Genesis 2: God’s Seven Blessings and Gifts to Mankind

Introduction: Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the book of Genesis began to receive sustained criticism in both the scientific community and within academia. As discussed in the prior studies, in 1858 Charles Darwin started a revolt in the biological world with his book, “On the Origin of Species”. In 1876, academics also began to attack the integrity of Genesis text by alleging that it was derived from different authors at different times. That year, a German named Julius Wellhausen published a book called “The Composition of the Hexateuch and the historical books of the Old Testament”. His book challenged the view held for centuries that Moses wrote the first five book of the Bible, the Torah, and that Joshua wrote the book of Joshua. He did not believe that the Bible was inspired by God or that He did anything described in the Bible. In 1878, he published “Prolegomena to the History of Israel.” His second book sought to trace Israel’s development through an entirely secular, non-supernatural view. He alleged that that the Torah was compiled together from four separate sources. He named the four allegedly different sources as follows: (1) a Yahwist source (J), allegedly written c. 950 B.C. in the southern Kingdom of Judah; (2) an Elohist source (E), allegedly written c. 850 B.C. in the northern Kingdom of Israel; (3) a Deuteronomist (D), allegedly written c. 600 B.C. in Jerusalem during a reform; and (4) a Priestly source (P), allegedly written c. 500 B.C. by priests in exile in Babylon.

Today, his theory is called the “Documentary Hypothesis.” Under his view, Genesis one was written by a “Priestly writer” or his school in the 6th or 5th century B.C. By contrast, he alleged that Genesis 2 was written by a “Yahwist writer” or his school in the 10th century B.C.

Wellhausen drew his conclusion based upon three observations that others had raised before him. First, Genesis chapters one and two both talk about God’s creation of mankind. He assumed that this meant that the Jews at some point had two different creation accounts that they merged together. Second, while Genesis chapter one referred to God as “Elohim”, Genesis chapter two refers to Him both as “Elohim” and “Yahweh.” He assumed that there must have been one Jewish account of creation through people who believed in “Elohim” and a second creation account through a group of people who believed in “Yahweh.” He believed that these accounts were then merged together to unite Israel. To bolster his claim, he cited two others who claimed that there were alleged “contradictions” in the two Genesis creation chapters.

The traditional view for centuries was that Genesis chapter one talked about the order of appearance of the plants, the animals and humans through day six. Genesis two begins with the account of God’s rest from creation and mankind’s Sabbath. After the description of the Sabbath, Genesis chapter two briefly retells the creation of: (1) part of the water cycle on day two, (2) certain plants on day three; and (3) the creation of mankind on day six. It then provided a spiritual account regarding the reasons why God created mankind and the Garden of Eden.

Although some are troubled by the order reversals between the two chapters, Bible scholar Kenneth Mathews explains that the different orders stressed different points:

The different order in the creation of the animals and humanity between 1:1-2:3 and 2:4-25 has been taken as an irreconcilable conflict. Chapter 2, however, presents a topical order in the formation of the man and the animals (2:7, 19), giving priority to man’s role as master over Eden. Also in chap. 2’s narrative hierarchy, the making of the animals is subservient to the larger concern of the woman’s creation (vv. 18-25). The animals are paraded before the man to establish the suitability of the woman as his companion. Chapter 1, on the other hand, presents the creation of the birds and beasts before the creation of humanity to indicate a line of ascendancy in creation, from the lesser creatures to the superior mankind.1

Wellhausen, however, argued that the second account was inconsistent with the first because it does not retell the creation of the fish, birds, and animals before Adam. He argued that this must have meant that the accounts were drafted by different people and merged together.

It might be tempting to dismiss the Documentary Hypothesis as the deranged thoughts of an atheist. Yet, this theory is now taught in nearly every seminary school and in most Catholic schools to adolescents. Likewise, nearly every scholarly study on the Torah discusses it.

For many, the combined theories of evolution and the Documentary Hypothesis became the one-two punches against the claims made in the book of Genesis. Without the Church actively defending the Bible’s claims of its divine origin, the general public began to abandon it.

Under the circumstances, many believers might feel tempted to simply shrug their shoulders when asked about whether the book of Genesis is reliable. Yet, God calls upon each believer to know enough about the Bible to explain why they believe in it when asked: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (1 Pet. 3:15). Thus, every believer is called upon to defend and explain the Bible with love.

The harmony between the two creation accounts. As set forth in the prior studies, God gave believers the tools within nature to refute the theories of macro-evolution (Ro. 1:20). He also gave believers the means to refute the Documentary Hypothesis. He provides several means to establish that the texts are divinely inspired through one author. These defenses to the integrity of the text and its single author are seven fold. These include: (1) the seventh day falling in chapter two; (2) the pattern of seven sayings between days one and seven (which indicate the presence of a single author); (3) symmetry in the literary structure between Genesis 1:1 and 2:25 (which also indicates the presence of a single author); (4) the hidden pattern of the Hebrew word “Torah” (which is spelled out with every 50th letter in both the books of Genesis and Exodus); (5) reversal patterns that are found in Genesis two (which contradicts the argument that these reversal patterns only exist between Genesis one and two); (6) the Documentary Hypothesis rests upon multiple implausible conspiracies; and (7) Jesus’ certifications as to the accuracy of all parts of the Torah, including the book of Genesis.

1) The second account begins with day seven. Genesis chapter two begins with the statement: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.” (Gen. 2:1). If Genesis chapter two were a separate account, the chapter would not begin by repeating that the heavens and earth were “completed”. The second chapter further begins with day seven, not day one: By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” (Gen. 2:2). If one group of Jews followed only Genesis chapter two and later demanded that their separate account be merged with Genesis chapter one, then their god rested before doing any work. Or, their god had to rest after creating the heaven and earth in verse one and before creating the plants, animals and humans on the planet because he lacked the same creative stamina of the other alleged god in Genesis one.

2) The pattern of seven groups of sayings. A pattern of symmetry also exists between the two Genesis accounts through Moses’ seven literary sayings across the seven days. Bible scholar William D. Ramey explains these seven patters of the number seven as follows:

(1) The announcement of the commandment: “And God said”, while occurring ten times, is grouped into seven (7x1) groups (Gen. 1:3; 6; 1:9; 1:11; 1:14, 1:20; 1:24; 1:26; 28; 29).

(2) The order formula: “Let there be . . .”, while occurring eight times, the formula is grouped into seven (Gen. 1:3; 1:6, 9; 1:11; 1:14; 1:20; 1:24; 1:26).

(3) The fulfillment formula: “And it was so” occurs seven times (Gen. 1:3; 1:7; 1:9; 1:11; 1:15; 1:24; 1:30).

(4) The execution formula: “And God made” occurs seven times (Gen. 1:4; 1:7; 1:12; 1:16; 1:21; 1:25; 1:27).

(5) The approval formula: “God saw that it was good” occurs seven times (Gen. 1:4; 1:10; 1:12; 1:18; 1:21; 1:25; 1:31).

(6) The subsequent divine word: God’s naming or blessing occurs seven times (Gen. 1:52; 1:8; 1:102; 1:22; 1:28).

(7) Seven days affirmed: There are seven days mentioned (Gen. 1:5; 1:8; 1:13; 1:19; 1:23; 1:31; 2:2).2

The last of this pattern of seven sayings continues into Genesis 2:2. If the chapters were drafted by separate authors, the pattern would have been confined to Genesis chapter one. This pattern is confirmation that the text had a single author; Moses guided by the Holy Spirit.

Advocates of the Documentary Hypothesis respond that the “Yahwist source” must have begun following the Sabbath with verse four of chapter two: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.” (Gen. 2:4). Yet, this leads to even more absurd results. If this were true, the alleged Yahwist source would have had no description or details at all about the creation of the (1) the universe; (2) the stars; (3) the moon; (4) the Earth (5) the oceans; or (6) the fish. Instead, one group of Jews believed that their god started his description of creation with part of the water cycle. Because the advocates of the Documentary Hypothesis suggest that the Yahwist source is older, that also means that the Jews never had answers about what their god did before he created the first rain on the Earth. Finally, their god also never rested from creation while the later one did.

3) Symmetry in the literary structure between Genesis 1:1 and 2:25. Even if we were to assume that a separate Genesis text began at verse four of chapter two, at least three other perfect literary patterns exist between Genesis chapters one and two. These perfect patterns would not be possible if they were drafted separately and then pasted together.

