Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Genesis Bible Study, Chapter Two

Genesis Chapter 2

                                                                                                                                             Source: Imagefriend.com

(Instructions on how to use this Bible Study are located at the bottom of each Chapter)

Chapter 2 of Genesis gives us more detail on the first week of creation beginning in verse 4 focusing mainly on the creation of man and woman, and describing the area in which they lived.

Genesis 2:1-3

-Many believe that the first 3 verses of chapter two of Genesis should belong at the end of the first chapter because they cover the 7th day.
The Sabbath:
-The 7th Day - Blessed and Hallowed.
-There is no mention of a morning or evening in this passage.

Does this mean the seventh day is still continuing?

No. The Scripture does not say He is resting on the 7th day, rather ‘He rested’ (past tense) on the 7th day.

In fact, the words “seven, Sabbath, and rest” are the same word in Hebrew. It means the cessation of effort. It is not a restoring rest brought on because of fatigue. God stopped because He was finished, not because He was tired.  (Interpreting Symbols and Types, Kevin J. Connor)

The end of the 6th day was the last account of any creating activity. God is still active, although not in creation (as in the visible being created from things which are not visible).  That is confirmed in the passage John 5:17-19 where Jesus is in the synagogue healing a man on the Sabbath.

                                  “My Father is working until now, and I am working“

 It was proper for Him to do a deed of mercy on the Sabbath because He was imitating His Father who was unceasingly active. However, God’s creative activity in this realm has ended.

There is also a spiritual parallel here to the spiritual rest found in Christ!

- Interestingly even evolution agrees to this. There is no ‘creating’ observable today.

Why did God appoint a Sabbath day?
Colossians 2:13-17, Mark 2:27,28 (23-28 for context)

    1)  It’s a shadow of things to come (it has symbolic value)
    2) The Sabbath was made for man. For his rest and refreshing, and for turning our attention to God.

Also Romans 14:5, 6; Galatians 4:10,11

The weekly (shadow) Sabbath ended at the cross. The next day became the Lord’s Day...and that’s what Christians began to celebrate.  

“Often first-day worship was practiced alongside observance of seventh day Sabbath rest and was a widespread Christian tradition by the 2nd century. Over time, Sunday became known as the Lord’s Day, and later as a rest day. On March 7, 321, Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor.” (Wikipedia)

What is the True (full and complete) Sabbath rest?
Hebrews 4 (esp. vs: 9,10)

To cease from your own efforts and depend on the works of another. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Although the Old Testament tells us to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Ex. 20:8, this seems to have been turned into a more excellent observance. In Hebrews 4:9-11 where we are told to “enter in and remain” in a Sabbath rest!

Most of us are inadequate and unable, but why? We depend on our own efforts, looking to ourselves, our background, training, gifting, talents, education, etc.  We become overconfident and underequipped, or under-confidant and overworked! We constantly try to make up in activity what we lack in results. God knew that would be our problem -- He understands us.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Learn of me.

Yoke: to fit over the neck of two oxen. It was made for two, never for one. Christ on one side, you on the other.  It is a symbol of servitude, controlled labor and activity. He learned obedience through the things he suffered. 

“If any man saves his life, he shall lose it. If any man loses his life because of me, he will find it. He will enter my rest.” Matthew 16:25

Genesis 2:4

Again, chapter 2 is the beginning of a recap of what happened during the creation days.  It does not contradict the account in the first chapter, but instead is complementary to it.  

There is a difference in the vocabularies in the two chapters.  Some say that the section from Genesis 2:4b to Genesis 5:1 was written by Adam.  The most distinctive vocabulary difference is the use of the divine name Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) instead of God (Elohim), In Genesis 4, however, Lord (Jehovah) is used almost exclusively.

“In the day”....YOM here is most properly translated “in the time.” (vs 4)

Genesis 2:5, 6

The present hydrologic cycle involves global and continental air movements as well as annual and seasonal temperature changes.  It centers around the solar evaporation of ocean waters, transportation to the continents in the atmospheric circulation, condensation and precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Then it transports back to the oceans via rivers.

As originally created, the earth’s daily water supply came from evaporation and condensation causing a mist (fog, vapor) to form on the land which watered its surface. There were also spring fed rivers.

