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1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Things are not as they always have been. God has always existed and Jesus and the Holy Spirit with Him. Yet He decided to begin something that had matter and time and space. He, the infinite one, made out of nothing something finite: a world that has boundaries, a creation dependent upon the Son holding it together, and a world capable of love and disobedience. There never had to be a beginning to the existence of a creation. But God wanted to reveal Himself to man, and He did this by creating the world and man himself. Shortly thereafter, He would speak to man and walk and talk with Him in a perfect world. This shows us that God desires relationship with His creation and that He is generous and benevolent, wanting to reveal Himself and fellowship with us. He even gave us a world to enjoy and explore. He created us with the capacity to feel and experience pleasure. There was a beginning, a good beginning.
He formed the earth into a near sphere. He balanced the heat from the sun with our distance from it. He ordered the electricity and magnetism forces to be as He desired in a way to protect us and be harnessed by us to His glory. Gravity and forces of nature all would be created so that a planet could be made which would support the life He was about to create. The earth and the surrounding heavens were void or empty. We could infer that there was no matter. There was also no light. This abyss of no matter and no bounds had nothing but the Spirit of God hovering over the surface of the waters. This is our first mention of something tangible or measurable. It appears that this is water as we know it because of other OT references to waters. So God’s pallet is then darkness, some concept of space (seen by the reference to the deep and the fact that the Spirit was above the waters) and water, all of which were created by Him (v.1). They weren’t always there, though God was. It is also the beginning of time as we know it.
3Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
The key part of this verse and following is that God speaks and commands by His very words the creative process to take place. The second important thing to note is that He works in the time periods of days. Each day He speaks some change into creation and then lets a day pass. Whether it took Him an entire day to do the act or whether He did the act and then let some time pass is unclear. What is clear is that the most time that passed was one day and that He spoke creation into existence. There is no reason to infer that any additional time passed. Why not take the text at face value? Hebrews 1:3 says, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (emphasis added). It wasn’t there and then it was. There is no reason to read in millions or billions of years to this text. God said and it was done. As a side note, God doesn’t need that much time to create. He is God. He can do whatever He wants. He could have done it all in one day, or in one second. Clearly there was a reason for Him choosing to do things in this way. It was a guideline for man working six days and having the seventh as a day of rest, like God did. Does God really need rest? Of course not. Yet He was modeling for us as to how we should function, being created in His image. We are to be workers and then to take sufficient rest. We are not to be workaholics or sloths. God clearly has given us the balance. Perhaps the reason He let an entire 24 hour day pass was so that we could get the rest that we need in between days. We don’t work all 24 hours. We eat, rest, and enjoy life in addition to our work. I think perhaps that is why God took the full 24 hours, but I am sure there is more to that than just what I could hypothesize.
On His pallet of space, time, darkness, and water, He created light. He noted that it was good. Far be it from God to create something bad, but it is noteworthy that when God creates something He evaluates it from a moral perspective. Again, this is a lesson for us little creators to be morally cognizant in our work. Is what we are doing good and effecting a good result or not? God then separates the light from the darkness. This is fascinating because there is no star or sun to generate the light. Light evidently can exist apart from a resistor in a light bulb, the nuclear fusion of a star, the combustion of matter, or the ability of a material to glow. All that we see as light are merely mechanisms for harnessing or generating light. But light clearly exists apart from matter. This is why Christ is the light that lights the New Jerusalem. There is no sun any longer for we have Christ who Himself lights the whole place (Revelation 22:5). Whenever we see light, we see a mystery of God. Scientists can’t fully describe it. They don’t understand it. Only theories describe it because it possesses so many different and unique properties at the same time. Light itself is a guidepost that leads us to Christ.
The fact that God separated the light from the darkness is also interesting. The light may have done what it normally does which was to brighten darkness and in a sense erase it. So God separated them and called one Day and one Night. Clearly there wasn’t a sun or a revolving earth yet whose rotation could cause night and day. Night and day pre-existed the rotation of the earth. God wanted a night and a day for a reason. He made some of creation to sleep during the day and some at night. He made darkness to provide an illustration of the world and of evil, the absence of the true Light that lightens every man (John 1:9). Darkness and light serve a purpose theologically, biologically, and certainly a variety of other ways.
