And behold, it was very good; it had been said of everything else, at the close of each day's work, excepting the second, that it was good; but here the expression is stronger upon the creation of man, the chief and principal work of God, that it was "very good"; he being made upright and holy, bearing the image of his Creator upon him, and in such circumstances as to be happy and comfortable himself, and to glorify God: the phrase may be expressive not only of the goodness of everything God had made, as it was in itself, and in its use; but of his complacency, and delight therein, every thing being made for himself and for, his pleasure, Revelation 4:11.
and the evening and the morning were the sixth day; by that time all these works on this day were finished; the sun had gone round the earth, or the earth about that, for the space of twenty four hours, which completed the sixth day, within which term of time God had determined to finish all his works, as he did. This day, according to Capellus, was the twenty third of April, and, according, to Archbishop Usher, the twenty eighth of October, or, as others, the sixth of September. Mr. Whiston, as has been before observed, is of opinion, that the six days of the creation were equal to six years: and the Persians have a tradition, which they pretend to have received from Zoroastres, that God created the world, not in six natural days, but in six times or spaces of different length, called in their tongue "Ghahan barha". The first of these spaces, in which the heavens were created, was a space of forty five days; the second, in which the waters were created, sixty days; the third, in which the earth was created, seventy five days; the fourth, in which grass and trees were created, thirty days; the fifth, in which all creatures were made, eighty days; the sixth, in which man was created, seventy five days; in all three hundred sixty five days, or a full year (r). The first of the six principal good works they are taught to do is to observe the times of the creation (s). And the ancient Tuscans or Etrurians allot six thousand years to the creation; the order of which, with them, is much the same with the Mosaic account, only making a day a thousand years: in the first thousand, they say, God made the heaven and the earth; in the next, the firmament, which appears to us, calling it heaven; in the third, the sea, and all the waters that are in the earth; in the fourth, the great lights, the sun and moon, and also the stars; in the fifth, every volatile, reptile, and four footed animal, in the air, earth and water, (which agrees with Picherellus); see Gill on Genesis 1:25, and in the sixth, man; and whereas they say God employed twelve thousand years in all his creation, and the first six being passed at the creation of man, it seems, according to them, that mankind are to continue for the other six thousand years (t). And it is a notion that obtains among the Jews, that, answerable to the six days of creation, the world will continue six thousand years. It is a tradition of Elias (u), an ancient Jewish doctor, that
"the world shall stand six thousand years, two thousand void, two thousand under the law, and two thousand, the days of the Messiah.''
And Baal Hatturim (w) observes, there are six "alephs" in the first verse of this chapter, answerable to the six thousand years the world is to continue: and R. Gedaliah says (x), at the end of the sixth millennium the world shall return without form and void, (to its former condition, "tohu" and "bohu",) and the whole shall be a sabbath: and very particular is another writer (y) of theirs concerning these six days of the creation, who having spoken of the day of judgment, the resurrection of the dead, and the world to come, observes, that the six days' work is an intimation and sign of these things: on the sixth day man was created, and the work was perfected on the seventh; so the kings of the nations shall be in the world five thousand years, answerable to the five days in which the fowls, and creeping things of the waters, and the rest, were created; and the holding of their kingdoms will be a little within the sixth millennium, answerable to the creation of cattle and beasts, who were now created on the beginning of it, the "sixth day"; and the kingdom of the house of David will be in the sixth millennium, answerable to the creation of man, who knew his Creator, and ruled over them all; and at the end of that millennium will be the day of judgment, answerable to man's being judged at the end of it, "the sixth day; and the seventh millennium will be the sabbath". And a like notion obtains among the Persian Magi; it is said that Zerdusht, or Zoroastres, was born in the middle age of the world, so it was told him from the age of Keiomaras (the first man) unto thy age are 3000 years, and from this thy age unto the resurrection are 3000 years (z).
(q) In Cosmopoeiam, p. 2841. (r) Hyde Hist. Relig. vet. Pers. p. 164, 166, 168, 483, 484. (s) Lib. Sad-der, port. 6. 94. apud Hyde, ib. p. 439, 483. (t) See Universal History, vol. 1. p. 64. (u) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 1. Avoda Zara, fol. 9. 1.((w) Comment. in Gen. i. 1.((x) Shalshelet Hakabala, fol. 36. 1.((y) Comment. in Maimon. Hilch. Teshuva, c. 9. sect. 2.((z) Lib. Sad-der, port. 11. Vid. Hyde, ut supra, (Hist. Relig. vet. Pers. p. 481.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.