Commentary on The Book of Genesis -- Genesis 1-4
by Dave Brown
1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
[We have in this verse the mention of time, power (God), action (creation), space and matter. Totally contrasted with the concept of evolution is the causal agent -- God. Evolution claims that it progresses without a cause. Scientists should insist that for every effect there has to be a cause. So, even if we did evolve over billions of years, there would need to be something that caused this to take place. In the ignorance of what to call this cause, we propose "God" -- the being who needs no cause because He is not subject to the natural laws of the universe. He created these laws and is above them.]
[The bible never acknowledges any necessity to prove that God exists. Genesis 1:1 assumes that the reader has enough common sense to know what God is and that God exists. There are many passages that we could cite to support this, but let us dwell on Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, (even) his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: ..." There is not excuse for a human to ignore the overwhelming evidence that God has to exist. Nothing else makes any kind of sense. Was there a big bang? Well, we would expect that it did not come about without some sound, although there was no one but God to hear it at this point.]
2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
[From the very beginning of the bible we have God the Father, the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) and the Word of God (who became flesh as Jesus Christ -- John 1). The Word of God appears in the next verse. We do not know how much time elapsed between verses 1 and 2, nor if there was even the existence of this thing that we call time. Those who try to age things to the billions of years could be right if in fact there was time at this point, or things could have been created with a perception of age (i.e., had they started out at a zero point then that is how old they would be). However, we have no guarantee that God started things out at "a zero point." For sure Adam was not started off at a zero point. "The face of the waters" or other versions say "the face of the deep" the figure here being one of the churning sea. Most of us have been on boats in rough weather -- we believe that this is the impression that the text is trying to convey. But it is not all water -- it is a confused mass of matter. This is not speculation because the remainder of Genesis 1 tells of the ordering of this mass. The Spirit of God moved -- acted upon -- this mass. But it was the Word of God that will ultimately bring order to it; and so it is in the spiritual realm ... without the revelation brought about by the Holy Spirit and delivered to us today in the form of the scriptures, we would have no knowledge whatsoever of spiritual things and could do nothing other than what the idolaters do -- speculate and have faith in fables and the imaginations of charismatic men.]
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
[The days seem to start with "And God said ..." Was there time before God said "Let there be light?" We cannot deny that there could have been. We can deny that things were aging, however. The aging process seems to have begun when God cursed the ground recorded in Genesis 3. None of this would matter one iota were it not for the speculation of evolutionists and their tremendous impact upon the religious community today. Those who have faith in the validity of the scriptures should not take positions against evolution that are not consistent with scriptural teaching. To do so is quite counterproductive to the truth. It causes people to set aside the truth because the truth does not validate a fact which some "believer" purports to be true, but in fact, it is not a scriptural position. The correct answer to many if not most of these timing questions is a very definitive "I/we do not know because the scriptures do not deal with that question." The scriptures give us everything that we need to know in the scriptural realm -- they do not deal with history, geology, science or other physical topics. We do not condemn a science book because it does not tell us how to live eternally with God in heaven (a crucial gap to those who are spiritually inclined). Neither should we condemn the bible if it does not give us all of the scientific details of creation (assuming that "science" as we know of it today would apply).]
[How could God create "Day" without the sun to give light? This is a quibble -- light is an independent entity and in no way tied to particular sources that create it. Revelation 22:5: "And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light : and they shall reign for ever and ever."]
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
[Firmament is another word for expanse. In essence what we call space. Obviously in the creation process there needed to be made room for other things, so God made room for them so that the process could move forward. We see today that there is water above the earth in the form of clouds, but there is no reason to assume that this was how it was created. And we have verses later in Genesis that will talk about the alteration of this created structure to what we now have today, so let us just keep an open mind about how this can or should be visualized. The capitalization of Heaven in this verse is not mandated by the Hebrew, and it is basically the same word as used in verse 9 translated "heavens." The translators apparently felt this related to the place where God is said to dwell, but that is a very abstract concept as well.]
