Eve was not made from one of Adam’s ribs, but was instead created using a bone in his penis, a Biblical scholar has claimed, causing much stir.
The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 says God made Adam from of the dust of the ground, then created Eve out of one of Adam’s ribs.
Ziony Zevit, distinguished professor of Biblical Literature and Northwest Semitic Languages at the American Jewish University in California, argues that the Biblical story has been wrongly interpreted since a mistranslation confused rib with baculum, or penis bone.
First presented in the 2013 book “What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?” Zevit’s shocking claim has recently resurfaced in a paper published in Biblical Archaeology Review, causing heated controversy among outraged Christian readers.
According to Zevit, the bone of contention — literally — centers around the Hebrew word “tsela,” used in the Old Testament to indicate the bone taken from Adam to create Eve.
“This Hebrew word occurs some 40 times in the Hebrew Bible, where it refers to the side of a building or of an altar or ark, a side-chamber, or a branch of a mountain. In each of these instances, it refers to something off-center, lateral to a main structure,” Zevit wrote.
Tsela was first translated as rib in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible dating to the mid-third century B.C.
It would have then lost its original meaning, which according to Zevit relates to “limbs lateral to the vertical axis of an erect human body: hands, feet, or, in the case of males, the penis.”
“Of these appendages, the only one lacking a bone is the penis,” Zevit wrote.
This would explain why the human penis has no “os baculum,” or bone, unlike most mammals, including primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees.
It would also clear up why men don’t have an uneven number of ribs compared to women.
In this view, the part in Genesis 2:21, in which God closes the flesh beneath the “tsela,” should be interpreted as to God closing up the flesh that exists on the underside of the penis.
Not surprisingly, Zevit’s phallic interpretation of the Biblical story has come under fire, with several readers of Biblical Archaeology threatening to cancel their subscription.
Israel’s daily Haaretz also entered the debate, arguing that ancient linguistics provide no support for the theory.
“Ziony Zevit’s theory is even more unlikely than the original story,” journalist Elon Gilad wrote.
He remarked that ribs generated life in stories predating the Hebrew bible, such as the Sumerian myth Enki and Nihursag.
He noted that tsela is still used in post-biblical Hebrew to mean rib, and has cognates meaning rib in other Semitic languages.
“That powerfully indicates that tzela meant rib thousands and thousands of years before proto-Semitic split up into the different Semitic language,” Gilad concluded.