FROM CREATION TO THE FALL
A VERSE BY VERSE EXEGESIS
PART 2-CREATION EXPANDED-GENESIS CHAPTER 2
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
The English translators have used the plural "heavens" for the same root word shamayin used in the singular in Genesis Chapter One verse One (further support for more than one heaven.) Instead of "in all their vast array," the Living Bible uses the phrase "with all they contained" - these refer to the magnitude and grandeur of God's creation.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
God rested on the seventh day; not because He was "tired" but because of completeness (a job completely and perfectly executed.) Verse 2 clearly states that after He had finished the work He had been doing, He rested FROM HIS WORK.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This is the third time God blessed. The first time He blessed the fishes and birds, the second time He blessed Man and now the seventh day.The seventh day must have been of some importance for God to bless it. He made it holy or set it apart- an example for Man to follow. In the Mosaic Law, it was called the "sabbath day"- a day to set apart each week. A day of rest, after accomplishing what God had called one to do the preceeding six days. The significant point to note, however, is that observance of the Sabbath is mandatory under the Mosaic Law. The New Testament Church has no such equivalent.
What is the Sabbath? The hebrew for Sabbath is Shabbath meaning intermission or cessation from work.(7) The term "Sabbath" has been used of the first and eight day (Lev 23:39) and also of the seventh year (Lev 25:4). The Sabbath that is referred to here with relevance to the seventh day of Genesis 2:3 is the seventh day sabbath i.e. by Jewish reckoning Friday 6 p.m. till Saturday 6 p.m. No work was to be done on the sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). The penalty for breaking this Law was death (Exodus 31:14; Numbers 15:30-36). The sabbath is peculiar only to the nation of Israel for three main reasons, viz,
1. It was
as to be a memorial to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from the yoke of Pharoah
2. Moses addressed the Israelites only when he gave them the observance of Sabbath commandment...
13 "Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
(NIV) Emphasis Mine.
3. Observance of the Sabbath was part of the Mosaic Law.
The Sabbath Day law is part of the mosaic law and the New Testament Christian is under no obligation to keep it because Our Lord has fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and removed the curse (of not obeying the Law) from us....
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."
Observing only part of the Law and not the whole law puts one under a curse!
10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them."
The early Christians observed the first day of the week (Sunday) as a day of worship and fellowship not by compulsion, but by choice...
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.
1 Cor 16:2
2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens--
For the first time God calls Himself, "LORD God", not merely God as the Creator, but God who identifies Himself on a person to person basis with those He has created. It is no longer on a last name basis like a surname, but on a FIRST (and last) name basis (personal name.) LORD is Yehovah which means "self-existent or eternal."(8)
5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
This refers to the situation on planet Earth before Genesis Chapter One Verse 11 (just before the earth brought forth vegetation, seed-bearing plants and trees. Genesis Chapter two does not proceed in chronological order from the end of Genesis Chapter One. Many doctrinal truths and scriptural facts are found in different books and verses of the Bible and we need to seek diligently in order to find these "pearls" in God's Word.)
"God had not sent rain on the earth"-
the first occurrence of "rain" is in Genesis Chapter 7 verse 4 when God said
rain would fall "after seven days." Bible commentators believe that there was a
water canopy around the earth in Adam's time which became "rain" in the time of
6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground--
The King James Version uses "a mist" instead of "streams." The plain meaning seems to be this, that the aqueous vapours, ascending from the earth, and becoming condensed in the colder regions of the atmosphere, fell back upon the earth in the form of dews, and by this means an equal portion of moisture was distributed to the roots of plants, etc. (9)
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The body derives its origin from the earth, or as the hebrew `aphar implies, the dust; hence because it is earthly it is decomposable and perishable.11 The LORD God breathed into his nostrils- the impartation of the Holy Spirit to Man by a process of exhalation. A fairly similar reference is seen in John Chapter 20 verse 22 when the resurrected Christ imparted the Holy Spirit to the first "christians".
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
(NIV) Emphasis mine
Impartation of the Holy Spirit gives life to the mould of clay (Job 4:19; see also Isaiah 45:9) called `aphar in hebrew and causes it to become a living soul. Here, we have the first revelation of Man as a tripartite being i.e. body, soul and spirit (see also 1 Thessalonians 5:23.)
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
The LORD God had already planted (past tense) a garden before He put man there. Verse 9 below, mentions that the trees were already mature enough for man to pick and eat from (God's benevolent providence from the very beginning.) The word "Eden" means delight.(10) Delight or pleasure are not intrinsically wrong by themselves as long as these are exercised within the context of God's Will.
