Week Three (A look back over Genesis 2)
I’m so glad to have you back!
Last week we went over Genesis 1- Genesis 2:1-3. We saw an orderly Creation story broken down into six days. Everything created up to man’s creation was set in place by God for man to flourish on the earth. God established a six-day work day with one day of rest. Before time, God already existed. He was from the beginning of all we see today.
For this week’s study we will begin where we stopped previously in Genesis 2:1-3.
Doctrines in this section of Scripture:
Doctrine of Creation
Doctrine of God
Doctrine of Man
Name of God: Jehovah or YaHWeH (paired with Elohim: Jehovah-Elohim, English: LORD God)
The seventh day God rested from all He created the previous six days. God saw all He made, and He proclaimed it good. His work was done. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart for His worship.
Did God really need rest? No, He doesn’t need rest. It doesn’t say He needed to rest, simply that He did rest; He stopped. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 40:28 that “The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary (NKJV).” God is all-powerful or omniscient and doesn’t require rest.
Genesis 2:4-25 appears to be another Creation account. Some have said it is a contradiction to Genesis 1, but it is not. Genesis 2:4-25 is Day 6 of Creation, but with greater detail than presented in the chronological account of Creation in Genesis 1.
Verse 4 tells us that what follows “…is the history of the heavens and the earth…” It emphasizes the LORD God made the earth (and everything on it) and also the heavens before anything in the field had grown (v.5). In verse 4, we are introduced to a new name of God: Jehovah or LORD (all capitals). It is paired with Elohim; Jehovah-Elohim. Jehovah is the English version of YHWH, or Yahweh, with vowels. Jehovah is translated from Hebrew into English as LORD, to distinguish it from the Hebrew word for Adonai, which uses lower case letters; Lord.1 YHWH is the true name of God.
Jehovah, LORD, means “…the Being who is absolutely self-existent; the One who in Himself possesses the essential life, permanent existence.”2 When God told Moses to tell the Israelites Yahweh had sent him (Moses) to them, Moses was to say: “I AM has sent me to you” (see Exodus 3:14). The great I AM is self-existent.
In verse 5, we see that the earth is not self-existent. It is only by the power of God that the earth produces any kind of fruit. It is God who sends the rain. It is also God who provides man to tend creation.
In verse 7 we read, “…God formed man from dust of the ground,” i.e. dirt. Formed means to shape or fashion into something. God took a part of the earth and fashioned man. It was God Who breathed life into man (v.7) and made man a living being or soul. Apart from God there is no life.
God created the animals, but man was special. Man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). The image of God (imago dei) does not mean that we are like God (we are not an exact copy), only that we have a resemblance to God.
God made man with a body, mind, and soul. We are unique among His creation in this respect. We are created beings who can rationalize, and we can willfully choose to do right or to do wrong. We are not animals acting solely on instinct. We are image bearers of a holy and righteous God, but because of the Fall (Genesis 3) we are not without sin. Man was first made innocent, but we’ll see how in Genesis 3, man willfully chose to sin and with that choice came consequences.
God planted a Garden in a land He called Eden (v.8). The Garden of Eden contained trees which were pleasant to the sight and would provide food (v. 9). God placed man in the Garden (v.8) to tend it (v.15). We don’t know all the vegetation types in the Garden of Eden, but we do know the names of two trees placed in the midst (or middle) of the Garden. The two trees were the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v.9).
Verses 10-14 further describe the Garden. A river in the land of Eden went out of the Garden and split into four different rivers. The first was Pishon, and it surrounded the whole land of Havilah (v. 11). Havilah was a land rich in gold, and also contained Bdellium and onyx. The second was Gihon and surrounded the land of Cush (v. 1e). The third river was the Hiddekel, and it is noted that it went east toward Assyria (v.14). Finally, the fourth river mentioned in verse 14 is the Euphrates. (This is probably NOT the present-day Euphrates River. Remember the flood during Noah’s time? It most likely destroyed the original Euphrates River along with the Garden of Eden and the other rivers mentioned in these verses. Please see the link in the “For Further Investigation” section below. We’ll also “talk” about this in a few weeks, but this will give you an idea of what I’m referencing here. You may not have heard of this theory, but it makes more sense when you understand the enormity of the catastrophic changes to the land due to the world-wide flood of Genesis 7. Flood water and the subsequent erosion are mighty powerful and can reshape or destroy landforms.)
In verse 15 we read that “…the LORD God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” God gave man a job to do. He was to care for the garden. Man was not to only enjoy the fruits of the garden, but he was responsible for its care. This is part of what is known as the Edenic Covenant. Adam was given five instructions or charges by God. We’ll discuss the ones in chapter two below. I’ll list the other two at the end of this blog entry since they were specifically mentioned in Genesis 1.
Tending the garden was the first instruction Adam (we learn his name in v. 19) was given by God in chapter 2. Adam was to care for the upkeep of the garden. We have no idea how large the garden was, but God, the Planter, intended for Adam to be the gardener.
In verses 16 and 17 God gives Adam his next instruction which came with a life or death warning. God clearly details what Adam could and could not eat. The only thing mankind couldn’t eat was the fruit from one tree.
Seems simple, right?
All the other trees which produced fruit were fine for eating. Although, we have no idea how many different types of fruit trees were in the garden, we can assume Adam had a plethora of choices.
But that warning…
“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).”
The warning is very clear. Right? Eat it and you’re dead, Adam.
What was God wanting of Adam?
God didn’t give Adam an opening for questions, rebuttals, or doubts. He wanted Adam’s obedience, and with obedience came a reward: LIFE. (We all know Adam’s ultimate response to this instruction. We will see his disobedience and the consequence in Chapter 3, which will be your homework.)
