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2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
2:7 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.
2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
2:11 The name of the first is Pison (NIV: Pishon): that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium (NIV: aromatic resin or pearls) and the onyx stone.
2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia (NIV: Cush).
2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (NIV: the Tigris): that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria (NIV: Ashur).And the fourth river is Euphrates.
2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
2:23 And Adam 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.
2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 2

The first Sabbath. (1-3) Particulars about the Creation. (4-7)
The planting of the garden of Eden. (8-14) Man is placed in it.
(15) God's command. (16,17) The animals named, The making of
Woman, The Divine institution of Marriage. (18-25)

1-3 After six days, God ceased from all Works of Creation. In
miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled
course, or added to it. God did not Rest as one weary, but as
one Well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of Grace,
in the Sanctification, or keeping holy, of the Sabbath Day. The
solemn observing of one Day in Seven as a Day of holy Rest and
holy work, to God's honour, is the duty of all to whom God has
made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human
race were in being but our first parents. For them the Sabbath
was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also.
The Christian Sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh Day, and
in it we celebrate the Rest of God the Son, and the finishing
the work of our Redemption.

4-7 Here is a name given to the Creator, "Jehovah." Where the
Word "Lord" is printed in capital letters in our English Bibles,
in the original it is "Jehovah." Jehovah is that name of God,
which denotes that he alone has his being of himself, and that
he gives being to all creatures and things. Further notice is
taken of plants and herbs, because they were made and appointed
to be Food for Man. The Earth did not bring forth its fruits of
itself: this was done By Almighty power. Thus Grace in the soul
grows not of itself in nature's soil, but is the work of God.
Rain also is the Gift of God; it came not till the Lord God
caused it. Though God Works By means, yet when he pleases he can
do his own work without them; and though we must not tempt God
in the neglect of means, we must trust God, both in the use and
in the want of means. Some way or other, God will water the
plants of his own planting. Divine Grace comes down like the
Dew, and waters the Church without noise. Man was made of the
small Dust, such as is On the surface of the Earth. The soul was
not made of the Earth, as the body: pity then that it should
cleave to the Earth, and mind earthly things. To God we must
shortly give an account, how we have employed these souls; and
if it be found that we have lost them, though it were to gain
the world, we are undone for ever! Fools despise their own
souls, By caring for their bodies before their souls.

8-14 The place fixed upon for Adam to Dwell in, was not a
Palace, but a garden. The better we take up with Plain things,
and the less we seek things to gratify pride and luxury, the
nearer we approach to innocency. Nature is content with a
little, and that which is most natural; Grace with less; but
Lust craves every thing, and is content with nothing. No
delights can be satisfying to the soul, but those which God
himself has provided and appointed for it. Eden signifies
delight and pleasure. Wherever it was, it had all desirable
conveniences, without any inconvenience, though No other House
or garden On Earth ever was So. It was adorned with every tree
pleasant to the sight, and enriched with every tree that yielded
Fruit grateful to the taste and good for Food. God, as a tender
Father, desired not only Adam's profit, but his pleasure; for
there is pleasure with innocency, nay there is true pleasure
only in innocency. When Providence puts us in a place of plenty
and pleasure, we ought to serve God with gladness of Heart in
the good things he gives us. Eden had two trees Peculiar to
itself. 1. There was the Tree of Life in the midst of the
garden. Of this Man might eat and live. Christ is now to us the
Tree of Life, Re 2:7; 22:2; and the Bread of Life, Joh
6:48,51. 2. There was the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, So called because there was a positive Revelation of the
will of God about this tree, So that By it Man might know moral
good and evil. What is good? It is good not to eat of this tree.
What is evil? It is evil to eat of this tree. In these two trees
God set before Adam good and evil, the blessing and the Curse.

