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                  This is a sermon site of Dr. Harold L. White

                     The Creation of Man         

Genesis 2

The second chapter of Genesis describes in greater detail certain of the events of the sixth day of creation,
 especially of the formation of the first man and woman.
It does not in any respect contradict the account in the first chapter, but instead is complementary to it.

This section began is by using a phrase that ties it back to the subscript of the previous toledoth ("generations")
 section: "in the day that the Lord God [first occurrence of the name 'Lord God'] made the earth and the heavens"
 (Genesis 2:4b).

It has occasionally been suggested that since the word "day" has been used in this verse to denote
the entire period of creation, the word therefore need not be taken literally in the rest of Genesis 1 either.
It is quite possible to understand the usage even in this verse in the literal sense, as referring either
to the first day of creation, when the heavens and the earth were first created, or to the seventh day
when God had declared the making of the heavens and the earth to be finished.


Genesis 2:4b-6: "… In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
and every plant of the field was and the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew:
for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground
."


As an introduction to the creation of man, the account first describes the condition of the world
immediately prior to man's creation.
Although, to judge from the various translations and commentaries, this passage is of uncertain meaning.
A perfectly plausible translation would be something like this:
"In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens there was as yet no field plant in the earth
and no field scrub growing, since the Lord God had not yet established rainfall on the earth
and since there was as yet no man the cultivate the ground
."

The original hydrologic cycle was thus dramatically different from that of the present day.
The present cycle, which began at the time of the great Flood, involves global
and continental air mass movements, and annual and seasonal temperature changes.
This is summarized scientifically in such Scripture passages as Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Isaiah 55:10-11;
Job 28:24-26; Job 36:26-29; Psalm 135:6-7, and others.

This present cycle centers around the solar evaporation of ocean waters, transportation to the continents
in the atmospheric circulation, condensation and precipitation in the form of rain and snow,
and transportation back to the oceans via rivers.
In the original world, however, there was no rainfall on the earth.
As originally created, the earth's daily water supply came primarily from local evaporation and condensation.
There was also a system of spring-fed rivers.

The change in temperature between daytime and nighttime apparently was adequate to energize
daily evaporation from each local body of water and its condensation as dew and fog
in the surrounding area each night.
This arrangement was implemented on the second and third days of the creation week,
prior to the formation of the plants on the latter part of the third day.

The inhibition of true rainfall was probably, accomplished by the great vapor canopy,
"the waters above the firmament."
Maintaining an approximately uniform temperature worldwide, no great air mass movements were possible
under the canopy, and the necessary conditions for rainfall unsatisfied.
A few commentators have suggested that the "mist" was actually a river.
However the word means "mist," or "fall," and is always so used.


Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul
."


The narrative then skips the work of the fourth and fifth days of creation
and proceeds immediately to man himself.
This verse tells not of the creation of man (as in Genesis 12: 7), but of the formation
and energizing of his body.

God used the "dust of the ground" to make man's body, a remarkable phrase conveying the thought
that the smallest particles of which the earth was composed (in modern terminology,
the basic chemical elements: nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, etc.) were also to be the basic physical elements
of the human body.
"The first man is of the earth, earthy" (1 Corinthians 15:47).
This fact is not at all obvious to superficial examination (rocks seem to all appearances to be composed
of totally different substances than human flesh), but it has nevertheless been verified by modern science.

Then God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life."

This statement may seem at first to be "anthropomorphic," picturing God as puffing up His cheeks
and glowing air into the inert figure he had just molded.
Such a notion is quite inadequate, however.
Man's body had been completely form, equipped with nostrils, lungs, and the entire breathing apparatus,
as well as bones and organs and other appurtenances, but was lifeless.
It must be energized.

The breathing mechanism must be activated, the heart must start to pump and circulate the blood,
and all the metabolic functions must begin their operations.
But life can come only from life, and the living God is the only self existence Being,
so it must only come from Him.
Especially to stress the unique relationship of human life to the divine life,
this Scripture verse tells us that God Himself directly imparted life and breath to man.

The "breath of life" is shared in common with animals. (Genesis 7:22)
"Breath" is the same word (Hebrew ruach) as "spirit" or "wind."
However, it was only to man that God directly (rather than at a distance, as it were,
by His spoken word) "breathed" in the "breath of life."

At this point, man became a "living soul."
The "soul" is the nephesh, also shared by animals (Genesis 1:24), and refers to the consciousness principle,
the realm of the mind and emotions.
The soul was created on the fifth day; but just as man's body was tremendously more complex
and capable than those of animals, so man's soul was of much higher order than the animal soul,
requiring God's direct energizing for its activation.

