INTRODUCTION TO Genesis 2
In this chapter are contained a summary of the works of creation on the six days, and God's resting from his works on the seventh day, and the sanctification of that, Genesis 2:1 and an account of various things relating to several parts of the creation enlarged on and explained, and of various circumstances omitted in the preceding chapter, which could not so well be taken notice of there; as of a mist arising out of the earth, which watered the herbs and plants before there was any rain to fall upon them, or a man to cultivate them, Genesis 2:5 and of the matter and manner of man's formation, Genesis 2:7 and of the planting of the garden of Eden, and the trees that were in it, and the rivers that watered it, and sprung from it, and the course they steered, the countries they washed, and what those countries abounded with, Genesis 2:8 of man's being put into it to dress it, and keep it, and of the grant he had to eat of the fruit of any of the trees in it, excepting one, which was forbidden under a penalty of death, Genesis 2:15 and of all the creatures, beasts and fowls, being brought to him, to give them names, Genesis 2:18 and of God's providing an help meet for him, and forming Eve out of one of his ribs, and of their marriage together, and the institution of marriage, Genesis 2:21 and the chapter is concluded with observing the present state and circumstances of our first parents before they fell, Genesis 2:25.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,.... Perfected and completed in the space of six days, gradually, successively, in the manner before related; by the word and power of God they were on the first day created out of nothing, but they were not perfected, beautified, and adorned, and filled, until all the creatures in the were made:
and all the host them, of the heavens and the earth; the host of heavens are the sun, moon, and stars, often so called in Scripture, and also the angels; see Luke 2:13 wherefore this may be considered as a proof of their creation within the above space of time, probably on the first day, though the Jews commonly say on the second; for if all the host of heaven were made at this time, and angels are at least a part of that host, then they must be then made, or otherwise all the host of heaven were not then and there made, as here affirmed: and the host of the earth, or terraqueous globe, are the plants, herbs, and trees, the fowls, fishes, animals, and man; and these are like hosts or armies, very numerous, and at the command of God, and are marshalled and kept in order by him; even some of the smallest of creatures are his army, which are at his beck, and he can make use of to the annoyance of others, as particularly the locusts are called, Joel 2:11.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had made,.... Not that God wrought anything on the seventh day, or finished any part of his work on that day, because he could not then be said to rest from all his work, as be is afterwards twice said to do; and because of this seeming difficulty the Septuagint, Samaritan, and Syriac versions, read, "on the sixth day". The two latter versions following the former, which so translated for the sake of Ptolemy king of Egypt, as the Jews say (a), that he might not object that God did any work on the sabbath day: and Josephus (b) observes, that, Moses says the world, and all things in it, were made in those six days, as undoubtedly they were; and were all finished on the sixth day, as appears from the last verse of the preceding chapter; and yet there is no occasion to alter the text, or suppose a various reading. Some, as Aben Ezra observes, take the sense of the word to be, "before the seventh day God ended his work", as they think may be rendered, and as it is by Noldius (c): or the words may be translated, "in the seventh day, when God had ended", or "finished his work" (d), which he had done on the sixth day, then
he rested on the seventh day from all his works which he had made: not as though weary of working, for the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, nor is weary, Isaiah 40:28 but as having done all his work, and brought it to such perfection, that he had no more to do; not that he ceased from making individuals, as the souls of men, and even all creatures that are brought into the world by generation, may be said to be made by him, but from making any new species of creatures; and much less did he cease from supporting and maintaining the creatures he had made in their beings, and providing everything agreeable for them, and governing them, and overruling all things in the world for ends of his own glory; in this sense he "worketh hitherto", as Christ says, John 5:17.
(a) T. Bab. Megilla fol. 9. 1. & Gloss. in ib. (b) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 1.((c) Concord. part. Eb. p. 144. No. 1007. Perfecerat. "ante diem septimum"; some in Yatablus. (d) "et compleverat", Drusius; "quum perfecisset", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "had finished", Ainsworth.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,.... A day in which he took delight and pleasure, having finished all his works, and resting from them, and looking over them as very good; and so he pronounced this day a good and happy day, and "sanctified" or appointed it in his mind to be a day separated from others, for holy service and worship; as it was with the Jews when they became a body of people, both civil and ecclesiastical: or this is all said by way of prolepsis or anticipation, as many things in this chapter are, many names of countries and rivers, by which being called in the times of Moses, are here given them, though they were not called by them so early, nor till many ages after: and according to Jarchi this passage respects future time, when God "blessed" this day with the manna, which descended on all the days of the week, an omer for a man, and on the sixth day double food; and he "sanctified" it with the manna which did not descend at all on that day: besides, these words may be read in a parenthesis, as containing an account of a fact that was done, not at the beginning of the world, and on the first seventh day of it; but of what had been done in the times of Moses, who wrote this, after the giving of the law of the sabbath; and this being given through his hands to the people of Israel, he takes this opportunity here to insert it, and very pertinently, seeing the reason why God then, in the times of Moses, blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it, was, because he had rested on that day from all his works, Exodus 20:11 and the same reason is given here, taken plainly out of that law which he had delivered to them:
because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made; which shows, that this refers not to the same time when God blessed and hallowed the seventh day, which was done in the times of Moses, but to what had been long before, and was then given as a reason enforcing it; for it is not here said, as in the preceding verse, "he rested", but "had rested", even from the foundation of the world, when his works were finished, as in Hebrews 4:3 even what "he created to make" (e), as the words may be here rendered; which he created out of nothing, as he did the first matter, in order to make all things out of it, and put them in that order, and bring them to that perfection he did.
(e) "creavit ut faceret", V. L. "creaverat ut faceret", Pagninus, Montanus.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,These are the generations of the heavens and the earth, when they were created,.... That is, the above account, delivered in the preceding chapter, is a history of the production of the heavens and earth, and of all things in them; the creation of them being a kind of generation, and the day of their creation a sort of birthday; see Genesis 5:1.
in the day that the Lord God made the earth, and the heavens; meaning not any particular day, not the first day, in which the heavens and the earth were created; but referring to the whole time of the six days, in which everything in them, and relating to them, were made. Here another name is added to God, his name "Jehovah", expressive of his being and perfections, particularly his eternity and immutability, being the everlasting and unchangeable "I am", which is, and was, and is to come: this name, according to the Jews, is not to be pronounced, and therefore they put the points of "Adonai", directing it so to be read; and these two names, "Jehovah Elohim", or "Adonai" and "Elohim", with them make the full and perfect name of God, and which they observe is here very pertinently given him, upon the perfection and completion of his works.