15 After God had formed Adam, he Put him in the garden. All
boasting was thereby shut out. Only he that made us can make us
happy; he that is the Former of our bodies, and the Father of
our spirits, and none but he, can fully provide for the
happiness of both. Even in Paradise itself Man had to work. None
of us were sent into the world to be idle. He that made our
souls and bodies, has given us something to work with; and he
that gave us this Earth for our Habitation, has made us
something to work upon. The sons and heirs of Heaven, while in
this world, have something to do about this Earth, which must
have its share of their time and thoughts; and if they do it
with an Eye to God, they as truly serve him in it, as when they
are upon their knees. Observe that the Husbandman's Calling is
an ancient and honourable Calling; it was needful even in
Paradise. Also, there is true pleasure in the business God calls
us to, and employs us in. Adam could not have been happy if he
had been idle: it is still God's Law, He that will not work has
No right to eat, 2Th 3:10.

16,17 Let us never set up our own will against the holy will of
God. There was not only liberty allowed to Man, in taking the
fruits of Paradise, but Everlasting Life made sure to him upon
his obedience. There was a trial appointed of his obedience. By
transgression he would forfeit his Maker's favour, and deserve
his displeasure, with all its awful effects; So that he would
become liable to pain, disease, and Death. Worse than that, he
would lose the holy image of God, and all the comfort of his
favour; and feel the Torment of sinful passions, and the terror
of his Maker's vengeance, which must endure for ever with his
never dying soul. The forbidding to eat of the Fruit of a
particular tree was wisely suited to the state of our first
parents. In their state of innocence, and separated from any
others, what opportunity or what Temptation had they to break
any of The Ten Commandments? The event proves that the whole
human race were concerned in the trial and fall of our first
parents. To argue against these things is to strive against
stubborn facts, as Well as Divine Revelation; for Man is sinful,
and shows By his first actions, and his conduct ever afterwards,
that he is ready to do evil. He is under the Divine displeasure,
exposed to sufferings and Death. The Scriptures always speak of
Man as of this sinful character, and in this miserable state;
and these things are true of men in all ages, and of all

18-25 Power over the creatures was given to Man, and as a proof
of this he named them all. It also shows his insight into the
Works of God. But though he was Lord of the creatures, yet
nothing in this world was a help meet for Man. From God are all
our helpers. If we Rest in God, he will work all for good. God
caused Deep sleep to fall On Adam; while he knows No Sin, God
will take care that he shall feel No pain. God, as her Father,
brought the Woman to the Man, as his second self, and a help
meet for him. That Wife, who is of God's making By special
Grace, and of God's bringing By special Providence, is likely to
prove a help meet for a Man. See what need there is, both of
prudence and Prayer in the choice of this relation, which is So
near and So lasting. That had need to be Well done, which is to
be done for Life. Our first parents needed No clothes for
covering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: they
needed none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was Man in his
state of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favours
did he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yet
Man, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soon
became as the beasts that perish.

E2 Modern Biblical Commentary
The Book of Genesis, Chapter 2

The second chapter of Genesis introduces the first human players in the Bible, Adam and Eve and details the creation of the Garden of Eden.

At the end of the previous chapter, mankind had not been created yet; in fact, the world was just as it was ten million years ago, at least in terms of natural history. This chapter is all about the dawn of man in the form of Adam and Eve.

Five Key Verses

Genesis 2:7 - 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.

"Of the dust of the ground" opens this verse, which implies (correctly) that there is nothing truly special about what we are made from. Like most other living things, we are a watery glob of chemical building blocks. Yet there is something special about us that sets us apart, the "breath of God." One can interpret it in a lot of ways; one way is that the breath of God gives humans consciousness and the ability to think in a logical fashion, something which truly sets us apart from the rest of the species on earth.

The implication here is that since God gave us this breath of life, and that we value this life, then we should place value in the one that gave this life to us, God.

Genesis 2:17 - But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

This passage is the one that makes clear that God gave us a great freedom, the freedom of choice.

