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Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Another Account of the Creation

In the day that the L ord God made the earth and the heavens, 5when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the L ord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7then the L ord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8And the L ord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9Out of the ground the L ord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. 11The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The L ord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16And the L ord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17but 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.”

18 Then the L ord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19So out of the ground the L ord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the L ord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the L ord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

this one shall be called Woman,

for out of Man this one was taken.”

24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

18. It is not good that the man should be alone136136     “Non est bonum ut sit Adam solus.” This is a variation from Calvin’s text, which has man instead of Adam; as the English version has. The word אדם stands for both. As a proper name, it means Adam; as an appellation, it belongs to the human species; as an adjective, it means red; and, with a slight alteration, it signifies the ground. — Ed Moses now explains the design of God in creating the woman; namely, that there should be human beings on the earth who might cultivate mutual society between themselves. Yet a doubt may arise whether this design ought to be extended to progeny, for the words simply mean that since it was not expedient for man to be alone, a wife must be created, who might be his helper. I, however, take the meaning to be this, that God begins, indeed, at the first step of human society, yet designs to include others, each in its proper place. The commencement, therefore, involves a general principle, that man was formed to be a social animal.137137     “Principium ergo generale est, conditum esse hominem ut sit sociale animal.” Now, the human race could not exist without the woman; and, therefore, in the conjunction of human beings, that sacred bond is especially conspicuous, by which the husband and the wife are combined in one body, and one soul; as nature itself taught Plato, and others of the sounder class of philosophers, to speak. But although God pronounced, concerning Adam, that it would not be profitable for him to be alone, yet I do not restrict the declaration to his person alone, but rather regard it as a common law of man’s vocation, so that every one ought to receive it as said to himself, that solitude is not good, excepting only him whom God exempts as by a special privilege. Many think that celibacy conduces to their advantage,138138     “Putant multi suisrationibus conducere coelibatum.” — “Plusieurs estiment que le celibat — leur est plus profitable.” — French Tr. and therefore, abstain from marriage, lest they should be miserable. Not only have heathen writers defined that to be a happy life which is passed without a wife, but the first book of Jerome, against Jovinian, is stuffed with petulant reproaches, by which he attempts to render hallowed wedlock both hateful and infamous. To these wicked suggestions of Satan let the faithful learn to oppose this declaration of God, by which he ordains the conjugal life for man, not to his destruction, but to his salvation.

I will make him an help It may be inquired, why this is not said in the plural number, Let us make, as before in the creation of man. Some suppose that a distinction between the two sexes is in this manner marked, and that it is thus shown how much the man excels the woman. But I am better satisfied with an interpretation which, though not altogether contrary, is yet different; namely, since in the person of the man the human race had been created, the common dignity of our whole nature was without distinction, honored with one eulogy, when it was said, Let us make man; nor was it necessary to be repeated in creating the woman, who was nothing else than an accession to the man. Certainly, it cannot be denied, that the woman also, though in the second degree, was created in the image of God; whence it follows, that what was said in the creation of the man belongs to the female sex. Now, since God assigns the woman as a help to the man, he not only prescribes to wives the rule of their vocation to instruct them in their duty, but he also pronounces that marriage will really prove to men the best support of life. We may therefore conclude, that the order of nature implies that the woman should be the helper of the man. The vulgar proverb, indeed, is, that she is a necessary evil; but the voice of God is rather to be heard, which declares that woman is given as a companion and an associate to the man, to assist him to live well. I confess, indeed, that in this corrupt state of mankind, the blessing of God, which is here described, is neither perceived nor flourishes; but the cause of the evil must be considered, namely, that the order of nature, which God had appointed, has been inverted by us. For if the integrity of man had remained to this day such as it was from the beginning, that divine institution would be clearly discerned, and the sweetest harmony would reign in marriage; because the husband would look up with reverence to God; the woman in this would be a faithful assistant to him; and both, with one consent, would cultivate a holy, as well as friendly and peaceful intercourse. Now, it has happened by our fault, and by the corruption of nature, that this happiness of marriage has, in a great measure, perished, or, at least, is mixed and infected with many inconveniences. Hence arise strifes, troubles, sorrows, dissensions, and a boundless sea of evils; and hence it follows, that men are often disturbed by their wives, and suffer through them many discouragements. Still, marriage was not capable of being so far vitiated by the depravity of men, that the blessing which God has once sanctioned by his word should be utterly abolished and extinguished. Therefore, amidst many inconveniences of marriage, which are the fruits of degenerate nature, some residue of divine good remains; as in the fire apparently smothered, some sparks still glitter. On this main point hangs another, that women, being instructed in their duty of helping their husbands, should study to keep this divinely appointed order. It is also the part of men to consider what they owe in return to the other half of their kind, for the obligation of both sexes is mutual, and on this condition is the woman assigned as a help to the man, that he may fill the place of her head and leader. One thing more is to be noted, that, when the woman is here called the help of the man, no allusion is made to that necessity to which we are reduced since the fall of Adam; for the woman was ordained to be the man’s helper, even although he had stood in his integrity. But now, since the depravity of appetite also requires a remedy, we have from God a double benefit: but the latter is accidental.

