (a) With what words does God faithfully own up to marriage obligations? (b) To whom were these words really addressed?
2 The Creator faithfully confesses or owns up to a marriage connection. He names himself as a party to a marriage. He puts it on record, in writing. He swears to carry out the proper obligations of the marriage and to make it fruitful with children. This remarkable record reads: “Thy Maker is thy husband [bo‛elʹ, or owner]: Jehovah of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For Jehovah hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and as a wife of youth, that hath been refused, saith thy God. . . . For this is [as] the waters of Noah unto me, since I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth: so have I sworn that I will no more be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving-kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah, that hath mercy on thee. . . . And all thy children [shall be] taught of Jehovah, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”—Isa. 54:5-13, Da, margin.
3 These words were spoken by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah or written by his hand at or near the ancient city of Jerusalem. But the words were inspired or inbreathed into the prophet by Jehovah God in heaven and they were really addressed to some wifelike person or some wifelike organization in heaven. The words were spoken not alone for the benefit of this wife but also for the benefit of her children on earth. Who or what is this wife? One of her children, the Christian prophet Paul, writes to other Christian children of hers and says: “The Jerusalem today . . . is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” Then he quotes from God’s own words to her in the very same chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy. At last Paul ends his proof of their being children of God’s heavenly wife or “woman” by saying: “Wherefore, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman. For such freedom Christ set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselves be confined again in a yoke of slavery.”—Gal. 4:25 to 5:1, NW.
4. What was earthly Jerusalem or Zion, and of what is the heavenly Jerusalem composed?
4 The earthly Jerusalem of which Paul wrote nineteen centuries ago was later destroyed, but it was a city with over a million people in it when it was destroyed. It was a city organization. The free “Jerusalem above” is also an organization. The enslaved earthly Jerusalem also used to be called Zion, from the name of one of its hills. The “Jerusalem above” is also called Zion in God’s own Word, the Holy Bible. Heavenly Zion will never be destroyed, for Jehovah God has sworn that his loving-kindness to her will never depart, nor will his covenant of peace be removed. His heavenly wife or woman, the “Jerusalem above,” is the heavenly, invisible organization throughout the universe, his universal organization. He is the Maker of his wife or woman, and so his universal organization is composed of all his heavenly creatures in it. They are subject to him, their Creator, and they are united to him as an organization in a holy union that will never end.
5. What does the Bible say about Jehovah’s existence?
5 Before Jehovah began to create his universal organization he was all by himself in endless space. Before ever this heavenly organization was he was God, an eternal, everlasting Being, hence without beginning even as he will be without end, ever blessed. Without overstatement David the king of Israel could pray: “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting.” (Ps. 41:13, AS) The prophet Moses, who wrote the account of earth’s creation, could say to the Lord Jehovah: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”—Ps. 90:2, AS.
6. (a) Why did God not feel the need of a wife? (b) Then why did he create?
6 Did he ever need a wife or a living organization in holy union with him? No! Did he ever feel the need of such a wife? No! Was it good for him to be alone? Yes. Everything that gave him pleasure and happiness was in himself; he felt no need of any kind, and his being entirely alone never hurt him or filled him with lonesomeness. His being alone from everlasting never spoiled him, never made him self-centered or introverted and never made him so that he could not begin to enjoy the company of creatures. He did not need a wife to help him produce children. Full creative power was all in himself. No wife demanded offspring by him or obliged him to give her offspring. Why, then, after being alone from eternity did he begin to create? Because he is love. He saw the way to express his love and let creatures enjoy his love. And so, not induced by anything outside, but being moved by his own perfect love, he himself willed to create. His heavenly creatures now know this fact, for they say to him: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Rev. 4:11, NW; Delitzsch.
CREATING A WIFE
7, 8. (a) Who was the first one God created, and in what ways was he the first and the last? (b) What was the relationship of this one to God, and why?
