Genesis 2:15
(15) And the Lord God took the man (the adam), and put him into the garden of Eden.--The narrative now reverts to Genesis 2:8, but the word translated put is not the same in both places. Here it literally means He made him rest, that is, He gave it to him as his permanent and settled dwelling.

To dress it and to keep it.--The first word literally means to work it; for though a paradise, yet the garden had to be tilled and planted. Seeds must be sown and the cultivated plots kept in order; but all this really added to Adam's happiness, because the adamah, as yet uncursed, responded willingly to the husbandman's care. The other word, "to keep it," implies, however, some difficulty and danger. Though no unpropitious weather, nor blight nor mildew, spoiled the crop, yet apparently it had to be guarded against the incursion of wild animals and birds, and protected even against the violence of winds and the burning heat of the sun.

Verse 15. - Having prepared the garden for man's reception, the Lord God took the man. "Not physically lifting him up and putting him down in the garden, but simply exerting an influence upon him which induced him, in the exercise of his free agency, to go. He went in consequence of a secret impulse or an open command of his Maker" (Bush). And put him into the garden; literally, caused him to rest in it as an abode of happiness and peace. To dress it. I.e. to till, cultivate, and work it. This would almost seem to hint that the aurea aetas of classical poetry was but a dream - a reminiscence of Eden, perhaps, but idealized. Even the plants, flowers, and trees of Eden stood in need of cultivation from the hand of man, and would speedily have degenerated without his attention. And to keep it. Neither were the animals all so peaceful and domesticated that Adam did not need to fence his garden against their depredations. Doubtless there is here too an ominous hint of the existence of that greater adversary against whom he was appointed to watch.

2:15 After God had formed Adam, he put him in the garden. All boasting was thereby shut out. Only he that made us can make us happy; he that is the Former of our bodies, and the Father of our spirits, and none but he, can fully provide for the happiness of both. Even in paradise itself man had to work. None of us were sent into the world to be idle. He that made our souls and bodies, has given us something to work with; and he that gave us this earth for our habitation, has made us something to work upon. The sons and heirs of heaven, while in this world, have something to do about this earth, which must have its share of their time and thoughts; and if they do it with an eye to God, they as truly serve him in it, as when they are upon their knees. Observe that the husbandman's calling is an ancient and honourable calling; it was needful even in paradise. Also, there is true pleasure in the business God calls us to, and employs us in. Adam could not have been happy if he had been idle: it is still God's law, He that will not work has no right to eat, 2Th 3:10.And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden,.... This is observed before in Genesis 2:8 and is here repeated to introduce what follows; and is to be understood not of a corporeal assumption, by a divine power lifting him up from the place where he was, and carrying him into another; rather of a manuduction, or taking him by the hand and leading him thither; so Onkelos renders it, he "led" him, that is, he ordered and directed him thither: hence Jarchi paraphrases it, he took him with good words, and persuaded him to go thither: the place from whence he is supposed by some to be taken was near Damascus, where he is by them said to be created; or the place where the temple was afterwards built, as say the Jewish writers: the Targum of Jonathan is,"the Lord God took the man from the mount of Service, the place in which he was created, and caused him to dwell in the garden of Eden.''And elsewhere (t) it is said,"the holy blessed God loved the first Adam with an exceeding great love, for he created him out of a pure and holy place; and from what place did he take him? from the place of the house of the sanctuary, and brought him into his palace, as it is said, Genesis 2:15 "and the Lord God took", &c.''though no more perhaps is intended by this expression, than that God spoke to him or impressed it on his mind, and inclined him to go, or stay there:

to dress it, and to keep it; so that it seems man was not to live an idle life, in a state of innocence; but this could not be attended with toil and labour, with fatigue and trouble, with sorrow and sweat, as after his fall; but was rather for his recreation and pleasure; though what by nature was left to be improved by art, and what there was for Adam to do, is not easy to say: at present there needed no ploughing, nor sowing, nor planting, nor watering, since God had made every tree pleasant to the sight, good for food, to grow out of it; and a river ran through it to water it: hence in a Jewish tract (u), before referred to, it is said, that his work in the garden was nothing else but to study in the words of the law, and to keep or observe the way of the tree of life: and to this agree the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem,"and he placed him in the garden of Eden, to serve in the law, and keep the commands of it.''And in another tract (w) it is said,"God brought Adam the law, Job 28:27 and "he put him in the garden of Eden"; that is, the garden of the law, "to dress it", to do the affirmative precepts of the law, "and to keep it", the negative precepts:''though Aben Ezra interprets this service of watering the garden, aud keeping wild beasts from entering into it. And indeed the word may be rendered to "till", as well as to dress, as it is in Genesis 3:23 and by Ainsworth here; so Milton (x) expresses it; and some have thought Adam was to have planted and sowed, had he continued in the garden.

(t) Pirke Eliezer, c. 2. fol. 72. 2.((u) Pirke Eliezer, c. 2. fol. 72. 2.((w) Tikkune Zohar, correct. 54. fol. 91. 2.((x) Paradise Lost, B. 8. l. 320.

Genesis 2:14
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