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.And every plant of the field, before it was in the earth,.... That is, God made it, even he who made the heavens and the earth; for these words depend upon the preceding, and are in close connection with them; signifying that the plants of the field, which were made out of the earth on the third day, were made before any were planted in it, or any seed was sown therein from whence they could proceed, and therefore must be the immediate production of divine power:
and every herb of the field before it grew: those at once sprung up in perfection out of the earth, before there were any that budded forth, and grew up by degrees to perfection, as herbs do now:
for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: so that the production of plants and herbs in their first formation could not be owing to that; since on the third day, when they were made, there was no sun to exhale and draw up the waters into the clouds, in order to be let down again in showers of rain:
and there was not a man to till the ground; who was not created till the sixth day, and therefore could have no concern in the cultivation of the earth, and of the plants and herbs in it; but these were the produce of almighty power, without the use of any means: some Jewish writers (f), by the plant and herb of the field, mystically understand the first and second Messiah, for they sometimes feign two; see Isaiah 4:2.
(f) Zohar in Gen. fol. 32. 4.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.But there went up a mist from the earth,.... After the waters had been drained off from it, and it was warmed by the body of light and heat created on the first day, which caused a vapour, which went up as a mist, and descended:
and watered the whole face of the ground; or earth, and so supplied the place of rain, until that was given: though rather the words may be rendered disjunctively, "or there went up" (g); that is, before a mist went up, when as yet there was none; not so much as a mist to water the earth, and plants and herbs were made to grow; and so Saadiah reads them negatively, "nor did a mist go up"; there were no vapours exhaled to form clouds, and produce rain, and yet the whole earth on the third day was covered with plants and herbs; and this is approved of by Kimchi and Ben Melech.
(g) "aut vapor ascendens", Junius & Tremellius.
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.And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,.... Not of dry dust, but, as Josephus (h) says, of red earth macerated, or mixed with water; the like notion Hesiod (i) has; or out of clay, as in Job 33:6 hence a word is made use of, translated "formed", which is used of the potter that forms his clay into what shape he pleases: the original matter of which man was made was clay; hence the clay of Prometheus (k) with the Heathens; and God is the Potter that formed him, and gave him the shape he has, see Isaiah 64:8, there are two "jods", it is observed, in the word, which is not usual; respecting, as Jarchi thinks, the formation of man for this world, and for the resurrection of the dead; but rather the two fold formation of body and soul, the one is expressed here, and the other in the following clause: and this, as it shows the mighty power of God in producing such a creature out of the dust of the earth, so it serves to humble the pride of man, when he considers he is of the earth, earthy, dust, and ashes, is dust, and to dust he must return.
And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; which in that way entered into his body, and quickened it, which before was a lifeless lump of clay, though beautifully shapen: it is in the plural number, the "breath of lives" (l), including the vegetative, sensitive, and rational life of man. And this was produced not with his body, as the souls of brutes were, and was produced by the breath of God, as theirs were not; nor theirs out of the earth, as his body was: and these two different productions show the different nature of the soul and body of man, the one is material and mortal, the other immaterial and immortal:
and man became a living soul; or a living man, not only capable of performing the functions of the animal life, of eating, drinking, walking, &c. but of thinking, reasoning, and discoursing as a rational creature.
(h) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1.((i) Opera & dies, ver. 60. (k) Martial. l. 10. Epigram. 38. (l) Heb. "spiraculum vitarum", Pareus.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden,.... Or "had planted" (m), for this was not now done after the formation of man, but before; and so the word translated "eastward" may be rendered, as it is by some, "before" (n): for the plain meaning is, that God had planted a garden before he made man, even on the third day, when all herbs, and plants, and trees were produced out of the earth. The whole world was as a garden, in comparison of what it is now since the fall: what then must this spot of ground, this garden be, which was separated and distinguished from the rest, and the more immediate plantation of God, and therefore is called the garden of the Lord, Genesis 13:10 and which Plato (o) calls "Jove's garden?" This garden was planted in the country of Eden, so called very probably from its being a very pleasant and delightful country; and though it is not certain, and cannot be said exactly where it was, yet it seems to be a part of Mesopotamia, since it is more than once mentioned with Haran, which was in that country, 2 Kings 19:12 and since it was by the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, when they were become one stream, which ran through this country, and parted again at this garden; and the country there, as Herodotus (p) says, is the most fruitful he ever saw; and it seems to be much better to place it here than in Armenia, where the fountain of these rivers is said to be: so Tournefort (q) thinks it lay in the country, or plain of the three churches (or Ejmiadzit), in Armenia, about twenty French leagues distant from the heads of Euphrates and Araxes, and near as many from the Phasis, a country exceeding pleasant and fruitful. A very learned man (r) is of opinion, that the garden of Eden was in the land of Judea to the east, by the lake of Gennesaret or Tiberias, and the lake of Asphaltites, called the Dead sea, and takes in, in its compass, the famous valley, or the great plain, and the plains of Jericho, and great part of Galilee, and all that tract which Jordan flows by, from Gennesaret to the country of Sodom; and he takes the river Jordan to be , "the river of Eden", from whence it has its name of Jordan; and Gennesaret he interprets as if it was , "Gansar", the garden of the prince, that is, of Adam, the prince of all mankind. He argues from the situation of the place, and the pleasantness and fruitfulness of it, the balsam of Jericho, and other odoriferous plants that grew there, and what are called the apples of paradise: and it must be owned, that this country abounded with gardens and orchards: it is mentioned in the Jewish Misnah, where the commentators (s) say, it was a country in the land of Israel, in