Looking Back to Day Six of Creation and the Garden of Eden
Genesis chapter 1 through Genesis 2:3 comprise an orderly and progressive account of the creation week and then Genesis 2:4–25 refers back to day six.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3
In understanding the end from the beginning, it is helpful to be familiar with the story telling technique of the ancient Hebrews.
The verses of Genesis chapter 1 through Genesis 2:3 comprise an orderly and progressive account of the creation week through day seven and God’s Sabbath of rest. Genesis 2:4–25 then refers back to day six with specific details, and Genesis 3 moves forward again to the account of the fall of man. In other words, an overall view of the creation week is presented first, and then the specifics concerning the creation of man are presented.
To better understand the chronology of the events prophesied in Revelation, we must realize that the end time chronology of the Book of Revelation is not a strict linear account. Utilizing the Hebraic story telling technique, Revelation gives an overview of events followed by specifics that disclose the future of the Jew, the Gentile and the body of Messiah through visions that spiral and recapitulate events in increasing intensity.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens— and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground— Genesis 2:4-6
In chapter one of Genesis, God is said to have created plants on the third day (Genesis 1:12-13), with animals being created on the fifth and sixth day (Genesis 1:20-25). Man was made after all these, on day six (Genesis 1:26-31). Genesis 2:5 is often cited by critics to claim that there is a contradiction between Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2, since the order of events appears to be different. In Genesis 1 man was created after the plants but in Genesis 2, man was created before the plants sprung up.
Critical scholars have suggested that these first two chapters of Genesis are two distinct creation accounts which flatly contradict one another and therefore must have been written by two different authors and pieced together. These higher critics are liberal theologians who do not believe in the divinely inspired nature of the Scriptures. They investigate the structure of the various books of the Bible based of the author’s style and supposed literary qualifications. They claim the plurality of authors is proved by well-marked differences of diction and style or contradictions in the text.
This historical-critical approach is supposed to improve one’s understanding of Scripture, but it has actually been used to undermine belief in the Bible. The modern biblical critic assumes that:
• Miracles and genuine prophecies do not occur
• Biblical material involves internal contradictions
• Bible editors often came long after the events described
The truth is that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Genesis 2:5 clearly offers two reasons for why there were no shrubs or plants of the field – there was no rain and no man to work the ground. There is no contradiction with the account of the third day of creation because Genesis 2:5 is only dealing with specific types of plants (shrub of the field and plant of the field), and Genesis 2:5 is only dealing with a specific location – the Garden of Eden. It is only these particular plants – plants designed for mankind to tend – that were to spring up after man was created.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:26-28
Man was created in the image of God. Adam and Eve were to have dominion over the earth and they and their offspring were to increase in number and fill the earth. Prior to the fall of Adam, God expressly gave Adam (and therefore mankind) charge to rule over all the creation.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:4-8
Man was given authority and dominion over all of earth’s creatures and to be fruitful and multiply. After the fall, this command to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” is reiterated and given to Noah and his sons as recorded in Genesis 9:1.
Man is unique among all living creatures on earth. Only human beings have been made in the image of God. To better understand the meaning of the phrase, the image of God, we must examine what the Scripture declares about God’s nature.
“… God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
God is a supernatural spirit being.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14
Paul’s closing remarks in his second letter to the church at Corinth speaks of God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. This verse is one of the many biblical proof texts of the triune nature of the Godhead.
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:27 KJV
The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Proverbs 20:27 AMP
The Bible speaks of the spirit of man. Man was created in the image of God who is spirit.
–the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 NIV
The King James Version of this verse reads:
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 soul. Genesis 2:7
Man is a created being in the image of God who is spirit. The body of the man was formed from the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word – aw-dawm means red or ruddy. This Hebrew word is translated as Adam in English. The Hebrew word, aw-dawm is also related to aw-dawm-ah, which means red earth, or red clay – indicating the natural earth elements that composed Adam’s body. The breath of God (the Holy Spirit) breathed life into Adam.
I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Humans are tripartite beings created in the image of God having a body, a soul and a spirit.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9
After God planted the Garden of Eden, he placed Adam in it. Not only did God provide trees that provided food to sustain Adam, the trees and their fruit were pleasing to the eye. The existence of beauty in the world cannot be explained by evolution. Only mankind can appreciate the beauty of sunrises, sunsets, waterfalls, craggy snow-covered peaks, cumulus clouds, ocean surf, gemstones, quartz crystals, and weathered sandstone cliffs.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14
The Bible says that a river flowed out from the Garden of Eden and then does something that rivers ordinarily do not do – a single river split into four separate rivers. These rivers that flowed downstream were all fed from a common single river source. Almost all rivers start from a single source or are fed by multiple sources (tributaries).