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, (and) fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
[This before the creation of the sun. We will see this ordering totally contradicts that of evolution, as well it should. It is as if God is saying: "They will attempt to devise a scheme to eliminate Me from the picture of creation; I will do it in such a contradictory way from what they devise as to enable all to see the contrast so that they can choose one or the other, but it will be impossible for them to rationalize that both could have taken place." We will show other such contrasts as they were encountered. But to those who would wish to state that evolution is just an explanation of how God created the universe, we can clearly see the impossibility of such with trees bearing fruit on day three without the sun even being created as yet, much less the bees for their pollination. The evolutionist would say that it is impossible for this to happen without the presence of the sun. To whom we would ask the question: why do you exclude God from all of your thoughts? The fact that they do explains all of their faulty reasoning.]
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:
15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: (he made) the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
[This is all quite understandable and needs very little explanation. We have been amazed at how the stars are considered as sort of an afterthought. But consider the fact that the expanse that has been created to make room for everything is endless -- it extends infinitely (a word that we can easily pronounce, but which we can hardly understand with our finite minds. And so it is with the stars -- they are uncountable and infinite in number. When considering the effort that it must have taken to create the earth, the moon and the sun, think again how much infinitely more effort it was to create the stars and all of the objects out there that fall into this category in scripture but which in our language today are not really stars. And in many cases we have not a clue just what it is. And we have the audacity to assume that it all created itself?
- Psalms 14:1
- 4:1 The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; there is none that doeth good.
- Romans 1:20
- 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, (even) his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:
- Ps 19:1
- 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
How can anyone look into the heavens on a clear night and turn away and say "there is not God?"]
20 And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that moveth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.
23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
[Once everything was prepared, the first creation of life. Can we see that while the first were created miraculously (by God's direct and obvious supernatural power), that once they were created within them God created the process of reproduction. This is an infinitely more complex creation than the creatures themselves (which was not mean task -- something that man has not come close to matching. It is in the reproduction process that we can be sure that the various species did not evolve. Each species has its own reproductive mechanisms, and the male must match the female perfectly in order for reproduction to take place. For one to evolve would be feasible. For both male and female to evolve perfectly compatible with each other simultaneously is far too much to ask of mere probability alone, for this would have to take place for every step of evolution along the way -- literally millions of times. To see this as impossible is the type of common sense that God has given us, and He expects us to use it to His glory.]
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
[After their kind -- exactly what we see today. We should wonder why the Holy Spirit would emphasize this so much -- it is stated four times in the two verses. Could it be that the emphasis is that these creatures do not reproduce other than "after their kind?" That is the ONLY thing that we observe today. It should go without saying; but the Holy Spirit must have recognized that there would come a time when it would have to be stated explicitly.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
[Gods ultimate goal was to create mankind. If he wanted robots, that would have been easy to create (compared to what he had already done). In fact, he did not need a robot since it he wanted something accomplished He (and He ALONE ...many seem to think they have this capability today) could speak it into existence or accomplishment. If He wanted pets, He has thousands of them that he could train to do whatever he wanted -- and perhaps this is what instinct is all about -- they have been trained extremely well to perform some of the most complex tasks known to man. But now that the environment for man (allow us to use this three letter word to refer to all of humankind), He is now ready to create man. The difference between man and the other living creatures is that man and man alone is "in our image, after our likeness."]
[Image -- literally, in visible outline. Obviously figurative since God has no visible outline that is perceptible to man. Likeness -- literally, having similar qualities. The rest of the bible explains the way in which man is in the image and likeness of God. Perhaps best seen in contrast to the animals that we not created in His image or His likeness. Just two aspects we will propose here. First, man was created with a body, a soul and a spirit -- a three-fold being that should be able to understand the characteristics of three fold beings -- that though these are separate entities, yet they are one and the compose the one individual person. Like God, man has a spiritual dimension that the animals lack. We not only have this spiritual dimension, we can understand it to the point of being able to obey God. Like animals we are totally subject to our environment (1 Corinthians 15:33: "Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.") -- but the big difference is that we can control our environment -- the animals cannot. So, we can place ourselves in an environment to learn the truth and reality of spiritual things (albeit we generally choose not to); the animals have no choice. This leads to the second aspect: man has free will. The bible screams this from cover to cover; to deny it is absurd. Every man knows it is true even if he never opens the bible or never hears a gospel sermon. It is obvious from who we are and what we choose to do.]