which were many gardens and orchards, that produced excellent fruit; and the fruits of Gennesaret are spoken of in the Talmud (t) as exceeding sweet: and with this agrees the account Josephus (u) gives of it, that it is"wonderful in nature and goodness, and through its fertility refuses no plant; everything is set here; the temper of the air suits with different things; here grow nuts, and more winter fruit; and there palms, which are nourished with heat, and near them figs and olives, which require a softer air--not only it produces apples of different sorts, beyond belief, but long preserves them; and indeed the most excellent of fruit; grapes and figs it furnishes with for ten months, without intermission, and other fruit throughout the whole year, growing old, with them.''And it may be further observed, that it is asked by the Jewish Rabbins, why it is called Genesar? and the answer is, because "the gardens of princes"; these are the kings who have gardens in the midst of it: another reason is given, because it belonged to Naphtali, a portion in the midst of it, as it is said, and of "Naphtali a thousand princes", 1 Chronicles 12:34. (w) And it is worthy of remark, that Strabo calls Jericho, which was within this tract, "the paradise of balsam" (x); and there, and hereabout, as Diodorus Siculus (y), and Justin (z) relate, grew this aromatic plant, and nowhere else; it was not to be found in any other part of the world. And it appears from Scripture, that if the plain of Jordan was not the garden of Eden, it is said to be, "as the garden of the Lord", Genesis 13:10 and if the "caph" or "as" is not a note of similitude, but of reality, as it sometimes is, it proves it to be the very place; and the above learned writer takes it to be not comparative, but illative, as giving a reason why it was so well watered, because it was the garden of the Lord: and the Jews have some notion of this, for they say, if that the garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, Bethshean is the door of it, or entrance into it; the gloss gives this reason, because the fruits were sweeter than any other (a); and this was near, at the entrance of the great plain before mentioned; and before which was this place, as Josephus says (b): and if the garden of Eden was in those parts, it may be observed, that where the first Adam first dwelt, and where he sinned and fell, Christ the second Adam frequently was; here he conversed much, taught his doctrines, wrought his miracles; and even here he appeared after his resurrection from the dead. But the opinions of men about this place are very many, and there is scarce any country in the whole world but one or another has placed the garden of Eden in it; nay, some have assigned a place for it out of the earth, in the eighth sphere. Such a garden undoubtedly there was somewhere, and it is said to be placed "eastward", either in the eastern part of the country of Eden, see Genesis 4:16 or to the east of the desert where Moses was when he wrote; or to the east of Judea, as Mesopotamia was: and if this garden was in Judea, the place assigned for it by the above learned person, it was in the eastern part of that country; see Numbers 32:19. This garden was an emblem either of the church of Christ on earth, which is a garden enclosed, surrounded with divine power, and distinguished with divine grace; a small spot in comparison of the world; is of Jehovah's planting, and is his property; and is an Eden to his people, where they enjoy much spiritual pleasure and delight: or however of the place and state of the happiness of the saints in the other world, often called a paradise in allusion to this, Luke 23:43 and which is of God's planting, and therefore called the paradise of God, and is an Eden, where are pleasures for evermore: and this seems to be what the Jews mean when they say (c), that the garden of Eden, or paradise, was created before the world was; which is no other than what Christ says of it in other words, Matthew 25:34.
and there he put the man whom he had formed; not as soon as he had planted the garden, but as soon as he had made man; and from hence it is generally concluded, that man was made without the garden, and brought from the place where he was formed, and put into it; and which some say was near Damascus: but be it where it will, it is most probable that it was not far from the garden; though there seems no necessity for supposing him to be made out of it; for the putting him into it may signify the appointing and ordering him to be there, and fixing and settling him in it, for the ends and uses mentioned, see Genesis 2:15. (After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of the Garden of Eden could be determined with any degree of certainty today. Ed.)
(m) "plantaverat", V. L. Vatablus, Piscator, Pareus, Drusius, Cartwright; "ornaverat plantis", Junius & Tremellius. (n) "a principio", V. L. so Onkelos; "antes vel antequam", same in Fagius, Cartwright. (o) In Symposio, apud Euseb. praepar. Evangel. l. 12. c. 11. p. 584. (p) Clio sive, l. 1. c. 193. (q) Voyage to the Levant, vol. 3. p. 161, 162. (r) Nichol. Abrami Pharus Vet. Test. l. 2. c. 16. p. 56. So Texelius (Phoenix, l. 3. c. 7. sect. 7.) takes it to be in the land of Promise, not far from the Dead sea, or sea of Sodom, and in the country about Jordan; and of the same opinion is Heidegger (Hist. Patriarch. Exerc. 4. sect. 42. p. 15.) (s) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Maaserot, c. 3. sect. 7. (t) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 44. 1. Erubin, fol. 30. 1. & Pesachim, fol. 8. 2.((u) De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 9. sect. 8. (w) Aruch in voce fol. 37. 1.((x) Geograph. l. 16. p. 525. (y) Bibliothec. l. 19. p. 734. (z) E Trogo, l. 36. c. 3.((a) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 19. 1.((b) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 8. sect. 5. 1 Maccab. v. 52. (c) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 1. Nedarim, fol. 39. 2.
And out of the ground made the LORD 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 knowledge of good and evil.And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food,.... That is, out of the ground of the garden of Eden; and this was done on the third day, when the whole earth brought forth grass, herbs, and trees: but a peculiar spot of ground was fixed on for man, and stocked with trees of all sorts for his use, not only to bear fruit, which would be suitable and agreeable food for him, but others also, which would yield him delight to look at; such as the tall cedars for their loftiness, spreading branches and green leaves, with many others; so that not only there were trees to gratify the senses of tasting and smelling, but that of sight; and such a sightly goodly tree to look at was the tree of knowledge, Genesis 3:6. These trees may be an emblem of the saints, the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and made to grow by him through the influence of his Spirit and grace; and whom he plants in his gardens, the churches, and transplants into the heavenly paradise, and are often compared to palm trees, cedars, olive trees, pomegranates, &c.
