Genesis 1-2 What You See God Created! Session 4: Genesis 2 Day 6

By Ron Jones ©Titus Institute 2018

Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


Genesis 1-2 What You See God Created! Session 4: W4 Genesis 2: Day 6


This is the fourth session in a four-week series on Genesis and Creation. We have been looking at God's revelation concerning the origins of everything that we see in our universe.

God was very concerned that we understand exactly how the world began, civilization began, our whole human society began and his central role in creating it and setting up its structure as a loving and generous God for the blessing of the human beings he created out of his love.

The four weeks are divided into the following four points:

Genesis 1-2 W1 Genesis 1: Day 1 W2 Genesis 1: Day 2-4 W3 Genesis 1-2:3: Day 5-7 W4 Genesis 2: Day 6

Today we come to: W4 Genesis 2: Day 6

Genesis 2: The Creation of Man's Home and Work

Genesis 1 and 2 are not two separate accounts of creation. They are two parts of one historical account. They form a coherent whole. They were written by one author, Moses.

Genesis 1 - General Account of Creation of Everything

Genesis 2 - Specific Account of the Creation of the First Man and Woman

In Genesis 1 Moses is focused on the whole week of creation.

Look at

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

This is a general statement that God creates human beings as male and female, the center of God's creation of the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 2:4 he is going to talk about how he specifically created them, and how he set up their family, their home, their work, and the structure of civilization itself. It is a very beautiful and intimate portrait of a loving God providing a home for his couple he has created and brought together.

Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

v.4 "These are the generations..."

"These are the generations..." means "this is an account of or history of"

It is a heading or introductory statement of a section of Genesis which gives an account of the history of someone's family and descendants. Genesis can be divided into 10 sections beginning with Genesis 2:4. Each section begins with "These are the generations of." Genesis 2:4-4:26 gives the account or history of the heavens and the earth from the time of the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:4ff) to the birth of Seth's son (Genesis 4:26).

The next "these are the generations of..." occurs at Genesis 5:1.

Keil and Delitsch states, "The historical account of the world, which commences at the completion of the work of creation, is introduced as the 'History of the heavens and the earth,' and treats in three sections, (a) of the original condition of man in paradise (Gen. 2:5-25); (b) of the fall (Gen. 3); (c) of the division of the human race into two widely different families, so far as concerns their relation to God (Gen. 4)." (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 1, pp. 44-45). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.)

The history of creation of the heavens and the earth is bound up in the history of Adam and Eve and what happened to the heavens and the earth as a result of their actions.

v.4 "in the day"

Here the word day clearly means a "time period." The emphasis is not on the six days but the entire time period of creation. This would be true no matter what position you took on the days of creation.

v.4 Lord God (Yahweh Elohim)

Here is the first place in Scripture where the divine name "LORD" (Yahweh) occurs, and it is found in union with the name "God" (Elohim). Throughout the OT, Yahweh is the name of God that emphasizes his personal relationship with human beings before Israel was a nation and in particular with Israel as their covenant God. From the very beginning God reveals himself as more than just the Creator God of the heavens and the earth. He is also a personal God who has a personal relationship with Adam and Eve in the garden.

"Yahweh" or "Jehovah" is not a name the Hebrews borrowed from the ancient near eastern pagan neighbors. Nor is it a name that the Hebrews made up when they supposedly switched from polytheism to monotheism. This is the very name God revealed to Adam and Eve and they handed down to their descendants. So, when Noah heard from Yahweh and Abraham heard from Yahweh, they knew immediately that he was the Creator and God who had a personal relationship with their original parents, Adam and Eve. It was the descendants of the sons of Noah who corrupted monotheism into polytheism. When the sons of Noah and their wives started repopulating the earth they were true worshippers of Yahweh Elohim.

Genesis 2 is the story of Yahweh Elohim's establishment of the foundation of civilization.

In order for Adam to create the civilization that we know today, which is what God desired, he will need a wife, a place to live, and knowledge of how to obtain food. Secular historians believe that the first primitive human beings were hunter-gatherers who moved from place to place looking for food and then some time several thousands of years later in various places at the same time, human beings figured out that the ground could be cultivated. The birth of communities that lived together and stayed in the same place was farming. When human beings finally figured out how to do that, civilization as we know it was born.

However, the Bible presents a very different story. Human beings started out as farmers, not hunter-gatherers and God taught human beings how to cultivate the land and feed many people. In Genesis 4, Cain oversaw the farming and Abel oversaw the herding on their father Adam's land. God started it all out of his love and blessing and that is why civilization grew so quickly. Keep this in mind as we go through the texts so you can see what is happening here.

Genesis 2:5-25

Verse 5 begins the historical narrative of this section.