Then there was evening and there was morning to round out the first day of creation. The fact that evening and morning is mentioned further emphasizes that this was a standard 24 hour day. Indeed the word for day is the same as in other OT passages which obviously refer to a 24 hour day. There is no reason to presume that day means anything but what it appears to mean. We must take this account literally, historically, and grammatically. Science changes and evolves as man learns more. Science at this point in time can be used to show that the earth is both young and old. It all depends upon the assumptions made by the scientist (though I believe the conclusions of young earth scientists to be more accurate). Therefore, we are best to go to the infallible, inerrant Word of God and make our conclusions based upon it. God said that there was evening and morning, the first day. I take it to mean literally that.
6Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."
7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.
8God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Now God creates Heaven, which we could infer to be the space in which He is going to make the earth, atmosphere, and space. The word for heaven could be translated firmament or expanse which implies something solid which can separate waters from waters. So there is some matter of some kind bounded by vast waters above and below. God does not evaluate this part of the process, perhaps because it is to be continued on day three. So God models here patience and consistency, rather than trying to be a workaholic and cram everything into one day. Of course God could have done it all in one day, but as we have already said, He is teaching us here through His own example, as He will do thousands of years later through His Son.
9Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
10God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
After another evening and morning, day three arrives. God does what seems to be a lot this day compared to the previous two days. The waters that are below the heavens, which likely means that they are below the atmosphere and sky, are gathered together into one massive body of water. Then the dry land, which we infer by the word “firmament” was created on day two now appears. The word “appear” means to see or perceive, implying that it was already there but was shielded or covered by the waters. Now it is separate and visible. God calls the dry land earth, and the water He called seas. At this point it seems fair to suppose that some sort of planetary form is in place. God sees what He has made and notes that it is good. And if God says it is good, we are assured that it is good. The word for good carries the meaning of pleasurable to the senses, morally good, valuable, and beneficial. Accidents don’t produce good or moral anythings, chaos is never beneficial, and chance is not going to heed a pleasurable result, save for one out of every zillion to the zillionth power time, or what have you.
Those who argue from the verse that says that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years try to read into the text here that in between days or the days themselves are millions of years. First, they give an improper interpretation and application of the verse by changing the contextual meaning of it. All the verse says is that God Himself exists outside of time, and therefore He is not tarrying in His judgment but is patient toward His children, not wanting any who are not yet His children to perish. He is merely saying that He is not late, and He knows what He is doing. It has nothing to do with creation itself. We must let the text speak for itself. We are still on the third day.
11Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so.
12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Evolution and consequently theistic evolution take a major hit here, if we are to be faithful to the text. God speaks into existence vegetation: the tender herbs, grasses, and such. He speaks into existence plants yielding seed and trees yielding fruit which contain their seed. All the green growing things here are covered. Things that it has taken man thousands of years to discover, classify, and understand how they work, God did in a matter of hours. Day two He took care of physics, and today He writes the genetic code. Praise Him for His unbounded power which He uses only in a beneficent way. Now we see the phrase “each according to its kind” written twice here for emphasis. A child can understand that an apple tree brings forth more apple trees and an oak tree bears forth more oak trees. It is the intellectual who wants to deny God who believes that one can breed the other if enough time is allowed. Such a theory is so crazy that it requires so much time that we cannot fathom how long it is, and it still won’t happen. Yet billions of years are assumed by evolutionists, some Christians cater to them and call themselves theistic evolutionists, and other choose to believe that apple trees come from apple trees. They always have and they always will because God made it that way. His Word will never pass away, and this is His Word!
Now how does the third day hurt any day age theorist or old earth creationist. The language of the passage implies that in the creative act, mature fruit-bearing plants and trees were created. Thus, there is an appearance of age to the infant earth. Yet it is only moments old. It would take years for fruit trees to produce fruit, if God allowed them to grow in real time. Yet two days later, animals are supposed to be able to feed off of the creation as is man. It cannot be unless these plants and trees were created mature, taking in water of the earth and the light of the Lord Himself. The text simply does not need billions of years unless evolution is assumed to be scientific and is forced into the text. Then evening and morning happened, and day three was over.
14Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
On day four, God tackles astronomy, creating the sun. Perhaps He also created the moon, unless it was created earlier on day two. Likely the stars were created at this point since the sun is a star. The stars are to be used for signs (as with the birth of Christ), seasons, days, and years (which all relate to our 365 day calendar and 24 hour days). Where the stars are, especially the sun, is how we keep time. Then He says that the stars should be lights in the expanse of the heavens. The entire universe then is to be lit not by God Himself any longer through His miraculous light but through the stars themselves. God made a great light called the sun which was great not because of apparent magnitude not absolute magnitude (it is the closest one to earth and thus looks the largest). It was to govern the day. The lesser light, the moon, which actually only reflects the sun’s light, was called the lesser light to govern the night along with the stars. They govern in the sense that they are the dominant lights in the sky.
Note that God set them in the expanse. This carries the meaning that He with great care and diligence put them exactly where they needed to be. This wasn’t haphazard or a product of some big explosion. God put the sun and stars exactly in the right spot so that we would not freeze or get burned up and all would be well to support life. God has Himself in some way unknown to us separated the light from the darkness. Now He through planetary revolutions allows His creative order to separate the light from the darkness. Notice that the separation is relative. It all depends upon the fact that you are on the earth and where you are on the earth. The lesson is that from man’s perception, the way the day works is evidence for God. Ancient mankind, and contemporary mankind for that matter, should have seen God in the mere fact of night and day. The entire world screams that there is a God who made it and oversees it (Psalm 19:1-2). It is too detailed, too perfect, too ordered, and too good to have just happened. Who would have thought of atoms or been able to make something so small we have yet to see it with any machine? Only God. Who could have stretched beyond what we can even see to make something wonderful and beautiful? Only God. Who could have made a universe so perfect that no man or creature or plant ever had to die? Only God. My how we blew it and my how awesome heaven will be when earth and heaven are made new once again. God sees that what He has done is good, and day four, morning and evening, is passed.
20Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."
21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
22God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
23There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Here again is evidence against an old earth theory. On day five God outdoes Himself again. He creates swarms of living creatures in the water and birds to fill the skies. If it happened as evolution said, then one bird would have had to hope that there was a female bird and that it was a male bird, given that God told them to multiply. If evolution was intelligent, then perhaps another bird could be born and then thousands of years later the earth could be filled with them. Yet God said that it happened on day five. The text seems to indicate that God spoke into existence multitudes of animals and birds. Thus, there is no need for thousands or millions of years, let alone any chaotic imperfect evolutionary process to do something God could have spoken into existence. God’s ways are perfect, and evolution is not. Evolution and God can not co-exist.
Creatures in the water, such as fish, whales, lobsters, and so on were created the same day as the birds. Clearly the text does not permit fish to evolve into birds. They came to be at the same time. God created every sea creature, included the great sea creatures (perhaps dinosaurs, whales, or giant squid, for example) and every bird on one day. They were all to reproduce after their kind, not from kind to kind. Again, adherence to the Biblical text and belief in evolution do not co-exist.
God then blessed the creatures of the sea and air and told them to be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth. How do animals know what to do to keep their kind going? Because God blessed them and told them what to do. They have an innate God-given knowledge to know what they are to do. Again, this is more evidence for a creator before our very eyes. When a child asks his parent, “Why does a squirrel hide nuts or a cat hunt or a dog bark?” It is because God made them that way not because their environment led them to seek nuts or make loud noises. The creation cannot and does not choose to change itself from species to species. It is all unique and beautiful, specially handcrafted by the Maker. Creation itself longs for its redemption. God cares for His creation. He made man to be a caretaker of it. Thus we are not to worship the creation, but we are to care for it. Evening and morning again happened, and day five expired.
24Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so.
25God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
29Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.
31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
On day six, God again decides to outdo Himself. He first creates land animals. The earth does not bring forth land animals via evolution, but rather God speaks animals into existence on the earth. Just as God told the earth to sprout vegetation, now He tells it to “bring forth” animals. Of course the earth can’t bring forth animals any more than it can grass and plants. God here speaks into existence land animals upon the earth. Life doesn’t come from non-life in any kind of natural process. It requires a God to create a living creature. The creation is of all land animals, beasts, creeping things, and livestock. They are all created at the same time on the same day according to their kind. They are all very complex creations and unique as God intended them to be. This God said was good. What would the world be without a bird chirping at the first signs of spring or a squirrel hunting nuts during fall or a penguin waddling along an ice sheet? God knew exactly what He was doing, creating animals that would survive and thrive even after the earth was cursed. They wouldn’t have to adapt to changing climate conditions because they were already made to be able to adapt (e.g. some penguins live near the equator).