First, Bible scholar Klaus Potsch explains that the two chapters form a perfect literary pattern between Genesis 1:1 and 2:25 with Genesis 2:3 at its center:

a 1:1-3 bareness of matter

b 1:4-5 separation of light and darkness

c 1:6-8 separation of the waters above and the waters below

d 1:9-10 separation of dry land and the sea

e 1:11-13 fulfilling of the earth

f 1:14-19 filling of the sky with lights to govern and to measure time

g 1:20-23 filling of the waters below and the waters above with animals

h 1:24-25 filling the land with animals (living beings)

i 1:26 God's concept of mankind

j 1:27 creation of mankind, transfer of image

k 1:28 mankind’s habitat - the earth

l 1:29-30 the basis of food for the living creatures

m 1:31 the heavens and earth made, day 6

n 2:1 God creation completed in content

o 2:2a God's creation completed in time

p 2:2b God rests on the 7th day

x 2:3a THE HOLY GOD BOTH BLESSES AND SANCTIFIES

p 2:3b God rests on the 7th day

o 2:3c God's works created and made

n 2:4a the heavens and earth created (finished, completed)

m 2:4b the heavens and earth made in a timespan

l 2:5-6 basis for life in the garden plants, moisture

k 2:7a man's origin = dust

j 2:7b man's creation, transfer of life

i 2:8 man's place = the garden

h 2:9 filling the garden with plants (tree of life)

g 2:10-14 filling the garden with water

f 2:15-17 filling the garden with a caretaker + measure for good and evil

e 2:18 fulfilling Adam's life

d 2:19-20 separation (discerning, naming) of the animals

c 2:21-23 separation of man and woman

b 2:24 separation of parents and children

a 2:25 bareness of man3

If the two Genesis accounts were randomly drafted at different times by two separate groups of Jews, this perfect pattern of symmetry in the structure would not exist. This again is confirmation that the two chapters had a single author through divine inspiration.

Second, Bible scholar Willian Shea documents another similar literary pattern between Genesis chapters one and two. In English, the two accounts of God’s creation of mankind would appear at first blush to be different:

Genesis 1:27 Genesis 2:23
And God created man in his image; In the divine image created he him, male and female created he them. This now at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called Woman, for from Man was this one taken.

Yet, Shea explains that in Hebrew the two accounts have identical patterns when spoken: “It is remarkable that the counts are exactly the same for both passages, with 12 stress accents and 32 syllables in both passages.”4 This type of perfect symmetry in Hebrew would not be possible if these accounts were drafted by different people at different times and then pasted together. This perfect symmetry is again evidence of a single author through divine inspiration.

Third, Bible scholar J.B. Doukhan reveals a third pattern in the phrase “God said” between the two chapters. Between Genesis 1:3 and 1:31, the phrase “God said” appears exactly nine times, a number associated with the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Between Genesis 2:7 through Genesis 2:22, the phrase “the Lord God did/said” again appears exactly nine times.5 Again, these identical patterns would not exist it the texts were drafted at different times by different people and then merged together. They again confirm a single divinely inspired author.

4) The hidden pattern of the Hebrew word “Torah”. The Bible also is self-authenticated through the repeating pattern of the Hebrew word Torah “תּוֹרָה”. Starting with the first Hebrew taw, every 50th letter in the books of Genesis and Exodus spells the Hebrew word “Torah.” (This pattern has nothing to do with the alleged Bible codes that some have claimed predict major world events.) Even the sequence of 50 spaces between each letter has meaning. In the Bible, the number 50 signifies revelation. The Jews marched in the wilderness 50 days until Moses received the revelation of the Torah on Mount Horeb. The revelation of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the early Church exactly 50 days after Christ’s resurrection. Consistent with the theme of revelation, the word “Torah” in Hebrew is derived from the root “ירה”, which in the “hif'il” conjugation means “to guide/teach.” (cf. Lev 10:11). If the Genesis text were cobbled together from entirely different sources, this repeating pattern would not exist. This pattern is the seal of the Holy Spirit upon the document. There is simply no way that multiple human authors could have randomly merged unrelated texts and formed this perfect repeating pattern.

5) Reversal patterns are also found in Genesis two. The primary argument for Genesis chapters one and two being from different sources rests upon the different listing orders that appear both before and after Genesis 2:4. Skeptics call these “contradictions.” Yet, if Genesis two were a separate document based upon this line of reasoning, one should expect Genesis chapter two to have the same listing order after verse four. Yet, it doesn’t. As yet another literary devise, chapter two contains its own order reversals. As Bible commentator William H. Shea explains: “A chiastic element is also found in the second section in reference to the fowl of heaven and the beasts of the earth. The beasts of the earth precede the fowl of heaven in v. 19, but they follow them in v. 20.” “ . . . God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man . . . The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field . . .” (Gen. 2:19-20).6 Thus, the reversal patterns between Genesis one and two are not evidence of different authors. They are instead evidence of a poetic devise used to convey a different theological point. The use of these literary patterns was important to early generations that could not read. The text was poetic when spoken in Hebrew. This in turn made it easier for people to memorize the text, repeat it and pass it on to the next generation.

6) The Documentary Hypothesis rests upon multiple implausible conspiracies. For the Documentary Hypothesis to be true, multiple implausible conspiracies had to exist. At least seven conspiracies were necessary for this hypothesis to be true.

(1) The first conspiracy merged the allegedly older Genesis chapter two text with the allegedly younger Genesis chapter one text. This conspiracy allegedly merged these texts together to form three of the five books of the Torah. This conspiracy was tighter than any other conspiracy in history. Miraculously, no one ever leaked it. The conspirators further managed to gather and destroy and original source documents, which allegedly recorded the separate creation accounts. Then, they managed to brain wash an entire nation to forget their separate accounts that each group once considered sacred and accept a new hybrid story as if it were the original. Because the vast majority learned the text through memorization, this would be no simple task.

The theory that there were four sources would also logically mean that two of the four sources had no creation accounts. It also would have meant that each of the four sources had major sections of the Bible missing from their separate accounts. For example, if we were to base different sources upon the names used for God, only the Yahweh camp had any description of the Fall of Adam and Eve or the Abrahamic covenant. If the theory were true, only the Yahweh followers needed redemption, and only they would have formed a covenant with God. The animal sacrifices in Leviticus would also only be necessary for the Yahweh believers.

This would also mean that one group of Jews were comfortable openly using God’s name “Elohim” in every day speech. Yet, a different group of Jews felt so strongly against saying God’s name “YHWH” that they banned saying it as part of the Third Commandment. In short, each of these four groups would have started with radically different religions.

(2) A second conspiracy allegedly happened when “the Deuteronomist” created a forged book of Moses’ address to the people and falsely claimed within the book that Moses wrote it. This allegedly happened in 600 BC in Jerusalem during a reform. King Josiah recorded that he discovered the law during the last days of his reign (2 Kgs. 22:8-13). Some now claim - - without any evidence -- that Deuteronomy must have been written just before that. Others believed that King Josiah conspired to write the Deuteromic code and then falsely claimed to have found it. Under either scenario, the author(s) falsely claimed in the book that Moses wrote it (Dt. 31:9, 24-26). Why would they do this? At the time, Judah was a vassal state of Assyria. Yet, during King Josiah’s reign, Assyria began to decline in power. Sometime around 622 B.C, King Josiah launched religious reforms. Following the format of vassal state covenants of the day, he or others allegedly wrote the Deuteromic code as a covenant between the kingdom of Judah and Yahweh. The theory was that this was create a sense of nationalism amongst the Jews and allow King Josiah to consolidate religious worship (and therefore) power in Jerusalem (See Dt. 12:5-7). If true, the book of Deuteronomy was not written until hundreds of years after Moses’ death, sometime between 1735 and 1480 B.C. Other critics later claimed that the first three chapters at the beginning and the chapters at the end did not appear until the end of the Babylonian exile in the late 6th Century B.C. To make the forgery seem authentic, the conspirators falsely recorded on multiple occasions that Moses wrote the book: “Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi . . .” (E.g., Dt. 31:9; 31; 24-26; 1:5-6; 9; 5:1; 27:1; 9; 29:2; 30; 33:1). Yet, to prevent further forgeries, these conspirators then added language to prevent others from doing what they had done: “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” (Dt. 12:32; 4:2).

The Jews who treated the holy Torah as sacrosanct and memorized it allegedly had no objection when presented with the forgery. The conspirators were again able to gather up the original source materials and destroy all prior copies of the Torah that did not include Deuteronomy. A nation that had memorized the sacred Torah without Deuteronomy now relearned the new significantly revised Torah with objection.