[Male and female created he them. Another nail in the coffin of evolution. He had to create both the male and the female because there is no way that they could evolve simultaneously from the lower animals -- their sexual components are so much different that to suppose such a thing is absurd. More on this when we get to Chapter 2. Also, that God gave them dominion over the other animals. Obviously they were expected to exercise this dominion as good stewards and not unnecessarily destroy God's creation. However, it is clear that they have certain rights that animals do not. At this point it does not appear that this would extend to their use for food. We must respect the silence of the scriptures in this regard (see verse 29).]
28 And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food:
30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, (I have given) every green herb for food: and it was so.
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
[Since God did not include animals in the specification of what could be used for food, the killing of an animal for food was obviously not something that God desired. However, this is not given as a law at this time -- there was only one law as we will see in Chapter 3. We suspect that it never entered the mind of man to kill and eat an animal -- just as it never enters most of our minds to kill and eat another human being. All was good at this time -- there was no decay, no sickness, no reason for anyone or anything to age, get old, or die either of old age decay or sickness. It was VERY good.]
2:1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.
[This appears to be a conclusion of the seven days, so should probably go with Chapter 1 -- remember that the chapters and verses were added by men, so there is nothing sacred about them. Some believe that the six days were undefined time periods; others have supposed that the seventh day was never closed like the first six were. There is no scriptural evidence at all for that, and it should not be taught as fact or doctrine ... only speculation perhaps to get us to think (I see nothing wrong with that). But in considering the length of a "day" as given in the Hebrew, the same Hebrew word for day is given in Exodus 20:9-11: "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: (in it) thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Question: what did the writer of Genesis have in mind when he said "six days?" If this is different from what God had in mine in Exodus 20:9, then these passages would be in conflict. But they are not -- Exodus 20:9-11 makes it clear that the six day period were six literal days as we would commonly understand the word "day" being used as a definitive measure of time today. As in: I will see you in three days, for example. God hallowed the seventh day and made it a special day -- it will be a day that His people will rest from their labors and turn to worship Him.]
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
[This is a reiteration of Chapter 1, covering some of the same events from a different perspective. Just because they are different does not mean, as the scholars are prone to say, that they had two different authors. The scholars tell us that it was quite customary for Hebrew writers to present a sequence of events with a given purpose, and then go back and reiterate those same events from a different perspective and for a different purpose. This re-telling will go through Chapter 4, although this narrative will extend well beyond the first seven days.]
5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground;
6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
[We do not have any record of rain in the bible prior to Noah's time. It is reasonable to conclude that the irrigation of the earth was not caused by rain prior to that time. Not that this should be taught as doctrine, but if it were so, then it would further emphasize the dramatic changes (cataclysms) that have occurred in ancient times. These cataclysms more than explain why the scientific aging methods that we have that are dependent on the assumption of uniformity are not valid. The bible teaches that there was nothing uniform about it.]
7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
[This is an extremely profound verse, which elaborates considerably upon that stated in Chapter 1. It defines the body (from the dust/soil of the earth), the spirit (coming from what God breathed into man), and the soul (that which is the essence of life). It is the combination of the body and the spirit that creates life, as expressed oppositely in James 2:26 "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead." When the spirit leaves the body, physical death occurs. Further insight into death is obtained from Ecclesiastes 12:7: "... and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it." We learn in Chapter 1 that God made man in His image. Here we see that, like God, man has three totally integrated and mutually dependent components that, while they can be discussed as individual separable units, they cannot be separated from what is truly manhood (human). The description of them as being separable does not imply that they exist independently from each other; although no doubt in eternity this will be the case.]
8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
[Just as the man came forth from the dust of the earth by the power of God, so does plant life -- that which sustains (either directly or indirectly) all living things that God created. But verse 9 goes on to talk about two other trees that are not physical in nature:
- The tree of life, which Gen. 3:22-24 tells us could enable the man to live forever. This was to be prevented after the fall. But it was not prohibited prior to the fall. The only tree that was prohibited was the three of knowledge of good and evil. The term "tree of life" is used figuratively in Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13:12, which does not give us information about it. However, we find it in the new heavens and the new earth described in Revelation 22:2, 14,and 19, where it clearly has a spiritual significance that implies access to it is necessary for eternal spiritual life with God in heaven.