the tree of life also in the midst of the garden; set there as in the most excellent place, where it might be most conspicuous, and to be come at; for before Adam sinned, as there was no prohibition of his eating of it, so there was no obstruction to it; and as he had a grant to eat of it, with the other trees, it was designed for his use, to support and maintain his natural life, which would have been continued, had he persisted in his obedience and state of innocence, and very probably by means of this chiefly: hence the son of Sirach calls it the tree of immortality,"The knowledge of the commandments of the Lord is the doctrine of life: and they that do things that please him shall receive the fruit of the tree of immortality.'' (Sirach 19:19)and it might be also a sign, token, and symbol to him of his dependence on God; that he received his life from him; and that this was preserved by his blessing and providence, and not by his own power and skill; and that this would be continued, provided he transgressed not the divine law: and it seems to have a further respect, even to eternal life; by Christ; for though it might not be a symbol of that life to Adam in his state of innocence, yet it became so after his fall: hence Christ is sometimes signified by the tree of life, Proverbs 3:18 who is not only the author of natural and spiritual life, but the giver of eternal life; the promise of it is in him, and the blessing itself; he has made way for it by his obedience, sufferings, and death, and is the way unto it; it is in his gift, and he bestows it on all his people, and it will lie greatly in the enjoyment of him. The situation of this tree in the midst of the garden well agrees with him who is in the midst of his church and people, Revelation 1:13 stands open, is in sight, and is accessible to them all now, who may come to him, and partake of the fruits and blessings of his grace, which are many, constant, and durable, Revelation 22:2 and who will be seen and enjoyed by all, to all eternity:
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil; so called, either with respect to God, who by it tried man, when he had made him, whether he would be good or evil; but this he foreknew: rather therefore with respect to man, not that the eating the fruit of it could really give him such knowledge, nor did he need it; for by the law of nature inscribed on his heart, he knew the difference between good and evil, and that what God commanded was good, and what he forbid was evil: but either it had its name from the virtue Satan ascribed to it, Genesis 3:5 or from the sad event following on man's eating the fruit of it, whereby he became experimentally sensible of the difference between good and evil, between obedience and disobedience to the will of God; he found by sad experience what good he had lost, or might have enjoyed, and what evil he had brought on himself and his posterity, he might have avoided. What this tree was is not certain; there are various conjectures about it, and nothing else can be come at concerning it. Some take it to be the fig tree, as Jarchi, and some in Aben Ezra on Genesis 3:6 because fig leaves were at hand, and immediately made use of on eating the fruit of it; some the vine, and particularly the black grape, as in the book of Zohar (d); others, as Baal Hatturim on Genesis 1:29 the pome citron, or citron apple tree (e); others, the common apple, as the author of the old Nizzechon (f), and which is the vulgar notion; evil and an apple being called by the same Latin word "malum": in the Talmud (g), some say it was the vine, some the fig tree, and others wheat (h): the Mahometans say it was a tree, called by the Africans by the name of Musa (i).
(d) In Exod. fol. 59. 4. & in Numb. fol. 53. 3. So in Bereshit Rabba, sect. 12. fol. 155. 2.((e) Vid. Caphtor Uperah, fol. 49. 1. & 60. 2. & 63. 2.((f) P. 147. Ed. Wagenseil. (g) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 40. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 70. 1. 2. So in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 15. 2. Tikkune Zohar correct. 24. fol. 68. (h) Vid. Bartenora in Misn. Roshhashanah, c. 1. sect. 2.((i) Leo. African. Desriptio Africae, c. 9. p. 772.
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.And a river went out of Eden to water the garden,.... Before man was created, as Aben Ezra observes, this river went out of Eden and watered it on every side; but what river is here meant, is hard to say. It is more generally thought to be the river Euphrates, when that and the Tigris met, and became one stream or river, and as such entered and passed through Eden; and as it was parted into four rivers afterwards, in two of which they retained their names: the learned Reland (k) thinks, this river is now lost; but the learned writer before referred to thinks, as has been observed, that it is the river Jordan; see note on Gen 2:8 and which, as Pliny (l) says, was a very pleasant river:
and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads; after it had passed through Eden, and the garden in it, watering it, it divided into four parts or heads of water, or four chief principal rivers, hereafter mentioned; and which circumstance the above writer thinks makes it the more probable to be the river Jordan, which and with the four rivers are spoken of together by the son of Sirach, in the Apocrypha:"25 He filleth all things with his wisdom, as Phison and as Tigris in the time of the new fruits. 26 He maketh the understanding to abound like Euphrates, and as Jordan in the time of the harvest. 27 He maketh the doctrine of knowledge appear as the light, and as Geon in the time of vintage.'' (Sirach 24)of which in the following verses. This river may be an emblem of the everlasting love of God, that pure river of water of life, which springs from the throne of God, and of the Lamb, from divine sovereignty, and not from the faith, love, and obedience of man; that river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, and which water the garden, the church, revive its plants, and make it fruitful and delightful; the four heads or branches of which are eternal election of God, particular redemption by Christ, regeneration and sanctification by the Spirit, and eternal life and happiness, as the free gift of God through Christ; see Psalm 46:4.
(k) Dissert. de Paradiso, p. 53. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 15.
The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;The name of the first is Pison,.... Not the river Nile in Egypt, as Jarchi, who thinks it is derived from "Pashah", which signifies to increase, expand, and diffuse, as that does at certain times, and spreads itself over the land of Egypt, or from "Pishten", linen, which grows there, Isaiah 19:9 nor the river Ganges in India, as Josephus (m), and others; for the country where it is afterwards said to run agrees with neither Egypt nor India: rather it seems to be the same river, which is the Phasis of Pliny (n), and Strabo (o), and the Physcus of Xenophon (p), and the Hyphasis of Philostorgius (q), a river in Armenia, and about Colchis; and which is sometimes called Pasitigris, being a branch of that river, and mixed with, or arising from channels, drawn from Tigris, Euphrates, and other waters (r).
that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; this country had its name from Havilah, one of the sons of Cush, Genesis 10:7 who very probably seated himself near his brother Seba, from whom came the Sabeans, who inhabited one part of Arabia; and Havilah, it is plain, was before Egypt, in the way to Assyria, and bordered upon the Ishmaelites, who inhabited Arabia Deserta, Genesis 25:16. So that it seems to be a country in Arabia, near unto, or a part of Cush or Arabia Cusea, and near to Seba or Arabia Felix: and so Strabo, among the nations of the Arabians, and along with the Nabatheans, places the Chaulotaeans (s), who seem to be no other than the posterity of Havilah: according to the learned Reland (t), it is the same with Colchis, a part of Scythia, and Phasis is well known to be a river of Colchis; and which runs into Pontus, as appears from Pliny (u) and includes Scythia, as Justin (w) says; and then it must have its name from Havilah, the son of Joktan, Genesis 10:29 and in either of these countries there was gold, and an abundance of it, and of the best, as follows:(After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of these rivers could be determined with any degree of certainty today. Ed.)