(3) A third conspiracy allegedly happened in 500 B.C. At that time, the “Priestly source,” again, secretly rewrote the Torah while in exile in Babylon. They again managed to gather up and destroy all the original source materials. A nation that had memorized the sacred Torah, again, happily abandoned it and accepted the newest forgery without question. Although the last forgery contained warnings against further additions to the Torah, no one cared.

(4) A fourth conspiracy allegedly happened some later time when a redactor or editor added the word “Elohim” in front of the word “Yahweh” everywhere it appears in Genesis chapter two.7 In English, this can be seen by the words “the Lord God” multiple times between Genesis 2:4 and 3:24. The purpose of the fourth conspiracy was allegedly to cover up the first conspiracy. The editor allegedly sought to make it seem like the two texts were one by adding the word “Elohim” in front of the word “Yahweh”. Yet, for some unexplained reason, he also added this dual name in just one other place in the Torah in Exodus 9:30. This redactor, however, not only allegedly added the word “Elohim” in front of “Yahweh” in these two chapters of Genesis and in one verse of Exodus, he also allegedly deleted the word “Yahweh” in five verses of Genesis 3 and substituted it with the word “Elohim” for some reason that no one can explain. Miraculously, for a devout nation of Jews who learned the Torah through memorization, no one objected. Again, all the alleged source materials were gathered up and destroyed. Moreover, no archeological evidence was left of any of the prior source documents. This also meant that the literary patterns did not exist before this additions. While the fourth conspiracy had as a goal covering up the first by adding the word Elohim in chapter two, it by chance created the repeating word Torah with every 50th letter as an unintended bonus.

While the Documentary Hypothesis needs conspiracies on top of conspiracies to explain it, Bible scholar Kenneth Mathews gives a more logical explanation for God’s different names:

Elohim is appropriate for the majestic portrayal of God as Creator of the universe since it properly indicates omnipotent deity, whereas Yahweh is the name commonly associated with the covenant relationship between deity and His people: Israel (cf. 15:7; Ex. 3:14-15). Its combination with Elohim achieves an overlapping of these theological emphases: Yahweh, the Lord of His people, is in fact the all-wise and powerful Elohim-Creator. Hence, the antecedents of Israel’s precious communion with its Creator and Covenant Lord had its inception in the garden where man first knew that fellowship. The personal presence of Yahweh-Elohim among His people Israel was not an anomaly but the pattern God inaugurated from the beginning. Conversely, the absence of the name Yahweh in the conversation between the serpent and the woman (3:1-5), where treachery is contemplated, shows that the relationship with God as Covenant Lord is under assault.8

(5) A fifth conspiracy happened when the chapter breaks were later to the Torah. A chapter break was place between days six and seven of the “Elohim” source to conceal this conspiracy. Again, no one objected, and no one said anything.

(6) A sixth conspiracy lasted for thousands of years as rabbis falsely taught that the forged Torah was actually being penned by Moses. Miraculously, not one rabbi ever leaked the conspiracy. Equally miraculous, their conspiracy was so tight that archeologists have never found evidence of the prior source documents.

(7) Finally, Jesus allegedly joined in the conspiracy by repeatedly referring to the Torah as a text that Moses wrote when Moses allegedly did not write it. (E.g., Mk. 10:4-5). He also repeatedly referred to the text as authoritative. For example, during His encounter with Satan in the wilderness in a weakened state, He quoted from Deuteronomy three times to rebuke Satan. (Matt. 4:1-10; quoting Dt. 8:3; 6:16; 5:7-9). After hearing these words, Satan fled (Matt. 4:11). For the Documentary Hypothesis to be true, Satan fled unaware of Deuteronomy’s fraudulent authorship. Or, both Jesus and Satan were duped by the conspiracy of the rabbis to believe in it.

Finally, in 1876, while sitting behind his desk, Wellhausen unraveled the multiple conspiracies that had been unnoticed by thousands of scholars over the centuries. He allegedly exposed a lie that even Jesus either repeated or failed to recognize.

Yet, if Wellhausen’s conspiracy discovery were real, he was too modest in his proposals. If the different names for God is one of the indicators of separate authors, then why stop at only four alleged sources? God has no less than 21 names in the Old Testament.

The Hebrews understood that each name symbolized a different character trait about God, something that was apparently lost upon the German skeptic Wellhausen. These include: (1) Elohim (a name which appears more than 2,600 times in the Old Testament and symbolizes God’s majesty – It is the plural of the word “El” for God and speaks to the Supreme Triune Creator); (2) YHWH (Yahweh or Yehowah (a name which was not pronounced, yet appears 6,518 times in the Old Testament and symbolized the personal God of the covenant with Israel); (3) Jehovah (a substitute name for the unspeakable “YHWH”); (4) El Elyon (a name which appears 28 times in the Bible and means “the most high God”); (5) Adonai (a name appears in the Old Testament 434 times and means “Lord”); (6) El Roi (a name which means “the God who sees”) (Gen. 16:13); (7) El Shaddai (a name which appears seven times in the Bible and means “the Lord God Almighty”) (e.g., Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 43:14; 48:3; Ps. 91:1).; (8) El Olam (a name which appears at least four times in the Old Testament and means “God everlasting”) (Gen. 21:23; Jer. 10:10; Is. 26:4; 40:28-31); (9) Jehovah-Jireh (a name that appears once and means “Lord will provide”) (Gen. 22:13-14); (10) Jehovah-Raah (a name that appears several times in the Old Testament and translates as “Lord my healer”) (Gen. 48:15; 49:24; Ps. 23:1; 80:1); (11) Ehyeh or Ehye-Asher-Ehyeh, translated as “I will be” or “I Am that I Am.”) (Ex. 3:14); (12) Jehovah-Rapha (a name that appears only in Exodus 15:26 and means “to heal” or “to restore.”); (13) Jehovah-Nissi (a name that only appears once in the Old Testament and means “the Lord my banner”) (Ex. 17:15); (14) Jehovah-Maccaddeshem (a name that appears twice and means “the Lord who sanctifies”) (Ex. 31:13; Lev. 20:8); (15) Jehovah-Shalom (a name that only appears only in Judges 6:24 and means that “the God of peace”); (16) Yahweh Elohim Israel (a name that appears three times and means “The Lord, the God of Israel”) (Jud. 5:3; Isa. 17:6; 45:3); (17) Jehovah Sabbaoth (a name that appears several times and means “the Lord of Hosts or Lord of Armies”) (1 Sam 1:13; 17:45; Ps. 24:9-10; 84:3; Is. 6:5; Hag. 1:5); (18) Jehovah-Rohi (a name that means “the Lord is my shepherd”) (Ps. 23:1); (19) Jehovah-Tsidkenu (a name that only appears twice in the Old Testament and means “the Lord our righteousness”) (Jer. 23:6; 33:16); (20) Jehovah-Gmolah (the “Lord of Recompense”) (Jer. 51:6); and (21) Jehovah-Shammah (a name that only appears in Ezekiel 48:35 means that “the Lord is present” or “the Lord is there”). Thus, if the Documentary Hypothesis were true, there must have been more than 20 early Jewish religions. Only four made it into the final text.

In 1987, in his book “The Making of the Pentateuch”, R. N. Whybray points out other contradictions in the Documentary Hypothesis to show the theory rests upon illogical and contradictory assumptions. Proponents of the Documentary Hypothesis assert that the authors of the separate sources sought to avoid duplication. They claim that the first accounts had the Fall and the Abrahamic covenant. Yet, they were not repeated in the Bible to avoid duplication. They claim, however, that the alleged contradictions were kept in the combined text. There is, however, no evidence of this. Moreover, if this were true, why would they save alleged contradictions in the combined text? If their goal was to conceal their conspiracy, they allegedly left clues in the most obvious places. If they were not trying to hide their conspiracy, their actions would be openly discussed in the interpretive texts. The editors were apparently in such a hurry that they lacked the time to harmonize the combined texts. Whybray concludes: “Thus, the hypothesis can only be maintained on the assumption that, while consistency was the hallmark of the various [source] documents, inconsistency was the hallmark of the redactors!”9

If anyone has trouble imaging how the Jews would have treated these multiple secret revisions to the Torah that they had memorized and repeated for generations, just imagine how this would play out today. Suppose a group of scholars secretly got together and made additions to the Bible. Suppose further that they sent an e-mail to every believer across the world and told them that the Bible had been revised and that all prior Bible versions needed to be gathered up and returned to them for disposal. Both the new Bibles and the request to hand over the existing sacred texts would be largely ignored. By contrast, the Jews would have stoned the conspirators.