- The tree of knowledge of good and evil. This was the tree that they were forbidden to eat, and once they ate of it they would in some way become like God in being able to discern good from evil, which is an eternal characteristic of God ... not only to know it but to do it. So prior to their eating it the only knowledge of good and evil that they had (indeed, the only knowledge of it that they needed) was that they were not to eat of this tree.]
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
[Perhaps given to us so that we would not trivialize the extensive amount of time that may have transpired before the fall. We take no position as to how long that might have been, although Adam is said to have lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5), and 130 years prior to Seth. However, it is unclear as to whether this aging of Adam was from his creation or from the fall. The phrase " ... and Adam lived 130 years ..." may well be talking about after the previous described event occurred. However, the 930 years are "all the days of Adam." This is almost three times the life span of the United Stated ... indeed, much must have transpired that is unrecorded during this time.]
15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
[This is a different viewpoint, but quite consistent with Genesis 1:28: "And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."]
16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
[Was God talking about physical death, spiritual death or both? Recall again James 2:26 "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead." Dead how? Obviously spiritually. When Adam sinned did he have faith apart from works? He knew what God said, and expressed his belief to Eve ... but he was unwilling to act upon that faith -- it was dead, and he was dead. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.]
18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.
[We do not use the word "meet" at all today -- it just means fit or suitable. The animals were not fit or suitable to help man. Some could and probably were trained at this time -- we would expect that prior to the fall the training of animals would have been much easier than it is today. But even with that, no animal could possible provide man with what the woman could.]
19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
[Similarly to man and plant life, the animals are made of the matter that is part of the soil of the earth. The purpose for allowing man to name the animals appears to be to give him an appreciation for the fact that while all being good, they are not sufficient to satisfy his need for an effective companion and helper.]
20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him.
21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:
22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[God well could have created woman in any of an infinite number of ways, perhaps the most unlikely of which would have been by evolution. We can imagine males and females evolving independently to some point, but in order for them to reproduce their evolution would have to be totally coordinated in order for the sex organs and their mechanisms to be complimentary. We will not speculate on the reason that woman was taken out of man, but it for sure impressed upon Adam that she had not arise independently from him, as we see in the next verse.]
23 And 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 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
[The implications of this verse not only tell us much about God's plan for marriage, but also about biblical interpretation in general. In this regard, let us explore Matthew 19.
- 3 And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful (for a man) to put away his wife for every cause?
- 4 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made (them) from the beginning made them male and female,
- 5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?
- 6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
- 7 They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put (her) away?
- 8 He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.
- 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.
- That God instituted marriage immediately after the creation of Eve;
- That marriage is a union ordained of God between one man and one woman for life (we learn later that if one of the spouses should die, the other is free to re-marry);
- God never ordained marriage between two men, two women, polygamy, bestiality or any other variation from the above pattern ... should anyone want to assume that any one of these is acceptable before God, he would have to accept the fact that all of them are acceptable;
- That those who put asunder what God joined together are in sin per se (albeit, the once cause that would justify divorce would be adultery, which could free the innocent party from the marriage);
- That while exceptions were made to this general principle because of "the hardness of their hearts" and to protect the innocent (often woman), those exceptions are not to be viewed as the will of God -- someone (or both parties) in those divorces were at fault and will be accountable before God in judgment.]
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
[This seems to be a point of conscience that is assumed once they eat of the forbidden tree. Let us just make a note of it now and take it up at that time.]
3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?
[If someone is doing a comparison of science and the scriptures, they can stop right here. Serpents do not talk. The error is in trying to compare what we observe scientifically today with the reality of the universe before the fall of mankind, which is what this chapter is all about. Obviously serpents cannot talk today, but that does not mean that they did not have the capacity before the fall. It might be argued that Satan was allowed to put the words into the mouth of the serpent, and thus its speaking was a miraculous event. This too is possible, but need not be the case. However, it is very clear that this evil creature was certainly under the control of Satan, if not a manifestation of Satin itself. We might cite Jesus casting the evil spirits into the swine as being somewhat comparable. It is not at all a stretch to view the words of the serpent as being dictated by Satan. Also, 2 Cor. 11:14 "And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light."
