Do you ever wonder what Adam felt like when he saw Eve for the first time? What sort of thoughts raced through his mind and what did he feel in his heart as he spent time with her in the garden prior to their temptation and fall into sin? Maybe you’ve heard the typical answers to those questions (e. g. Adam’s jaw dropped at the sight of Eve’s beauty, they enjoyed pure and untainted sexual freedom with one another, etc). Those things are definitely true, but that’s not the main focus of how Adam sees Eve in Genesis 2.
Genesis 2:23 records the first lines of poetry ever uttered by a human being. Eve’s beauty stunned Adam, causing him to break out into song. But the song Adam sang wasn’t another one of those “Dang girl, you be lookin’ foine!” R&B jams. There was much deeper meaning found in Adam’s rejoicing.
He exclaims, “This at last!” Whenever I read it, I think of the first few lines from that popular ’60’s hit “At Last.” Just look at the lyrics: “At last my love has come along, my lonely days are over and life is like a song!”
The context of Genesis 2 sets Adam up as a man in need. Someone vulnerable… lacking… incomplete. After the creation account in Genesis 1 where God declares all his creation as good, the tape rewinds and the camera zooms in on the creation of humanity. God soon declares, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2:18).
Vulnerable, lacking, incomplete… unfinished, not whole, not truly himself as the image of God… not good! No wonder when God brings Eve to Adam he says, “At last!” There’s a finality to his speech. Eve was literally the one he’d been waiting for his entire life. Only Adam could say that and truly mean it!
The footnote in Calvin’s Commentary interprets it this way: “This living creature (זאת) which at the present time (הפעם) passes before me, is the companion which I need.”
Stay tuned for Part 2: How Adam sees Eve as the companion he needs, and why it matters!