God exists in an eternal community, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and He created man to be a part of His community. After listing the grand scope of the creation of the universe and all living things, Moses focuses in on the details of the creation of the first man and the first woman. Genesis 1:26-31 provides the theology of human creation. God’s Word created man.
God held a divine counsel to create man (Genesis 1:26a). God created man in the image of the Godhead (Genesis 1:26b). God created man with a special purpose: To have dominion over all animals (Genesis 1:26c) and over all the earth (Genesis 1:26d). His image consists of both male and female: Created them with the highest dignity and honor, in His image (Genesis 1:27), God blessed man (Genesis 1:28a), God gave man three great assignments (Genesis 1:28b-d):
God saw that His creation was “good”—fulfilled its function (Genesis 1:31)
While Genesis 1:2 describes the earth before God worked on it as Creator, Genesis 2:5,6 describes the earth before people worked on it as cultivators to populate and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). Genesis 2:5,6 describes the unpopulated earth, void of cultivated plant life that existed on day six of Creation week before God made humans.
Genesis 2:7 The First Man: The LORD God formed man, from the dust of the ground. God breathed His own breath of life into man and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:8-25 describes the home that God prepared for His community and gives us a tour of their home.
The First Garden and Its Purpose: Eden, Man’s Ideal Place or Home. Eden was a real place, a garden planted by God and met man’s need for a home: A very special place to live (Genesis 2:8). It met man’s need for beauty, food and for spiritual surroundings and met man’s need to live forever, through the tree of life. Eden met man’s need to exercise his free will—his ability to choose: The tree of knowing good and evil (Genesis 2:9). Eden met man’s need for water and irrigation (Genesis 2:10-14)
Genesis 2:15-17 The First Charge or Covenant regarding man’s purpose on the Earth: to know the goodness and Grace of God (Genesis 2:15a); To serve God by working and taking care of the garden (Genesis 2:15b); To choose life with God: Love, worship, and fellowship. This included the one command that God gave and the consequence of disobedience: Death (Genesis 2:17).
Genesis 2:18-25 – God created woman because it was not good for man to be alone and because man needed a helper, a companion (Genesis 2:18). Man’s need for woman G(Genesis 2:19-20) is demonstrated by God reminding man that He had created all of man’s companions, and that he is superior to animals in authority and intelligence. His purpose was to show man his great need for woman (Genesis 2:20b).
God creates woman and then he brings them together (Genesis 2:21). Man and woman were brought together by God Woman was equal to man in being (Genesis 2:23a) Man was created before woman (Genesis 2:23b), Marriage by God’s command involves the call of the man when he marries to leave parents (Genesis 2:24a), To cleave (Genesis 2:24b), To be one flesh (Genesis 2:24c) Man and woman were created perfect, innocent, and without shame (Genesis 2:25)
1. What is the difference between the Creation account of Genesis 1 and 2?
2. What are the ramifications of the dominion that God gave to man?
3. What does the fact that it was not good for man to be alone tell us about the importance of relationships?
4. What is the significance of the fact that Adam and Eve felt no shame at being naked?
Genesis 1:31-2:4 – These verses conclude chapter one and would well have been served to remain with it. After the creation God declared that it was very good. Genesis 2:1 makes reference to the word “host” this word comes from the Hebrew tsaba’ Strongs Concordance defines this as ” a mass of persons usually organized for war (an army); battle, company, soldiers, waiting upon, war (‑fare).” It also may refer to the stars, as in Nehemiah. 9:6, Deuteronomy 4:19, or as angels as in 1 Kings 22:19, Psalm 148:2.
In any case God declares that all of His creation work is now complete. All of the sciences can only observe the processes of conservation and disintegration, which are the basis for the universal laws of thermodynamics. Creation is the process of innovation (creating), and integration (making). This is what scientists are trying to understand but the closer they come to this the more they will be brought to the realization that the earth was created by a creator, rather than by chance.
That God’s work is complete is born out in Hebrews 4; Hebrews 11:3; Ephesians 3:9. In sanctifying the Sabbath God let man know just how sacred He considers rest. We seldom understand God’s concept of rest. God’s greatest works have been done while men have been at rest.
Consider Abraham and the covenant of the land in Genesis 15, Jacob’s ladder, and Redemption. Never forget that it is not what I can do for God that commends me to the Lord but rather what my faith and rest in Yeshua will do. Mary and Martha Luke 10:38-42 are another illustration of this important truth.