Genesis 2:7 A Living Being (KJV translates this as Living Soul)

This verse focuses not on the creation of man (as in Gen. 1:27), but of the formation and energizing of his body. Man’s body had been completely formed, equipped with nostrils, lungs, and the entire breathing apparatus, as well as bones and organs, etc.

Man was made from the dust of the earth. It is now known that the same essential chemical elements are found in man and animal life that are in the soil. Also see 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 along with the following question.

What had to happen before man became a living being?

God breathed the spirit of life into his nostrils.

Life can only come from life, and the living God is the only self-existent Being, so it must ultimately come from Him. The breath of life is shared in common with animals (Gen 7:22) At this point man became a living soul. 

What is the difference between the spirit and the soul?

The spirit is the element in humanity which gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with God.

Whenever the word 'spirit' is used, what does it refer to? (John 4:24)

The immaterial part of humanity that 'connects' with God, who Himself is Spirit. 

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12).

What is the soul?  The essence of humanity’s being;  it is who we are.

Genesis 2:8,9 Eden

Eden means delight. The root word is “watering.”  It means - a place that is well watered.

It is also called (?)
Isaiah 51:3   The garden of the Lord
Ezekiel 28:13; 31:9    The garden of God
Revelation 2:7    The paradise of God

What trees received special mention?

The tree of life.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The tree of life was planted in the middle of the garden. If man ate from this tree he would live forever. (Genesis 3:22)

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was also planted in the garden. If man ate from this tree, he would surely die (Dying, you shall die).  (Genesis 2:17)

The moment Adam disobeyed God, the principle of death and decay began to operate and he would eventually go back to the dust from which he was formed.

The Hebrew word for ‘knowledge’ is translated 'wisdom, perception and understanding.' In short, it means having the power to decide for one self. 

Does the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ make one wise?

No, Knowing good and evil does not give one the power to choose the good and reject the evil! Ultimately there’s only one result from this tree, the experience of evil - which results in death!

Genesis 2:10-14 The Rivers

There was a single river entering the garden. It separated into four headwaters, or rivers, each having its own name. This single river does something that most rivers DO NOT do; specifically, split into four separate "heads" or rivers that flowed downstream, all fed from a common single river source. Almost all rivers start from a single source or are fed by multiple sources (tributaries). For that reason, nobody has been able to look at modern maps of the regions mentioned in Genesis and figure out exactly where the Garden of Eden was, at least by the present topography of the lands of the Middle East. 

Pishon: It winds through the entire land of Havilah. Havilah is in central Arabia east of Israel (Genesis 25:18). It is known for its pure gold, aromatic resin and onyx. (according to Josephus, the Greeks called this the Ganges)

Gihon: It winds through the entire land of Cush.  The land of Cush is often associated with Ethiopia, but not always. In this instance, Ethiopia is in Africa, but the garden is described as being in Mesopotamia, to this is probably located east of Mesopatamia, or east of the Tigris river. (Josephus: The Nile)

Hiddekel: It runs along the east side of Asshur in what today is northern Iraq. It is believed to be the Tigris River. (Hiddekel was also given in the Assyrian monuments as the Tigris)

Euphrates: Which is in ancient Babylonia, or modern southern Iraq.

Two of these rivers that are known today, and two rivers are unknown.

If the Tigris and Euphrates rivers mark the northern and southern borders of the garden, then the other two may have marked the western and eastern borders...but this is just a guess. Based on what we do know, the Garden of Eden was probably between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is today modern Iraq or modern Turkey.

Genesis 2:15

God placed Adam in the garden. His first knowledge of his Creator would be of one who loved Him and abundantly provided for him. He was to tend, guard (a careful and loving stewardship) and keep it (beautiful and orderly).

What was Adam to do in the Garden?

Even in a perfect world, work was necessary for man’s own good. 

Genesis 2:16,17

Of what concern was God’s first command to man?

1) It concerned Life and Death
2) Positive Blessing: Freely eat of every tree
3) Negative Consequences: Do not eat of the tree of good & evil…you will die.

All earthly goods and pleasures were at man’s disposal, except the tree of the knowledge (or knowing) of good and evil, which was forbidden. Its purpose was to test their obedience to the will of God.

