Genesis 2:4-17

 |  February 15, 2018

Generation II: The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth

Genesis 2:4-17

  1. Locate the passage

This pericope is a close-up examination of Day Six of creation. This is the first of eleven occurrences of the word “toledoth” which outlines the structure of the book of Genesis.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. The conversation between God and mankind regarding His prohibition anticipates the fall of mankind. The expression of Adam over the joy of a partner demonstrates the completion of God’s creation.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

2:4-7 – The Lord formed the man

2:8-17 – The Lord planted a garden

2:18-25 – The Lord declared the significance of the family

  1. Exegete the passage

Exp. These verses present a “second” account of creation. This account is in no way contradictory to the first, nor is it sequential. Instead, this pericope gives us a close-up analysis of the 6th day of creation highlighted by the creation of mankind.

The Divine Name and His activity dominates this pericope:

The Lord God made (4)

The Lord God had not caused (5)

The Lord God formed (7)

The Lord God planted (8)

The Lord God made (9)

The Lord God took (15)

The Lord God commanded (16)

The Lord God said (18)

The Lord God formed (19)

The Lord God caused (21)

The Lord God … made (22)

2:4 – “These are the generations of”

2:4 – “In the day”

2:4 – “Day”

2:4 – The structure of this verse follows a chiastic pattern:

A         this is the history of heaven and earth

B         when they were created

B´        in the day that the Lord God made

A´        the earth and the heavens

2:5 – No rain and no man

2:7 – “Formed of the dust of the ground”

2:7 – “Breathed into His nostrils”

2:8 – “East of Eden”

2:9 – “Tree of Life”

2:9 – “Tree of Knowledge”

2:15 – “In the Garden”

2:15 – The Lord God … “put him” in the garden

2:15 – “To tend it and to keep it”

2:17 – “In the day”

2:17 – “You will surely die”

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon
  1. Man’s Origin – Formed from the ground; Infused by God’s Breath
    • Mankind was formed from the ground which he would be entrusted to work
    • We exist by His breath; every breath is a gift to us from Him
      • Ezek. 37:9-10
    • Our dependence on Him; His provision for us
    • Before His breath, man has no life
      • But, the loss of life is also introduced in this passage
  1. Man’s Purpose – Work is God’s Strategy
    • Work is part of God’s purpose for man (Cf. 1:28-29; 2:5, 8, 15)
      • This passage highlights the Divine activity.
    • Our work is a gift to us from God and how we complete it is part of our gift back to Him
    • Thus, our task is to accomplish the work that God has assigned to us to His glory.
      • Completing the work God began (2:15 – working as God has worked)
    • Man’s Expectation – Following God’s Instructions
      • This passages includes both instructions of what mankind was TO do (2:15) and what he was NOT TO do (2:17).
        • This is the choice all of us are given—to follow God’s instructions or reject them.
      • Thus, here mankind is given the ability and responsibility to accomplish the tasks which God has entrusted to him.


Category: Sermon Structure
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