(m) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 3.((n) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 4. 17. (o) Geograph. l. 11. p. 343, 345, 364. (p) Cyr. Minor. l. 2.((q) Hist. Ecclesiast. l. 3. c. 10. (r) Curtius, l. 5. c. 3. Strabo. Geograph. l. 15. p. 501. (s) Ib. p. 528. (t) De Paradiso, p. 16, &c. (u) Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 4. 17.) (w) E Trogo, l. 2. c. 2.
And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.And the gold of that land is good,.... Arabia was famous for gold: Diodorus Siculus (x) speaks of gold in Arabia, called "apyrus", which is not melted by fire out of small filings, as other; but as soon as dug is said to be pure gold, and that in the size of chestnuts, and of such a flaming colour, that the most precious stones are set in it by artificers for ornament: and in Colchis and Scythia, as Strabo (y) relates, there are rivers which produce gold; and from whence came the fable of the golden fleece, the Argonauts went to Colchis for:
there is the bdellium, and the onyx stone; the first of these is either an aromatic gum; the tree, according to Pliny (z), is black, and is of the size of an olive tree, has the leaf of an oak, and its fruit is like capers; it is found in Arabia, India, Media, and Babylon; but the best, according to him, is in Bactriana, and, next to that, the bdellium of Arabia: or else it is a precious stone, and which the Jewish writers (a) commonly take to be crystal; and, according to Solinus (b), the best crystal is in Scythia. Bochart (c) would have it that the pearl is meant, because of its whiteness and roundness, for which the manna is compared to it, Numbers 11:7 and the rather because of the pearl fishery at Catipha, taking Havilah to be that part of Arabia which lies upon the Persian gulf. The latter, the onyx, is a precious stone, which has its name from its being of the colour of a man's nail; and, according to Pliny (d), the onyx marble is found in the mountains of Arabia, and the ancients thought it was nowhere else; and he speaks elsewhere of the Arabian onyx precious stone, and of the sardonyx, as in the same country (e); and some think that is here meant; though the word is sometimes by the Septuagint rendered the emerald; and the best of these, according to Solinus (f) and Pliny (g), were in Scythia. (After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of these places could be determined with degree of certainty today. Ed.)
(x) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 133. (y) Geograph. l. 1. p. 31. & l. 11. p. 344. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 9. (a) Jarchi in Numb. xi. 7. David de Pomis Tzemach David, fol. 8. 3.((b) Polyhistor. c. 25. (c) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 5. p. 675, &c. (d) Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 7. (e) lb. l. 37. c. 6. (f) Polyhistor. ut supra. (c. 25) (g) Ut supra, (Nat. Hist. l. 36.) c. 5.
And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.And the name of the second river is Gihon,.... There was one of this name in the land of Israel, which, or a branch of it, flowed near Jerusalem, 1 Kings 1:33 this Aben Ezra suggests is here meant, and which favours the notion of the above learned man, that the garden of Eden was in the land of Israel. Josephus (h) takes it to be the river Nile, as do many others; it seems to have been a branch of the river Euphrates or Tigris, on the eastern side, as Phison was on the west; and so Aben Ezra says it came from the south east. The learned Reland (i) will have it to be the river Araxes: it has its name, according to Jarchi, from the force it goes with, and the noise it makes. And it seems to have its name from which signifies to come forth with great force, as this river is said to do, when it pours itself into the Baltic sea.
The same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia; either Ethiopia above Egypt; and this favours the notion of those who take Gihon to be the Nile: for Pausanias (k) says, that it was commonly reported that the Nile was Euphrates, which disappearing in a marsh, rose up above Ethiopia, and became the Nile, and so washed that country, and is thought to agree very well with the Mosaic account: or else that Cush or Ethiopia, which bordered on Midian, and was a part of Arabia, and may be called Arabia Chusea, often meant by Cush in Scripture. Reland (l) thinks the country of the Cossaeans or Cussaeans, a people bordering on Media, the country of Kuhestan, a province of Persia, is intended. (After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of these rivers could be determined with any degree of certainty today. Ed.)
(h) Antiqu, l. 1. c. 1. sect. 3. Philostorg. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 10. p. 482. (i) De situ Paradisi, p. 32. (k) Corinthiaca sive, l. 2. p. 94. (l) Ut supra, (De situ Paradisi) p. 38.
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.The name of the third river is Hiddekel,.... A river which ran by Shushan in Persia, and retained its name in the times of Daniel, Daniel 10:4 where it is called the great river; and it seems it bears the same name now among the Persians; at least it did an hundred and fifty years ago, when Rauwolff (m) travelled in those parts. The Targum of Jonathan here calls it Diglath, the same with the Diglito of Pliny (n); and according to him it is called Tigris, from its swiftness, either from the tiger, a swift creature, or from "to dart", in the Chaldee language; and so Curtius (o) says, that in the Persian language they call a dart "tigris": and with this agrees the word "Hiddekel", which in the Hebrew language signifies sharp and swift, as a polished arrow is; and Jarchi says it is so called, because its waters are sharp and swift: though this is contradicted by some modern travellers (p) who say it is a slower stream than the Euphrates, and is not only very crooked, and full of meanders, but also choked up with islands, and great banks of stone:
that is it which goeth towards the east of Assyria: a country which had its name from Ashur, a son of Shem, Genesis 10:11 it became a famous kingdom and monarchy, Nineveh was the metropolis of it, which was built on the river Tigris or Hiddekel; and, as before observed, it ran by Shushan in Persia; and so, as Diodorus Siculus (q) says, it passed through Media into Mesopotamia; and which very well agrees with its being, according to Moses, one of the rivers of Eden. Twelve miles up this river, from Mosul, near which Nineveh once stood, lies an island, called the island of Eden, in the heart of the Tigris, about ten English miles in circuit, and is said to be undoubtedly a part of paradise (r):
and the fourth river is Euphrates: or "Phrat", as in the Hebrew tongue. Reland (s) seems rightly to judge, that the syllable "eu", prefixed to it, is the Persian "au" or "cu", which in that language signifies "water"; so that "Euphrates" is no other than "the water of Phrat", so called from the fruitfulness of it; for its waters, as Jarchi says, fructify, increase, and fatten the earth; and who rightly observes that these names, and so those of other rivers, and of the countries here mentioned, are named by a prolepsis or anticipation, these being the names they bore when Moses wrote; unless it may be thought to be the Hebrew "Hu, the, that Phrat"; and which the Greeks have made an "eu" of. (After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of these rivers could be determined with any degree of certainty today. Ed.)
