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   “In the beginning …” is much more than the introduction to the Torah. These three words, “In the beginning …” introduce us to the Creation Narratives recorded in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 – Genesis, a word which means “the origin or coming into being of something.” We did say, “Narratives,” as in more than one – Chapter 1, the longer, is the more detailed account and Chapter 2, a parallel digest – and a read of these two accounts, prompt questions that will occupy this present inquiry: “What, and how many, commandments did the Creator give to Adam?”

In the Creation Narratives, there are,
• Eight specific commands given to Adam, three of which were also specified to Eve;
• two specific commissions of authority to Adam, one of which was a co-authority given to Eve; and,
• and two inferred commands given to Adam, one of which was given to Eve.

   Moreover, the committals of authority to Adam, and to Eve, were confined to what Yahweh had created on the 5th and 6th days, as the rest of the Created Order and they, too, came under the preview of the Sovereign Creator.
   Worthy of note, too, is that the eight commands given to Adam and Eve are provided a-chronologically in the Creation Narratives.
   We begin with Genesis Chapter 2, Verses 4-7:
   These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh Elohim made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for Yahweh Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And Yahweh Elohim formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Location of Eden
   Anthropologists place ancient Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq) as “the cradle of civilization” and is thought by many, as comprising that area where Eden was supposed to have been located.
   Others put forth the place to which Adam was taken (Gen. 2:8) proximate to where they assert the 1st Temple was afterwards built, in Moriah – the Mount of Service – where Abraham had taken his son Isaac and where Adam was before his removal (Gen. 3:24), dwelt.
   They base this conjecture on the mentioning of the Gihon River which is produced of a natural subterranean spring in the mountains of Moriah proximate to the location where it is believed, Abraham would have offered his son Isaac to Yahweh and where also, it is thought the 1st Temple was situated, owing to the natural subterranean spring of Gihon – one of the four rivers mentioned by name in Genesis 2:13 as forming one of the boundaries of the Garden – and which should have provided ample water for the conduct of the Levitical priesthood in the performance of their duties.
   However, the cataclysmic flood occurring in the Genesis, Chapter 7 narrative, would have most certainly altered the landscape, including the course of the four rivers mentions in Genesis, Chapter 2, Verses 10-14, so that we cannot now suppose the Garden can definitely be located, though events occurring in ancient Canaan in Genesis 22 (Abraham’s obedient preparation in offering Isaac as a sacrifice) and an appreciation of Yahweh’s bent toward favoring the geography of Israel for notable occurrences, warrants serious consideration toward the latter view that the Garden or at least, Adam and Eve’s habitation, was perhaps, positioned more westerly.

Now, the Eight A-chronological Commandments
   Beginning with Chapter 1, Verse 28, on the sixth day of creation, and after Yahweh has made man, and the woman, the crowning of His Creation we read a recitation of Commands He gives to the male and the female. However, though Genesis 1:28 begins with Yahweh’s issuing “the decrees for to keep” (Acts 16:4) to the man and the woman, these are not the beginning of the commands He gives to the man.
Indeed, following a description of the location of that Garden (Gen. 2:10-14), His taking the man and putting him in Eden (Gen. 2:8, 15), Yahweh issues His first command:

• “… to dress …” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, H.5647, aw-bad’, to work, by implication, to serve, till, enslave; “… and to keep …” (H.8104, shaw-mar’, to hedge about (as with thorns) i.e., guard; generally, protect, attend to, Gen. 2:15.
Adam was commanded to work, serve, till, enslave the Garden and guard, protect, and attend to it, conserving It from the beasts of the earth to whom also, Yahweh had “… given every green herb for meat” (Gen. 1:30).

• “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die” Gen. 2:17).
Some would charge Yahweh foolishly, saying, “The way of Yahweh is not equal” (Ezek. 18:29), that it wasn’t fair of Him to threaten Adam with death, without Adam having an understanding what death was (Ezek. 18:29). Well, that’s right, it wouldn’t have been fair, as men measure fairness.
But the record of Scripture affirms that Yahweh Who extends to man a choice between blessing and life, and cursing and death, clearly confirms both the rewards for choosing what is good and acceptable and the penalties for preferring what genders toward what is bad and unacceptable, so that man is without excuse in the choices he makes (Deut. 28; Rom. 2:4-11).
The 3rd Command, and implied, is found in Chapter 2, Verses 19-20. It is specifically, a reference to what Yahweh created on the 5th and the 6th days, detailed in Genesis, Chapter 1, Verses 20-27, but abbreviated in the following account:

And out of the ground Yahweh Elohim, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

   Note well, this is the first command (though implied) in which Yahweh commits an authority of trust to man. Moreover, in Verse 20 is recorded a reiteration of what is observed first in Verse 18: “… but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”
   And so, Yahweh before giving the next Command, and in order to facilitate the conclusion of His Workmanship, “caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam … and He took one of his ribs, and … made He a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Gen. 2:21, 22).
   And this wonderful, marvelous, fearful creation finds a glorious corroboration in the order of Yahweh’s purpose in the Apostle Paul’s remonstrance in 1 Corinthians 11:7b-9, 11-12: “… the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. … Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Master. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of Yahweh.” Incidentally, the word woman is the contracted form of “womb-man,” which clearly establishes, “neither is the man without the woman … even so is the man also by the woman …” With the male and female now created, Yahweh is prepared to issue His fourth, but monogamous Command:

Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh, Genesis 2:24.