There is an incidental refutation of the assumption of human evolution in this verse,
which tells us that man became a living soul when God gave him the breath of life.
However, if he had arrived at this stage by a long process of animal evolution, he already was a living soul!
As 1 Corinthians 15:45 says: "The first man Adam was made a living soul…"
Not only did man received his soul directly from God rather than from an animal ancestry,
but Adam was the first man.
There was no "pre-Adamite man," as some have suggested.


Genesis 2:8, 9: "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden;
and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight,
and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil
."


The whole world had been placed under man's dominion, and all was good in every way.
However, a particular region was prepared as a special garden spot, in which the first man
was to make his own home.
This region was called "Eden," from a word meaning "delight."

In the garden of Eden, God "planted" a beautiful garden, in which were growing beautiful fruit trees
of every kind, each already laden with delicious fruits.
This planting was done directly by God, just as He had formed man's body and breathed into his nostrils directly, not merely by an impersonal command as had been the case when plants work first made on the third day.

It seems likely that the man (Adam = "man") had been created somewhere in the world outside of Eden,
but was able to observe God in this special work preparing this beautiful garden for his home.
The garden was planted "eastward" (Adams location at that time being somewhere west of Eden
in the land of Eden, and then God placed Adam there in the garden.
Adam’s first knowledge of his Creator thus would be of one who loved him
and carefully and abundantly provided for him.

Verse 8 is sort of an initial summary of this completed action of the Lord's;
and then verse 9 (in fact, verses 9 through 14) goes back, as it were, and gives some of the details.

Among all the lovely shrubs and trees of the garden were two specially important and beautiful trees.
In particular, a tree called the "tree of life" was planted right in the center of the garden.
The fruit of this tree would, if eaten regularly, have enabled even mortal dying men to live forever.
(Genesis 3:22)

We should also remember that this tree will be growing in profusion in the New Jerusalem.
(Revelation 22:2), for the "health" of the nations.
Exactly how a physical fruit could be of such rich nourishment as to halt the aging process
in a human body is not within our limited understanding at this time.
We do know that God is the giver of life, and He can give it either directly or indirectly,
through whatever secondary agency He might choose.

In the absence of any contextual indication that this "tree of life" was a mere symbol of something,
and in the current absence of any scientific understanding of what causes aging and death at all,
there is no reason not to think of this tree as a literal tree.

The same applies to the "tree of knowledge of good and evil," which also had been planted
somewhere in the garden.
The fruit of this tree was also "good for food and… pleasant to the eyes". (Genesis 3:6)

Whether this fruit has some kind of toxic substance which would penetrate the blood stream
and even the genetic system, upsetting the finally balance structure which otherwise would
forever have kept both the individual and the human race from decay and death, may be arguable.
It does seem doubtful that God would have created anything really harmful,
since He pronounced everything "very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Whether there was anything harmful and the fruit itself or not, it would certainly become
a tree of "knowing" evil, as soon as man disobeyed God's word concerning it.
He would know evil experimentally (he already knew "good"), and the breaking of fellowship with God
would cut him or anyone off from the life that has as its source only in God.


Genesis 2:10-14: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted,
and they came into four heads.
The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah,
where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyz stone.
And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that commpasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.
And the fourth river is Euphrates
."


More information is given next about the geography of Eden and the primeval water supply system.
The luscious garden in Eden would require an abundance of water, probably
more than could be derived from the diurnal mist.
This supply of water came from a river floating through the garden area, which would of course maintain
a sufficiently high water table in the vicinity to amply nourished the roots of the trees
and other plants in the garden.

The source of the river was said to be in Eden, though presumably somewhere outside the garden itself.
Since there was no rainfall, the river would have to be supplied through a pressurized conduit
from an underground reservoir of some kind, emerging under pressure as a sort of artesian spring.
The fluid pressure, however, could not have been simple hydrostatic pressure
(pressure resulting from gravitational flow of groundwater from a source area and a higher elevation),
because this also would depend on rainfall.

The pressure in the subterranean reservoir could have been established either when the waters
were first entrapped below the land surface and compressed by the weight of the overlying rocks
(presumably on the third day of creation) or else being heated from a deep-lying heat source.
The latter is more likely, since otherwise the pressure would gradually be dissipated
as the waters escaped to the surface.
If there was a continuing heat source, however, as well as a continuing supply of water
to the subterranean pool, then the artesian spring at the surface could be fed indefinitely.

