Gen. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Gen. 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen. 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
On the seventh day God rested. He didn’t create anything else. The heavens and earth were completed. The example of rest after work must be important. It was important enough for God to bless that day and set it apart as special.
Note that this is where God established the principle of the Sabbath—long before it was recorded as one of the Ten Commandments.
In my study of prophecy, I found that the Jewish teachers considered this a statement as to man’s time on planet earth preceding eternity. Using the formula 1000 years = one day, this represents 6,000 years to accomplish the work of redemption and 1000 years of rest with Jesus on the throne and Satan bound.
Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
2Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Gen. 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
Gen. 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
Gen. 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
After looking at the Hebrew for the word generations it points to “family, history; birth.” It seems that God is going to expound a bit more on what had happened.
Note that “day” in verse four is not used with an ordinal; it allows for a period of time.
I think verse 5 is saying that God placed the plants and herbs here as full grown plants, but they were not in a position to grow and multiply until He provided moisture and man to “till” the ground or work the ground and help the seeds produced by the growing plants to reproduce. The moisture needed for plant growth is specifically stated as coming up from the earth as a mist, and the point is made that rain (from heavens to earth) was not yet a reality.
I just realized that this is the first time that the phrase “the LORD God” was used as the Creator’s title. Looking at the Hebrew indicates “Jehovah Elohim,” the self-existent, eternal divine being. The term Jehovah is the term that was most holy and sacred to the Jews. The word God also placed an emphasis on His strength and power and position as righteous judge.
Gen. 2:7 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 living soul.
Soul = a breathing creature (from the Hebrew); Webster: The spiritual, rational, and immortal part in man; that part of man which enables him to think, and which renders him a subject of moral government…”
This verse emphasizes that God took special care in the creation of man. He formed man from the dirt, like a potter uses a lump of clay. He paid attention to the details. Then, when He had the vessel/person/image He desired, He breathed into man the breath of life. When you breathe into something, it comes from within your being. God was filling man up with life directly from Himself. This breath of life from God made man unique from the rest of the living creation; it gave us a soul/spirit. I wanted to point out that the emphasis is on spiritual life with the word “soul.” When Adam sinned, it was spiritual death that he experienced immediately. He lost the indwelling Spirit of God, the source of spiritual life.
God did not breathe the breath of life into the animals. He is obviously making a distinction between the soul of man and the life force of the animals. Several instances have come up recently that caused me to want to get a clearer understanding between the soul and the spirit. According to Hebrews 4:12, God’s word can divide them, which means they are different in essence. It also seems to indicate that only God’s word has the power to separate the two. After studying the Greek for these words, I came to the following conclusion.
Soul = psuche = gives us the faculty of perception and sensation
Spirit = pneuma = the rational, mental, immortal part of our being
They both are classified as breath; this seems to intimately connect them to the life breathed into man at creation.. It would seem that the soul allows us to interpret what we process mentally. The body is the covering of both that gives visibility and enhances the life experience. So far, this is the clearest explanation I can make on the subject.
Gen. 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. 2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
Gen. 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Gen. 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
Gen. 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
Gen. 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
The Garden of Eden is designated as east. It was planted by God specifically for man. The things that God planted there were beautiful and good for food. The trees of life and knowledge of good and evil are named as distinct and separate from the food sources. The garden occupied a specific part of a territory called Eden. This territory had a river with four branches that went out to water the garden. God is describing to the writer of the Genesis record the land that was involved by using place names and recognized treasures that would serve to identify the area.
Gen. 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen. 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It seems that the man was made first and placed in the garden to take care of it. The man was told that he could eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s interesting to me that the tree of life was not exempted as well. Then it is explained that man was warned that if he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, he would surely die (spiritual death, alienated from God). I think this implies that man was never intended to die. It does make you wonder what Adam knew about death. For God to give him a warning, He must have also given him some instruction about the meaning of the consequences of that disobedience for it to be a deterrent to disobedience.
Interestingly enough—From God’s perspective, using the formula 1000 years = one day, Adam died physically as well as spiritually in the same day that he sinned.
Genesis 5:5 “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”
Why plant the tree there to begin with? God never intended us to be robots. The only way we could respond to Him with love was to allow us freedom of choice. That choice needed to be something to produce a desire within us that would force us to choose to stay obedient to God. Our decision to obey God provides a valid proof of our love and faith in Him. There is no love without choice.
It’s also interesting to note that there was a tree of knowledge of good and evil. This implies the existence of both. Although we don’t have the history of the creation of the angels, we know that Satan had already fallen from his state of perfection and established a difference between good and evil.
We should also note that there was instant communication, a language used between God and man.
Gen. 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Gen. 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Gen. 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
God states that “it was not good” for man to be alone; he should have a helper. Then that thought appears to be interrupted as it is recorded how God created the animals and birds and brought them to Adam to name them. Then you realize that God is emphasizing the fact that all the creatures had “help meets” except Adam.
Thought – Adam is surrounded by living creatures, but he is still alone. Companionship and communication with one of your own kind is needed for one not to be lonely.
Gen. 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen. 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen. 2:23 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.
God put Adam in a deep sleep to take one of his ribs. This is the first surgery with the best anesthetic. The woman was formed using an inner part of the man. Evidently, Adam knew that God had taken a part of him. The bond between the man and his helper was to be strong and intimate.
“gone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” – Ray Bentley notes that this is a Hebrew idiom for the marriage covenant
I’ve heard a famous quote many times throughout the years, but I don’t know from whom it originated: “Woman was not made out of man’s head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him.”
Gen. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Again, we must remember that this record of man’s beginnings was written after the fact. The audience was already aware of “fathers and mothers.” Emphasis is made that a man was to leave his parents and “cleave” to his wife (female partner), implying that the same was true for the woman. The bond is to be considered so close that they are “one flesh,” just as pictured in the creation of the first couple. The picture is to leave and cleave—not leave and then run away when the going gets a little tough.
The more I thought about this concept of two becoming one in God’s eyes, it helped give me a clearer picture of the Trinity as three distinct beings—yet one.
Gen. 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
God intended our bodies to be attractive to one another (as husband and wife) with no embarrassment for our nakedness. The Hebrew word for “naked” here allows for an understanding of a partial covering vs. the Hebrew word used for “naked” in 3:7, which means “nude.” Could this partial covering be a cloak of God’s glory since at this time they were in perfect fellowship with God?