The only surprising fact about this centuries-long conspiracy is that it hasn’t yet been made into a Hollywood drama. That is exactly where this story belongs.

7) Jesus’ certifications of the Bible’s accuracy. Finally, Jesus proclaimed that every word of the Old Testament, down to the smallest letter, to be the accurate word of God: “For truly I say to you, until Heaven and Earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.” (Matt. 5:18). He also referred to the stories of creation, like Adam and Eve, as historical facts (Matt. 19:4). He further cited to the lesson of God creating man and women for marriage from Genesis chapters one and two as authoritative during a confrontation with the Pharisees (Matt. 19:4; Mk. 10:6). The Apostle Paul also proclaimed, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Using the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars have also verified that the texts that Christ certified are the same used today. Under Wellhausen’s view, Jesus either did not know that the two creation accounts were forged documents from a conspiracy, or He knowingly repeated the lie by continuing the preach the forged text as authoritative. As C.S. Lewis once stated, Jesus was either “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord”. Simply put, you cannot believe Jesus is your Lord and also believe that the Documentary Hypothesis is true.

Seven lessons on God’s blessings from Genesis chapter two. Understood in its proper context, Genesis chapter two supplements God’s description of His creation in chapter one by revealing His blessings for His greatest creation, mankind. His blessings for mankind are seven fold.

First, He gave use the gift of rest. From His rest from creation on His seventh day, He reveals that He has also blessed you with a day of rest to refresh you are draw closer to Him. Through Christ, He will also bless you with rest from the struggle for salvation and a restful eternity with Him. Second, He gave us the Earth to manage. From His retelling of His creation of the rain from day two in chapter one, He reveals that rain is a symbol of His blessing upon the land to provide for mankind. He has blessed mankind with everything it needs on the Earth. Third, He has blessed us with life. From His revelation that He created Adam from the dust, He reveals that life is all blessing from Him. Fourth, He has blessed us with provision. From the account of His creation and His provision in the Garden of Eden, He reveals that He has blessed mankind with His provision. Fifth, He has offered us abundant life in Him. From the four mighty rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden (a symbol of life), He reveals that He has blessed mankind with the opportunity for abundant life through Him. Sixth, He has blessed us with freedom. From the account of the two trees, He reveals that He blessed mankind with free choice. Finally, He has blessed us with love and companionship. From His creation of Eve and the first marriage, He reveals that marriage provides His blessings of love, companionship, and family.

1. The Sabbath: - God’s Gift of Rest in Him. Gen. 2:1-3.

  • God’s temporary cessation from creation. After completing His final perfect work of mankind, God rested from creation by ceasing to create any new species of animals: “1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen. 2:1-3). God does not sleep or rest like we do: “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Ps. 121:4). He merely stopped creating. The day is also special because, unlike the first six days, His seventh day does not list an end to it. The reason for this is that mankind is still living in His seventh day. Throughout the Bible, God refers to His present rest as ongoing. Those who are not saved will never enter into it: “Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.” (Ps. 95:11). Yet, “we who have believed enter that rest, . . . So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Heb. 4:3; 9). Jesus also referred to God the Father’s Sabbath as ongoing. His rest was a temporary break in creating. He continues to be involved in our lives as a personal God who cares for each person. After being challenged for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus responded: ‘“My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.’ 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (Jo. 5:17-18). On His eighth day, He will create again a new Earth and a New Jerusalem (Rev. 21). He will also give believers new bodies in heaven that will not undergo death or decay (Rev. 21:4; Ro. 8:21-23). Thus, when you believe in Christ, God has an even better creation that awaits you in heaven.

  • The effect of God’s cessation from creation on Earth’s cycle of extinction and creation. While mankind awaits God’s new creation of a better life in heaven, His cessation from creation has broken His prior cycle of creating new species to replace those that have gone extinct. Hugh Ross explains that “According to the fossil record, new life-forms proliferated through millions of years before modern humans arrived on the scene. Though frequent extinctions occurred, the introduction rate for new species matched or outstripped the extinction rate. Then it abruptly halted.”10 Like a volcanic eruptions or meteor strikes from prior eras, humans have rapidly caused species to go extinct. Yet, without God’s intervention as He did the past, the number of species has plummeted.

  • The Fourth Commandment. Gen. 2:1-3 later formed the basis for the Fourth Commandment. Yet, unlike the other Nine Commandments, the wording of the Commandment regarding the Sabbath differs slightly between the time that Moses first gave it in Exodus and the time he repeated it in Deuteronomy. The first reading commands the Jews to remember the God of creation (Exodus 20:8-11; accord, 31:13-17). Moses later commanded the Jews to remember on the Sabbath how God delivered them from bondage (Dt. 5:12-16). During the Sabbath, the Jews were prevented from engaging in commerce, (Jer. 17:21-27; Amos 8:5); field work (Ex. 34:21); chopping wood for heating and cooking (Ex. 35:2-3); and causing servants to work (Dt. 5:12-15). God repeatedly warned that He did not create the Sabbath as an extra day of commerce or for personal errands and work. Through Moses, He warned them not to spend time gathering or preparing food that required extensive cooking (Ex. 16:23-28). They were also to stay in their houses instead of searching for food or traveling: “He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day (Ex. 16:29). Today, some Orthodox Jews will not drive or travel anywhere because of these warnings. In Jeremiah’s day, God also warned against those who used the Sabbath as a time to run personal errands, which He referred to as “carrying a load”: “But if you do not listen to Me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched” (Jer. 17:27). Yet, how are Christians to apply these verses today?

  • Seven reasons for the Sabbath: Move at His pace, and He will lead you to a better place. Although observed on different days, Jews and Christians have observed a Sabbath for generations. In Lamentations, Israel’s enemies (i.e., the devil and his demons) gloated when the Sabbath was not observed (Lam. 1:7). All 12 of the original colonies included the observation of a Sabbath in their founding charters. On May 2, 1778, then Commander George Washington ordered to the troops at Valley Forge “that divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock in those brigades to which to which there are chaplain; . . . It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example for their men.” When drafting the U.S. Constitution, the founding fathers excluded Sundays for the President’s 10-day deadline to sign a bill because they assumed that the President would observe a Sabbath (Art. I, Sec. 7, ¶ 2). In the 1700s and the 1800s, most states passed laws prohibiting certain kinds of legal actions from taking place on Sundays, many of which remain in place today. In 1845, Congress nationalized the first Tuesday of November as election day. It sought to prevent some states from holding election day on a Monday because that would have required rural voters to travel on Sunday, the Sabbath for most believers. Most states also passed “blue laws” that ordered business to be closed on Sundays and that alcohol not be sold on that day. The Supreme Court has heard eight cases in which it upheld these laws after different types of challenges. For example, in 1885, the Court upheld a law that barred physical labor on Sunday. Soon Hing v. Crowley, 113 U.S. 703, 5 S. Ct. 730 (1885). In 1961, almost a hundred years later, the Court rejected challenges under the Establishment Clause and the 14th Amendment to these laws. It upheld a law that ordered that businesses be closed on Sundays. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 81 S. Ct. 1101 (1961). Yet, in the 1960s, Legislatures around the country began to repeal these laws. Prior to this time, Sunday was not a day for shopping because many stores were closed. It also was not a day for little league games because families went to church and observed the Sabbath. Today, the only vestige of the blue laws that remains is the prohibition on alcohol sales on Sundays in a few Southern states. And even that is rapidly disappearing. The modern church has largely stayed silent as the Sabbath has all but disappeared. What should the Sabbath mean to a saved believer in Christ? To answer this, we turn to Scripture.

