Genesis 2 Commentary

The Bible gives us details of creation but focused on the man. In chapter 1, creation involves the material world as well as the living things – the trees and animals. And special attention is given to the man who is created last. We notice that the term living things is basically to say things that are able to reproduce or spread. The LORD had blessed these things to multiply. If you have one banana plant in the yard, after two years you probably expect a small forest of bananas. Mountains on the other hand are permanent fixtures.

The pattern we shall see in the rest of Genesis is that the Bible will give a very big picture and then zoom in on a selected portion. And the phrase used is, ‘now this is the account of’.

So we see a brief introduction and a detailed picture of man’s creation. He is created out of the ground. Later on, in the holy script, the LORD will talk about a man returning to the same ground. Important is the ‘breathing in’ or giving of His spirit to make a mass of clay alive. The LORD settles man in the garden that had been specially planted by the LORD for man. And there are two special trees in there. Note that all the trees were good and pleasing to the eye. We have the first commandment: ‘don’t eat’

The Bible takes time to describe the garden. It is actually way much bigger than the usual gardens we know. It would cover the entire Middle East! It was watered by 4 rivers: Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon, and Gihon. It is actually one river that is separated into 4. Gihon is said to run through Cush.

This is the first time we get to hear this word, Cush. Some Bible translations refer to it as Ethiopia. Could this river be the Nile? The traditional site of Eden is Mesopotamia which was located in between two rivers, Tigris and Euphrates in present-day Iraq. More about Mesopotamia as we get deeper into Genesis. One important thought would be to think of Eden as incorporating parts of the African continent. We would therefore want to expand this thought and speculate that, probably the Garden of Eden is a narrowed reference to the entire creation. It was good when the LORD created it!

We also see an interesting picture. The LORD creates animals and brings them to the man for ‘registration’. A happy God with His happy son (man)! Then we have the mention of a human companion. A very primary, very basic need for a man is companionship which a wife must provide.

We can look at the creation process and see the LORD Jesus Christ. Mankind was made out of soil or the ground. See what the LORD Jesus did in the New Testament: After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. John 9 verse 6.

This type of healing is very strange. But we sense the LORD Jesus is speaking and demonstrating creation. The LORD Jesus is showing us how He created the world. The world was created by Him. Mud is soil or the ground. Saliva would represent His breath. That is how I created mankind. Now I’m recreating it again.

At the center of the ministry of the LORD Jesus is the recreation task.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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