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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Genesis 2

 

 

Verse 1

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

This Chapter is remarkable for the events recorded in it, which took place immediately after creation-work was finished. In it is contained, also, the first institution of the sabbath, the blessings God pronounced upon it, and the sanctification of it. A description of the garden of Eden; of the tree of life; and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A more particular account of the formation of the first woman; and of the sacred institution of marriage.


Verse 2-3

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Deuteronomy 5:14. How beautiful is it to behold the first institution of the Patriarchal sabbath. God rested from his work. Not from fatigue, but complacency. Beholding his creation and expressing his approbation, and then sanctifying it in a sabbath. Reader! Think how delightfully recommened in this view, is the sabbath to man. How ancient, how honourable, how dignified, and how endeared it ought to be. And yet more if possible to the believer in, Jesus, since by his glorious resurrection the Redeemer rested from his work of salvation, and thereby commended its observance. Well may we cease from our work as God did from his. Hebrews 4:10.


Verse 4

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

The LORD God made the earth etc.

As this is the first verse in the Bible, in which we meet with the sacred name of LORD GOD, joined together; the Reader would do well to pause over it, with profound reverence, and to seek grace from God, who alone can impart information, concerning Himself, to the mind, that he may have a proper conception of the meaning of the expression; so that, both in this passage of the Divine Word, and in every other, where it occurs, he may be brought under suitable impressions. And in order to help the Reader; in this most interesting subject, I would, once for all, beg of him to observe, that in what part soever of the Bible, he meets with the name of the Lord, in large letters, thus; LORD it always means JEHOVAH. And wherever the name of the Lord is expressed in small letters, thus; Lord; the original is not JEHOVAH, but Adonai. The translators of our English Bible, by this method, meant to shew that there is a difference in the word itself: but have not pointed out, in what that difference consists. Perhaps they could not exactly do it. Neither, therefore, shall I attempt it. All I shall venture to do upon the occasion, by way of help to the humble Reader, is to give him my observations upon the subject, and which I beg him to accept as observations only, and not as a matter of determination. By the glorious incommunicable name of JEHOVAH, in scripture, which is translated LORD, in great letters, is meant the Necessary, Self-existent, Independent, and Eternal Being; and considered in a covenant-way, as a promising and performing God. And in confirmation of this, it is worthy the Reader's most serious attention, that as we do not meet with this glorious name of JEHOVAH God, until creation-work, the heavens and the earth and all the host of them were finished; so the Lord, himself, in after ages, Song 1 led upon Moses, to observe that He was not known by this name, among the Patriarchs, until the new creation-work, in redemption, was promised; and God had entered into covenant with Israel, that in his seed (meaning the Lord Jesus Christ after the flesh) should all the families of the earth be blessed. See Exodus 6:2-3. It may be proper, also, for the information of the humble Reader, to add, that this glorious and incommunicable name of JEHOVAH, is equally applied to all the Persons of the Godhead, in various parts of scripture. In proof, I subjoin a few instances. To the Father, see Isaiah 40:28, under the character of Creator. To the Son, Isaiah 43:1; Isa_43:3, where the Son is considered under His peculiar title of Redeemer. And to the Spirit, in His divine offices, in redemption-work, Isaiah 61:1-3. For a proof, in one and the same chapter, where, to each, is distinctly and severally ascribed this glorious name; see Isaiah 63:7; Isa_63:9-10. And, no less, to the Three Sacred Persons, in confirmation of the unity of the Godhead; see Deuteronomy 6:4, explained by the Lord Jesus himself, Mark 12:29. - I only repeat, under this article, that when the word Lord occurs, in smaller letters, in the Bible, and means not JEHOVAH, but Adonai; the original carries with it the idea of a Lord or Ruler; an Almighty Helper or Supporter. And, in this sense, it is peculiarly applied to the Person of the Lord Jesus, when at any time He is spoken of, in his mediatorial character, in the great work of redemption. A striking example we have in Psalms 110:1. The LORD said unto my Lord: that is, JEHOVAH said unto my Adonai. Hence, the Lord Jesus assumed that name, and applied it to Himself. See Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42. For further proofs, see Abraham's address to the Lord, under this character, Adonai JEHOVAH, Genesis 15:2. See, also, other proofs, Isaiah 40:10; Isa_25:8; Psalms 16:2; Isaiah 28:16, etc. etc.


Verses 5-17

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The tree of life, (Genesis 2:9) perhaps an emblem, or token of obedience, in the original covenant of works. And the tree of knowledge of good and evil; perhaps, a token that man, by disobedience, had learnt the knowledge of the good he had lost, and the evil he had taken to him. But how sweet to view, in the Person of Jesus, both the tree of life, and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Revelation 22:1-2.


Verses 18-22

And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

1 Timothy 2:13; Ephesians 5:31-32. As the apostle speaks of this as a figure, and we know that Adam was a figure of Him that was to come; doth it not suggest to us, that as the woman was formed out of the side of the man, when fallen into a deep sleep; so the church of the Lord Jesus was redeemed and issued from his pierced side, when, in the debased state of the sleep of death; he, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, was taken, and by wicked hands, crucified and slain.


Verses 23-25

REFLECTIONS

MANY are the sweet reflections which are suggested to the Readers mind, from the perusal of this Chapter. Here is the first institution of the holy sabbath. And here we meet also with the first institution of the holy estate of marriage. Both of divine authority. Both sanctified by God himself; and therefore both worthy to be observed with suitable reverence. Concerning the former, I would say to the pious Reader, may it be your mercy, and mine, to honour the Lord's day, on account of the many precious purposes, for which the Lord himself honoured it: and to cease from our own works, as God did from His. And concerning the latter, I would add a prayer, that a due sense of the Divine appointment, in the institution of holy wedlock, may make everyone engaged in it, remember what the Apostle says: Marriage is honourable unto all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. But doth not the idea of union in the marriage-state, in this life, awaken a spiritual improvement, and call up to the recollection of the true believer in Jesus, the sweet thought of our spiritual union with Him, who hath betrothed his people to himself, forever? Oh! what a precious scripture is that; Thy Maker is thy Husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name. Isaiah 54:5. Dearest Jesus, be Thou my Husband, Shepherd, Friend!

May the recollection, which Genesis 2:7 awakens, of the dust of which our nature was formed, remind you and me of our earthly extraction; so that we can truly say to corruption, thou art my father; and to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister. Job 17:14. But at the same time, may the pleasing thought, that the LORD God hath breathed into our nostrils the breath of life, make us never forget our heavenly relationship. And oh! that God the Holy Ghost would breathe upon the dry bones, both of him that writes and him that reads, and bid us live.

Reader! do not overlook the very gracious doctrine of Genesis 2:20. There was not found an help meet for Adam. No! There is not, there cannot be, in any, or in all the creatures of God's providence, an help meet. And though the LORD God brought the woman to our first father, as a suitable help meet for the body; yet it is the Seed of the woman, alone, which can become an Help-meet for the soul. Dearest Jesus! be thou my Help, my Hope, and my Portion forever.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 2:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/genesis-2.html. 1828.

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