The water coming into the pool must have flowed by gravity from one of the surface "seas,"
through permeable sands or channels in the rocks, down into the great water heater below.
There were probably similar subterranean channels and chambers in the earth's crust all around the world.

Thus the antediluvian hydrologic cycle conveyed water from the sea to the land via subterranean channels,
whereas the postdiluvian cycle accomplishes this movement the of the atmosphere.
The prediluvian water chambers were destroyed by the upheavals at the time of the Flood;
but to compensate for this loss, the concurrent precipitation of the vapor canopy permitted the circulation
of the atmosphere to begin and continental rainfalls to supply the new river systems.

The water flow in the river of Eden must have been very large for, after traversing the garden,
it's separated into four "distributaries," each of which was a large and long river.
The rivers must eventually have reached one or more of the antediluvian seas, thus completing the cycle.

The names of the four rivers are given as the Pishon, the Gihon, the Hiddekel, and the Euphrates.
The Hiddekel is a name which, in the Assyrian monuments, is also given to the Tigris.
The other two names are not clearly identified with any known rivers, although some writers suggest
the Gihon is the Nile and the Pishon either the Ganges or Indus.
These later identifications same impossible in view of the other geographical features described, however;
and it is more likely that these were rivers of the antediluvian world which do not even exist in the present world.

The Pishon is described as encircling the whole land of Havilah, and the Gihon as encircling
the land of Ethiopia (or Cush).
The land of Havilah is also of uncertain geography, but Cush is associated later in Scripture
with both a region of Arabia and the present land of Ethiopia.
In either case, there is certainly no river encircling it.
Furthermore, the Tigris (Hiddekel) is described as going eastward of Assyria,
whereas the Tigris of known history was on the west side of Assyria.

In general, it is evident that the geography described in these verses does not exist in the present world,
nor has it ever existed since the Flood.
The rivers and countries described were antediluvian geographical features, familiar to Adam,
the original author of this part of the narrative.
They were all destroyed, and the typography and geography completely changed,
when "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2 Peter 3:6)

This means that the names would seem to be postdiluvian (Ethiopia, Assyria, Tigris, Euphrates)
were originally antediluvian names.
These names were remembered by the survivors of the Flood and then given to people or places
in the postdiluvian world, in memory of those earlier names of which they were somehow reminded later.

Those who have tried to identify the garden of Eden as in the present Tigris-Euphrates region failed to realize
that these antediluvian rivers were completely obliterated by the Flood, and have no physical connection
with their counterparts in the present world.
The garden of Eden was, of course, also destroyed in the Flood, so that it is quite impossible to locate it
now in terms of modern geography.

It is worth noting that the primeval land of Havilah was said to be a land rich in gold, precious stones
(though the exact nature of the so-translated "onyx stone" is uncertain), and a precious gum called bdellium
(likened to the miraculous substance called "manna" in Numbers 11:7).
Havilah later was the name given to a son of Cush (Genesis 10:7) and a son of Joktan (Genesis 10:29),
the first a descendent of Ham and the other of Shem.
Evidently both these sons were named after the antediluvian Havilah (a name believed to mean "Sandland");
so it seems that this rich primeval land had made a great impression on the sons of Noah.

Since this account was written in both the past tense (verse 10, referring to the garden)
and the present tense (verses 11-14, describing the rivers and regions), there is at least a hint that,
when Adam wrote this account, the garden in Eden had somehow already been removed.

 

The Moral Choice

 

Adam had been created in the image of God and was to be given dominion over the entire physical
and biological creation.
Even the angels had been created for a ministry which was in relation to humanity and its destiny.
Furthermore, the world in which Adam was to live, and specially the beautiful garden
which would be his headquarters, was a perfect environment in every way.
No physical, mental, or spiritual need that he might have would be withheld.
But "… unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…" (Luke 12:48)

Here the question must be raised as to the purpose of man's creation.
The triune God had existed from eternity without men: why would He now create man
and a space-time universe in which man would dwell?

It is impossible to answer such a question apart from divine revelation.
We ourselves are a part of this creation and are therefore in no position to judge our Creator.
The fact that He created man is sufficient proof in itself that He had reason to do so.
What God does must be right, and must be rational, by definition.
"Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" (Romans 9:20)

Such revelation as God has given us on this subject at least assures us that God
is a God of love (1 John 4:16-19) and that He loves all people.
Man was created at God's will and pleasure (Revelation 4:11), and He intends to demonstrate
the exceeding riches of His grace on man's behalf through all the ages to come. (Ephesians 2:7)
Therefore, there can be no doubt that God's nature of love was central to His purpose
in creating men and women.In some mysterious depths of God's own nature, there seems
to have been a desire for other spiritual personalities (other than within the Godhead itself)
on whom He could bestow His love.

