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This section of Genesis 2 recaps on creation and then turns our attention specifically to Adam and Eve. Again there will be those who prefer to read this as ‘picture language’ or ‘allegory’ rather than a statement of fact. My difficulty with that approach as we now enter the second chapter of the first book of the Bible is – when do you start to accept the Word of God as truth? How much more of Genesis should we skip? Perhaps pick up again after the Flood? Or get past the Tower of Babel?

What importance then do you give to the story of the fall?

(Sorry – that’s just my view!)


We are about to read a passage that recaps on creation, and expands on Adam and Eve. We read in Genesis 1:27 that on the sixth day:

    God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.


So is this next section about the creation of Adam and then Eve a contradiction? I don’t think so – I think it simply expands on what happened on the sixth day.


Read Genesis 2:4-

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens— 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground— 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


Before we launch into the story of Adam and eve there are a few things for us to notice:

· In verse 4 we come across the first use of the name for God: ‘LORD’ which is a translation of Yahweh – Jehovah.

· Verse 5 tells us that there were no arable crops yet – they would need cultivation and irrigation (Initially Adam and Eve were to eat the fruit of the trees: v9, until Genesis 3:18).

· And notice the word ‘formed’ in v7. Here the man is made from the dust of the ground and formed – like a potter making a jar. And specifically we are told that the Lord breathed life into his lifeless body.

· And also verse 5: God had not sent rain on the earth
And verse 6: but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground (sometimes ‘streams’ is translated ‘mists’) confirming a different atmospheric model to the one we experience today.

· Now look at verse 8, and 10-14:


8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;


10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

This description of the Garden of Eden seems to place it in the Middle East; but as we will come to see, the major upheavals, destruction, and even the possible movements of whole continents which took place during the flood mean that it is now impossible to find its original location.


Back to verse 8.

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;

and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


So far the whole of creation has been to provide for the needs of humankind.

But now God specifically makes a ‘garden’ with particular plants perfectly selected for the benefit of Adam and Eve: not only trees that were ‘good for food’, but also those where their only function was to be ‘pleasing to the eye’. A perfect ‘pleasure garden’, unmatched by any of the great gardens of the world that we might see today.


It is very important here to take notice of the second part of verse 9. Here in the centre of this garden which represented the very best of God’s creation, there were two specific trees: the tree of life, and the tree which would lead to death. Why did God plant these trees in the garden?


Man could not truly be ‘in the image of God’ unless he had free will. The two trees represent the ultimate choice for man: he could choose life or death.


And it had to be now. God couldn’t delay presenting mankind with the simple choice between obedience and disobedience. Did God know what would happen?


Of course he did, but it had to be done. And notice that God had placed man

in the most perfect environment that would ever be available – but now he

had to allow Man the free choice to decide whether he would choose God’s

will or his own will. Can our environment affect our moral choices?

(After some debate, ask why man in a perfect environment will sin.)


15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”


God now specifically tells Adam not to eat from the tree which will bring death, but does not mention the tree which would bring life. Why was that? God was not giving Adam choices. Adam may have perfect free will, but at all times he had to acknowledge that God had ultimate authority and should be obeyed.


18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

For those who don’t take this part of Genesis literally I have to ask the question: Why include such a detailed, bizarre explanation of the creation of woman (v21-22) if it didn’t happen like this? Why say something so specifically misleading?


23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.


This is the whole basis of marriage and there can be an amazing unity between husband and wife, truly as if they were now ‘one flesh’. Not only a physical unity, but also an emotional and spiritual unity.


25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.


Why should this verse be included?

I believe it simply emphasizes the innocence they both had at this time, compared to their state in Genesis 3:7.


Genesis 3

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”


Firstly, what do we know about the Serpent? What kind of animal was it?

In the NIV it is translated ‘snake’ 18 times and ‘serpent’ 13 times, and certainly after it was cursed that seems to fit perfectly. But before then did it have legs? And was it attractive? (See 3:14,15)


We can only imagine, but there must have been something special about this animal for Satan to choose it through which to speak to Eve, and for Eve to want to listen.


Is it fair to say it was Satan? (2 Corinthians 11:3; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:9, 20:2)

(Satan is the name first mentioned in Job 1:6. The English word ‘Devil’ comes from the Greek Diabolos meaning devilish, malicious, slanderous)

Before we move on perhaps we need to answer the question:

Where did Satan come from?

The simple answer is that he was a fallen angel, so then we have to ask:

What are angels and where do they come from?


Psalm 148

1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.

Colossians 1:16

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.


So they were part of God’s creation. But they are spiritual beings, and not physical, although they can adopt a human (or other) form if necessary.


Where do they exist?

It would appear that the angels have a place assigned to them in ‘the heavens’ (they ‘abandoned their own home’ Jude 6) and that they are able to move between eternity with God and the created world of time and space.


In Genesis 1:31 we read God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Would that have included the angels too?


At some time Satan and his followers sinned:

2 Peter 2:4

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment


And Jude v6:

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.


There is also a passage in Isaiah which describes the King of Babylon. In the Latin Vulgate the term ‘Morning Star’ was translated as ‘Lucifer (light-bearer)’ and that was the term used in the Authorised Version. Some consider that this passage can therefore describe the fall of Satan: Isaiah 14:12-15  

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,  “I will ascend to heaven;
   I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
   I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
   on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
   I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the grave,
   to the depths of the pit.


When was that?

It had to be after the sixth day and before the temptation of Adam & Eve, but that could have been days, weeks, months or even years later – we don’t know.


This passage suggests that Satan attempted to take power, authority and position that rightfully belonged only to God, and it is that same desire to be like God that seems to be behind the temptation of Eve.


Genesis 3

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Here the devil suggests that ‘surely as God has planted this garden specifically for you and Adam, surely you should be allowed to eat the fruit of any tree?


2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

Eve replies, even adding a restriction (either hers or Adam’s to further protect them from eating inadvertently) that yes, God has forbidden this one tree. And more than that, there would be punishment for disobedience.


4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”


Adam (and therefore presumably Eve) knew the nature of the tree (Genesis 2:16-17), that even though it was forbidden them, they knew it would bring the knowledge of good and evil. So Satan, lying, suggests that God himself has lied – in order to prevent his created beings from becoming enlightened, and becoming like God (the very sin for which Satan had already been punished).


At this time, Eve did not have ‘the knowledge of good and evil’, but God’s word told Eve what was true. Eve chose to ignore God’s word, and to see if there could be another ‘truth’.


God’s word told Eve what was right and what was wrong. Eve chose to ignore God’s word and choose to make her own decision.


Eve effectively said to God what everyone else since then has also said to God:

‘I don’t want to do what you want me to do; I want to do what I want to do.’


6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.


This will raise many questions, and we’d best leave them for our next study.





Genesis 3Genesis 1d








Genesis 2:4 - 3:6 Adam and Eve, Satan, Angels