Adam was not to assume that because he was given authority over the earth that he was independent of God and exempt from His law.  Although he was created in a perfect state, he had the ability to make an imperfect choice.

In other words, he had free will.

Moral Choice/Free Will

However, in order to make a right moral choice, it was necessary that a wrong moral choice could also be made.  God’s creation of morally free spiritual beings, “in his own image,” clearly must run the risk of having them reject Him and His love.

There was every reason for man to conform to God’s command and no reason to disobey. Yet he did have a choice and so was truly a ‘free moral agent’ before God.

There can be no doubt that God’s nature of love was central to His purpose in creating man and woman. (1 John 4:16-19; Eph. 2:7)  A perfect Creator could hardly be satisfied with an imperfect love relationship. Therefore, if God created people with the purpose of bestowing His love on them, His purpose must also have included a mutual and reciprocated love on their parts. But love, by its very nature, must be voluntary. If they are really to love God, men and women must be able to choose of their own will to love God!

How can we show love to God?

1 John 5:3   Obedience
1 John 4:21; Matthew 22:37-40   Loving others
1 John 2:15   Do not love the world
John 16:27   Love Jesus

Genesis 2:18   "It is not good that man should be alone."

God made woman out of man “a helpmate for man”...literally “a helper like man,” suited, adapted, complementary for him.

It does not say that Adam was lonely.
It does not say that anything was evil, only not good in the sense that it was incomplete. This all took place on day 6.

Genesis 2:19

Chapter 2 verse 19 does not contradict Chapter One which seems to state that the birds and land animals were made before Adam. God had just expressed His purpose to make a ‘helpmeet for man,’ and it’s absurd to think He would set about to carry out this purpose by first making animals.

Rather, verse 19 merely shows that God also made animal bodies from the ground, however, though the physical elements were the same in the bodies of both man and beast, there was still no real fellowship possible between them, as Adam would soon learn when he examined them. He had been created “in the image of God” and would require a being of like nature to himself.

The conjunction ‘and’, could also be translated “also.”  (vs 19)
The word “formed,” can in the context legitimately be translated “had formed.” (vs 19)

God describes the sequence of creation in Genesis 1, then clarifies its most important details, especially of the sixth day in Genesis 2. There is no contradiction here, merely a common literary device describing an event from the general to the specific.

Genesis 2:20 Adam Names the Animals. * Handout

These probably included birds, cattle, beasts and smaller wild animals, but not the fish, the creeping things and the beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:24).

“Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

We have no way of knowing how many “kinds” of animals appeared before Adam. The fact that he gave them appropriate names shows he was a man of high intelligence and quick discernment. There seem to have been no second thoughts or later name changes. 

This established Adam’s rule over them. When you name someone, you have authority over them (2 Kings 23:34; 24:17).

This also established that although he could rule over them, he could not intelligently fellowship with them.

Genesis 2:21,22  Flesh of his flesh

The account of the creation and formation of Eve is a problem for evolution. Even if Adam evolved from an apelike ancestor, there is no way in which the account of Eve’s unique mode of origin can be interpreted in an evolutionary context.

To make matters worse, the NT confirms this record. Adam first, then Eve. (1 Tim. 2:13; 1 Cor.11:8)

All other men have been born of woman, but the first woman was made from man!!

God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. This was the first surgical operation.

Was Eve actually made from Adam’s rib?
Not just his rib.

The Hebrew word used is ‘tzeila’ and refers to Adam’s side, not rib. Both bone and flesh, as well as blood.

Eve came into existence out of the very life of the man. Life begets life.

Then the Lord God made “banah” a woman from the rib (side)....
The Hebrew word “banah” means “to build.” God actually built a woman out of Adam’s side.

Genesis 2:23,24

“This (creature) is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” This is Adam’s response and the first recorded words of man. This phrase is a statement of commitment (2 Samuel 5:1) from Adam to Eve. He realizes that she is his complement.

Spiritual Symbolism: In like manner, God is now forming a bride for Christ, as in ‘building up the body’ Eph 4:11-16

Adam named her "woman" because she was taken out of man.

Man=Ish in Hebrew
Woman=Isha in Hebrew.

Isha comes out of Ish.  This is a Hebrew wordplay and only makes sense in Hebrew.