Rather than physically preventing Adam from eating from the tree of knowledge, God gave Adam a choice, even though Adam, since he had free will, could potentially make the wrong choice. We are faced in our lives every day with countless situations where we have to make choices, and we have to live with the consequences of wrong choices. But the freedom to make the choices ourselves is a truly great gift.

Genesis 2:18 - And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God's work was not truly complete until he created woman, and made a partner for man to share in life with. Without the partnership of man and woman, mankind could not continue onward and prosper.

God designed man as a social creature by nature; it is not good for a person to be alone. This is why loneliness inside us often leads to a great deal of despair and pain, and that rejection by others is one of the most painful experiences of human existence.

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This is the symbolic statement of the basis of marriage in the Bible. People leave behind their parents and become totally committed to one another, essentially becoming one entity. In this sense, a marriage is an intertwinement of lives to the point that they appear as only one braid.

The majority of marriages today fail; people find that living a life together is not as easy as it might seem. This statement on marriage seems to say clearly that one should be unquestionably sure of their direction in life before choosing to go down that path.

Genesis 2:25 - And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Have you ever seen a child running about unclothed without a care in the world? Young children aren't self-conscious about the fact that they are naked, and neither are Adam and Eve in the Garden. Adam and Eve at this point have nothing at all to hide from God physically, emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually. Much like clothing, we build up barriers in our mind attempting to disguise parts of ourselves from those close to us and from God.

While constraints of human society force some degree of secrecy upon us, God is one entity to which it is perfectly all right to be completely naked with. God is there to listen; he has been with us since our first breath of life, and will be with us when we leave our mortal coil. When you pray, don't hold anything back; God will be there for you.


Modern Perspective on Genesis 2
Genesis 2 says that Adam and Eve are our ancestors and are the reason that God created the Earth. It also states that the union of marriage is one of the most fundamental tenets of human life.

From the standpoint of modern science, this may seem to be flawed, but it is not. Evolution dictates that the process of natural selection and survival of the fittest caused the world we see today. However, it is a world that has humankind in the driver's seat; we are the latest, most dominant creation of the process. These processes also led all species to adopt patterns of reproduction that would continue the species onward; in humankind, this is often done through the process of marriage followed by children, as described clearly in this chapter. Again, science and Christianity don't contradict each other as people often seem to claim.

In terms of humanity, though, this is truly the high point. Mankind has yet to commit a single sin and lives together with God. In the next chapter, humankind takes the first steps down the path of sin.

Genesis 2 : A Feminist Interpretation

Genesis 2 presents an alternative creation story to that found in Genesis 1. In this story the universe is created first, then living things and finally humanity, with the female aspect of humanity being produced as God’s final creation. A cursory reading of the text of Genesis 2 appears to suggest that it is hopelessly Patriarchal both in intent and in implication. In this account Woman is produced almost as an after thought, and then only when 'all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air' had been tried first. The wider Patriarchal implications lie in the fact that this text clearly supports both the materialistic utilitarian system that supports Patriarchy in 'The West' through it's presentation of all living things as being present for the use of Man 1. Potentially most damaging is the presentation of marriage as being inevitable and necessary with the implication that those who are not in a classical marriage are somehow less than human. Feminist biblical interpretation seeks to offer alternative 'non-sexist, egalitarian'2 readings or, where relevant; readings that go 'against the grain' 3 of the text highlighting features that require further consideration. This is the method I will use in regard to my analysis.

Genesis reads; 'And the Lord God formed the man' 4 This passage does seem to present the man as having chronological precedence over the woman, which could be interpreted as providing a form of higher importance, though such an argument would; by its own logic place rocks, trees and water as more important than humanity. It also however provides more of an insight into the reasons creation of non-human lifeforms. These are created as companions for humanity, not explicitly for use as resources but to provide some form of relationality for humanity (for more see Deep Ecology). The account proceeds to state that after Adam had met with the various life forms: for Adam 'no suitable helper was found' 5 Adam therefore could not find the companionship with those that God had provided. This indicates a fault in the process of creation. Up until this point there is no indication of any form of difficulty in the process of creation. Each event consists of a process of God willing an event and the event occurring. At this point however something is different. God wills that Adam may have a companion, yet Adam rejects those companions he is presented with.

