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Genesis 2

Creation Details
1And so the creation of the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. # 2:1 The seven days of creation hint at the seven stages through which one passes to become fully mature in Christ, complete in his image. Once, when we lived our sinful, empty lives in spiritual darkness (see Eph. 2:1–3), the Holy Spirit brooded over our souls to draw us to salvation (see John 6:44). Then God spoke his Word of power, cascading revelation-light into our being (see 2 Cor. 4:6), our Savior, Jesus the Word, the Light of salvation (see John 8:12). Finally, we will cease from our own striving and enter into the Sabbath rest of completion and maturity (see Heb. 4:11). 2By the seventh day, # 2:2 The Hebrew word for “day” is yom and can be translated in English into over fifty different words, such as “a twenty-four-hour day,” “today,” “time,” “forever,” “continually,” “age,” “life,” “season,” “perpetually,” or “a period of time.” The Hebraic mindset does not necessarily view yom as a twenty-four-hour period. For example, the Scriptures speak frequently of the day of the Lord, which points to a time period of God’s divine activity, not a day with a sunrise and sunset. God had completed creating his masterpiece, so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. 3So God blessed the seventh day and made it sacred, because on it, he paused to rest # 2:3 God was not weary; he simply rejoiced in his masterpiece. God’s work in us, for us, and through us continues through time. God’s last day of creating (the sixth) was man’s first day. As soon as man was created, he rested with God. In this way, he became one with God, dwelling with him and resting in his accomplishments. There is no mention of evening and morning completing the seventh day, for God’s Sabbath rest endures forever and there is no night there. Our true Sabbath rest is found in the finished work of Christ (see Matt. 11:28–30; Col. 2:16–17; Heb. 3:17–4:9; Rev. 21:25). Only one day of Creation was given a name: the seventh day, which was called “Shabbat.” The Hebrew root word for “Sabbath” contains two letters that mean “to return to a seat (rest) and learn.” from all his work of creation.
4This is the account # 2:4 Or “These are the generations [genealogies].” This phrase is used numerous times to begin a new section in the story line of Genesis. of the heavens and the earth after they were created. # 2:4 This is the word bara’, which is used in the Old Testament exclusively for God’s creativity, things that only God can do. However, here the Hebrew letter hei is inserted into the word, which is incorrect grammatically. The letter hei is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is recognized by Jewish sages as the “divine breath of God.” Its occurrence here signifies that it was God’s breath that gave birth to all that was created. See Ps. 33:6.
At the time # 2:4 See footnote on Gen. 2:2 on the Hebrew word yom. Yahweh-God # 2:4 The Hebrew is Yahweh-Elohim, or “the God who is Yahweh,” the God of mercy and power. created earth and heaven, 5there was yet no vegetation, grains of the field, or shrubs sprouting on the earth, for there was no one to cultivate the land, # 2:5 Before the earth could flourish under God’s blessing, there needed to be a man and woman to take dominion. The Lord created them to walk with him and to cultivate a garden. God made the earth to need a human touch. God and man were to work together to subdue, cultivate, and take dominion of the earth. See Ps. 115:16. and Yahweh-God had not yet sent rain. 6In those days a mist # 2:6 Or “vapor” or “subterranean spring.” arose from the soil and watered the whole face of the ground.
