Oleg Zabluda's blog
Friday, December 02, 2016
Which “Bone” Was Eve Made From?
First, the Hebrew word used for rib is tsela (צְלָעֹת), but this word never means ‘rib’ anywhere else in the Bible. It usually means ‘side’. [...] Given this basic sense, Adam’s tsela would seem to refer to a “limb” or “appendage” — something that jutted out from his body.”
Hebrew Bible scholar, Ziony Zevit, suggests that the Hebrew tsela might really refer to the baculum. [...] The benefit of this explanation is that it matches the etiological nature of the Genesis story. We have an explanation for why humans, unlike just about all other male animal, lack a penis bone. It was removed by God in order to make Eve from it.

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. (Gen. 2:23)

There is no single word for penis in biblical Hebrew. Various euphemisms are used instead. Tsela may be one of these; bone another (the bone would have been observed in other animals and its absence in human males noted); and flesh yet another. Elsewhere the Bible uses “flesh” to refer to the penis: Ezekiel 44:7, 9 speaks of “uncircumcised in flesh”; Exodus 28:42, of undergarments required to cover the naked “flesh” of priests; Leviticus 15:2-3 refers to “the running issue” of “flesh”. Ezekiel 16:26 and 23:20 are famous for describing the penises (“flesh”) of Egyptians as very large, as large as those of asses and horses.


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