In verse 18, we’re given new insight into man’s situation: it isn’t good for him to be alone. The LORD God would make man a helper. This helper was to be a woman (v.22-23). Since the text of verse 19 follows, some have believed God looked to the animals first as companions for Adam, but that was not God’s intention. Also, Adam was not made before the animals, as it seems to first imply in verse 19. The animals were made earlier in the day. We know this since the order is mentioned in Genesis 1:24. In verse 19, God brought the animals to Adam to name them which can be said to be part of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28. Dominion over the animals was another part of the Edenic Covenant (see Gen. 1:28). Verse 19 points out that animals were also created from the ground, but they were not made in the image of God.
I love how Scripture points to the creative aspect of man in telling us the LORD God brought the animals to Adam to SEE what Adam would name them (v.19). Whatever Adam named them, God agreed with the name (v.9). Adam was a fully functioning man with the ability to think and decide conclusively for himself. Adam named them all (v.20). God created kinds of animals (see Gen. 1:25), so we can’t say how many separate animals Adam named, but most likely Adam named the animal kinds or families (i.e. Canine family, Feline family, etc.). Adam named the livestock (this is what is meant by cattle), the birds of the air, and the beast of the field. This does not include the marine species (fish, mollusk, etc.), insects, and probably not reptiles.
But why would God bring all these land animals and birds to Adam? Remember verse 18? Bringing them to Adam was to show Adam of his need for someone like him to be his helper: “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him (v. 18).”
God set about the work to create a helper in verse 21. Here we see God perform the “first operation.” God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep then God opened Adam’s side to remove a “rib.” God closed the incision. With the rib from Adam, God formed woman. (Please read the article in the “For Further Investigation” section for more about the use of a rib, and possibly more, to form woman. It is very interesting.)
God took the woman to Adam.
We know what Adam thought about her because Scripture tells us with these words (v.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.”
Adam recognized that Eve (we learn her name in Gen. 3:20) was part of him. She was formed from part or possibly parts (see link) of Adam. God did not choose to form Eve from dust like Adam, but He took part of man to create her. Woman was made from man, not separate from man. She was a helper comparable to Adam because she came from Adam. A bond existed which Adam could not deny.
Verse 24 begins with the word, “therefore”. I know you’ve probably heard the saying: “We need to find out why the word ‘therefore’ is there for.” We do so by going back to verse 23. Verse 23 confirms verse 24. Man and woman were made for one another, and God established the covenant relationship of marriage referenced to in verse 24. Since man and woman are made for one another they can, within the bonds of marriage, cleave to one another as husband and wife and become one flesh through a sexual relationship. God performed the marriage ceremony between Adam and Eve although it is not mentioned in Scripture. However, we know they were married by God, since no one else was around to perform the ceremony. Also Gen. 3:6 mentions “husband,” then Gen. 3:8 mentions “wife” in reference to Adam and Eve’s relationship to one another.
Finally, verse 25 closes out the chapter with a matter-of-fact statement: And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. There is no reason to be ashamed of nakedness within the marriage covenant of one man and one woman.
The other two instructions in the Edenic Covenant are: the charge to populate the earth (Gen. 1:28) and to subdue the earth (Gen.1:28).
I hope you can see the doctrines I mentioned in the beginning of this overview. They were: Doctrine of Creation, Doctrine of God, and the Doctrine of Man. Please, if you have any difficulty with this let me know, and I can further explain the answer to your question(s) in the comments section, but you must ask. And don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you need a clarification to something I wrote here.
Homework assignment for this week:
Scripture reading: Genesis 3
Suggested Scripture memorization:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” Gen. 3:15
Questions: (Sorry, there are a lot more questions over this reading section.)
1.Who was the serpent in verse 1?
2.The serpent talked. Would you expect a response of fear or something else from Eve?
3.What did the serpent ask Eve? Was it an actual legitimate question to the woman or was it a seed of doubt?
4.What was Eve’s reply to the serpent?
5.Was that what God had told Adam in Genesis 2:16-17? What was different than what God had originally instructed?
6. What did the serpent tell the woman in verses 4-5?
7.What was incorrect with the serpent’s statements to Eve?
8.What were Eve’s reactions (4 things in verse 6– Hint: look for the verbs) after the serpent told her she would not surely die?
9.Who was with her? What did he do?
10.What could be a reason why Adam remained silent about God’s original instruction?
11.What happened after Adam ate the fruit?
12.Why did they sew clothing out of leaves for themselves?
13.What was God doing in the garden?
14.Why did Adam and Eve hide?
15.Did God not know where they were?
16.How did God respond to Adam in verse 11?
17.Who did Adam blame for his sin?
18.God asks the woman a question in verse 13. Why do you suppose God asked Eve this question? What did she tell the LORD God?
19.What curse did God give to the serpent because it allowed itself to be used by Satan? What was the possible physical state of the serpent before the Fall based on the curse God pronounced over it and future generations of the serpent?
20.What did God tell the woman would be her state as the result of sin?
21.What did God tell Adam about his future and the earth’s future because of Adam’s sin?
22. What name did Adam give his wife? Why?
23.Who made the first sacrifice? What was made from the skins? Who made these items?
24.Why was man driven from the Garden of Eden? What did the LORD God not want man to eat now that man knew both good and evil?
25.Who was placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden? What were they really guarding?
No retrospective questions this week.
For further investigation:
Genesis 7 Flood changed landforms:
Made in the image of God:
Eve’s Creation from Adam:
1Stone, Nathan. Names of God. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010), 33.