There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2 at all. Genesis 2 assumes everything that is revealed took place. Genesis does not repeat the primary creation events from Genesis 1 except the creation of man and woman giving the details of their creation.

Moses focuses Genesis 2 on the story of how God created man in detail, then created his family, and created his foundational work for the development of civilization and his foundational moral responsibility before God.

These are the themes of chapter 2 weaved throughout the text:

1. The Creation of Adam and His Home

2. The Creation of Adam's Work Responsibility

3. The Creation of Adam's Moral Responsibility

4. The Creation of Eve and Marriage and Family

God sets up the foundation and structure of human civilization. Men will marry women, they will have children (implied - 1:28). Families will work together and cultivate the ground and men and women will build and live in communities all the while following God's commands.

We will see this as we go. 1. The Creation of Adam and His Home v.5-14

v.5 When no bush (siah) of the field (sadeh) was yet in the land (erets) and no small plant (eseb) of the field (sadeh) had yet sprung up - for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land (erets), and there was no man to work the ground (adamah).

The Genesis 2:4 narrative begins on Day 6 between 1:25 and 1:26 with a description of the conditions existing after God had created vegetation and all the sea, sky, and land animals, but not man.

The Distinction Between "Field" in Genesis 2 and "Earth" in Genesis 1

To understand what "bush of the field" and "plant of the field" refers to we need to understand the distinction between the words "field" and "land" in this context and how it relates to Genesis 1. The Hebrew words that translate these two English words can be used as general words for land, ground, or field when used alone. They can be used interchangeably. However, when they are used together, they can bring out certain distinctions between them. This is the case here.

The Hebrew "erets" was translated "earth" in Genesis 1, referring to the whole earth. Here in Genesis 2, it is translated "land" and refers to the land of Eden where the first man and woman will live. The Hebrew word "sadeh" is translated "field" here. In this context, it refers to pasture land where and agricultural land.

When we see the English word "field" we tend to think of a wild field of brush and flowers, but the Hebrew word translated "field" refers to pasture land where animals such as sheep and goats graze and agricultural land for the cultivation of crops. It land man uses for farming and herding animals. Simply replace "field" with "farmland" and you will get the meaning of the word as it is used here.

In Genesis 2, Moses focuses on Adam as a farmer and herder of animals which will be shown more fully by Adam's sons in Genesis 4.

Genesis 4:2 Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

This is where Moses is headed. He is explaining how Adam and his boys fed themselves. They were farmer/herders. In ancient times, people did both farming and herding together. This helps us in understanding the context of Genesis 2 and why there has been confusion on how Genesis 2 fits with Genesis 1. God is setting up the farm for Adam, the fields to cultivate and the animals to breed. In Genesis 2 God is pictured as ancient Father who sets up the place where his adult son will live and occupation of his son and later help his son find a wife. But before God sets up where man and woman will live, we find out what the land of Eden was like in terms of farming and herding after God created all the vegetation and all the animals, but before God creates man.

Genesis 2:5 states two major conditions that existed before man was created.

Two major conditions:

1. No bush of the field v.5

2. No plant of the field v.5

Two reasons for this lack:

3. No rain had fallen v.5

4. Man had not worked the ground v.5

So Moses focuses on two conditions that existed that directly affects man's farming and herding work which God is going to give him.

Two major conditions:

1. No bush of the field v.5

2. No plant of the field v.5

Moses is identifying that the land of Eden was not yet ready for farming and herding. When God created all the vegetation in Genesis 1 that was the first step in man feeding himself and his community but gathering food in the wild is not sufficient to sustain a community. There has to be farming and herding. God had provided this first step, but there was a second step that needed to take place. The second step was what rain and man's work provided.

v. 5 "When no bush (siah) of the field (sadeh) was yet in the land (erets) and no small plant (eseb) of the field (sadeh) had yet sprung up"

v.5 bush of the field - siah The "bush of the field" is a wild shrub that grows after it rains which animals man is herding can feed on.

v.5 small plant of the field - eseb The "small plant of the field" is the cultivated crops of grains that man had grown from the wild seeds God had created in Genesis 1.

In the land of Eden, there were no bushes of the field and no small plants of the field for farmers and herders to feed themselves and their animals. When man picks the wild grains and plants them in the ground and cultivates them, they grow better and multiply.

The English translations of the Hebrew words do not bring out these meaning because the translators are trying to keep the translations general to allow for different interpretations. I am bringing out the interpretative meanings so you understand what these words refer to.

How can we know this is the meaning? This can be seen in Genesis 3:17-19 where it is referred to by God in his cursing of the ground.

Genesis 3:17-19 17 And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.'"

"Plants of the field" is the eseb of the field which yields "bread." In Genesis 3:18 "plants of the field" refers to cultivated grains from which Adam made bread. It means the same in Genesis 2:5.