*Could this show that Hebrew was the first language???

God brought her to the man: God will bring His bride to Jesus and He will go to meet her and she will evermore be joined to the Lord. (Rev 19:7-9; 1 Thess 4:16,27

Institute of Marriage

The Hebrew word for ‘be united’ means to stick like glue. This word is often used to signify the maintaining of a covenant and is used that way several times in the book of Deuteronomy.

It is plain that God’s intention from the very beginning was a permanent, life-long monogamous relationship for the man and his wife.  Jesus based His own teaching on marriage on this passage
(Mark 10:2-12) and he chose this relationship to show the picture and pattern of the relation of Christ to His Church (Eph. 5:22-33)

However...because of sin after the Fall, God has allowed polygamy (Abraham, Jacob and David, and to bless the work of some who practiced it). Similarly, the Law of Moses allowed divorce, and in some cases, God even commanded it (Ezra 10:11).

Genesis 2:25

They were alone with no other people before whom to be embarrassed, however, they felt perfectly natural with each other. More importantly, they were innocent, with no consciousness of sin or moral guilt.  God had commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, so there was no reason for their physical union in marriage to bring guilt feelings.  They had done nothing wrong.

This was the Dispensation of Innocence.


Hand Outs: 
Six Godlike Qualities Man Displays
Adam Names the Animals


Six Godlike Qualities Which Man Displays:

Language: Only man communicates by speech and writing, and this he has done from the dawn of history. How does a newborn baby learn to speak? It is now accepted by linguists that speech is innate, or inborn. That is, speech happens because the infant is human

Creativity: We have an insatiable desire to be creative. Animals are not creative. They endlessly reproduce a stereotyped design. A particular spider constructs a web of constant pattern. The song of a bird is species specific, or mimicry of another bird or human. No originality is demonstrated.

Love: Love is the quintessence of God’s character. God is love (1 John 4:16). Man, because of the given image, has the capacity to love—a virtue of a completely different order from the mothering or sex responses of an animal.

Holiness: Un-sinning Adam and Eve walked in the garden and communed with God—until the Fall. Only the faintest afterglow of that holiness is left in natural man. After years of buffeting by storms and abuse, man is now defaced, yet still shows something of his past grandeur—so man still retains the remnants of his original nobility. Man is still man, even in ruins.

More than that: because man is made in the image of God whether he acknowledges it or not, he still seeks after beauty and holiness; but beauty of body rather than of character, and personal esteem than the glory of God. A man re-created in the likeness of God puts on true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).

Immortality: God is immortal. Man too is immortal. This is another part of the image. Jesus said, “A time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear the voice (of the Son of Man) and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28–29). God’s chosen ones will live with him forever in his newly created earth. 

Freedom: Adam was created only a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), as a free spiritual being. A responsible moral agent with a thinking mind and powers of choice and action, able to commune with God and respond to him, he could love and worship God—or if not, as he chose. Man could rebel against God. And the tragedy for the human race is that Adam and his wife, tempted by the serpent, did just that. Man, with such a golden start, used his freedom to turn against his Creator.

Man now misinterprets freedom as independence. Satan’s lie was to trick man into believing that to be independent of God was to be “free.” But there is no such thing as freedom. We are all slaves, either to Christ or to Satan. Since the Fall, man remains a free agent in the sense that his decisions and conduct proceed from his inner character and not from external constraint. But because his very nature is now sinful, his decisions and acts are sinful too. 
In any case, the “image of God” in which man was created entails aspects of human nature which are not shared by animals. 
Adam Names the Animals.

There's no way anyone knows precisely how the animals were named (i.e. were they in a line, did Adam walk around and see them, etc.), but based on Genesis, we do know that Adam did so in the span of 24 hours. The criticism then is this: If we use current estimates of the number of animals in existence, it’s impossible for Adam to have taken less than the day God provided him with. How do Bible students explain and justify the account in Genesis in light of this criticism?

When considering the land and time in which Adam was created along with supporting Biblical evidence (and in some cases, the lack of evidence), strong and reasonable assumptions can be made to help fill in some of the gaps. Ultimately, it is the hope that this examination of Genesis 2:19-20 will provide enough information to either springboard an individual into further study or be an effective tool in answering Bible critics.