But love is a reciprocal relationship.
One cannot really "love" an inanimate object, though such a term is often carelessly used.
Furthermore, love which is unrequited is one of the great tragedies of human life.
For love to be expressed in all its fullness there must be mutual love, each for the other;
and a perfect Creator could hardly be satisfied with an imperfect love relationship.
Therefore, if God created people with the purpose of bestowing His love on them,
His purpose must also have included a mutual and reciprocated love on their parts.

But love, by its very nature, must be voluntary.
An automaton cannot love its maker.
If they are really to love God, men and women must be able to choose of their own will to love God,
in response to God's love for them.
An involuntary love is a contradiction in terms and there can be no such thing.

On the other hand, if Adam was free to love God on his own initiative,
he was obviously free also not to love God.If he was able to make the right moral choice,
he was necessarily able also to make a wrong moral choice.

God's creation of morally free spiritual beings, "in his own image," clearly must run the risk
of having them reject Him and His love.
It must involve a probationary period, to allow them a free decision.


Genesis 2:15-17: "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden
to dress it and to keep it.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest therefore thou shalt surely die
."


In a sense, Adam’s experience is like that of every other person.
Each of us shares in God's commission to all people as His stewards over the creation.
Each of us live for a time without consciousness of sin and guilt; each is on probation for a time;
and, finally, each of us, like Adam, becomes guilty as a deliberate sinner against the Word of God.

On the other hand, although Adam's experience can be considered in this way as an allegory
of every other person's experience, it is not only that, as liberals often suggest.
He was actually the first man, and his experience took place literally, exactly as described.
He and Eve alone, of course, entered the world by creation, rather than by birth;
and they alone entered the world with sinless natures, in perfect innocence.

Before explaining to Adam the terms of his "probation," God first assigned him the specific duty
of caring for his garden home.
Apparently, it was later, after God had formed Eve, that He gave the two of them
the much broader commission to exercise dominion over the entire creation. (Genesis 1:28-29)
At this point, Adam was instructed merely to till the ground in the garden of Eden, to dress it and keep it.
Even though there were as yet no noxious weeds, the ground was so fertile and the plant cover so luxuriant
that its growth needed to be channeled and controlled.

It is noteworthy that, even in the perfect world as God made it, work was necessary for the good of man.
The ideal world is not one of idleness and frolic, but one of serious activity and service.
Even in the new earth to come, after sin and the cursed have been completely removed,
Scripture says that "his servants shall serve him." (Revelation 22:3)

Adam was told to "keep" the garden.
The word means actually to "guard" it.
There is no thought involved of protecting it from external enemies, of which there were none,
but rather that of exercising a careful and loving stewardship over it, keeping it beautiful and orderly,
with every component in place and in harmonious relationship with the whole.

The charge of certain latter-day evolutionary ecologists that the concept of man's dominion
has led to exploitation of the earth's resources is patently absurd.
God's command was to keep the ecology, and not to destroy it; and those who believe
and understand the Bible have always taken it that way.

God then called Adam's attention to the abundance of His provision for his every need.
He was free to eat of any tree of the garden (a better word, in context, than "every"), as much as he wanted.
He could also eat of any "herb) he wanted. Genesis 1:29)
There was not even any restriction against eating of the fruit of "the tree of life."

There was only a single minor restraint.
But it would be this restraint that would test man's love for God, giving him an opportunity
to reject God's word if he wished.
True love is based on trust, of course; and it would have been altogether natural and appropriate for man
to have been so grateful to God for all He had done for him -- giving him life, a beautiful home,
and abundance of good food in profuse variety, and everything he would need or want -- that his own love
for God would cause him gladly to follow God's will in all things.
Seeing so much evidence of God's love, Adam should naturally assume that any instruction
coming from God would likewise evidence His love, and therefore willingly obey it.

Thus the one restriction placed by God on Adam (and, a bit later, on Eve) was singularly
appropriate for its purpose.
There was every reason (based on love, not fear) for man to conform to God's command,
and no reason to disobey.
If he did disobeyed, he would be without excuse.

Yet he did have a choice, and so was truly a "free moral agent" before God.
This was the simplest imaginable test of man's attitude toward his Creator.
Would he "trust and obey" because he loved the one who had shown such love for him;
or would he doubt God's goodness and resent God's control, rejecting and disobeying God's word
on even an apparently trivial restriction as one forbidden fruit and a whole paradise of abundant provision?