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat:
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
[This demonstrates quite clearly that the woman totally understood the command of God to the point of being accurately able to recite it. It also demonstrates that although it is possible that the woman (and the man) had never observed death to this point, they did understand it to be a termination of life. There are two types of life under consideration here -- physical life, which she probably understood, and spiritual life (union and fellowship with God), which she may not have understood nearly as well.]
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
[This is a complete lie, although taken in the physical sense, it did not culminate in the same day. However, spiritual death did occur in the very same day, and physical death was initiated at this time. We might view the living creatures prior to the fall as not being subject to decay. After they fall they began to decay, so their physical death at that point was inevitable. Satan is the father of lies and the deceiver of the whole earth -- Rev 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan , the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him." We can be sure that when God says anything, Satan will contradict Him. The only exception being when Satan might use the truth for evil purposes, twisting it to meet his evil intents. For this we should be always on guard.]
5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
[God's law could not be any simpler, and it is still quite simple today -- 2 Corinthians 11:3: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ." This is a partial truth; often called a half truth, but half would give Satan far too much credit. It is true that there was a sense that their eyes were opened to some things that they could not see before -- we shall see this as we move forward. However, there was no way that they would be as God in any way, since they were about to violate His law. We can be like God as Adam and Eve were before they sinned when we are in harmony with His will, but when we sin we separate ourselves from God (as they did) and are unlike God in every way. Knowing good and evil? They did obtain some knowledge of good and evil, but, of course, it was nothing like God's perfect knowledge of good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
[1 John 2:15-16: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Note how the woman's temptation and surrender is described perfectly by John. It was not just one thing; in Eve's case it was all three. Adam's weakness seems to be more of a giving in to the woman. He should have rejected it but he could not bring himself to. It seems his love for her was greater than his love for God. We are not proposing to excuse his response -- he has the very same responsibility for his sin as eve had for hers. The distinction between their sins is pointed out by Paul when giving instructions regarding the behavior of women in the church; 1 Tim 2:12-15: "But I permit not a woman to teach , nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety." We will not get sidetracked into the role of women in the church, for this must not be resolved by just one verse -- it is a subject within itself that should seek for the whole council of God to be resolved. But this verse does give us insight into the difference between Adam's sin and Eve's sin. Which was worse? If anything, Adams was worse because he was not deceived -- thus, he KNEW that he was sinning. So, his sin was more one of rebellion than was that of Eve. The difference in the root cause of the sin leads to different remedies. We will see the various punishments that are meted out as we continue.]
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
[There is no reason that a husband and wife should be ashamed of their nakedness before each other, but in this case their concern could be in the expectation that God would be coming into their presence. Of course, He was already, but this was ignored as it often is with us today. They did the best they could with what they had to clothe themselves, but it seems that even they did not recognize it to be enough.]
8 And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden.
9 And Jehovah God called unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
[There is a certain sense of shame that most people have naturally once they reach a certain age. We have no reason to doubt that Adam was telling the truth at this point. The fact that he gave in to his wife and sinned would not necessarily make him a liar, so we must accept this explanation.]
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou should not eat?
[God did not need Adam to answer these questions in order for Him to know. However it was necessary for Adam and Eve to think these things through. There were only two ways that they could know that they were naked -- either they could be told (perhaps by Satan), or they could have eaten of the forbidden fruit, which clearly would provide this information as well as insight into many other things. Before we go on it is important that we not trivialize just what happened in the regard of obtaining a knowledge of good and evil eating of the forbidden tree. We stated above our opinion that this knowledge was not total and perfect (as it is with God). However, there seems little doubt that Adam and Eve as well as all of their descendants were strongly affected by this experience. We will take up this subject again in verse 22, where more information is provided on this subject. At this point we will take up their feeble attempts to squirm out of responsibility by making excuses.]
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
[We will see that this excuse did not hold water. That men make fools of themselves for women is a well established fact, and unfortunately few men are immune. At best they might restrict the number of times that it happens -- at worst their lives are totally dictated by it. Adam had not more of an excuse than any man has today when he falls prey to sin because of a woman, regardless of what that sin might be. But the utterance of this excuse enabled God to turn to the woman for her explanation.]
