Genesis Chapter 2– John Karmelich
1. Jesus said at Sermon on the Mount “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
a) So, any questions so far? J
b) Genesis Chapter 2 is about God’s perfection.
c) It starts with the more details about “Day 6” of creation and ends with the first marriage.
d) It is about the ideal that God wants between a man and a women.
e) It is about the ideal world that existed prior to sin.
f) In Chapter 3 we have the downfall of man.
g) Here in Chapter 2, we have the “ideal” that God first created for man.
i) It may give us clues what life is like in heaven.
ii) More importantly, it teaches us about God’s love and plan for our lives.
h) One can also see God in the background saying to Adam, “See how much I love you. I created this ideal world for you. I created Eve as a helper for you. Go have fun. J”
i) The purpose of life is to live For God. This is the world God created for Adam and Eve.
j) We’ll deal with the rebellion in the next lesson. Today, we’ll focus on the ideal.
k) With that, I’m keeping my intro real short because I have a lot of ground to cover.
2. Chapter 2, Verse 1 Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 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.
a) In a “sense”, we are still working on Chapter 1.
b) The chapter breaks were not added until the 12th Century, AD. If I was in charge, the correct chapter break would be at Verse 4. I’m not, so here we are at “Verse 1”.
c) Chapter 2, Verses 1-3 continue the creation-story as told in Chapter 1.
d) Verses 1-3 focus on the 7th day, which is the day God stopped creating.
e) In Verse 1, it says that God had “finished” the work he has been doing.
i) In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, ““My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” (John 5:17, NIV). Is that a contradiction?
ii) No, and this is a another reason why I believe in a literal 7-day creation. If you are Christian, and believe that the seven days represent seven era’s-of-time and we’re still in the 3rd day, you are contradicting Jesus!
iii) In fairness, you can interpret this to mean that God stopped creating the universe and set it in motion in the six days of creation. This view is that after the 6th day, everything else “worked by itself”.
a) Personally, I can’t see it that way. It is too contradictory to the all of the “creation” of new people through God.
b) If everything is “working by itself” after six days, how do you explain the flood? How do you explain anyone being resurrected unless God is still somehow “working”?
f) Remember the purpose of the 6-days of work and 1 day of God resting was to give us a model of resting on the 7th day. God could have made the world in six seconds or six minutes. God “took his time” and worked over a six day period as a model for how we are too work.
does not need rest in the same way we need rest. God did not plop on the couch on the 7th day and sleep
in. J God is perfect and therefore has no need of anything.
I simply see the 7th day as a literal 24 period where no creation took place.
3. Verse 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.
a) There is a word used in the King James and other translations called “sanctified”. The NIV translation says “made it holy”. The idea is to “set it apart”.
i) Suppose you had 6 chairs around a dinning room table. You took one of those chairs and said, “This chair is only for my wife Nancy. No one else may use it and there are no exceptions.” You just “sanctified” that chair for Nancy.
b) The idea behind making the 7th day special is to take one day out of seven and stop whatever you “normally” do.
c) God designed it this way for our happiness. It is one of the 10 commandments.
d) On to the classical question: What does this mean for the Christian believer? Does the Christian have to stop whatever they are doing on the “Sabbath?”
i) First, let’s clear up the word “Sabbath”. It is Hebrew for “rest” and has nothing to do with the word Saturday. On our modern calendar, for close to a few thousand years, “Sunday” is the first day of the week, so therefore, Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturdays. That is it.
ii) As to the Christian, first of all, the Sabbath-rest requirement was formally fulfilled in Jesus. Here are a couple of support-text’s for that idea.