(m) Travels, part. 2. c. 9. p. 159. ed. Ray. (n) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. (o) Hist. l. 4. c. 9. (p) De la Valle & Thevenot, apud Universal History, vol. 4. p. 248. (q) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 99. (r) Cartwright's Preacher's Travels, p. 91. (s) Ut supra, (De Situ Paradisi) p. 45.
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden,.... This is observed before in Genesis 2:8 and is here repeated to introduce what follows; and is to be understood not of a corporeal assumption, by a divine power lifting him up from the place where he was, and carrying him into another; rather of a manuduction, or taking him by the hand and leading him thither; so Onkelos renders it, he "led" him, that is, he ordered and directed him thither: hence Jarchi paraphrases it, he took him with good words, and persuaded him to go thither: the place from whence he is supposed by some to be taken was near Damascus, where he is by them said to be created; or the place where the temple was afterwards built, as say the Jewish writers: the Targum of Jonathan is,"the Lord God took the man from the mount of Service, the place in which he was created, and caused him to dwell in the garden of Eden.''And elsewhere (t) it is said,"the holy blessed God loved the first Adam with an exceeding great love, for he created him out of a pure and holy place; and from what place did he take him? from the place of the house of the sanctuary, and brought him into his palace, as it is said, Genesis 2:15 "and the Lord God took", &c.''though no more perhaps is intended by this expression, than that God spoke to him or impressed it on his mind, and inclined him to go, or stay there:
to dress it, and to keep it; so that it seems man was not to live an idle life, in a state of innocence; but this could not be attended with toil and labour, with fatigue and trouble, with sorrow and sweat, as after his fall; but was rather for his recreation and pleasure; though what by nature was left to be improved by art, and what there was for Adam to do, is not easy to say: at present there needed no ploughing, nor sowing, nor planting, nor watering, since God had made every tree pleasant to the sight, good for food, to grow out of it; and a river ran through it to water it: hence in a Jewish tract (u), before referred to, it is said, that his work in the garden was nothing else but to study in the words of the law, and to keep or observe the way of the tree of life: and to this agree the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem,"and he placed him in the garden of Eden, to serve in the law, and keep the commands of it.''And in another tract (w) it is said,"God brought Adam the law, Job 28:27 and "he put him in the garden of Eden"; that is, the garden of the law, "to dress it", to do the affirmative precepts of the law, "and to keep it", the negative precepts:''though Aben Ezra interprets this service of watering the garden, aud keeping wild beasts from entering into it. And indeed the word may be rendered to "till", as well as to dress, as it is in Genesis 3:23 and by Ainsworth here; so Milton (x) expresses it; and some have thought Adam was to have planted and sowed, had he continued in the garden.
(t) Pirke Eliezer, c. 2. fol. 72. 2.((u) Pirke Eliezer, c. 2. fol. 72. 2.((w) Tikkune Zohar, correct. 54. fol. 91. 2.((x) Paradise Lost, B. 8. l. 320.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:And the Lord God commanded the man,.... Over whom he had power and authority; and he had a right to command him what he pleased, being his Creator, benefactor, and preserver; and this is to be understood not of man only, but of the woman also, whose creation, though related afterwards, yet was before this grant to eat of all the trees of the garden but one, and the prohibition of the fruit of that; for that she was in being, and present at this time, seems manifest from Genesis 3:2.
saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: a very generous, large, and liberal allowance this: or "in eating thou mayest eat" (y); which was giving full power, and leaving them without any doubt and uncertainty about their food; which they might freely take, and freely eat of, wherever they found it, or were inclined to, even of any, and every tree in the garden, excepting one, next forbidden.
(y) "comedendo comedas", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, &c.
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.But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,.... Of the name of this tree, and the reasons of it; see Gill on Genesis 2:9.
thou shalt not eat of it; not that this tree had any efficacy in it to increase knowledge, and improve in science and understanding, as Satan suggested God knew; and therefore forbid the eating of it out of envy to man, which the divine Being is capable of; or that there was anything hurtful in it to the bodies of men, if they had eaten of it; or that it was unlawful and evil of itself, if it had not been expressly prohibited: but it was, previous to this injunction, a quite indifferent thing whether man ate of it or not; and therefore was pitched upon as a trial of man's obedience to God, under whose government he was, and whom it was fit he should obey in all things; and since he had a grant of all the trees of the garden but this, it was the greater aggravation of his offence that he should not abstain from it:
for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die; or "in dying, die" (z); which denotes the certainty of it, as our version expresses it; and may have regard to more deaths than one; not only a corporeal one, which in some sense immediately took place, man became at once a mortal creature, who otherwise continuing in a state of innocence, and by eating of the tree of life, he was allowed to do, would have lived an immortal life; of the eating of which tree, by sinning he was debarred, his natural life not now to be continued long, at least not for ever; he was immediately arraigned, tried, and condemned to death, was found guilty of it, and became obnoxious to it, and death at once began to work in him; sin sowed the seeds of it in his body, and a train of miseries, afflictions, and diseases, began to appear, which at length issued in death. Moreover, a spiritual or moral death immediately ensued; he lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, must have been eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to him and all his posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal, Romans 6:23. So the Jews (a) interpret this of death, both in this world and in the world to come.
