Adam and Eve:
Duties, Responsibilities, Purpose
After a leisurely start to the sixth day, making all the animals on the earth, God turns to the focal point, the reason behind everything that has been accomplished in these five plus days. It is time for His image and His likeness, it is time for God’s Family.
We begin in Genesis 2:7.
Wait, you mean Genesis chapter 1, right?
The beginning of mankind is handled in chapter 2 as God provides details to what He did in Genesis 1:26-27.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Every work of God is perfect. Therefore, Adam was perfect in body, perfect in soul, and perfect in spirit. Then we have the figure of speech digression we discussed this in our first teaching Completeness of Life. It pertains to God speaking about man, then switching to the Garden, after which God returns to speaking about the man again.
This figure of speech works a lot like a parenthesis whereby you are speaking about one thing, take a short detour to another subject, and then come back to the original subject. In Genesis 2:7 God is speaking about man, then gives us information about the Garden where He is placing man, then in Genesis 2:15 comes back to speaking about man.
And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Remember, we saw this in the teaching on The Garden, to “dress it” means to serve and to “keep it” means to guard it, to watch over it. Now we must also recognize that this command is given only to Adam for God has not yet formed, made, and created Eve. This command is not repeated to Eve when she enters the scene later in the day. Since God does not teach Eve this extremely important condition pertaining to life in the Garden, it falls to Adam to teach Eve along one of two avenues.
First, it is Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve as an aspect of His service to God in the Garden. Or second, it is Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve about the condition pertaining to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the guardian of the Garden. To understand that communicating this condition to Eve falls to Adam will aid in understanding “how” the Adversary is able to trick Eve into sin.
God is filling in these details of the 6th day so that we can better understand the fullness of Adam and Eve’s first day in the Garden.
And the LORD God commanded the man [adam], saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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 Hebrew word translated “man” is adam and can be translated either man, referring to mankind, or Adam, referring to the individual. Accuracy depends upon its context. Here I prefer to read this as Adam since that is who God is speaking with, although as the population grows it would apply to all of humanity.
The perfect fellowship between God and Adam was based upon a condition, here the condition deals with a certain tree but the heart, or the essence of the condition is obedience. It is this condition, and the delivery of this condition, that the Adversary uses repeatedly throughout the entire Word of God to pervert God’s message and to turn man from the one True God. We will see more of this as we progress through this series.
Understanding the reason and purpose for this condition is necessary also. Some think this condition is present because God gives both good and evil. While others think this condition gave God the opportunity to teach man more fully about right and wrong. But the Truth concerning why this condition is placed before Adam is simply freedom of will.
Many people have been in love, if you are one of these people, I am sure you will agree. The great desire of one who loves is to have that love returned, freely and with like passion or commitment. Forcing another to love you is an impossibility! If it is forced, it is not love. If there is no choice, then there is no love.
Godly love is, and must remain, a deliberate decision, an altruistic commitment of mind and heart toward the object of your love.
What many consider to be love refers only to a sexual attraction that comes down to a desire or a lust that sadly burns out after a night, a week, a year. The human, or man-made description, of love has no comparison to the love God has for humanity and desires from humanity. The Will of God was for Adam to make the decision to choose God, not to be cornered into choosing God.
God desires fellowship but He wants this fellowship to be out of our freedom of will. God could have very easily formed, made, and created robots if He so desired. But then, God would not have had fellowship, any more so than you or I can fellowship with our machines in use today. Our computers, cars, televisions obey our commands as we spend time with them. Push a button on your remote and the television will change channels. Use the “enter” key on your computer and it will obey your command. Yet no one would ever call the time spent with these devices to be a time of fellowship or a love relationship. Even our phones, ever so before our faces, are simply 1’s and 0’s.
Freedom of will is important in a love relationship. Your freedom of will is extremely relevant to God. God’s will for each person is for the individual to desire, to choose to be with Him. God never desired a mind-controlled robot.
Now these two verses, Genesis 2:16-17, have caused no end of confusion for many who endeavor to explain them to a waiting Jewish or Christian audience. The reason are the words “ye shall surely die.” These verses are also popular with unbelievers who like to point to these verses to prove the Bible wrong, “they did not die!” they declare. When unbelievers begin to lecture about the Bible, I am reminded of a saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln about silence.
However, in this teaching we are only dealing with Adam and Eve learning of their duties and responsibilities and enjoying likeminded fellowship in the Garden. “Ye shall surely die” will be handled when we study the transition out of the Garden.
