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On Genesis, Part 2: The Society of Family
In our first presentation of this commentary on Genesis we ended with Genesis chapter 2 verse 3, as we consider those first few verses of this chapter, along with chapter 1, to be the first account of the creation of Yahweh God. Now as we commence with chapter 2, and through to the end of chapter 4, we shall begin to discuss the second creation account in Scripture. While this second account naturally follows the first in the text, the things which it describes actually parallel the later portions of the first account, the events which had been related on the sixth day of the creation of God. So this is also an example of a Hebrew parallelism, where something is described twice consecutively in a phrase, a sentence, or even in a longer passage, so that multiple aspects of a subject can be portrayed and explained more precisely. There are other examples of such parallelisms using entire passages in Biblical literature, and another one of significance is found in Genesis chapters 10 and 11. Ezekiel chapter and 28, and chapters 38 and 39 contain examples of others. Here in Genesis, while the first creation account provides a Godly worldview which laid a general foundation for the organization of a society, here we will see a foundation laid for the organization of a Godly family, which is the primary communicative unit of every prosperous society.
However before we begin to review and comment upon the text of this account in Genesis, there are a few aspects of it for which we should provide a preliminary discussion. That is because there are many errant concepts of the creation of Adam which throughout history have accommodated the Jews, who falsely claim to be the protagonists of the Old Testament, or the Roman Empire, as the fourth century Roman Catholic Church was organized to suit its whims, and now today it accommodates the modern diversity agenda. However in light of Genesis itself, especially in chapters 6 through 15, the concept that all of the hominid races on the planet were descended from this single man Adam are patently false, absolutely ludicrous, and do not withstand even the most basic historical or Scriptural scrutiny.
The popular Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament is said to have been based upon the Hebrew and German lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius, which was translated into English in the 19th century by Edward Robinson. But in some places it diverges sharply from Gesenius, and one of them is in its definition of the Hebrew word adam. In Strong’s Concordance there are six entries for the Hebrew term אדם, or adam, and they are only distinguished in such a manner according to the parts of speech, or how they are used in Scripture. So there is a verb, two common nouns, an adjective and two proper nouns, which are the name Adam and the later name Edom. The common nouns are first man, in reference to the Adamic man, and then another used to describe one or more red gemstones. Of the remaining forms, in his concordance James Strong defined the adjective as rosy and the verb as “to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy.”
The following three paragraphs were edited to supply some missing information on November 18th, 2023:
While Identity Christians are often mocked for citing those definitions, and while more recent lexicons have modified them to suit the diversity agenda, James Strong did not manufacture these definitions when he first published Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible in 1890. Wilhelm Gesenius began publishing his first Hebrew lexicons in German before 1815, and Edward Robinson, who was also an acquaintance of Gesenius and who had thought quite highly of him, first published his English translation of Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon in 1836. Over the decades leading up to this, Robinson did much work in Greek and other languages with other scholars. These men did not have some sort of nefarious neo-Nazi or racist agenda when they published these magnificent tomes, books which became foundational for understanding Biblical Hebrew, along with Robinson’s Greek lexicon, which was also published in 1836. Then in 1837 Robinson was appointed as a professor of biblical literature at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. So in Robinson’s translation of Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, under the entry for the word אדם, or adam, as a verb, which is on page 10, it is defined in part: “be red … ruddy, of Nazirites”, citing Lamentations 4:7, and “redden, grow or look red”, citing Proverbs 23:11 which is speaking of wine. The next entry is the word for adam as an adjective, on the same page, where we read in part “ruddy, red, of man”, citing the Song of Songs, or Canticles, 5:10.
Another translator of Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon was Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, who was born in Falmouth, in Cornwall, England, to Quaker parents in 1813. He received an education at the Falmouth classical school from 1825 to 1828. Later, he received an LL.D. degree, which distinguishes him as a Doctor of Laws, from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, in 1850. In America, an LL.D. degree is merely honorary, however it is an earned degree in the United Kingdom. Trigelles seems to be most distinguished for his early work in textual criticism of the New Testament, understanding that the Textus Receptus did not rest on truly ancient authorities. Then later, as he also completed and published a Hebrew grammar in 1852, he translated the Latin edition of Gesenius's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, which was published in 1846 and 1857.