(1) For believers in Christ, give thanks that He paid the penalty for breaking the Sabbath. In the Old Testament, the question of whether to follow the Sabbath was not taken lightly. God commanded that those who intentionally violated the Sabbath be put to death (Ex. 31:14). The penalty of death was further carried out by painful stoning (Nu. 15:33-36; Ez. 20:13). God even sent the Jews into 70 years of exile in Babylon for failing to observe the Sabbath years to allow the land to rest (2 Chr. 26:20-21). Orthodox Jews therefore still observe the Sabbath by doing no work. Yet, Christ came to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). For believers in Christ, our legal obligations were “nailed to the cross.” (Col. 2:14). Thus, Paul says “[l]et no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of . . . the Sabbath days.” (Col. 2:16). These things are the “shadow” of Christ (Col. 2:17; see also Gal. 4:10-11). Thus, the failure to observe any Ten Commandments is no longer a test of salvation (Jo. 3:16; Ro. 10:9-10). How should a believer respond? First, you should give thanks. If you know that your acts during God’s Sabbath are worthy of death under His law, you should give thanks for the penalty that Christ paid for you. Yet, if Jesus has paid your penalty, how should you use your new freedom? If you spend time engaged in selfish pursuits, are you really thankful for what Christ did? If you are free to ignore the Sabbath, can you ignore the other Nine Commandments? If not, why not? To answer these questions, we turn to Jesus.

(2) For believers in Christ, observing the Sabbath should be an act of love, not obligation. There is a difference between what one is legally obligated to do and what one may do as an act of devotion. Jesus warns us: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6); “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (Jo. 15:10); “[I]f you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17). The “Commandments” that He referred to were the Ten Commandments. He is the “I AM” who gave these Commandments to Moses at Mount Horeb (Ex. 3:14; Jo. 8:58). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His Commandments. Whether you keep the Commandments out of love (and not obligation) is also a test regarding whether you “know” Him: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3). Some will come to Jesus boasting of their works. Yet, if their works or their compliance with the Law is not motivated by a love for Jesus, He will respond “I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:23). In response to a question regarding “which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus did not drop the Sabbath Commandment. Instead, He included it with the other Nine Commandments as an act of devotion and love for God: “You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40; Lk. 10:27; Dt. 6:5). Yet, God does not want your worship if you are burdened by it. He would also not want you to observe a Sabbath if it stressed you out or causes you to feel burden, loss or sorrow. If you can voluntarily observe a Sabbath while feeling joy and devotion, that fulfills “the great and foremost commandment.” (Matt. 22:8).

(3) Your freedom to observe the Sabbath any day, is not a freedom to never observe it. The Apostle Paul observed: “one person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must also be fully convinced in his mind.” (Ro. 14:5-6). Many Christians will cite to this verse for the proposition that that the Sabbath no longer applies. Many feel emboldened to not attend church at all and spend the day pursuing personal matters. As long as the person is “fully convinced in his mind,” (Ro. 14:6) some might feel tempted to say who are we to say otherwise? And most churches avoid the subject. Thus, most believers have few memorized words on the subject that the Holy Spirit can use to instruct us (Jo. 14:26). What then did Paul mean? Paul was addressing a division that arose between Messianic Christians and the Gentile Christians about whether to observe the Kosher laws and whether to observe the Sabbath on its actual day of Saturday or on Sunday, “the first day of the week” when Christ rose from the dead (Mk. 16:9). Paul never addressed whether someone should not observe any kind of Sabbath. For the person who observed it on Saturday or Sunday, what mattered was that the person observed the day for the Lord and not for personal pursuits. In the very next verse, Paul observes: “He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.” (Ro. 14:6). For those who might feel tempted to never go to church or serve God in some ministry, Paul then warns: “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Ro. 14:7-8). Paul then warns that: “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God . . . So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Ro. 14:10, 12). If it doesn’t matter what people do with their Sabbaths, God would not ask for each person to give “an account” of what he or she did with their time. God further observed that the Sabbath is His covenant that will be observed “forever”: “So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;” (Ex. 31:17). God would not say that that the Sabbath would exist “forever” if it disappeared upon Christ’s death. During the Millennial Reign when God’s perfect rule is restored, people will treat the Sabbath as holy: “‘from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the Lord.” (Is. 66:22-23; Ez. 20:12-26). If the Sabbath disappeared at Christ’s death, it would not be observed when He returns.

(4) Keeping a “holy” Sabbath allows God to “refresh” your body. In Moses’ first reading of the Fourth Commandment, he tells us that God created for six days. He then “rested on the seventh day.” As a result, “the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:11; Gen. 2:3). We were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). Like God did, we are expected to work hard six days a week as believers (1 Thess. 4:11 & 2 Thess. 3:10). Also like God, we too are commanded to rest one day a week. “[F]or in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17). The Sabbath in turn allowed people to “refresh themselves” (Ex. 23:12). Jesus revealed that He is Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). He meant to give our bodies and our minds the rest we need: “Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath”’ (Mk. 2:27-28). Because of our original sin, all creation is condemned to struggle here on Earth (Gen. 3:17; 9:2; Rom. 8:19-22). The Sabbath foreshadows a day when, thanks to Jesus, we will no longer need to tire from the daily struggles of life (Heb. 4:9-10). Some people, however, believe that God is holding back the best in life with restrictions. Yet, countless studies have shown the importance of rest in preventing high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, anxiety, and other disorders. As Christians in recent years have chosen to ignore the Sabbath, is it any wonder that rates of hearts disease, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress have risen? If you want God to “fresh” you, (Ex. 23:12, 31:17) keep a voluntary Sabbath. Because God created you, He can do a better job refreshing you than you can. He promises that those who spend the Sabbath seeking after Him instead of their own pleasures will find great delight: “Then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;” (Is. 58:13-14). As part of being refreshed, God promises to “bless” those who observe the Sabbath: “How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, . . .” (Is. 56:2, 5-7). John, for example, was blessed during his devotion during the Sabbath. He received his end time revelation while “in the Spirit on the day of the Lord.” (Rev. 1:10). Are you missing out on this blessing?

Mankind’s biological programming for a seven-day week. Because God has programmed mankind in His image, mankind has adopted a seven-day week across all cultures. Each time mankind has tried to move to a different cycle, the result has been disastrous. From October 1793 until April 1802, French revolutionaries tried to abandon the seven-day week along with other connections to the Bible. They adopted a 10-day week, called the décade. In the Bible, the number ten is a number associated with the Ten Commandments and judgment. Their experiment was a failure and soon abandoned. Communists in Russian also tried to break with the seven-day week because of its connections to the Bible. From 1929 through 1931, they imposed upon the USSR a five-day week. Their experiment also failed. In 1931, the communists tried a six-day week. Yet, this experiment also failed. In 1940, the USSR returned to the seven-day week used by the rest of the world. Despite the wide variety of cultures across the world, all use a seven-day week, and all have at least one day of rest. This is evidence of God’s fingerprints upon mankind. We are all made in His image.11

(5) Keeping a “holy” Sabbath allows time to worship and study God. In Moses’ second reading of the Fourth Commandment, he provides a second rationale for observing the Sabbath. In addition to giving your body rest, you are to use the time to meditate on the freedom from bondage that God has given you (Dt. 5:16). It is a day for you to study God’s Word and also a day to teach the Word to your children. As an example to us, Jesus taught in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath (Lk. 4:31-43). Like the Jews, you have also been delivered from bondage. Like the Jews, you need to learn God’s Word. Like the Jews, your children also need to learn God’s Word. Yet, Jesus freed you from the obligation to do this because He only wants your freely felt devotion: “And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.” (Lev. 22:29 NKJV). If you find it a burden to read the Bible or to sing, don’t do it. That kind of worship is meaningless to God. Yet, if you are motivated by love and not by obligation, spending at least one day studying the Word and praying will be a “sweet aroma to God.” (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3).

(6) Keeping a “holy” Sabbath gives you the protection and accountability from God’s flock. You are warned not to “forsak[e] the assembling together, as is the habit of some. . . .” (Heb. 10:24-25). The reasons for this include encouraging one another, love, fellowship, and promoting good works. Paul, for example, envisioned that believers would use the Sabbath to attend church so that they could, among other things, collect and set aside money for God’s work (1 Cor. 7:1). The Bible reveals that we are like sheep, which are dumb and defenseless animals (Is. 53:6). Outside of the flock, you are most vulnerable to the devil’s attacks. A Sabbath that includes regular church or small study group attendance helps to protect you and keep you accountable. Have you placed yourself at risk for spiritual attack by separating from the flock? If you are part of a large church, have you found a small group or a prayer partner to stay accountable in your walk? Keeping the Sabbath with regular church attendance is also important to keeping oneself separated from the world. You are to be a salt and light in the world (Matt. 5:13-16). You are also called upon to be “unstained by the world.” (Jam. 1:27). Does your use of your Sabbath make you a light to others?

