"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4b-25 Commentary
by Roger Nam
The text of Genesis 2:4b-25 will feel familiar to many preachers.
In contrast to the creation story of Genesis 1:1-2:4a, this week’s passage begins with the Lord God forming man (Hebrew adam) from the dust of the ground (adamah). God continues creative activity through the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the great water sources, as well as the creation of woman and their shared state in Eden before the Fall in Genesis 3. When looking over the contents, it is easy to see how preachers have drawn on this narrative for lessons on creation, nature, and gender roles. The narrative flows well and familiar, as does the surrounding context of the six-day creation of Genesis 1 and the Fall in Genesis 3.
But as I revisit Genesis 2, I also note that the mysteries of the passage are equally familiar.
For starters, what in the world is a “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in verse 10? Even as I write this commentary from education-obsessed Seoul, Korea, I ask myself what kind of knowledge leads to evil? The mystery is compounded with ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL187: Garden of Eden
September 13, 2015
This podcast discusses Genesis 2:4b-25, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Sept. 13, 2015.