Then Moses tells us why these bushes and grains had not yet grown in the land of Eden or anywhere else on the earth. This also gives us further clues about these two kinds of vegetation:

v. 5 for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground

The reason that these two kinds of vegetation had not appeared is because rain had not fallen and man who would cultivate the ground and grow the crops had not been created.

Two reasons for this lack: 3. No rain had fallen v.5 4. Man had not worked the ground v.5

How do these two circumstances relate to these kinds of vegetation?

The bushes of the field have to be the wild shrubs (including wild grasses) that spring up from the ground after the rain so if there is no rain, there are no wild shrubs. These shrubs were important to herding animals because they were the food for certain the animals such as sheep and goats.

Waldie writes, "Raising sheep and goats provide a valuable complement for grain-based agriculture by making use of grazing land unsuitable for agriculture, providing manure for the fields, contributing products for the diet (milk, cheese, meat) and other uses (wool, bone), and thus in general hedging the risks of subsistence farming through diversification." (Waldie, Lance, Vegetation on the Pre-Fall Earth, Pt. 1, 11/3/2014)

The plants of the field are the cultivated grains that grow from the wild grains God already created that need to be planted in the ground for crops. These cultivated grains don't exist unless man plants them in the ground and there was no man.

Richard Averbeck writes, "It is important to remember at this point, however, that Genesis 2:4-6 does not just look back to Genesis 1 but also forward into the unit that it introduces, which extends all the way through Genesis 4. In this regard, we need to pay close attention to the terms for the plants in v.5. The word for shrub in the expression 'shrub of the field' occurs only a few times elsewhere; specifically in Genesis 21:15 and Job 30:4, 7.

In all its occurrences it refers to plants that grow in desolate waste lands (e.g. the bush under which Hagar placed Ishmael in Genesis 21:15). The term 'plant of the field' in the next clause is the same as that used in Genesis 3:18 for the crops people would have to cultivate by the sweat of the brow because of the fall into sin. The remainder of vv. 5 and 6 expands on this by explaining the conditions under which the earth was functioning at that time. First, 'the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth [or land],' and second, 'there was no man to cultivate the ground' (v.5b). How could these particular categories of plants exist if there was no rain, and especially if there was no man to cultivate the crops that would require cultivation (cf. Genesis 2:15-17 with Genesis 3:17-19)? The point is this: there were already plants and trees on the earth with all that day 3 varieties (Genesis 1:11-13), but no wilderness or weed versus cultivated crop conditions existed. That is what Genesis 2:5-6 is telling us." (Richard Averbeck, A Literary Day, Inter-textual, and Contextual Reading of Genesis 1-2, in Reading Genesis 1-2, An Evangelical Conversation, edited by J. Daryl Charles, Hendrickson Publishers, 2013, p.28-29)

v. 5 "for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land."

There is no hint in the text that rain was not coming soon. The text implies that rain would be coming as soon as man was created and given his work of farming and herding. It's only Day 6. Rain is scheduled by God sometime after man is created. God is setting up farming/agriculture and herding (sheep and goats) as the main occupation of mankind. Rain is also necessary for replenishing underground aquifers, rivers, etc. and for drinking water.

In the past some interpreters believed that it did not rain before the flood because the text does not state that it did. However, it does imply it right here that it will rain once man is created.

v. 6 and a mist was going up from the land (erets) and was watering the whole face of the ground (adamah)

Like everything else in Genesis 2, v.6 is focused on the land of Eden not the whole face of planet earth, but what was happening in Eden was most likely happening everywhere else. In the area of Eden there was a mist or stream coming up from the earth (Hebrew erets). The word translated "mist" in the ESV is believed by most scholars to be referring to a stream from underground water. ESV has a footnote on this. The term refers most likely to water from an underground aquifer or reservoir that comes to the surface.

v.5 "the whole face of the ground" The stream watered the face or surface of the ground in the area of Eden.

So, the term refers to water from an underground aquifer or reservoir that comes to the surface in the form of a stream and waters the face of the ground. The "stream" is important to note because it is the secret to the richness of agricultural land. In ancient times a land was rich for cultivation when it had rain and another source of water from the ground. God is saying that it did from his hand.

This stream as the source of rivers was probably one example of what was available all over the earth and made the pre-flood world so rich in agricultural land. There were two regular consistent sources of water, one from the ground streams which fed rivers and one which was from above, the rain. If these two sources regularly and consistently watered the land, the land would be excellent land to grow crops and raise herds.

Cassuto writes, "This blissful state of affairs prevailing in the garden of Eden and the similar circumstances obtaining in Egypt served as classic examples of a land blessed with fertility: like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt (13:10)." (Cassuto, U. (1998). A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I, From Adam to Noah (Genesis I-VI 8). (I. Abrahams, Trans.) (p. 104). Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.)

