Genesis Chapter Two

The Perfect Marriage

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In our study of Genesis chapter two, we look at the perfect marriage and the perfect home. We look at the creation of the complete man that can only happen when he is united to the woman that God created for him.

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Genesis 2:1 & 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

As we saw in chapter one, God created everything in six days and now we see that He rested on the seventh day. The Hebrew word "Shabbat" is translated here as rested but it actually just means to cease or to stop. In this case, all that God needed to create had been created at the end of six days and so God simply stopped creating. We must understand that God could have created everything in the blink of an eye, if He wanted to, but He took six days so that we would see our pattern for life. Now, we see the purpose of the seventh day which is rest; not that God got tired and needed a break but because He knew that we would need a day of physical rest.

Genesis 2:3

God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

God set apart (qadash) the last day of the week for Himself. It is the only day of the week that is given a name in Hebrew (Shabbat) and on the Roman calendar it is Saturday. So, to be clear, Shabbat (the Sabbath) begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday.

Genesis 2:4

Here is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created. On the day when ADONAI, God, made earth and heaven,

This verse introduces us to the Hebrew concept of "toledoth" which means "begettings" and is translated here as "history". It refers to the story or genetic line that came from (generated from) a person or event. The book of Genesis (Be'reshith) has ten of these divisions and, in each case, the phrase functions as a heading for what follows. This toledoth transitions us from the first chapter which was the big picture look at creation to the second chapter which is a more indepth look at the events of the sixth day.

Genesis 2:5 & 6

there was as yet no wild bush on the earth, and no wild plant had as yet sprung up; for ADONAI, God, had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no one to cultivate the ground. Rather, a mist went up from the earth which watered the entire surface of the ground.

This passage introduces us to Adonai Elohim. In chapter one, we saw that Elohim, which was translated as God, was a title and not actually God's name and here we are introduced to the title Adonai which comes from the Hebrew root word 'adon which means "to rule". Once again, it is a title that is usually translated as Lord and it reminds us that God did not just create everything but has ruled over creation from the beginning.

Genesis 2:7

Then ADONAI, God, formed a person from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.

Here, we see that God created a physical body from the dirt of the ground (adamah in Hebrew). Then, we see that God placed the breath of life (nishmat chayyim) into the body. Once again, we see the "im" on the end of chayyim and it lets us know that it is a plural word. Therefore, a better way to translate the phrase nishmat chayyim would be "breath of lives". In this, we see that God not only gave humans a soul like other living creatures but also a spirit (ruach) which is unique to humans. For those that believe in evolution, this verse poses a very big question and that is: "Have you ever tried to tell a monkey about Jesus?". This verse shows us the main difference between us and all other creatures and that is the capacity to know God. God formed the man from dirt which He had created on the third day but, then, God breathed into the man and the man not only was a physical being but became a spiritual being as well. This was a shadow of what was to come through Jesus Christ as we see, in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came to the people, it was with the sound of a wind. We remember that, in chapter one, we saw that, because of the nature of this world, everything has to have an opposite. In this case, the opposite of the capacity to know God is the capacity to know evil.

Genesis 2:8

ADONAI, God, planted a garden toward the east, in 'Eden, and there he put the person whom he had formed.

God created a special place for man called the Garden of Eden or Gan Eden in Hebrew. Gan (garden) refers to a separated (holy) place and a place of refuge from the heat of the day while Eden means pleasure. Throughout the Bible, east is always associated with holiness and directions are always based on Jerusalem. This garden (to the east of Jerusalem) was to be a holy place where man communed with God. Many people have tried to find out where this place is and there have been some really crazy suggestions (such as in the USA). Others have said that it is in Turkey, Iraq, or covered by the Persian Gulf. The simple fact of the matter is that God is unchanging and, through His word, we can see that this garden surrounds Jerusalem.

Genesis 2:9

Out of the ground ADONAI, God, caused to grow every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now, we see that God created trees in the garden that produced fruit and two special trees, the tree of life (Etz Chaim in Hebrew) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (etz tov wa-ra in Hebrew), in the center of the garden. Throughout the Bible, the number two is the number of witnesses and here we see two trees at the center of the garden. We do not know what kind of fruit these trees produced only that God caused all of the trees to grow. We know that the fruit of the tree of life could allow man to live forever but what would be the effect of the knowledge of good and evil?. There is a saying that "knowledge is power" and that is what comes into play here as the fruit of this tree would give the ability to judge between what is good and bad.

Genesis 2:10

A river went out of 'Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four streams.

The source of the water is and was an underground spring located near the city of Jerusalem called the Gihon Spring and we find it mentioned throughout the Bible. This spring, then, split and formed the start of the four rivers that we will see. Throughout the Bible, water is a symbol of the Word of God and its power to sustain life. Jerusalem has always been the chosen city of God and life for all flows out of there; first in the waters that we see here and then in the person of Jesus Christ who was crucified there so that we may have life. God is a God of patterns and so this spring flowing out and becoming rivers that water the land is a picture of our Messiah.

Genesis 2:11 & 12

The name of the first is Pishon; it winds throughout the land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there.