Genesis 2:4-6 – This chapter describes in greater detail the events of the 6th day of creation especially that of the creation of man and woman. This chapter complements chapter one. Initially we are told that there was no rain upon the earth. The earth was watered with vapors rising out of the earth. Henry Morris describes the earth’s condition at this time as similar to that of a greenhouse or better a terrarium.
Water would come from condensation and the mist or fog that surrounded the earth. The waters above formed a canopy that protected the earth from the ultra-violet rays from the sun. This is what some have suggested allowed for the longevity of man prior to the flood, when the canopy and it’s water was released.
Genesis 2:7 – Here Scripture declares that man was made from the compounds of the “dust of the ground” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Science has borne out that man is indeed made of the very same stuff that the earth is composed of, nitrogen, oxygen, and calcium, etc. The word in the Hebrew is yatsar, and means literally “to mold”. It is the word that really describes the work of a potter as in Jeremiah 18:2ff; Romans 9:21.
All of the other creatures were brought forth out of the earth, while man is molded by the hand of God. “The breath of life” is what makes us distinctive from the animals. While it is true that animals also have “the breath of life”, they were not breathed upon directly by God as man was. There is a similar allusion in the passage of Ezekiel 37, the portion describing the regeneration of the dry bones.
Genesis 2:8 God plants a garden in Eden. The Hebrew word “Eden” is translated pleasure, delights and foundations in various places in the Older Testament. Garden is a sheltered, protected spot. Note that man was first created and then placed in the garden. He thus was aware of what was outside the garden and was aware of the difference. Adam was brought east to the garden, from this we have the idea that man was possibly created in “The Land” and brought to the garden in the east.
Genesis 2:9 Now the focus is upon two trees in the garden, the other trees were of wide variety and had the affect of making the garden beautiful and provided a great variety of foods. But the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of knowledge” were the focal points. The Tree of Life made provision for man’s health and healing. It made it an improbability for man to die this tree shall be growing very nicely in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2).
The “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil” would be better translated “Tree of the knowing good and evil”. This tree like the others bore fruit that was good to eat and was pleasant to the eye (Genesis 3:6).
Genesis 2:10-14 This is a most unique river. It originates in the Garden of Eden and then divides to become 4 rivers. Today we have many streams uniting to form one large river but as far as I know there is nothing in existence today in which one river becomes the source of four rivers. This river nourished the lush garden elevating the water table throughout the land. Its source had to have been an underground reservoir that had to be under some kind of pressure to supply such a huge amount of water.
It was likely pressurized by subterranean heat forcing the water to the surface. The four rivers are named, Pishon, the Gihon, the Hiddekel (KJV) or Tigris, and the Euphrates. Archaeologists have discovered the word Hiddekel on Assyrian monuments which also calls it the Tigris. The Tigris and Euphrates form a geographical area that is known today as the Fertile Crescent. The other two rivers probably disappeared after the flood. The Pishon encircled the land of Havilah which means sandy-land. Gold is often discovered in sandy areas.
Bdellium was a precious gum in ancient times. Israel must have been familiar with it because the Manna that fell in the wilderness was described as being like bdellium (Numbers 11:7). The Gihon circled the land of Cush, this was a land lying south of Egypt and is present day Ethiopia. Some believe that Gihon is the Nile but there is little evidence to substantiate this. In any case the geography all has been changed by the flood.
Genesis 2:15 – God gave Adam the responsibility for caring his garden home. Even in paradise their was work to do, which gives us a good idea that there will be work in heaven for us (Revelation 22:3).. It will be a labor of love with no sweat, just as Adam’s was. It was only after the fall that it became “toil”, and sweat was involved (Genesis 3:19). The word sweat comes from zoo’‑ah; a primary Hebrew root meaning to shake off, to agitate (as with fear), to move, tremble, or vex. When we are filled with God’s Spirit and abiding in Him, there is none of that, but rather the fruit of the Spirit.
Genesis 2:16-17– The trees of the garden – God gave Adam the freedom to eat from any tree in the garden, he even was free to eat from “the tree of life”. There was only one small restriction, not ten, or 613, just one: But it would serve as a test of Adam and Eve’s love and trust of God. If Man was truly going to be able to freely love God, he had to be given the freedom to choose. Would man trust and obey or would he doubt God’s goodness and resent His will for his life?