Again, the first point I want you to recognize in Genesis 2:16-17 is that this command is given only to Adam for Eve has not yet been formed, made, or created.
And unto Adam he [God] said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
Grammar very clearly declares “I commanded thee” verifies and confirms that the statement made in Genesis 2:16 was given only to Adam.
This is now the third command Adam has received from God before the concept of Eve even enters Adam’s mind. Adam has been commanded to serve in the Garden, guard or watch over the Garden, and to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Honestly, these opening moments in the Garden between God and Adam can be considered Adam’s ordination into his ministry. These opening commands to Adam are his call to stand as God’s minister.
And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.
God has used the word “good” eleven times before this verse; nine times literally and twice in a figure. But this is the first time it is coupled with the word “not.” Good means what you think it means. If you were speaking of gold good speaks to the purity. If you were speaking of land good speaks to fertility. If you were speaking of a message good speaks to glad tidings. Basically, good refers to pleasant, beautiful, agreeable.
God understood Adam’s need not to be alone, but He needed to teach Adam the fullness of the situation, God does this through Adam naming all the animals. The animals would have at least been male and female, if not in herds. Adam would have seen his separation from any others like himself. The basic meaning of the word “alone” is separation.
This statement by God also teaches us that God made man a social being. I am not talking about extrovert or introvert, I am speaking about human interaction, companionship, fellowship. We are like our Father, who although He has everything He desires at His spoken Word, desires freewill fellowship with His children. Humans desire fellowship with other humans, we are social beings.
Beyond teaching Adam through naming the animals this task demonstrates two other qualities of Adam. First, the intellect God had given to man, and more importantly, Adam’s communication with God by way of his holy spirit to comprehend the right name for an animal.
God declares man being alone or separate is not agreeable, it is not right, or pleasant. Therefore, God will make man a “help meet,” a partner and Adam will readily agree with this after seeing and naming the animals.
But is a partner the right terminology? Culturally, theologically, mentally, physically, women have long been considered inferior to men throughout the history of the world. Therefore, cultures around the world have always treated women as inferior to men. This is not meant as a judgment of any culture, but rather an observation of general history and current attitudes.
Both words “help” and “meet” in combination form a concept of a counterpart, an intellectual match and a spiritual equal. A woman was not designed to walk two steps behind nor to be left at home in fear of the cruel world. As we progress through the commands God gives to both Adam and Eve notice that both are given the same authority of having dominion. The big difference between Adam and Eve is that Adam has been ordained by God to stand as a minister before God and Eve has been called to stand with and help Adam. Consider Moses and Aaron.
Humanity has contorted the marriage relationship by devaluing one half of the godly arrangement, woman. Then humanity stepped in to correct their wrong by devaluing the other half of the relationship, man. Without God everything is devalued; with God everything is elevated to its highest level.
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.
Again, we have the figure of speech digression as we previously saw in Genesis 2:8 with man and the Garden. Now we are dealing with Adam when God steps aside for a moment to speak of the birds which were made on the fifth day and the animals that were made earlier on the sixth day.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Although the Hebrew word is translated rib, no scholar that I am aware of actually knows for sure what was taken from Adam to form the woman. But we know God took something from Adam’s body and used it to form Eve.
Theologian Adam Clarke (1762-1832) summarized this section of Genesis clearly and compassionately when he said, “Adam, knowing how the woman was formed, said, this is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone. God could have formed the woman out of the dust of the earth, as he had formed the man; but had he done so, she must have appeared in his eyes as a distinct being, to whom he had no natural relation. But as God formed her out of a part of the man himself, he saw she was of the same nature, the same identical flesh and blood, and of the same constitution in all respects, and consequently having equal powers, faculties, and rights. This at once ensured his affection and excited his esteem.”
And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
I like the enthusiasm of the New Living Translation:
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’”
Now we have Adam and the woman in the Garden, the woman will not be known as Eve until after the fall of mankind. But for clarity I will begin to refer to the woman as Eve from this point forward. I have, on occasion, called out within our home, “Woman, were are you?” and it has never been received well.
But it is easy to see the immediate connection in the mind of Adam, Eve coming from his own body eliminates any feeling or thought of being separate and alone.
And Adam called his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of all living.
So, Adam has his ministry before God and Eve has her responsibility before Adam, intellectually and spiritually equal but different in function. Now we must return to Genesis chapter 1 as God has a sit-down meeting with both Adam and Eve concerning their combined duties and responsibilities as husband and wife.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
After God formed Eve’s body from that which He had taken from Adam’s body and breathed into her nostril’s breath life, God created His gift of holy spirit in Eve.