So in Tregelles’ translation of Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, under the first entry for the word אדם, or adam, which is the verb, on page 13 we read: “To be red, ruddy,” and after supplying a citation from Jeremiah’s book of Lamentations it states that “Whiteness and ruddiness belong to the description of youthful beauty…” Other definitions of the verb are “made red, dyed red”, citing passages from Exodus, Isaiah and Nahum, and “to be red (as wine in a cup), to sparkle”, citing Proverbs 23:31. At the end of his definition for the verb, the reader is referred to the word דם, or dam, which is blood. Likewise, we may see how these words were translated into ancient Greek or Latin. For example, in the Song of Solomon, or Canticles, in chapter 5 we read, where the bride speaks of her husband: “10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” There the word translated as ruddy is a form of this word adam, and in the Greek Septuagint it was translated as πυρρός, an adjective which means fiery red. So there should be no doubt that adam does not simply mean man, as there were other Hebrew words which do mean man, but rather, adam is a descriptive term which is later applied to all of his descendants as well as to the first man Adam. We may call adult male hominids of other races man, but they can never properly be adam.
In grammar, when a Hebrew verb is prefixed with the letter aleph, or א, it signifies the first person singular future tense of the verb. When a Hebrew noun is prefixed with the same letter, it is said to simply designate “I”, which is the first person singular pronoun in English. So here we may assert that the word adam is the noun for blood prefixed with this letter aleph, and it means “I, blood”, and therefore adam describes blood personified as man, but in the Genesis context the meaning is valid only in reference to the blood of his own particular kind. Therefore Adam exemplifies his race, which would later come in the form of his own descendants. Therefore, throughout Scripture the children of Israel called themselves collectively by his name. Unfortunately, we have translated the word into a common noun which we also apply to other adult male hominids, and that has caused much confusion, and once again helps the enemies of our God to promote their diversity agenda.
Later in Scripture we read, in Leviticus chapter 17, “11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The blood of the second, or last man Adam, which is Yahshua Christ, certainly did make an atonement for the entire Adamic race, of which those Old Covenant sacrifices were symbolic. The Adamic race being born from of God, being the only race of hominids in the creation accounts of Yahweh God, Yahshua Christ being God incarnate is both Son and Father, and assumed full responsibility for His creation in His earthly ministry. He is the true patriarch, and here in this creation account which begins in verse 4 of Genesis chapter 2, we see the foundations for a society of family: the Adamic family. This society of family is based on a common blood, even if Adam did not say it quite in that same manner himself.
Now, as we have asserted, verse 4 of Genesis chapter 2 begins a new scroll, and relates in greater detail the story of the creation of man from the first account. So this passage in Genesis is also where the Name of God, Yahweh, first appears:
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
This perspective is once again that of the first creation, but it begins at a later point in the description, and the plants created on the third day are described as already existing. Furthermore, here the name Yahweh appears with the title for God, elohim, by which we know that Yahweh is the God of the first creation account, and not some other God, because this passage is referring to that account where it says “in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens”. However where the name Yahweh first appears here in relation to the creation of Adam, we may also perceive that Adam has a personal relationship with God, where the beasts only have an indirect relationship with Him. As we have noted in relation to that first account, when the beasts were created, Yahweh called them forth out of the sea or the earth. But when man was created, Yahweh called them forth out of Himself.
Where we read that “Yahweh God had not caused it to rain upon the earth”, while we have no true understanding of the antediluvian world we should also avoid conjecture. We are also unable to determine the scope of the context of the statement, such as if it had ever rained anywhere else on earth before this point, so being ignorant of the climate at the time, we shall say nothing further. But even more significant than arguments concerning ancient climate is the manner in which rain is portrayed, here as coming from the will of God. As we shall see here in Genesis, the Scriptures were written for an agrarian society, and the Old Testament Israelites were also an agrarian society. So rain is a fundamental necessity, and God supplies or withholds rain at His Own Will. For example, we read in Joel chapter 2: “23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.” Then in Amos chapter 4: “5 … O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD 6 … I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.” So with this we once again see an assertion in Genesis, that man depends upon his God for his sustenance, and therefore the dependence upon God for rain is another foundational precept in the organization of that society.
Where it says “and there was not a man to till the ground” we find that Adam had not yet been created, and therefore this account begins at that point, which was verse 26 of Genesis chapter 1, and now it will commence with a more detailed description of the creation of the first Adamic man:
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
All creatures require oxygen in order to survive, but there is no description of the other oxygen-breathing animals having ever received a “breath of life” directly from God. Therefore here this “breath of life” certainly seems to have a greater significance. In John chapter 3, the pharisee Nicodemus is described as having approached Yahshua Christ in Jerusalem, where we read that: “2 He came to Him at night and said to Him: ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from Yahweh, for no one is able to make these signs which You make, unless it could be that Yahweh is with him.’ 3 Yahshua replied and said to him: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.’ 4 Nikodemos says to Him: ‘How is a man able to be born, being old? Is he able to enter into the womb of his mother a second time and to be born?’ 5 Yahshua replied: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, if one should not be born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh! 6 That which is born from of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born from of the Spirit is Spirit. 7 You should not wonder that I said to you that it is necessary for you to be born from above. 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know from where it comes and where it goes. Thusly are all who are born from of the Spirit.’”