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish
the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill
(Matthew 5:17, NIV)
b) There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11, NIV)
c) “Entering the rest” is about trusting in Jesus for your salvation.
iii) Given that Jesus fulfills the role of our “Sabbath rest”, what are we suppose to do on Sundays? J
a) Here is where good Christians differ. I take the view that if you are grateful for what Jesus did for you, you then want to obey his commandments. The Sabbath rest is there for our happiness. God does not want a stressed out believer. We can’t be good witnesses for Jesus if we are stressed-out workaholics! Yes the dishes still can and need to be washed on Sundays. The focus is on one’s occupation. Work six days (or less) and rest on the seventh day.
b) As far as formal Christian worship and the Sabbath, Paul said it best: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord… If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. (Romans 14:5-8a, NIV)
4. Verse 4: This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
a) Now we start the “real” Chapter 2. J
b) Most of Chapter 2 focuses on the events that take place during the 6th day of creation. It is a “commentary” of further details of Chapter 1.
c) The word translated “account” is better translated “generations”.
d) It is as if Moses is saying “This is a genealogy of the world from God, through Adam and Eve. This section ends right before the Noah story in Chapter 6.
e) Some suspect Adam wrote this section himself and the story was somehow saved and passed on to Moses. Either that, or it was divinely written by God directly to Moses exactly as it happened. I lean toward the “Adam” theory, and I’ll explain why in a few verses. The truth is we don’t know for sure..
5. Verse 4 (cont.) When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-- 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, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground—
a) We are now back to “Day 1” of the creation. This story focuses on “Day 6”, but this introduction focuses on Day 1.
b) The main point of this introduction is that “When Adam came around, there was no rain.”
i) One of Noah’s problems was to explain to people what “rain” and “storms” were.
c) Remember that there were waters “above the earth and below the earth” (Genesis 1:20).
i) This means that above the atmosphere later there was a water (or ice) layer.
ii) This gave the world a “hot-house” effect where the whole world had tropical weather. In order for rain to happen, there has to be inconsistent weather from one location to another so that clouds move.
iii) These verses are saying that prior to the prior to the flood all the agriculture was water-feed by a mist-system that came from the water stored beneath the earth.
d) Before we move on, Notice in Verse 5, the expression “The LORD God”.
i) This is the first time the word “LORD” appears. The transliteration of the Hebrew is where we get “JWTH” or “Je-Hov-Ah”.
ii) This is where the bad-theory comes in that different people wrote different parts of Genesis. This is nonsense! First of all, Jesus claims Moses wrote the first five books of the bible. Second, why can’t an author use different titles for God to express different actions by God?
a) Genesis Chapter 1 focuses on God’s creation. Therefore the other word for God “El-o-heem” is used. This title represents God in his majestic power.
b) Genesis Chapter 2 and 3 focus on God’s relationship with Adam and Eve. The title “Jehovah” can be translated “I am” or “The Becoming One”.
(1) The idea is of God revealing himself to mankind.
6. Verse 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.
a) The NIV translation uses a hyphen at the beginning of this sentence. It is as if to say Verse 7 connects with the previous thought, but it is also a new idea.
i) I say this because some people see Chapter 2 and say the 7th day is an “era of time” covering the creation of the heaven and earth and then man.
ii) Remember in Chapter 1, the earth was made on Day 1 and man on Day 6.
iii) The solution is to treat Verse 7 as the beginning of a discussion of Day 6 with more details. To paraphrase this section, “Here are more things that happened on Day 6, but first let me give you a relevant introduction in Verses 4-6.”
b) God is describing how he created man on Day 6. The big question to ask is why did God choose this method?
i) Let’s face it, God could have made man “out of thin air” and he existed.
ii) Instead, God goes to the trouble of telling us that he made man out of the dust of the ground and “breathed” life into him.
iii) First of all, God does not have a mouth. It is not as if God the Father performed “mouth to nose” recitation on Adam in order to get him to breathe. J
iv) The Hebrew word for “breath” is the same word used for “Spirit”.
a) It is the introduction of God giving a “spiritual nature” to man.
b) I said in the last lesson how only humans have a need to worship something. This is the introduction of man having that need.
c) God created us with a need to worship him.
v) The next thing I wondered about is “why the nose?” Why not his mouth?
a) This is more proof I spend way too much time thinking about this stuff! J
b) I did a search of the word “nose” in the bible, and the best I can tell is God mostly associates nostrils with breathing and smelling and the mouth with eating and speaking.
c) I don’t know, maybe God wanted Adam to “save his first kiss for Eve”. J
c) It is also interesting that the six elements that make up the dust of the ground is the same six elements that make up the human body. It is almost as if God took the molecules out of the dust and rearranged them to form a human being.