The first river is the Pishon which in Hebrew means "sandy land". Havilah is in what is now Saudi Arabia and it is said that gold mining began there as early as 3000 B.C. and the mining continues even to this day. There are also green and white onyx quarries operating there to this very day. This river reminds us that God's love flows through Jesus even to the most desolate areas and people that deny Him as the Son of God.

Genesis 2:13

The name of the second river is Gichon; it winds throughout the land of Kush.

The Gihon Spring flows under the southeastern hill of Jerusalem, west of the Kidron valley. Though the KJV translates Cush as Ethiopia, it was a large area and nobody can say for certain where this river flowed. It is quite possibly talking about an area of what is now known as Libya.

Genesis 2:14

The name of the third river is Tigris; it is the one that flows toward the east of Ashur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

The final two rivers are widely accepted to be the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which are north of Jerusalem. Today, these rivers run through the country of Iraq.

Genesis 2:15

ADONAI, God, took the person and put him in the garden of 'Eden to cultivate and care for it.

This simple verse explains the basic reason that God created man and that is as caretakers of His creation. Adam was placed in this perfect garden where he was given all that he needed. He had the joy of living in this perfect place and, as we will see, God was even there with him.

Genesis 2:16 & 17

ADONAI, God, gave the person this order: "You may freely eat from every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die."

God's instructions for Adam were very simple as he was given all things except the fruit from one tree in the garden. God knew that everything was good for the man except for the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and that is why it was forbidden. So, what would be so bad about the "knowledge of good and evil"? The fruit would give man the ability to make judgments of good and bad but without the wisdom (which comes from God) to apply it properly. Over and over again throughout this chapter we see the title Adonai (ruler) being used to describe God and a ruler is the one that makes decisions about what is good and bad. By eating the fruit of that tree, man would be taking the position of ruler that is reserved for God as the Creator of all things. There are those who look at it like it was some big test of obedience and that God was waiting to see what would happen. The fact of the matter is that God knew the end from the beginning and prepared a cure for the evil even before it was needed.

Genesis 2:18

ADONAI, God, said, "It isn't good that the person should be alone. I will make for him a companion suitable for helping him."

We have heard the saying "No man is an island" and we see that God knew this from the beginning. We were not created to be alone but to have a suitable helper. The biggest problem today is that man is trading in the "suitable helper" for anything and everything. God has created a woman for each and every one of the men and, if we wait to find that woman, we will find that she is suitable. If we do not wait but simply go with a feeling, we will settle for less than what God has created a marriage to be.

Genesis 2:19 & 20

So from the ground ADONAI, God, formed every wild animal and every bird that flies in the air, and he brought them to the person to see what he would call them. Whatever the person would call each living creature, that was to be its name. So the person gave names to all the livestock, to the birds in the air and to every wild animal. But for Adam there was not found a companion suitable for helping him.

The Hebrew phrase "ezer knegdow" is translated here as "companion suitable" but it actually speaks of being an ally or rescuer. It is someone who comes running when you cry out for help or what we would today call a "hero". In the previous passage, God had said that it was not good for the man to be alone in this world. Here, God brings all of the living creatures of the earth to Adam so that he could name them but also for another reason. God is not surprised by anything and so He knew that there was not a suitable companion (hero) among the animals but Adam had to see that for himself before God created the woman. As a pet lover, I can understand the affection between an animal and a person but, as we see here, that cannot replace the companion that God has created for each and every one of us. There are those who have settled for a pet instead of the helpmate (hero) that God has created for them and that is sad. God wants the best for us and that best includes the man or woman that He has created for each of us. Nothing can replace the wife/husband that God has created for you!

Genesis 2:21 & 22

Then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the person; and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he took it with flesh. The rib which ADONAI, God, had taken from the person, he made a woman-person; and he brought her to the man-person.

We see, from this passage, that the woman was created out of the man and not from the ground like Adam was. She was created from a part taken out of the side of the man which reminds us that she is to be his partner not his slave (lower body) or master (upper body). The woman is the other half of a man and, when you wait for God to present to you the other half that He created for you, it is a blessing. That blessing is a marriage that glorifies God and is not a fight just to survive.

Genesis 2:23

The man-person said, "At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

When God brought the lady to Adam, he immediately knew that she was a part of him that God had created for him. This is good to remember in these days when men are "marrying" men and women are "marrying" women. It does not matter who accepts it, the fact of the matter is that God created a man and a woman for each other. We are free, in Christ, to make wrong choices but that freedom does not negate God's Word. The perfect marriage is between a man and a woman because that is how God designed it.

Genesis 2:24

This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh.

"For this reason" is talking about the fact that the woman was made from the part of the man and so neither are complete without the other. When they find their other half, they can then leave the comfort and protection of their parent's home and face the world as a complete person. It is also a reminder that only these two can come together to be one as God did not remove more than one part from the man. If you have ever seen a broken bone, then, you know that the two halves of that bone are the only two that fit together. You can attempt to put another piece of bone in its place but it will not fit perfectly. When it is the right two pieces of the bone (people) the result is a perfect marriage.

Genesis 2:25

They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

Many of us have heard the phrase "ignorance is bliss" and this is an example of the truth contained in the phrase. The man and woman were innocent in that they did not know that evil existed. They knew what good was as they could see it all around them in all that God had created but they were blissfully ignorant of evil.

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