Gen 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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."
God rested on the seventh day, not because he was tired (impossible), but because the work of creation was finished. Everything he had created was made in such a way that it was able to reproduce itself . Everything living, including man, animals and plant life, bore fruit with seed in it thus all of life was able to reproduce itself. God rested because at this point he didnít NEED to do anything further.
Notice he sanctified the seventh day - it is the first clue of the sabbath that would come some 2500 years later. The word sabbath is not found in the Bible until Ex. 16 when God sent the manna to Israel in the wilderness. Manna was bread from heaven - it was a picture of Jesus. Manna and sabbath - rest from work, stopping of sin - came at the same time. They go together now just as they did then.
But God did sanctify the seventh day. The word sanctify is the Hebrew word is qodesh and it means to be, make, pronounce or observe as clean, ceremonially or morally. This seventh day was pronounced sanctified because there was nothing unholy or evil in all of what had just been created. Sanctify simply means clean, holy, set apart for Godís use.
We come across the same word in the New Testament. 1 Thess 5:23 says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." The spirit is sanctified by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 13:12) and it occurs at salvation. The soul is sanctified by the Word of God (John 17:17; Eph. 5:26; Rom. 12:2) and this sanctification is continuous and ongoing. The body will be fully sanctified at the resurrection/rapture (I Cor. 15:51-53).
Heb. 4:11 gives a very concise teaching on the Christian sabbath. It speaks of entering God's rest, faith, the seventh day, limiting a certain day, and, in the context of the passage, states that there is a rest to the people of God and it is entered by ceasing from doing our own works. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." We WORK for a wage, i.e. sin equals work and the wage earned is death. When we cease from our own works (sin) and do the works of God, we enter the sabbath life. There are other scriptures on the subject, and it is instructive to review the ministry of Jesus in regard to the Sabbath.
Note also that verse 3 states that God rested from "all his work which God created and made." We see again a distinction between the word 'created' (Hebrew: bara - absolutely to create, used fifty-five times in the Bible) and the word 'made' (Hebrew: asah - to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application, used 2629 times in the Bible).
Gen 2:4-6 "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, 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. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground."
At this point we begin a more detailed look at some of the most significant aspects of creation. A new name for God is introduced: Jehovah (the self-existent, eternal one) Elohim (triune God). The verse mentions the generations of the heavens and the earth. Generations means more than one day, or more than six days.
In vs. 5 we see a reference again to plant life: "for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth." This is the origin of the original Ďgreenhouseí theory. Some believe that the firmament created in Gen. 1:6-8 (second day) was actually a shield that prevented the damaging rays from the sun from reaching earth. It is believed that this is the explanation of the long, long lifespans that are found just a few chapters later, and that when God sent the flood in Gen. 7 he destroyed this firmament and never replaced it. I personally donít believe that God removed anything that he created at creation. It is believed that dinosaurs existed during this greenhouse period and that this atmospheric condition is the reason for their large size. It is my belief that if dinosaurs existed at the time of Noah, Noah would have taken them on the ark and we would find more recent remnants of them today. The belief held by some that alligators and other reptiles are the remnants of dinosaurs is an evolutionary concept, and for that reason, I personally reject it. Having said all of that, it is a Bible fact that at this point in Gen. 2 it had not rained upon the earth and that rain is not mentioned again until Gen. 7.
Verse 6 tells us how the earth was watered - there went up a mist from the earth. Today we would call that dew. I think the amount of dew we find on a summer morning is not as much as what the early generations of man would have found.
Verse 5 gives us the timing of these verses: between the third and sixth days of creation. The same verse also tells us that man was to be productive, he was to have something to do: "and there was not a man to till the ground." It is the will of God for man to work, to be productive, to have a work ethic. II Th 3:10 says, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." Adam was created as a perfect being who was to live in a perfect environment, yet he was to work. God has not changed his mind and he never will, and this has implications for our eternal future. While some have the idea that weíre going to spend eternity sitting on a cloud playing a harp or in some eternal church service, I think God has other plans. He had a purpose in mind when he created man. I am very interested in what God has planned for the future.
Gen 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." Here is the creation of Adam, which is the Hebrew word for man. Notice God FORMED man from the dust of the ground. Later, after the fall, we will see that a curse came upon the entire earth. Through Adam, all human beings are connected with the earth - with dirt. That is what our bodies are made out of and that is what they will return to (in the normal course of events).
In this verse, Adam is simply laying there on the ground, he was what we would recognize as dead, until God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. It was the first artificial resuscitation; the first CPR without the pounding on the chest.
Some people use this verse of scripture to justify abortion, with the argument that Adam was not alive until he actually breathed. This is a true statement as it relates to Adam, but it is not true regarding any other person. It is very interesting that the verse says "God breathedÖ" The word inspiration in both Old and New Testaments is defined as God breathed. The Bible is God breathed - inspired. We look at the book and see black and red ink formed into words and applied to white paper. It is a book; the words themselves in any other arrangement are just words. But these words are the very Word of God. Jesus said this: (John 6:63) "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The word of God is God-breathed, and God himself breathed into Adamís nostrils the very breath of life.
Gen 2:8 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." Notice God PLANTED a garden, which required seeds, and fortunately, according to Gen. 1:11 all the plant life that existed bore fruit with seed in it. In Gen. 1:29 God gave a blanket instruction that man could eat of every plant and tree that bore fruit with seed in it, and here in Gen. 2:8 God PLANTS a garden, the implication being that he placed seeds in the ground where they grew. All plant life, including those plants which God planted in the garden of Eden, bore fruit with seed in it and all were available for food.