The solution to Adam's refusal of the companions presented by God is central to many arguments for the inferiority of females to males. The NIV translation follows the traditional translation of Gods response to this situation, 'The LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man' 6. Mary Phil Korsak in her literal translation of the Book of Genesis has an intriguing variation on this theme, 'YHWH Elohim built the side he had taken from the groundling into woman // He brought her to the groundling' 7 (groundling=Adam). The word 'side' is far less specific than 'rib' according to Korsak the Hebrew word in question: tsela is a generic term used to describe both a hill-side and the side of the tabernacle 8. A side of a being such as a human however is an indeterminate factor. Whereas we can determine with some degree of certainty where one rib begins and ends, determining the extent or even the nature of a human side is a quite different proposition. While humans may refer to their left or right sides, even their front or rear sides. It is not uncommon to refer to a person as having a many sides to their personality. It is even possible to refer to two or more sides to a human soul. It would not be an unfair proposition therefore to say that the original being created from the 'dust of the earth' in Genesis 2.7 was in fact divided into two equal beings. The original singularity became a self supporting plurality. Humanity therefore is thus made able to help itself and provide its own companionship. As both male and female were aspects of the original singleton both were present in Genesis 2.19, both male and female could, as a result claim to be the 'helped' and the 'helper'. This argument places our strength in our divergence, but does not place one half of the whole in the role of master or mistress.

Further in this argument it is notable that at no point in Genesis 2.4-25 is there a mention of the word 'sin'. The action of the woman in Genesis 3 has traditionally been regarded by the Christian Church as the original sin as it is seen as directly contravening Gods will as described in Genesis 2.16. The first use of the word 'sin' however is in Genesis 4.7 where God warns Abel that sin lies in wait. Anne Primavesti points out the disparity between the two situations in which God clearly describes the act of murder as sin, and yet we are led to believe by tradition that the act of eating a fruit is of equal status 9 . The absence of an explicit declaration that to eat the fruit is a sin allows for Genesis 2.16-17 to be interpreted in a different light. What is essentially placed before humanity is a choice between a life of comfortable ignorance or a hard, short, painful life; but one with the potential for wisdom. As a responsible parent God appears to advise against the latter choice in his phasing 'you must not' 10 but does not prevent them from making their own decision. Humanity clearly selects the latter and God respects that decision, clearly outlining the consequences to them11 and as a responsible parent does; allows his children to make their own way in the world, for they have flown the nest.

Genesis 2.4-25 seen in this light presents a picture of God as parent; working to produce a safe home for his/her children (for surely this represents the drive of all good parents). God helps his children to grow, yet respects their wishes. God advises her/his children yet does not dictate. God wishes for the easy road for his/her children, yet, in Genesis 3; respects their wishes when they seek to strike out on the difficult road of self-knowledge. Genesis 2.25 ends in a golden age of childhood in which a successful home has been created, arguably before the strains that occur with dawning of self awareness in Genesis 3 and puberty.

Sources Used:

1 - Genesis 2.16 , Genesis 2.18-19
2 - Joseph Abraham, 'Feminist Hermenutics and Pentecostal Spirituality: The Creation Narrative of Genesis as a Paradigm', Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, Vol.6, Issue 1, Jan 2003, p.3.
3 - Ibid.
4 - Genesis 2:7
5 - Genesis 2:20
6 - Genesis 2:22
7 - Mary Phil Korsak, At the Start...: Genesis made new: A translation of the Hebrew text (Belgium: European Association for the Promotion of Poetry, 1992), p.7. / Genesis 2.22
Note: the use of the word groundling is an attempt to represent the common root between adamah (ground) and adam (man). Ibid p.196.
8 - Ibid p.196.
9 - Anne Primavesti, From Apocalypse to Genesis (Tunbridge Wells: Burns & Oats, 1991), pp.223-224.
10 - Genesis 2.17
11 - Genesis 3.16-19

Genesis 2

This is a story about the first people.