NOTICE: God's plan for food for man was not eating the wild fruits and vegetables he could gather. It was to take the seeds from these plants and trees and develop orchards and farms to grow crops. It was also to herd animals and birds for their milk and eggs. This is the only way civilization could grow quickly.

The Creation of Adam

v. 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

v.7 "God formed" This is an anthropomorphic description in that God is pictured as an artist who fashions Adam out of clay. But there is reality to it. God does take dust from the ground and creates man from it.

The word "formed" is used of a potter's activity (e.g., Isa 29:16; Jer 18:4-6).

v. 7 "the man (ha adam)...the ground (ha adama)...the man (ha adam)..."

Verse 7 has a word play on the words "ground" (Hebrew adama) and "man," (adam) which are similar sounding in the Hebrew. This is brought out here and in other places in Genesis.

1) adam (man) comes from adama (ground) Genesis 2:7

2) adam (man) cultivates the adama (ground) Genesis 2:5 "no one to work the ground" (adama)

3) adam (man) returns to the adama (ground) after the fall into sin Genesis 3:19 "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Man is related to the "ground" by his very creation, making him perfectly suited for the task of working the "ground," which is required for cultivation (2:5, 15). At the end of life, man's body is returned to the ground from which it came.

v.7 breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature

This breathing means that God put within man a living soul and brought life into the body he had created out of the dust.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

There is an intimacy expressed here as he personally breathes into man the breath of life. With animals he just created as living creatures. With Adam God takes his time to give him life. Man and animals (not plants) share the "breath of life," but not the "image of God." God created human beings and animals to share in the same physical properties and be related to their environment, the ground (2:7, 19). Yet animals are not made in the image of God, part of which is having a "spirit." Human beings have a spirit that causes us to live forever. Animals do not.

v. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

v. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden

God now begins to create a home for Adam. The creative acts in Genesis 2 are specific creations that God desires for Adam which occur after all the initial creations of Genesis 1. They are not the same creative acts. In the land of Eden, God creates a garden area for Adam to live in.

v.8 in Eden

"In Eden" means "in the place called Eden."

The garden is in Eden, it is not Eden.

It is called the "Garden of Eden" in Genesis 3:24, "He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."

"Garden of the LORD" designates Eden in Gen 13:10 (cp. Isa 51:3) and later "garden of God" in Ezekiel (28:13; 31:9). This designates God as its Owner.

v.8 in the East

Most OT scholars see the phrase "in the east" in regards to the land of Canaan where the Israelites would finally settle. Eden was east of the land of Canaan. This would locate it in the Tigris and Euphrates valley which corresponds to the two known rivers mentioned in Genesis 2:14.

v. 8 and there he put the man whom he had formed.

God brings Adam to Eden to watch God make his new home.

v. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.

After this general statement, "and the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the East" Moses now gives a detailed account, describing how God planted the garden. God now creates specific trees for the garden of Eden. Trees that are described pleasant to the sight and good for food.

This is NOT the same event as Genesis 1:12 where God originally created the trees on the earth. This is a subsequent event where God creates specific trees for the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve will live. God wanted to create these trees directly from the ground to show his personal care and concern for Adam, where he would live in a lush environment and the blessings that he would experience in life. Another similar specific creative act will be done again with the animals in v.19 and v.20.

God is structuring human civilization part of which will be the cultivation and the development of orchards of fruit trees. These trees would be cultivated fruit trees, not "wild fruit trees." That's why they are described as "pleasant to the sight and good for food." When fruit trees are cultivated and watered and taken care of they produce more rich and abundant fruit. The same will be said about grain. This does not only bless Adam with instant lush and tasty food, but also teaches what cultivated trees look like and their fruit tastes like.

v.9 The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

v. 9 The tree of life was in the midst of the garden...

Besides these fruit trees, there were two other kind of trees in a central position in the middle of all of the others, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:22 describes what the tree of life does: Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever"

This Scripture indicates that the "tree of life" is a tree with supernatural power to give immortal life when he eats of its fruit. Once he eats of it, he cannot die physically.

v. 9 in the midst of the garden

The two trees stood next to each other in the center of the garden in a prominent place. God is structuring the moral code of human civilization - tree of life which gives immortal life and the tree of good and evil which can take it away.

v. 9 and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There are several views about what this tree is all about and various views about what this knowledge of good and evil is. The view that makes the most sense to me is that it is referring to moral autonomy. When Adam and Eve ate of its fruit, they would be choosing for the first time that they would decide what is good and evil not God. They would be the judges of good and evil for the world not God. The knowledge is not knowing about something for information, but knowing about something in order to judge whether the person knowing it thinks it is good or evil. The emphasis is not on the content of the knowledge, but the reason for the knowledge.