The one forbidden tree was the tree of the knowledge (or "knowing") of good and evil.
It is not suggested that there was some magical substance and the fruit which would impart such knowledge
to its consumers.
Even less is this phrase intended to be a euphemism for sexual intercourse, as many commentators,
ancient and modern, have for some reason interpreted it.

Nevertheless, eating of the fruit of this tree after it had been specifically forbidden by God would indeed
give man a very real knowledge of evil.
After all, "evil" can be cogently defined simply as rejection of God's will.
Disobedience to God's will is therefore participation in, and experimental knowledge of, evil.

Man already had knowledge of "good."
All he had seen and experienced was "good."
Rejection of God's word would necessarily convey knowledge of "evil" to him.
Partaking of the forbidden fruit would therefore surely give Adam knowledge of good and evil,
as well as the difference between them, in the most intensely real way.

Adam should have obeyed God merely as an expression of his love.
But God, in grace, provided him still further incentive by giving clear warning
of the necessary consequences of disobedience.
Rejecting God's love would necessarily raise a barrier between man and God,
and would break the sweet fellowship for which man was created.

Since God was the source of life itself, real life is found only in communion and connection with the divine life.
The essence of death (the opposite of life) is therefore separation from God (the opposite of fellowship with God).
"In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."

The primary warning is undoubtedly that of spiritual death, or separation from God.
But this also entails spiritual death, since God is the source of physical life as well as spiritual life.
Literally, the warning could be read: "Dying, thou shalt die!"

The moment Adam disobeyed God, the principle of decay and death would begin to operate in his body;
and, finally, this would overcome the built-in metabolic processes and he would go back to the dust
from which his body was formed.
Even though he continued functioning biologically for over 900 years, he died both spiritually
and (in principle) physically the very day he rejected and disobeyed the word of God.
And this same type of act is the basis and root of all sin from that day to this.


Man and the Animals

 

If there were any remaining question as to whether in the Bible teaches that man is simply an animal,
related by common ancestry and evolutionary continuity to all the other animals,
the rest of the second chapter of Genesis will lay such an idea to rest.
The first man and woman were unique and special creations of God,
not to be compared with animals at all but rather to be contrasted with them.
The widespread belief that people evolved from ape-like ancestors is not only refuted by Scripture
but also by the facts of science.
The "missing links" of Darwin's day are still missing today.

There have been many fossils of true human beings excavated by anthropologists and paleontologists,
and many fossils of true apes.
To date, however, neither any living animals nor any fossil remains have ever been found
which are immediate between men and apes, nor between men and their imaginary ape-like forebears.
The best candidates in recent years have been the so-called Australopithecus fossils.

However, recent fossil evidence has indicated, according to anthropologists Richard Leakley,
that Australopitecus was a "long-armed short leg-legged knuckle-walker."
He thus was most likely really an extinct ape, with an ape-sized brain (about 500 c.c.) but with teeth
that had a smaller size and somewhat "humanlike" appearance because of his peculiar diet.

Furthermore, more recent finds by Dr.Leakey, as well as Johansen and others, have proved that true human
(with a truly human skull, erect posture, etc.) existed at least as early as Australopithecus, Homo erectus,
and all others that had previously been considered candidates for the transition between apes
(or apelike creatures) and people.
So far as the actual fossil evidence shows, man has always been man and the ape has always been an ape,
exactly as the Bible teaches.


Genesis 2:18: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a help meet for him
."


At the end of the six days of creation, God saw that everything He had made was "very good". (Genesis 1:31)
The last act of creation, however, was that of woman; hence, prior to this final work,
the creation was yet incomplete.Man, especially, was incomplete without woman;
and this was not good (this does not mean it was evil, but that it was unfinished and therefore imperfect).
God Himself, therefore said: "It is not good that the man should be alone."

All the animals had been made both male and female (Genesis 6:19) and had been instructed
to bring forth after their kinds and to multiply on the earth. (Genesis 1:22, 24)
Man alone, of all God's creatures, had no such companion.

Therefore, God set about to make "an help meet for man" (literally, "a helper like man").
As He had personally formed man's body, so He would set about personally to form woman's body.
Furthermore, He would do this by a remarkable method rich in symbolic meaning
which neither the man nor the woman would ever forget.


Genesis 2:19, 20: "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field,
and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:
and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field;
but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him
."


First, however, God arranged for Adam to become familiar with many of the animals by personal inspection.
This was apparently for the twofold purpose of acquainting him with his responsibilities
relative to the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:28) and also of emphasizing to him that,
though he could exercise rulership over them, he could not have fellowship with them.
There was not one among them qualified to be a helper suitable for his own needs.
He was yet incomplete without such a helper, but this would require another act of creation on the part of God.

