The Bible Book of Genesis – Geology, Archaeology, and Theology – Part 5
The History of Adam (Genesis 2:5 – Genesis 5:2) – Creation of Eve and Garden of Eden
The History of Adam – Colophon
According to Genesis 5:1-2, where we find the colophon, and toledot, for the section in our modern Bibles of Genesis 2:5 to Genesis 5:2, “This is the book of Adam’s history. In the day of God’s creating Adam, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them. After that he blessed them and called their name Man in the day of their being created”.
We notice the pattern highlighted when discussing Genesis 2:4 previously, namely:
The Colophon of Genesis 5:1-2 is as follows:
The description: “Male and female he created them. After that he [God] blessed them and called their name Man in the day of their being created”.
When: “in the day of God’s creating Adam, he made him in the likeness of God” showing man was made perfect in God’s likeness before they sinned.
The Writer or Owner: “This is the book of Adam’s history”. The owner or writer of this section was Adam.
It is a summary of the contents and reason for this section which we will examine in more detail now.
Genesis 2:5-6 – Status of the Vegetation Creation between the 3rd Day and the 6th Day
“Now there was as yet no bush of the field found in the earth and no vegetation of the field was as yet sprouting, because Jehovah God had not made it rain upon the earth and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground”.
How do we reconcile these verses with Genesis 1:11-12 regarding the 3rd Creation Day which stated that grass would shoot forth, vegetation bearing seed, and fruit trees with fruit? It seems likely the bush of fields and the vegetation of the field here in Genesis 2:5-6 refer to the cultivatable kinds as in the same sentence the account says, “there was no man to cultivate the ground”. The term “fields” also implies cultivation. It also adds the point that a mist was going up from the earth which watered the surface of the ground. This would keep all the created vegetation alive, but for the cultivatable vegetation to really grow they need rain. We see something similar in many deserts today. The night dew can help keep seeds alive, but it needs rainfall to trigger the rapid growth of the flowers and grasses, etc.
This is also an especially useful statement in understanding the length of the Creation days. If the Creation days were a thousand or thousands or more years, then that would mean that the vegetation had survived for that length of time without any rainfall, which is an unlikely scenario. Besides, the food the animals were given to eat was also vegetation (although not from fields). Surely, the edible vegetation would begin to run out if it was not able to grow and reproduce rapidly because of the lack of rain and moisture.
A lack of edible vegetation would also mean the starvation of the animals that had only just been created earlier on the sixth day. We should also not forget that of the birds and insects created on the fifth day, many rely on the nectar and pollen from flowers and would start to go hungry if the vegetation did not grow soon or started to wilt. All these interlocking requirements give weight to the fact that the creation day had to be 24 hours long only.
For an in-depth examination as to why the creation days had to be 24 hours long, please see this article entitled: ““Yôm” and The Creation Account of Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4” [i].
One final point is that even today, life as we know it is incredibly complex, with many, many, interdependencies. We mentioned some interdependencies above. However, just as the birds and insects (and some animals) depend on flowers, so too the flowers and fruits depend on the insects and birds for their pollination and dispersal. Scientists found this a problem when trying to replicate a coral reef in a large aquarium. They just missed out on only one small fish or other small creature or piece of water vegetation. Yet the result was they faced a serious problem trying to keep the reef going as a viable reef for any length of time.
Genesis 2:7-9 – Revisiting the Creation of man
“And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul. 8 Further, Jehovah God planted a garden in Eʹden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.”.
In this first part of the next history, we return to the creation of Man and receive extra details. These details include that man was made of dust. In addition, the account tells us that he was put in a garden in Eden, with desirable fruit trees.
Made of Dust
Science today has confirmed the truth of this statement, that man is formed “out of the dust from the ground.”
It is known that 11 elements are necessary for life for the human body.
Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus make up 99% of the mass. Then, the following five elements make up about 0.85%, those being potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. There are then at least 12 trace elements which are also believed to be necessary which in total weigh less than 10 grams, less than the amount of magnesium. Some of these trace elements are silicon, boron, nickel, vanadium, bromine, and fluorine. The large amounts of hydrogen and oxygen are combined to make water which is just over 50% of the human body.
