Monday 10 September 2012

Read with me: Genesis 2:4-2:25

Just a disclaimer for those following this series and coming for our first BibleCentral session on 6 October:

     The talk will only last 30 minutes
     Meaning: we will not be going through Genesis verse-by-verse
     These notes are quick thoughts and reflections as I read through the text and prepare
     I would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Email me at hello[at]

Notes on Genesis 2:4-2:25 (Click here to read the previous entry)

[2:4] “These are the generations...” Toledoh, here translated “generations”, is where we get the word “Genesis,” and functions as bookmarks throughout the book, introducing a new chapter.

[2:5] “There was no man to work the ground...” The ground (or land) needs a man to work it (or serve). Work = worship (Hebrew: Abad, meaning serve).

[2:8] “And he LORD God planted a garden in Eden...” After the epic creation account in Chapter 1, Genesis introduces God as a gardener who plants a garden. He is a working God and gardening is good, humble, lowly work. (This Sunday we looked at Isaiah 5:1-7, where God is again the gardener who digs, clears, and plants.) All work is good and godly work - especially hard work!

[2:9] “Every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” God’s goodness seen in his creation - beauty, abundance, blessing, provision.

[2:10] “A river flowed out of Eden...” God’s blessing overflows to the surrounding nations. The first two rivers, “Pishon” (To break out) and “Gihon” (To burst) illustrate how Eden cannot contain the blessing that God lavishes on it.

[2:15] “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and keep it... You may surely eat of every tree.” God provides for the man through his work. 2 Thess 3:10 - “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”

[2:17] “But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat...” Similar to the phrasing in the Ten Commandments - “Thou shall not...” (Literally, “No eating...”) God gives Adam his word - his law. Note: it’s not an apple tree. It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

[2:17] “You shall surely die...” Literally, you will die... DIE. In Hebrew, repetition is a form of emphasis - this will definitely happen. “The day you eat of it...” There will be no delay. Looking ahead, notice how after the fall, Adam does not die (he lives to 930 years, has kids - 5:5). The death that he dies, that God warns him of - this dying die - is more significant that physical death.

[2:18] “It is not good...” For the first time in Genesis, God looks upon something in his creation and sees something lacking. The man should not be alone. “I will make a helper fit for him.” God himself is described a helper in the bible (Ezer - 1 Sam 7:12), and does not denote a lower status. Rather it implies that the man cannot do the job by himself - he needs help. A helper is not a secretary.

[2:19] “God formed every beast... and brought them to the man to see what he would call them... that was its name.” Previously in Chapter 1, God names the Sky, Sea, Land, Sun, Moon - now the man names the animals, symbolising ownership and authority.

[2:20] “But for Adam...” The Hebrew word for “man” is Adam. The same word is used interchangeably throughout Genesis 2 to 5.

[2:20] “there not found a helper fit for him.” None of the animals and creatures were suitable as his companion and help.

[2:22] “The LORD God … made the woman and brought her to the man.” The creation of the woman becomes the setting for the first marriage. She is not created from the ground as Adam and the other creatures - meaning, God did not create a second man. The women is created from the man’s flesh and is part of the same humanity. Adam names the woman, again an act which symbolises headship and authority.

[2:24] “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” God sees the man and the woman in marriage as one. Not two individuals but one relationship. Echad is the same word God uses to describe himself in the Shema, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Oneness here, denotes completeness and wholeness. The relationship of marriage takes priority over others: the man shall leave his father and mother in order to cleave to his wife - Dabaq means stick.

[2:25] “Naked and not ashamed.” Openness with one another without shame. This was God’s intention before the fall, in his creation, in the relationship between the man and the woman. They were completely exposed before God and one another with nothing to hide. Things change drastically in the next chapter!

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