Many people quibble at verse 19, professing to find a contradiction between this account of the formation
of the animals and the account in the first chapter of Genesis.
According to the latter, the birds were made on the fifth day and the land animals on the six day,
all prior to Adam's creation.

However, the second chapter seems to say in this verse that these animals were only created at this time,
after Adam's creation.
Such an interpretation, however, is alien to the context.
It would in effect, charge God with first trying to find a helper for Adam by making a lot of animals and then,
when this failed, finally deciding to make woman.
God had just expressed His purpose to make a "help meet for man," and it is absurd to think
He would set about to carry out the this purpose by first making animals.

Actually, all these animals were already in existence, exactly as the first chapter of Genesis says.
All this had already been recorded in Chapter 1; so there was no need to go through
the entire chronological record again in Chapter 2.
There was no need even to mention the animals, since the account was concentrating on giving details
of the latter part of the sixth day, until the point at which the animals were actually to encounter man.

When this point is reached in the narrative, verse 19 merely calls attention to the fact
that God was the one who formed the animals and that their bodies had been formed out of the "ground,"
even as Adams body had been formed from the dust of the ground.
However, though the physical elements were the same in the bodies of both man and beast,
there was still no real fellowship possible between them, as Adam would soon learn when he examined them.
He had been created "in the image of God" and would require a being of like nature to himself.

As a matter of fact, it would be quite legitimate to translate verse 19 as follows:
"Also out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air;
and had brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them
."

The Hebrew conjunction waw can just as well be translated "also" as "and."
Furthermore, the word "formed" as in the King James (Hebrew yatsar) can, in the context,
legitimately be translated "had formed."
In any case, the obvious intent of the passage is to tell us that certain of the animals,
already in existence, were now brought at this time to be inspected by AdamThere is no contradiction, either real or apparent, with the "official" order of creation in Genesis 1.

It was only those animals in closest proximity and most likely has theoretical candidates
for companionship to man that were actually brought to him.
These included the birds of the air, the cattle (verse 20 -- probably the domesticable animals),
and the beasts of the field, which were evidently the smaller wild animals
that would live near human habitations.

Those not included were the fish of the sea, but creeping things, and the beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:24),
which were presumably were those wild animals living at considerable distance from man
and his cultivated fields.
It is not likely that all these animals actually lived in the garden of Eden, though they may have had access to it.
Therefore, God must have directed them to come to Adam in some unknown fashion,
so that both master and animal might learn to know each other.

We have no way of knowing exactly how many "kinds" of animals appeared before Adam,
but it was clearly not such a large number as to be incapable of examination within a few hours at most.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that Adam could note and name about 10 kinds each minute,
so that in, say five hours, about 3000 kinds could be identified.
Clearly this number seems more than adequate to meet the needs of the case.

As the animals passed in review, Adam gave its a quick appraisal and an appropriate name.
What language he used, and on what basis he selected names for them there seems no way of knowing.
The fact that he named them, however, indicates (as far as we would expect, in view of his recent creation
and human perfection by the omniscient God) that he was a man of high intelligence and quick discernment.
That seems to have been no need for second thoughts and later changes in these names.
"Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."

As one after another of the animals passed before him (no doubt in pairs, male and female)
Adam could not help but be impressed with his own uniqueness -- not only an intelligence
and spirituality, but also in "aloneness."
Each animal had its mate, "but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

There was clearly no kinship in any manner between man and the animals.
None was like him.
None could provide fellowship or companionship for him.
It is abundantly clear and certain that he had not recently evolved from them!
If the latter were true, and his body were still essentially an ape's body (or the body of what ever "hominid) form
may have been his immediate progenitor).
It seems strange that he could have found nothing in common with either parents or siblings.

On this point, as on many others, the notion of human evolution confronts and contradicts
the plain statements of Scripture.
In all the animal kingdom there could not be found a "helper like him."
He alone, of all creatures, was really alone.
And that was not good!

Before God could declare His creation "finished" and "very good," this all important deficiency
must be eliminated.
God would provide such a helper and companion for Adam, one "like" him, and yet different,
perfectly complementing him and completing God's work.

 

Flesh of His Flesh

 

The account of the creation and formation of Eve is the despair of theistic evolutionists.
Even if one can bring himself to believe that man evolved from an apelike ancestor
and that this is what Scripture means when it says Adam was formed from the dust of the ground,
there seems to be no way at all in which the account of Eve's unique mode of origin
can be interpreted in an evolutionary context.

