Genesis 2 describes the creation of Adam and then indicates that Eve was created sometime later. Surely, God had a reason for not creating them at the same time.
Some have suggested that there is no clear rationale for God’s delay in creating Eve, but the text does imply a reason. Genesis 2:20 states, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Each animal lived in community with other animals. In contrast, Adam was alone. It seems that God wanted Adam to recognize that aloneness before God created a wife for him. It was necessary for Adam to feel his need in order for the fulfillment to be truly satisfying.
The answer to Adam’s aloneness was Eve. She was called a “helper,” one who both supported and complemented Adam and a person he could support as well. God’s use of Adam’s rib to form Eve provided a unique connection point to highlight their dependence upon one another and the fact that they were “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
If Adam and Eve had been created at the same time, this aspect of human community or companionship would not have been as conspicuous. The fact that God separated the times of Adam’s and Eve’s creation draws attention to their need for companionship. The man’s solitary existence was the only thing called “not good” in all of creation—a telling description by God Himself to accentuate our need for community (Genesis 2:18).
Interestingly, the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve does not show Adam as better than Eve or Eve as better than Adam. Instead, they are shown as interdependent, one with the other, as part of God’s “good” creation. Genesis 2 concludes with God’s plan for marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Marriage between a man and a woman is a unity that reflects God’s original pattern in creation.