Genesis chapter 2, further explains the creation of man on the sixth day. Some have supposed that this is a second Creation account and is evidence that the Creation story is but a myth that was passed down from one generation to another and at some point Chapter 2 was added to the myth.
For evidence of their point they note that in Genesis 1, the name used for God is "Elohim", and in Chapter 2, the name of God is Lord God, or "Jehovah Elohim." They say this means there were two writers, one who used the name for God, "Elohim", and a later writer who used the name of God as "Jehovah Elohim." They further state that the idea of one God grew from an earlier tradition of man believing in many Gods. Thus, the earlier account of Genesis 1, notes God as plural, but later in the time of the Hebrews man's concept of God had evolved into the belief in one God. However, there is no basis for such a unbiblical interpretation of these Scriptures.
"Elohim" is plural name of God and is found only in Hebrew. No other Semitic language has this word. It is a plural word and is always modified by a singular adjectives and pronouns and used with singular verbs. This notes the unity of God in the singular, yet allows for the plurality of persons in the Trinity. The word denotes God as the "strong one", and is a reference to His power. This is exactly what God is doing in Chapter 1, showing His power by speaking the Universe and all in it into existence.
In Chapter 2, the Bible is dealing with man, and his relation to God. It is logical to have the name of God reflect this in using the name "Jehovah Elohim", meaning "Jehovah (Lord) Elohim (God)." God is the Lord, and Creator of man.
Thus a better explanation for the use of two different names for God used in the first two Chapters is that the writer of Genesis, who Jesus said was Moses, was noting the work of God in Chapter 1, and God's relation as man's Creator in Chapter 2. This view does not contradict Scripture and is grammatically and within the bonds of the normal use of the Hebrew language. This is a more valid view than supposing two writers with two conflicting accounts.
Those who hold to the view that Genesis 1 and 2, are two separate accounts written by two writers at different times do not believe the inspiration of Scripture. They are evolutionist who deny the Creation account of Genesis as myth contrived in the superstitions of primitive man.
The phrase in the KJV Bible reads,"These are the generations of the heavens and earth." Genesis Two is a summary of the events of creation in Chapter One. It is not another or new creation. The phrase explains this showing this is a summary the events of Chapter 1, and then proceeds to the Creation of man (Adam) and the condition of the earth just prior to his creation by God.
There were not yet on earth any cultivated plants of the field or herbs (shrub) growing because man was not yet on earth to cultivate them.
It did not rain on earth at this time and God watered the earth with the mist or dew that came up from the earth. Thus the original earth was created much different than what it is today. The earth today is watered by rain and there are great weather patterns on earth which make some areas arid and others areas wet. On the second day of Creation God created a great water canopy in the heavens above the earth. This created a green house effect over all the earth. The canopy kept climatic conditions stable which would account for the lack of rain fall which unstable weather condition would cause. Later as recorded in Genesis 6, God opened the fountains of heaven (the canopy) and rain fell on the earth for the first time in the Great Flood.
God's last acts of Creation was that God formed man and woman. First God created man's body. Everything was in place but it was lifeless. Next God, started man's heart, and lungs to function and man came alive. God was the source of life, although the material man was made of was lifeless matter of the earth it only became a "living being" when God put life into it. God breathed in man's nostrils the breath of life. The word breath is used in various ways in Scripture, Generally it means "spirit" which this seems to be what is meant here. God gave man the "spirit of life."
The word "soul" can be translated as "being." It is not referencing man's spiritual nature, but of his being alive. The word is used also in reference to animals, yet we know animals do not have a living spiritual soul as does man. Animals were not being created in God's image, having intelligence, will and emotion. Animals were created for the benefit of man as was all of Creation. (Genesis 1:28) Animals live by instinct rather than by their intelligence directed by their will. God programmed animals to function instinctively as they do. There is no Scripture that suggests animals will go to heaven. They will be apart of the Millennium, but are not mentioned in the New Heavens and Earth.
Theistic evolution that accepts the hypothesis of the evolution of man directed by God can not find support for their false ideas in the Genesis account of the Creation of man. The Biblical narrative states man was made personally by God from the dust of he earth. It does not say man came from an evolution of the family of primates (monkeys, apes, chimpanzees and etc). It states man was first created and then energized or made a living being. Man did not come from living matter but from inert material which was formed by special Creation of God and then given life.
God made man and immediately gave him a home. God called it the Garden of Eden. God personally "planted" the garden. This does not seem to be referring to an act of Creation but of designing a special garden where man would live.