(z) Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (a) Tikkune Zohar, correct. 24. fol. 68. 1. correct. 54. fol. 90. 2. correct. 66. fol. 100. 1.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.And the Lord God said,.... Not at the same time he gave the above direction and instruction to man, how to behave according to his will, but before that, even at the time of the formation of Adam and which he said either to him, or with himself: it was a purpose or determination in his own mind, and may be rendered, as it is by many, he "had said" (b), on the sixth day, on which man was created:
it is not good that man should be alone; not pleasant and comfortable to himself, nor agreeable to his nature, being a social creature; nor useful to his species, not being able to propagate it; nor so much for the glory of his Creator:
I will made him an help meet for him; one to help him in all the affairs of life, not only for the propagation of his species, but to provide things useful and comfortable for him; to dress his food, and take care of the affairs of the family; one "like himself" (c), in nature, temper, and disposition, in form and shape; or one "as before him" (d), that would be pleasing to his sight, and with whom he might delightfully converse, and be in all respects agreeable to him, and entirely answerable to his case and circumstances, his wants and wishes.
(b) "dixerat", Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (c) "simile sibi", V. L. Sam. Syr. (d) "Tanquam coram eo", Montanus.
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air,.... Or "had formed them" (e) on the fifth and sixth days; and these were formed two and two, male and female, in order to continue their species; whereas man was made single, and had no companion of the same nature with him: and while in these circumstances, God
brought them unto Adam; or "to the man" (f); either by the ministry of angels, or by a kind of instinct or impulse, which brought them to him of their own accord, as to the lord and proprietor of them, who, as soon as he was made, had the dominion of all the creatures given him; just as the creatures at the flood went in unto Noah in the ark; and as then, so now, all creatures, fowl and cattle, came, all but the fishes of the sea: and this was done
to see what he would call them; what names he would give to them; which as it was a trial of the wisdom of man, so a token of his dominion over the creatures, it being an instance of great knowledge of them to give them apt and suitable names, so as to distinguish one from another, and point at something in them that was natural to them, and made them different from each other; for this does not suppose any want of knowledge in God, as if he did this to know what man would do, he knew what names man would give them before he did; but that it might appear he had made one superior to them all in wisdom and power, and for his pleasure, use, and service; and therefore brings them to him, to put them into his hands, and give him authority over them; and being his own, to call them by what names he pleased:
and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof; it was always afterwards called by it, by him and his posterity, until the confusion of languages, and then every nation called them as they thought proper, everyone in their own language: and as there is a good deal of reason to believe, that the Hebrew language was the first and original language; or however that eastern language, of which the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, are so many dialects; it was this that he spoke, and in it gave names to the creatures suitable to their nature, or agreeable to some property or other observed in them: and Bochart (g) has given us many instances of creatures in the Hebrew tongue, whose names answer to some character or another in them: some think this was done by inspiration; and Plato says, that it seemed to him that that nature was superior to human, that gave names to things; and that this was not the work of vain and foolish man, but the first names were appointed by the gods (h); and so Cicero (i) asks, who was the first, which with Pythagoras was the highest wisdom, who imposed names on all things?
(e) "finxerat", Drusius. (f) "ad ipsum hominem", Pagninus, Montanus. (g) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 1. c. 9. p. 59, &c. (h) In Cratylo, apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 11. c. 6. p. 515. (i) Tusculan. Quaest. l. 1.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowls of the air, and to every beast of the field,.... As they came before him, and passed by him, paying as it were their homage to him, their lord and owner:
but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him; and perhaps this might be one reason of their being brought unto him, that he might become sensible that there was none among all the creatures of his nature, and that was fit to be a companion of his; and to him must this be referred, and not to God; not as if God looked out an help meet for him among the creatures, and could find none; but, as Aben Ezra observes, man could not find one for himself; and this made it the more grateful and acceptable to him, when God had formed the woman of him, and presented her before him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept,.... This was not a common and natural sleep that Adam fell into, occasioned by any weariness of the animal spirits, in viewing the creatures as they passed by him, and in examining them, and giving them suitable and proper names; but it was supernatural, and from the Lord, his power and providence, who caused it to fall upon him: it was not a drowsiness, nor a slumber, but a sound sleep: his senses were so locked up by it, that he perceived not anything that was done to him; and it seems to have been on purpose, that he might feel no pain, while the operation was made upon him, as well as that it might appear that he had no hand in the formation of the woman; and that he might be the more surprised at the sight of her, just awaking out of sleep, to see so lovely an object, so much like himself, and made out of himself, and in so short a time as while he was taking a comfortable nap:
and he took one of his ribs; with the flesh along with it: men have commonly, as anatomists (k) observe, twelve ribs on a side; it seems by this, that Adam had thirteen. The Targum of Jonathan is,"and he took one of his ribs; that is, the thirteenth rib of his right side:''but our English poet (l) takes it to be one of the left side, and also a supernumerary one (m). God made an opening in him, and took it out, without putting him to any pain, and without any sensation of it: in what manner this was done we need not inquire; the power of God was sufficient to perform it; Adam was asleep when it was done, and saw it not, and the manner of the operation is not declared:
and closed up the flesh instead thereof: so that there was no opening left, nor any wound made, or a scar appeared, or any loss sustained, but what was made up by an increase of flesh, or by closing up the flesh; and that being hardened like another rib, and so answered the same purpose. (Adam probably had the same number of ribs as we do today. Otherwise the genetic code for creation of an extra rib would cause at least some people today to have thirteen ribs. I know of no such case. Also, we know that acquired characteristics cannot be passed on to the next generation. A man who loses both legs in an accident, usually has children who have two legs. Ed.)
(k) Bartholini Anatomia, l. 4. c. 17. p. 516. Vid. Scheuchzer. Physica Sacra, vol. 1. tab. 27. p. 28. (l) Who stooping opened my left side, and took From thence a rib.--- Milton's Paradise Lost, B. 8. l. 465. (m) Ib. B. 10. l. 887.