The forbidden tree was the tree “of the knowledge(or knowing) of good and evil”. Adam already had the knowledge of good but by partaking of this tree he would experience evil and know the difference. Love should have been enough to obey but God gave the warning of consequences of the wrong decision.
He would lose the source of life, fellowship with God, and experience death, which is separation from God. This death is primary but there would also be physical death. Physical degeneration would begin and the process of decay would end in physical death. The act of disobedience is the same process that causes us to be separated from God and experience spiritual death as well as physical death.
Genesis 2:18 – In Genesis 1:31 God said after he saw everything that He made, that it was very good. But as we see in this verse the work was not complete until God created woman. Man was incomplete, as was creation until woman was created. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone;
Genesis 2:19-20 – Before God would create woman for man he wanted man to understand his need for companionship, and that animals would not fulfill that need. In bringing the animals before Adam he not only named them but also saw how much different they were from himself. They lacked the image of God that was uniquely his. We should note that the animals came to him, in much the same way that the animals came to Noah when it was time to load the Ark. The animals in all likelihood passed before him in pairs impressing again upon him the desire for a mate suitable for him.
Genesis 2:21-22 – God now begins the last piece of work that will crown His creation; the formation of woman from man. To accomplish this he puts Adam in a deep sleep. Sleep has been called the twin brother of death. Sleep is first mentioned in the garden, death came also from the garden born from disobedience. Sleep came to man to bring a blessing, the creation of Eve the mother of the living. Death came as a curse. Since the fall sleep has become more like death, and since the Messiah came death became more like sleep.
Another observation Adam in a sense died in order to obtain a bride to share and bless his life. Marriage in the Kingdom of Messiah must also be like this. Ephesians 5:21-32. The woman was fashioned from Adam’s side. This has been translated rib but could also include bone and flesh, hence the response of Adam, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
In fact this word appears in the Scriptures 35 times and this is the only time it is translated rib. In over 20 occurrences it is translated “side”. The idea of taken from his side gives the impression of equality and companionship. Also the Messiah paid the dowry or purchase price for his bride by going into a deep sleep (death), and being pierced in His side. In this way by the blood we become members of His body (Ephesians 5:30).
Genesis 2:23-24 – There are four different Hebrew words for “man” in the Hebrew the first is Adam as used in Genesis 2:7. It comes from the Hebrew root which means red or ruddy. Adamah is the word for earth which comes from the redish color of the earth. Edom is a form of this root, this was the land that was know for its red color, where Esau settled.
When man is referred to in the Older Testament as Adam it is in relation to his connection to being created from the dust of the earth. Hence the expression “son of man” used by Ezekiel, and later by Jesus to allude to the connection with Adam. Jesus, while sent from heaven taught His disciples that His birth connected Him to Adam. The word used for “blood” in Hebrew is “dam” and this too denotes a connection.
The second Hebrew word for man is found in Genesis 2:23 for the first time, it is the Hebrew word “ish” speaks of man as a spiritual being. When used in the over 1000 references in the Older Testament it is used to speak of man in his higher or spiritual nature (Joshua 5:13). This man was in fact an angel of the Lord, hence the expression ‘ish’ was used for man. When we consider this verse woman is taken from Adam of the earth but is named by Adam as ishshah taken from ish.
The idea is that man’s spiritual nature was fulfilled with a material person with a spiritual nature like himself. We will consider the other two names of man at another time. When God brought Eve to Adam, he recognized the difference from all the other animals. His remarks acknowledge that she is like me and from me. Then we have Moses, the author commenting on the significance of this by observing the nature of marriage (Genesis 2:24).
A man is to remain with his parents authority until he marries, at which point he leaves the influence of his parents and cleaves to his wife and is one flesh with her. In other words the man is bound by flesh to his parents until he is physically joined to his wife. Marriage from the beginning was to be monogamous and lifelong (Matthew 19:8). In Ephesians 5:22-33 we see that marriage is a reflection of God’s relationship with his bride the Church.
Genesis 2:25 – They were naked and unashamed. This is truly one of the many blessing of marriage the ability to be fully transparent with each other. Adam and Eve in Eden prior to the entrance of sin were unaware of any sin or guilt.