Main Thought: God’s provision is based on His omniscience and carried out by His omnipotence through His compassion.
Review briefly the context of the “History of Creation”
The Generations of Creation: Adam ().
A. God's Creation & Making ().
Note the segments of Genesis as divided by toledoth and how these are viewed (either beginning or ending the particular narrative to which they are connected)
The refrain These are the generations (4a) divides Genesis into sections at 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 19; 37:2.
The word generations (tôlĕdôt) properly means offspring, and here it corresponds to ‘all the host of them’ (verse 1).
But it can have the wider sense of (family-) history, facing either the past (as in the family registrations of , , etc.) or the future (as in, e.g. ) according to context.
The view taken here, and defended in the Introduction (pp.
23f.), is that this phrase in Genesis always looks forward, introducing a new stage of the book.3
P. J. Wiseman,4 however, argued that it is always a conclusion (usually to a set of family records), and the documentary theory makes it a conclusion at this one point in Genesis, but anomalously an introduction everywhere else.
the mt punctuation and the rv paragraphing.
Cf. also D. Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall (SCM Press, 1959), p. 41.
4 New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis, pp.
His view is discussed briefly in the Introduction, above, p. 25f.
[Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 64.]
B. The Need for Man to Work God's Garden ().
The Water of Life
2. The Tilling of Ground
The original hydrologic cycle was thus drastically different from that of the present day.
The present cycle, which began at the time of the great Flood, involves global and continental air mass movements, and annual and seasonal temperature changes.
It is summarized quite scientifically in such Scripture passages as ; ; ; ; , and others.
This present cycle centers around the solar evaporation of ocean waters, transportation to the continents in the atmospheric circulation, condensation and precipitation in the form of rain and snow, and transportation back to the oceans via rivers.
In the original world, however, there was no rainfall on the earth.
As originally created, the earth’s daily water supply came primarily from local evaporation and condensation.
There was also, as noted later, a system of spring-fed rivers.
The change in temperature between daytime and nighttime apparently was adequate to energize daily evaporation from each local body of water and its condensation as dew and fog in the surrounding area each night.
This arrangement was implemented on the second and third days of the creation week, prior to the formation of the plants on the latter part of the third day.
The inhibition of true rainfall was probably, as discussed in the previous chapter, accomplished by the great vapor canopy, “the waters above the firmament.”
Maintaining an approximately uniform temperature worldwide, no great air mass movements were possible under the canopy, and the necessary conditions for rainfall unsatisfied.
A few commentators have suggested that the “mist” was actually a river.
However the word means “mist,” or “fog,” and is always so used.
[Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1976), 84–85.]
C. The Forming of Man to Live ().
1. The Dust Formed by the Finger of Jehovah-Elohim
The supreme name, Jehovah, is compounded with Elohim, as Jehovah Elohim, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord God’ (cf. ; with Adonai, as Adonai Jehovah, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord god’; and with Sabaoth, as Jehovah Sabaoth, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord of hosts.’
The primary name Elohim is compounded with Shaddai, as El Shaddai, translated in the A.V. as ‘Almighty God’ (); with Elyon, as El Elyon, translated in the A.V. as ‘Most High,’ or ‘most high God’ (); and with Olam, as El Olam, translated in the A.V. as ‘everlasting God’ ().
Again, Jehovah is compounded with seven appellatives.
(a) Jehovahjireh, “the Lord will provide” (); (b) Jehovah-rapha, “The Lord that healeth” (); (c) Jehovah-nissi, “The Lord our banner” (); (d) Jehovah-shalom, “The Lord our peace” (, ); (e) Jehovah-rā-ah, “The Lord my shepherd” (); (f) Jehovah-tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness” (); and (g) Jehovah-shammah, “The Lord is there” ().
[Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 269.]
The repeated emphasis on the Lord God is significant (2:4–5, 7–9, 15–16, 18–19, 21–22).
The sovereign Creator (“God”) of chapter 1 is also the covenant-making [Jehovah] (Lord).
Thus Israel would know that her Lord had created everything, and that He had formed mankind by special design.
[Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed.
J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 30.]
“Formed” is to sequence into shape; to mold into a form (like a potter)
“Man” is adam
Means “Red Ground”
Not a mere name, but a description
“Dust of the ground”
Not “out of nothing” (ex nihilo)
Not dry pulverized earth, but a lump of clay
2. The Breath of Life
3. The Living Soul of Man
Both the formation of man from the dust by God and the return of man to dust by God reflect the total reliance of man on God for existence.
“Thus human persons are dependent, vulnerable, and precarious, relying in each moment on the gracious gift of breath which makes human life possible.
Moreover, this precarious condition is definitional for human existence, marking the human person from the very first moment of existence.”6
6 Walter Brueggemann, “Remember, You Are Dust,” Journal for Preachers 14, no. 2 (1991): 4.
[John M. Soden, “From the Dust: Creating Adam in Historical Context,” Bibliotheca Sacra 172, no.
685 (2015): 48.]
The Garden of Creation: Eden ().
A. The Planting of God's Garden & The Placing of God's Man ().
The Garden of Eden was the spot of man’s dwelling
B. The Growth of God's Garden: Pleasant, Sustaining, Testing ().
The Garden of Eden housed the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Tree of Life was a symbol of God’s blessing for obedience
An actual fruit-bearing tree:
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a symbol of testing
as to whether man would permit God to teach him essential knowledge of all things (good and evil) or whether he would disobey God, fall and experience the penalty of death
Adam & Eve should have obeyed God and let Him instruct them in these important matters
This was ultimately a test of authority in the universe
In all this the tree plays its part in the opportunity it offers, rather than the qualities it possesses; like a door whose name announces only what lies beyond it.
a. True knowledge must submit heart, mind, will, and body to the authority of God
God wants us to love Him by choice, not by force
There is great strength in humility
C. The Watering of God's Garden: The River's Four Heads ().
Note - the dangers of applying post-diluvian geography to a pre-diluvian narrative
In general, it is evident that the geography described in these verses does not exist in the present world, nor has it ever existed since the Flood.
The rivers and countries described were antediluvian geographical features, familiar to Adam, the original author of this part of the narrative.
They were all destroyed, and the topography and geography completely changed, when “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” ().
This means, in turn, that the names which seem to be postdiluvian (Ethiopia, Assyria, Tigris, Euphrates) were originally antediluvian names.