New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Other Material Relevant to this chapter:

The location of Eden

The Intention And Context Of Genesis 1-3

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CHAPTER 2 Jan. 1 
The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array. 2On the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because He rested in it from all His work which He had created to make.
The Garden of Eden
4This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens. 5No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to cultivate the ground, 6but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four headstreams. 11The name of the first is Pison: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is Tigris: this is the one which flows east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it. 16Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.
The Creation of Woman
18Yahweh God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. 19Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23The man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh! She will be called ‘woman’, because she was taken out of Man. 24Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


2:7 The ‘soul’ refers to the person, body or self. The famous ‘Save Our Souls’ (S.O.S.) clearly means ‘Save us from death!’ The ‘soul’ is therefore ‘you’, or the summation of all the things that make up a person. It is understandable, therefore, that many modern versions of the Bible (e.g. the N.I.V.) rarely use the word ‘soul’, translating it instead as ‘you’ or ‘the person’. The animals which God created are called “living creatures...every living thing that moves” (Gen. 1:20,21). The Hebrew word translated “creatures” and “living thing” here is nephesh, which is also translated ‘being’; for example in Gen. 2:7: “...and man became a living being”. Thus man is a ‘soul’ or ‘living being’, just as the animals are ‘souls’ or ‘living beings’. The only difference between mankind and animals is that man is mentally superior to them; he is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and some men are called to know the Gospel through which the hope of immortality is opened up to them (2 Tim. 1:10). As regards our fundamental nature and the nature of our death, there is no difference between man and animals.
2:17 The serpent was a beast of the field which God had made (Gen 3:1). Yet out of the ground [Heb. adamah- earth, soil] God formed all the beasts of the field, including the serpent (Gen. 2:17). So the serpent was likewise created by God out of the ground- it wasn't a pre-existing agent of evil. Note the snake, as one of the beasts of the field, was “very good” (Gen. 1:31)- hardly how one would describe the serpent according to the orthodox reasoning.
2:21 Woman was created from the side of Adam, not from his head nor from his feet. 
2:24 Cleave- Mt. 19:5,6 interpret this as meaning that God “joins together” man and woman in marriage; not simply at the wedding, but throughout their life experience together. It’s therefore going against God’s work to break apart what He has tried to join together.