Preface: Genesis 2 disproves the common notion that the seventh-day is the “Jewish Sabbath.” Why? Because God “blessed the seventh-day and sanctified it” in Eden before the Fall and before any Jews existed. In addition, the Sabbath is a memorial to the creation for all humanity. Thus, all humanity should enjoy the blessings of the Sabbath day.
The Last Creation and Gift (Gen. 2:1, 3)
On the seventh day God created the Sabbath—or did He? Did God create the Sabbath just for Eden, or did He just share it with earth? I wonder if the Trinity and the angels always worshiped and rested on the Sabbath back through eternity? How much significance does it give the Sabbath today that it was celebrated in Eden? In chapter 2 it doesn’t say anything about Adam and Eve celebrating the Sabbath. How do you know it was for them too?
Creation’s Recipe (Gen. 2:4–7)
Moses now returns to creation week to spotlight the part of creation that was in His image: man and woman. In verse 4 the Lord is called Jehovah or Yahweh for the first time. This name refers to God as the One who was, is, and ever shall be. In verse 7 the Lord shares the recipe for Adam, the first man. Several doctrines hinge on this recipe. It says that man is the sum of the “dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7, KJV) plus the “breath of life” (verse 7, KJV). It doesn’t say anything about an immortal soul. With no immortal soul, at death the breath returns to God (Ps. 104:29; 146:4) and the body returns to dust (Gen. 3:19; Eccles. 3:20). With no immortal soul there is no need for an eternal burning hell. It is good news that only God is immortal (1 Tim. 6:16) and that He gives us immortality as a gift at the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:54)!
The Greatest Camping Place (Gen. 2:8–14)
The Lord could have made any kind of dwelling for Adam and Eve, and He chose to make them campers: they lived outside in a garden home. Do you think they just slept under the stars? It appears that Eden was located in or near modern-day Iraq, ancient Mesopotamia. Just think, today the Middle East is such a cauldron of pain, strife, and war, and it is the place where Eden was.
Just One Thing (Gen. 2:15–17)
God gives Adam the job of working and keeping the garden. What do you think this means? How was this different from the curse in Genesis 3:17–19? There is only one rule: he cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The consequence will be death. For such a dire consequence this instruction seems so brief. You might want to read Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 52–54, for more insight into what the Lord did to prepare and prevent Adam and Eve from eating the fruit.
Now That Is Prime Rib! (Gen. 2:18–25)
That first Friday must have seemed like a long day! Land animals were created. Adam was created and then he gave names to these animals and the birds. It even appears that Adam had time to feel a little lonely (verses 18, 20). All of this takes place on the sixth day, Friday, before Eve was created.
Why does God use a different recipe when He makes Eve—or does He? God’s way of creating Eve is meant to be a living parable for the relationship marriage partners are to have. The images of ribs, bones, and one flesh are all powerful ones. What are the lessons we can learn from these images?
Victor Brown, Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.A.