Commentary on Genesis 2

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

In Genesis 2 the creation account of Genesis 1 is continued, but now with focus on the creation of humankind.  In Genesis 1, we saw that mankind was the pinnacle of God’s overall creative work, so Genesis 2 gives a more detailed account of how the first man and first woman were created.

In verses 4-7, we learn that before man is created, and before the Fall of mankind, the world is different.  Shrubs and plants of the field do not yet exist because there is no rain and no men to farm the fields. God takes dirt from the ground and forms man (Adam), and then God blows into his nostrils the breath of life.

Note that God is not described blowing into the nostrils of any other creatures.  Also, recall from Genesis 1 that only humans are made in the “image of god.”  The first two chapters of the Bible give great prominence to human beings during God’s process of creation.  Human beings are not a mere afterthought; they appear to be the very reason God created the heavens and the earth.

In verses 8-15, we are told that God places Adam in a paradise, a garden located in an area of the world called Eden.  There is plenty of food for Adam in the garden, food that God has provided for him.  There are also two trees in the middle of the garden, one called the tree of life and another called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam is told to keep the garden orderly, to take care of it.  The Hebrew in verse 15 can also be translated to indicate that Adam is to worship and obey God.  God is providing everything Adam needs at this point.

Foreshadowing the events of Genesis 3, the Fall, God commands Adam to “not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”  Aside from God’s desire for Adam to worship and obey him, and care for the garden, this is the first command God gives Adam with negative consequences if he fails to obey.

Verses 18-25 then shift the focus to the creation of the first woman, Eve. What is incredibly important to notice in verses 18-20 is that no animal is suitable to be a helper for Adam.  Although Adam is given the privilege of naming the other animals, Adam sees that he is completely unlike all the animals he names.

So God performs the first ever human surgery and creates Eve out of the bones of Adam.  When Adam sees Eve, he immediately realizes that she is just like him – “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”  Verses 24-25 introduce the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, and they indicate that one of the primary purposes of the married couple is to sexually reproduce.