Back to Basics: Genesis 2

In last week’s article, we took an in depth look at Genesis 1.  A major point was that the Bible never tries to explain God as all people know that the God of the Bible is true.  We also noted that God exists unrestrained by time, space, or matter, and that He is eternal.  After that, we took a day-by-day look into the initial week of creation.  Some key truths from this chapter are that these were literal twenty-four hour periods, the sun set for the first time on day four, and that not every species was created but every kind of creature was.

Chapter two is a very important chapter as it covers a more in-depth creation of Adam and Eve (looking back into the initial creation week), establishes a day of rest, and has the first mention of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  This chapter is also misused to try and portray a contradiction in the Bible.  A new or immature follower of Christ can easily become confused by these artificial contradictions so one of our primary goals is to educate fellow believers in how to see through such subterfuge.

Verse one starts off by informing us that the heavens and earth, and “all of the host of them” were finished.  This shows clearly that nothing new has been added to creation since Genesis 1 although God has given his creation the ability to diversify within its kinds.  The next couple verses show that God rested on day seven and in verse three we see that He blessed and sanctified that day.  It is important to note that there is no mention of Sabbath or the keeping of it until Exodus 16.

The next couple verses, starting off with “these are the generations,” let us know that this is a historical account of the totality of creation, this is not an allegory or story.  This account had to be given from God to man as no man was around during this part of creation.  We also see that, at least prior to the creation of man, there was no rain but that there was a mist that came out of the ground.  Some people believe it remained like this until the breaking of the firmament and the fountains of the deep during the flood but there is no way to be certain as the Bible doesn’t clarify.  It is interesting to note that in Genesis 7:4 God does not need to explain to Noah what rain was but we do not have enough information to be dogmatic about.

As with verses four to six, seven is looking back to chapter one and the initial creation week.  “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.”  An origin not shared by any other creature.  Remember that in the last chapter God caused the earth to bring forth land animals but here we have God personally fashioning man.  In addition to that, this is no mere creation of a physical shell but the creation of an immortal soul.  Man was a special creation of God, designed no only to have dominion over the earth but also to have a relationship with Him.  This is true not just of Adam but of all mankind.  We were purposed by God to have a wonderful relationship with Him.  If you want to find out what happened that special relationship, after finishing this article read Genesis 3.

This next section is where the blatantly deceitful contradiction is stated to arise from.  Looking back on chapter one we can see that dry land and plants were made, fowl made on day five, and that man is created after land animals on day six.  The deceiver will say that this is contradicted in Genesis 2:8,9 that has man created before plants, and in Genesis 2:19 that has man before land animals, land animals before fowl, and fowl brought forth from the ground as opposed to from the water.  If someone is not familiar with this argument and doesn’t have the time or opportunity to look at the passages in question this may pose quite a conundrum.  Thankfully, we can reveal this intentional and deceitful contradiction.  As we will see in the following verses, both Genesis 2:8,9 and Genesis 2:19 take place after man has been created but before woman, on day six, starting with God planting a Garden (the passage of plants being created after man) and then, wanting to provide Adam with a help meet and for him to realize he needs one, God forms out of the ground every “beast of the field, and every fowl of the air” and brought them to Adam for him to name them (the passage on man before land animals before fowl).  Anybody reading these passages would be able to see the fallacy of this being a contradiction.

As we glossed over in the last paragraph, on day six, after the creation of Adam but before the creation of Eve, God planted a garden, making the earth bring forth every tree that “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.”  Additionally, this is where the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were place.  Several verses describe a basic location for the garden.  God then commands Adam that he may eat freely of all the trees in the garden except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The result of eating of that tree would be that in the day he ate of it he would surely die.

After having warned Adam about the tree of knowledge, He then decided that Adam should not be alone.  Verses nineteen and twenty cover God forming beast of the earth and fowl of the air and then bringing them to Adam to name.  After it being determined that none of these animals were a suitable help meet for Adam, the Lord caused him to go into a deep sleep.  While in this sleep, God took a rib from his side, closed his flesh, formed woman and then brought her to Adam who called her woman because she was taken out of man.  Verse twenty-five gives us the original intention of God and marriage.  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  This verse is even referred to by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7 when He speaks on the sanctity and intention for marriage.

The chapter ends by telling us that Adam and Eve were both naked and were not ashamed.  This a very important verse that can really help us understand how thoroughly sin has damaged us.  Contrast their innocence with life after the fall, fears of inadequacy, self-consciousness, our need for constant guard against lust – falling to it or tempting others to fall by our lack of modesty.  Verse twenty-five shows us the child-like purity present before the fall to sin in chapter three.

Chapter two really covered a lot of material.  Hopefully, we’ve prepared you to handle any supposed contradictions between Genesis 1 and 2.  It also gives us a perfect glimpse of how God envisions marriage with man and woman becoming one flesh.  In addition to that, this chapter really covers the uniqueness with which God formed mankind as a living soul, capable of having a relationship with Him.  If you are unsure about your relationship with God you can read about the Gospel or contact us, we would love to help you find the answers you seek.

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