In that passage in verse 8, the Greek word πνεῦμα (Strong’s # 4151) is translated as wind, which is obviously a correct translation in its immediate context, but in the surrounding verses it is translated as spirit, once again on account of the immediate context. Literally and primarily, according to the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, the word is “a blowing… a wind, blast…” and then “II. like Latin spiritus or anima, breathed air, breath… πνεῦμα βίου the breath of life, Iliad… πνεῦμα ἀφιέναι… to give up the ghost, Iliad… III. spirit, Latin afflatus [which is breath, or metaphorically inspiration]… IV. the spirit of man… V. a spirit; in N.T. of the Holy Spirit, τὸ Πνεῦμα, Πνεῦμα ἅγιον…” So the word is wind, breath or spirit, or even inspiration, for which other lexicons add mind, depending upon the context in which it appears. Citing 1 Thessalonians 5:23, for example, in his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Joseph Thayer states in his entry for πνεῦμα in relation to that passage: “according to which τό πνεῦμα [the spirit] is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence”, so once again this accords with our assertion that in contrast to all creatures, and all other men, Adam has a personal relationship with God.
This understanding of πνεῦμα or spirit is also found in Hebrew. Here in Genesis 2:7 the word for breath in the phrase “breath of life” is נשמה, or neshamah, and it may mean either breath or spirit. Another Hebrew word, a synonym which is רוח or ruach, is used to describe either breath, wind or spirit, or even mind. So for example, in Job chapter 26 we read “4 To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?” There the word for spirit is neshamah. Then in Job chapter 32, “8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” There the word for spirit is ruach, and the word translated as inspiration is neshamah. Another word, נפש or nephesh, is breathing, breath or vitality, and is usually translated as soul in the King James Version, to distinguish it from spirit. So in Genesis chapter 1 the other animals were described as חי נפש, or chay nephesh, a phrase translated as living creature. But the spirit of God was bestowed only upon Adam.
Here in these definitions it is evident in Hebrew, Greek and Latin that the words for wind, breath and spirit are all the same in each of these three languages. It cannot be a coincidence that all of these concepts are described by the same words in all three languages, and had been even long before the Christian Gospel was accepted by either Hebrews, Greek or Romans. It is my opinion that from the earliest times the phenomenon of spirit was described by the same word for wind or breath because man perceived the spirit, and knew that it was present, but like the wind, or like his own breath, he could not actually see it. There is indeed a spirit which is more than mere air, but it is characterized as air because man could not see it, therefore he also associated it with what he could sense that gave him life, which was his very breath.
In relation to the passage from John chapter 3, the modern churches still maintain the same mistake which Nicodemus had made, and which Christ corrected, where Nicodemus had thought that being “born from above”, or “born again” as it is commonly but incorrectly translated, is something which a man can do of his own volition in this life. That is not true, and Christ was actually speaking in reference to a man’s origin, not to his works. If a man could do something on his own and see the Kingdom of Heaven, then there would have been no need for Christ. Where Christ had told Nicodemus: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh”, this answer was in response to Nicodemus’ profession acknowledging that Christ was a teacher from God, and not a suggestion that Nicodemus needed to do anything in order to be saved.
Rather, Christ was giving Nicodemus an explanation of why he believed Him: because he was indeed born from above, even if he himself did not know that. Nicodemus was confused, and imagining that he had to do something for himself to merit salvation, he imagined how he might make himself born from above, or born again. But what Christ was actually telling Nicodemus is that he has no control over the wind, and not even a perception of its origin or its destiny. Therefore since man cannot control the wind, nor can man perceive its origin or destiny, neither can man do anything to control his own fate, because man has no control over his own origin, and therefore he can do nothing to change his destiny.
