Genesis | Chapter 2

Genesis 2:1-25

“The beginning of our history”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 1-7 Resting in His presence

III. Vs. 8-17 Self-centered or God-centered

IV. Vs. 18-25 God’s gift to man

I. Intro.

The first chapter of Genesis gives us an overall view of the first six days of God’s creation. It was meant to supply only a summary of the events not a detailed account. This is further brought out in the 4th verse of chapter 2 where we read, “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.” The word history is literally generations and is where we get the title of the book and serves as a key to the many divisions in the book. When you see these words they will be followed by the name of a particular patriarch, which followed the practice of other ancient cultures. These names are of the men that wrote each section recording those generations. They would then pass down the tablets to the next generation that again would record the history of their generations. This happened up to the time when all of the tablets came into the hands of Moses who wrote the final chapters (37:3 – chapter 50) of Genesis he also organized and edited all of the proceeding generations. Genesis chapter 1 – 2:3 are the events God told Adam as he was not yet created. Genesis 2:4-25 is a more detailed account of the 6th day of creation, the day in which Adam was formed and Eve from him. 

II. Vs. 1-7 Resting in His presence

Vs. 1 At the close of every other day were the words, “So the evening and the morning were the ____ day.” When we come to the 7th day those words do not appear instead we are told that things were “finished and ended”. The word “finished” in verse 1 and the word “ended” in verse 2 is the same Hebrew word and is yet another nail in the coffin of evolution.

  • Biblical creation starts with God creating and when He was done it was finished or perfect as nothing in creation took place after this.
  • Evolution starts with nothing and then boldly proclaims that it evolved into complex systems of life.

The declaration of God’s work being finished is from two perspectives:

  1. It was clearly done!
  2. It was perfect or just as He intended it to be!

The second meaning of the word “finished” speaks to you and me about God’s work towards us. The work that God is doing in our life no matter how difficult it may seem right now is perfect, just as He intends it to be. I believe that God always use the easiest way to get us to where He wants us to be.

Vs. 2-3 We are told that He “rested” from all His work obviously when we realize that we have an all-powerful God this cannot mean that he was tired after His creative work. The word literally means “cease or desist” and when combined with the word work, which means “special task”, we get a much clearer picture of what this day of rest is all about. The “day of rest” is not about keeping a “special day” it is to be a time when we remember the “ending of a special work.” The Jewish Sabbath always carried with it a twofold idea:

  1. Cessation from work
  2. Satisfaction after work

The picture of this rest is to be a time when believers cease from our self-efforts, religious activity, self-righteous works and recognize that it’s not Jesus plus my anything instead it is as we are told by Jesus. It is not that we cease from activity, instead we just cease from activity that is in our own strength.

  • Vs. 4-7 Mankind is to remember their frame “dust”.
  • Vs. 8-14 Mankind is to remember how dependent they are upon God’s provision.
  • Vs. 15-17 Mankind is to remember that it is God who gives them purpose and that this purpose is best found in obedience to His word.
  • Vs. 18-25 Mankind is to remember that it is His grace that blesses us with each other.

Vs. 4 According to this verse we have what happened to Adam and then Eve as they came into being. Note mankind’s dual citizenship as being first heaven then earth! Next you see a new name used for God “Lord God” or in Hebrew “Jehovah Elohim” the combination of the everlasting, all-powerful, creator with the relational promise keeping God.

Vs. 5-6 Scientifically these verses again affirm a “mature creation” also we see that the hydrological (water) cycle was not atmospheric as it is today but rather subterranean the “water vapor” called mist here was a daily cycle of evaporation and condensation. The uniqueness of mankind is to be seen not in what he is made of but rather in who created him. People spend endless hours of self-absorption trying to make their dirt more special! 

Vs. 7 Man was formed out of the elements of the earth, “carbon, hydrogen oxygen etc.” which are the same unity of composition of both plants and animals. What is interesting is that this was stated as such in Genesis long before science established this fact. The material used “dust of the ground” does not imply dry earth but rather a damp mass. The word “formed” is literally molded and is used to describe the activity of a potter. Thus in Isa. 64: 8 we read “O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Perhaps there really is something to that old saying, “When they made you they broke the mold!” Now as we remember back the animals they too have breath but mankind’s breath was given him directly from God. It takes the breath from the living God to turn us from lifeless lumps of clay into living beings. “We continue to live by inhaling that which God exhales!” If you will, “What continues to keep us alive is God giving us mouth to mouth resuscitation by which His Spirit breaths His life into us!”    

III. Vs. 8-17 Self-centered or God-centered

Vs. 8 This verse is a summary of the next 6 verses, 9-14 and we are told God created Adam, brought him into consciousness and then planted a garden in Eden east of where Adam was created. God created Adam then allowed Adam to watch Him as he created this glorious place where he would dwell. That is always the way God works, God just places us in the work that He has already planted.

Vs. 9 Our attention is taken to the trees of the garden and two things are told us as far as their selection to the garden:

  1. Pleasant to the sight: They were selected for their beauty, no ugly trees in the garden.
  2. Good for food: Next we see that they were placed there based upon their usefulness to Adam.

God wanted to put mankind into a home that was both beautiful as well as useful. Specifically we are told of two of the trees both of which if eaten would produce lasting effects:

  1. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden:
  2. This tree and its fruit was the most accessible of all the trees in that it was in the middle of the garden.
  3. There was no prohibition on partaking of the fruit of this tree at all. Adam was given no restriction from eating the fruit of the tree of life until after he disobeyed the Lord and ate of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. (3:22) The reason then is that it would have put mankind into an irreversible state, which shows us that had Adam taken of the fruit of tree of life it would have enabled him to live indefinitely thus suspending the effects of the metabolic aging process. Ponce Deleon should of being looking for the tree of life instead of the fountain of youth! In Rev. 22: 2 we read that it is located near the throne of God bears 12 fruits each month and its leaves heal the nations. Rev. 22:11 tells us that only those who obey the Word of God have the right to eat of it.      
  4. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil: We are not told this trees location but it is obvious that it was not as accessible as the tree of life. Today the world puts down a naiveté as being ignorant or inexperienced while a person who has tasted of this tree is called, “worldly”.  