I know where the first men came from, says Raven. No shit, there they were, pale like little worms, crawling out of a clam I had just opened for dinner. No claws or fangs, but cute, y'know, trying to stand on two legs and all...

I know where the first woman came from, says Coyote. She fell out of the sky and landed on me.

Knock it off, you two jokers, before I get Old Testament on your asses, says I. Ahem.


1.1 Once there was a primate who, like the rest of his pack, would often come out of the trees and chase lesser carnivores off their kill. 1.2 He got up on two legs, arms over his head, and ran at them. 1.3 He was good at running. He ran everywhere he could. 1.4 And when he got tired of running, he stopped. 1.5 He was the best runner of his tribe. The girls dug this and wanted to have his babies.

1.6 Those babies were born to run. They competed amongst themselves, and over the generations, their legs got longer, their butts got bigger, and they lost their body hair so they could sweat better.* 1.7 They got so good at running to catch food that they could afford to stop and rest most of the day. With their long running necks, they began to talk, and with their denser hunting brains, they began to think. 1.8 And these were the first humans.


But what about Adam and Eve, asks Coyote.

Oh, the first Hebrew people?

Well, they show up a little later. And there's a story there too.


Adam and Eve were two kids, crazy in love. And they had the audacity to demonstrate it in public, because they were shameless.

So the villagers chased them out of town, to try and teach them shame. Adam and Eve didn't give up, though, and settled in a little house far from town, on a grassy sward near the woods, with a garden. Not far enough, though, because rumors spread, and boys started teasing them, and one day a mob showed up while they were out and burned their house down.

They looked at the remains of their house, and the angry mob, and the burning sward.

Is this the joke that ends with Adam yelling "Since when did it become so wrong to have sex with your sister?" interrupted Coyote.

Not anymore. And you've ruined the story. Although maybe it wasn't that funny.

Do you have another one?

There's one where Adam names every living thing and learns animal husbandry (which isn't what it sounds like) and begat the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

That sounds very long and boring. Anything interesting?


Well, here's a story Eve herself told me once. Adam was a warrior, a big strong man, in a tribe with a rule: you couldn't be elected leader unless you had children. This rule was very important. It meant the leader would have other distractions besides sitting around and making up silly rules. Adam was second in command, and wanted to be leader so strongly he could taste it. But he and Eve had no children.

Eve privately thought Adam was an arrogant jerk. She didn't think he had the sensitivity to be a good leader, nor a good father figure. And besides, her best friend was already wife of the present leader. So she began taking contraceptive herbs supplied by the tribe's medicine woman. She knew she was doing her friend a favor. If circumstances changed, she could stop taking the herbs, fall pregnant, and become a leader's wife eventually. And of course it was important Adam not find out.

One day, Adam found out. He was angry violent raging on MAD! Mad as Adam was, though, he left Eve unharmed.

He found and killed the medicine woman with a single blow. They were exiled from the tribe for that, because a good smart medicine woman is worth a couple of dumb, strong warriors any day.

Adam and Eve and some of his hangers-on wandered for days and settled finally in a fertile valley. Without her medicine supply, Eve herself eventually fell pregnant and had twins. Adam hardly had time for them, he was busy trying to convince his new tribe that it was Eve's fault they had to leave in the first place. Eve says his story seems to have caught on, although it changed a little in the telling.

Abel and Cain grew up in the valley, and eventually dated some of the daughters of Adam's lackeys, but those two boys were always fighting! "Dad always liked you better!" Killing each other, they were! But that's another story.


for Everything Quest: The PC Bible

* "Born To Run", Ingfei Chen, Discover magazine, May 2006;

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