Day six continues with the creation of man, the crowning point of all of creation. Different than all previous creations, however, the Godhead creates man in their image and according to their likeness. Man is rational, able to use logic, able to appreciate the aesthetic, able to worship God actively, and able to choose right and wrong. Only man was created with a nature that was eternal, designed specifically for fellowship with God. God’s plan is that man would have rule over all of creation. Later Adam names all of the animals, and he fears none of them (no sin, death, or hostility was yet in play). Man was the caretaker and steward of a wonderful creation which needed little maintenance, and that which was to be done was without toil and sweat. Even work was to be fun and fulfilling. Verse 27 then reemphasizes what has already been emphasized. God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him. But then it adds a crucial point: male and female He created them. Evolution has no explanation for how male and female counterparts could develop. The Bible clearly tells us that it takes both man and woman together to get the full picture and understanding of God. God is revealed through both the female nature and the male nature. They are of course equal in worth and dignity, but they are clearly different and intended to be so. The beauty and delicateness of woman perfectly complemented the strength and dignity of the man. Together they were complete, lacking nothing and fully reflecting the glory and image of God. As the Godhead is plural, so God created man to be in relationship with others. God is described in Scripture as a warrior and as beautiful. Both sides in their purity are needed to see God.
God then commands the man and woman to be fruitful and multiply. Obviously only a mature man and woman could reproduce. This is further evidence that God created all the elements of creation with the appearance of age in a state of maturity. God wants them to fill the earth with humans. It is more people for Him to share a relationship with and love. God is not selfish hiding in nothingness forever. He has chosen to create man in His image to share His glory and nature if we would choose to do so. We are told that all the creation was to be subdued by the humans. Since the plants and animals were all over the face of the earth, there was no way that one man and one woman could be caretaker for the entire earth. Therefore, God wanted them to multiply and continue to watch over things. One can imagine the plants growing too close together or not getting enough sunlight and so on. I don’t know exactly what they were supposed to do, but clearly they were the top of the created order. Every plant and every tree yielding seed was to be for food. It seems that with the curse many other species, including weeds and thistles, were introduced making it harder to find good food and requiring discernment in knowing what plants were good and which ones were bad or poison. How awesome it would have been to be able to try all kinds of fruits and vegetables and who knows what else that was straight from God’s imagination! (That would have been true organic for the organic lovers.) The beasts, birds, and creeping things also get the plants for food, but it doesn’t say that they got the fruit-bearing trees. It appears that even the sea creatures and fish ate only plant materials given that they too had the breath of life described in verse 30. The important thing is that none were meat eaters. God then looked at all that He had made, presumably all of the creation from day 1 to day 6, and He described it as very good. Heaven will be perfect, so the best is yet to come. But the beginning was very good. God admired a job well done, and the lesson for us is that there is a satisfaction in work done to the best of our ability. Then there was evening and morning, the sixth day.
1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
2By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The creation was completed in a mere seven days. It was very good as it was. All of the hosts of heaven and earth were finished as well. This is an interesting phrase because it can mean either the hosts of heaven as in the stars of heaven (ref. Deut. 4:19 and 7:13 or the host of heaven as in the angelic armies of heaven as in 1 Kings 22:19). Either this is a record of the creation of the angels or just a summary statement that all of the great expanse of the universe was finished. I believe it is the latter simply because it doesn’t require one to read into the text. Also, we have no record of angels being the hosts of the earth. God rested on the seventh day from His finished work. He blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Why? He did this because He had rested. God was using this creation week to model for us how our weeks ought to be as well. We work and then we rest. There is a clear principle there for healthy living physically and spiritually. As Jesus said, the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). God’s plan from the beginning was to set aside a day for rest.
4This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
Verse four is far overanalyzed. What it is saying simply is that the following verses are a narrative account of more of the details of the creative process that had been fully but generally described in the first chapter. It is also a transition to the narrative account of the story of Adam and Eve and their successive generations (note the phrase “this is the account”).
5Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.
6But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.
7Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Verse 5 is giving us a time reference to when the cultivation of plants began. It tell us that as there was as of yet no rain or no man to do the tilling, there had been no cultivation of the ground. This in no way teaches the opposite of chapter one that man came before the fully grown plants. It also tells us that before it ever rained on the earth that a mist came up from the earth to water the ground. Since it was sufficient enough to water the vegetation, we can assume that it was probably not a dew but rather the water coming up from below the earth as there was water below the firmament according to chapter one. This would have made farming extremely easy. There would have been no rainy seasons, dry seasons, droughts, or floods because the climate was perfectly regulated on a daily basis. On day 6, God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. Thus he became a living creature, which could also be translated a living soul. From mere earthy material God made a material body and breathed in an immaterial soul. As such we ought to be humbled about our state. We are but dust and to dust we will return. Yet the wonder is that our soul will live on. Praise God that He not only gave us physical life but spiritual life through faith in Christ. We ought also to remember that God gives life and He takes it away. We never do lose our spiritual life once we have been reborn, yet death can be a means of godly discipline for those whom He loves. And for those who are outside Christ, Jesus reminds us to fear the One, God, who can kill both body and soul, casting them into hell. There is only One who is eternal by definition, and we praise Him for grafting us into His eternal plan and giving us eternal life as we partake in the life of the Son.
8The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Fully mature trees have existed since day three. Now we are told about a garden which God planted in Eden, which was east of wherever God had formed the man. God put the man in Eden and caused every tree which looked good and produced good tasting fruit to grow there. Two special trees were there which served great purposes in the divine plan. The tree of life was there which, if eaten, would allow man to live forever. These trees will be in the New Jerusalem for us to eat forever (Revelation 22:2). The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was also there. What a joy it would be to be aloof to evil, having a pure heart and mind altogether. Yet we have been defiled and our flesh still hangs on, even though we reckon it dead. Our hopes and affections are not always pure. God knew good and evil, but He had the ability to be completely good at the same time. God knew that man would not be able to know evil and not be evil. But the tree symbolized choice and gave the man and woman the opportunity to obey or disobey, to love their good Creator or to disdain Him.
10Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
11The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
13The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.
14The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
It seems that the garden of Eden had a source of water, perhaps flowing from under the earth. I can’t imagine what totally perfect and pure water would taste like. But that is what was there. The river watered the garden and then divided into four rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. It is unknown for sure where the Pishon and Gihon rivers were or if they still exist today. Likely, the Flood was responsible for wiping them out or diverting them elsewhere. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are very familiar rivers in the Mesopotamia area, about where Iraq is currently. The present desert is obviously far different from the garden of Eden, and we have the curse and the punishment of the Flood to thank for that. Clearly the land was rich in precious metals. The land of Cush was likely the land of Nimrod of Genesis 10 which is also said to be between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
15Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
16The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
Adam’s job was to work the garden, dressing it and keeping it. This surely took time and effort, but it wasn’t tedious, toilsome, or burdensome, seeing that that came after the curse. Farming would have been one hundred percent successful and harvests would have been fruitful always. Perhaps his work was simply to pick fruit and vegetables and to feed animals. God said he could eat of every tree except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason God gave was that the very day that the fruit was eaten the man would die. So much would be lost. Physical death would abound, and the joyous innocence would be lost. Nobody else would be on the earth except God and yet the nakedness of the man and woman would make them self-conscious. Spiritually they would become dead and defiled. This was the greater concern.
18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
19Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.
20The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
22The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
This is a very insightful passage. Adam is in a strict sense not alone because Jehovah Elohim, the existent One, is present with him. God speaks and is present with Adam. Yet the aloneness that God speaks of implies that there was something as of yet incomplete. There was a different companionship that Adam needed. In fact, up to this point all of creation God had been declared to be very good. Yet now God says that it is not good that Adam is alone. We know that God does call some to being single. Yet they are not alone in the sense that Adam was alone because they have brothers and sisters in Christ in addition to their earthly families. All Adam had was the animals. The aloneness appears to be satisfied by the creation of other human beings, though clearly and most extravagantly and importantly through the companionship of his wife. Though it ought to go without saying, it is worth emphasizing that God did not create a man to be the companion of the man. One man for one woman is God’s only design and the only acceptable option.