To make matters worse for the evolutionist, the New Testament explicitly confirms the historicity of this record.
1 Timothy 2:13 says, "For Adam was first formed, then Eve."
1 Corinthians 11:8 says, "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man."
All other men have been born of women, but the first woman was made from man.

It is significant that the first human institution established by God was that of marriage.
A long period of human infancy and helplessness require careful protection and training of the children
by their parents.
In His wisdom, God ordained that the home, built on the mutual love and respect of husband and wife,
should be the basic human unit of authority and instruction.

From the authority of the father in the home there would develop, as populations grew,
the patriarchal and tribal systems, and, later, still more elaborate governmental structures.Similarly, from the fundamental activity of the parents in teaching and training their children,
schools and other educational institutions would eventually be established.
The church also, which has the function of teaching and authority in the spiritual realm,
is likewise patterned in many respects after the home.

The way in which God made the first woman is certainly not what one would naturally expect.
It would seem rather that He would form her body in the same way he did Adam's
-- directly out of the earth itself.
But instead He "built" her out of the body of Adam
Adam’s life would become her life.

God must have had a good reason for "building up" Eve in this peculiar way.
From the New Testament we infer that there were certain great spiritual truths which were being pictured
in this symbolic action, as well as the more immediately meaningful truth that Adam and Eve
were truly "one flesh" and therefore should serve their Creator together in unity and singleness of heart.


Genesis 2:21, 22: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept;
and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.
And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man
."


After God had completed His presentation of the animals to Adam, He probably explained to Adam
what he was about to do (Adam later seemed to have understood clearly how God had formed Eve).
In any case, God put Adam into a "deep sleep" and, while Adam slept, performed a marvelous surgical operation
Since this sleep was not necessary to prevent pain (as of yet, there was no knowledge of pain or suffering
in the world), there must've been some profound spiritual picture in the action.
It seems almost as though Adam "died" when as yet there was no death in the world,
in order that he might obtain a bride to share his life.

It is likely that the word "rib" is a poor translation.
The Hebrew word tsela appears 35 times in the Old Testament and this is the only time
it had been translated as "rib."
Most of the time (in at least 20 of its occurrences) it simply means "side."

The thought evidently is to stress that woman was made neither from Adam head (suggesting superiority to him)
nor from his feet (suggesting inferiority), but from his side, indicating a equality and companionship.
Probably the verse should be translated something like this:
"And he took one of his sides, and closed up the [remaining] flesh in the stead of [that which he had taken];
And the side, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man."

In what sense did the Lord God take one of Adam sides?
A "side" would include both flesh and bone, as well as blood, released from the open side.
Adam could later say, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh."

Physiologically, it is significant that both bone and flesh, and the human body, are sustained by blood
and the marvelous blood-pumping and circulatory network designed by God.
The blood carries the necessary oxygen and other chemicals from the air and the food taken in by man
to maintain all the substance and functions of the body.
In fact, the very "life of the flesh [literally, 'soul' of the flesh] is in the blood."
(Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11)

So Eve was made from Adam's side, to work alongside him in carrying out the divine commission
to "fill the earth" and to "subdue" it.
Eve not only had the same "flesh" (that is, body) and "life" (that is, soul) as did Adam,
but she also had an eternal spirit, as he did; but the spirit (or, better, the "image of God) was directly from God,
not mediated though Adam as was her physical life.
We know this from Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in his own image… male and female created he him."
The "image of God," directly created by God, was given to both man and woman.
As "joined unto the Lord," however, even in this dimension of life, they would become "one spirit".
(1 Corinthians 6:17)

Similarly, although all the descendents of Adam and Eve have inherited their physical and mental characteristics
by genetic transmission, yet each individual has an eternal spirit directly from God,
and thus himself is capable of personal fellowship with God.
It is God who "formeth the spirit of man within him" (Zachariah 12:1) and in whose disposal each man's spirit "returns" (Ecclesiastes 12:7) when his body returns to dust.

When Adam awoke from his deep sleep, and when God had finished forming Eve,
He "brought her unto the man," to be with him from that time forth.
In like manner, God is now forming a bride for Christ (Acts 15:14), as it were "building up the body".
(Ephesians 4:11-16)
When this work is finished, God will bring His bride to the Lord Jesus and He will go up to meet her,
and she will be evermore joined to the Lord.
(John 14:2, 3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-4)

 

Genesis 2:23, 24: "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.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife:
and they shall be one flesh
."

 

When God brought Eve to Adam, the man exclaimed: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:
she shall be called Woman [Hebrew isha], because she was taken out of Man [Hebrew ish].)
Earlier this Hebrew word adham had been used exclusively for "man."