7 The first one whom the Almighty God Jehovah created speaks for himself, identifying himself to us, so that there is no mystery. He is the one who was once down here on earth nineteen hundred years ago and who is now known as Jesus Christ. Speaking from heaven in a vision to his beloved apostle John on earth, he said: “I am the First [the Firstborn, Alexandrine Manuscript] and the Last, and the living one; and I became dead, but, look! I am living for ever and ever, . . . These are the things the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God.” (Rev. 1:17, 18; 3:14, NW) “The First and the Last,” and “the beginning of the creation by God”? Yes. He was the “First” whom the alone God Jehovah created by himself, unaided. He was also the “Last” whom Jehovah God created by or through no one else. In this way he was the beginning of God’s creation, not the beginner of God’s creation. This first creature of God became a man and died as a human sacrifice and was raised from the dead and returned to heaven. So he was also the first to be raised by God’s direct, unaided power and he is the last to be thus raised, for God now uses him to resurrect all the others dead in the graves. He was thus the beginning of a “new creation” of God.—2 Cor. 5:17.
8 After bringing this first creature into existence Almighty God empowered and used him to bring into existence all other creatures. (John 1:2, 3; Col. 1:15-18) Well, then, was this first creature God’s heavenly wife because God used him as his agent or instrument in creating all other things? No! He was God’s Son, and this in a way shared by no other creature. He was God’s “only-begotten Son” in that he was the first and only one to whom God gave life directly, through no channel. (John 3:16; 5:26; 6:57) As a Son and a fellow worker he was one with God, never acting contrary to God. That is why he once said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, AS) Because of being one with his heavenly Father he was always subject to him and never rebelled against his Father’s will.
9. How did God’s organization come into being, and in what sense did God marry it?
9 For unknown time the Father and his only-begotten Son were together, finding full pleasure in each other’s company. Then Jehovah his Father willed to use him in creating other creatures in heaven. Accordingly this joint creative work went ahead and as time went on a great host of angels were created, all of them sons of God because from him the power of life sprang, so that with him is the “fountain of life.” (Ps. 36:9) To all these Jehovah God addressed himself by his only-begotten Son, thus making him “the Word of God” or God’s mouthpiece to all other sons. They became God’s heavenly household and God organized them all under his only-begotten Son, that all together they might do the great Creator’s will, each one doing his assigned part, smoothly co-working with all others and co-working with the Creator their spiritual Father. In that way, after creating all these spiritual sons, God made them an organization, his universal heavenly organization, because it lives and operates throughout the universe. He married this universal heavenly organization to himself, binding it to himself in an unbreakable union as his co-worker and helper. With his faithful only-begotten Son as the leading one in this organization God was sure that this organizational wife would be kept at one with him in loving devotion and submission. Jehovah as Maker was her Head and God. Her becoming his organizational wife did not make her a goddess, a “Queen of Heaven” that later on deserved to be worshiped by men and women here on earth.—Jer. 44:17-19, 25; 7:18.
10. When, where, and how did God bring sex division into being before the creation of man, and for what purposes?
10 In due time Jehovah’s organizational wife was favored with seeing this principle of marriage put into action in a new way, in a new place—here on the earth. When the Creator by his only-begotten Son laid the foundations of this earth for his good purposes, all these other sons of God shouted in applause. On the third creative day of preparing this earth it was intensely interesting for them to see God’s wisdom in mating certain forms of plant life, even causing some plants to unite in order to reproduce their kind. On the fifth day they saw God create innumerable kinds of fishes and sea animals that were paired or mated in order to bring forth their young, and then also many kinds of flying creatures and bird life. The applying of the marriage principle progressed still farther on the sixth creative day when God caused the earth to bring forth land animals, wild and domestic and crawling or creeping, “none without its mate.” (Gen. 1:11-13, 20-25; Isa. 34:15, 16, Mo) In these unions of plant and animal life were to be seen the arrangement of male and female working together for a common purpose, the drawing powers of sex operating to bring them together. The word “sex” means the dividing of the various kinds of creature life into male and female forms and is actually drawn from the Latin word meaning “to cut or divide.” Nevertheless, the purpose of this sex division is not the producing of a disunion, but is rather for producing a union, a combining of forces to produce a combined result, neither sex being complete without the other, each sex being so constructed as to attract the other and carry out a certain function. Some forms of life are asexual, yet reproduce.