Vs. 10-14 “Eden” comes from the word that mean “delight”. Its location was eastwardly in a geographical area where 4 rivers heads came. The river that went out of the garden was to irrigate it and two of the four names are associated with the modern names Tigurs and the Euphrates. It is impossible to determine the actual location of this garden as the rivers here described were fed by underground wells not rainfall. Furthermore the river beds themselves would have been radically changed after the flood. Havilah, means “sandy land” and evidently there was lots of gold in this region. Other natural resources of this area was, “Bdellium” was a precious fragrant gum that was used, as well as onyx which was also seen as precious.

Vs. 15-17 Mankind’s purpose, provision and prohibition.

  1. Vs. 15 PURPOSE: Man was to care for the home God had placed him in. Adam was removed from sin but his time was not to be spent idle but rather he was to be very active. He was placed in a perfect environment as well as a perfect circumstance yet he was not in a place of no-responsibility. Ezekiel says the sin of Sodom was in 16:49, “this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” God did not make mankind to be idol instead He made him to be satisfied doing what God has called him to do.
  2. Vs. 16 PROVISION: This is the first recorded time in which God communicates with man and we see two things about God in His dealings with us:
  3. Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat”: God is not restrictive in nature. God says, “Of every tree you may eat freely!” The only things God prohibits are the things that would separate us from fellowship with Him; in other words things that would bring us harm!
  4. Vs. 17 “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”: Life hangs upon obedience to His word. God’s word are to be the standards of life.
  5. Vs. 17 PROHIBITION: Adam clearly knew the consequences of rejecting God’s word “death”. Literally it is “dying you shall die!” Thus Adam knew that disobedience would lead to spiritual death and that would set in motion the eventual physical decaying which will lead to our death.

 But just what was this “tree of the knowledge of good and evil?” Why would it be so bad to eat of this tree as even Hebrews 5:14 tells us that we ought to “use their senses to discern both good and evil.” We are given a partial understanding of this when we examine Satan’s words to Even in chapter 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The part that is a lie is that in disobeying God’s word we would ever be like Him! The word used in 3:5 for “know” is literally “distinguish”. God knows good and evil not by experience, but by comparing it with His own holy and perfect nature. That which is consistent with His nature is that which is good. We too can determine what is good by comparing it to God’s character and nature. When God had created He declared that everything that He created came up to the standard of who He was. When Adam and Eve ate of this fruit they became their own standard of good and evil, they became self-centered and could then justify evil based upon how they saw things not how it relates to Who God is. All because we use ourselves as the standard and not God’s character and nature.  

IV. Vs. 18-25 God’s gift to man

All the events recorded here in these verses take place on the 6th day after God had proclaimed everything very good.

Vs. 18-19 This is the first time we read in scripture that something was not good. Literally the word means incomplete, thus God is saying that before the creation of Eve man was incomplete. Two reasons are listed here by God to describe how Adam was incomplete and why Eve was to make him complete.

  1. It is not good that man should be alone”: Adam needed companionship, he was created to be social both to God and Adam needed to have someone to share his life with. 
  2. Helper comparable to him”: She was not only to share his life with her he was to share his work with her as well. The word “helper” means to support or assist and the word “comparable” means a counterpart that complements. She was to assist Adam complementing or completing him.

Vs. 19-20 Look at how God reveals this truth to Adam. Two things that in naming these animals Adam would have discovered about himself:

  1. He would have realized that all of these other creations had a mate that complemented them.
  2.  In Hebrew the word “name”: implies examining to discover its character or nature. In seeing what these animals were to each other he would discover what a gift Eve would to him. She was not just to be his beast of burden like the cattle were. Neither was she to be his pet to occupy his time when he was board. She was not just to be a baby factory either. Adam had mastery over the animals but none of them complemented him.

Vs. 21-23 God caused Adam to be at rest; I like that as most of the time our spouses cause us to be at ease. The word “rib” is actually “side” and according to Adams proclamation in verse 23 included bone and flesh.

  1. The side protects our most delicate and vital organs. And women are very protective in nature.
  2. The side also protectors the heart, which we often link to the center of our emotions. And women are much more in tune with their emotions.
  3. The side of man that she might be his equal. “Not from his feet that she would be his servant, nor from his head that she would be his master, but from his heart that she would be dear to him!

All other men have been born of woman, but Eve the first woman was made from man.

Vs. 23-25 Right after her creation God institutes marriage. A sacred home in which monogamy in relationship throughout life is what God had planned for His creation. Considering that Adam waited for her creation I love the words he uses here upon seeing her, “This is now” literally “now at length!” It felt like eternity until she was brought to him. There four principals of marriage here as well:

  1. Vs. 23 UNITY:  “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. It is the most fundamental aspect of marriage.
  2. Vs. 23 ORDER: “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” There is a biblical leadership in a marriage and man has been given that role. If you want to know what it looks like just treat your wife as Jesus treats His church. “Lay down your life for her!”
  3. Vs. 24 PERMANENCE: “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.” The word “joined” is glued thus security is a principal of marriage. Henry Ford had it right when he quipped about the secrets of a successful marriage, “The same as making a successful car: stick to one model.”
  4. Vs. 25 COMMUNICATION: “they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” They were not ashamed not because a lack conscience but rather because they recognized that their physical differences were part of God’s creation. They had open communication & did not hide anything.