The word "Eden" means "delight." This garden was beautiful to look upon and there was good food for man. God made beauty. He gave man within his makeup the ability to appreciate things that are pleasant to look at. This gives some small incite into God Himself in that God appreciates beauty and made us to regard beauty also.
The reference to Eden being "eastward", coupled with the information found in verses 10-14 concerning the rivers of the garden has lead some to believe the location of Eden was in the area of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). More will be said later.
The reference to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, indicates it was at the center of the garden. God placed this object of testing where man would be living. In time, man failed the test by exercising his will in disobeying God's clear instruction not to eat of he fruit of this one tree.
The garden was watered by a river which had its source within Eden itself probably from an artisan spring supplied from some subterranean source. From the main stream the river divided into four separate rivers called the Pison, the Gihon, the Hidekel and the Euphrates. The area of the garden appears to have been quite large as each of these rivers watered "lands" named Havilah, (where there was gold, and precious stones) Ethiopia, the land east of Assyria and though not stated directly the area around the Euphrates.
The name Hiddekel appears on Assyrian monuments and refers to the River Tigris.(1) Some suggest that the Gihon is the Nile and the Pishon the Ganges or Indus, but these are only guesses. The land of Havilah is undefined in Scripture. Ethiopia, is later in the Bible referred to both as Arabia and the present Ethiopia. The Hiddekel (Tigris) is said to have flowed on the eastward side of Assyria whereas the present Tigris flows on the westward side of Assyria.
The lack of present day reference should indicate to us that the Garden of Eden can not be placed geographically in the world today. It was surely destroyed in the Great Flood, and the geography of the post-flood earth is much different than what earlier existed.
The significance of the reference to Havilah, as a land of much gold is a mystery as well as the identity of "Bdellium and onyx stone."
What God gave to man, he required man to be responsible for. The garden needed dressing and keeping. This was to be the occupation of man, to cultivate the garden and be sustained by it. Man was not to be waited on hand and foot but was given a purpose. That purpose was to be productive in providing the management of the Garden.
Also with the gift of life and the Garden came the responsibility to the Provider, that being God. Man's only prohibition was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was no reason or need that God had not met that would have prompted man to feel the necessity to disobey and eat the forbidden fruit. Man's every need was met.
That the result of eating from the forbidden tree would be death was clearly instructed of God. Man already knew what was "good", but innocently had no knowledge of evil. Adam was an intelligent man. His mind was clear of the destructive effects of sin. He must have understood.
God states that Adam was created alone at first. The fact that man was first created without woman indicates that mankind is a special creation of God unlike any of God's earlier Creation. All of the plants and animals were created male and female to reproduce "after its own kind." However, God reveals to us that He made man first and then from man created woman.
Man being by himself was incomplete because he did not have a companion. God then gives the purpose of woman in stating He would create for man a "help meet." The words "help meet" can be properly translated, "suitable helper." It literally means "a helper like man." The Hebrew word is "ezer", and means "help, support, or helper." The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament states. "While this word designates assistance, it more frequently used in a concrete sense to designate the assistant."(2) We can conclude that woman was created as man's counterpart and his assistant. Woman is man's co-helper in life.
The word helper is not a demeaning term. It is used in reference to God in Psalm 33:20, 70:5, 115:9.(3) The term denotes purpose. Woman was created to assist man in life.
It was God's stated plan in the beginning that man and woman should be together working with a common purpose in life. It is well to note that God's plan was for male and female to be together, never man with man or female with female. Perverted by his sinful nature, man has degraded the perfect union of man and woman and tried to justify homosexual behavior. However, no clearer truth is found in Scripture in that God created woman to be the counterpart of man in life. Everything in the Bible condemns homosexual behavior. God said it was sexual perversion and sin. (Romans 1:24-32. 1 Corinthians 6:9) Further, proof that homosexuality is against man's nature is that God, in Genesis 2:23-24, instituted marriage. This account without doubt teaches God's plan was that marriage was to be monogamous (man shall cleave unto his wife), and heterosexual (they shall be one flesh).
God states in verse 19, that he made the animals also of the ground and brought them to Adam. Some use this to support the false idea that Genesis 2, is a second and different Creation account. They conclude that these verses are contradicting Genesis 1, which says God created the animals and birds on the fifth and sixth day of Creation. They suppose an error because Genesis 2, does not state animals were also created on the fifth day. However, note that the verse is not referring to when the fowl and animals were created! It is stating "HOW" God created them, that being out of the ground! God created some animals on the fifth day and others on the sixth as Genesis 1, states.