d) On a simpler level, I believe God choose this method of creation simply to remind us that are bodies are going to return to dust one day.
i) The spiritual aspect is “something special”. The soul is what lives forever.
ii) One of the classical debates in Christianity is over the “body resurrection”.
a) Does God resurrect our physical bodies that we have here on earth?
b) I personally lean toward the idea that we have a new body in heaven, one that can withstand whatever heaven is going to be like, just like the bodies made for us on earth are designed to fit into this atmosphere.
c) Others argue for a literal resurrection, and our new bodies are “transformations” of the old bodies.
d) I don’t know how God will work it out. That is his problem. J
e) I liked the computer analogy: A computer CD has the same weight whether or not it is blank or full of music or software. The “real you” is like the music software that gets “transferred” to a new body when it is resurrected. The physical CD decays into the ground.
iii) Let’s get back to the idea of “dust we are from, dust we shall return”.
a) It is that reminder that life is special and God wants us to make the best of it. True happiness comes when you live your life to please God and do his will as opposed to your own.
e) Based on this verse, I also take the view that Adam was “born” as a full adult.
i) Whether or not he had a belly button is still a mystery! J
ii) God needed a full adult who could walk and survive on his own.
It sort of answers the famous “chicken and egg” dilemma
of who came first.
It looks like the “chicken wins” as Adam was created as a full being.
7. Verse 8: Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
a) Notice that Eden is not the name of garden, just the location where the Garden was located.
b) Here is an interesting detail. Notice the word “planted” is past tense.
i) It is true in the original Hebrew as well.
ii) This means that Adam wrote this as if it was past tense.
iii) It probably means that Adam wrote this section (or Moses wrote it from Adam’s perspective) from a time-frame after Adam & Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden for eating the wrong fruit.
iv) Based on Verse 8 and a few of the upcoming verses, I suspect Adam traveled around the area and did some exploring. He named the area where the Garden was located “Eden”.
c) I am fascinated by the word “east” in Verse 8. My first thought was “East of what?” J
i) My answer is speculation. With that said, here is something to consider.
a) I believe Adam wrote this past tense. He will be banished from Eden.
b) Ezekiel teaches that when the Messiah comes, it will be from the “East”.
(1) Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, 2and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east” (Eze. 43:1-2a, NIV)
c) I think what we have here in Genesis 2 is a “word picture” of looking toward the East for a coming Messiah.
d) Just as Adam, in his banished state, looked to the “East” where Eden was as the place of his fellowship with God, so the Christian looks “to the East” for the Second Coming of Christ.
e) Again, its just my weird theory. Take it if you like. J
ii) Another view is that wherever Adam was originally located, God moved him eastward to the Garden of Eden. Whatever else that could mean, we don’t know.
8. Verse 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.
a) Ok, the plot thickens. J
b) All we know about the Garden of Eden is that:
i) 1) God made it. (Verse 8)
ii) 2) There is this “tree of life” in the Garden. (Verse 9)
iii) 3) There is this “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. (Verse 9)
iv) 4) Adam was in charge of taking care of this garden. (Verse 15)
c) Let’s talk about these two trees. First, let’s discuss the “tree of life”.
i) This same tree appears again in Revelation:
a) “I (Jesus) will give the right (speaking to the saved) to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 NIV)
(1) This verse indicates that when we are resurrected, somehow we will see this tree ourselves.
b) “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2, NIV)
(1) When we get to heaven, there will be (at least) two of these trees.