Then follows the classic passage establishing the nature of marriage:
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Children are to be subject to their parents until the time when they are ready to establish their own homes,
when as bride and groom they would leave their parents and become "one flesh" from that day forward.

The integrity and permanence of the individual home is of such great importance that God made it plain
 from the beginning that marriage was intended to be permanent until death.
Of course, it is true that with marriage as well as with all other human activities,
"God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Polygamy, concubinage, polyandry, easy divorce, adultery, promiscuity, and other distortions
of the marriage covenant have permeated many cultures; but, as the Lord Jesus said:
"From the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19:8)

It is significant that ethnolgists and anthropologists find evidence that monogamous, permanent marriage
has everywhere and in all ages been considered as the ideal and preferred form of family life.
True happiness, true fulfillment, true accomplishment of God's purposes necessarily involve obedience
to God's primal command.
"A man shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Because of the entrance of sin into the world, it has not always been expedient for God
to rigidly enforce this ideal.
He has even seemed to sanction (or at least to allow) polygamy at times (e.g. Abraham, Jacob, David)
and to bless the work of some who practiced it.
Similarly, the Mosaic law allowed divorce and, in some cases, God even commanded divorce.
(Ezra 10:11)

"But from the beginning it was not so."
With the full light of the gospel and the New Testament Scriptures, the believing Christian who seeks
to do his Lord's will in all things will certainly desire to follow His will in this most basic and important
of all earthly relationships.
The institution of monogamous marriage, home, and family as the basic medium for the propagation
of the race and the training of the young is so common to human history that people seldom stop
to reflect on how or why such a custom came into being.

It is certainly not a product of evolution, since it is not habitual with other primates or with other mammals.

The marvelous provisions for marital companionship and love, for sexual union and conception,
for embryonic growth and childbirth, and for development from childhood into adulthood
-- all these are incalculably complex and wonderful evidences of God's power and wisdom.
As Paul says: "This is a great mystery." (Ephesians 15:32)
The blessings and joys of a true Christian home are worth all the study and prayers and effort
that can be expended to attain such a home.
Furthermore, God has chosen this relationship to be the picture and pattern of the relation of Christ to His Church.

The classic passage is in Ephesians 5:22-33.
Husbands are to love their wives with a sacrificial, protecting, providing, perfecting love,
even as "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it."
Wives are to "reverence" and "be submissive" to their husbands in return, even as the Church
is to revere and obey Christ in all things.
As a matter of fact, the family unit ordained by God when He created man and woman is also itself
a beautiful type of the heavenly family.
Paul says, concerning the "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," that is of Him that
every "family in heaven and earth is named". (Ephesians 3:15)

In our human families, at least in those where God is honored and His Word is believed,
the love of husband and wife, parents and children, somehow shows forth the eternal love
of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the redeeming love of Christ for His Church.
In passing we may note that the Lord Jesus Christ based His own teaching on marriage
on this primeval account in Genesis. (Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12)
He obviously regarded it as historical, not allegorical.
Furthermore, He quoted in the same context from both of the first two chapters of Genesis.

He said, "Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female
[quoting Genesis 1:27], And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" [Quoting Genesis 2:23, 24]

It seems as though the Lord Jesus was not aware of the results of modern critical analysis,
which has assured us that these two chapters "contradict" each other.
Those modern theologians (and there are many of them, even in certain "evangelical" circles)
who regard these accounts as contradictory, and who regard Adam and Eve has merely allegorical,
are thus in rebellion against these inspired testimonies of the apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus.|This is not a light matter.


Genesis 2:25, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."


This was the first marriage consummated and the first home established.
Adam and Eve were truly "one flesh," each complementing the nature of the other,
physically, mentally, and spiritually.Before the entrance of sin into this ideal family,
the Scripture says that they were naked, but "were not ashamed."
Of course, they were alone with no other people before whom to be embarrassed,
and their physiological differences had been divinely created in accordance with God's purposes,
so they felt perfectly natural with each other.

Any sense of shame or embarrassment would have been entirely unnatural under the circumstances.
Even more importantly, they were still innocent, with no consciousness of sin or moral guilt.
God had commanded them to "be fruitful and multiply," so there was no reason for their physical union
in marriage to bring guilt feelings.
However, later the sin of rebellion against God's word did bring an awareness that the springs of human life
had been poisoned, not only in themselves but also in the lives of all their future progeny.
This consciousness soon made them painfully aware of their reproductive organs
and they were then "ashamed."

However that was a later development.In the beginning there was no sin and therefore no shame.

This concludes chapter 2

 

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