(7) Keeping a “holy” Sabbath gives you the opportunity to volunteer and help others. Finally, one of Jesus’ most interesting lessons stem from His many miracles and healings that took place on the Sabbath. While it is important that you: (1) rest; (2) study the Word; and (3) worship corporately, you are also commanded to use your time to help others. Consider the times the Pharisees attempted to charge Jesus with breaking the Sabbath. First, the Pharisees accused Him of breaking the Sabbath when He allowed His followers to eat grain in the field when they were hungry (Matt. 12:1-14; Mk. 2:23-28; Lk. 6:1-5). Jesus was merely repeating what David did for his men when they were hungry (1 Sam 21). The poor were allowed to glean the fields so that they would not go hungry (Ex. 23:10-13; Lev. 19:9-10; 23:22; Dt. 24:19-21). Jesus’ point was that “work” that involved helping the poor or the needy is not just an acceptable use of the Sabbath, it was one of its intended purposes. Second, the Pharisees also sought to charge Jesus when He healed on the Sabbath. These included the man with the withered hand (Matt. 12:9-21; Mk. 3:1-6; Lk. 6:6-11), the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (Jo. 5:1-18), a woman who suffered from a disease for 18 years (Lk. 13:10-17), and a man swollen with fluids (Lk. 14:1). Jesus compared these acts to freeing a trapped animal on the Sabbath. He again wanted people to understand the work that involves helping others is expected on the Sabbath. The Jews had taken all the joy out of the Sabbath by their oppressive rules and regulations: “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them” (Is. 1:14; Ho. 2:11). His point was certainly not to ignore the Sabbath altogether. Instead, “[t]he righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Prov. 31:9). God repeatedly tells us to practice “justice” for those in need (Prov. 28:5; Jer. 22:3; Eze. 18:21; Zeck. 7:9; Matt. 23:23). Jesus commands that we serve the poor, the sick, and the hungry (Matt. 25:31-46). When you devote your Sabbath to helping the persons in need, you are serving Christ: “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40). Part of “true religion” also involves helping those in need (Jam. 1:27). If you do nothing to help those around us, your faith is “dead” (Jam. 2:17-20). As many can attest, hard work on a day off from work to serve others is more fulfilling than a day spent serving oneself. Without a day off, your busy life will not give you the chance to help others. Do you use your day off to solely benefit yourself?

2. Rain – God’s Blessing Upon the Earth to Make it Habitable. Gen. 2:4-6.

  • God’s blessing of rain on the Earth. After revealing the Sabbath, Moses repeated a part of God’s second creation day to reveal a theological truth about God being the source of all blessings upon the land: “4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.” (Gen. 2:4-6). This parallels the account in Genesis chapter one regarding the second creation day: “Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day” (Gen. 1:6-8). This also highlighted a spiritual truth about God’s blessings. Without His blessing of rain, most plants, animals, and people could not survive for long. More specifically, this blessing is connected to the Garden of Eden. His rain was both the source of life within the Garden and the source of the river that divided into four major rivers in the world of that time. These include the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the lesser known Pishon and Gihon rivers (Gen. 2:10-14). If there were any remaining doubt as to whether these verses are a separate creation account or a statement preparing the reader for the Garden of Eden, this comparison chart should settle the issue:

Genesis 2:8-9 Genesis 2:15-17
    And Yahweh God planted a garden east of Eden, and he placed there the man whom he had formed.     And Yahweh God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to till it and to keep it.
    And Yahweh God caused to sprout from the ground every tree pleasant of appearance and good for food, and the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowing good and evil.     And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, "from every tree of the garden you may surely eat, but from the tree of knowing good and evil, you shall not eat from it, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die".

(Source12)

  • Rain is the symbol if God’s conditional blessing upon the land. If the Jews followed God’s law, He promised rain for their crops to grow: “13 It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. 15  He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (Dt. 11:13-15). This conditional blessing is repeated throughout Scripture (E.g., Dt. 32:1-3; Lev. 26:3-5; 1 Ki. 18:41-46). Hosea also said that the Messiah would come like “rain” on the earth (Hosea 6:3). The Holy Spirit also later poured out like rain (Acts 2:1-8; 14-21). Every good and perfect thing in your life is undeserved “rain” from God (Jam. 1:17). Are you giving thanks for His many gifts?

  • Drought is a symbol of God’s removal of His conditional blessings. Through the Flood, excessive rain later became a symbol of judgement (Gen. 7:4). After the Flood, drought became a symbol of God’s removal of His conditional blessing: “16 Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. 17 Or the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.” (Dt. 11:13-17; same, 1 Ki. 8:33-43). In order to stay within His blessings, He encouraged people to memorize His Word: “18 You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 19 You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 11:18-19). If God blesses a nation, He uses natural or large scale processes that can result in blessings upon those within the society who are undeserving: “ . . . for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45). Conversely, if a nation as a whole is evil, the righteous might be impacted by God’s global punishment, i.e. a drought. If a whole nation can be blessed or cursed based upon the morality of its people, what then should the Church be doing? It should not buy into the argument that all morality is private.

3. Life – God’s blessing of the Gift of Life. Gen. 2:7.

  • God created you. Just as God is the source of all blessings upon the land, He is the source of the blessing of life: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7). This gave further detail to Moses’ revelation that God created the first man from nothing (“bara”) in Genesis one during His sixth creation day: “26 Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:26-27). Commentator Jack Collins also asserts that this verse connects the Genesis two account to the events in day six of chapter one: “Since Gen 2:7 recounts the formation of the first human (cf. verse 6 which says there was not a human up to this point), we cooperate with the author by taking it as complementary to 1:27. In doing so we note that the formation of the woman, which is given in the same verse in the broad stroke account of chapter 1, is in chapter 2 separated from the making of the man by several events. The making of the woman is preceded by a declaration of ‘not good’ in 2:18, indicating that at that point we have not yet come to the ‘very good’ status of everything in 1:31. We note further that Gen 2:19 describes the formation of the animals. All of this suggests that the storyline events of 2:5-25 are events of the ‘sixth day’ of 1:24-31.”13 Because each person is made in God’s image, killing of any person outside of the judicial system (including a person in the womb), is a “murder” and a great offense to the Creator.

  • Give praise to God for having created you. The statement that God “formed” (“yasar”) man is the same word that He used to describe forming mankind as the Potter, with mankind being the clay (Is. 29:16; Jer. 18:4-6). It is also the same word that He used when He “formed” the natural world (Ps. 95:5; Is. 45:18; Amos 4:13) and later Israel (Is. 27:11; 45:9,11). Man and the ground are also connected by similar words “adam” and “adama.”14 The revelation that God “breathed” life into mankind also shows a deeply personal connection between God and His most cherished creation: “Breathed is warmly personal, with the face-to-face intimacy of a kiss . . .”15 That intimate breath gave you a soul that will last forever, even when your body returns to the “dust” from which it came. David knew that he owed his existence to God. He also knew that God created him while he was in his mother’s womb. Knowing this truth, he sang God’s praise: “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” (Ps. 139:14). Isaiah also revealed that God made you in your mother’s womb: “Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”’ (Is. 44:2). Are you praising God for creating you?

4. The Garden of Eden – the Gift of Fellowship, Provision and Comfort. Gen. 2:8-9.

  • God’s provision of all mankind’s needs inside the Garden of Eden. After creating Adam from the dust, God placed him in a special place where He could provide for all of Adam’s needs: “The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2:8-9). In Hebrew, the word “Eden” means “delight.” These verses repeat a promise in Genesis chapter one that Adam had no need to hunt for animals for food. Inside the garden, God would provide all of the proteins, vitamins and nutrients that he would need through a vegetarian diet: “29 Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.” (Gen. 1:29-30). God also will provide for your needs as well.