7Yahweh-God scooped up a lump of soil, # 2:7 Or “clay” or “dust.” The Hebrew contains an obvious play on words, a paronomasia, for the word for “man” is ’adam, and the Hebrew word for “soil [dust]” is ’adamah. See Job 10:9. Everything else was formed by an act of speech—only man was sculpted by the hands of God (see Isa. 29:16). One day, Jesus picked up some earth, spat on it, and made clay; he touched the eyes of a blind man with it, and the blind man saw (see John 9:6–7). sculpted a man, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. # 2:7 Or “the breath of lives.” To breathe into someone’s nostrils is what happens when two people kiss. God kissed life into Adam. God’s Word likewise is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). Jesus also blew his breath upon his beloved disciples (see John 20:21–22). The lovers of God long for this “Spirit-kiss” (Song. 1:2). See also Ezek. 37:9. Instantly, every portion of Adam’s being was filled with life as Spirit-Wind poured into the man of clay lying in his Creator’s arms. Adam’s first sight was looking into the eyes of the Image-Maker. The dust of earth and the breath of Deity mingled as one, so that Adam could interact in both realms (physical and spiritual). This breath or “Spirit of life” was more than air; it brought intelligence, wisdom, light, and the image of God into Adam (see Job 32:8). The man came alive—a living soul! # 2:7 The Mishnah (a collection of oral law and rabbinical teachings) uses the word mav’eh, a synonym for nephesh (soul), here. Mav’eh is derived from the root ba’ah, a verb that means “to ask,” “to seek,” or “to request [as in prayer].” In other words, the Talmud (an extensive commentary on the Mishnah) defines man as “the creature that prays.” Furthermore, the Talmud teaches that even nephesh, the life-sustaining soul, is synonymous with prayer. A nuanced translation could be “and man was manifested as a praying being [one who could commune with God].” In a sense, being human means moving in the direction of the divine design that God embedded within us. See Ps. 109:4.
8Then Yahweh-God planted # 2:8 The Lord wanted to plant himself in the dust of Adam and become life within him. In Genesis 2, we see the pictures of both a tree planted in a garden and God planted in man. As the tree was to receive nourishment from the soil, so Adam was to draw life and sustenance from his Maker. Life for Adam depended on what he did with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Life for you and me depends on what we do with the tree on which Jesus died. Jesus Christ is now the Tree of Life to us and is accessible to all who come by faith (see John 15:1–8; Heb. 10:19–20; Rev. 2:7; 22:2). a lush garden paradise # 2:8 Man began in a garden, sinned in a garden, and was driven out of a garden (see Gen. 3:23). Then Jesus came. He went into a garden called Gethsemane as the perfect man and tasted the fruits of our suffering and pain (see Matt. 26:39). He was then laid in a garden tomb (see John 19:41) that we might become the garden of his delight (see Song. 6:2–3). God set man not in a factory to toil nor in a school to study, but in a garden—a place where life grows. in the East, # 2:8 That is, east of the land of Israel. in the Land of Delight, # 2:8 Or “Eden,” a homonym that can mean “a plain [steppe],” or “enjoyment,” “bliss,” “pleasure,” or “delight.” A bliss-filled paradise became the home of Adam and Eve. Eden’s very name reveals God’s nature of love and grace. See Song. 4:12–15; 6:2; Isa. 51:3. Eden is the realm of glory and bliss that God wants to unveil to the believer. Ezekiel called it both the “garden of God” and the “mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:13–16). and there he placed the man he had formed. 9Yahweh-God made all kinds of beautiful trees to grow there—fruitful trees to satisfy the taste. In the middle of the garden, # 2:9 Metaphorically, the garden of God is within the believer. In the middle of our “garden,” we are feeding on one of these two trees. See Song. 4:12–15; Jer. 31:12; Joel 2:3; Rom. 8:6; Gal. 5:16–17; Col. 1:26–27. he planted the Tree of Life # 2:9 Or “the Life-Giving Tree.” For the believer, the Tree of Life is Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God. See Ps. 1:3; Prov. 3:18; 13:12 and footnote; Song. 2:3; Jer. 17:8. and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. # 2:9 That is, the Tree that gives the knowledge of good and evil, a possible merism for “the knowledge of everything.” The great need of the human heart is life (relationship), not knowledge. God never intended for man to covet knowledge apart from a relationship with God. In the beginning, God didn’t give Adam a list of commandments but offered him living food to sustain him. Jesus Christ is that Living Tree. He is meant to be the life and sustenance of all whom God has formed (see John 6:57). By eating of the Living Tree, Adam would have shown his daily dependence on God. See John 6:53–54; Rev. 2:7.