9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
"The LORD God made"- "made" here is tsamach which means "to sprout or bring forth." From the very beginning God has decreed that all of nature falls within His providence. Man toils but God still has to bring forth! Before the fall, God brought forth without the need for Man to "toil."
The trees were pleasing to the eye, meaning that they were attractive to look at. God has put in Man an innate, aesthetic, "appreciative" sense for beauty from the very beginning. It is no co-incidence that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had beautiful wives (Gen 12:11; Gen 26:7; Gen 29:17). It is also no co-incidence that God blessed Job with four beautiful daughters after his arduous trial of faith (Job 42:15.) The trees were also good for food, meaning that they were nutritious by themselves.
"In the middle"- "middle" here is tavek which means "bisection" or pertaining to the centre. The centre of anything usually implies an area of importance. Not much is mentioned of the tree of life except for the fact that Man was not allowed to participate of it after the fall. In Revelation Chapter Two verse seven, we read that the tree of life was to be given to the overcomers only (take note that there is a difference between church-goers and overcomers!)
There is no intrinsic "good or bad" in the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the disobedience to God's Word not to eat of the fruit of this tree that was sin! By the way, the nature of the actual fruit was never mentioned and cannot be presumed to be an apple!
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
The location of Eden is a subject of controversy even among Bible commentators. Suffice it to say that the only geographical indices given in the Bible are the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris (two of the remaining headwaters in verse 14) which wind their way through Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Asshur is also mentioned (verse 14) but this probably refers to the area between these two rivers (click on to see map.)
11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.
The pishon cannot be found in modern geographical maps or even in the older maps published in Bible commentaries. There must have been significant changes in the geography of this region when the earth was divided in Peleg's time.
12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
The fact that the Bible mentions gold in Havilah surely indicates an abundance of this precious metal in this geographical location. All this "kingly" gold, the bdellium and onyx stones (probably precious stones) belonged to Adam and his descendants and was located within easy reach of them (their location having been mapped out by divine revelation) before the fall.
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
The location of the river Gihon is also obscure. Cush here may not refer to present day Ethiopia.
14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Asshur later became Assyria (11)- a kingdom between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that dominated the ancient world from the ninth century to the seventh century B. C. Just like the Garden of Eden which had a head of water flowing "through" it, ancient kingdoms are also founded alongside heads of water.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Man was put in the Garden of Eden not to laze around but to "work or cultivate it." Work was instituted before the fall. In fact, God worked for six days before He rested- "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." Gen 2:2 (NIV). Before the fall it was "work"; after the fall it was "painful toil."
"Take care of it" is translated "to keep it" in the King James Version. It is shamar in hebrew and means "to hedge about, guard or protect."14 Since there were no thieves then or wild animals to guard against, what was God asking Adam to be careful about? Remember that there was only one sinner at that time and as mentioned by Jesus, He is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10). Adam had been forewarned about the wiles of Satan "long" before the serpent came into the picture.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
God created Man a free moral agent with an ability to choose. Commands can be obeyed or disobeyed as MAN wills (with ensuing consequences.) "God commanded the man"- Being created first or as the apostle Paul says being "first formed" (1 Tim 2:12,13) gave MAN headship over his family and it was his responsibility to pass God's command down to his wife and family.
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
God has given man all the trees (including the tree of life) for food but as in all instances in the Bible, He has also sovereignly chosen to keep a portion for Himself. Verses 16 and 17 form the basis of the first covenant God made with Man, viz, if you do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you (and your descendants) shall surely live but if you eat of it, you (and your descendants) shall surely die. Man did not need to have the knowledge of good and evil; all he needs is just to trust God to show him THE WAY of true righteousness. Herein is the basis of Biblical Faith- to trust and obey the revealed WORD OF GOD.
18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Man had a "vertical" relationship with God until now- the latter being the Creator, Provider and Protector. God knows that Man now needed someone like himself to fellowship with and to relate to, someone who will have a "horizontal" relationship with him. If you go back to Genesis Chapter One, you will notice that the fishes, birds and animals were created male and female at the same time, otherwise they would not be able to obey God's Command to reproduce themselves. Man, on the other hand, was created alone first. This is because Man must learn to relate to His Maker first before he relates to someone else- i.e. to put God first and family second so to speak.
