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Genesis: Chapter 2

Categories: GenesisTags: 3.4 min read

We continued our reading of Genesis and noted that originally there were no chapter breaks so the account of the Creation would have been a continuous narrative, with completion of the creative process on the sixth day. The seventh day was blessed by God as the day when he ceased from his work Genesis 2:1 – 3. God sanctified (made holy) the seventh day so that it became a day for mankind to rest from physical work and worship God.

We talked about the reason for the more detailed description of Creation in Genesis 2:4 – 7 and agreed that this repetition was for emphasis and to introduce the special relationship between God and mankind.
From Genesis 2:4 the Hebrew name Yahweh Elohim is translated LORD God in our Bibles. Yahweh Elohim is the name by which the Hebrew people understood the purpose of their Creator. It is from this point in the chapter that we are shown the purpose of the LORD God through his name and how he expected mankind to be part of his purpose with the earth. The difference between animals and mankind is the ability of mankind to worship the LORD God.

We can see from Genesis 2:5 – 6 that everything was prepared for the development of the natural cycle of trees and plants before the mist watered the earth. We discussed the point that there was no mention of the word ‘rain’ in Genesis until chapter 7 when we read of Noah and the flood.

In Genesis 2:7 we read a more detailed account of the creation of man reminding us that the breath of life is a gift from the LORD God.
We talked about Eden which was probably a very extensive region in Mesopotamia which had natural beauty and a rich variety of produce. The name Eden means ‘pleasantness.’ We are told in Genesis 2:8 that the LORD God ‘planted a garden eastward in Eden and this is where he placed mankind.

In Genesis 2:9 – 15 we read a description of the garden in Eden. It was a pleasant place with all kinds of trees and plants and the garden was watered naturally by a river. Within this pleasant garden the LORD God placed two trees which were symbolic of his relationship with mankind. The tree of life was symbolic of the LORD God’s promise of immortal life to those who chose to follow his ways rather than the way of human nature. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the garden as a test for mankind and to allow free will. They could follow the LORD God’s way or the way of human nature looking for instant pleasure.

We discussed the fact that Adam was put into the garden to dress it and to keep it. This indicates that the garden was pleasant to look after rather than hard work (Genesis 2:15).

We talked about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as it was the only fruit that Adam was forbidden to eat. In Genesis 2:16 – 17 we see that this was the LORD God’s first commandment. Until this time the idea of death had not been part of human experience. There had been no need for the killing of animals as a sacrifice for sins.

In Genesis 2:18 – 25 we are given a description of how Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam. We talked about the fact that Adam had been given the power of thought and speech in order to recognise and name the animals brought to him by the LORD God. Although all the animals had mates he had no-one as a companion or mate. With the formation of woman, Adam, like the animals, had a mate but, unlike the animals, who were created separately, the LORD God decreed that they should be as one because Eve was taken out of Man. So the institution of marriage for life was formed.

Someone pointed out that Jesus reinforced the ideal of marriage for life in his teaching. We read about this in our study of Mark (see Mark 10:6 – 9)

ADDITIONAL READING

FURTHER THOUGHTS

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