The word image, Hebrew tselem, means, a reproducing of form of someone or something; it is the essence of what is reproduced. Likeness, Hebrew demuwth, means, the quality of resembling or being like something. The definitions are similar, but they are not identical. Further, the prepositions used to introduce each phrase are also different. Image is introduced by the preposition “be” and expresses a close relationship. The preposition used with likeness is “ke” or “ce” and expresses a resemblance to what it imitates.
What does this image of God do for Adam and Eve?
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
God formed man’s body from the dust of the ground, God made soul life for man after He created it for animals, then God took His masterpiece of Creation, Adam and Eve, to the ultimate level by creating within them His form, His image which is holy spirit. This brings man into alignment with what we have already seen as the source of life and introduces man to the source of true knowledge.
1 Timothy 2:4
Who [God] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
“Knowledge of the truth” is a genitive thus it is more accurately translated true knowledge. If there is true knowledge, logically there must then be false or wrong knowledge. In the Garden account these two opposites are represented by two distinct trees.
The image Adam and Eve had of God was holy spirit because God is Holy, and God is Spirit. God’s gift of holy spirit upon Adam meets the qualification of God’s form while also establishing a relationship that was as close as was spiritually possible. Giving Adam and Eve holy spirit also elevates them into the spiritual realm, the realm God inhabits. This gives Adam and Eve the opportunity to have fellowship with God.
1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
With God’s holy spirit upon Adam and Eve they can stand in the presence of God, fellowship with Him, acquire true knowledge, wisdom and understanding from the Tree of Life. God formed, made, and created man to be in God’s presence, that, God’s presence, is man’s natural habitat.
Understand, bringing man into the realm of God by saying God gave man of His holy spirit does not make man equal to God as in eternal, or ability to create, or all knowing; tselem is reproducing the form, the essence of God. Adam does not become a “little” god. But, as in a mirror, Adam would reflect his Creator, including the brightness of God’s glory.
The Hebrew word for “likeness” is demuwth and means; the quality of resembling or being like something. The likeness of God was the conscience, some would call it the spirit of man common to every human.
One must understand at this juncture that the word “spirit”, both in the Hebrew and the Greek, has different uses. Spirit can be speaking of God Himself, spirit can refer to God’s gift of holy spirit upon individuals, it could be that which is eternal life spirit, or it can refer to a devil spirit, or it can refer to the spirit of man, the spirit which is passed on to the children.
Earlier, in Completeness of Life, I showed you how man was designed as a three part being and completeness rested in a man having all three parts. This spirit of man is imprinted upon the soul life of man when God made breath life for him.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (neshamah – breath, spirit of man) of life; and man became a living soul.
Gregory of Nyssa declares this spirit of Genesis 2:7 as the divine imprint; “you have within yourselves the standard by which to apprehend the Divine. For He who made you did at the same time endow your nature with this wonderful quality. For God imprinted on it the likeness of the glories of his own nature, as if moulding the form of a carving into wax.”
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration (neshamah) of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
As a spiritual entity man was made in the image and likeness of his Creator; characteristics are given to man that truly make him like his Heavenly Father. Perhaps we would call it conscience or the spirit of man; that which encompasses an individual’s personality. Conscience and spirit of man have certain parallels that bring them together like synonyms; one parallel would be how the world works to damage each to pull the individual away from his Creator.
Gregory of Nyssa also wrote this in a letter to his brother, Peter in the 4th century. “It is true, indeed, that the Divine beauty is not adorned with any shape or endowment of form, by any beauty of color, but is contemplated as excellence in unspeakable bliss. As then painters transfer human forms to their pictures by the means of certain colors, laying on their copy the proper and corresponding tints, so that the beauty of the original may be accurately transferred to the likeness. So I would have you understand that our Maker also, painting the portrait to resemble His own beauty, by the addition of virtues, as it were with colors, shows in us His own sovereignty: and manifold and varied are the tints, so to say, by which His true form is portrayed:”
God imprinted upon man aspects that give man the ability to think and act like God, while animals simply have instincts. Man comes with things like; desire to worship as every recorded culture in the world has demonstrated; humor; appreciation of beauty; compassion; forgiveness; awareness of time; meaning of life; empathy; the ability to instinctively know right from wrong; all these things and more are unique unto man. With this imprint on man we see the adage, the apple did not fall far from the tree.
