Genesis 2

Genesis 2

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Thus the heavensI and the earthII were finished,III and all their multitude.IV 

Notes on verse 1

I “heavens” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
II “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
III “finished” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
IV “multitude” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.

And on the seventh day GodV finished the work that he had done, and he restedVI on the seventhVII day from all the workVIII that he had done.IX 

Notes on verse 2

V “God” = Elohim.
VI “rested” = shabath. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. It implies to celebrate (as celebrating the Sabbath).
VII “seventh” = shebii. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/ sacred fullness). This is seventh.
VIII “work” = melakah. Fromt eh same as malak (messenger, an angel, or a deputy; human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God; also supernatural messengers i.e. angels). Properly, this is a deputyship or some kind of work. It can also be the product that comes from labor.
IX “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

So God blessedX the seventh day and hallowedXI it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.XII

Notes on verse 3

X “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
XI “hallowed” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
XII “creation” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.

These are the generationsXIII of the heavens and the earth when they were created.XIV

In the day that the LordXV God madeXVI the earth and the heavens, 

Notes on verse 4

XIII “generations” = toldeoth. From yalad (to bear, bring forth; can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage). This is generations descent, family, or history.
XIV “created” = bara. Same as “creation” in v3. See note XII above.
XV “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XVI “made” = asah. Same as “done” in v2. See note IX above.

when no plantXVII of the fieldXVIII wasXIX yet in the earth and no herbXX of the field had yet sprung upXXI

Notes on verse 5a

XVII “plant” = siach. 4x in OT. Perhaps from siach (to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter); perhaps from siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is a bush, shrub or plant. Perhaps it is a shoot as though it was expressed by a plant.
XVIII “field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It is used to mean wild like a wild animal.
XIX “was” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v4. See note XV above.
XX “herb” = eseb. Root may mean to be green or to glisten. This is grass or some other tender shoot.
XXI “sprung up” = tsamach. This is to sprout, grow, or spring up – literal or figurative.

for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no oneXXII to tillXXIII the ground;XXIV 

Notes on verse 5b

XXII “one” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
XXIII “till” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
XXIV “ground” = adamah. Related to “one” in v5. From the same as adam (see note XXII above). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

6 but a streamXXV would riseXXVI from the earth, and waterXXVII the whole faceXXVIII of the ground— 

Notes on verse 6

XXV “stream” = ed. 2x in OT. From the same as ud (firebrand, a poker). This is a mist or fog.
XXVI “rise” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVII “water” = shaqah. This is to give water to, to cause to drink – to irrigate, drown. It can be used for watering plants or giving water to flocks.
XXVIII “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

then the Lord God formedXXIX manXXX from the dustXXXI of the ground, 

Notes on verse 7a

XXIX “formed” = yatsar. Perhaps related to yatsar (to be narrow, distressed, or vexed); perhaps related to tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is to fashion or form, perhaps by squeezing something into a shape or form. Particularly, it is to create as a potter does. Figuratively, it is to determine.
XXX “man” = adam. Same as “one” in v5. See note XXII above.
XXXI “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.

and breathedXXXII into his nostrilsXXXIII the breathXXXIV of life;XXXV and the man became a livingXXXVI being.XXXVII 

Notes on verse 7b

XXXII “breathed” = naphach. 12x in OT. This is to breathe, puff, inflate, scatter, light on fire, make something lose its life.
XXXIII “nostrils” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
XXXIV “breath” = neshamah. From nasham (to blow away, pant, gasp). This is a breath or blast – a puff like of wind. It is also a spirit or soul or divine inspiration or intellect. It could also be an animal.
XXXV “life” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
XXXVI “living” = chay. Same as “life” in v7. See note XXXV above.
XXXVII “being” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.

8 And the Lord God plantedXXXVIII a gardenXXXIX in Eden,XL in the east;XLI and there he putXLII the man whom he had formed. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXVIII “planted” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXIX “garden” = gan. From ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden in that it is fenced in. It can also be an enclosure.
XL “Eden” = Eden. 16x in OT. Perhaps from the same as eden (luxury, delight, pleasure); from adan (to luxuriate). This is the garden of Eden and also the name of a Levite.
XLI “east” = qedem. Perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity.
XLII “put” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.