… but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground Genesis 2:6
The streams of waters that came up from the earth were underground waters under pressure that gushed upwards. This would certainly be a logical source feed to feed a single river that branched into four headwaters.
The first named river, the Pishon was described as winding through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold and onyx. The Pishon probably flowed down what today is the Gulf of Aden south of present day Yemen (southern tip of Arabia). Yemen has both gold and onyx and there would been a natural riverbed there in the days prior to Noah’s flood (when sea levels were lower than today).
The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. Cush is known today as Ethiopia which is the African land area west and southward of the Red Sea. And if a river formerly flowed down what is now the Red Sea basin and southward into Africa at the Afar Triangle, it would certainly fit the description of a river which winds through the entire land of Cush.
The third and fourth rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates currently originate out of Turkey.
All four of these rivers have one thing in common. All are connected to the Great Rift system. This continuous geographic trench is a result of fault lines where the earth’s tectonic plates push against each other. It is 3,700 miles in length and runs from northern Syria to central Mozambique in East Africa. Two rivers that flowed out of Eden presently originate out of Turkey to the north. The two others are now fossil rivers that flowed south of Israel. The geographical center of these four points of flow is somewhere near present day Israel and Jordan.
But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel. 2 Chronicles 6:6
For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you–for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye– Zechariah 2:8
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2
It was upon one of the mountains in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2) where Abraham was told to sacrifice his son (a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus). Solomon was told to build the Temple in Jerusalem on mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), and Jerusalem was where the Lord Jesus was actually crucified. Jerusalem, the apple of God’s eye, is the eternal, holy city where the LORD God has put his name. I believe that it is also the location of the Garden of Eden.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17
Another strong indication that the Garden of Eden was located in close proximity to the city of Jerusalem is that the Garden of Eden was the location of the tree of the knowledge
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:8
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:11
The first Adam had sinned by being disobedient to God concerning a tree located in a garden in the east. That tree became a tree that brought death to mankind.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Gethsemane is a peaceful garden among a grove of ancient olive trees, looking back at the eastern wall of the City of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, was obedient to God in a garden located east of Jerusalem and was nailed to a tree. That tree became a tree of life for mankind.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. Genesis 2:18-20a
According to William J. Spear, Jr. in his article, Could Adam Really Name All Those Animals? -Adam (perhaps Eve also) was not only fully capable of adult thought within a mature mind at creation, but also pre-informed or pre-programmed with knowledge essential not only to his own survival, but also to carrying out his Creator’s multiple purposes. This information would include, among other things: (1) language—the ability to place into spoken words mind-integrated sense experiences, as well as rational thought about the world around him; (2) physical coordination and strength reflective of an adult age; and (3) awareness of other things that were not perceived and learned via the senses (such as an intuitive sense of an absolute power and absolute perfection within a personality beyond us—intuitive knowledge implanted within us by God!).
Adam had most of the daylight hours of Day Six in which to complete his task. Note that this task did not include his searching out the animal, because Genesis 2:19 tells us that God brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. Presumably this was in some sort of reasonably orderly procession. The animals brought to him by God included livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field—that is, those animals that would live near him and might be possible candidates for companionship or usefulness to man. Not included were the fish of the sea, the beasts of the earth, or the creeping things. Furthermore, only the created “kinds” of these animals were included, not the multitudes of varieties that later proliferated from them. For example descendants of the canine “kind” would include dogs, wolves, jackals, and foxes while descendants of the feline “kind” would include the lions, tigers, jaguars, and wild and domestic cats.
According to the Creation Magazine article entitled, “How Could Adam Have Named All the Animals in a Single Day?” – Adam had to name only a couple of thousand of these proto-species—a task which could easily have been achieved in a few hours. Assuming Adam had to name 2,500 genera (plural of genus – taxonomic category ranking below a family and above a species), and he named a single proto-species every five seconds, it would have taken him approximately three hours and 45 minutes to complete the task if we include a five-minute break every hour.)
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:20b-24
Eve was not made out of Adam’s head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side, to be equal with him. Man is to leave and cleave. He is to leave the home of his parents and be united with his wife so that they may be one in spirit and purpose.
But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:33-34
Just as the bride of Adam was birthed from his side, so was the bride of Christ (the second Adam) birthed from His side. When Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, out of his side flowed an issue of blood and water.
And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.Revelation 5:9
It was the blood of atonement that flowed from his side; the purchase price of His bride. The water that flowed represents the Holy Spirit who is the bridal gift that was given at Pentecost.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:25
Shame implies guilt, and before the fall Adam and Eve were innocent and unashamed. The Garden of Eden was truly paradise on earth until sin entered in.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Jesus, the second Adam, came in obedience to do the will of the Father. He endured the cross and scorned its shame to restore what the first Adam had lost through his disobedience.