Genesis 2: The Sabbath; Yahweh Creates Man and Woman; The Garden of Eden

Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Yahweh (called Elohim) blesses and rests on the seventh day. On the day of creation, Yahweh (now called Yahweh Elohim) creates a man from the ground, places him in the garden of Eden, and prohibits him from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yahweh also creates a woman from the man’s rib.

II. Outline

1-3. The 7th day: Yahweh blesses and rests on the Sabbath

4-25. A second creation account

4-7. The creation of “the man”

4. Introduction

5-6. The first water, before the rain and vegetation

7. Man is created from the ground and Yahweh’s breath

8-17. The garden of Eden and the man’s relationship to it

8. Yahweh Elohim creates the garden of Eden and places man in it

9. Yahweh Elohim creates fruit trees, the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil

10-14. The river of Eden and its four branches

10. Introduction

11-12. Pishon and the gold of Havilah

13. Gihon from Cush

14a. Tigris from Assyria

14b. Euphrates

15. Man is charged with tending the garden

16-17. The prohibition of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

18-24. Woman is created

18. Yahweh Elohim decides to create a partner for man

19-20. Yahweh Elohim creates the animals for man to name, but they are not his partner

21-22. Yahweh Elohim creates a woman from Adam’s rib

23. Man expresses that he has found his partner

24. Lesson: man leaves his parents to become one flesh with his wife

25. Man and woman were naked and not ashamed

III. Select Verses

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

18-24: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, 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. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

IV. Comment

The creation account of Genesis 2 differs from that of Genesis 1 in a number of ways, including but not limited to the number of days, the order of creation, the creation of man & woman together or separately, the nature of Yahweh, and the name of Yahweh. The last discrepancy led Jean Astruc to identify two sources of creation, one that uses the name ‘elohim (god) and the other that uses the name yahweh ‘elohim (the god Yahweh). For other creation passages in the Bible, see Psalm 104, Psalm 136:4-9, and verses such as Amos 9:6, Psalm 146:6, and Psalm 139:13. There are also a number of creation accounts in ancient Near Eastern literature, such as the Atum Creation Stories, Enuma Elish, and the Eridu Genesis. To look these passages up, see my YouTube video titled How to Study the Bible with Ancient Near Eastern Texts: The “Eridu Genesis” and the Book of Genesis.

 

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