  • The purpose of a vegetarian diet in Adam’s day. Some might infer from Adam’s vegetarian diet that it is sin to eat animals. Yet, that is not the case. God later gave the animals for mankind to eat (Gen. 9:3). With a post-Flood life span of approximately 120 years, eating animal protein does not create a problem for mankind if eaten in moderation. Yet, for the people in Adam through Noah’s time period who lived hundreds of years, animal protein would have created a problem. As Hugh Ross explains: “Vegetarianism suits the potential longevity of the first humans. Animal tissue contains between ten and ten thousand times the concentration of heavy metals that plant material contains. This difference, as enormous as it may sound, poses an insignificant risk for people living about 120 years or less (the limit God imposed after the flood). However, the difference is by no means trivial for people living nearly a thousand years.”16

  • God blessed and provided for the Jews. Just as He did for Adam, God provided for the Jews in the wilderness, even after they rebelled: “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’ (Dt. 2:7). He freed the Jews from Egyptian bondage (Ex. 7:6-11:10). He crushed the Egyptian army (Ex. 13:7-15:21). He defeated the Amalekites in battle (Ex. 17:9-12). He made water come out from a rock at Horeb (Ex. 17:6). He also transformed the waters of Marah to provide drinking water (Ex. 15:22-27). He then provided both manna and quail after they grumbled about their food (Ex. 16:1-8). He provided the “rabble” (half-breeds) meat when they grew tired of God’s manna (Nu. 11:4-6, 32-33). Near the end of their journey, He also caused the waters to gush out of a rock at Meribah (Nu. 20:10-11; Ps. 81:16; 106:41; Isa. 48:21). He also guided the Jews by a pillar of light (Ex. 13:21-22; 14:19). He even protected the Jews’ feet from swelling (Dt. 8:4).

  • Jesus will bless and provide for you as well. Jesus also cares for you in the wilderness (Hos. 13:5). He is your manna (Jo. 6:35; Matt. 6:31). He is also the “rock” who gives you the water of contentment in your spiritual wilderness (Jo. 4:14; 6:36; 7:37-381 Cor. 10:3-4). He clothes you (Matt. 6:30). He is also “the rock of our salvation” (Psa. 95:1; Dt. 32:3-4; Isa. 26:4). Likewise, He is your rock and a shield when you take refuge in Him (Ps. 18:30; 2 Sam. 22:3, 31). He tells you not to worry about your provision (Matt. 6:34). If you complain about your provision, you are not trusting God. Are there areas of worry or doubt in your life? If so, repent of these things. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).

5. The Rivers of Eden- the Gift of Abundant Life. Gen. 2:10-14.

  • The abundant life inside the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was a real place on Earth. It was the source of four mighty rivers, two of which are now extinct: “10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates” (Gen. 2:10-14). As one commentator observes: “Later the prophets adopted Eden’s fertility as a sign of eschatological salvation or, by its reversal, divine judgment (Is. 51:3; Ez. 36:35; Joel 2:3).17 The mighty rivers that branched out in all directions symbolized the “abundant life” that Christ offers to all who believe in Him in faith.

  • Jesus’ offer abundant life through His living waters. Jesus cares for you, even in the wilderness (Hos. 13:5). He promises to provide for your needs in the desert: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;” (Is. 55:1(a)). “And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Is. 58:11). “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Ps. 107:9). If you seek after His kingdom and His righteousness, He promises that you do not need to worry about your food, water or clothes: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:31-34). He proclaimed on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles that He would provide the water of the Holy Spirit, which provides eternal life: “37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39). He was also the manna or bread of life (John 6:35-6). He also promises that you will never thirst again if we drink His water: “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jo. 4:14). “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation” (Is. 12:3). “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev. 22:17.) He further also promises to provide not just life but abundant life: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The joy of the Spirit far surpasses any the pleasures of the flesh. Are you seeking after His waters of abundant eternal life?

  • Theories placing the Garden of Eden in the Persian Gulf. There are a number of theories regarding the location of the Garden of Eden. Only two are discussed in detail here. While some have claimed that this must have been a place in a heavenly realm, the Bible makes clear that it was an actual place: “The expression here, ‘garden’ in Eden,’ is unique in distinguishing the garden from ‘Eden’ itself. This suggests that ‘Eden’ was a reference to a geographical area of which the garden was a part.”18 Commentator William H. Shea observes a pattern with the four rivers: “each of the successive descriptions becomes shorter and shorter. . . . The same pattern is also evident in the Hebrew word counts. The four successive river descriptions are given in 20, 10, 8, and 4 Hebrew words respectively.”19 God gave us the least detail about the last two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, because they still exist today. Yet, He gives detail regarding the two now extinct rivers to help mankind in finding them. With modern technology, some believe that they have found these rivers. Yet, part of the problem in identifying its location is the reference to the river “Gihon” flowing “around the whole land of Cush” (Gen. 2:13). Cush is typically associated with modern day Ethiopia or Sudan. This has caused some to argue that it was located in Africa. Yet, Cush is nowhere near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, both of which are in modern day Iraq. Protestant reformer John Calvin (1509 –1564) long ago pointed to this problem. He suggested that rivers may have had different locations before the Flood.20 Others, however, believe the location can be determined. For example, under one more modern view, the Garden Eden sat at the base of a once dry Persian Gulf during the last ice age. Around 30,000 B.C., the world was in the last Great Ice Age, and most of Eurasia was frozen. Sea levels fell by as much as 400 feet. The Persian Gulf basin was dry with rivers that flowed through the Strait of Hormuz into a much lower Indian Ocean. Dr. Juris Zarins, an American-Latvian archaeologist and professor of Middle Eastern studies at Missouri State University, argues that it was located just south of modern day Kuwait. At this location, the Tigris river, the Euphrates river, and two other rivers once joined together and poured into the once dry Persian Gulf basin. Based upon satellite images, he believes that a now dry river bed, called the “Wadi Batin river system”, was once part of a fertile central part of the Arabian Peninsula. He believes that the now dry Wadi Batin river system was the “Pishon River” described in Genesis 2:11. The late James Sauer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, adopted a similar theory. He suggests that this river dried up sometime between 3500 and 2000 B.C. He argued that the phrase “Havila” (translated as either “where there was gold” or “the gold of that land is good”) corresponds to only large deposit of gold in the area, Mahd edh-Dhahab (“cradle of gold”). Dr. Zaris believes that the last of the four rivers, the “Gihon River” corresponds with the Karun river in Iran. He assumes that the land of the Karun river was once called Cush. Others have endorsed this theory.21 For example, in support of this theory, archaeologist Jeffrey Rose has found evidence to support in the form of 7,500-year old settlements along the shore line of the Persian Gulf.22 Hugh Ross has modified this theory and proposed that the Gihon River flowed from modern day Yemen at a time when a dry Mandab Strait linked together Ethiopia and Yemen as one land bridge during the last ice age. He proposes that the Garden of Eden was located further south, yet also in the then dry basin of the Persian Gulf.23

https://ldolphin.org/eden/fig2.gif
(Source of chart:24)

  • The theory placing the Garden of Eden in Eastern Turkey. One significant criticism with Dr. Zaris’ theory is that the Bible states that the one river left the Garden of Eden and turned into the four rivers: “10 a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers” (Gen. 2:10). A location at the Persian Gulf basin suggests the reverse, a location where the four rivers once flowed into one river. Theologically, one would further expect water (a symbol of life) to flow from God’s paradise, not to it. Another more likely location for the Garden of Eden would be located somewhere in Eastern Turkey, near where either the Tigris or Euphrates rivers originate. This is also within the mountains of Ararat. Under theory, the fact that the land of Ethiopia later became name “Cush” might simply suggest that people migrated from a place where Cush once existed and renamed Ethiopia after the land they had left from. There are many examples of this the modern world. The British settlers’ decision to call the northern U.S. colonies “New England” is one example. Their decision to call part of southern Australia “New South Wales” is another example. This is also supported by the fact that in Genesis 10:8 “Cush is the ancestor of Mesopotamian kingdoms, and some think it should be related to the Kassites (Akk. Kassu; Gk. Cossaea), located southeast of the Tigris (modern Luristan).25 In 2001, Michael S. Sanders, claimed that the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the story of Abraham all took place in a relatively small area between the Black Sea in the North and the Ararat Range in the East. Using NASA satellite photographs, he identified the four rivers of Eden as the Murat River, the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the north fork of the Euphrates.

Map of the Middle East with the erroniously proposed locations of the Garden of Eden

(chart source:26)

6. The Tree of Knowledge – The Gift to Choose Eternal Life. Gen. 2:15-17.

  • The two trees inside the Garden of Eden. After first describing the Garden of Eden, God draws emphasis to the two prominent trees that sat together at its center: “15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” (Gen. 2:15-17). This was the second time that God mentioned these two trees (Gen. 2:8-9). God’s use of repetition in the Bible is not evidence of separate authors. Instead, He does this to emphasize an important point.

