Genesis 2:4-25



“These are the generations of . . . ”  is the translation of “elleh toledot” in the Hebrew

NIV translates “elleh toledot” as “This is the account of. . .”


The “toledot” formula begins a new section.  It is used a total of 10 times in Genesis.

The “toledot” formula is also used in 6:9; 10:1; 11:10,  27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2.


The use of “LORD” or YHWH is used for the first time and is combined with “elohim” (God)

“Elohim” was used in chapter one to refer to the majestic God of creation.

“YHWH” is introduced in chapter two because man is going to appear as one under the authority with God and living in a covenant relationship with him.  Through out the OT “YHWH” is the covenant name of God.


There is one sentence in the Hebrew from 2:4b-7.

The conclusion and result of the long sentence is that God forms Adam.



The earth is at this time a barren dessert:

1)       no shrub – to grow

2)       no plant – to grow

3)       no rain – to cause the growth (YHWH sent the rain)

4)       no man – to do the work of caring for the growth (Man cared for the growth)

There was a covenant relationship and a joint operation.

1)       Rain was not enough and God did not work the field.

2)       Working the soil without rain was not enough and Man could not send rain



“streams” or “mist” is the Hebrew word “ed” which could refer to  a mist, a river, a flood, a cloud, a spring, etc.

Because the use of the phrase “came up from the earth” is used it probably refers to:

1)       Pressurized water under the continental plates that created a mist or spray over the earth.

2)       Underground rivers that surfaced forming pools of water.



This verse concludes the long sentence that began in the middle of verse 4.


“the man from the dust of the ground” is the translation of the  Hebrew

“ha’adam min-ha’adama”  or “earthling from the earth”


“formed” is “yatsar” and is used often in the OT of a potter (2 Sam. 17:28, Isa. 29:16; Jer. 18:2,3,4), of a ironsmith with metal (Isaiah 44:12)

“Yatsar” means to shape or mold with something already in existence.

In Gen. 1:26 God says, “Let us make (asah) man” (Use existing material)
In Gen. 1:27 God says, “Let us create (bara) man.” (Create out of nothing)


In 2:4-7 YHWH is described as a “potter.”

In 2:8-9 YHWH appears as a “gardner.”


Eden is a word that is similar to the word “edinu” (Sumerian-Akkadian) which is a term used for the geographic location of the flat land between the Tigris and the Euphrates. 

1)       The word “edinu” meant “plain, flatland, wilderness, prairie.” 

2)       The word “eden” means delight. 

3)       The root of “eden” is “ ‘dn” which means “abundant water supply.”

4)       Eden is a geographic area. 

5)       The garden was is in the land of Eden.


Man was placed in the garden “to work it and take care of it.” (2:15)

The perfect, fertile garden needed to be worked.

Work is part of the perfect, sinless world that God created.


Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3



The trees of the garden are impressive.

1)       Pleasing to the eye

2)       Good for food


Two specific trees are mentioned:

1)       Tree of Life

2)       Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil


The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is mentioned only one more time in 2:17.

1) The emphasis here is “the knowledge of. . .” not the existence of “good and evil”

The Tree of Life is mentioned again in Gen. 2:9; 3:22, 24; Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4 and Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19)

The fall of the garden is discussed in Ezekiel 31:15-18


What will happen if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

There are four general suggestions.  Three of the suggestions are wrong.

1)       Sexual awareness – support for this includes “to know” and they became aware of nakedness.  The problems are many including God wanted them to produce and God’s statement “they have now become like one of us” would indicate that God was a sexual being.  Clearly God is not sexual and Adam/Eve were not wrong for being sexual.

2)       Attainment of complete knowledge (omniscience) but the attainment of knowledge began to decrease after this.

3)       Refers to ethical and cultural knowledge to form civilization.

4)       Ability to decide for oneself a course of action and make judgments.  It became moral autonomy.

a.       Genesis 24:50 – Laban can not say “to you bad or good.”  The thing was decided by God and man should not violate it.

b.       Genesis 31:24, 29 – Can not say a word to Jacob, either good or bad.  Jacob is returning to the promised land and Laban is not to interfere.

c.       Deut. 1:39 refers to children who have no knowledge of good and evil or have no ability to make their own decisions.  All of these verses are dealing with people not having the right to voice their own authority.

d.       What is forbidden man is the power to decide what is in his best interests.

e.       When man eats he will become like God and man’s decisions will have an influence in the earth

f.         Man did not know Good and Evil he only knew God.  Man could not sin and so could not fail because he only followed God and God’s ways.

g.       Eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would indicate a separating from God’s authority and provision


Man will have as choice to make:

1)       Trust and Love and so Obey God

2)       Doubt God’s Love, Resent God’s Control, Disobey God’s Word



Eden Rivers



“Put” is the verb “nuah” and means “rest”.  God caused Man to rest and fit comfortably in the garden


take care” is “samar” means:

1)       “watch the flocks” (Gen. 4:9)

2)       “attend property (Gen. 30:31)

3)       “protect people” (Gen. 28:15, 20)

4)       Priest who carry out God’s instruction (Lev. 8:35)

5)       Taking care of the tabernacle (Num. 1:53; 18:5)

In 3:23-24 Man has failed to “samara” so cherubim do the work of “guarding” or “samar”



“Commanded” is used here first in its 25 times in Genesis.



Man is only creation capable of crossing moral boundry



Unique account of the creation of woman compared to other cultures and ancient religions and myths

This verse begins with “not good” indicating the importance of this concept to the verse.

“Helper” is “ezer” and means “aid, support.”

The Lord is the “helper” (“ezer”) in Psalm 20:2 and 121:1-2

The Lord “helps” (“ezer”) Moses in Exodus 18:4

“Helper” (“ezer”) obviously does not mean lesser but refers to one able to provide what is missing.