   This is often called the LEAVE, CLEAVE, BE Principle … corroborated by Yahshua in Mark, Chapter 10, Verses 7-9, in reply to both a statement and a question submitted Him by Pharisees who sought opportunity again, to urge and provoke Him to speak that they might catch something out of His mouth with which to accuse Him (Luke. 11:53-54).

Mark 10:7-9:
   For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore Yahweh hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
   The Apostle Paul further amplifies this point in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verses 10 and 11:
   And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Master, “Let not the wife depart from [her] husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.

Next, we return to Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 27b-28, where we read the 5th through the 7th Commandments given now, to both Adam and his wife, Eve. We pick up the narrative in Verse 27b:
• “… male and female created He them. And Yahweh blessed them, and Yahweh said unto them …”
• “… Be fruitful and multiply …” – the Fifth Command;
• “… and replenish the earth …” – the Sixth Command: replenish, H.4390, maw-law’, to fill or intrans. be full of) the earth.

   This word maw-law’, replenish(ed), is used seven times in the Tanach, but only twice as a command – Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 9:1, this second command repeated to Noach, when eight (a new beginning) people Yahweh purposed to replenish the earth following the destruction of all flesh which had corrupted its way.
   Certainly, we may understand this Command to “replenish the earth” was accelerated with Yahweh, by His providence, using the trespass of the pair (it wasn’t the apple) in Genesis 3 and Cain’s penalty – “… a fugitive and vagabond shall thou be in the earth” – for having slain his brother Abel in Genesis 4, to accomplish His purpose that the descendants of one family found their way to all lands (Gen. 4:12) and made it so, that man should become adapted to the climate and environment where He has placed them.
   Moreover, but a few generations from Noach however, we read in Genesis, Chapter 11, that Nimrod purposed to build a city and a tower in the plain of Shinar whose top should reach to heaven in defiance to Yahweh’s command two chapters earlier, “lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). And so, intent that His purpose that the earth should be replenished (filled up), Yahweh confuses the peoples’ language (Gen. 11:7) and then, they were dispersed.
   Addressing the epicureans and stoics in Athens, the Apostle Paul called to mind Yahweh’s plan when he observed, “Yah that made the world and all things therein … and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:24, 26).
   Briefly, we note, “… of one blood ALL NATIONS OF MEN for to DWELL ON ALL THE FACE OF THE EARTH, hath determined the times before appointed, and THE BOUNDS OF THEIR HABITATION” (emphasis ours) fulfills His intention that man should replenish, that is, fill up the earth

The Seventh Command:
• Subdue and have dominion (Gen. 1:28) – but note well, subdue and have dominion were restricted to the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moved. Inferred, however, is that man is under the dominion of his Creator Who has committed to Adam trust, this second area of authority and the first to his wife, Eve.
You will recall in our consideration of the Third, but first implied Command, issued to Adam, that Yahweh gave the man the authority to name every living creature (Gen. 2:19-20), and that whatsoever cognomen Adam assigned to each, that was the name thereof and which, incidentally, is the first example in Scripture of that authority explicitly mentioned in Matthew, Chapter 16, Verse 19b:
“… and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Lastly, we come to the Eighth Command, and the second Command implied in Genesis, Chapter 2, Verses 1-3 – the first implied, with Adam’s naming of every fowl of the air and beast of the field …

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day Yahweh ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And Yahweh blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His Work which Yah created and made.
   … and later codified in the Ten Words in Exodus, Chapter 20, Verses 8-11, and reiterated in Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, Verses 12-15:
   Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of Yahweh thy Elohim: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For [in] six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

   Eight Creation-related Commandments – eight, which in Biblical Numerology means New Beginning, affirms that man’s obedience should have assured him always to have a New Beginning.
   A New Beginning, we say, when once again, what was lost to man is restored. When, according to what is written by the Prophet Isaiah, in Chapter 11, Verses 6-9:
   The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ (viper’s) den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.
   Yes, when? “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Sovereign One … the times of restitution of all things … Glory to Yah in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Acts 3:19, 21; Luke 3:14).

-Elder John Reece

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