13 And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
[In both cases the excuses given are truthful statements of fact. They are not trying to lie to God, which would be futile and senseless. But clearly they are trying to escape God's wrath but indicating the reasons for their sin, obviously hoping that they might in some way escape the condemnation that was promised them if they ate of the forbidden fruit. But God is both loving and just -- in fact, his justice demonstrates His love.]
14 And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
[A reference to the writings of the apostle Paul to the Romans, in Rom. 16:20: "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" shows that God's condemnation is directed at Satan through the serpent. To what extent (if at all) animals were responsible for their moral actions prior to the fall is not possible for us to know. This seems to be the only such reference to an animal being responsible for any evil that they do. The condemnation of the serpent to be without legs would seem to be a figurative act of God in disabling Satan as opposed to the serpent; and yet, the fact that we can see the serpent brings this curse to our greater recognition.]
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
[God states a reality here. It is not a reality that should be used by men to abuse women. It is not a command to men, nor to women at this point. It establishes the man as the ruler of the family unit, and to some extent this has been recognized in most cultures, albeit to a lessor extent in the most recent decades in some Western societies. Both men and women suffer when they leave the basic roles established for them within the family unit. They fall to much the same temptation that the woman did, believing that God's structure for the family can be improved and worked to their greater benefit, and in this they are greatly deceived. Those who lovingly remain within this structure are greatly blessed.]
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
[There is much to be observed from this statement of God to the first man, which we have left as a unit. The cursing of the ground was a cataclysmic event -- in a sense it changed everything physically about the entire universe. This was done out of love by God so that we can understand the ramifications of sin. When we see suffereing of a physical nature -- starvation, natural disasters, sickness, aging and ultimately death -- these can all be attributed to God cursing the ground, and ultimately to the sin of mankind. These things did not exist prior to the fall. While we might blame Adam and Eve for this, we err in doing so. When we sin we proclaim that had we been in their position we would have done the same thing. Let us in humility accept this fact and blame ourselves and our own sin for the suffering that exists in the world today. While these sins might not cause the particular incident of suffering that an individual experiences, some sin at some time did, And while an individual's sin might not cause him physical harm, it will cause some harm to someone at some point. These facts are inescapable, and should be obvious to all thinking humans. Paul describes this event in Romans 8:18-23: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for (our) adoption, (to wit), the redemption of our body." The solution to suffering is not in this world, nor can they ever be. We might resist it for a while, and we should thank God for every day that we are not suffering. But to think that it will be avoided altogether in this lifetime is to be out of touch with reality. Unless Jesus comes before our time, we all must die as a result of sin. If we avoid our own death for another ten or 20 years, we suffer the loss of loved ones that are dear to us. Paul states that the creation itself was subject to vanity, which we are interpreting to be its own decay and ultimate destruction. But there was a reason for this -- that it and we might be "delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glorying of the children of God." It was not solely punitive in nature. Instead, as we see the consequences of sin so strikingly illustrated before us, it should convince us to put our trust in God and not in the enticements of this world. The redemption of our bodies is described in 1st Corinthians 15.]
20 And the man called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
[Eve is translated "life" from the Hebrew. "Living" here obviously means living humans.]
21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.
[The clear necessary implication of this is that the leaves that they had sown together were not adequate to cloth them. Clothes would not only be necessary to obtain the proper modesty required by God, they would also be needed to protect them from cold weather -- another consequence of God's cursing the ground. Just as God had prepared everything to satisfy all of mankind's needs prior to the fall, His loving nature continues in providing them with this example of how they need to clothe themselves.]
22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
[Who was God speaking to in this context? Or could it be figurative of His speaking to Himself. We saw in Genesis 1 that the Word (which later became flesh in the form of Jesus -- John 1), the Holy Spirit (which brooded over the deep), and the Father (referenced generally as "God") were all present at creation. Thus, it is logical to conclude that the Father he was talking to them, or for that matter, any of them may have been talking to each other. Reference Jesus in the garden and the many other times when he spoke to his Father, and the times when he promised to send the Holy Spirit to them. All three of them knew good and evil, and now in some part mankind was also to know good and evil. While the full knowledge of good and evil could not come prior to the gospel, it seems that there is within every human some concept of good and evil which it totally foreign to the animal kingdoms separate and apart from training in this regard (and even then the behavior is in response to rewards and not due to some spiritual principles).
