Genesis 1 showed us the power of Almighty God as He created our wonderful world. The first few verses of Chapter 2 end that section by reporting that when God’s work of creation was done, He took a “sabbath,” not because He was tired, but because His work was complete. Chapter 2 then begins a complementary creation narrative, this time focusing on a more personal account of God creating mankind.
Throughout chapter 1, the name for “God” used by the narrator was the more general name for the Creator. In chapter 2, we are introduced to another name – “LORD God.” “LORD” translates the Hebrew, “Yahweh,” the personal name God gave when describing Himself to His covenant people. While chapter 1 gives us a magnificent account of the creation of generic mankind, chapter 2 focuses more on a personal creation of the first man and woman by a personal God.
What a beautiful picture is presented of a loving God carefully shaping the first man from the ground. This unique sculpture came to life as Yahweh breathed life into him. Man began his new life in the exquisite garden of Eden. He was blessed with the noble task of working the garden as God’s caretaker. Among the trees in the Edenic paradise were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which both play significant roles throughout the rest of the biblical story. The one prohibition given to the man was to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The garden was filled not only with plants, but also animals, which Adam named, displaying his authority over other created beings. Yet, the only thing “not good” in the garden was the fact that the man was alone. God put the man to sleep and performed the first surgery, taking a rib from his patient and using it to start the creation of Adam’s ‘helper,” the first woman. How wonderful that this beautiful chapter ends with the first marriage in all of history between this first man and the woman taken from his side. At the end of chapter 2, everything was perfect!