The tree itself and its fruit probably did not do anything supernatural. It was a test for Adam and Eve to see if they would trust God to set the moral standard of the universe. This view makes sense also of Genesis 3:22 which says, "Behold the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil." This is intertrinitarian as is Genesis 1:26 "Let us make man in our image." How did Adam and Eve become like God? They chose to become knowledgeable of good and evil so they could judge it on their own, a role that belongs only to God.

Victor Hamilton writes, "Finally, we mention the view that 'the knowledge good and evil' indicates moral autonomy...This interpretation also has the benefit of according well with 3:22, 'the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.' Man has indeed become a god whenever he makes his own self the center, the springboard, and the only frame of reference for moral guidelines. When man attempts to act autonomously he is indeed attempting to be godlike. It is quite apparent why man may have access to all the trees in the garden except this one." (Hamilton, V. P. (1990). The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17 (pp. 125-126). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

This was not an arbitrary and unnecessary test that God created for them like a coach who wants to test a runner and puts up some obstacles in his path to test his endurance. This was the essence of what it means to have free will as a human being in the righteous kingdom of God. There can be no free will without the ability of man to turn away from God, but also there can be no righteousness if human beings do not choose to trust God's judgement about what is righteous and then submit and follow it.

Human beings do not have God's capacity to judge what is righteous and what is not. Only God alone can determine that by his knowledge, wisdom, and nature. To live in the righteous kingdom of God, we must submit and follow God's righteous ways. To do that, we must trust God and his judgement about what is righteous. By the way, what is righteous is good and a blessing for human beings. What is evil destroys and is harmful for human beings.

So, this tree of the knowledge of good and evil which Adam was to turn away from out of Adam's trust in God and the blessing of following his righteous will was fundamental for him and Eve to live in God's kingdom which he created on earth at the beginning.

The Abundance of Water in Eden v.10-14

v. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

This is important as a source of water. In ancient agriculture, an area was considered fertile when there were two sources of water, rain and a river or the like. This river meant rich farming for Adam and his sons.

v.10 flowed out of Eden and there it divided and became four rivers.

A river flowed through Eden and then branched out into four main rivers.

v. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. v. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. v.13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. v.14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The four rivers are divisible into two groups:

1) Two of the rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, are well known, and are mentioned here by the names given to them in the language of their country

2) The remaining two rivers, Pishon and Gihon, are not known to us by these designations from any other source and are therefore difficult to identify.

That does not mean that Moses made this up. Noah's flood changed a lot of the geography of the earth. Also, there are huge gaps in ancient archaeological and written records. That's all we can really know about them. The point of all this is Moses identifies Eden as a real place by naming the rivers that flowed from it. The Hebrews to whom he was writing knew the identities of the rivers. That is why the names are just mentioned.

Can we know where the garden of Eden was?

Not really, but most OT scholars place it somewhere in the Mesopotamian Valley.

2. The Creation of Adam's Work Responsibility v.15

v. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

God now takes Adam and brings him to the garden he has prepared for him. He gives Adam and thus man two responsibilities: to work it and keep it. The Hebrew word translated "work" in ESV means to cultivate the garden. Cultivating a garden refers to the process of preparing the ground for growing plants and crops. It requires loosening and breaking up the soil, digging irrigation ditches and the like. In other words, it is referring to Adam performing ancient agriculture. The Hebrew word translated "keep" in the ESV means to "take care of" or watch over the garden. Cultivating and watching over the garden is ancient agriculture/farming.

These are the two functions of ancient agriculture, to plant and harvest and watch over the farm. In this verse, it is implied that God taught Adam how to do it. He didn't give Adam the responsibility without teaching him how to do it in a simple way. Ancient agriculture was based on the process of choosing the wild grain that God originally created and selecting the best ones. Then they would be planted in the ground and watered and would grow many times richer than if they were wild.

There are two important truths here about work and civilization.

1. Human beings need something to do besides sitting by the pool all day or at the beach. They need a purposeful existence where they contribute to the needs of others.

God could have made food grow abundantly without the need to work the land, but he didn't. Originally this work would have been pleasurable and a blessing. When man sinned God cursed the ground and now it is much harder to grow food from it.

2. Civilization cannot develop without agriculture. Hunting animals and gathering wild grain does not allow populations to grow, farming does. This is a principle of anthropology which human beings observed from God's work in creation.

God starts out with farming and that is a major reason, civilization grew so rapidly under Adam and Eve. God knows this so he sets it up at the beginning.

3. The Creation of Man's Moral Responsibility v.16

v.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, v. 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

v.16 And the Lord God commanded the man

God now gives man a moral choice. Human beings who are going to live together are going to need some laws to guide people in making proper choices in living together. There needs to be a certain amount of order so chaos does not reign.

