ESV - 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
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Paradoxically, the word "cleave" can have two contrasting meanings. In one sense, it can mean to divide, split, or sever something (as one does to meat with a cleaver, for example). However, in another sense of the word that expresses a very different idea, it can also mean "to hold fast to" or (in the case of two people, and as intended in Genesis 2:24) to become very strongly emotionally attached to one another, to the extent that that relationship becomes more important to each of them than any other interpersonal relationship that either of them may have -- including (as indicated in the same verse) the relationship with parents. (The unique nature of this "cleaving" is especially marked by the sexual relationship between a husband and wife, which (as the Bible also says) makes them "one flesh" in God's eyes.)
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