Again we see God’s heart of great love in His creation of man and now his companion, the woman. God says that He will make a helper suitable for the man. Helper could also be translated as succor, one who comes alongside during a time of difficulty to provide relief. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us that two are better than one for when one falls the other can pick him up or when one is cold they can warm one another. Since, however, life wasn’t all that hard in the garden, the emphasis at the time should be placed on the idea that God made the only being that was a fit complement and companion to Adam. It appears that at this point Adam was not even aware that there was any deficiency in His being alone. So God called all of the animals which He had formed earlier on day 6 (the verb “formed” ought to be translated “had formed”) except for the sea creatures apparently, and He brought them to the man to let Him name them. Being that there were a lot of creatures, clearly Adam’s innate intellect was quite remarkable, having no sinful defect. He didn’t go to school to get this knowledge, and he didn’t learn language from growing up with parents. God endowed man with knowledge and enjoyed seeing his creative work in doing the naming. Adam didn’t have to hunt all of the creatures down because God brought them all to him miraculously. It appears that man and animals had a different relationship, being that there wouldn’t have been any blood death or carnivores, given that they were all plant eaters. Lions could have laid down with lambs as it will be in Christ’s kingdom when He comes. Perhaps, as Eve wasn’t surprised by the serpent talking with her, that animals even communicated with man. Either way, the animals didn’t have the fear of man that they do now. The interaction was totally different. In that sense, Adam had many possible companions and creatures with which he could interact potentially on some level. Yet it seems Adam clearly understood that God was doing something out of the ordinary in brining all of the creatures to him to name.
We then learn that none of the creatures could possibly provide the companionship that was needed. There was no helper fit for him in all of the creation. God already knew this, but perhaps His purpose was to help Adam to begin to see that there was a lack. But then God took immediately to fixing the problem. God had made Adam from the dust of the earth. He could have done so just as easily for the woman as well. Yet God was teaching again through what He was doing. He put the man into a deep sleep so He could do surgery. This is one surgery that I wouldn’t be afraid of. It appears that God literally opened up Adam’s side and pulled a rib from his rib cage. He then closed up the flesh with flesh so perhaps there wasn’t even a scar. God made the rib into the woman and then brought her to the man. What is the lesson here? Why the rib and why the side? I believe that there is something profound and spiritual going on here. But we’ll let Adam explain in verse 23.
23The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
He says that this is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Apparently, he got the idea that the days and weeks, perhaps months or years of naming the animals didn’t provide a result. Perhaps he saw that all of the created animals and birds had partners and companions, for God had made male and female creatures. Perhaps he began to wonder why he didn’t have a suitable companion as they all did. Perhaps he even talked with them about it, but who is to say. Clearly God got His message across to the man. Now the man exclaims in ecstasy that at last there is a companion fit for him. Surely he was awestruck, surely he was moved, and most definitely he was impressed with what God had made him. Male and female is an intricate part of the plan of God for it reflects the nature and attributes of God. God is three in one, and marriage is two becoming one. The Father is apparently the head in terms of authority because He gives the Son authority. In the same way, the man is the final authority, though like Christ is to the Father, it is also a strange oneness. It is a pure authority structure, one ruled itself by pure and undefiled love. Who wouldn’t want to submit to perfect love as Jesus does to the Father? Not my will, He says, but Yours be done for He knows that the Father knows best and His will is ultimately good.
Adam comments that the woman is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Bone could be translated “substance” or “essence.” Flesh could be translated “the body” or “kindred.” In other words, she is like him yet different. She is also the crown of creation in that she is made in the image of God. She has reasoning capabilities, moral capabilities, and the capacity for love. She has a spirit (soul) whereas there is no reason to believe any of the creatures do. She is like him in essence and in form, yet female. It is obvious that this is the companion for man. Adam calls her woman because she was taken out of man, which is literally what woman means, out of man. God didn’t create Eve separately from dust as he did Adam, but He symbolically and purposefully actually reached into Adam’s side and pulled out a rib with which He made Eve. God could have made Eve out of whatever He wanted, out of nothing if He chose. Yet there was purpose. Man and woman are both to remember that they are but dust, a creation of God dependent upon Him for life and breath. The man and woman are further to remember that woman is from the man and clearly made to be a companion for the man. The ribs protect the vital organs. If ribs are damaged one cannot even breathe properly or at all. God was going right for the inside, the core. There is to be an intimacy between the man and his wife, heart to heart, being to being, soul to soul. They are not merely “attached at the hip” so to speak, but they are united in soul. Could Adam function fine without a rib? Of course, God did the surgery. He could sustain Him or supernaturally overcome the deficiency.