Even in a household there has to be rules of behavior. Some of these rules are moral and some non-moral. Non-moral rules are "don't leave your clothes sitting around the house, pick up after yourself." Moral rules are "don't hit your brother, don't lie."

As I said earlier, the issue with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the issue of who will set up the moral rules of civilization. All human beings, because we have a free will, must be guided into what is right or wrong. God's moral instructions do that. This moral instruction was just the beginning of the moral commandments of God that would govern society. Marriage in Genesis 2:24 was another. God gave Adam this moral standard: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This was a moral test for them. But it could have been another standard. The issue is not the tree. It is God's moral command. Notice too, that this restriction does not take away from Adam's life in any way. All the other trees he could eat from, but not this one.

v. 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

v.17 "in the day" means "at that time."

v.17 "you will die"

God is referring to both spiritual death and physical death. Spiritual death leads to physical death.

1. Adam will die spiritually on the day he eats of it.

He will be separated from God. Death and life in the Scriptures refer to separation and union. Physically, a human being is alive when his spirit and soul are united to his body. He is dead when his spirit and soul are separated from his body. Spiritually, a human being is alive when he is united spiritually to God and he is dead when he is separated spiritually

2. Adam eventually will physically die from eating of it.

Adam would have lived forever in his physical body if he had not sinned. He would have continually eaten the fruit of the tree of life. But God forbade that after he had sinned because he would have been immortal in his sin nature. Sin corrupted physical life on earth and thus Adam's and Eve's bodies began to decay as everything else in the universe decays as well because of sin.

4. The Creation of Woman and Marriage and Family v.18-25

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."

God has created a wonderful place for Adam to live. God has provided a wonderful occupation for Adam. God now addresses Adam's need for a relationship with another human being.

v.18 "Then the Lord God said"

God is going to walk us through his thought process in why he created a female companion for Adam.

v. 18 "It is not good..."

For the first time, God says something in his creation is not good. At the end of Genesis 1 after he creates the male and female, God declares his creation is very good. This takes place before that event. The Hebrew here is emphatic, it is definitely not a good situation. It is not a good situation not only because Adam will be alone, but because Adam cannot fulfill the responsibilities God has given to him and receive the blessings God has for him as the father of civilization without Eve who is the mother of civilization.

v. 18 "I will make"

The future here signifies God's intention. He is going to make a helper for Adam. This reveals God's heart, his desire to graciously give to human beings the relationships that will bless their lives. This also shows how important marriage and family is to God's plan for civilization as it is unfolded to us in this passage. It is the very foundation of society.

v. 18 a helper fit for him

"a helper" = "ezer" in Hebrew

The word Hebrew word translated "helper" means one who aids and supports. It is used by Moses of God aiding and supporting him in the face of Pharaoh.

Exodus 18:3-5 3The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land"), 4 and the name of the other, Eliezer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh"). 5Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God.

This shows "helper" does not mean an inferior assistant. God is defining the role that he created woman to fulfill.

"Fit for him" means "suited to him, corresponding to him, like him."

This brings out the "sameness" of man and woman; they are of the same nature, not like man and animals. They are equals but they have different roles in life.

Mathews writes, "There is no sense derived from the word linguistically or from the context of the garden narrative that the woman is a lesser person because her role differs. In the case of the biblical model, the 'helper' is an indispensable 'partner' (REB) required to achieve the divine commission. 'Helper,' as we have seen from its Old Testament usage, means the woman will play an integral part, in this case, in human survival and success. What the man lacks, the woman accomplishes. As Paul said concisely, the man was not made for the woman 'but the woman for the man' (cf. 1 Cor 11:9). The woman makes it possible for the man to achieve the blessing that he otherwise could not do 'alone.' And, obviously, the woman cannot achieve it apart from the man." (Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, p. 214). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

What is woman helping man do? Fulfill the first great commission of creating and maintaining civilization. This is explained in Genesis 1:28.

Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over..."

God gave them a commission together and then differentiated roles. There is not inequality here anymore than in the Trinity. The Son took the role of redeemer and God the Father sent the Son to become a human being on earth. Neither is inferior to the other, but they have different roles in redemption. Then to show man his need for a companion, God creates certain animals that will be man's companions on his farm.

Genesis 2:19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

There is a big interpretive issue here. Are these the same animals and birds that God already created in Genesis 1? Let's first figure out which animals these are and then we can see their significance to man's dilemma.

v. 19 every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens v.20 to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field.

Two groups of animals are mentioned in v.19 1. Beasts of the field 2. birds of the heavens

and then three groups of animals are mentioned in v. 20.

