Genesis 2

Genesis 2

1:31-2:4 – These verses conclude chapter one and would well have been served to remain with it. We should know that the chapter and verses were added long after the various Books of the Bible were written.  After the creation God declared that it was very good.  V. 1 makes reference to the word “host” this word comes from the Hebrew tsava’ Strong’s Concordance defines this as ” a mass of persons usually organized for war (an army); battle, company, soldiers, waiting upon, warfare.”  It also may refer to the stars, as in Neh. 9:6, DT. 4:19, or as angels as in 1 Kings 22:19, Ps. 148:2.  In any case God declares that all His creation work is now complete.  All the sciences 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 Heb 4; 11:3; Eph 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 Gen 15, Jacob’s ladder, and of course redemption.  Never forget that it is not what we can do for God that commends us to the Lord but rather what our faith and rest in Yesuah will do.  Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 also serve as another illustration of this important truth.  

Gen 2:4-6 – This chapter describes in greater detail the events of the 6th day especially that of the creation of man and woman.  Chapter 2 complements the events of 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 in his commentary on Genesis describes the earth’s condition 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 its water were released.

v. 7 – Here Scripture declares that man was made from the compounds of the “dust of the ground”.  1 Cor 15:47 the first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.  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 Jer. 18:2ff; Rom 9:21. All the other creatures were brought forth from the earth, while the hand of God molded man. “The breath of life” is what makes us distinctive from the animals.  While it is true that animals also have “the breath of life”, but they were not breathed on directly by God as man.  There is a similar allusion to God breathing life into man in the passage of Ezekiel 37, the portion describing the regeneration of the dry bones.

V. 8 God plants a garden in Eden. The Hebrew word “Eden” is translated pleasure, delights, and foundations in various places in the Older Testament.  The word garden in the Hebrew speaks of 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.

V. 9 Now the focus is on 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 focal points.  The Tree of Life made provision for man’s health and healing.  It made it improbable for man to die. This tree will be growing in the New Jerusalem: Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  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 (Gen 3:6).

V 10-14 This is a 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, Gihon, Hiddekel (KJV) or Tigris, and the Euphrates.  Archaeologists have discovered the word Hiddekel on Assyrian monuments that 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 (Num. 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.

V 15 – God gave Adam the responsibility for caring his garden home. Even in paradise there was work to do, which gives us a good idea that there will be work in heaven for us Rev 22:3  And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond‑servants shall serve Him; It will be a labor of love with no sweat, just as Adam’s work was until his fall.  It was only after the fall that it became “toil”, and sweat was involved (Gen 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 Gal 5:22-23.

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 as the Orthodox Jewish community have observed, 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 knowledge (or knowing) good and evil”.  Adam already had the knowledge of good but by partaking of this tree he would experience evil and know the difference.  The love of God should have been enough to obey but God gave the warning of consequences for a wrong decision.  He would lose the source of life, fellowship with God, and experience death, which is separation from God.  The spiritual death was primary but there would also be physical death.  Physical degeneration would begin and 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.

V 18 – In Gen. 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;

V 19-20 – Before God would create woman for man, he wanted the 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 different they were from him.  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 likely passed before him in pairs impressing on him the desire for a mate suitable for him. 

v. 21-22 – God now begins the last piece of work that would complete His creation; the formation of woman from man.  To accomplish this, he put 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 the result of man’s disobedience.  Sleep came 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, death became more like sleep. Adam in a sense died to obtain a bride to share and bless his life.  Marriage in the Kingdom of Messiah must be like this. For marriage to be blessed a man must be willing to lay down his life for his wife (Eph 5:21-32). 

The woman was fashioned from Adam’s side.  This has been translated rib but could 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.”   This word appears in Scripture 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. Corresponding to this Messiah paid the dowry or purchase price for his bride the church, by going into a deep sleep (death), and being pierced in His side.  In this way by His blood, we become members of His body (Eph 5:30)  

23-24 – There are four different Hebrew words for “man” in the Hebrew the first is Adam as used in Gen 2:7. It comes from the Hebrew root which means red or ruddy.  Adamah is the word for earth, which comes from the reddish color of the earth.  Edom is a form of this root; this was the land that was known 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 also denotes a connection for the red color of blood.

The second Hebrew word for man is found in v. 23 for the first time, it is the Hebrew word “ish” and speaks of man as a spiritual being.  When used in the 1000 plus references in the Older Testament it speaks of man in his higher or spiritual nature. (Josh 5:13)  “Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?””  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 ishshahtaken 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 in 2:24  For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 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.  (Mat 19:8) “He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.”  In Eph 5:22-33 we see that marriage is reflects God’s relationship with his bride the Church.

V 25 – They were naked and unashamed.  This is truly one of the many blessings 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.

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