The Chinese language also confirms that man is made of dust or earth. Ancient Chinese characters indicate that the first man was made from dust or earth and then given life, just as Genesis 2:7 states. For the exact details please see the following article: Confirmation of the Genesis Record from an Unexpected Source – Part 2 (and the rest of the series) [iii].
We should also note that this verse uses “formed” rather than “created”. The normal use for the Hebrew word “yatsar” is often used in connection with a human potter molding a clay vessel. This would carry with it the implication that Jehovah took extra more care when creating man.
This is also the first mention of a garden in E’den. A garden is cultivated and or tended and cared for. In it, God then put all sorts of good-looking trees with desirable fruit for food.
There were also two special trees:
- “the tree of life in the middle of the garden”
- “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.”
We will be looking at them in more detail in Genesis 2:15-17 and Genesis 3:15-17, 22-24. However, the translation here would read more accurately if it said, “also in the midst of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (See Genesis 3:3).
Genesis 2:10-14 – Geographical Description of Eden
“Now there was a river issuing out of Eʹden to water the garden, and from there it began to be parted and it became, as it were, four heads. 11 The first one’s name is Piʹshon; it is the one encircling the entire land of Havʹi·lah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. There also are the bdellium gum and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Giʹhon; it is the one encircling the entire land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hidʹde·kel; it is the one going to the east of As·syrʹi·a. And the fourth river is the Eu·phraʹtes”.
Firstly, a river issued out of the region of Eden and flowed through the garden that Adam and Eve were placed in, to water it. Then comes an unusual description. Having watered the garden, the river split into four and became the headwaters of four large rivers. Now we have to remember that this was before the Flood of Noah’s day, but it appears one was called the Euphrates even then.
The actual word “Euphrates” is an Ancient Greek form, while the river is called “Perat” in Hebrew, similar to the Akkadian of “Purattu”. Today, the Euphrates rises in the Armenian Highlands near Lake Van flowing nearly south-west before turning south and then south-east in Syria continuing to the Persian Gulf.
The Hiddekel is understood to be the Tigris which now starts just south of one of the two arms of the Euphrates and continues south-east, all the way to the Persian Gulf going to the east of Assyria (and Mesopotamia – Land between Two rivers).
The other two rivers are difficult to identify today, which is hardly surprising after the Flood of Noah’s day and any subsequent uplifting of the land mass.
Perhaps the best closest match today for the Gi’hon is the River Aras. This river rises between the south-eastern coast of the Black Sea and Lake Van, in northeast Turkey before flowing mainly eastwards eventually into the Caspian Sea. The Aras was known during the Islamic invasion of the Caucasus in the eighth century as the Gaihun and by the Persians during the 19th century as the Jichon-Aras.
David Rohl, an Egyptologist, has identified Pishon with the Uizhun, placing Havilah to the northeast of Mesopotamia. The Uizhun is known locally as the Golden River. Rising near the stratovolcano Sahand, it meanders between ancient gold mines and lodes of lapis lazuli before feeding the Caspian Sea. Such natural resources correspond to the ones associated with the land of Havilah in this passage in Genesis.[iv]
Likely Location of Eden
Based on these descriptions, it appears we can tentatively locate the former Garden of Eden in the valley area east of modern Lake Urmia bounded by roads 14 and 16. The Land of Havilah to the south-east of this map extract, following road 32. The Land of Nod was likely to the east of Bakhshayesh (due east of Tabriz), and the Land of Cush off the map to the north-north-east of Tabriz. Tabriz is to be found in the East Azerbaijan Province of Iran. The mountain ridge north-east of Tabriz is known today as Kusheh Dagh – the mountain of Kush. However, due to the likely changes to the elevations and surface of the land during the cataclysm of Noah’s day, any location can only be an approximation.
Map data ©2019 Google
Genesis 2:15-17 – Adam settled in the Garden, First Command
“And Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eʹden to cultivate it and to take care of it. 16 And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”
Man’s original task was to cultivate the garden and take care of it. He was also told he could eat from every tree of the Garden, which included the tree of life. The only exclusion was to be that of the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
We can also deduce that by now Adam must have been familiar with the death of animals and birds, etc. If he was not, then the warning that to disobey and eat of the tree of knowledge of good and bad would mean his death would have been a warning that made no sense.