24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Marriage is not cultural. It can not be changed in its definition or in its inclusion. God defined it because God instituted it. He created the man and woman, and He made them husband and wife. It is because of God’s creative work and order that marriage exists and happens. Woman is made to be the companion of man. Man is said to be alone without her. Marriage is a good thing, though it is not the call of every believer. A man shall leave his parents and home to be united with his wife. God called mankind to be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth. This must be done God’s way between one man and one woman united in marriage before Almighty God. In marriage they become one flesh, literally one body. Each person’s body is literally belonging to the other, and this works beautifully and masterfully as we would expect as each let’s Christ’s selfless love infuse their thoughts, attitudes, and actions. One flesh is culminated in the sexual union of man and woman though it goes much deeper uniting the soul, personality, will, emotions, mind, and thoughts. Spiritually, the two are one before God. They literally “wear” each other, as the word “become” could mean.
They were both naked, having no conception of clothing or the need of it. There was no sin to tempt them to think improperly. There was no awareness of good and evil, for they had not yet eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could be naked in the presence of a holy God, and it was not wrong. Nor did they feel guilty or ashamed.
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
The serpent, the precursor to the snake of today, appears to have been either influenced by or possessed by Satan. It was clearly Satan himself at work, and he chose to use the most crafty field creature. Crafty implies slyness or sleight of hand. He was sneaky and clever. The word is actually the same word translated prudent in Proverbs. A prudent man is discerning of deceptive schemes and is wary of the way of the foolish. His prudence makes him mentally sharp and spiritually in tune with the Spirit of God. The serpent is clearly mentally sharp and in tune with perfectly undermining the Spirit of God while pretending to be a spokesperson for God. The serpent also is apparently able to stand upright at this point before the curse. Eve evidently put some matter of trust in the serpent because of how clever it was. It also is not recorded that she was shocked and surprised at a talking serpent. Thus it seems possible that she was accustomed to conversing with the creatures, including the serpent, but this time Satan’s influence was over the serpent’s words and behavior. (Yet it may just not be recorded that she was surprised. Perhaps the fact that she was so amazed at a talking creature made her more apt to believe the serpent). The serpent would be judged for being a minister of the devil. By using the serpent, this allowed Satan to have the greatest chance at deceiving Eve and manipulating mankind.
The greatest temptation of Satan comes immediately. He questions the Word of God. It is so easy to doubt the Word of God and to forget God’s promises to us. Satan knows what God said to Eve, and he knows what is in the Bible inside and out. He must manipulate it and change the meaning, making us doubt the Word of God. Rather than simply believing God’s Word, too often we begin thinking too hard and our fallible human intellects get in the way of what the Spirit is desiring to communicate to us through the Word. “Has God really said?” is a great ploy of the devil.
He also tries to make God look like a killjoy. He asked if God told her that she should not eat from any tree of the garden, as if God was teasing her to put all this delicious fruit in front of her but not let her eat it. He is trying to drive a wedge between her and the kind heart of God.
2The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'"
4The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!
5"For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Eve has her story right, quoting accurately the Word of God. She does add to it by saying that she is not supposed to even touch it. Is her adding to the Word of God the first evidence of sin and disobedience? Perhaps, or perhaps God did indicate that she shouldn’t even touch it, but it just wasn’t recorded in Genesis as such. Either way, the point is that God doesn’t want them anywhere near that tree. They shouldn’t eat of it, and why should they even look at it, let alone touch it. This would only put them in jeopardy of wanting to smell it and then taste it, thus sinning against God.