  • The gift of free will. The two trees within Eden symbolized the choice that mankind has between eternal life through faith in Jesus and death through rebellion, a lack of faith disobedience. As explained by one commentator:

“The Greek version of the Bible describes this as ‘paradise.’ It was a paradise. Within Eden, Adam enjoyed fellowship with God. The Bible says that God met with man, walking in the garden under the trees in the cool of the day. In Eden, there was no striving, no competition, . . . . The tree of life represents potential for immortality. God created man mortal, like all other creatures. Yet, He gave man the gift of choice. To achieve immortality, man needed only to reach out to the tree of life and eat its fruit. There was also another tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the tree of knowledge was also a tree of death . . . This is an essential part of being human. We can choose good, which is the way of life, or disobedience, which results in death. We choose between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil countless times each day.”27

  • The fruits of the tree of life. The fruits of the tree of life are the fruits of the Spirit:

https://christrescuemission.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/tree_of_life_fruit_of_Spirit_.349182247_std.JPG

7. Marriage - the Gift of Love, Companionship and Family. Gen. 2:18-25.

  • God’s creation of Eve after Adam named the animals. Finally, God allowed Adam to name the animals (a sign of his sovereignty over them). Then, after Adam realized that he was missing something by living with just the animals, God created Eve and the first family: “18 Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man 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.’ 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Gen. 2:18-25). These verses are important because they teach us about: (1) the difference between God’s time and human time; (2) the importance of mankind’s stewardship of the animals and (3) God’s blessing of marriage and family.

  • God’s sixth day was longer than a human 24-hour day. In chapter two verse four, Moses used the Hebrew day “yom” to reveal that the Genesis creation accounts took place within a period within God’s time: “4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.” (Gen. 2:4). Human days are defined differently as spanning from “. . .from evening to evening . . .” (Lev. 23:32). As stated previously, the creation of the land animals, mankind and Eve all took place on God’s sixth creation day. During this time period, Adam accomplished during the sixth day more than would be possible for a human during the course of a solar 24-hour day. During the sixth day, Adam (1) named all the animals of the field, (2) become lonely, (3) fell asleep, (4) become acquainted with Eve and (5) received God’s instructions for managing the plants, animals, and resources of the Earth. Moreover, Adam’s expression upon seeing Eve -- happa’am – is translated as “now at length” or “at last. ” Hugh Ross observes: “Adam engaged in four different careers, or apprenticeships, on the sixth creation day (gardening, studying animals, naming animals, and learning how to relate to Eve). Adam and Eve learned how to manage Earth’s resources for the benefit of all life. To be meaningful and beneficial, such important education and training could not have been crammed into only a few hours.”28 An estimated 8.7 million animals species exist today. This includes 6.5 million on land and 2.2 million in the oceans.29 This further does not include the species that have gone extinct since humans have been on the planet. To count even a fraction of these animals, it could have taken Adam months or years before God created Eve. This would also explained Adam’s loneliness and joy when God finally showed him his need for a helper.

  • The importance of mankind’s stewardship of the animal kingdom. In addition to showing him his need for a helper, Adam’s naming of the animals showed his God-given dominion over them. In the Bible, the right to name someone is a symbol of that person’s authority. For example, God renamed Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:5). He also renamed Jacob as Israel (Gen. 32:28; 35:10). Likewise, Jesus renamed Simon as Peter (Matt. 16:13-19). In heaven, every believer in Christ will also receive a new name (Rev. 2:17). As part of mankind’s God-given authority over the animal kingdom, mankind has the duty to be good stewards to manage the animals and protect the environment: “Then God said, ‘ . . . let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”’ (Gen. 1:26(b)). As stewards over the environment, mankind has arguably failed in its duties as species are disappearing from the Earth at record rates.

  • God’s creation of marriage and family. The account of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is important because it reveals both God’s gift of love and companionship through marriage and His blessing of having a family. Jesus cited this account to reveal that God created the different genders so that they could join together as one flesh in marriage: “And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this reason shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”’ (Matt. 19:4-6). His reference to “two” people becoming “one” rules out polygamy. Likewise, His reference to “male” and “female” speaks to a heterosexual marriage. Adam and Eve also felt no shame in being naked in front of each other (Gen. 2:25). They were united spiritual, emotionally, and physically. No sin divided them.

  • The importance of marriage today. Finally, for at least three reasons, God blessed mankind with the ongoing institution of marriage. First, being united as one in marriage, God meant for each spouse to treat the other with respect, love, and kindness (Gen. 2:24). Thus, marriage was a gift from God that was meant to bring both you and your spouse the joys of love, companionship, friendship, and support. Therefore, if you are married, treat your spouse with love and respect and give thanks to God. Second, marriage is the gift by which God meant to bless mankind with children: “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Ps. 127:3). “He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!” (Ps. 113:9). Indeed, His first command in the Bible was for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply: “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, . . .”’ (Gen. 1:28 (a)). Thus, if you have children, give thanks. Finally, marriage was meant to be blessing through the opportunity to raise a child for God. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 6:7; 4:9-10; 11:19; 31:12-13; Prov. 22:6; Ps. 78:4-6). Satan has always understood the importance of marriage. Thus, his first attack in the garden of Eden caused people to question God. His second attack was to set Adam and Eve against each other (Gen. 3:15). Therefore, if you are married or if you have children, give thanks to God and keep both your marriage and your family holy for God’s use. This is the pledge that Joshua made for his family as a model for all to follow (Josh. 24:15).


  1. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 190-191.↩︎

  2. Source: William D. Ramey April 5, 1997, InTheBeginning.org. https://www.inthebeginning.org/chiasmus/xfiles/xgen1_1-2_3.pdf. He also found a pattern of seven English paragraphs. Yet, the original text was written in Hebrew without the English paragraph breaks or punctuation.↩︎

  3. Source: Klaus Potsch, quoted by William D. Ramey (c) April 1997 by Christian Publishers’ Bookhouse; https://pdfsr.com/pdf/literary-analysis-of-genesis-1-1-2-3-introduction↩︎

  4. William H. Shea “Literary Structural Parallels Between Genesis 1 and 2, Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland, Origins 16(2):49-68 (1989).↩︎

  5. J.B. Doukhan “The Genesis Creation Story: Its Literary Structure” (Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews University Press) (1978) p. 78-79.)↩︎

  6. https://www.grisda.org/origins/16049.htm↩︎

  7. G. von Rad, “Genesis: A Commentary, rev. ed., trans. J. H. Marks, OTL (Philadelphia: Westminster 1973), p. 77.↩︎

  8. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 191-192.↩︎

  9. R.N. Whybray, "The Making of the Pentateuch", 1987, quoted in Gordon Wenham, "Exploring the Old Testament", 2003, pp.173–174.↩︎

  10. Hugh Ross, “Navigating Genesis” (rtb press 2014) p. 86.↩︎

  11. Hugh Ross, “Navigating Genesis” (rtb press 2014) p. 85-86.↩︎

  12. William H. Shea “Literary Structural Parallels Between Genesis 1 and 2, Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland, Origins 16(2):49-68 (1989).↩︎

  13. Jack Collins “Discourse Analysis and the Interpretation of Gen. 2:4-7”, Westminster Theological Journal 61 (1999) 269-76.↩︎

  14. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 196.↩︎

  15. D. Kidner, “Genesis”, TOTC (Downers Grove IVP 1967), p. 60.↩︎

  16. Hugh Ross, “Navigating Genesis” (rtb press 2014) p. 85-86.↩︎

  17. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 201.↩︎

  18. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 200.↩︎

  19. https://www.grisda.org/origins/16049.htm↩︎

  20. John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, Volume 1, online at: www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom01.viii.i.html.↩︎

  21. E.g., James A. Sauer, "The River Runs Dry," Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 22, No. 4, July/August 1996, pp. 52–54, 57, 64↩︎

  22. Jeffrey Rose, “New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis,” Current Anthropology 51 (December 2010); quoted by Hugh Ross, “Navigating Genesis” (rtb press 2014) p. 98-99.↩︎

  23. Hugh Ross, “Navigating Genesis” (rtb press 2014) p. 98-100↩︎

  24. Dora Jane Hamblin, “Has the Garden of Eden been located at last?” https://ldolphin.org/eden↩︎

  25. Kenneth Mathews, “The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture” Genesis 1-11:26, Vol. 1A, (B&H Publishing Group Nashville Tenn. 1996) p. 207.↩︎

  26. https://creation.com/has-the-garden-of-eden-been-found↩︎

  27. Torah Club, Unrolling the Scroll, Book 1 (First Fruits of Zion 2nd ed. 2014) p. 9↩︎

  28. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 72-73.↩︎