Meet for him139139     “Coram ipso,” before him. — “Pour luy assister,” to help him. — French Tr. In the Hebrew it is כנגדו (kenegedo,) “as if opposite to,” or “over against him.” כ (Caph) in that language is a note of similitude. But although some of the Rabbies think it is here put as an affirmative, yet I take it in its general sense, as though it were said that she is a kind of counterpart, (ἀντίστοικον, or ἀντίστροφον;140140     Quod “ex adverso ei” respondet. Lud. de Dieu. His counterpart. ) for the woman is said to be opposite to or over against the man, because she responds to him. But the particle of similitude seems to me to be added because it is a form of speech taken from common usage.141141     “Quia sit translatitia loquutio.” The Greek translators have faithfully rendered the sense, Κατ᾿’ αὐτόν;142142     A help according to him. See Septuagint. and Jerome, “Which may be like him,”143143     “Adjutorium simile sibi,” a help like himself. — Vulgate. Meet for him. “In whose company he shall take delight; so the Hebrew phrase, as before him, imports, being as much answerable to him, every way fitted for him, not only in likeness of body, but of mind, disposition, and affection, which laid the foundation of perpetual familiarity and friendship.” — Patrick. for Moses intended to note some equality. And hence is refitted the error of some, who think that the woman was formed only for the sake of propagation, and who restrict the word “good,” which had been lately mentioned, to the production of offspring. They do not think that a wife was personally necessary for Adam, because he was hitherto free from lust; as if she had been given to him only for the companion of his chamber, and not rather that she might be the inseparable associate of his life. Wherefore the particle כ (caph) is of importance, as intimating that marriage extends to all parts and usages of life. The explanation given by others, as if it were said, Let her be ready to obedience, is cold; for Moses intended to express more, as is manifest from what follows.

19. And out of the ground the Lord God formed, etc144144     “Formaverat autem Deus,” — “God had formed,” plainly referring to what had already taken place. The Hebrew language has not the same distinction of times in its verbs which is common to more modern tongues.” — Ed. This is a more ample exposition of the preceding sentence, for he says that, of all the animals, when they had been placed in order, not one was found which might be conferred upon and adapted to Adam; nor was there such affinity of nature, that Adam could choose for himself a companion for life out of any one species. Nor did this occur through ignorance, for each species had passed in review before Adam, and he had imposed names upon them, not rashly but from certain knowledge; yet there was no just proportion between him and them. Therefore, unless a wife had been given him of the same kind with himself, he would have remained destitute of a suitable and proper help. Moreover, what is here said of God’s bringing the animals to Adam145145     “Porro istud adducere Dei.” signifies nothing else than that he endued them with the disposition to obedience, so that they would voluntarily offer themselves to the man, in order that he, having closely inspected them, might distinguish them by appropriate names, agreeing with the nature of each. This gentleness towards man would have remained also in wild beasts, if Adam, by his defection from God, had not lost the authority he had before received. But now, from the time in which he began to be rebellious against God, he experienced the ferocity of brute animals against himself; for some are tamed with difficulty, others always remain unsubdued, and some, even of their own accord, inspire us with terror by their fierceness. Yet some remains of their former subjection continue to the present time, as we shall see in the second verse of the ninth chapter (Genesis 9:2.) Besides, it is to be remarked that Moses speaks only of those animals which approach the nearest to man, for the fishes live as in another world. As to the names which Adam imposed, I do not doubt that each of them was founded on the best reason; but their use, with many other good things, has become obsolete.