(2) It bears 12 fruits, one per month. That is pretty impressive. J
(3) Eating this fruit will “heal” us. What that means is uncertain.
c) The other two references to this tree in Revelation (22:14 and 22:19) both have to do with blessings for those who are saved. We don’t get a lot of details from these other verses other than the promise we get to partake of the fruit of these trees when we get there
ii) In summary, the tree appears to be a word-picture of our eternal life, or at least, life during the 1,000 year future-millennium (See Revelation 20).
iii) So, do we have a literal tree in view in Genesis and Revelation?
a) I believe so. I believe “if the plain text makes perfect sense, seek no other sense”. If we make metaphoric analogies of these trees, we can do that with every other “thing” in the bible and never take anything literally. Therefore, if it says it is a tree, and the bible says it is not a metaphor, it is pretty much a tree. J
d) Now lets get to the bad tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
i) We’ll discuss this more in the lesson on Chapter 3.
ii) I do believe it was a literal tree. Whatever fruit was eaten from this tree, it was somehow “toxic” and man became no longer a perfect being.
iii) At this point, I just want to talk about why the tree was there:
a) God wants us to love him out of free will. He didn’t create us as robots who are programmed to love Him. If we have free will, we must have a choice. That choice must be enticing or else we wouldn’t freely pick God.
b) In many ways, the remainder of the bible is all about “Adam making the wrong choice”.
(1) It is about the remedy for Adam’s decision which is Jesus.
(2) It is also about why Adam made that choice and why it was better if he didn’t choose it in the first place.
iv) In a sense, this tree does not “sound bad”. After all, does not want us to discern what is good and evil? That type of question misses the point.
a) What this tree represents is the concept of doing God’s will. God gave the order not to eat of this tree. It would be like me saying “That bottle is full of poison and it will kill you. You have the free will to drink of it, but the day you do, you will die.”
b) With Adam and Eve eating of that tree, they willfully choose to disobey God. It became a “generic character trait” that is passed on.
(1) I do believe to “sin” is generic. Ask yourself, do you have to teach a child how to lie, or does he or she do it instinctively?
(2) On a related topic, I do believe all young children go to heaven. There is some age of “accountability” before God.
c) As to God and evil, look at what Paul said: “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:21-23 NKJV).
(1) Paul seems to be describing the “good and evil” within Him.
(2) In a sense, Paul is describing the “generic trait” passed on from Adam. It is the “knowledge of good” in that we instinctively know what is right and to seek God and the “knowledge of evil” in that we willfully choose to disobey God’s laws.
Verse 10: A river watering the garden
flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is
the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is
good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 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.
a) Adam (through Moses) is describing 4 rivers flowing from Eden.
b) Notice the word “flowed” is in past tense. It is almost as if it was written “Post-Flood”.
i) It does not say “it is still flowing, it says “it flowed”.
c) I personally get the impression that Adam did some exploring after he was banished.
i) Notice that all the things Adam discovered along the rivers were beautiful to behold: 1) gold, 2) aromatic (sweet-smelling) resin (a gum), 3) onyx (jewel) stones.
ii) It is almost as if God is telling Adam, “Yes you are banished from the Garden. But I still love you and care for you, and will still find beautiful things out there.
d) Remember is that these 4 rivers are all “pre-flood”. They were all destroyed.
e) The first two no longer exist. There are some strange commentaries claiming to know their location. Personally I believe they are gone. They are written to tell us that Adam did some exploring and of the “finds” he found when he traveled along them.
f) The last two are the Tigris and the Euphrates.
i) (Technically, the Hebrew word is not “Tigris”, but its an acceptable translation.)
ii) Remember that Noah lived before and after the flood. There is the possibility that Noah renamed the “modern” Tigris and Euphrates after these two ancient rivers because they “resembled” the originals or ran near the original courses.
iii) There is also the possibility that the “new” rivers ran along the same bank streams or similar bank streams. It is also a possibility. The truth is we don’t know.
g) Another interesting thing to contemplate is that Adam didn’t comment on the Euphrates.
i) Did he never explore this river?
ii) Did he simply not find anything good to say about it?
iii) Did he assume the reader of his writings knew about the Euphrates, so there was nothing good to say. The Euphrates does lead to Babylon, which the bible has a few negative things to say about it. J Maybe it was God’s “back-handed insult” at Babylon. Again, we don’t know. It is just things to consider.
