Genesis 2:19
(19) Out of the ground.--The adamah; thus the physical constituents of the animals are the same as those of the body of man. Much curious speculation has arisen from the mistaken idea that the order here is chronological, and that the animals were created subsequently to man, and that it was only upon their failing one and all to supply Adam's need of a companion that woman was called into being. The real point of the narrative is the insight it gives us into Adam's intellectual condition, his study of the animal creation, and the nature of the employment in which he spent his time. Then finally, at the end of Genesis 2:20, after numerous animals had passed before him, comes the assertion, with cumulative force, that woman alone is a meet companion for man.

Verse 19. - And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air. To allege that the Creator's purpose to provide a helpmeet for Adam seeks realization through the production of the animals (Kalisch, Alford) proceeds upon a misapprehension of the proper nexus which binds the thoughts of the historian, and a want of attention to the peculiar structure of Hebrew composition, besides exhibiting Jehovah Elohim in the character of an empiric who only tentatively discovers the sort of partner that is suitable for man. It is not the time, but simply the fact, of the creation of the animals that the historian records. The Vav. consec. does not necessarily involve time-succession, but is frequently employed to indicate thought-sequence (cf. 2:8; 1 Kings 2:13, etc.). The verb (pret.) may also quite legitimately be rendered "had formed (Bush). "Our modern style of expressing the Semitic writer's thought would be this - 'And God brought to Adam the beasts which he had formed (Delitzsch). It is thus unnecessary to defend the record from a charge of inconsistency with the previous section, by supposing this to be the account of a second creation of animals in the district of Eden. Another so-called contradiction, that the present narrative takes no account of the creation of aquatic animals, is disposed of by observing that the writer only notices that those animals which were brought to Adam had been previously formed by God from the ground, and were thus in the line of the onward evolutions of the heavens and the earth which led up to mare As to why the fishes were not brought into the garden, if other reason is required besides that of physical impossibility, the ingenuity of Keil suggests that these were not so nearly related to Adam as the fowls and the beasts, which, besides, were the animals specially ordained for his service. And brought them (literally, brought; not necessarily all the animals in Eden, but specimens of them) unto Adam. We agree with Willet in believing that "neither did Adam gather together the cattle as a shepherd doth his sheep, nor did the angels muster them, nor the animals come themselves, and, passing by, while he sat on some elevation, bow their heads at his resplendent appearance; nor were Adam's eyes so illuminate that he beheld them all in their places - all which," says he, "are but men's conceits; but that through the secret influence of God upon their natures they were assembled round the inmate of paradise, as afterwards they were collected in the ark. The reasons for this particular action on the part of God were manifold; one of them being stated in the words which follow - to see what he would call them; literally, to them. Already man had received from God his first lesson in the exercise of speech, in the naming of the trees and the imposition of the prohibition. This was his second - the opportunity afforded him of using for himself that gift of language and reason with which he had been endowed. In this it is implied that man was created with the faculty of speech, the distinct gift of articulate and rational utterance, and the capacity of attaching words to ideas, though it also seems to infer that the evolution of a language was for him, as it is for the individual yet, a matter of gradual development. Another reason was to manifest his sovereignty or lordship over the inferior creation. And whatsoever Adam (literally, the man) called every living creature (i.e. that was brought to him), that was the name thereof. That is to say, it not only met the Divine approbation as exactly suitable to the nature of the creature, and thus was a striking attestation of the intelligence and wisdom of the first man, but it likewise adhered to the creature as a name which had been assigned by its master.

2:18-25 Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proof of this he named them all. It also shows his insight into the works of God. But though he was lord of the creatures, yet nothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are all our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by special grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both of prudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is so near and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is to be done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes for covering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: they needed none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was man in his state of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favours did he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yet man, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soon became as the beasts that perish.And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air,.... Or "had formed them" (e) on the fifth and sixth days; and these were formed two and two, male and female, in order to continue their species; whereas man was made single, and had no companion of the same nature with him: and while in these circumstances, God

brought them unto Adam; or "to the man" (f); either by the ministry of angels, or by a kind of instinct or impulse, which brought them to him of their own accord, as to the lord and proprietor of them, who, as soon as he was made, had the dominion of all the creatures given him; just as the creatures at the flood went in unto Noah in the ark; and as then, so now, all creatures, fowl and cattle, came, all but the fishes of the sea: and this was done

to see what he would call them; what names he would give to them; which as it was a trial of the wisdom of man, so a token of his dominion over the creatures, it being an instance of great knowledge of them to give them apt and suitable names, so as to distinguish one from another, and point at something in them that was natural to them, and made them different from each other; for this does not suppose any want of knowledge in God, as if he did this to know what man would do, he knew what names man would give them before he did; but that it might appear he had made one superior to them all in wisdom and power, and for his pleasure, use, and service; and therefore brings them to him, to put them into his hands, and give him authority over them; and being his own, to call them by what names he pleased:

and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof; it was always afterwards called by it, by him and his posterity, until the confusion of languages, and then every nation called them as they thought proper, everyone in their own language: and as there is a good deal of reason to believe, that the Hebrew language was the first and original language; or however that eastern language, of which the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, are so many dialects; it was this that he spoke, and in it gave names to the creatures suitable to their nature, or agreeable to some property or other observed in them: and Bochart (g) has given us many instances of creatures in the Hebrew tongue, whose names answer to some character or another in them: some think this was done by inspiration; and Plato says, that it seemed to him that that nature was superior to human, that gave names to things; and that this was not the work of vain and foolish man, but the first names were appointed by the gods (h); and so Cicero (i) asks, who was the first, which with Pythagoras was the highest wisdom, who imposed names on all things?

(e) "finxerat", Drusius. (f) "ad ipsum hominem", Pagninus, Montanus. (g) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 1. c. 9. p. 59, &c. (h) In Cratylo, apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 11. c. 6. p. 515. (i) Tusculan. Quaest. l. 1.

Genesis 2:18
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