Genesis Segment 04 (2:8-25)

(Gen 2:8) And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

God put the man in a specially prepared garden toward the east. I believe (it is only my opinion) that when God says “eastward” He means east of the land where Moses was when he wrote Genesis. Genesis was written in the Sinai. East of there covers a lot of ground.

(Gen 2:9) 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.

Let us discuss trees again. To reiterate, the word here for tree is ‘ets. It comes from the root word, ‘atsah, which is one transliteration out of several used for the single Hebrew word, (these are Hebrew characters, consonants only). The letter names are Heth ( soft h or uh), Tsadeq (ts or tz), ‘Ayin (guttural soft hiss). Remember to read them right to left (‘Ayin first). I use this example to let you know that the same word is transliterated ‘atsah, ‘ahtash, ‘atseh, and ‘etsah, and could also be pronounced ‘ets. Each transliteration has a different meaning. Some of these meanings are: to close or fasten, the human spine and body, trees, timber, prudence, advice, and counsel. It is interesting to note these things. The one I want you to remember is the spine and body. Remember this because in various places in the Bible, the Father, the Son, men, and Satan are symbolically referred to as trees. Some examples: The Father: Hosea 14:8, the Son: Romans 11:15-24, men: Ezekiel 31:14, Romans 11:17, 23, Satan: Ezekiel 31:3-13, etc. For many more examples, do a word study on trees.

In this verse, we are told about two specific trees among all of the trees in Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tree of Life is mentioned in Revelation 22. In both the Garden of Eden and in the New Jerusalem, the tree of life is the giver of eternal life. Who is the giver of life? Jesus Christ. In Proverbs 3:22, wisdom is referred to as a tree of life and Proverbs also tells us that wisdom was with God in the beginning. John tells us that Jesus, the Word, was with God in the beginning. The tree of life, the giver of eternal life, is symbolic of the Son of God, the Christ. And conversely, the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is symbolic of Satan. Until the man and woman partook of the tree at the bidding of the Serpent, they had no knowledge of evil.

Genesis 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.”

Eden has been assigned many places by many people. It appears to have been near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, but the other two rivers are not known. There are, however, four rivers that originate at a single river-head in Mongolia near the Tarim River Basin. Euphrates simply means river, but Hiddekel seems to indicate the Tigris which is not near the basin. It is possible that this was the location of Eden. If not located in the Tarim Basin, then perhaps the nearby Pamir Plateau.  However, those are simply guesses; no one can actually locate Eden today, but it is interesting to think about.

Genesis 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.”

The man’s (Adam’s) job was to dress the garden. To dress it means to care for it as a husbandman or farmer or tiller of the ground. He was also to keep it. That means he had stewardship over it, to guard, protect and attend to it.

Let us look at the word “eat” as it is used here. Of course it means to eat in the literal sense of chewing, swallowing, digesting. Adam could literally eat of every tree in the Garden except one. He could consume the fruit of the trees by picking, biting, chewing, etc. The Hebrew word for “eat” can also be used figuratively. How is that done? Let’s look at some examples.

(John 6:53-56) Then Jesus said unto them, 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. {54} Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. {55} For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. {56} He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

First, let me say that Jesus and his disciples spoke Hebrew and Aramaic, so what we read here was translated from the Hebrew or Aramaic and written down in Greek by the apostle John. Then it was translated into English by the King James translators. So Hebrew idiom was used here and we are getting the Hebrew sense of the word “eat.”

Jesus said that if we don’t eat His body and drink his blood we will not have eternal life. Did He actually mean we are to be cannibals and literally eat Him? No, of course not. We know that He was speaking about communion, the SYMBOLIC eating and drinking of His flesh and blood (I do not believe in transubstantiation, that is, that the elements of the Eucharist actually become the flesh and blood of Christ). In other words, we are to commune with Him. The symbolic partaking of the bread and wine means we are at one with Him. By partaking of (believing in and accepting) Jesus’ shed blood and broken body, we become sons of God. So here the word “eat” is used symbolically to mean we are His children and followers.