11. (a) What was the crowning feature of God’s earthly creation and when was this created? (b) Why was he able to have the lower animals in subjection?
11 For thousands of years, from the third creative day down into the sixth creative day, the arrangement of sex played a great part in keeping plant and animal life going on this earth. God saw that all this was good, but it was not the end of his purpose toward the earth. It was really preparatory, leading up to a crowning feature. The seven thousand years of the sixth creative day were drawing to their close when Jehovah God spoke to his only-begotten Son, his co-worker in this earthly creative work. “And God went on to say: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is creeping upon the earth.’” (Gen. 1:26, NW) This creature called “man” or Adam was to be higher than all preceding forms of conscious life. What made man better and able to have these lower creatures in subjection was that he was made in the image and likeness of God and his only-begotten Son, this Son himself being the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Col. 1:15, AS) This was new for the earth.
12. What kind of place did God prepare for man, and how was man created?
12 First God prepared a home for this creature man. Like no other planter, God made it a paradise, a sizable garden park, an improvement even over the rest of the earth outside, where the lower animals roamed and reproduced their kind before dying. In a separate creation from them God then produced the first man or Adam. “Then Jehovah God proceeded to form the man [a·damʹ] out of dust from the ground [a·da·mahʹ] and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.”—Gen. 2:7, 8, NW.
13. What privileges and obligations did Adam receive, and in what vital respect was he different from the lower animals?
13 From the invisible the Creator spoke to man and told him he had been created and settled in the garden of Eden “to cultivate it and to take care of it.” This doubtless meant taking care of the “tree of the knowledge of good and bad,” but man or Adam was commanded not to eat from it. To do so would be disobedience to God. So it would be sin, and the punishment for such a sin would be this: “In the day you eat from it you will positively die.” (Gen. 2:15-17, NW) Then God acquainted the man or Adam with the flying creatures and wild animals that he was to have in subjection to him, and God let him name each one, and each one’s name stuck. Adam interestedly inspected these creatures. He saw that they were of a flesh different from his. He saw how they mated and had sexual connection and how they brought forth their young, also how they lived out their life span and died, leaving their offspring behind them to preserve their kind. But Adam did not need to die; he did not need to produce offspring to keep in existence his kind, human kind. If he continued faithfully to worship his Creator as God and to obey all his commandments, including the one forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, he could live forever and be the caretaker of paradise and hold the lower animals always in subjection.—Gen. 2:19, 20.
HUMAN WEDLOCK BEGINS IN PARADISE
14-16. (a) What lack did Adam note, and what could God have done to supply Adam’s need? (b) How did God supply Adam’s lack, and for what further purpose?
14 Adam felt no desires of sex. As a perfect man he was balanced and not divided as to sex. But would he have any companions like himself? How would he get them? That was within the purpose of God and it was not man’s part to try to counsel or advise or dictate to God. But God had not left even himself without creatures in his own image and likeness, first his only-begotten Son and then his other heavenly sons, all of whom together made up his organizational wife. Was it his purpose to leave Adam alone of his kind?
15 Of all the animals that Adam named he could call none of them his fellow man or Ish (Hebrew). He found himself alone of his kind; he must do his work all by himself. He could converse with no one but his God or God’s heavenly representative in the invisible realm—a wonderful, soul-satisfying, all-surpassing experience for Adam. By creation Adam was a human “son of God.” (Luke 3:38) Was God satisfied with only one human son of God on earth? Just as God had foreseen and foreknown it, he saw and knew the state of matters now in actual fact: “for man there was found no helper as a complement of him.” Adam stood out different from all the lower animals; he had no mate with which to reproduce his kind. God could have produced other men just like him from the dust of the ground, each one separate and distinct from Adam, each an immediate creation of God. But that would not have resembled the pattern of life found in other kinds of earthly creatures. To harmonize with the life-patterns of those forms of earthly life and to fulfill God’s purpose concerning man it was not best for him to remain alone. “And Jehovah God went on to say: ‘It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.’” (Gen. 2:18-20, NW) How did Jehovah God do so?