1. Genesis tells us that animals were created according to their “kinds”, rather than their species. This word indicates limitations of variation. Note the definition of the Hebrew word “kind”: Groups of living organisms belong in the same created "kind" if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool. Therefore “snake” instead of “python”, “corn snake”, “eastern coral snake”, “cottonmouth”, etc.

2. There were less species in Genesis. For example, there were no domesticated dogs which means “wolf” would have been the “kind” that Adam named instead of the as-of-then-non-existent “Irish Wolfhound”.

3. It is often pointed out that Adam alone wouldn't have had time to name the hundreds of thousands of insects that currently exist. This is a bogus argument. While it looks impressive and certainly lends itself to the impossibility of the situation, the fact is Adam didn’t name insects or sea creatures. Genesis 2:20 says he named "cattle", "birds" and "beasts of the field".

5. There is no suggestion in Genesis 2 that the naming was meant to be comprehensive. It would make more sense if Adam simply gave a set of general names to a selection of animals rather than providing scientific taxonomy. The former and not the latter would have been of greater benefit to the humans who would come immediately after him (see below).

6. Cattle: There are several species of cows (at least five) but there’s no indication in the Bible that a breakdown beyond the generic "bos" (the genus of wild and domestic cows and oxen) was ever required or indeed ever implemented, especially when one considers the broad use of the word “cow” in Scripture without there ever being a distinction between a dairy cow, a meat cow or an ox (an animal which isn't actually referred to until the days of Jacob in Genesis 32). Likewise, the same naming structure could easily have applied for animals such as horses, snakes, birds, etc as we'll see below.

7. Birds: When examining the naming of birds, the same possibility applies. For example, there are 300 species of parrot today. Instead of Adam naming them all, the word “parrot” would legitimately have applied. While we don’t know if all parrots are descendants of one created “kind” or several “kinds” which had enough similar characteristics to label them as “parrots”, in either instance, the naming process would have been quick. There are between 17 - 20 species of penguins but they're all legitimately called "penguins". There are approximately 200 species of owls, all of which are a "kind" of owl. There are around 180 species of woodpecker, all of them legitimately labelled under the single kind of "woodpeckers". And so on...

8. Beasts of the field: Firstly, what animals are considered to be “beasts of the field”? The Hebrew word translated ‘field’ has the meaning of a flat plain. Using the Bible to form our description of the word, "beasts of the field" include animals that move in when humans move out (Exodus 23:29), ‘wild asses’ (Psalm 104:11), ‘dragons and owls’ (Isaiah 43:20), animals that prey on sheep (Ezekiel 34:8), and a range of carnivores (Ezekiel 39:17). Therefore, we can conclude that beasts of the field were probably animals that today live in open country and/or who venture close to human habitation. Further, we can conclude that animals living exclusively in forests, jungles, mountains, wetlands, deserts, etc. wouldn't have been named as they don't meet the "field" criteria.
9. Conclusion: Adam spent far less time naming animals then most critics would like to suggest. When one excludes insects, animals living in the sea and all relevant animals on the basis of habitat, it would seem generous to allow for the naming of a thousand or so “kinds” of animals. For sake of argument, if there were a thousand animals to name and Adam named one every 30 seconds or so, the process would have been a relatively leisurely event, taking a little over 8 hours. 

All in all, a pleasant, normal day’s work in the Garden of Eden.

Please Note:

The information above is from a Bible Study I arranged which was based mostly on information found in "The Genesis Record" by Henry Morris. Any additional hand outs or information will include source information whenever possible. 

To do this study, read the chapter first and then go over each verse where it is posted in this study. Then go over the notes as provided. I encourage you to allow discussion in your class time.

*The student notes are in black text, the additional teacher information is in grey, and answers are in red text. 

Copy and paste this study in Word as a teacher copy. Then make another copy, remove the grey and red text and 'save as' a  student copy. Make sure you leave room for answering questions. I suggest you copy and paste the hand outs into Word and run them off separately.

To see all the Genesis Bible Study Chapters, click on "Genesis Study" in the sidebar.

Please be patient as I update the information onto my blog.  This study will include Genesis Chapters One through Eleven. 

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