"And there God PUT the man whom he had FORMED." We learn right here that Adam was not created in the garden of Eden, he was created someplace else and then placed in the garden. Further, he was not made alive until after he was placed in the garden. The verse said there God put the man whom he had formed, not the man whom he had made a living soul.
Verse 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." The fact that God planted a garden from seed is reinforced again. We get further information about exactly what kinds of trees grew in the garden. God caused trees to grow that were: 1) pleasant to the sight; and 2) good for food. Think about how the appearance of a tree differs when you are far away and when you are close. When you are far away you notice the overall appearance; the shape, whether it is an evergreen or an oak; you notice the size - if it is full grown or a sapling; you will notice if it is a pretty tree or one that is not so inviting.
There is a principle here: God uses a pleasant overall appearance to draw man to what is good. God would draw Adam first to the tree that had a pleasant overall appearance, then, when he got close enough to examine the fruit, he would determine whether or not it was good for food. Whether or not it bore fruit with seed in it. This is a very important concept because of the last clause in the verse.
Punctuation is just as important in the Bible as it is in any other writing. Notice there is a semi-colon after the word food, which means that the following clause is still part of the same subject, but it is especially separated.
"The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." While both of these trees bore fruit, we will find out that one could have been freely eaten from while the other was forbidden. Notice again the order of the clauses: first the tree of life then the tree of knowledge. Notice also that BOTH trees are located in the middle of the garden. This also will be important later.
Gen 2:10-14 "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates."
In these verses, one river divides into four. The first river is Pison and it encircles the whole land of Havilah, which was an area between Babylonia and Assyria. Today we would identify it as being between Iraq and Syria. The passage tells us there is gold in Havilah, also bdellium - thought to be a fragrant gum, perhaps amber, or might be pearls - and onyx - Hebrew word means pale green - some type of light green gem stone. Notice that in these verses we find a statement of where the treasure is located. It is Godís plan that man should have what he needs. I heard one fellow say it was because God also planned to create woman thus man would NEED that gold. I think it has to do with Godís foreknowledge that man would need an economic system. Perhaps most important, it teaches that there are some created things that are more valuable than others. In Rev. 4 we find God himself described in terms of jewels
The second river is Gihon and it encircles the land of Ethiopia, the land today called Sudan, and it lies south of Egypt. The third river is Hiddekel, it goes toward the east of Assyria and may be the Tigris river. The fourth river is the Euphrates, and Baghdad is probably the nearest large city.
Gen 2:15-17 "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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."
Here again we see that after he was created, God placed Adam in the garden. Please notice that Eve is not present: she has not yet been created at this point in the chapter.
We see another reference to man being productive. In these verses we find Godís first communication with man, his first instruction: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. God freely gives blessing, provision, sustenance to his people.
We also see here Godís first commandment: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. God commands his people not to partake of that which defiles, causes death. Adam had permission to freely eat of the tree of life: it was not excluded. Godís instruction is always the same: choose life!
We also see here the first prophecy in the Bible: for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die. This statement is made as a matter of fact: God KNEW that Adam was going to eat that fruit.
Notice the order: 1) instruction; 2) commandment; 3) warning.
The big question is WHY was that tree in the garden? HOW did it get there? Did God really place it there as a test for Adam? James 1:13-15 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." The word tempt is the G. peirazo and it means to test objectively. According to James, we do that to ourselves when we place our eyes, our attention, on something forbidden. Matt 4:1 gives us the identity of the tempter: "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
When temptation comes our way we need to KNOW that it is not sent by God to see how we will react. God has ALWAYS known exactly how we will react to any given situation. We need to know that temptation always comes from the devil and he has a goal in mind: (John 10:10) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Satan comes to tempt us for three reasons: to steal from us, to kill us and to destroy us. The devil hates us as much as God loves us. God demonstrated his love in dying for us so that we might live forever with him. Satan demonstrates his hatred of man in his destruction of man. He knows where he is going (although apparently he doesnít believe it) and he wants to take as many people as possible with him because he canít touch God himself, therefore he will destroy those who are created in Godís image and likeness - man.
God was not responsible for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil being in the garden. EVERY tree that God brought forth grew from seed and bore fruit with seed in it thus was good for food, but this tree was different - it was a hybrid. As man produces hybrid (seedless) oranges, cucumbers, etc, so did Satan alter the tree of knowledge. It bore fruit, but the fruit did not contain any seed. THIS tree was not able to reproduce itself. Adam was the test and Satan only had one chance. The reproductive life of the tree is in the seed, this fruit was seedless thus did not contain life - it literally contained death.
The only evil thing present in all of Godís creation was that one ugly tree. Because Adam would eat of that tree and bring death upon all of mankind, eventually Jesus would be nailed to a tree to bring life to all that receive him. Jesus is the fruit of the cross. The seed of that fruit (the life of the flesh is in the blood) was his blood shed for us and it reproduces like crazy when we come to him for cleansing from our sins.
Jesus said (John 6:53-56) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
Adam ate a certain piece of fruit - he took the fruit into his body. In a similar way, we are to take the flesh of Jesus (the Bible) into ourselves, eat it, feed on it, get it down inside and we are to drink his blood - NOT LITERALLY - we are to appropriate it, make use of it, for the forgiveness and cleansing from sin. We do not literally, really, eat his flesh and drink his blood, but these two things are symbolized in communion - the bread and the wine. When we take communion we take into our bodies a representation of what he did for us in his body.