This imprint gives man the aid of a moral compass for each situation encountered, allowing man, even without God’s gift of holy spirit upon him to respond as God would respond. Qualities and aspects of God’s nature imprinted upon the conscience of man, upon the spirit of man so that man can, according to Romans chapter 2, decide to do the right thing without ever learning, by a Law. The conscience or spirit of man is not living by the Golden Rule it is an internal awareness of how our Creator would act in each situation without a written manual explaining the Creator’s will.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
This is the spirit of man or man’s conscience, that which is in the likeness of God. This was within Adam and Eve, as well as, all who are their descendants.
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
Man was made in the likeness of God in Genesis 1:26 but after the Fall of Mankind, here in Genesis 5:3 Adam’s descendants are in his likeness. We will talk more about this when we consider the results of Adam’s sin.
They had God’s gift of holy spirit created within and an imprinted internal witness to the nature and character of their Heavenly Father. On top of these two internal witnesses Adam and Eve had an external witness of the power and majesty of God. They had all of God’s creation that they could see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. God’s creation would have overwhelmed their senses with beauty, wonder, and awe.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
As we enter this meeting of the young couple with their Creator we learn of duties and responsibilities God has for Adam and Eve as husband and wife.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Within this one verse of scripture God adds five new duties and responsibilities to Adam and Eve.
1.Be fruitful. 2.Multiply. 3.Replenish the earth. 4.Subdue it. 5.Dominion over everything.
All five of these are imperatives and that means these express five commands.
Hebrew for Christians states: “The Imperative is used primarily to express direct commands, demanding immediate action from the one being addressed…The ancient Hebrew language, however, employs the imperative not only to express commands, but also to convey the idea of purpose."
At the time Adam and Eve receive their purpose and duties as a couple the earth is one solid land mass (Genesis 1:9-10). Their home would remain the Garden in Eden. From the Garden, their children, and children’s children, and so on, would spread forth over the whole earth bringing the land into subjection and then ruling over the earth. When the word subdue is about an opposing or hostile force it would be to conquer, to take by force. But when seen considering new terrain or territory it would be to cultivate or to work the land, to receive its riches and bounty.
For example, land that would be used for farming would first need to be cleared and prepared. Possibly rocks removed, or irrigation from a river installed, or as time went on and the population grew maybe trees removed.
When man became a farmer who taught him about farming? The tools required, how to make those tools, the time for planting, how to tend the crop and ultimately harvesting. In the land of Havilah (Genesis 2:11) God placed gold, it would need to be mined while one would be required to oversee the mining operation and care for the miners and their families. They would also require knowledge to mine correctly and safely. How to do it while stewarding the earth and not polluting it.
The fear (respect) of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…
The fear (respect) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding has all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.
In Genesis 2:12 God speaks of bdellium. Some think this is extracted from trees while others think it is a gem. Regardless of what it is, tools would be necessary to work with it, knowledge of how to work with it, all this would require true knowledge. Just as farming requires tools and knowledge for the proper time to plant, proper care while growing, the right tools throughout the process.
What of the onyx stone (Genesis 2:12), what would it require? How many other gems, jewels, minerals, elements and so on would the earth give to man as required as the population grew and covered the earth? All this true knowledge, wisdom, and understanding would issue forth from their Heavenly Father.
What riches and blessings did God place within His creation to help and bless His family? Each new land, each new element would require knowledge, wisdom and understanding to extract, handle, and correctly use as God directed man’s path to each new discovery and each new land.
Man did not need to know how to make steel until steel was required. Was a weapon God’s original plan for steel? God envisioned a land flowing with milk and honey, a land where man had rest and peace and abundance.
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
God’s desire has always been for man to occupy the entire earth. But you do not need the knowledge of how to feed and house a million people until you have a million people. You do not need a sewer system until you have cities with many people. Yet, man-built cities immediately out of the Garden without the knowledge and wisdom of God. I cannot imagine the difficulties they encountered or that they caused.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Man, and animals are at peace with one another during these days and they will remain this way until after the flood during the days of Noah. Animals were not food for mankind, and they were not food for one another.
God gave this young couple five commands that also served as a purpose in their lives.
Be fruitful: the action and result are obvious.
Multiply: do not stop at one, keep it going.
Replenish the earth: literally means to accomplish, in this case accomplish the goal of filling the earth.
Subdue it: cultivate the land, develop it, discover the riches your Heavenly Father has placed in the earth for your blessing.
Have dominion: rule it, stand in the stead of your Heavenly Father, do His will upon earth, walk in His love upon earth.
Adam and Eve were given a home in the only home on earth God ever built for Himself. They were perfect in every aspect of their lives. They ruled the earth together for their loving Heavenly Father as they walked with Him, and talked with Him, and He told them, they were His own.
© Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.