10. Verse 15: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
a) Notice that we are not working in perfect-time sequence here.
i) We are now back to the point in time where God first put Adam in the Garden.
ii) At this point in time, Eve had not been created yet.
b) Notice that Adam was told to go “work” in the garden and take care of it.
i) It does not bluntly say that God told Adam directly to do this, just a matter of fact.
ii) “Why” Adam was told to do this is a matter of speculation.
a) Maybe man was “born” with the sense of work, in that he needs to do something, not just take vacations and explore the four rivers. J
iii) Based on the story, maybe God just wanted Adam to be aware of all the different trees in the Garden. Being obedient to God means doing all the things God wants for us. There is the “good” and “bad” tree in the Garden. Does this mean Adam had to prune both of them as well as the others? Remember there was no rain as of yet, so “tending” the garden may simply mean pruning or mowing the lawn. J Again the details are just speculation.
11. Verse 16: And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 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."
a) Here is the first direct spoken words of God to Adam.
i) In summary, “eat the fruit of any tree you want, except that one.”
ii) Imagine saying to someone, “Here is your new car (or whatever). It has lots of fancy buttons and gadgets. It is yours for free. You can push any button you want and drive it how you wish, except this one button. The day you push it, the car and you will die.
iii) The problem is God created man with a sense of curiosity.
iv) It is our nature to find out “why” we can’t push that one button or eat of that tree.
v) Even at the point of willfully disobeying God.
b) Remember that God is perfect. A perfect God knows all things and a perfect God knew in advance that Adam was going to disobey him. This doesn’t excuse what Adam and Eve did, it simply means that God knew in advance what would happen.
i) The same applies to you and me. When we sin, God is not shocked. He knew before you were born of every sin you were going to commit. In fact, God called you to be born-again with full knowledge in advance of all the sins you were going to commit in the future. Like Adam, it doesn’t excuse it. It simply means you need to confess it, ask God to forgive you and help you to turn from that sin.
ii) Notice Verse 17 says, “When you eat it, you will surely die”.
iii) It is as if God knew in advance Adam was going to fail.
c) Again, remember it was necessary that “something” be in the Garden as an alternative choice to God. If we have no tempting choice as an alternative to God, how can God ever know if we love Him as a free choice?
d) I do believe this was a literal tree, but it also represents a wonderful word-picture.
i) The tree represents choosing something God specifically told you not to do.
ii) It has visual appeal. The temptation is always there to eat from it.
iii) Remember Adam had to work this garden, so I suspect he was always around it.
12. Verse 18: The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
a) In Verse 18, we change topics.
b) In the previous verse, God told Adam to “go to work” and basically to obey God by doing what he commands us to do.
c) Now in Verse 18, we understand that man (male) alone, is incomplete.
d) The key line is “it is not good for the man to be alone”.
i) God created men and women with a need for one another.
ii) Some people can suppress or ignore that need, but God desired this as the ideal.
e) Verse 18 begins a series of verses that institutes the idea of one man, one woman marriage. God designed this in the beginning as the ideal state for mankind.
f) The methodology of making woman is covered in the rest of Chapter 2.
g) All the verses in the remainder of the chapter are about the formation of marriage.
next set of verses leave a lot of unanswered questions. The key to reading
Verses 18-25 is to comprehend Verse 24. Let’s jump ahead:
i) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, NIV)
ii) The key word is “reason”. This whole section about finding a “helper” for Adam and the creation of Eve is all about the reason of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.
the next few pages I’m going to give some other interpretations and
speculations about this verses. I’ll
try to throw in some bad jokes as well.
But the main thing to get out of this section is that it is all about the institution of marriage. That is the purpose (“reason”) for these verses.
i) Now lets look at the next sentence of Verse 18: “I will make a helper suitable for him.”
i) The first key word is “helper”. God designed woman to be a helper to a man. The ideal marriage is one where the man and women are working together as a team, with the men called to be the leaders.
a) The great mistake of the “feminism” movement a generation ago was not to say that women are equal with men. There is nothing wrong with that. The mistake was the saying that, “you don’t need men to be happy”. Unfortunately many women bought into that lie. I have met women in their 40’s and 50’s who believed that at one time, now they are older, never married and realize the emptiness of that promise by the feminists.
ii) Adam was made first, and then Eve.