Those who use such baseless and contrived arguments to discredit the Bible, show to what lengths sinful and rebellious man will go to deny God and His written Word. Verse 19, gives us a small but sure indication of the intelligence of man unhindered by sin. God brought the animals to Adam, and Adam named them one by one. Think of the ten of thousands of animals that were on the earth at Creation.
Henry Morris, concludes that Adam only named the animals which were in close proximity to man such as the domesticated animals of the Garden of Eden. He further states this probably refers the naming of about three thousand animals in about five hours.(4) The verse says Adam named every beast of the field and fowl of the air. In verse 20, it states he named "all cattle,...fowl of the air...and every beast of the field." The only limit we can place on Adam's feat is that life in the seas, "great whales" (Gen. 1:21) and "creeping things" (Gen. 1:24) are not mentioned in Genesis 2:21. There is no reason to limit Adam's ability to give them names and then to remember what he named them. Morris further points out that all this happened on the sixth day, as indicated by the fact that Adam named the animals before Eve was created.
This verse also shows that there was a time period of some hours between the Creation of Adam and the Creation of Eve. In the interval Adam named all the animals, with them and their mates parading in front of Adam made it clear that he was alone.
God then caused a deep sleep to come over Adam and He removed one of Adams ribs. This appears to have been a surgical operation as Adams was put to sleep before the rib was removed and then the wound was closed up with flesh.
There is some question as to the translation of the word "rib." In other places in the Bible the word is translated "side." The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament says. "Conceivably this means that God took a good portion of Adam's side, since the man considers the woman to be "bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh."(5) It does seem that God probably used more that just the rib to make woman. The word "rib" in verse 21 and 22 are the same.
Many have noted that God took woman from man's side, not from his head to rule over him, or from his feet to show inferiority, but from his side noting companionship and equality.
Woman is never in Scripture shown as inferior to man. However, she is always shown as having a distinct purpose and position in relationship to man. Man's responsibility is clearly defined as being responsible for woman's provision and protection. Woman's responsibility is shown as being a helper and supporter of her husband. They together are one flesh joined in a mutual union with a single purpose. They need one another to live their lives successfully. Sin is the cause of the confusion of the roles of man and woman. Sin causes man to abuse and subjugate woman as an inferior. Equally sin has caused woman to regard her position as being a supporter of man to mean she is inferior and to resent her responsibility.
After creating woman God brought her to Adam. Adam names woman also calling her in Hebrew, "ishshah." "Ish", is Hebrew for man. He name denotes that she was taken out of man. The second part of the word "shah" can refer to being soft to the touch, denoting woman as more delicate and having a special "feminine" nature different from man.
Verses 23 and 24, are the first wedding vows. Several important truths are revealed concerning marriage and the home. First, because of the marriage union a man should leave his parents and cleave (unite) with his wife. This means that the man is responsible in forming the home which is to be separate from that of their paren ts. Second, it implies that the man is responsible to his parents until that time, but once the marriage is made his responsibility is to his own family. Third it shows the importance of the family and home. God instituted the family. Marriage was to be the basis of the family.
These verses without question, condemn "polygamy, concubinage, polyandry, divorce, adultery, promiscuity, and other distortions of the marriage covenant"(6) Today many accept sex out of wedlock and "trial marriages" (a couple living together) as acceptable behavior. Few Christians condemn such unbiblical behavior. The home surely has always been under attack from Satan. Destroy the family and you cause confusion within the roles of man and woman. This confuses and destroys the lives of untold children who are spiritually scared for life. It destroys the very roots of society. Jesus said in Matthew 19:8, addressing divorce said that even though Moses because of the hardness of their hearts allowed divorce, "from the beginning it was not so."
Verse 25, states that Adam and Eve was naked and were not ashamed. First there was no one else on earth. Second they had been divinely created and there was no need of being ashamed. Shame is the result of sin, and at this time they were innocent of sin. Sin has cause the perversion of the nature and purpose of sex and degraded it. But that was never God's plan. God had commanded them to "be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth" (Gen. 1:28)
Man and woman were innocent and there was no sin on earth. It was a wonderful place and man was in full fellowship with God. As we go on to Chapter 3, and see sin entering the world, we should all see how horrible and hideous a thing sin really is. It should lead us to seek greater fellowship with God and greater determination to "let not therefore sin reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof, neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:12-13)
1. Morris, page 89.
2. Theological Word Book, Vol. II page 661.
3. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Victor Books, 1988, page 31.
4. Morris, page 97.
5. Theological Wood Book, Vol II. page 768.
6. Morris, page 102.