Originally posted on Tayibs.com
Welcome back to our study of the book of Genesis, last week we zeroed in on Verses 1-14. We discovered that there was a greater emphasis on Day Six in that particular section of Scripture. We are given more details about what happened on it, and the passage is also designed to prepare us for what is to come in Chapter 3. Today we’ll wrap up Chapter 2.
Genesis 2:15-25 Exposition By Dr. Baruch Korman
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[d] of it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[e] him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed[f] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[g] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”[i]
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Work it: most translations use the word cultivate as a way to explain the word work it.
Keep it: it has a variety of meaning, but we must learn what it meant for the original readers. Keeping has to do with taking care of , guarding, protecting , looking after and stewarding.
So Adam the man sole purpose was to cultivate, take care, guard, protect and look after a Garden that was already functioning perfectly. This was not a painful labor, it was before the Fall and Adam had a perfect fellowship with His creator. In the next verse, God reiterates what was already told in Chapter 1 except this time with a restriction. Adam could eat from any tree in the Garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is the meaning of this tree? Looking ahead to Chapter 3, we know that this tree was only reserved for God. We also know that eating from this tree causes the consumer to be like God. And the only thing that I can say is that God will not share His glory with anyone, He is HOLY. So anyone who aspires to be like God ( usurping the identity of God) on his/her own terms makes himself/herself an enemy of God.
Adam was warned not to eat from it because it would surely bring about his death. This death, however, does not necessarily imply immediate physical death. Looking ahead to Chapter 3, Adam was eventually forbidden from eating from the tree of life, ensuring that he would die. We can also discuss Man’s spiritual death, or separation from God, but I’m not sure the original readers of Genesis understood it in this way. However, it is worth mentioning.
- Verse 18
This verse returns us to Genesis 1. When God created a function or a functionary, He evaluated His own work and declared it to be good. We see that when God created Adam on the sixth day, HE was not finished with every purpose that surrounded this man who was created. The phrase “it isn’t good” does not imply that God’s work was inherently flawed. It simply means that God was not finished yet. God decided to create a suitable helper for Adam, one who would complete him. It was God’s prerogative, not Adam’s.
- Verses 19-23
Genesis 1 is being confirmed again in verse 19. All the wild creatures and birds were created from the ground. And God chose to bring them to Adam so that He would name them. I just want to mention the privilege that the man was given. We see a glimpse of what it means to work in conjunction with God. Adam was working with God in naming the animals. The reason why I’m mentioning this is because even though God created all things to function according to their design, and even though God Himself could have stewarded it independent of man, He chose to create a Man ( after his own image) to be an extension of Him on earth, this is incredible. So Adam was the first person to exercise taxonomy by naming all the wild creatures and birds that were created. Verse 20 is a repetition of verse 19, and the emphasis is on the privilege that was given to man ( Adam). Whatever the man called the creatures was Amen in the sight of God, that to me is incredible. We are also reminded in verse 20 that God was still not completed with His task because the suitable helper that Adam needed was not yet created.
In verse 21, we are now given a window into how the Woman was created. Surgery had to occur, this is so interesting. Adam is sedated and sort of put under the knife. God uses his rib to create a suitable helper for him. The key here is to recognize that the woman wasn’t created outside of the Man. God did not form her originally out of the ground, she came out of the man. She is part of the man. The Scripture also tells us that God concealed what was done by closing up the place with flesh. But one thing is for sure, one of Adam’s ribs was missing.
In Verse 22, we see that God uses that rib to create a woman and brings her to the man. And in verse 23, we see Adam’s reaction, one of exhilaration. He must have been aware that something inside of him was missing, this is why when he saw her, he realized what God had done, and was utterly pleased with the work of God. God had used his own rib to create a helper suitable for him, thus indicating Adam’s deep connection with the Woman. We know from Chapter 1 that God created them Male and Female in his own image. But in Chapter 2, we are giving more specific details about how the process was established.
- Verse 24
Verse 24 is the natural, logical response of Verse 23. Before the fall, we see that man isn’t complete without the woman. Ask yourself why is it that it is the man that leaves his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife. The answer is very clear, his rib is missing and he has to go look for it. In God’s original plan, it appears that man was never supposed to be alone, He had to have a suitable partner. And by uniting with his wife, the two become one flesh ( the rib is put back into place figuratively).