I need to tell a bad taste-joke here that helps to
illustrate my next point. There
recently was a popular television show called “Seinfield”. In one episode the character George
meets a women who admits she is a lesbian. George asks her out of genuine curiosity, “You know I’ve always wondered this…When you slow dance with your partner, who leads? Do you pre-determine that ahead of time? I’m just curious.”
i) That story illustrates the point that somebody, either male or female has to lead.
ii) It doesn’t mean that men are superior to women, or vice-versa. It simply means that God designed men to be the leaders and women to be helpers.
iii) Remember the topic here is marriage. God wants men to be the leaders in the home. God wants men to be the spiritual leaders in the family. God also holds men responsible for this leadership.
iv) Let’s give some practical examples. It should be the husband, not the wife motivating the family to go to church. It should be the husband, not the wife to encourage prayer. The husband should pray daily for his family. The wife and children need to know that the father is a man of God want to follow his lead.
v) Now let’s hit the exceptions. You are not going to hell if you are divorced. Never does the New Testament condemn divorce as a sin. It is not encouraged, but several places Paul lists a number of sins where if people continue in those sins, they won’t be in heaven. Divorce is never on those lists. Remember the first Gentile women Jesus witnessed to is a women who is divorced with a bunch of failed marriages. (John Chapter 4)
a) In cases where the a Christian women is married to a non-believer, God encourages the women to be a good Christian witness to her husband and in those cases, “take the spiritual lead”. Further, she should not divorce him simply because he is an unbeliever. (See 1st Corinthians 7:13).
k) Last thing and then we can move on. Remember the topic here is marriage.
i) We are not talking about occupation, or praying to God on your own or a thousand other topics not related to marriage.
ii) God is designing the ideal relationship. We as believers can still have a relationship with God outside of marriage.
iii) God uses marriage as a model for how he wants a relationship to be.
iv) A successful marriage requires compromise and constant giving of yourself in order to make your partner happy. It requires putting your spouses needs above your own.
v) The best marriages I have seen are those that are God-centered. Marriages that have couples that pray together and study the bible together have the lowest divorce rates. In a sense, marriage is a “trinity” between God, man and woman. There is obviously a lot more to a good marriage, but this is the foundation.
vi) Remember that Genesis is a book of “beginnings”. It lays the foundation for everything else there is to learn in life. The foundation of the ideal relationship between man and woman is to understand the pecking order. It begins with God and then man and then woman. Again, it is not about man being superior, it is about who leads and who makes final decisions.
vii) Men, if you want your wife to be more submissive to you, the answer is not to tell them that, but for you to be more submissive to God’s will. If your wife sees you being submissive to God’s will and loving your wife as much as Christ loves the church. This is a command for men!, see Eph. 5:25.
l) Ooh boy, two pages on one verse. I got on a roll and got carried away. J
13. Verse 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. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field
a) Remember the big-topic here is marriage.
b) Before God created Eve, God needed to show Adam all the alternatives. J
c) Adam, like most men are fairly dense and God had to “spell it out for him” that all the other animals were male and female and he was just a male. J
i) Therefore, God had all the animals “parade” in front of Adam.
ii) The point was to show Adam that all the animals were male and female.
d) Commentators have a field day explaining the “how” of these verses.
i) They ponder “how” did Adam name all of these animals in one day?
ii) Remember that Adam and Eve were both made on “Day 6” in Genesis Chapter 1.
iii) Those that argue that each of the 6 days represent a long era of time like to point out that it would be “impossible” for Adam to name all the animals in 24 hours.
iv) Henry Morris in his commentary on Genesis says that there are about 3,000 known species and if Adam came up with one name every six seconds, he could do the whole thing in about five hours.
a) Personally, I don’t see 3,000 categories. If you read through all the names of birds and animals in the bible, you don’t see 3,000. Adam just may have named the ones listed in the bible. You could accomplish that pretty quick.
v) I think these verses help us to understand that Adam was intelligent.
vi) Those who don’t take the bible seriously think that Adam was some sort of primitive being who wasn’t as intelligent as today’s men. I disagree. I think God gave Adam a brain like ours and the capacity to learn a language.
“Mark Twain had a joke where he described Adam coming
home to Eve after naming all the animals. Eve looked at an elephant and said,
"What did you name that big animal?" Adam replied, "I called it
an elephant." Eve asked, "Why did you call it an elephant?" Adam
answered, "Because it looked like an elephant!"
