Genesis 2

  • God rested on the 7th “day” (whatever that was), not because He needed rest (Psalm 121:4), but to set an example to us, that even the strongest of us need to slow down every now and again.
  • Verse 5 and 6 suggest Adam was created to somehow be a steward of the Earth.
  • After creating Adam from the Earth, He placed Adam in Eden. Apparently, Eden was the entire region, not limited to the garden God “planted” there: “Then the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in a place called Eden, and put the man he had formed into it” – Genesis 2:8 NCV.
  • The river that flowed out of the garden divided into four other rivers:
    • The Pishon, which flowed around the land called Havilah, where gold, onyx and other precious minerals could be found (Genesis 2:11)
    • The Gishon, which flowed around the land called Cush
    • The Tigris, in Mesopotamia
    • The Euphrates, also in Mesopotamia
  • That places Eden somewhere around modern-day southern Iraq.
  • God placed lots of trees in the garden (“God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” – Genesis 2:9a NIV), but two of these were very important: The tree that gave life (presumably the eternal, earthly kind), and the tree that gave the knowledge between good and evil (sin)
  • True to verses 5 and 6, God charges Adam to tend the garden.
  • God gives Adam free reign with everything in the garden except one thing: Don’t eat the fruit that comes from the tree that gives the knowledge between good and evil, for if Adam does, he’ll “die”.
  • Keep in mind, Adam doesn’t know what evil is, or what death is.  He’s the only human on the entire face of the Earth, he’s never died, he’s never seen anyone else die, all he knows is this God who made him told him not to eat the fruit of one tree out of many.
  • For whatever reason, God felt Adam needed a partner. God did something kinda tricky: He brought all of the animals around and let Adam name them. In doing so, Adam was sure to figure out there were two genders of each of the animals he saw, but he only had the equipment for one. “Where is my mate?”, he probably wondered.
  • God put Adam under deep anesthesia, which is a good thing because He removed a rib to use in creating Eve, a helper for Adam.
  • Adam gave Eve’s gender a name, wo-man, meaning, “from man”, because she had been created from a part of him.
  • Hebrew mythological texts that were not included in the Pentateuch told of a woman named Lilith who was created at the same time as Adam. Supposedly, Lilith was a free-spirit who left Adam and the garden because she didn’t want to be subservient to him, and even mated with the archangel Samael, who sounds like Satan because he’s described as an accuser, a seducer, a betrayer and even the angel of death. Luckily, we’re not descended from either of them.
  • All of this time, Adam had been living as a nudist. Eve was no different. Nobody saw any problem with that. (It must not have gotten very cold in the garden!)

