The seminal thirteenth century Geronese kabbalist, Talmudist, and exegete Moses Nahmanides (Moses b. Naḥman, 1194–c.1270) perceived the physical world as a mirror for the internal workings of the divine world. For him the Bible “relates about the lower matters and alludes to the upper,”1 rendering its apparently mundane legal, historical, and ethical dimensions a record of the inner variegated life of God. At the very inception of the world, each and every day of creation transcends its strict temporality, referring “at the inner core of the matter” () to the “sefirot which emanate from above.”2 The world's genesis unfolds along the parallel planes of the material world and the complex intradeical mechanics, the sefirot—a staple of kabbalistic thought and terminology—that are constituent of God himself. However, Nahmanides' exegetical project does not invite the escapist flight from reality that mysticism so often requires. On the contrary, his thoroughgoing kabbalistic ontology divulges a keen appreciation for and preoccupation with empirical reality and temporal history rather than threatening to overwhelm the mundane. His biblical exegesis has been characterized as exceptional within its genre for being “entirely free of the frequent kabbalistic tendency to devalue peshat [the plain sense of the text].”3 As David Novak has argued, Nahmanides, despite his kabbalistic theology, “also finds in the Torah a commitment to the reality of nature and history, even if that level of truth is transcended by the Kabbalah. Kabbalah, the highest truth, does not displace all other truths but puts them in perspective.”4 The argument that ensues in this article will demonstrate, firstly, that a prominent example of this feature of Nahmanidean exegesis pertains to the domain of interhuman relations. Here I will focus particularly on those “truths” his exegesis discloses about the spousal relationship. Secondly, Nahmanides' view of the spousal relationship is offered as paradigmatic of his kabbalistic theology, which not only does not displace its concrete social, psychological, anthropological, and juristic realia, but actually complements them. Thirdly, the case will be made that Nahmanides' narrative exegesis, with its overarching quest for the plain sense of the text, is not intended simply to sate his readers' intellectual and literary curiosity but also practically shapes his normative positions. In this particular context I will explore how his exegetical construct of a primordial composite human being, its gendered bifurcation, the definitive ideal of spousal union, the subsequent relational tensions between man and woman, and their conflict and resolution into a gendered hierarchy, all dramatized by the Garden of Eden narrative, inform his normative framework for the conduct of conjugal duties.