The denominational churches continue to maintain the error of Nicodemus to this very day, as we have said, thinking that any man who professes a belief with his lips or who is baptized in water because of that belief is then somehow “born again”. But because Nicodemus did not understand, in verse 5 of John chapter 3 Christ added to His explanation and said: “Truly, truly I say to you, if one should not be born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh!” Then in verse 6 Christ enhanced His explanation, and repeated the same concept in slightly different language. This is also an example of a Hebrew parallelism. The same concept is described consecutively in two different ways, by which a more comprehensive or illustrative description of the speaker’s intended message or meaning is provided. So Christ said “6 That which is born from of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born from of the Spirit is Spirit.” To be born from above is to be born of the spirit, and Yahweh instilled that spirit into the Adamic race. With this we should understand that Christ is not describing two separate acts of birth, but one birth having two distinct dimensions, which are flesh and spirit. All men and beasts are born of water, which Christ equates here to being born of the flesh, but beasts are not born of the spirit of Yahweh, and neither are all men. Here in Genesis chapter 2, we see that the Adamic man, having been bestowed with the Spirit of Yahweh his God, is therefore born of the spirit. Later, in Genesis chapter 3, Abel was named after another word which means breath for a similar reason, while Cain was named for a word which signifies something acquired or possessed.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul of Tarsus wrote explaining that the flesh of Adamic man is different from that of beasts, and that the spirits of Adamic men continue to exist after the death of their bodies, the spiritual body having been sown along with the fleshly, which describes its innate nature as a facet of the original creation of the Adamic man. So Paul wrote in that chapter that “39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but one flesh of man, and another flesh of beasts, and another of birds, and another of fish.” Then, after contrasting the effulgence of heavenly bodies as compared to earthly bodies, a little further on he wrote “42 In this way also is the restoration of the dead. It is sown in decay, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in honor. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual. 45 And just as it is written, the first man Adam ‘came into a living soul,’ the last Adam into a life producing Spirit.” There Paul was not only contrasting the first man Adam to Christ, but he was also making an allegory which contrasts the life of the Adamic man in this world to the life of the resurrected Adamic man which is promised in Christ. Only the Adamic man has these promises, since no others of either men or beasts are “born from above”. Paul explains the consequence of this earlier in that chapter, where he wrote that “22 Just as in Adam all die, then in that manner in Christ all shall be produced alive.” As in Adam all die, all men having borne the flesh of Adam, but in Christ all Adamic men shall be made alive bearing the likeness of the heavenly body, the spiritual body that is already a part of his genetic makeup, because he was sown a natural body and he shall be raised a spiritual body.
So the spirit of God within the Adamic man is made apparent here in the language of Genesis 2:7, and also in the Old Testament writers such as Job and Solomon and others. In the account of the creation of Adam in Genesis chapter 1 we read: “26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” and then a little further on, “27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him… ” Then in the Wisdom of Solomon, in chapter 2: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” In Romans chapter 8 we read “29 Because those whom He has known beforehand, He has also appointed beforehand, conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be first born among many brethren.” That relationship is also conveyed here, as Adam has a personal relationship with God, so does Christ. So apparently the likeness of God is the general appearance of the Adamic man, but the image of God is His spirit, through which there is eternal life. Likewise we read a profession by Job in Job chapter 27 that he would not speak wickedness “3… while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” Then in chapter 33 he declared that “4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job, having been an Adamic man and an Israelite, was indeed born of the spirit.
Further on in Job, wondering of the possibility that God could destroy man from the earth, in Job chapter 34 he says “14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath [meaning that if he calls the spirits of men to Himself]; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.” So the spirit with which man is endowed returns to God again when man dies on earth, and that is the image with which God has endowed man, the Adamic man, so that the spirit of man does not die after the body, but rather it is gathered to God. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, speaks in the same manner where he wrote that upon death, “7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” If the spirit of man were merely his breath, that would not return to God, but only to the atmosphere from which it came. But like Job, Paul of Tarsus attested that if he were absent from the body, then he would be present with the Lord, in 2 Corinthians chapter 5.
In both John chapter 3, and again in the Wisdom of Solomon, in chapter 19, it is evident that the phrase “born from above” refers to that which comes from God. So in verse 6 of that chapter, Solomon wrote in reference to the events of the Exodus and the fashioning of a new society designed to function according to the laws of God, where he said, according to our own translation, “6 For the whole creation within its own race was again perfectly formed from above, serving Your commandments in order that Your sons may be kept unharmed.” In summary, here we must conclude that the “breath of life” in this passage represents the spirit of God within the Adamic man, and therefore the fact that the Adamic man is “born from above”.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Here three different sorts of trees are introduced. The first sort are literal trees, as they grow out of the ground. But the other two trees are not literal trees, as they are only “in the midst of the garden” and therefore they are distinguished from the literal trees. One may safely assume that all trees would be “in the midst of the garden” since in this context the word for midst, תוך, tauk or tavek, means simply within, as it is translated frequently elsewhere in Scripture. So these two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, cannot be literal trees. Throughout Scripture, families and races of men are also allegorically referred to as trees. The Tree of Life is not mentioned again until the end of Genesis chapter 3, and from that time it is not mentioned again until the Gospel and Revelation of Yahshua Christ, although the phrase was used idiomatically in the book of Proverbs. After Genesis chapter 2, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not mentioned again at all, by that particular allegory.
