Genesis 2:4b-25

Genesis 2:4b-25
NL 201


These are the generationsI of the heavensII and the earthIII when they were created.IV

Notes on verse 4a

I “generations” = toledot. 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.
II “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.
III “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
IV “created” = 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.

In the dayV that the LordVI GodVII madeVIII the earth and the heavens, 

Notes on verse 4b

V “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
VI “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.
VII “God” = Elohim.
VIII “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

when noIX plantX of the fieldXI wasXII yetXIII in the earth

Notes on verse 5a

IX {untranslated} = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
X “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.
XI “field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
XII “was” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v4. See note VI above.
XIII “yet” = terem. May come from a word that means to interrupt. This is not yet or before.

and noXIV vegetationXV of the field had yet sprung upXVI—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no oneXVII to tillXVIII the ground,XIX 

Notes on verse 5b

XIV {untranslated} = kol. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note IX above.
XV “vegetation” = eseb. Root may mean to be green or to glisten. This is grass or some other tender shoot.
XVI “sprung up” = tsamach. This is to sprout, grow, or spring up – literal or figurative.
XVII “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.
XVIII “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.
XIX “ground” = adamah. Related to “one” in v5. From the same as adam (see note XVII above). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

but a streamXX would riseXXI from the earth and waterXXII the wholeXXIII faceXXIV of the ground— 

Notes on verse 6

XX “stream” = ed. 2x in OT. From the same as ud (firebrand, a poker). This is a mist or fog.
XXI “rise” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XXII “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.
XXIII “whole” = kol. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note IX above.
XXIV “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 formedXXV manXXVI from the dustXXVII of the ground 

Notes on verse 7a

XXV “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.
XXVI “man” = adam. Same as “one” in v5. See note XVII above.
XXVII “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 breathedXXVIII into his nostrilsXXIX the breathXXX of life,XXXI

Notes on verse 7b

XXVIII “breathed” = naphach. 12x in OT. This is to breathe, puff, inflate, scatter, light on fire, make something lose its life.
XXIX “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.
XXX “breath” = neshamah. 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.
XXXI “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.

and the man becameXXXII a livingXXXIII being.XXXIV 

Notes on verse 7c

XXXII “became” = hayah. Same as “was” in v5. See note XII above.
XXXIII “living” = chay. Same as “life” in v7. See note XXXI above.
XXXIV “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.

And the Lord God plantedXXXV a gardenXXXVI in Eden,XXXVII in the east,XXXVIII and there he putXXXIX the man whom he had formed. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXV “planted” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXVI “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.
XXXVII “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.
XXXVIII “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.
XXXIX “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 growXL everyXLI treeXLII

Notes on verse 9a

XL “made to grow” = tsamach. Same as “sprung up” in v5. See note XVI above.
XLI “every” = kol. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note IX above.
XLII “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.

that is pleasantXLIII to the sightXLIV and goodXLV for food,XLVI

Notes on verse 9b

XLIII “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.
XLIV “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.
XLV “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.
XLVI “food” = ma’akal. 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 midstXLVII of the garden, and the tree of the knowledgeXLVIII of good and evil.XLIX

Notes on verse 9c

XLVII “midst” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
XLVIII “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.
XLIX “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 riverL flows outLI of Eden to water the garden, and from there it dividesLII and becomes fourLIII branches.LIV 

Notes on verse 10

L “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.
LI “flows out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LII “divides” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.
LIII “four” = arba. From raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is four.
LIV “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 nameLV of the firstLVI is Pishon;LVII

Notes on verse 11a

LV “name” = shem. Related to “put” in v8. May be from sim (see note XXXIX 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.
LVI “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.
LVII “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 aroundLVIII the whole landLIX of Havilah,LX where there is gold,LXI 

Notes on verse 11b

LVIII “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.
LIX “land” = erets. Same as “earth” in v4. See note III above.
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 land is good; bdelliumLXII and onyxLXIII stoneLXIV are there. 