Would Adam die within 24 hours of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and bad? No, because the word for “day” is qualified rather than standing alone as in Genesis 1. The Hebrew text reads “beyowm” which is a phrase, “in the day”, meaning a time period. The text does not say “on the day”, or “that very day” which would otherwise clearly make the day a specific 24-hour day.
Genesis 2:18-25 – Creation of Eve
“18 And Jehovah God went on to say: “It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.” 19 Now Jehovah God was forming from the ground every wild beast of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man would call it, each living soul, that was its name. 20 So the man was calling the names of all the domestic animals and of the flying creatures of the heavens and of every wild beast of the field, but for man there was found no helper as a complement of him. 21 Hence Jehovah God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. 22 And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man.
23 Then the man said:
“This is at last bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one will be called Woman,
Because from man this one was taken.”
24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh. 25 And both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife, and yet they did not become ashamed”.
The Hebrew text talks about “a helper” and “an opposite” or “counterpart” or “complement”. A woman is therefore not inferior, nor a slave, nor property. A complement or counterpart is something that completes the whole. A complement or counterpart is usually different, giving things, not in the other part. As a result, when joined together the whole unit is superior to the two individual halves.
If one were to tear a currency note in half, each half is a counterpart to the other. Without rejoining them both, the two halves are not worth half of the original, in fact, their value dramatically drops on their own. Indeed verse 24 confirms this when talking about marriage it says, “That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.”. Here “body” is interchangeable with “flesh”. Obviously, this does not happen physically, but they have to become one unit, united in aims if they are to succeed. The Apostle Paul made an almost identical point when later talking about the Christian congregation needing to be united. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, the Apostle Paul wrote that the body was made of many members and that they all needed one another.
When were the animals and birds created?
The Interlinear Hebrew Bible (on Biblehub) starts Genesis 2:19 with “And formed Yahweh God out of the ground …”. This is a little technical but based on my understanding of the ‘waw’ consecutive imperfect tense, relating to the Hebrew verb “way’yiser” it should be translated “and had formed” rather than “and formed” or “was forming”. The ‘waw’ conjunctive is relating to the creation of man just mentioned to the bringing of the animals and birds created earlier on the same 6th creative day, to the man for him to name. Hence this verse would read more accurately: “Now Jehovah God had formed [recent past, earlier that day] from the ground every wild beast of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one;” This would now mean that this verse would agree with Genesis 1:24-31 which indicates that the animals and birds were created first on the 6th day, followed by the culmination of his creation, man (and woman). Otherwise, Genesis 2:19 would be contradicting Genesis 1:24-31.
The English Standard Version reads similarly “Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them”. A number of other translations deal with this as two separate linked events saying like the Berean Study Bible “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would call them” thereby repeating the origin of the animals and birds that were brought to the man to be named.
The arrival of Eve
The naming of the animals and birds made it all the more obvious to Adam that he had no helper or complement. This was unlike the animals and birds which all had helpers or complements. Therefore, God completed his creation by giving Adam a partner and complement.
The first stage of this was by “Jehovah God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place.”
The term “deep sleep” is “tardemah”[v] in Hebrew and where it is used elsewhere in the Bible usually is describing a very deep sleep that befalls a person usually by a supernatural agency. In modern terms, it would be similar to being put under full anesthetic for an operation to remove the rib and close and seal up the incision.
The rib then served as a base around which to create the woman. “And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man”.
Adam was now satisfied, he felt complete. Furthermore, he had good reason to do so. He had a complement just as all the other living creatures had that he had named. He also named her a woman, “ish-shah” in Hebrew, for from man “ish”, she was taken.
“And both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife, and yet they did not become ashamed”.
At this time, they had not eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. Therefore, they were not ashamed of being naked.
Genesis 3:1-5 – Temptation of Eve
“Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it began to say to the woman: “Is it really so that God said YOU must not eat from every tree of the garden?” 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3 But as for [eating] of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘YOU must not eat from it, no, YOU must not touch it that YOU do not die.’” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad.”
Genesis 2:9 stated the tree of life was in the middle of the garden, here the indication is that the tree of knowledge was also in the middle of the garden.