In the closing verses of Genesis chapter 3, Yahweh God declared that “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” Then there is another allegory, the placing of a flaming sword and cherubim to “keep the way of the tree of life”. It is evident that these are also allegories. In John chapter 15, Yahshua Christ explained that He is the True Vine, and His disciples are the branches, but that does not mean that they were the only branches. They were promised to live, if they abide in Him and keep His commandments. After Genesis chapter 3, the next time the cherubim are seen is atop the ark of the covenant, in which the copies of the law were kept. So it is evident that the “way of the tree of life” is the keeping of the law, and the Tree of Life is Yahweh God, Yahshua Christ Himself, and the race of men which are born of Him. In another meaning of the allegory, the Adamic man takes of the Tree of Life by clinging to his own race, which is also codified within the law of God. This is evident not only in John chapter 15, but also where in Revelation chapter 22 there is the Tree of Life, and it bears twelve types of fruit, which must be representative of the twelve tribes of Israel. So once again, we see that Genesis is written in a way that provides a foundation for the organization of a Godly society, or kingdom, even if it is not always apparent until much later in Scripture.
Likewise, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil also represents a race of people. Here Yahweh God did not take credit for having created it, but it is found “in the midst of”, or within the garden. That does not mean that it was not also outside of the garden, which we shall see is later identified as the land of Nod, or wandering. Evidently, this tree was within the garden even before Adam was created and placed in the garden, as it is there as soon as he is, but Yahweh Himself evidently did not plant it there. Later in this account, in Genesis chapter 3, we shall see that an individual known only as the Serpent is a representative of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But it is not until Matthew chapter 13 that we can even begin to fully understand this portion of Genesis, and then especially in Revelation chapter 12, where we read: “7 And there was a war in heaven, Michael and his messengers fighting with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his messengers, 8 and they did not prevail, nor was their place found any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon had been cast down, that serpent of old, who is called the False Accuser and the Adversary; he who deceives the whole inhabited earth had been cast into the earth, and his messengers had been cast down with him.”
Although that passage, in the context in which it sits, certainly has other fulfillments, it must explain the presence of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil here in Genesis chapter 2, since the Great Dragon is also described as “that Serpent of old” and the Devil and Satan, as the words meaning False Accuser and Adversary are more popularly translated. Paul had also equated the serpent to Satan in his allegory in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 (11:3, 14). Being described as “that Serpent of old”, the Great Dragon must be the Serpent of Genesis chapter 3. This in turn is supported in the words of Christ in Matthew chapter 13 where He is recorded as having said: “37 … He sowing the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 now the field is the world, and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom. But the tares are the sons of the Evil One, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the Devil, and the harvest is the consummation of the age, and the reapers are messengers.” When Christ spoke those words, they were not in a parable, but rather, they were made to His disciples in His explanation of a parable. Here in Genesis chapter 3, we are informed that the same Devil, “that Serpent of old”, is present in the garden of Eden, and therefore we must interpret this tree as the race of fallen angels who were once with God, thereby knowing good, but who had fallen from the grace of God, thereby knowing evil.
However just because there were angels who had fallen from heaven, ostensibly long before Adam was created, does not mean that they had fallen out of the sky. As we have recently explained in Part 15 of our commentary on the Revelation titled The Birth of a New World Order, In the ancient world, the seats of power and authority were esteemed to represent heaven on earth, and the architecture of palaces and temples reflected that belief. The very concept of kingship was said to have descended from heaven, ordained by the gods, and the kings were declared to be the sun on earth, the light of the world, and often they were even considered to be gods themselves. This is a complex subject, and an academic paper which discusses it at great length is titled Heaven On Earth, Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World, from a seminar held at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
So it is much more likely, understanding that these concepts had existed already for many centuries in the time of Moses and the Exodus, that the so-called fallen angels fell from the favor of God here on earth, and that their fall represents the destruction of an old order of society from which they had at one time rebelled against God. Where we see the Hebrew word נפלים, or nephilim in Genesis chapter 6, it is wrongly translated as giants but it literally means fallen ones. There in verse 4 it says that there were fallen ones “in the earth in those days; and also after that”, where we see that the fallen angels were already in the earth before the events which had led to the flood of Noah, and that also further supports our assertion that this Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the fallen angels. This is also why Christ had attested, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 15, that “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted shall be uprooted!”, since there were people in Judaea, as there also are today, who had descended from that same tree.