21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall, etc. Although to profane persons this method of forming woman may seem ridiculous, and some of these may say that Moses is dealing in fables, yet to us the wonderful providence of God here shines forth; for, to the end that the conjunction of the human race might be the more sacred he purposed that both males and females should spring from one and the same origin. Therefore he created human nature in the person of Adam, and thence formed Eve, that the woman should be only a portion of the whole human race. This is the import of the words of Moses which we have had before, (Genesis 1:28,) “God created man... he made them male and female.” In this manner Adam was taught to recognize himself in his wife, as in a mirror; and Eve, in her turn, to submit herself willingly to her husband, as being taken out of him. But if the two sexes had proceeded from different sources, there would have been occasion either of mutual contempt, or envy, or contentions. And against what do perverse men here object? ‘The narration does not seem credible, since it is at variance with custom.’ As if, indeed, such an objection would have more color than one raised against the usual mode of the production of mankind, if the latter were not known by use and experience.146146     “Ex putrido semine quotidie gigni homines.” But they object that either the rib which was taken from Adam had been superfluous, or that his body had been mutilated by the absence of the rib. To either of these it may be answered, that they find out a great absurdity. If, however, we should say that the rib out of which he would form another body had been prepared previously by the Creator of the world, I find nothing in this answer which is not in accordance with Divine Providence. Yet I am more in favor of a different conjecture, namely, that something was taken from Adam, in order that he might embrace, with greater benevolence, a part of himself. He lost, therefore, one of his ribs; but, instead of it, a far richer reward was granted him, since he obtained a faithful associate of life; for he now saw himself, who had before been imperfect, rendered complete in his wife.147147     “Quum se integrum vidit in uxore, qui prius tantum dimidius erat.” And in this we see a true resemblance of our union with the Son of God; for he became weak that he might have members of his body endued with strength. In the meantime, it is to be noted, that Adam had been plunged in a sleep so profound, that he felt no pain; and further, that neither had the rupture been violent, nor was any want perceived of the lost rib, because God so filled up the vacuity with flesh, that his strength remained unimpaired; only the hardness of bone was removed. Moses also designedly used the word built,148148     “Et aedificavit Jehova Deus costam quam tulerat ex Adam, in mulierem.” — And Jehovah God built the rib which he had taken out of Adam into a woman. ויבן, from בנה, to build. to teach us that in the person of the woman the human race was at length complete, which had before been like a building just begun. Others refer the expression to the domestic economy, as if Moses would say that legitimate family order was then instituted, which does not differ widely from the former exposition.

22. And brought her, etc Moses now relates that marriage was divinely instituted, which is especially useful to be known; for since Adam did not take a wife to himself at his own will, but received her as offered and appropriated to him by God, the sanctity of marriage hence more clearly appears, because we recognize God as its Author. The more Satan has endeavored to dishonor marriage, the more should we vindicate it from all reproach and abuse, that it may receive its due reverence. Thence it will follow that the children of God may embrace a conjugal life with a good and tranquil conscience, and husbands and wives may live together in chastity and honor. The artifice of Satan in attempting the defamation of marriage was twofold: first, that by means of the odium attached to it he might introduce the pestilential law of celibacy; and, secondly, that married persons might indulge themselves in whatever license they pleased. Therefore, by showing the dignity of marriage, we must remove superstition, lest it should in the slightest degree hinder the faithful from chastely using the lawful and pure ordinance of God; and further, we must oppose the lasciviousness of the flesh, in order that men may live modestly with their wives. But if no other reason influenced us, yet this alone ought to be abundantly sufficient, that unless we think and speak honorably of marriage, reproach is attached to its Author and Patron, for such God is here described as being by Moses.

23. And Adam said, etc It is demanded whence Adam derived this knowledge since he was at that time buried in deep sleep. If we say that his quickness of perception was then such as to enable him by conjecture to form a judgment, the solution would be weak. But we ought not to doubt that God would make the whole course of the affair manifest to him, either by secret revelation or by his word; for it was not from any necessity on God’s part that He borrowed from man the rib out of which he might form the woman; but he designed that they should be more closely joined together by this bonds which could not have been effected unless he had informed them of the fact. Moses does not indeed explain by what means God gave them this information; yet unless we would make the work of God superfluous, we must conclude that its Author revealed both the fact itself and the method and design of its accomplishment. The deep sleep was sent upon Adam, not to hide from him the origin of his wife, but to exempt him from pain and trouble, until he should receive a compensation so excellent for the loss of his rib.

This is now bone of, etc149149     “Hac vice os est ex ossibus meis.” זאת הפעם, (zot haphaam.) These words are rendered in the English version by “This now,” which very feebly and imperfectly expresses the sense of the original; nor does the version of Calvin, “At this turn,” give the true emphasis of the words. It is perhaps scarcely possible to do so without a paraphrase. The two words of the original are both intended to be emphatic. “This living creature (זאת) which at the present time (הפעם, hac vice) passes before me, is the companion which I need, for it is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” — Vide Dathe in loco. — Ed In using the expression הפעם (hac vice,) Adam indicates that something had been wanting to him; as if he had said, Now at length I have obtained a suitable companion, who is part of the substance of my flesh, and in whom I behold, as it were, another self. And he gives to his wife a name taken from that of man, 150150     “Nomen uxori a viro imponit.” אשה, (ishah,) from איש, (ish,) which is the Hebrew word man with a feminine termination; as if we should say, “She shall be called manness, because she was taken out of the man.” Calvin uses the word virissa; Dathe, after Le Clerc, the word vira; and though neither of them are strictly classical, yet are they far preferable to the term virago in the Vulgate, which Calvin justly rejects, and which means a woman of masculine character. The English word woman is a contraction of womb-man. — Ed that by this testimony and this mark he might transmit a perpetual memorial of the wisdom of God. A deficiency in the Latin language has compelled the ancient interpreter to render אשה (ishah,) by the word virago. It is, however, to be remarked, that the Hebrew term means nothing else than the female of the man.

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