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
[Apparently God kept the tree of life in their view so they could perceive what they had lost and be reminded of the consequences of their sin. It also appears that prior to the fall Adam and Eve had full access to it, and thus we can conclude that they were originally blessed with living forever. The statement "in the day that you eat of it (the forbidden fruit), you will surely die" is totally true both in a physical and a spiritual sense. While their physical deaths were not completed in that very day, the process of physical death was initiated, and their physical deaths became inevitable. This was further illustrated by the deaths of the animals from which their clothes were made -- we see no evidence of anything dying prior to the fall. As for this "tree of life," the term is used frequently in the proverbs in a figurative sense (Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13;12; and 15:4). It is not used literally until we find it in the book of revelation:
- Rev. 2:7: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life , which is in the Paradise of God."
- Rev. 22:2: [in describing heaven] "... in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life , bearing twelve (manner of) fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
- Rev 22:14-19: "
- Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right (to come) to the tree of life , and may enter in by the gates into the city. 15 Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life , and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
4:1 And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with (the help of) the LORD.
[This had to be something that was quite amazing to both Adam and Eve. They had probably seen offspring of the animals being generated, but this was the first time that they had seen a human baby. It is quite commendable that Adam gave glory to God although as amazing as this event was, it is now in the realm of the natural and not the miraculous. How much greater is God creative power seen in not only producing the universe, but in giving His creation the capability to recreate and to sustain itself.]
2 And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
[In and of themselves these were both noble professions; both were necessary to sustaining their lives.]
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.
[Why was this? Was it that the offering of a vegetable offering was itself wrong per se? A clue can be obtained from Hebrews 11:4: "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh." Couple this with Romans 10:17: "So faith (cometh) of hearing, and hearing by the word of God." This being the case, we must conclude that God gave instructions to both Cain and Abel as to what was expected of them with regard to their offerings. Cain certainly could not be held responsible if he had no instructions on what was right and wrong in this matter. With that we will allow the above verse to speak as to the background for what is to follow.]
And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be its desire, but do thou rule over it.
[Cain was aggravated that God did not accept his offering in the same way that He accepted Abel's. This would seem to be quite positive -- we should feel pain when we sin; it should grieve us. But God sees through the outward signs here and gets to the source of the problem. Why Cain? Why are you feeling this way? Is it because you are sorry? Or are you envious of your brother? Or possibly scared of Me? What is your problem? The God goes on to give examples. You can still do well (repent and do what I have commanded). But if you refused to do this then you are only going to get into more sin. You will become it's slave. Don't let that happen -- rule over it! Amazing advice, and who is better to give it than God Himself? This is also a prophecy, as we shall soon see ...]
8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
[Although it cannot be proven, the implication here is that Cain was looking for sympathy from Abel -- perhaps trying to conspire to disobey God. If this is the case, then it seems that Abel would have none of it, which could explain Cain's reaction. When people try to get us to sin and we refuse, hatred follows.]
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
[Obviously God did not need to know -- recall the questions that He asked Adam and Eve in the garden. The purpose of the question is to get them to recognize their sinful state. In this case Cain's attitude toward his brother -- just the opposite of love -- the bitterest of hatred. You might not be your brother's keeper, but that does not give you the right to take his life. This is a right that only God, the giver of life, has.]
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground.
[Again, a rhetorical question to make the point to Cain. Was Abel dead? Physically, yes. But his blood could still cry, giving us the first indication that physical death is not annihilation.]
11 And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12 when you till the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.
[Why did God not require Cain's life? Surely other (what we would surely consider lesser) sins required the death penalty. Such a grievous sin should surely call of the death penalty. There are some punishments worse than death. God was not going to let Cain off easy. And perhaps God had hope that Cain would repent.]
13 And Cain said unto Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the ground; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it will come to pass, that whosoever finds me will slay me.
[To live in separation, and in constant fear and torment ... indeed, a type of hell on earth.]
15 And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven-fold. And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.
