Life In Paradise

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GENESIS 1:24 – 2:3      

v.24-25 God made each kind of living creature (nephesh chayyah). This shows us another pattern…each to their own kind. Just as there are divisions in the spaces, there are clear distinctions amongst the inhabitants of those spaces.

v.26-31 To be created in the image of God (tselem) defines man’s unique relation to God. Man is a living being capable of embodying God’s communicable attributes. Man can reason and has intellect, will, and emotion. Man was to rule over the creation; this command to rule separated him from the rest of creation and defined his relationship above the rest of creation. food = “every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit”      

2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.” God established this pattern for man’s work cycle, as He modelled the need for rest (He certainly did not need to rest due to tiredness). Without proper rest and refreshment, human strength and creativity fail. Based on the creation account in Genesis, Shabbat lasts from sundown Friday evening to sundown Saturday.

GENESIS 2:4-25      

v.4-6 No tree or shrub had sprouted from the earth yet, and no rain had fallen to water the earth, because there was nobody to tend it yet. Rather, a mist rises up from the earth to water the entire surface of the earth.      

v.7-9 “God formed a person (adam) from the dust of the ground (adamah) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (neshemah chayyim), so that he became a living being (nephesh chayyah).” **Just as the use of Elohim hints at God being one but more than one, so chayyim gives us a hint at more than one life being put into Adam…physical life & spirit life. He created a person in the Land of ‘Eden. Then God planted a garden toward the east in ‘Eden. Out of the ground He caused trees of every kind to grow, pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.      

v.10-14 What do we make of the mention of this one river running through the Garden that divides into four separate rivers out of the Garden? Some people use this for geography as they are still searching for this lost paradise today, but it no longer remains on earth after the flood (**see 2 Peter 3:3-6). What then can we learn from these verses? Notice the gold, bdellium and onyx were not found in the Garden. The rivers led to the areas containing these precious materials. Man could leave paradise and find beauty. He could creatively work these materials into useful things and bring it back into paradise life to be enjoyed.      

v.15-17 Then God put the person He had formed in that Garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it (avodah). This Hebrew word for “work” is the same for both manual labour and worshipping God. The picture we see here of the human’s work is that it was also a form of worship. Consider the agricultural work of opening the ground, sowing seeds and harvesting. This was the first job in history…it started in the Garden.      

v.18-20 So far through the Creation Story God has declared everything He created as tov. In this verse, He declares in observing the man’s state as not good. He was incomplete without someone to complement him in fulfilling the task of filling, multiplying, and taking dominion over the earth. He found no suitable helper among the animals that he had named. Naming is an act of discerning something about the creature so as to appropriately identify it and have authority over that which was named.      


v.21-25 God determined that Adam needed a companion, and He created one for him. In Hebrew, a female is called ishah, and a male is called ish. The ending –ah means “out of,” so shah literally means “a man (human) out of man.” Ishah is also the word for “wife.” In verse 24 the concept of marriage is introduced, and the most important principle of marriage is that a man and his wife are to be considered one flesh. In God’s eyes, they are organically and spiritually interconnected!