There is a contention, that if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is an allegorical tree which represents a race or races of people, then the first trees mentioned in verse 9 also must be races of people, which being “good for food” must also be acceptable to Adam. But that is not true, since later in the chapter we see that Adam was presented with “every living creature”, and there was still no acceptable helpmate found for him. The trees which grow out of the ground here must therefore be literal trees, and they are certainly not other races of people from which Adamic men may choose wives. Later, when we discuss Genesis chapter 3, we shall discuss at length the Hebrew idioms of eating trees and fruit which are actually euphemisms for sexual activity.
Now the actual location of the Garden of Eden is described:
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Here Moses is giving a geographical description of the garden of Eden which is relative to his own time, as this was approximately written during the period from 1450 to 1400 BC. Later, we shall see that same method in Genesis chapter 10. Havilah was a son of Abraham with Keturah. Cush was a son of Ham, and his name is often and not always correctly translated as Ethiopia when it speaks of lands occupied by his descendants. Asshur was a son of Shem and the eponymous ancestor of the Assyrians. Of course, these men were not even born until after the Flood of Noah, and therefore in the time of Adam these names could not have belonged to the regions which they later described by Moses.
The land of Havilah can be identified as having been in what is now known as Arabia, which is evident where it is mentioned in Genesis chapter 25 (25:18) and 1 Samuel chapter 15 (15:7). Therefore the first river, the פישון or pishon (pison), may be identified with a river that is now dried-out, which once flowed through the Arabian desert, ostensibly before it had become a desert. Archaeologists today usually call this bygone river the Kuwait River. It evidently had its sources in the mountains of Western Arabia, near the Red Sea, and flowed eastward to the Euphrates. The second river, the גיחון, or gihon, seems to identify the Karun River, which flows from the Zagros Mountains and currently empties into the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Here it is also evident that in the phrase “whole land of Ethiopia” the name should have been rendered as Cush, since Ethiopia in modern times usually refers to the ancient country in Africa.
The Nimrod character of Genesis chapter 10 was a son of Cush, and his kingdom, which is described as having begun in the cities of ancient Mesopotamia, was called Cush. This is evident in Scripture, especially in the life of Moses who had fled Egypt and went to the land of Cush, and took a wife of the Midianites, who were dwelling in a portion of what we now call Arabia. But the land to the south of Egypt was also known as Cush in Scripture, and just as there were two lands of Cush in early Hebrew records, there were two places called Ethiopia in early Greek records, and they correspond to the Hebrew. Herodotus and other writers mentioned the “Ethiopia of the East”. In his Iliad, Homer recalled the hero Memnon, named “the Ethiopian”, who was credited with having built Susa, a city which had later become the capital city of the Persians. The Ethiopia to the south of Egypt was ostensibly a colony of that Cush in Mesopotamia and was most likely founded by way of the sea, by crossing the Persian Gulf to the horn of Africa. So this Cush here in Genesis chapter 2 had partially bordered this Gihon, or Karun River, and therefore must have extended east of the Tigris River into modern day Iran.
The third river, the חדקל, or hidekel, must be the Tigris River which is east of ancient Assyria, and the fourth, the פרת, pherat or perath is the Euphrates, which together encompass the land which the Greeks later called Mesopotamia. The Greek word Εὐφράτης is derived from the Hebrew name of this fourth river, which can clearly be seen in its Hebrew form, and this river is identifiable throughout Scripture with the river which we know as the Euphrates. That the Hiddekel River is the river which we know historically as the Tigris is evident not only from the Greek Septuagint, but also from the context where the river is again mentioned in Daniel chapter 10, and the prophet wrote that “4 … in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel”.
These four rivers emptied into the Persian Gulf running into the same general confluence, but only three of them are still there today. Evidently, as it can be determined from both ancient history and Scripture, the Arabian peninsula was a much more fertile place at one time. The English language version of verse 10 is somewhat easy to misunderstand, where it says “ 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” The Greek version is more explicit and says that the river was divided into four beginnings, or sources, and not necessarily four heads. While it had not yet rained upon the earth, even today there are rivers which are formed at least in part by emerging underground springs. Therefore, however the antediluvian ecosystem had functioned, we can conclude here that Moses had described the ancient Garden of Eden to encompass all of the land from the northern portion of the current-day Arabian peninsula and the Red Sea in the west, to the Zagros Mountains of ancient Persia in the east, and that it was centered in the ancient land of Sumer, or as it was later called, Chaldea or Babylonia, near the confluence of these four rivers.
Now the narrative turns to Adam and what blessings were provided, and the obligations which were assigned to him by Yahweh his God.
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
As Moses has described the area of which the garden was comprised as having contained thousands or even hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, it is evident that Adam alone would not cultivate the garden. Rather, this helps to reflect the long term purpose for which the man was created, which is to establish a Godly kingdom upon the earth, and to subdue every living creature which dwells therein, as we have seen in Genesis chapter 1, that the man was to have dominion over the entire earth. There we also saw that as soon as man was created, he himself was told to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. So the dressing and keeping of the garden entails the cultivation of the race, and here we see how and under what circumstances that process was initiated.
