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Ge 2:1. THE NARRATIVE OF THE SIX DAYS' CREATION CONTINUED. The course of the narrative is improperly broken by the division of the chapter.
1. the heavens--the firmament or atmosphere.
Ge 2:2-7. THE FIRST SABBATH.
2. and he rested on the seventh day--not to repose from exhaustion with labor (see Isa 40:28), but ceased from working, an example equivalent to a command that we also should cease from labor of every kind.
3. blessed and sanctified the seventh day--a peculiar distinction put upon it above the other six days, and showing it was devoted to sacred purposes. The institution of the Sabbath is as old as creation, giving rise to that weekly division of time which prevailed in the earliest ages. It is a wise and beneficent law, affording that regular interval of rest which the physical nature of man and the animals employed in his service requires, and the neglect of which brings both to premature decay. Moreover, it secures an appointed season for religious worship, and if it was necessary in a state of primeval innocence, how much more so now, when mankind has a strong tendency to forget God and His claims?
4. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth--the history or account of their production. Whence did Moses obtain this account so different from the puerile and absurd fictions of the heathen? Not from any human source, for man was not in existence to witness it; not from the light of nature or reason, for though they proclaim the eternal power and Godhead by the things which are made, they cannot tell how they were made. None but the Creator Himself could give this information, and therefore it is through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Heb 11:3).
7. Here the sacred writer supplies a few more particulars about
the first pair.
Ge 8-17. THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
8. Eden--was probably a very extensive region in Mesopotamia, distinguished for its natural beauty and the richness and variety of its produce. Hence its name, signifying "pleasantness." God planted a garden eastward, an extensive park, a paradise, in which the man was put to be trained under the paternal care of his Maker to piety and usefulness.
9. tree of life--so called from its symbolic character as a sign
and seal of immortal life. Its prominent position where it must have
been an object of daily observation and interest, was admirably fitted
to keep man habitually in mind of God and futurity.
15. put the man into the garden of Eden to dress it--not only to give him a pleasant employment, but to place him on his probation, and as the title of this garden, the garden of the Lord (Ge 13:10; Eze 28:13), indicates, it was in fact a temple in which he worshipped God, and was daily employed in offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise.
17. thou shalt not eat of it . . . thou shalt surely die--no reason assigned for the prohibition, but death was to be the punishment of disobedience. A positive command like this was not only the simplest and easiest, but the only trial to which their fidelity could be exposed.
Ge 2:18-25. THE MAKING OF WOMAN, AND INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE.
18. it is not good for the man to be alone--In the midst of plenty and delights, he was conscious of feelings he could not gratify. To make him sensible of his wants,
19. God brought unto Adam--not all the animals in existence, but
those chiefly in his immediate neighborhood to be subservient to his
20. but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him--The design of this singular scene was to show him that none of the living creatures he saw were on an equal footing with himself, and that while each class came with its mate of the same nature, form, and habits, he alone had no companion. Besides, in giving names to them he was led to exercise his powers of speech and to prepare for social intercourse with his partner, a creature yet to be formed.
21. deep sleep--probably an ecstasy or trance like that of the
prophets, when they had visions and revelations of the Lord, for the
whole scene was probably visible to the mental eye of Adam, and hence
his rapturous exclamation.
23. Woman--in Hebrew, "man-ess."
24. one flesh--The human pair differed from all other pairs, that by peculiar formation of Eve, they were one. And this passage is appealed to by our Lord as the divine institution of marriage (Mt 19:4, 5; Eph 5:28). Thus Adam appears as a creature formed after the image of God--showing his knowledge by giving names to the animals, his righteousness by his approval of the marriage relation, and his holiness by his principles and feelings, and finding gratification in the service and enjoyment of God.