6. The Garden of Eden: Genesis Chapter 2
Introduction to Chapter 2 of Genesis
Chapters one and two of Genesis are both complimentary of each other as opposed to giving two conflicting views as some claim. Chapter one gives us an overview of creation, covering the events of the six days. Chapter two revisits the events one the sixth day, giving us the details of the creation of humanity. Here we see the distinction man has to animals, and the unique relationship man has to the creator of the life.
In chapter 2, we see a world before the fall, where man is given authority over the animal world. Man’s authority is demonstrated by Adam assigning names to God’s creation.
The Seventh Day
1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it
He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The heavens and earth...were finished: The first three verses of Genesis chapter two complete chapter one, the seventh day is the completion of the creation week. So after the sixth day, God’s creation was complete. Everything was perfect and set in motion for its future to continue. Therefore the events of the creation of Adam and Eve detailed in Chapter two are details taking place in the 6th Day after the creation of animals and insects.
Seventh day: This day is known as the Sabbath is a day of rest. We are to model God’s behavior by resting on the seventh day, as God Himself ceased from creating on the seventh day.
Rested: The word here in Hebrew tbX Shabat, means to cease, or stop. God had stopped being the agent of Creation at the end of the 6th day. Within His creation was the blueprints such as DNA and the laws of nature to continue the operation of the natural world as we know it today. God was not tired from his work, but had “ceased” to work.
Blessed the seventh day: Creation is perfect and complete on the seventh day, at this point death is still unknown at this point, death only enters the world after the fall. The sacredness of this day is manifested in the command to rest on the seventh day.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
The blessed condition of the world on the seventh day, is a day the
world today yearns for. Paul commenting in
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth
pangs together until now.
The history of the Earth
4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
5 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of
The history: Here God revisits the history of the earth on the third day, before the creation of any life, only the earth, water and atmosphere existed. On the third day God brings plant life into existence.
Before any: This verse describes the world before plants were grown. The world “that was” is being described and contrasted from the fallen world today.
Not caused it to rain: Before the fall of man and the flood, the ecology of the earth differed from the world today. The earth was watered by a mist, as opposed to the rain.
No man: Man will not be created until the 6th day, at this point, there is no life on the earth, God is restating the condition of the earth prior to plant, animal and human life.
A mist: In the world which was, a mist watered the earth as opposed to rain. The morning dew is water that is pulled to the ground by the fluctuating temperatures and water in the air. This mist of prediluvian world is not the case today.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a
God formed man: How did man come into existence is a roaring debate today, even in the church some view as man being of primate descent. Clearly, based on literal reading man is described as being formed by God from the dust of the earth. Any interpretation of man’s descent from “Apes” or “Chimps” is a non-literal, but a symbolic understanding of scripture. God himself breathes life into dust formed into human shape.
Ground: The Hebrew is hmda 'adamah, means ground or earth, the same word is also used to describe the color red. So in essence Adam is named after red earth or clay.
Breathed: God act of breathing into man, the word here is xpn Naphach, the same word used to describe man as a living soul. God’s literally breathed life into earth or red ground (clay).
Living being: As a result the earth became a “Soul” or “Living Breath”.
8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is
pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also
in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good
God planted: Out of the whole earth, God choose a unique area to plant a special garden, in area of the world called “Eden”, which comes from the word, “delight”.
Eastward in Eden: Specifically the garden was located in the eastern part of Eden.
Put the man: The man was placed in the Garden. Man was formed outside of the Garden, God had made a special place, for the man. This was a unique place in the earth, a place of God’s delight, where He would cultivate His relationship with Adam.
Out of the ground: In this garden was the full range of God’s trees, especially trees designed for beauty and food.
Tree of life: Unique to this Garden were two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the Garden, we see God fellowship with His creation; we are told God walked in the cool of the day.
And they heard the sound
of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and
Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God
among the trees of the garden.
Midst of the garden: The location of these two trees in the midst of the Garden, made this location unique in the earth. In the book of Revelation, chapter 22, we see the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem, where the saints live in fellowship with their Creator.
The River out of Eden
10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.
11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes
toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
River...out of Eden: From the land of Eden a river flowed which branched into 4 distinct channels. The purpose of this main river was to provide water to the Garden in the land of Eden.