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he woman,.... It is commonly observed, and pertinently enough, that the woman was not made from the superior part of man, that she might not be thought to be above him, and have power over him; nor from any inferior part, as being below him, and to be trampled on by him; but out of his side, and from one of his ribs, that she might appear to be equal to him; and from a part near his heart, and under his arms, to show that she should be affectionately loved by him, and be always under his care and protection: and she was not "created" as things were, out of nothing, nor "formed" as Adam was, out of the dust of the earth, being in the same form as man; but "made" out of refined and quickened dust, or the flesh and bones of man, and so in her make and constitution fine and lovely; or "built" (n), as the word signifies, which is used, because she is the foundation of the house or family, and the means of building it up: or rather to denote the singular care and art used, and fit proportion observed in the make of her:
and brought her unto the man: from the place where the rib had been carried, and she was made of it; or he brought her, as the parent of her, at whose dispose she was, and presented her to Adam as his spouse, to be taken into a conjugal relation with him, and to be loved and cherished by him; which, as it affords a rule and example to be followed by parents and children, the one to dispose of their children in marriage, and the other to have the consent of their parents in it; as well as it is a recommendation of marriage, as agreeable to the divine will, and to be esteemed honourable, being of God: so it was a type of the marriage of Christ, the second Adam, between him and his church, which sprung from him, from his side; and is of the same nature with him, and was presented by his divine Father to him, who gave her to him; and he received her to himself as his spouse and bride; see Ephesians 5:29.
(n) "et aedificavit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator, &c.
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.And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,.... Of "his bones", because made out of a pair of his ribs, as some think, one on each side, and therefore expressed in the plural number, "and of his flesh", a part of which was taken with the rib; this Adam knew, either being awake while she was made, though asleep when the rib was taken out; or by divine revelation, by an impress of it on his mind; or it might have been declared to him in a dream, while asleep, when, being in an ecstasy or trance, this whole affair was represented unto him: and this was "now" done, just done, and would be done no more in like manner; "this time" (o), this once, as many render it; so it was, but hereafter the woman was to be produced in the way of generation, as man:
she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man: her name was "Ishah", because taken from "Ish", as "vira" in Latin from "vir", and "woman" in our language from "man".
(o) "hac vice", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vatablus, so the Targum; , Symmachus & Theodotion; "hoc semel", Fagius.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Therefore shall a man leave his father, and his mother,.... These are thought by some to be the words of Moses, inferring from the above fact, what ought to be among men; and by others, the words of Adam under divine inspiration, as the father of mankind instructing his sons what to do, and foretelling what would be done in all succeeding ages: though they rather seem to be the words of God himself, by whom marriage was now instituted; and who here gives direction about it, and declares the case and circumstance of man upon it, and how he would and should behave: and thus our Lord Jesus Christ, quoting these words, makes them to be the words of him that made man, male and female, and supplies and prefaces them thus, and said, "for this cause", &c. Matthew 19:5 so Jarchi paraphrases them,"the Holy Ghost said so:''not that a man upon his marriage is to drop his affections to his parents, or be remiss in his obedience to them, honour of them, and esteem for then, or to neglect the care of them, if they stand in need of his assistance; but that he should depart from his father's house, and no more dwell with him, or bed and board in his house; but having taken a wife to himself, should provide an habitation for him and her to dwell together: so all the three Targums interpret it, of quitting "the house of his father, and his mother's bed":
and shall cleave unto his wife; with a cordial affection, taking care of her, nourishing and cherishing her, providing all things comfortable for her, continuing to live with her, and not depart from her as long as they live: the phrase is expressive of the near union by marriage between man and wife; they are, as it were, glued together, and make but one; which is more fully and strongly expressed in the next clause:
and they shall be one flesh; that is, "they two", the man and his wife, as it is supplied and interpreted by Christ, Matthew 19:5 and so here in the Targum of Jonathan, and in the Septuagint and Samaritan versions: the union between them is so close, as if they were but one person, one soul, one body; and which is to be observed against polygamy, unlawful divorces, and all uncleanness, fornication, and adultery: only one man and one woman, being joined in lawful wedlock, have a right of copulation with each other, in order to produce a legitimate offspring, partaking of the same one flesh, as children do of their parents, without being able to distinguish the flesh of the one from the other, they partake of: and from hence it appears to be a fabulous notion, that Cecrops, the first king of Athens, was the first institutor of matrimony and joiner of one man to one woman; whence he was said to be "biformis" (p), and was called unless, as some (q) have thought, that he and Moses were one and the same who delivered out the first institution of marriage, which is this.
(p) Justin. e Trogo, l. 2. c. 6. (q) Vid. Saldeni Otia Theolog. Exercitat. 1. sect. 14. p. 13, 14.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.And they were both naked, the man and his wife,.... Were as they were created, having no clothes on them, and standing in need of none, to shelter them from the heat or cold, being in a temperate climate; or to conceal any parts of their bodies from the sight of others, there being none of the creatures to guard against on that account:
and were not ashamed; having nothing in them, or on them, or about them, that caused shame; nothing sinful, defective, scandalous or blameworthy; no sin in their nature, no guilt on their consciences, or wickedness in their hands or actions; and particularly they were not ashamed of their being naked, no more than children are to see each other naked, or we are to behold them: besides, they were not only alone, and none to behold them; but their being naked was no disgrace to them, but was agreeably to their nature; and they were not sensible that there was any necessity or occasion to cover themselves, nor would they have had any, had they continued in their innocent state: moreover, there was not the least reason to be ashamed to appear in such a manner, since they were but one flesh. The Jerusalem Targum is,"they knew not what shame was,''not being conscious of any sin, which sooner or later produces shame. Thus Plato (r) describes the first men, who, he says, were produced out of the earth; and for whom the fertile ground and trees brought forth fruit of all kind in abundance of themselves, without any agriculture; that these were , "naked and without any covering"; and so Diodories Siculus (s) says, the first of men were naked and without clothing. The word here used sometimes signifies wise and cunning; it is rendered "subtle" first verse of the next chapter: and here the Targum of Jonathan is,"they were both wise, Adam and his wife, but they continued not in their glory;''the next thing we hear of is their fall.
(r) Politico, apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 12. c. 13. p. 588. (s) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 8.