21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 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.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Gen. 2:21-25, NKJV)
You may be familiar with the phrase, referring to a spouse, "This is my better half." This is how Adam might have introduced Eve, literally.
The word translated as "ribs" and "rib" is Strong's #6763, "from H6760; a rib (as curved), literally (of the body) or figuratively (of a door, that is, leaf); hence a side, literally (of a person) or figuratively (of an object or the sky, that is, quarter);...." The translation as a single "rib" implies just a bone, but in verse 23, Adam refers to Eve as "bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh."
That God used an entire side or half of Adam fits very well with Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Note that the word "them" is not in the Hebrew; although a human that is both male and female is correctly identified as a plural being.) Splitting Adam into two halves is symbolic of the equality of the sexes, although the patriarchal society allows the male to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie.
Our NKJV is very misleading on this point, implying that every woman is subject to every man. I do not think that is what Paul meant in these verses:
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control (1 Tim. 2:12-15).
In verse 12, the words woman and man are better translated as wife and husband. The current reading implies that any man is above any woman. The next three verses definitely put this in the context of husband and wife, in addition to using the example of Adam and Eve, husband and wife.
Ephesians 5:23 does state this clearly, that the husband is over the wife, not men over women:
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
The above examples are necessary to show the intention of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God....11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God (1 Cor. 11:3,11,12).
In Strong's New Testament Greek, there are 2 words most often translated as "man:"
G435 (aner) A primary word (compare G444); a man (properly as an individual male): - fellow, husband, man, sir. (G435 is often translated as "husband", sometimes as a particular man - my comment)
G444 (anthropos) From G435 and ὤψ ōps (the countenance; from G3700); manfaced, that is, a human being: - certain, man.
In a council of 2, there must be someone to cast the deciding vote. Although this responsibility is given to the husband, the final verses of Ephesians 5 puts this responsibility in perspective:
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
This tour through the New Testament ending with Ephesians 5:30 brings us back to "flesh and bone," man's being is the flesh and bone of Christ just as woman is the flesh and bone of man.
Note how Christ does not place burdens on mankind or use force against mankind. We are free to choose, and when we choose Him, we are subject to Him.
Likewise, when a woman chooses a man, she is not burdened or forced, but chooses to allow the husband to be the final arbiter. This is part of the contract when two become one, when the halves are rejoined to the whole.
Proverbs 31 is the voice of King Lemuel's mother. She describes the responsibilities of the virtuous wife. The wife's area of expertise is very widespread, and her husband trusts her with these responsibilities. A wise husband will defer in the many areas in which the wife will have more expertise.
Note the Hebrew word translated as virtuous has a very different understanding than we normally attribute to the word:
Strong's H2428, chayil - From H2342; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength....
A woman is indeed a force, a concept that men learn with maturity.