16 He performed what may be called the first operation of painless surgery. “Hence Jehovah God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man.” The man was overjoyed to receive and accept her at his heavenly Father’s hand, and he named her to show she was part of himself. “Then the man said: ‘This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman [or Ish·shahʹ], because from man [or Ish] this one was taken.’” (Gen. 2:21-23, NW) God had now divided the feminine characteristics from Adam and put them in this woman or Ish·shahʹ and thus produced the human sexes. In the fatherly blessing that he now gave them as a married couple he set before them the work that he authorized them to carry on together. As it is written: “And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. Further, God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is creeping upon the earth.’” “This is the book of Adam’s history. In the day of God’s creating Adam he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them. After that he blessed them and called their name Man in the day of their being created.” (Gen. 1:27, 28; 5:1, 2, NW) So human marriage is a divine arrangement and should be viewed as holy.
17. Why was God not making a prophetic picture of Christ and his bride by the manner in which he created Eve?
17 When Jehovah God caused Adam to sleep soundly and removed one of his ribs and used it as a base with which to build Adam’s wife, was he foreshadowing something future, something four thousand years later? No. He was not foreshadowing that his Son Jesus Christ would become the only other Adam, “the last Adam,” and would fall asleep in death as a human sacrifice for his “bride,” the congregation of his 144,000 followers, and that Almighty God would raise him from that deep sleep of death and afterward present him with his spiritual “bride,” his faithful congregation, in heavenly glory. (1 Cor. 15:45; Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 21:2, 9) Had God done this, it would have meant that he peered into Adam’s future, that he let himself foresee that Adam would sin by eating from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Thus God would have foreordained that Adam should break his law and come under the sentence of death and that Jesus Christ should die as a corresponding ransom to save his 144,000 followers from among Adam’s descendants that these might become a bridal organization, a wife to Jesus Christ in heaven. To have foreordained that Adam should sin would have made Jehovah God responsible for his sin, whereas God is not responsible for sin and is not bound to make a sacrificial atonement for it.
18. Of what was Eve’s creation an earthly copy?
18 Rather than foreshadow and foreordain something by the way he created Eve, Jehovah God was copying on an earthly level a great heavenly pattern of his own. As Eve was taken from Adam and was really bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, so Jehovah’s universal organization, his heavenly organizational wife, was taken from himself. It was a creation emanating from himself without pain and beginning with his Word, his only-begotten Son, and finally taking in all his holy angels of heaven. This holy organization of them all he presented to himself as his “woman,” his “wife,” whom he will never divorce, for she will never be estranged from him, come a Devil even.
19. (a) What facts and scriptures show a husband’s closeness to his wife? (b) And, therefore, where is his rightful place?
19 Because the first woman was taken from the first man instead of being made a distinct creation, not only was she one flesh with him but also all the human family that sprang from them is one flesh. This fact made her man’s closest relative on earth. For this reason he should stick to her. God pronounced this bond of husband and wife to be the closest relationship of two humans on earth, closer than that of a son to a father and mother, and hence the husband should stay with the one to whom he was closest, his wife. In Eden after uniting the man and the woman in wedlock God said: “That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24, NW) Thousands of years later certain self-wise ones brushed aside this genuine account of the ideal human marriage in the paradise of Eden and the Son of God said to them: “Did you not read that he who created them at the beginning made them male and female and said: ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:4-6, NW) The Christian apostle Paul gave his measure of support to the trueness of this marriage account by quoting from it in his argument and saying: “For, ‘The two,’ says he, ‘will be one flesh.’” (1 Cor. 6:16, NW) A married man’s place, therefore, was to be, not with his papa and mamma, not with his gang, his men’s association or his social club, but with his closest partner, his wife. He was to stick to his wife, not send her back home to her father who gave her to him. He was to permit no one to get in between.