10Flowing from the Land of Delight was a river # 2:10 Eden is a preview of the New Jerusalem. See Rev. 22:1–2. to water the garden, and from there, it divided into four branches. # 2:10 Or “four heads [headstreams].” As the one river (God is the one River) flowed out of the garden, it separated into four heads. Four is the number of universality (four winds, four corners of the earth). These rivers refresh and water the whole world. Rivers are frequently used as metaphors for the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives us and the life-giving presence of God. See Ps. 46:4; Ezek. 47:1–12; John 7:37–39; Rev. 22:1–2. The Hebrew word for “river” (nahar) comes from a root word that means “to sparkle” or “to be cheerful.” The River of God will truly make his people sparkle with cheer! 11The first river, Overflowing Increase, # 2:11 Or “Pishon,” which means “overflowing increase,” “to leap forth,” or “to spread out.” encircles the gold-laden land of Havilah. # 2:11 Havilah has a number of possible meanings: “to cause to grow,” “to give birth out of pain,” “a stretch of sandy land,” “mud,” “to twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner,” “to writhe or fall grievously in pain or fear,” “to grieve,” “be sore pained,” “to be sorrowful,” “to tremble,” or “to be wounded.” All of the possible meanings seem to point to our human nature. The overflowing increase of God’s River within us uncovers the gold hidden in the mud. 12The gold of that land is pure, with many pearls and onyx # 2:12 Onyx stones were mounted to the breastplate of the high priest and adorn the gates to the New Jerusalem. See Ex. 25:7; Rev. 21:19–20. found there. # 2:12 The flowing river with its gold and precious stones points to the finding of treasure in the River of God, a beautiful metaphor for the life of Jesus flowing within us. God’s loving generosity provided man with these garden treasures. See 1 Cor. 3:9; Rev. 21:11–21. 13The second river, Gushing, # 2:13 Or “Gihon,” which means “to gush [as a geyser]” or “to give birth.” flows through the entire land of Cush. # 2:13 Cush means “darkened” and refers to Nubia, one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa (present-day Ethiopia). 14The third river, Swift Flowing, # 2:14 Or “Hiddekel” (Tigris), which means “swift [flowing]” or “like a swift arrow in flight.” flows east of Assyria. # 2:14 Or “Asshur,” which comes from the Hebrew word for “successful.” And the fourth is the river Fruitfulness. # 2:14 Or “Euphrates,” which means “fruitfulness.” When we interpret the names of the four rivers together, we read: “The River of God will bring overflowing increase, gush like a geyser, and swiftly bring God’s people to success and fruitfulness.” See John 7:37–39. It was a limitless land of freedom. God gave the entire paradise of Eden to earth’s first pair—a realm of endless pleasure without sin.
15Yahweh-God took # 2:15 The Hebrew word for “took” (laqach) can also mean “to marry” or “take a wife.” the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work # 2:15 Or “serve.” The Hebrew word for “work” (‘abad) can also mean “worship.” Our work is to be of service to God and an act of worship (see Col. 3:23–24). God validates working for him, as Adam did by stewarding and tending the garden. and watch over it. # 2:15 The Hebrew word used here is often translated as “watchman” in the Old Testament. Adam’s role as the watchman over God’s creation was to keep the garden (within him, see Song. 1:6) and watch over it to keep the serpent out. Man’s created role is protector, keeper, and watchman! God wants to redeem what was lost and nurture his sons and daughters, making them into strong “keepers” and “watchmen” over his work on earth. 16And Yahweh-God commanded him, “You may freely eat of every fruit # 2:16 Or “tree.” of the garden. 17But you must not eat of the Tree that gives the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will most certainly die.” # 2:17 Or “dying you will die.” God is neither unkind nor harsh; our tender Father God is gracious and generous to humanity. God alone knows what is good for us. To enjoy the good, we must trust and obey him. He knows that true freedom is in the loving shade of Eden. God knows that if we disobey, we will have decided for ourselves what is good and what is not good. We will have eaten the forbidden fruit and made ourselves our own gods. Death came into the world through Adam’s sin (see 1 Cor. 15:22).