Out of the ground the Lord God made to growXLIII every treeXLIV that is pleasantXLV to the sightXLVI and goodXLVII for food,XLVIII

Notes on verse 9a

XLIII “made to grow” = tsamach. Same as “sprung up” in v5. See note XXI above.
XLIV “tree” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.
XLV “is pleasant” = chamad. This is to desire or delight in someone or something. It can also mean something that is precious or coveted. So, it can also refer to lust.
XLVI “sight” = mareh. From raah (to see, show, stare, think, view; to see in a literal or figurative sense). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees.
XLVII “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
XLVIII “food” = maakal. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, something edible.

the tree of life also in the midstXLIX of the garden, and the tree of the knowledgeL of good and evil.LI

Notes on verse 9b

XLIX “midst” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
L “knowledge” = daat. From yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is knowledge, unawares, cunning, wittingly.
LI “evil” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.

10 A riverLII flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it dividesLIII and becomes fourLIV branches.LV 

Notes on verse 10

LII “river” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
LIII “divides” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.
LIV “four” = arba. From raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is four.
LV “branches” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).

11 The nameLVI of the firstLVII is Pishon;LVIII

Notes on verse 11a

LVI “name” = shem. Perhaps related to “put” in v8. Perhaps from sim (see note XLII above). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
LVII “first” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LVIII “Pishon” = Pishon. 1x in OT. Perhaps from push (to spring up, spread, behave in a haughty way, become fat). This is Pishon, perhaps meaning “dispersive.”

it is the one that flows aroundLIX the whole land of Havilah,LX where there is gold;LXI 

Notes on verse 11b

LIX “flows around” = sabab. This is turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch. It is to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense.
LX “Havilah” = Chavilah. 7x in OT. Perhaps from chul (whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain; used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear; can also be falling in pain or waiting). This is Havilah or Chavilah. It is a personal name as well as a place name whose location is not known. It may mean “circular.”
LXI “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.

12 and the gold of that landLXII is good; bdelliumLXIII and onyxLXIV stoneLXV are there. 

Notes on verse 12

LXII “land” = erets. Same as “earth” in v1. See note II above.
LXIII “bdellium” = bedolach. 2x in OT. Perhaps from badal (to divide, distinguish, select, differ, sever; to divine in a literal or figurative sense) This is likely bdellium, a gum resin, amber. Sometimes it is translated pearl. It may be the root that “bdellium” comes from.
LXIV “onyx” = shoham. 11x in OT. This is some kind of gem – it may be an onyx or beryl. The root may mean to blanch.
LXV “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”

13 The name of the secondLXVI river is Gihon;LXVII it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush.LXVIII 

Notes on verse 13

LXVI “second” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.
LXVII “Gihon” = Gichon. 6x in OT. From giach (to break forth like water bursting out, to rush, give birth). This is Gihon or Gichon, perhaps meaning “a bursting forth” or “stream.” It is also the name of a spring close to Jerusalem.
LXVIII “Cush” = Kush. Perhaps from Egyptia k’sh (Cush). This is Cush or his descendants. Also, Ethiopia – a place south of the Nile Valley. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%A9#Hebrew

14 The name of the thirdLXIX river is Tigris,LXX which flowsLXXI eastLXXII of Assyria.LXXIII And the fourthLXXIV river is the Euphrates.LXXV

Notes on verse 14

LXIX “third” = shelishi. From shalosh (three, fork, triad). This is third or one-third of something.
LXX “Tigris” = Chiddeqel. 2x in OT. Origin uncertain – from another language. This is Hiddekel or Tigris in Mesopotamia.
LXXI “flows” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
LXXII “east” = qidmah. Related to “east” in v8. 4x in OT. From the same as qedem (see note XLI above). This is front, east, or east side.
LXXIII “Assyria” = Ashshur. From Akkadian Ashshur (“City of God Ashshur”) OR related to Hebrew ashar (to go straight, advance, proceed, direct, guide, be level, be honest, be blessed or happy). This is Assyria, referring to the place and its inhabitants. It is also a name – Ashshur, a descendant of Shem. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria#Nomenclature.
LXXIV “fourth” = rebii. Related to “four” in v10. From the same as arba (see note LIV above). This is fourth, square, one-fourth.
LXXV “Euphrates” = Perath. 19x in OT. From Old Persian ufratush (Euphrates); from Akkadian Purattu (Euphrates); borrowed from Sumerian Buranun (Euphrates). In English, we follow the Greek version of the river name Euphrates (Euphrates, perhaps to be understood as “good fruitful one”); adapted from eu (good, well, well, done) + phrazo (to announce) OR Greek adapted from eu (see above) + Hebrew Parat (Perath); {from para (to be fruitful)}. This is Euphrates or Perath – perhaps meaning “to break forth” or “rushing” or “good fruitful one.” See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Euphrates & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphrates & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Euphrates.html