20. (a) What did God not mean, and what result did he purpose in creating Eve? (b) Why would the marriage of Adam and Eve not result in deformed or unbalanced children?
20 When God took the male and female characteristics or qualities that were combined in balance in the original Adam and divided them between the sexes he did not mean to start any battle of the sexes in the paradise of Eden. He did not mean to start any competitive coexistence between the sexes. Though the man Adam had the feminine properties divided from him and embodied in his wife, he was still left perfect; he was still in God’s image and likeness. Eve, with the female characteristics controlling in her, was likewise perfect, but she was one flesh with Adam. One flesh does not hurt itself; it does not fight itself. The living cells of the flesh combine together, hold together in various organs and tissues, according to the law of the great Organizer, Jehovah God. So it was to be with the two sexes, for they are in reality just one flesh. They were to complement each other, the one to supply to the other what the other felt it needed, and vice versa. God so organized the two sexes that they found their greatest happiness and contentment by co-operating together in doing the perfect will of their heavenly Father. The marriage of a woman from his very own bone and flesh to Adam would not result in odd children, overbalanced in any direction, showing unusual peculiarities or deformities. The man and woman were both perfect. Perfection united with perfection produces—perfection. A perfect son of Adam and Eve married to a perfect daughter of theirs would bring forth a perfect child.
21. In what ways was woman to be a helper and a complement, and why did Adam now look balanced?
21 That this was God’s will in dividing Adam and producing the sexes male and female God stated at the time he went ahead to produce a wife for Adam. God said: “I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.” God did not say he was going to give Adam a boss, a head. Adam already had a head. His Creator God was his Head. He did not need another. A complement is not a head. In Hebrew or the language of God’s creation account the word for “complement” means that which is in front of one, in sight of one as if standing opposite. It is not something in opposition but is a counterpart, something that matches one, something that looks or goes suitably and properly with one, making a nice balance. The woman, and no lower animal female, was a satisfying match for Adam and so was a complement for him, especially as she had the bodily organs by which she could become the mother of his children. (Lev. 18:23) She could produce the eggs that would provide the bodies of his children, but only he as the head of the married couple could pass on the life sperm that would start life in her eggs. He was the first to have human life and his wife received her life by being made from his rib, and it was proper that he continue to be the transmitter of life to his children. The man had his function, the woman had her function, subordinate to him and dependent upon him. So according to God’s will the woman was to be her husband’s “helper,” and a helper is not a boss, dictator or commander. A helper takes orders and works with the one that takes on this help. The woman could now furnish a necessary help to Adam in carrying out God’s command to them to become many and fill all the earth with a perfect human family. Standing beside the lordly lion and his lioness or beside any mated pair of animals in Eden, Adam no longer looked one-sided, incomplete, for now his perfect mate, his wifely complement and helper, stood beside him. Everything matched. The sight was lovely. It was good in the Creator’s eyes.
22. (a) When did Adam first have relations with his wife, and what does this show as to when the first marriage was consummated? (b) In their perfection what was their attitude toward each other?
22 When Jehovah God brought this perfect woman to the awakened man in Eden and pronounced his blessing upon them and set their joint duties before them their marriage was consummated. It did not require any physical sexual union between them first to consummate their marriage. If that sexual connection were first necessary to make the marriage a real, valid, binding one, then Adam and his woman were never married in Eden. It is first after this couple found themselves outside of Eden some time later that, we read, “now Adam had intercourse with Eve his wife and she became pregnant. In time she gave birth to Cain.” (Gen. 4:1, NW) Adam and Eve knew that the purpose of the sexual connection was to bring forth children. So in their perfection and with perfect self-control and without shame at their nakedness and without feeling passion at the sight of each other’s unclothed body they refrained from having sexual union and conceiving children while in Eden. Nevertheless, they were fully married and were bound to cleave to each other lovingly in faithfulness. Jehovah God, the divine marriage-maker, had yoked them together. No creature could rightly put them apart.