Four riverheads: The names of two of these four rivers is associated with modern rivers we know of today, Hiddekel (Tigris) and Euphrates Rivers. These in Eden are different the modern rivers, after the flood the topography of the earth changed. These names were given to these rivers when man settled after the flood. We often name new areas after old ones we are familiar with. For example, “New York” was named after the city of York in England.
Gihon: This river goes around the land of Cush, this is not the same as the Cush after the flood, known as Ethiopia.
Hiddekel: This is the ancient name for the Tigris River.
Euphrates: The current river is named after this River. The city of Babylon was built on both sides of the river. We are told, all of humanity was one tribe, before the confusion of tongues. The river was probably named after its famous name sake before the flood.
Man placed in God’s Garden
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
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."
God took the man: Before the fall, man was assigned tasks; we are designed to complete tasks. God assigned work for Adam in the Garden. He was created outside the Garden and placed in it to manage it.
To tend and keep: When God created humanity He did not create robots, but beings of free choice. They could choose to worship and love God or could choose to reject and not love God. The Garden would the place probation, would God obey or reject God’s authority.
God commanded: God established limits of man’s liberty, they would have free reign of the Garden, with one restriction, not to eat from one tree, the Tree of Knowledge in the midst of the Garden.
In the day: Satan would later use this restriction to call God a “Liar”, by rejecting God’s warning of “death” (Genesis 3;4). Man died spiritually on the day, he listened to Satan, followed by physical death. Adam obedience was a demonstration of his love for his Creator.
18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone;
I will make him a helper comparable to him."
Not good: Creation was not complete, man was unique in the Garden, without mate.
Alone: Humanity is not designed to be alone, we are designed for companionship and fellowship.
Adam names the animals
19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.
20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
Out of the ground: God had brought to Garden all the animals formed and brought them before Adam. God did not create these animals after Adam as some try to read here, verse 19, is merely restating what took place earlier in the sixth day, before Adam was created.
Brought them to Adam: Adam was given the role of stewardship over the earth, God gave Adam the right to name the animals.
Call them: Naming is a sign of authority, who decides the names of buildings, companies, and children? Builders, founders and parents have the role of naming buildings, companies and children.
Its name: God allowed Adam’s name to stand. In many ways, we can see this pleasure God had in allowing Adam to name His creation. In the same way, a parent can relate to a child who begins to call things by their own unique name. These become the affection names, that the child and the parent later cherish in the years to come.
Not found: All this is taking place in the 6th day. God brings the animals before Adam to name. Some people doubt this process could take place in one day. A coupe points to remember, first Adam was not fallen at this point, so his intellect was beyond our fallen intellect. Secondly, God was the one bringing the animals before Adam.
The point is, that none of these animals was suitable for Adam as a companion. Man is distinct from the animal kingdom. Man is not a animal, but unique creation of God, made in the image of God.
Woman created from Man
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
Deep sleep; God performed the first operation on man, God removed either flesh or a rib from the side of Adam. The Hebrew here is translated side elsewhere.
Woman: From Adam’s flesh God formed a being “Like” Adam called woman or “Out of man” in the Hebrew or hXXa 'ishshah.
One of the arguments which destroy the evolutionary argument is the need for both a “Male” and a “Female” to replicate a person. Both female and male are required to have offspring.
Adam and Eve one flesh
23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined
to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Adam said: Here are the first recorded words of man, recorded by God and given for us to read.
Bone...flesh: Adam declares his approval and completeness of God’s creation. The yearning we have for companionship and completeness comes from our very nature.
Be called: Adam demonstrates his authority by declaring what this new being will be called.
Therefore: The principle of human relationship goes back to our creation, offspring are meant to bond with the opposite sex. For this reason, the homosexual movement is really an assault against God and His order. These are principals established at our creation.
One flesh: Man and woman become one flesh through sexual intimacy, and in the process humanity is brought into existence.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not
Both naked: The world was perfect, temperature and climate, there was no need for covering.
Not ashamed: Shame is the result of sin, and the self introspection. The minds of Adam and Eve did not were not sinful in their thinking.