(Psa 14:1-4) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. {2} The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. {3} They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. {4} Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

(Psa 53:4) Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

In both Psalms, those workers of iniquity eat God’s people. This means that they lead God’s people astray.

(Psa 127:1-2) A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. {2} It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Solomon tells us that if we labor outside of God’s will, we labor in vain and eat the bread of sorrows. In other words we will experience the sorrow of being outside of God’s will. These are enough examples to let you know how the word “eat” is used symbolically in the Word.

Back to the Garden. In verse 16, God had told the man: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. So the man could literally eat of every tree and could symbolically eat of the Tree of Life and the other trees in the Garden. The man could eat of all of the trees in Eden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which symbolizes Satan. Thus, we may say that symbolically, Adam was not to commune with or follow after Satan, who manifested himself as a serpent. He could even eat of the Tree of Life, which symbolizes Christ.

Genesis 2:18-20 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. {19} And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. {20} And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

God has already planned to form the woman who would be the man’s mate. The translators saw fit to begin calling the man Adam here. Different translations begin to use the name Adam at different verses. Adam had to name all of the animals. There are over 17000 species so it was a difficult task. Some teach that Adam only named the domestic animals. I feel like the Bible teaches that Adam named all of the animals and birds. This indicates that Adam had a lot going for him mentally. It is my opinion, in fact, that Adam was taught or given all the wisdom of the world at that time including: astronomy, architecture, weaving, husbandry, meteorology, etc. This also shows that Adam lived a long time in the Garden, for it takes time to name 17000 species.

Genesis 2:21-22 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; {22} And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

Many different stories about this act of God are told at many times and in many places. Let’s find out what God says about it. God caused Adam to go into a sleep like the sleep induced in a surgical patient by an anesthesiologist. The word translated rib is tsela’ is one transliteration of several for a single word. In Hebrew, it is the word tsela’ or tselah. To make a long study shorter, it comes from a root word meaning curve. It can mean rib or several other words; in this context it literally means a rib. Some may find it hard to believe that God took a literal rib from Adam. Some believe it is possible that God took the curve of the double helix, or DNA from him, or simply some flesh from Adam’s side. Whatever He used, God made the woman of the same species as Adam; Eve was a human being just as Adam was.

I personally believe this was an actual rib from Adam’s ribcage. Some have promoted the belief that men have one less rib that women. This is not so; both sexes have twenty four ribs.

Some evolutionists use the fact that men have as many ribs as women to “prove” the Bible to be unreliable. There are two scientific and physiological answers to this smear. The first is that the removal of a rib from Adam did not change his DNA so all of his offspring would still have 24 ribs.

The second is that ribs grow back. If a rib is removed for a medical reason, it will usually grow back in two to three months. However, it will only grow back if the periosteum is not removed. The periosteum is the membrane that covers every bone in the body. If it is carefully peeled back from the bone and left in the body after the bone has been removed, the rib will regenerate. Reconstructive surgeons using rib bone for bone grafts will always leave the periosteum intact so that they can come back later and use bone from the same rib, which has regenerated,  for further grafting

(Gen 2:23) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Adam’s statement about bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh indicates that he knew that the woman was of his flesh and blood. The word used for woman here is isha’ and the word for man is ish. Putting the syllable ah on the end of a masculine word makes it feminine. Just like sar means prince or king, and sarah means queen or princess.

(Gen 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

It is very true. One of our major problems in marriage today seems to be the inability to become one flesh. I don’t mean the act of physical union, I mean the two becoming spiritually one flesh. Notice one more thing. It is the man who will leave his parents and be joined to his wife. It is not the other way around. There is a reason. God saw that man should not be alone so he created a mate for man. (As a man, I’m getting into dangerous territory here). In my experience (this only is my opinion) a man is incomplete without a woman, and a woman is more able to cope with being without a man than the other way around. That is why the man cleaves to his wife and not vice versa.

(Gen 2:25) And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

In Hebrew thought, nakedness is shame. Since there was no shame in Eden, nakedness was not even considered. They did not even realize they were naked (Genesis 3:11).

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