1. livestock 2. birds of the heavens 3. beasts of the field

As I mentioned in Genesis 1, the Hebrew word (chayah) translated "beasts" and the Hebrew word (behemah) translated "livestock" can be used with the same meaning when they are not used together. They can refer to animals in general or specific animals referred to in the context. However, when the two words are used together, the Hebrew word (chayah) translated "beasts" means animals in general and the Hebrew word (behemah) translated "livestock" means cattle (cows and oxen in particular).

In this chapter, we have already seen that Moses is describing life generally around the world in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2 life in the region of Eden where Adam was to live. In Genesis 1, he uses the word Hebrew word translated "earth" (erets) to describe the plant and animal life around the whole earth. In Genesis 2, he uses the word Hebrew word (sadeh) translated "field" to describe the specific land that can be used for agriculture and pasture for animals in Eden as humans work the ground.

As we saw earlier in Genesis 2:5, the phrase, "plants of the field," refers to "crops" grains, etc.; So, also in Genesis 2:19-20, the phrase, "beasts of the field," refers to the animals that will inhabit the farm that will "help" Adam to cultivate the ground. So, I believe the best interpretation of v.19 and 20 is that Moses is talking about domesticated animals. This is the context that defines what these words refer to.

So in v.19 Moses uses "beasts of the field" (hayah sadeh) to refer to all the animals that are used for farming and herding and other domesticated uses. In v.20 Moses uses both terms to give a little more detail to bring out the fact that this definitely included cattle (cows and oxen).

Genesis 2:19-20

field = farmland plants of the field = farm crops livestock (field implied) = cows, oxen, etc. animals of the field = all other farm animals such as goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, camels, dogs, cats, rabbits birds of the sky = chickens, ducks, geese, etc. gives the farm animals of ancient Mesopotamia which would have been in that area. It states, "So what kinds of domesticated animals existed in ancient Mesopotamia? As you just learned, birds were used for meat and for eggs. They included the likes of ducks, chickens, geese, and partridges. You would see plenty of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, mules, camels and horses as well being used for one purpose or another. Depending on the animal they could be used for meat, wool, dairy products, leather, farming, transportation, religious sacrifice, and even for fertilizer (from their dung)." Cheprasov, Artem, Mesopotamian Animals: Wild & Domesticated Course

So, the animals that God creates at this point are the animals that will be companions to man on the farm.

v. 19 "every"

In the Scriptures "all" or "every" always has to do with whatever the author is talking about in the context. In this case, it is the "field" = the "farm." "Every kind" can refer to "every animal of the field (farm)." "Every" and "all" in the Scriptures do not always mean absolutely every single one. It depends on the context.

v.19 "out of the formed."

Did God form new animals out of the ground even though it says in Genesis 1 that God formed birds on the fifth day and land animals on the sixth day?

There are various views on this.

1. Some say this is a contradiction to Genesis 1. They are two separate accounts that cannot be fully reconciled.

2. Others say this is a reference to God's creation of animals in Genesis 1. That is, Moses reminds the reader that God had already formed these domesticated animals and now brings them to Adam.

3. Still others (and this includes me) believe that this is a reference to another act of creation on God's part for a specific purpose. That is, "formed" refers to God creating specific animals at that time for Adam.

In the third view, the ESV (and NIV) translation "had formed" is inaccurate here and should be "formed" (NASB, NKJV, NRSV).

The text is not talking about what God had previously done when he created all the animals in Genesis 1, but of a special creation for this particular situation for Adam. I believe it simply means God created a specific group of animals out of the ground after he created Adam for a specific purpose to show Adam that he needed a companion like himself. We have already seen God create specific trees for the garden to bless Adam and here God creates specific animals that will help Adam. These kinds of animals like the trees had already been created in Genesis 1, but God wants to act directly in the life of Adam as a loving father who takes care of his son.

As we have seen, these animals were domesticated farm animals that would be "companions" of Adam on the farm. They would be ones used in ancient farming and today unless some species died out or stopped being used by modern farmers and herders. These animals would not have been of a large number so Adam could have easily named them.

V. 18 and brought them to the man to see what he would call them.

In this case, the naming of the farm animals is more than just a sign of dominion. It is a sign that these animals were to be "helpers" on the farm with Adam.

v. 18 "And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name."

God gives Adam and his descendants the authority to name animals and birds on the earth as part of their rule over them.

Genesis 2:20 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.

v. 20 The man gave names to all livestock...

Livestock, birds, and animals in the field = on the farm.

This is important from an apologetic viewpoint for a literal six day creation because one of the objections to this is that Adam could not have named all the animals on the earth in one day. That may be true. But here he is naming only the farm animals. That could easily be done in an hour or two or more within a day.

