The creation of man and woman and the institution of marriage (Genesis 2:4‐25)

Chapter 2 of Genesis, starting from verse 4 onwards, gives us a more detailed account of the creation of man and woman.

Man is created from the dust plants the garden of Eden

This passage starts off with a description of the world at the time that man was created. The plants had just been created a few days earlier but they have not started growing yet. It had not yet rained but the world was being watered by a mist that was rising from the earth.

God at this point created man from the dust of the ground and gave him a soul by breathing into him. This breath imparted on us God’s image. It sets us apart from all other living things.

God then planted the garden of Eden by causing edible and beautiful plants to grow from the ground. In addition to the plants, God caused to grow the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There were four great rivers that came from Eden.

God forbids man from eating the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

The man is then placed in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. God allows him to eat of every plant except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This, I believe, is God’s model for his providence. Whatever He gives us is given to us in this form:

  1. It is good. By this I mean it meets our needs and is beautiful. We are to be thankful.
  2. There are duties associated with every blessing. In this case, living in the garden of Eden meant that man had to dress it and keep it. We need to be responsible.
  3. There are always constraints that are meant to allow us to continually enjoy the benefits of whatever God has given us. Here the constraint was that Adam was forbidden from eating the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Woman is created and marriage is instituted

After placing man in the garden of Eden, God acknowledges the loneliness of man in his current state and decides to make him a helper. First, God creates the land animals and the birds and bring them to Adam.  Adam names them but there is no helper for him among them.

God then forms woman out of Adam’s ribs and presents her to him. Adam recognises her as similar to himself and names her Woman. Marriage it then, briefly defines:

  1. A man is lonely and in need of a helper.
  2. A man leave his father and mother.
  3. He holds on tightly to his wife.
  4. God decrees that they will be one flesh.

The chapter concludes by stating that man and woman were not ashamed of their nakedness.

 

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