15 The Lord God took the man and putLXXVI him in the garden of Eden to till it and keepLXXVII it. 16 And the Lord God commandedLXXVIII the man, “You may freely eatLXXIX of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”LXXX

Notes on verses 15-17

LXXVI “put” = yanach. Perhaps from the same as nuach (to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait; implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense). This is to lay down, let alone, pacify, cast down, or deposit. It can also mean to allow something or someone to stay.
LXXVII “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
LXXVIII “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
LXXIX “freely eat” = akal + akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXX “die” = mut + mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;LXXXI I will make him a helperLXXXII as his partner.”LXXXIII 

Notes on verse 18

LXXXI “alone” = bad. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is white linen as a fabric of divide fibers, flaxen thread, or yarn.
LXXXII “helper” = ezer. From azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid). This is help, aid, or helper. This word is used in Genesis 2:18 when God decides to make for Adam, “a helper as his partner.” If the same word can be used of God’s help (as in Psalm 121:1), then we should not downplay the significance of this formulation of “help.”
LXXXIII “partner” = neged. From nagad (to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.

19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animalLXXXIV of the field and every birdLXXXV of the air,LXXXVI and brought them to the man to seeLXXXVII what he would callLXXXVIII them; and whatever the man called every living creature,LXXXIX that was its name. 

Notes on verse 19

LXXXIV “animal” = chay. Same as “life” in v7. See note XXXV above.
LXXXV “bird” = oph.  From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
LXXXVI “air” = shamayim. Same as “heavens” in v1. See note I above.
LXXXVII “see” = raah. Related to “sight” in v9. See note XLVI above.
LXXXVIII “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
LXXXIX “creature” = nephesh. Same as “being” in v7. See note XXXVII above.

20 The man gaveXC names to all cattle,XCI and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not foundXCII a helper as his partner. 

Notes on verse 20

XC “gave” = qara. Same as “call” in v19. See note LXXXVIII above.
XCI “cattle” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
XCII “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleepXCIII to fallXCIV upon the man, and he slept;XCV then he took one of his ribsXCVI

Notes on verse 21a

XCIII “deep sleep” = tardemah. 7x in OT. From radam (asleep or sleeper; a heavy sleep – being stupefied either of sleep or death). This is a deep sleep, lethargy, or trance.
XCIV “caused…to fall” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
XCV “slept” = yashen. This is to be languid or go slack. By implication it can mean to sleep, become old or stale, or die.
XCVI “ribs” = tsela. Perhaps from tsala (to limp, be lame). This is rib, side, leaf, plank, side of a person or object; quarter of the sky.

and closed upXCVII its placeXCVIII with flesh.XCIX 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he madeC into a womanCI and brought her to the man. 

Notes on verses 21b-22

XCVII “closed up” = sagar. This is to shut up, imprison, lock, hand over, or figuratively surrender.
XCVIII “place” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
XCIX “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
C “made” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively.
CI “woman” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.

23 Then the man said,

“This at lastCII is boneCIII of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
    for out of ManCIV this one was taken.”

Notes on verse 23

CII “at last” = paam. From paam (to move, trouble; to tap in a regular rhythm; to agitate). This is a beat, stroke, footstep, or occurrence.
CIII “bone” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
CIV “Man” = ish. Related to “woman” in v22. See note CI above.

24 Therefore a man leavesCV his father and his mother and clingsCVI to his wife,CVII and they become one flesh. 

Notes on verse 24

CV “leaves” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
CVI “clings” = dabaq. This is to follow closely or abide fast, to cling or be joined together. Figuratively, it can mean to catch something by chasing after it, to overtake, or to stick. A man clings to his wife in Genesis 2:24, Shechem was deeply attracted to Dinah in Genesis 34:3, Ruth clung to Naomi in Ruth 1:14, Solomon clung to his foreign wives and concubines in 1 Kings 11:2. It is also used of a tongue sticking to the mouth, pursuing or overtaking as in battle, and also clinging to God.
CVII “wife” = ishshah. Same as “woman” in v22. See note CI above.

25 And the man and his wife were bothCVIII naked,CIX and were not ashamed.CX

Notes on verse 25

CVIII “both” = shenayim. Related to “second” in v13. From sheni (see note LXVI above). This is two, both, double.
CIX “naked” = arom. 16x in OT. From ur (to be made naked, exposed, or bare) OR from aram (to be cunning, sensible, crafty; to make bare or smooth; usually in a negative sense). This is naked, whether in part or in full.
CX “ashamed” = bosh. Properly, this means to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion.


Image credit: A depiction of Adam naming the animals from the Byzantine era, source unknown.

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