Now the only law which was explicitly given to Adam is described:
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The statement that “of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat” includes all of the literal trees, and also must include the Tree of Life, of which at this point Adam is the only earthly member. But here Adam is told not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This commandment was transgressed in Genesis chapter 3, and it was transgressed again in Genesis chapter 6. The punishment in Genesis chapter 3 was that Adam and his wife would suffer death along with their descendants, as Paul had said in Romans chapter 5 that “by one man sin entered into the Society, and by that sin death, and in that manner death has passed to all men”. The punishment in Genesis chapter 6 was the flood of Noah, for which Peter wrote in chapter 2 of his second epistle that “4 … Yahweh did not spare the angels who had sinned but having cast them into Tartaros into a pit of darkness He had delivered them being kept for judgment, 5 and He did not spare of the old society but He had kept Noah, the eighth proclaimer of righteousness, having brought a deluge upon the society of the impious”. With this passage we should also once again see a connection between the Nephilim and the fallen angels of Revelation chapter 12, but it is not necessary to interpret the casting of those angels into a literal Tartaros.
Where we read “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”, or as it was interpreted in the Greek of the Septuagint: “but in whatsoever day ye eat of it, ye shall surely die”, it is not that Adam would die immediately, but that he would be assured death if he ate of this tree. The text also conveys the concept that this is a permanent commandment, that it would always be in place. In the law and the New Testament, it is perpetuated in the commandments concerning adultery and fornication. The very fact that the law prohibits bastards, in Deuteronomy chapter 23, by itself proves that not all men came from Adam.
Now that Adam has been instructed not to eat from of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and since he therefore has no prospects of finding a wife of his own by which he may be “fruitful and multiply”, Yahweh God is depicted as having proposed a solution to his dilemma:
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
There is a word which is not easily recognized in the King James Version, נגד or neged, which is translated as suitable, “a helper suitable for him”, in the New American Standard Bible. That is the word meet in the phrase “help meet”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers an archaic and dialectal British definition of meet as “precisely adapted to a particular situation, need, or circumstance : very proper”, and that is how it was used in the King James Version here. There is also an unrendered prefix before neged which may mean like or as. The same construction appears again at the end of verse 20.
This proposal reflects the first step in the proper organization of a family, and the family unit is the fundamental unit of a greater society. A society cannot be healthy or Godly without healthy and Godly families, so without this most basic unit there can be no Kingdom of God in this world. The helper proposed, from the Hebrew word עזר or ezer, is the woman which Yahweh shall create from Adam. The word is defined by Brown, Driver, Briggs as help or succour, and then later of people as one who helps. That a woman is properly a helpmate for a man is therefore the first characteristic and primary purpose for women as it is declared by the Word of God. So in the family relationship, a woman should naturally be a subservient partner to her husband. This Godly family order will become manifest once again in Genesis chapter 3.
While the word ezer is often also used to describe military help or aid, or Divine assistance, especially in the Psalms, that is not the case here in spite of the claims of many feminists. Otherwise, as it is recorded in Judges chapter 4, Barak would not have suffered the disgrace of seeing the woman Jael steal his glory by killing the enemy general Sisera, a punishment Barak was warned that he would suffer for insisting that the prophetess Deborah accompany him in battle. So when Barak insisted that Deborah go with him to face the enemy in battle, we read in Judges chapter 5 that “ 9 … she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So for his feminism, as his punishment Barak had lost the glory of his victory to a woman.
Returning to our Genesis narrative, before the helper, or helpmate is created, Yahweh proceeds by offering Adam an exemplary lesson:
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
This is not a second creation of beasts. Rather, Genesis chapter 1 and the sixth day are a more general account of these same events. Furthermore, since Adam is presented with all of the animals here and cannot find a suitable wife, this passage seems to be an antithesis to some of the more grievous sins of the fallen angels, who are described in the Enoch literature as having corrupted the creation of God with the mingling of kinds, or species, even with their own. While the most explicit passage of the Enoch literature is quite fragmentary in nature, in The Dead Sea Scrolls, A New Translation by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr. and Edward Cook, on page 291, there is a translation of 1Q23, fragments 1 and 6, which is part of the Enoch literature preserved in the scrolls. There it explains that the fallen angels had taken: “1 [... two hundred] 2 donkeys, two hundred asses, two hund[red ... rams of the] 3 flock, two hundred goats, two hundred [... beast of the] 4 field from every animal, from every [bird ...] 5 [...] for miscegenation [...]”.