Creation of Adam and Eve
18Then Yahweh-God said, “It is not good # 2:18 Or “pleasant,” “cheerful,” or “beautiful.” God’s loving gifts can be seen in giving man his life-breath, a beautiful place of bliss (Eden) to work in, and now, a life-partner. for the man to be alone. Therefore, I will fashion a suitable partner to be his help and strength.” # 2:18 This is the Hebrew word ‘ezer, a term frequently used for military help and ascribed to God himself fourteen times (e.g., Pss. 33:20; 54:4). It could be translated “strong rescuer.” We would never say that God is inferior to man, nor should we say the woman is inferior to man, for both God and the woman are ‘ezer. God’s choice of the word ‘ezer indicates that a man’s wife is his first line of defense and an equal partner in the journey of life. The ‘ezer is God’s gift to the husband. The wife’s role is more than that of an assistant to the man. She is the dynamic solution to man’s loneliness as one who protects, reveals, and helps. Some see the ancient pictographic rendering of ‘ezer as ‘E (eye) - Z (man) - R (weapon), to mean “the revealer of the enemy.” Both God and Adam wanted a partner. God wanted mankind to till and work the garden, accomplishing God’s purpose for them—to bring forth fruit. But Adam needed a bride, a partner for life who would be able to live and move and have her being in him. So God gave Adam a job and a wife. All of this was to be a picture to Adam of God’s yearning for a forever partner who will not just work alongside of him but also love and cherish him. 19For Yahweh-God had formed from the soil every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them before the man to see what he would call them. So, whatever the man called the living creature, that was its name. # 2:19 As he named each animal, Adam was expressing the authority God gave him to subdue and take dominion. With incredible intellectual abilities, Adam memorized the names of countless animals and all their subspecies. Adam was created with an organizational, administrative capacity which enabled him to identify and define the world around him. 20He gave names to all the various cattle, birds, and wild animals, but Adam could not find a fitting companion that corresponded to him. 21So Yahweh-God caused Adam to fall into a deep trance, and while he slept, he took a portion of Adam’s side # 2:21 Or “inner chamber.” See v. 22 and John 19:34. The word that is usually translated “side” or “rib” is an obscure one that can also mean a structural element essential to something’s existence (like a beam for a house or hull for a boat). Eve was not taken from Adam’s feet to dominate her, but from his side, near his heart, for him to cherish her. and closed its place with flesh. 22Then Yahweh-God used the portion of Adam’s side and skillfully crafted # 2:22 This verb is not used for anything else in the creation account, only for the woman. It takes one verse to describe the creation of man, six verses to describe the creation of woman. a woman and presented her to him. # 2:22 God instituted marriage by forming the man and the woman and bringing them to each other. Starting with the original genetics of man, the Lord fashioned a companion for Adam who powerfully expanded the expression of his own image. The great gift God gave to the woman was the ability to conceive and give birth. As the two came together, mankind would express a fuller, more complete picture of God. See Eccl. 4:9. 23Then Adam said:
“At last! One like me!
Her bones were formed from my bones,
and her flesh from my flesh!
This one will be called ‘Woman,’
for she was taken from man.” # 2:23 Or “from her man [husband].” Just as God reached into himself and took a portion of his being (image and likeness) to make man, he reached into man and took a portion of Adam to sculpt the woman. If Adam is dust refined, then the woman is double refined, for she was taken from man and shaped again by God’s hand. There are many wordplays found in this portion of Scripture. The word for man is ’ish, and the word for woman is ’ishsah. The Son of Man also went into the deep sleep of death so that his beloved bride would come forth. Eve was in Adam before she became his bride; we were chosen in the Anointed One before we were born (see Eph. 1:4). Adam and Eve ruled together over this paradise; the bride of Christ will rule and reign with him over a restored creation. The Bridegroom-King and the bride are the counterparts to this story.
24For this reason, a man leaves his father and his mother to be unselfishly attached to # 2:24 Literally, “in his wife.” This is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means “to follow hard after” or “attaching oneself to another as an act of unselfishness,” the opposite of looking out only for yourself. See Matt. 19:4–6. The Son of God likewise left his Father to join himself to (in) us, his bride. his wife. They become one flesh as a new family! 25The man and his wife felt no shame, unaware that they were both naked.

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Genesis 2: TPT





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