(Source: David Guzik’s commentary on Genesis Chapter 2)
14. Verse 20 (2nd Sentence): But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
a) I think this is the point where Adam realized that all the other animals were in male and female form, and that he needed one of those “females”.
b) Although it is difficult to prove from the Scriptures, I don’t think God created Eve until Adam realized he had a need for her.
c) Our American culture is unique in history in that most cultures, marriages were arranged.
i) In our culture, men and women are free to choose their own wives.
d) A lot of men I’ve met didn’t get married until they realized they have a need for marriage. It isn’t a matter of waiting for the right person to come around as much as God is waiting for the guy to change to be prepared for marriage. I find a big mistake single-adults make, especially men, is to spend too much time looking for the right women and not enough time preparing themselves to be the type of husband God wants you to be. Both “looking” and “preparing” are necessary. It is a matter of balance.
15. Verse 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. 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.
a) In Verses 21-22, we have the first surgery performed in the bible.
b) The question to ask yourself is not “how”, but “why”. Why did God choose this method to create Eve?
i) There are good scientific reports out there that discuss how the DNA molecule is found in the bone and that is how God can use bone marrow to make a women. This study not one of those reports. J I’m more interested in “why” than “how”.
ii) God could have given Adam a “local anesthetic” and kept him awake during the operation. J
iii) God could have created Eve “out of the ground” like Adam.
iv) Why the rib? Why not a sperm cell, or part of the brain for that matter?
c) Let’s start with the “sleep”.
the New Testament, the word “sleep” is used as a metaphor for those who have
died and are saved. It is to
distinguish those who have died and are not saved.
If you are not saved, you have really died on a permanent basis.
ii) In a sense, I think Adam “died” when he slept. To become married, is to become part of something bigger than yourself. The old single Adam “died” in this passage in the “New Testament sense of dying”. It is the concept that he is no longer one, or just one-with-God, but a new creature, part of a union with a man.
iii) If you think I’m going to far with this, remember the key verse is 24. It ends with “they will become one flesh”.
d) Next, let’s talk about the “rib”.
i) The Hebrew word translated “rib”, can also be translated “guts” or a section around the heart. The rib cage is used to protect the vital organs, primarily the heart. One can see the word-picture of God taking what is vital as protection and using that to create woman.
ii) Some make a big deal how women have one more rib than men. It may be because of this “rib surgery” or it may not be. If you accidentally cut off your finger, does that mean your children will be born with that missing finger? Of course not! I just want you to consider the idea that men having one less rib than a women may or may not be because of this surgery. Maybe God designed males with one less rib to remind us of the Eve creation story.
iii) I believe the word-picture being shown here is that God picked a part of the body “closest to our hearts” to create women. There is a classical Jewish expression that goes something like, “God did not create women from man’s feet that we should stomp on them, or out of man’s head that we rule over them, but from the area nearest to the heart so that we can become “one” with them.
16. Verse 23: 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."
a) To put it mildly, Adam was impressed with the creation of woman. J
b) I think he “high-fived” God here and thanked God for the blessing of giving him his wife.
c) The application to us guys is that we need to be grateful to God for the blessings that God has given us through our wives. Our wives, in good days and bad days are part of us. Just as we appreciate our own bodies, we need to appreciate the gift that God has given us males through prayer and worship.
d) Remember I said, that the word translated “rib” actually refers to “guts” or flesh area around the rib as well as the rib itself. Adam referred to Eve as “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
e) In most cultures, the word for “woman” is a derivate of the word for “man”, just like it is in English. The word for “man” literally can be translated “dust”. It would be as if Adam’s name in English would be “Dusty”. The word for “woman” can be translated “From Man” or maybe, “From Dusty”.
i) The name “Eve” doesn’t come until Chapter 3. More on that in the next lesson.
