Genesis 2:4-6 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
From the very beginning, God had envisioned an Earth full of wonderous creations, but started with a simple field. Genesis reminds us, that God raised the heavens and the Earth with more ease than even a simple plant could grow in a field. Rather than make it rain to fill the Earth with creation, God raises a mist from within the Earth.
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
From this enchanted dust, God shapes the first man:
Genesis 2:8-9 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And God gives Adam a new Home:
Genesis 2:10-14 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Made essentially boundless by God Adam’s domain was Eden. God consequentially gave Adam free reign to name all the animals of the Earth, and all the fruits and vegetables of the world. The waters of the realm of Eden are actually just some of the largest rivers in the world. Below is a map of the range of Eden’s waters, as described by Josephus. (1)
Genesis 2:15-20 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
Before the next verses, recall that the reason God states He created Adam was to help in creation, “God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant ” and “there was no man to till the ground“. God then gives Adam description of the land and has him begin work raising all the creatures in the garden. Adam is not just waiting in the Garden of Eden, watching God do things in the universe. Adam is working for God and contributing to creation. In the next verses, God gives Adam a helper.
Genesis 2:21-23 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He [h]made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Here we have a common trait of creation: giving up a part of oneself. To create is to give a part of one’s body and soul up to God. Our families, our art, our churches are contributions we all make to creation. What we seek to create, or not create, says a lot of how close we are to the kingdom of God.
Genesis 2:24-25 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.