Genesis 2

Seventh Day, God rests

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Some interpret the phrase "and all the host of them." as including the creation of the angels. Whatever we think of that, it's safe to say that God created the angels after "the beginning". We know that Satan, who is a fallen angel, appeared in Eden (see next chapter), so he must have been created already by then. In Job 38:7, God says that the angels, referred to as "morning stars" and "sons of God", were present when God created the Earth.

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

Note that "God finished his work that he had done". This doesn't mean that God no longer works at all, but only that he had finished creation itself. We know God still works because Jesus said "My Father is working until now, and I am working." (John 5:17). God is not some "hands-off" deity who simply observes his creation which is what a deist believes. No, our God is actively maintaining and sustaining His creation.

3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

God wasn't tired and needed a rest. In fact, if we think about it, God didn't need to take six days to create the universe and everything. He could have done it in less than a split-second. Rather, God took six days for creation followed by a seventh day of rest, to establish the weekly pattern for us.

Notice "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy". Even if we don't know what this means exactly, we should at least recognise that there is something special about the 7th day.

The 7th day of rest, later called The Sabbath in Exodus, is one of the ways God points at the rest that we will ultimately find in him. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Christ is our ultimate rest. Hebrews 4 talks about "a Sabbath rest for the people of God" in more detail.

The simple account of creation ends here. What follows in v.4 is a new section that "drills down" into the creation of Adam and Eve that has already been mentioned in Gen 1:26.

Adam and Eve

4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

The term "These are the generations of..." marks the break with chapter 1. This phraseology next occurs in Genesis 5:1 "This is the book of the generations of Adam." ‘Generations’ is a translation of the Hebrew word "toledoth", which means ‘origin’ or ‘record of the origin’. It identifies an account or record of events. The phrase was apparently used at the end of each section in Genesis identifying the patriarch (Adam, Noah, the sons of Noah, Shem, etc.) to whom it primarily referred, and possibly who was responsible for the record. There are 10 such divisions in Genesis. Source:

The wording here also suggests the shift in emphasis: in the first part of the verse it is ‘heavens and earth’ whereas in the end of the verse it is swap around into ‘earth and heavens’. Source:

The capitalized LORD denotes the Hebrew word transliterated as Yhvh (yeh-ho-vaw, Yahweh, or Jehovah), the proper name of the God of Israel.

5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up- for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,

6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground-

V.5 says God had not caused rain. So, when did rain actually start? In any case, the ground was watered by a mist coming out of the ground. We can see that the environment in Eden was very different from our world today. Rain isn't mentioned again until Genesis 7:4 when God uses it to start the flood.

7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

The word "creature" is the Hebrew word lə-ne-p̄eš, which comes from Hebrew nephesh H5315. Although some Bible versions translate this as "soul", nephesh is also used for animals, starting with Genesis 1:20.

8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This is the first time the word "evil" appears in the Bible. Note that the name of the tree is "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". And not just the "tree of knowledge" only, as many people are prone to misquote. God is not against Adam and Eve acquiring knowledge per se, but he knew that an experiential knowledge of evil would corrupt Adam and Eve. Therefore, God's prohibition was a command that came with a warning. Even if Adam and Eve did not fully understand the warning, they knew God well enough to have trusted and obeyed him.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.

14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The names of places and rivers here are the original names used in Eden, and not to be confused with the places and rivers with the same names after the flood. The latter were named after their antediluvian originals.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."

This is the first "not good" in the Bible, and we should not miss the enormity of this statement. God deemed the creation of Woman essential to the creation of Mankind. Often, the Bible is accused of being sexist. This shows that's simply not true.

19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

23 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Notice the word "Therefore" here. A man holds fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh because of the reasons given in vv.18-23. This establishes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Jesus himself, re-affirms this principle when he quotes this very verse in Mark 10:6, and Matthew 19:4,8.

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.