The devil now directly assaults the Word of God by saying that what God said is simply not true. What he is actually doing is asserting that God is a liar and that He is untrustworthy. He wants Eve to believe that God is keeping something from her or holding something back because God is insecure or evil in some way. He says incorrectly that she will not die, but that she will have her eyes opened knowing good and evil, thus being like God. This is true. She will be like God in this way, but the reality is that God knows that she would have been better off not being like God in this way. Satan is the master at using half-truths to deceive us. This is why some of the most subtle deceptions involve the slightest misuse of the Word of God. The consequence of disobeying God will cause her eyes to be opened, shame to flood in, and guilt to take over. All will be lost, though Satan tries to tell her that much will be gained. Sin always looks appealing, but it only does damage. Physical and spiritual death will be forthcoming should she give in to Satan’s deception. Sadly, Satan’s half-truths are enough to deceive Eve. He has wedged enough doubt into the character and Word of God.
6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Now this is fascinating. Eve had referenced the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as being in the middle of the garden, clearly implying that they weren’t in the middle at the time the conversation began. Yet now she turns to the tree and sees that it is good for food and a delight to the eyes. Evidently, the devil had been slowly and gradually encouraging her and enticing her to walk towards the tree so he would have an object lesson for his story. It is much easier to be tempted when the temptation is staring you right in the face. This is why we must resist the devil rather than follow him and listening to him. A mental dialogue with Satan beyond telling Him to get lost in the name of Jesus or quoting Scripture is already a loss. He desperately needs to get the attention of our minds so that he can reason with us to make us rationalize and self-justify. We resist by not thinking what he wants us to think and by choosing to replace the garbage thoughts with the true Word of God, which we must have full confidence in. The temptation of Eve may have been a bit more gradual than a first reading of the text might indicate. Satan talked to her long enough and Eve listened long enough to make their way to the center of the garden. (Now if the garden was tiny, then this is a moot point.)
Satan tempts Eve with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. The lust of the flesh was seen in her desire to enjoy some good eats. The lust of the eyes was seen in taking in and enjoying how the tree looks. The pride of life was seen in her wanting to become wise, a selfish gesture because it produce evidence of a trust in God to give her sufficient wisdom. We have reason to believe that Adam and Eve had profound intellects, yet they doubted that God had given them all that they needed to find full and complete joy and satisfaction. This shows us that we are all vulnerable, no matter what skill, education, intellect, or knowledge we think we have. The battle against the temptations of the devil are won by resisting through the power of Christ in us and by having faith that the God who is faithful will provide the way of escape. The devil is a formidable foe that no man or woman can defeat save for the blood and power of Christ.
Having doubted God and having allowed the devil to work her over with his words and clever manipulations, she sins against God by taking of the fruit and eating it. Note that she gave some also to her husband who was with her! He may well have been an accomplice to the crime. She didn’t come home, and cook him a dinner with the new fruit, hoping to deceive him into sinning. She didn’t even run to him while he was taking care of the garden and convince him to take the fruit also. The text seems to indicate that they were there together at the same time being tempted. Perhaps Adam came later into the conversation, but it is clear that they both chose to sin of their own volition. Satan deceived Eve for sure, and probably Adam as well.
Adam’s sin is in a sense more severe. He is blamed in Romans for bringing sin to the human race, not Eve. He was the head of the wife, and thus he bears the ultimate responsibility for what happened that day. He didn’t look out for his wife, he didn’t protect her, nor did he stand in the gap for her. She was in a really difficult situation with a super devious foe, and Adam seems to have watched it all happen. He didn’t stand up, confront, rebuke, or lead his wife away to safety. He bailed out. He let his wife do all of the talking, and he never led by speaking to the devil and rebuking him. Thus the ultimate blame is put upon him, though they are both guilty individually.
God rebukes Adam in verse 17 for listening and heeding the voice of his wife, so clearly Eve did encourage him and entice him to sin. Perhaps he was hesitant to believe the serpent, but he let his wife eat anyways and then let her talk him into sinning as well. Women, beware of the influence you have on your men. It is powerful. Yet the man was responsible for being enticed, though 1 Timothy 2:14 makes it clear that Adam was not deceived. He simply chose to disobey and follow his wife’s lead rather than step up to the plate and lead. They both took, mutual accomplices to sin, and thus they were both guilty. Eve sinned in being deceived. Adam sinned in listening to the enticing words of his wife.