Revelation 12:8 identifies Satan the Devil as the voice behind the serpent. It says, “So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth;”.
Satan the Devil, likely using ventriloquism to make the snake appear to talk, was crafty in the way he approached the subject. He did not tell Eve to go and eat from the tree. If he had done so she would likely have rejected it out of hand. Instead, he created doubt. He asked in effect, “Did you hear it right that you should not eat from every tree”? However, Eve did know the command because she repeated it to the serpent. She said in effect “We can eat from every fruit tree we like except for one tree in the middle of the garden where God said do not eat from it or even touch it, or you will die”.
It was at this point that Satan then contradicted what Eve had repeated. The serpent said: “YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad.” In doing so the Devil was implying that God was withholding something of value from Adam and Eve and partaking of the fruit became more enticing for Eve.
Genesis 3:6-7 – Falling into Temptation.
“Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So, she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them became opened and they began to realize that they were naked. Hence, they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.”
Under inspiration, the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not be loving either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father but originates with the world. 17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever”.
In eating from the tree of knowledge of good and bad, Eve gave in to two desires. The desire of the flesh (the taste of good food) and the desire of the eyes (the tree was desirable to look upon). She also wanted a means of life that was not rightfully hers to take. She wanted to be like God. Thus, in due course, she passed away, just as this wicked world will do in God’s due time. She failed to do “the will of God” and remain forever. Yes, “she began taking of its fruit and eating it”.
Eve fell from perfection to imperfection in that moment. It came about not because she was created imperfect but because she failed to dismiss that wrong desire and thought. Does not James 1:14-15 tells us “But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death”. This is an important lesson we can learn, as we may see or hear something that tempts us. That in itself is not the problem. The problem comes when we do not dismiss that temptation and thereby refuse to partake in that wrongdoing.
The situation was further compounded because “afterward she gave some [fruit] also to her husband when with her and he began eating it”. Yes, Adam willingly joined her in sinning against God and disobeying his one sole command. It was then that they began to realize that they were naked. Hence they made loin coverings for themselves out of fig leaves.
Genesis 3:8-13 – Discovery and the Blame game
“8 Later they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden about the breezy part of the day, and the man and his wife went into hiding from the face of Jehovah God in between the trees of the garden. 9 And Jehovah God kept calling to the man and saying to him: “Where are you?” 10 Finally he said: “Your voice I heard in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked and so I hid myself.” 11 At that he said: “Who told you that you were naked? From the tree from which I commanded you not to eat have you eaten?” 12 And the man went on to say: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me [fruit] from the tree and so I ate.” 13 With that Jehovah God said to the woman: “What is this you have done?” To this the woman replied: “The serpent—it deceived me and so I ate.”
Later that day Adam and Eve heard Jehovah God’s voice in the garden in the breezy part of the day. Now they both had guilty consciences, so they went and hid among the trees of the garden, but Jehovah continued to call for them, asking “Where are you?”. Eventually, Adam spoke up. God immediately asked if they had eaten from the tree that he had commanded them not to eat from.
This is where things possibly could have turned out differently, but we will never know.
Instead of confessing that, yes, Adam had disobeyed God’s command but was sorry for doing so and asking for forgiveness, instead, he blamed God by his replying “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me [fruit] from the tree and so I ate”. Furthermore, he compounded his error as he clearly showed he had known where Eve had obtained the fruit from. He did not explain that he ate what Eve gave him without knowing where it came from and then realized or was told by Eve of the fruit’s origin.
Of course, Jehovah God then asked for an explanation from Eve. Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent, saying it deceived her and so she ate. As we read earlier in Genesis 3:2-3,6, Eve knew that what she did was wrong. She had told the serpent about God’s command not to eat from the tree and the consequences if they did.
For this disobedience of God’s reasonable command to not eat from one tree out of all the trees in the Garden there would be many consequences.
These consequences are to be discussed in the next part (6) of our series examining the remainder of the History of Adam.
[ii] By OpenStax College – This is a truncated version of File:201 Elements of the Human Body-01.jpg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46182835
[iv] For a schematic diagram please see p55 “Legend, The Genesis of Civilisation” by David Rohl.