Notes on verse 12

LXII “bdellium” = bedolach. 2x in OT. Perhaps from badal (to divide, distinguish, select, differ, sever; to divide 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.
LXIII “onyx” = shoham. 11x in OT. This is some kind of gem – it may be an onyx or beryl. The root may mean to blanch.
LXIV “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”

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

Notes on verse 13

LXV “second” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.
LXVI “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.
LXVII “Cush” = Kush. Perhaps from Egyptia k’sh (Cush). This is Cush or his descendants. Also, Ethiopia – a place south of the Nile Valley. See

14 The name of the thirdLXVIII river is Tigris,LXIX which flowsLXX

Notes on verse 14a

LXVIII “third” = shelishi. From shalosh (three, fork, triad). This is third or one-third of something.
LXIX “Tigris” = Chiddeqel. 2x in OT. Origin uncertain – from another language. This is Hiddekel or Tigris in Mesopotamia.
LXX “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.

eastLXXI of Assyria.LXXII And the fourthLXXIII river is the Euphrates.LXXIV

Notes on verse 14b

LXXI “east” = qidmah. Related to “east” in v8. 4x in OT. From the same as qedem (see note XXXVIII above). This is the front portion or east.
LXXII “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
LXXIII “fourth” = rebii. Related to “four” in v10. From the same as arba (see note LIII above). This is fourth or square-shaped.
LXXIV “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 & &

15 The Lord God tookLXXV the man and putLXXVI him in the garden of Eden to till it and keepLXXVII it. 

Notes on verse 15

LXXV “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
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.

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 16-17

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. Related to “food” in v9. See note XLVI above. 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 apart, alone, separation, body part, tree branch, except. It can also be a city’s chief.
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 airLXXXVI and broughtLXXXVII them to the man

Notes on verse 19a

LXXXIV “animal” = chay. Same as “life” in v7. See note XXXI 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 v4. See note II above.
LXXXVII “brought” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

to seeLXXXVIII what he would callLXXXIX them, and whateverXC the man called every living creature,XCI that was its name. 

Notes on verse 19b

LXXXVIII “see” = raah. Related to “sight” in v9. See note XLIV above.
LXXXIX “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
XC “whatever” = kol + asher. Kol is the same as {untranslated} in v5. See note IX above.
XCI “creature” = nephesh. Same as “being” in v7. See note XXXIV above.

20 The man gaveXCII names to all cattleXCIII and to the birds of the air and to every animal of the field, but for the man there was not foundXCIV a helper as his partner. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleepXCV to fallXCVI upon the man,

Notes on verses 20-21a

XCII “gave” = qara. Same as “call” in v19. See note LXXXIX above.
XCIII “cattle” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
XCIV “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.
XCV “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. It is the word used for the deep sleep God put Adam under in Genesis 2:21 as Eve was being formed.
XCVI “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.

and he slept;XCVII then he took oneXCVIII of his ribsXCIX and closed upC

Notes on verse 21b

XCVII “slept” = yashen. This is to be languid or go slack. By implication it can mean to sleep, become old or stale, or die.
XCVIII “one” = echad. Same as “first” in v11. See note LVI above.
XCIX “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.
C “closed up” = sagar. This is to shut up, imprison, lock, hand over, or figuratively surrender.

its placeCI with flesh.CII 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he madeCIII into a womanCIV and brought her to the man. 

Notes on verses 21c-22

CI “place” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
CII “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.
CIII “made” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively.
CIV “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 lastCV is boneCVI of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
    for out of ManCVII this one was taken.”

Notes on verse 23

CV “at last” = paam. From paam (to move, trouble; to tap in a regular rhythm; to agitate). This is a beat, stroke, footstep, or occurrence.
CVI “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.
CVII “Man” = ish. Related to “woman” in v22. See note CIV above.

24 ThereforeCVIII a manCIX leavesCX his fatherCXI

Notes on verse 24a

CVIII “therefore” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
CIX “man” = ish. Same as “Man” in v23. See note CVII above.
CX “leaves” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
CXI “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.

and his motherCXII and clingsCXIII to his wife,CXIV and they become oneCXV flesh. 

Notes on verse 24b

CXII “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
CXIII “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.
CXIV “wife” = ishshah. Same as “woman” in v22. See note CIV above.
CXV “one” = echad. Same as “first” in v11. See note LVI above.

25 And the manCXVI and his wife were bothCXVII nakedCXVIII and were not ashamed.CXIX

Notes on verse 25

CXVI “man” = adam. Same as “one” in v5. See note XVII above.
CXVII “both” = shenayim. Related to “second” in v13. From sheni (see note LXV above). This is two, both, second, couple.
CXVIII “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. May be related to, “the serpent was more crafty” than any other wild animal” in Genesis 3:1.
CXIX “ashamed” = bosh. Properly, this means to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion.

Image credit: “Creation” by YoMinistry.

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