Gen 2:4-17

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The Old Testament > Genesis > Genesis 1-11 > Chapter 2-3 > Verses 2:4-17
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Summary[edit]

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The relationship of Verses 2:4-17 to the rest of this chapter is discussed at Chapter 2-3.


Discussion[edit]

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Verses 4-5[edit]

  • Garden Translated from the Hebrew Gan--a garden enclosed by walls, such as in a courtyard or temple, separated off from the rest of the world.

Verses 6-10[edit]

  • The name "Eden" seems to connote "a well-watered place."
  • The Hebrew word translated as "Ethiopia" in verse 13 is kush. In the context, the word more likely refers to a region of Mesopotamia rather than to the African country. Modern translations generally translate the word literally as "Cush."


Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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Verse 4[edit]

  • What does the phrase "generations of the earth" mean?

Verse 5[edit]

  • The creation story in Genesis 1 is clearly different from that in Genesis 2. For example, in chapter 1, the creation takes six days, in this chapter it takes one (verse 4); in 1 the earth begins as a mass of water, but in 2 the land is already there (verse 5-6); in 1 the two sexes are created at the same time, but in 2 male is created before female; in 1 the plants are created on the third day--before the creation of humans--but in 2 man is created before the plants (verses 7 and 9); and in 1 the living creatures were created before humans, but in 2 they are created afterwards (verse 19). How do we account for these differences? Why is each account important to us? What does each teach that the other does not?

Verse 7[edit]

  • Is verse 7 purely symbolic? Was Adam also a literal son of God, but not born in the flesh (or in other words mortality)? (See the genealogy of Christ in Luke 3:38, Paul's discussion of the two Adams (or two gods) in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 especially verses 45-50.)
  • This verse is related to a lot of our religions language. For example, inspire means "to breath into," and spirit means, literally, "breath." What is the point of this language? In other words, what does it teach us? (As you think about this question, consider John 3:8.)

Verse 8[edit]

  • What typological significance might the Garden of Eden have?

Verse 9[edit]

  • The tree of life is an important symbol in the Book of Mormon. Why do Book of Mormon writers dwell on the tree of life and not on both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge?
  • What does the word "knowledge" mean if we are talking about knowing good and evil?

Verses 11-14[edit]

  • Obviously is it important that Eden is the source of much water. What kinds of things are associated with water? What kinds of things might that suggest?

Verse 15[edit]

  • What does it mean to dress the garden? What does it mean to keep it? One translator says that Adam's job was "to serve and to guard." What do you think of that translation? What does Adam's job in the Garden mean to us? Do we have any similar job?

Verses 16-17[edit]

  • How do you explain this commandment in light of the fact that it was necessary for Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree? How can God forbid what must be? Do you read "you shall die" as a threat of punishment? Or is it a way of making the choice between the two trees mutually exclusive?

Other questions[edit]

  • Could the Father be "responsible" for mortality? Immortality? Or did his two literal or figurative sons have to bear the weight of this responsibility?
  • According to this story, where did Adam live before he was placed in the garden? Why don't we know more about humans before they enter the garden?
  • Why did it take one god (Michael/Adam) to create the conditions of mortality and another God (Christ) to create immortality? Was there no other way to accomplish this?
  • How does a correct understanding of the Fall change our views of the Atonement? Which event was more essential, or could one exist with out the other?


Resources[edit]

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Verse 9[edit]


Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves, such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word. In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources are preferable to footnotes.




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