Genesis 1

  • Human language cannot represent nor human minds fathom a universe without time, but we know that time is relative to both mass and the absence of mass (space). God created all of these things: space, mass and time, so a time when He has not existed cannot be described using human terms, other than to say, simply, “God is.” He has always existed. He will always exist. He existed before the “big bang”. He will continue to exist after the world no longer does. He exists outside of time and space, therefore He exists in dimensions we cannot comprehend.
  • Some scientists like Stephen Hawking have suggested that a “big bang” may be perpetually expanding and then re-collapsing on itself, over and over again. Others dismiss scientific methods like carbon dating and prefer, instead, to calculate the Earth’s existence based primarily on the Bible, stating the Earth is only about 8,000 years old. I choose to believe that it doesn’t matter, although I tend to believe the scientists over the scholars. As I said in the overview: Genesis was written for the wandering Israelites as well as for us today, not as a scientific explanation of how the universe was created, but as a doctor using layman’s terms to describe a medical term to a patient. So the main point to be taken from Genesis 1 is not how long it took God to create everything, or if He created everything, or how He created everything, but that He did create everything!
  • (That includes dinosaurs, as well. Yes, God created dinosaurs. No, man did not inhabit the Earth during the same period. If anything, the dinosaurs were represented between Genesis 1:11 and 1:26.)
  • Genesis 1 proves that God is creative. In fact, He is beyond creative, because unlike us, He can create things from nothing. When we create, we transform His creations from one form to another.
  • As early as verse 3, God began naming everything. He gave everything a name as He spoke it into existence. God gave names to light, day, night, water, sky, land, seas, plants, vegetation, seeds, stars, birds, etc.
  • God, Himself, does not need to be named because He is unique and therefore needs no differentiation from anything else, and because He does not need to identify Himself in order to refer to Himself. For example, consider a world where you are the only being of your kind that exists: Would you give yourself a name? No, you wouldn’t. Why not? Because you would have no need to do so. You would refer to yourself as, “I”… I did this or I created that. In reality, you wouldn’t even be doing that, because you’d have no need for words in the first place, as you would have no one to communicate with.
  • Because there is no need for God to name himself, later, in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asks God to identify Himself, God responds simply with, “I Am that I Am“.
  • Everything God creates is good. Even the being later referred to as “The Enemy” (commonly named “The Devil” or “Satan”) was once one of God’s most beautiful, most trusted angels.
  • God has always had a plan for us. God has always had a plan for you (see Jeremiah 1:5.) God has always had a plan for me. God even planned for The Enemy. He created Lucifer/The Enemy/Satan knowing that love cannot exist without free will, and that Adam and Eve would later choose to disobey Him, and that countless generations would suffer the consequences of the Fall.
  • When God creates the sun and the moon in verse 16, Genesis’ author refers to them as a greater light and a lesser light. He did this purposely omitting the names “sun” and “moon” to contrast their importance, because he knew that the audience was aware that the sun and the moon were two prominent gods worshiped in the ancient Near East during that time. In Genesis 1:14-19, the author makes the case that God created the sun and moon, but that they are not deities themselves.
  • As a sort of a preview of their creation in Genesis 2:7-25, the author tells of both man and woman’s creation in passing terms in Genesis 1:26&27. We’re told that God creates Man in His own image. Because God doesn’t exist in Earthy form, at least not in any form we, as humans, can understand, it doesn’t mean our bodies look like God’s body. I posit that it means that we have the minds to reason, communicate and love. The “knowing good from evil” part comes in Genesis 2.
  • Man is put in charge of all of Creation in verse 28. We are/were to procreate, to have full use of everything on the Earth, and to manage it wisely. This was actually the first commandment God ever gave us.

Genesis: Overview

  • Genesis itself contains no mention of its author.
  • According to Jewish tradition, Moses wrote the bulk of the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch, during the time when Israel wandered in the wilderness. The Hebrew Torah comes from the word תּוֹרָה, meaning “Instruction”, and the Greek Pentateuch comes from πεντα-, meaning “five” and τεῦχοςteuchos meaning “box”, book”, “jar” or “scroll”.
  • Moses couldn’t have written all of the Pentateuch because his death and burial are described in Deuteronomy 34.
  • There is also evidence to suggest that Moses was guided by the Holy Spirit to use existing written or oral sources for some of his information.
  • Moses likely lived in either the 15th or 13th century B.C. This is determined by literary, historical, archaeological and social science evidence that dates the Exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan by Joshua, but scholars remain divided in their interpretation of the data and as such, it is difficult to determine a more exact date for the composition of the Pentateuch.
  • The intended audience were the Israelites as they wandered between Egypt and Canaan, and is thought to have been intended to be read aloud in one sitting. (Man! That must’ve been one, long, public meeting!)
  • Genesis divides naturally into two segments: The first eleven chapters, covers the first four great events: Creation, the Fall, the Flood and confusion of the languages at Babel, are called the primeval history. The remaining 39 chapters deal with God’s four great leaders: Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Joseph, and is called the patriarchal history.
  • Because of the intended audience and the intended purpose for Genesis, the primeval history is not meant to be taken literally. Just as a doctor would use layman’s terms to describe a medical condition to a patient, Genesis’ author(s) wouldn’t describe the creation of the universe and everything in it using scientific terms, even if they’d been aware of them. Descriptions of the Creation’s time periods or order are inconsequential to the two main points: 1) God exists and 2) He created everything, including you!