The word "helper" is "help" and "meet" in the King James Version. Help is ezer which means "aid" and "meet" is neged which means "part opposite." So we have the provision of an aid who is part opposite for Adam. Someone who complements Adam; not someone who supplements him. She is anatomically, functionally and "psychologically" different but fulfills the same goals, purposes and aspirations as that of her husband by playing a complementary role.
"Suitable for him"- notice that God always picks someone who is suitable or best suited for us. It is not an emotional appointment but a divine selection. Don't fall in love first. Let God choose your mate first and then fall in love- this is the Scriptural way (See the case of Isaac in Genesis Chapter 24.)
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
Adam was able to name all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air (he didn't name the fishes though.) Even though the species may not have been that many in the beginning, Adam was able to name them all as he chose. God created a highly intelligent human being; not a cave-man. The fact that he gave names to the living creatures meant that he had authority over them. Take note that God "brought them to the man." God has full control, authority and sovereignty over all His creatures. Animals do not bite or destroy us accidently (even after the fall!)
20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
Here Adam is named for the first time (by God). The word "Adam" means "ruddy or reddish" (12)perhaps shedding some light on the color of the first man. The word ground (Chapter 2 verse 7) from which Adam was formed is adamah in hebrew and it means "red earth."(13)
"No suitable helper" -Woman was not yet formed and the companionship of animals and birds was certainly no help for Adam!
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
The first anaesthetic and surgical procedure in human history was in Genesis 2:21. God took the man's rib, tsela in hebrew which also means "side." God could have created a woman from the ground but He wanted woman to be taken out of man so as to be a part of man. Does a man have twelve pairs or eleven and a half pairs of ribs? We will leave you to work this out yourself.
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The word "made" is panah in hebrew and it means "skillfully formed" - a woman's body is a skillful masterpiece of creation. Eve had to be the most beautiful woman ever formed because she was personally and skillfully "crafted" by God and yet without sin.
"He brought her to the man"- it is God's responsibility to bring the bride to the bridegroom. Instead of spending time worrying whom we will marry, we should pray and seek God's will and guidance to the one He has (already) chosen for us!
The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called "woman,"
for she was taken out of man."
This is the second time the Bible breaks from prose to poetry. The first time was when God created man in Genesis Chapter One Verse 27 (God's expression of joy) and here is the second time, when woman was "formed' from man (Man's expression of joy.)
"She shall be called 'woman'"- Adam named her "woman", implying that he has authority over her. In Bible reckoning, a higher authority names a person of a lower authority. God named the first man "Adam" and Adam (representing Mankind) named his mate "woman" (a gender).It can therefore be inferred that the Male descendants of Adam are also meant to have the same kind of authority over their women or mates. It was much later that Adam gave his mate a personal name, calling her "Eve" on account of her special functional role (Gen 3:20.) The word "woman" is 'ishshah in hebrew which literally means "she-man."
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
"For this reason"- For the reason that man alone or woman alone would be just one half of a composite whole; yes, for this very reason it would be incomplete for any man or woman to be alone (there is, however, a spiritual calling for a person to be alone in Matt 19:12.)
Notice that God says "a man will leave his father and mother", not ABANDON THEM. Honouring and providing for one's father and mother is both an Old and New Testament concept.
"One flesh" is basar in hebrew which means "one body or person." The term "One flesh" has both physical and spiritual implications. In the physical realm it denotes sexual union of a man and a woman as intended in a marriage relationship (see also 1 Cor 6:16). In the spiritual realm, a "one flesh" or marriage union, unites "two heads and two bodies" into a "one head-one body" relationship, whereby the man becomes the (spiritual) head of the woman who is his body (See verses below).
1 Cor 11:3
3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Shame (and guilt) are the products of sin against God. Adam and Eve did not know what shame was until they ate of the forbidden fruit.
7. Dake's Annotated Reference Bible by FJ Dake, page 111, Dake Bible Sales Inc, Georgia
About the author.....
Dr Eddy Cheong is a Born-again, Spirit Baptised Christian who reveals God's Word with a deep, new spiritual insight (This is the Lord's gift to His humble vessel). He is author of the Books "Man's Life Span according to God's Word" and "Deceiving the Elect". Dr Cheong is a medical specialist by profession.
Dr Eddy Cheong
FROM CREATION TO THE FALL-PART ONE-CREATION (GENESIS CHAPTER 1): http://www.agape.com/creation.htm
FROM CREATION TO THE FALL-PART THREE-THE FALL (GENESIS CHAPTER 3): http://www.agape.com/fall.htm
Other Articles by the same author:
"Is tithing compulsory for the New Testament