This is from the so-called Book of Giants, which in our opinion would be more properly titled the Book of the Nephilim or Fallen Ones, and which was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. But this was not the only recorded episode of such sin, and in another scroll, 4Q531, we read in part: “they defiled [… they begot] giants and monsters […] they begot, and behold, a[ll the earth was corrupted…] with its blood by the hand of [… giants] which did not suffice for them and […] they were seeking to devour many […] the monsters [destroy]ed it.” The scroll fragments contain other similar instances, but this is how the ancients saw the sin of the fallen angels, and this is also alluded to by the apostles of Christ. So, with Adam not finding a suitable helpmate, Yahweh executes His original proposal to create a mate for Adam:
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
The word for rib, צלע or tsela, is more frequently translated as side, however it is more specifically rib elsewhere in Scripture. While other commentators have sought to find a better definition for the word, any debate is immaterial. The point is that the woman was taken from the very same tissue of which her husband had been created, and for that reason, we now find the definition for a suitable helpmate, or wife, where she is next described in the words of Adam himself:
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
So because Adam was forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and because he found no suitable mate among all of the other creatures of the earth, which would of course all have been animals, Yahweh God took a wife for him from of his own flesh, and therefore that is the only legitimate and Godly essence of a wife.
The apostle Jude, in his short epistle, described the sins of the fallen angels thusly: “6 and the angels not having kept their first dominion but having forsaken their own habitation are kept under darkness in everlasting bindings for the judgment of the great day, 7 as Sodom and Gomorra and the cities around them in like manner with them committing fornication and having gone after different flesh are set forth an example, undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” So Jude described fornication as at least one of the sins of the fallen angels, and also as one of the sins of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and he defined that fornication as the pursuit of strange, or different flesh, ostensibly for sexual gratification – the same sin which is evident in Genesis chapters 3 and 6. For this same thing Adam and Eve found death, and nearly all of the children of Adam were destroyed in the flood of Noah.
When he wrote those things, Jude went on to warn his readers further, speaking in regard to those same fallen angels, and writing in the present tense for his own time he said “12 These are the spots in your feasts of charity, feasting together without fear, tending to themselves, clouds without water being carried away by the winds, late-autumn trees without fruit, twice dead being uprooted, 13 stormy waves of the sea foaming up their own shame, wandering stars for whom the gloom of darkness is kept forever!” Following that, Jude then cited the writings of Enoch in regard to their ultimate destruction.
The apostle Peter had also written of the “angels that sinned” in chapter 2 of his second epistle where he said: “12 But these, having been born as natural irrational animals into destruction and corruption in which blaspheming they are ignorant in their corruption they also shall perish, 13 doing injustice for the wages of injustice, regarding luxury a pleasure by day, stains and disgraces reveling in their deceits feasting together with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and unable to cease from sin…” So it is also today, that families consisting of these spots and stains are not valid families in accordance with the creation of God, and they are plants which shall be rooted up, because Yahweh God did not plant them.
Now we see that this circumstance, that a wife who is suitable for a husband is flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones, meaning that they are of the same kind or race, is also the only legitimate substance with which to begin a Godly family:
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Speaking of the Godly order of family in Ephesians chapter 5, where Paul was also interpreting what we have seen here in Genesis chapter 2, and shall see in various places throughout the Book of Genesis, Paul of Tarsus wrote that the men and women of the assembly should “21 Subject yourselves to one another in fear of Christ: 22 wives, to their own husbands, as if to the Prince, 23 because the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the assembly: He is deliverer of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, in that manner also wives in everything to the husbands. 25 Husbands, love the wives, just as Christ has also loved the assembly, and had surrendered Himself for it, 26 in order that He would consecrate it, cleansing it in the bath of the water in the word, 27 that He may present it to Himself in honor, the assembly not having a blemish or a wrinkle or any of such things, but that it would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands are obliged to love their own wives, as their own bodies; he who is loving his own wife loves himself. 29 No one has at any time hated his own flesh, but nourishes and comforts it, just as also Christ the assembly, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 ‘For this reason shall a man leave father and mother and shall join to his wife, and the two shall be for one flesh.’ 32 This mystery is great, and I speak for Christ and for the assembly. 33 Nevertheless, each and every one of you must love his own wife as himself, and the wife should see that she fear the husband.”
So while the creation account in Genesis chapter 1 provided a basis for the foundation of a society, in the creation account of Genesis chapter 2 we find that it is a society of family, and this second account provides the basis for the foundation of families, while defining the circumstances under which Yahweh God had decreed for the Adamic man to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [or fill] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” We also see that only Yahweh God Himself is the head of every proper family.