[God was not going to allow anyone else to circumvent His plan for Cain.]
16 And Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
[In the bible pronouns do not always refer to the last mentioned noun. The he in "he built" refers back to Cain and not to Enoch, as is obvious from the context.]
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methushael; and Methushael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents and (have) cattle.
21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and pipe.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
[This is quite interesting for we see that primitive man had considerable abilities: tent-making, agricultural, animal husbandry, musical and metal processing. Apparently these were not skills that they had to discover for themselves over many centuries. These skills must have been given to this industrious community by God.]
23 And Lamech said unto his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for bruising me:
24 If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold, Truly Lamech seventy and seven-fold.
[Barnes states that this is very sophisticated poetry in the Hebrew, and surmises that it was a song that he sang to his wives. Apparently he had been attacked and defended himself, killing his attacker (as opposed to Cain who apparently ambushed and killed Abel without cause). He is not only proclaiming his defense, but stating that if Cain is to be protected, how much more should he be protected (a valid argument from the lesser to the greater).]
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth. For, (said she), God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him.
[Literally the meaning of the name is "placed or put" according to Barnes. The word "appointed" is similar to this in that God placed or appointed Seth to be Eve's child. Even seems to be longing for another child to replace Abel, which would be quite normal.]
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
[Some scholars place this time at about 240 years after the creation. The natural question is -- why the delay. Other than Abel and the man that Seth slew, we have not record of death at this point, so it can safely be assumed that most of those spoken of were of this age (Adam and Eve) or younger (their offspring). No reason is given as to the cause. However, it seems clear that there was an awakening of their need for God. Perhaps some famine or other event brought them to a realization of their fragility and mortality. Otherwise, just their maturity may have brought them to the realization of their dependence on God. But we are ignoring revelation, which was far more certain than these other things, although they could all have occurred in combination. God did not leave them without guidance. And so it appears that they, at least some of them "began ... to call upon the name of the LORD.]
[What does this mean? It is clearly a Hebraism that had a definite meaning to primitive mankind and it is used throughout the old and new testaments. It cannot be visualized at all in a literal sense. Could it mean that they were calling God's name in some superstitious sense. This is still believed by some to be of value, and great value is attributed to knowing the exact pronunciation of God's name. This practice, which borders on idolatry cannot possible be the meaning, since it is literally impossible for us to know exactly how to pronounce the name that God must have pronounced for Himself (e.g., to Moses out of the burning bush). Any cursory research on the subject will reveal this to be the case, and so those who do claim to have such privilege of pronunciation must perceive it as a latter day revelation. The term is used in Acts 2:21 as a quotation of Joel 2:32, and there is says that anyone can call upon the name of the LORD. Thus, it would not be restricted to the very few who knew how to pronounce it.]
[The context of Romans 10:13 as well as a concordance search of "name of the Lord" demonstrates that this
is not just a ritualistic incantation. It represents a recognized dependence upon God, and in a sense is just the opposite of some mystical manipulation of God (idolatry). If one called upon the name of a political leader (e.g., Caesar), that person would be invoking that name to justify the actions that he was taking. Similarly, those who were coming to God must recognize His authority in all things, and be willing to submit to that authority, i.e., to obey Him. And this obedience is not claimed to the credit of the person performing it, but is attributed to the Supreme Ruler -- to God. So one baptized in (into) the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is in fact baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3). In this we can see that the name of God is really God Himself. So, calling upon the name of God and calling upon God are synonymous. It is a type of sacred pledge not only to obey God currently, but to do so for the rest of one's life.]
5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat (a son) in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 and the days of Adam after he begat Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters.
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
6 And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enosh:
7 and Seth lived after he begat Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
8 and all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
9 And Enosh lived ninety years, and begat Kenan.
10 and Enosh lived after he begat Kenan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
11 and all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
12 And Kenan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalalel:
13 and Kenan lived after he begat Mahalalel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
15 And Mahalalel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
16 And Mahalalel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
17 and all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
18 And Jared lived a hundred sixty and two years, and begat Enoch:
19 and Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
25 And Methuselah lived a hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:
26 and Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters.
27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
28 And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
29 and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, (which cometh) because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed.
30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:
31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
32 And Noah was five hundred years old: And Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.