17. Verse 24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
a) Both Jesus and Paul quote this verse and consider it Scripture (Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31).
b) The King James uses the word “cleave” instead of “united” to his wife. It is good in that the two verbs rhyme. Man must “leave and cleave”. A man must “leave” his parents and “cleave” to his wife.
c) Remember that one of the 10 commandments is to “honor your mother and father” (Exodus 20:12). Therefore, to “leave” your parents does not mean to ignore them forever, but when you are married, you are no longer “part” of your parents. Decisions no longer require the permission and leadership of the parents, but is now made by the husband and wives.
i) Martial problems often come when one or both spouses are still dependant upon their parents for decisions in their lives. It has to do with leaving.
talk a little about Jesus’ and Paul’s quote of this verse. Let’s take Jesus first.
He should get priority anyway. J
i) Jesus quoted this verse in response to some Pharisees questioning him on the topic of divorce. The Old Testament Law does permit divorce in some cases. The debate-of-the-day was how “serious” does the problems have to be allow divorce?
ii) Jesus response was to remind the Jewish leaders that first comes the ideal that God wants and that is marriage. God also knew of the “hardness of our hearts”, (i.e., willfulness to sin) and permitted divorce in cases of adultery. Jesus is reminding them that if both partners are seeking “the ideal”, then divorce should not happen.
iii) Let’s face it, if you are obeying God then you want to “love your spouse as Christ loved the church”. That is not exactly motivation for adultery!
iv) Do Christian couples have problems getting along? Of course. Men and women have different needs. That is why a God-centered marriage is essential. Even with God, men and women need to stay God-centered so God can work through us to give us the power to put each other first and our own needs second.
e) Let’s talk about Paul’s use of this sentence in Ephesians 5:25.
i) Paul compared the ideal marriage to Christ’s relationship with the church.
ii) In a sense, what Paul is talking about is not much different that what Jesus is talking about. The ideal relationship in marriage requires both partners to give of each other. Christ gave his all (“died”) for the sake of the church. We as believers “die to ourselves” for the sake of the church.
a) Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, NIV)
b) The idea is to die to oneself for the sake of serving God.
c) It is to put God’s needs in front of ours. God’s “needs” is for us to be obedient to what he commands us to do. That is why we pray and study our bible to learn what God commands of us.
d) That same ideal of us giving of ourselves to God works through marriage.
iii) I happen to have two daughters. My prayer for them is to find husbands who love God more than their husbands love them. If they love God that way, then they will love my daughters with all of their heart, soul and mind, because that is what God command them to do. If they love God that way, then those men will become “one flesh” with my daughters.
18. Verse 25: The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
a) I don’t believe the focus of this verse is to encourage nudist colonies. J
b) This verse ties back to my introduction: How the purpose of “Chapter 2” is to show the ideal state of man and women. Further, God placed them in the ideal world.
i) It is in Chapter 3 where they “blew it”.
ii) Before we can get to the mistakes of Chapter 3, we need to see the love God had for mankind (through Adam and Eve) in Chapter 2. God knew they were going to fail, but God still created all of this for them and for our learning.
c) Which leads us back to Verse 25.
i) “Shame” comes from knowing you did something wrong.
ii) To live sinless is not have any shame of any conviction of guilt.
iii) None of us, can fully relate to Adam in that state as we are born with the “sin gene” as part of our nature. What we read about in Chapter 2 is life prior to the sin-nature being part of our moral-fiber.
d) As to the “physical” nature of Adam and Eve, bible commentators have all sorts of theories. The truth is we don’t know what they looked like prior to sin.
i) There are some who theorize that Adam and Eve were “clothed with light” prior to the fall. Again, it is all speculation.
19. OK, I’ve said enough for one week. If you want a quick summary thought, and see the big-picture, again, the key verses are the “marriage” verses. God created all of this for our happiness. The whole chapter is all about God creating the ideal setting and the ideal life for mankind. Yes Adam and Eve “blow the deal” in Chapter 3. Even with that, there are still some wonderful lessons here as to what God desires for us for our own happiness.
20. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, Thank you for these lessons about the creation of Adam and Eve. Help us who are married to have good balance in our lives and minister to our spouses needs. For those who are single, pray that God changes us to prepare us for marriage and mature so that we are prepared for what you desire for us. Help us to live God-centered lives as to please you and have better marriages. For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.