But I don't think this was a rushed process. I think God made them and told Adam how each of them could help him on the farm and then let Adam relate to them, pet them and name them. As Adam is relating to these animals, I think he felt the companionship they offer to man. This is not a cold process. It is an intimate process of seeing what each animal can do to help man cultivate the field to help him supply food, milk, and clothing.

Some people love horses. Some love dogs. Some love cats. Some love sheep or goats as companions. That is what Adam felt. But he did not feel complete with them, because they weren't human. This is what God was trying to show Adam.

v. 20 But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

These animals were helpers, but not a helper suitable to him to help him fulfill God's mandates for civilization as a companion.

The Creation of the Woman

Genesis 2:21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

The Lord God puts Adam into a deep sleep so he can perform supernatural surgery on him and create Eve.

v. 21 "and while he slept took one of his ribs"

God did not take just the bone of Adam, but also his flesh attached to it to form the woman. We know this because Adam declares "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" in v.23. The woman made from the rib of the man to establish a unity between man and woman. This unity would be the foundation for the marriage covenant God would create next. The Hebrew word "took" in v.21 was used by the Jews for marriage.

v. 21 "and closed up its place with flesh."

After the divine surgery, God completely heals Adam to full health.

Genesis 2:22

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

v. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman

The Lord God now takes the bone and flesh of the rib and fashions it into the form of a woman. The word "made" is the regular word for building something out of raw materials such as a house. Notice, how intimately God is involved in the creation of man and woman. He does this out of his grace and love.

v. 22 "and brought her to the man."

God now presents his creation, woman to Adam much as an ancient father who had found a suitable match for his son would present his potential bride.

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

In the Hebrew this is a shout of amazement and surprise and joy!

v. 23 "This" means "this female."

Adam responds by a shout affirming that he and the woman, indeed, are made up of the same "stuff." The idea is "At last, here is one of my own kind" and "She is one like me."

v.23 "is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"

This expresses the deep unity God wanted to create between Adam and Eve and as a result between males and females. God made woman out of the body of man. This was purposeful to be a blessing for both of them and the basis of the unity in marriage. This is most likely was the origin of the Hebrew expression "you are my bone and flesh" which was commonly used to indicate the close kinship of family.

Genesis 29:14 Judges 9:2 2 Samuel 5:1 1 Chronicles 11:1

v. 23 "she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man"

Adam calls her woman. The Hebrew word for "man" is "ish" and the Hebrew word for "woman" is "isha." The Hebrew words are from a different root but sound so similar in Hebrew that it is good word to express the similarity of man and woman in the same way that the English words "man" and "woman" express the similarity of nature. Notice, he is not naming her with the personal name here. He is pointing out the similarity and equality of woman to man. Then immediately God marries them.

The Creation of the Marriage Covenant

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

SLIDE 31: Creation of the Marriage Covenant

v. 24 Therefore

In Genesis 1:28 God gave the man and woman the first great commission which involved procreation. So, God marries them to establish the essential nature of marriage to fulfill God's plan to multiply on the earth. Notice that Adam is not speaking. Jesus tells us that God said this verse.

Matthew 19:4-5 4 He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'"

Notice that the language is formal not personal. It could not exactly apply to Adam since he did not have parents to leave. This is a formal ceremony by God establishing how marriages formed and what marriages are.

"Therefore" means "for this reason."

This word links the preceding Genesis 2:21-23, God creating a female helper for him from his side, to the marriage covenant.

This indicates that the very reason God created the female as a helper from the side of the male was to be married and fulfill the divine command to populate the earth (Genesis 1:27-28).

This statement gives the characteristics of the marriage covenant. We don't have time to discuss the marriage covenant, but I want to bring out three truths about it in Genesis 2:24

1) The marriage covenant is given by God for the whole world.

When God gives this covenant to Adam and Eve who are the parents of the entire human race, it means that he wants it to be followed by all their descendants.

2) The marriage covenant is between a man and a woman.

The marriage covenant is established by God and God chooses who can be married or not.

3) The marriage covenant is defined here in Genesis 2. It has certain provisions in it that a husband and wife vow to follow when they get married. If one of them stops fulfilling any of the provisions, he or she breaks the marriage covenant.

Summary of Genesis 2: God sets up the foundation and structure of human civilization:

Men will marry women, they will have children (implied). Men will cultivate the ground and raise animals. They will work together to build communities. They will follow God's moral commands. They will enjoy a luscious diet of fruits and vegetables and herbs, bread (cultivated grains) and milk and eggs.

They will do this with a seven day week, six days of work and one day of worship and rest. They will "keep time" by following the "signs of the sun and moon," They will measure days from the rotation of the earth on its axis (the sun rising in the east) They will measure months from the revolution of the moon around the earth. They will measure years from the earth's revolution around the sun.