Grand Human Prospects in a Paradise of Pleasantness
“God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.’”—GENESIS 1:28.
1, 2. To what end is Jehovah lovingly working with regard to humans, and what work assignments did he give to Adam?
“GOD is love,” we are told in the Holy Bible. He is lovingly and unselfishly interested in mankind and ceaselessly working that they might forever enjoy healthful, peaceful lives in an earthly paradise of pleasantness. (1 John 4:16; compare Psalm 16:11.) The first man, the perfect Adam, had a peaceful life and interesting, enjoyable work. Man’s Creator assigned him to cultivate the delightful garden of Eden. Man’s Creator now gave him another task, a special one, a challenging assignment, as the account of what took place reveals:
2 “Now Jehovah God was forming from the ground every wild beast of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man would call it, each living soul, that was its name. So the man was calling the names of all the domestic animals and of the flying creatures of the heavens and of every wild beast of the field.”—Genesis 2:19, 20.
3. Why was there no fear on the part of Adam and the animal creation?
3 The man called the horse sus, the bull shohr, the sheep seh, the goat ʽez, a bird ʽohph, the dove yoh·nahʹ, the peacock tuk·kiʹ, the lion ʼar·yehʹ or ʼariʹ, the bear dov, the ape qohph, the dog keʹlev, the serpent na·chashʹ, and so on.* When he went over to the river that flowed out of the garden of Eden, he saw fish. To fish he gave the name da·gahʹ. The unarmed man felt no fear of these animals, domestic and wild, or of the birds, and they felt no fear of him, whom they instinctively recognized as their superior, of a higher kind of life. They were God’s creatures, gifted with life by Him, and the man had no desire or inclination to hurt them or take their life away from them.
4. What might we surmise regarding Adam’s naming of all the animals and birds, and what kind of experience must this have been?
4 Just how long the man was being shown the domestic and wild animals and the flying creatures of the heavens, the account does not tell us. It was all under divine guidance and arrangement. Adam likely took time to study each different animal, observing its distinctive habits and makeup; then he would select a name that would be especially fitting for it. This could mean the passing of a considerable amount of time. It was a most interesting experience for Adam thus to get acquainted with the creature life of this earth in its many kinds, and it called for great mental ability and powers of speech for him to distinguish each of these kinds of living creatures with a suitable name.
5-7. (a) What questions would likely arise? (b) What kind of answers were given in the creation account at Genesis 1:1-25?
5 But what had been the order of the creation of all these living creatures? Were the land animals created before the birds or not, and where in time and order did the man stand with regard to all these living creatures of a lower kind? How did God prepare the surface of the earth for such a wide variety of creature life, provide the air in which the birds could fly at such heights, supply the water to drink and the vegetable life to serve as food, make a great luminary to brighten the day and enable man to see, and make the lesser luminary to beautify the night? Why was the weather so mild and warm that the man could move about and work and sleep exposed and naked?
6 The man was not left to guess at the answers. His inquiring mind deserved intelligent answers from an authoritative source that knew accurately. He was not abandoned as an ignorant son of God, but his high degree of intelligence was likely dignified with the marvelous history of creation as given at Genesis 1:1-25.
7 For that thrilling account of creation, Adam would be very grateful. It explained many things. From the way it was worded, he understood that there were three long periods of time that God called days according to His way of measuring time, before the fourth creative period in which God made the two great luminaries appear in the expanse of the heavens to mark man’s much shorter 24-hour day. This shorter human day on earth was the time from the going down of the greater luminary to its next descent. Adam also became aware that there were to be years of time for him, and he no doubt immediately began to count his years of life. The greater luminary in the expanse of the heavens would enable him to do this. But as for God’s longer days of creation, the first man realized that he was then living in the sixth day of God’s earthly creative work. No end had yet been mentioned to him of that sixth day for creating all those land animals and then for creating man separately. Now he would understand the order of the creating of vegetable life, marine life, bird life, and land animals. But by himself in the garden of Eden, Adam was not the full, complete expression of God’s loving purpose for man in his earthly Paradise.
Creating the First Woman
8, 9. (a) What did the perfect man observe regarding the animal creation, but what did he conclude with regard to himself? (b) Why was it fitting that the perfect man did not ask God for a mate? (c) How does the Bible account describe the creating of the first human wife?
8 The first man, with his perfect mind and powers of observation, saw that in the bird and animal realm, there were male and female and that between them they reproduced their kind. But with the man himself, it was not then so. If this observation inclined him to have the thought of enjoying a companion, he found no suitable mate among any of the animal realm, not even among the apes. Adam would conclude that there was no mate for him because if there had been one, would not God have brought this mate to him? Man had been created separate from all those animal kinds, and he was meant to be different! He was not inclined to decide matters for himself and become impudent and ask God his Creator for a mate. It was fitting that the perfect man let the entire matter rest with God, for shortly afterward he found that God had drawn His own conclusions about the situation. About this and what now took place, the account tells us:
9 “But for man there was found no helper as a complement of him. Hence Jehovah God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man. Then the man said: ‘This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman, because from man this one was taken.’ That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh. And both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife, and yet they did not become ashamed.”—Genesis 2:20-25.
10. How did the perfect man respond when the perfect woman was presented to him, and what may his words have indicated?
10 There was complete satisfaction expressed in his words when the perfect woman was presented to him as a helper and complement: “This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” In view of these words when he finally saw his newly created wife, it could be that he had waited some time to receive his delightful human counterpart. Describing his complement, Adam called his wife “Woman” (ʼish·shahʹ or, literally, “female man”), “because from man this one was taken.” (Genesis 2:23, New World Translation Reference Bible, footnote) Adam felt no fleshly kinship to the flying creatures and land animals that God had previously brought to his notice for him to name. His flesh was different from theirs. But this woman truly was of his fleshly kind. The rib bone taken from his side manufactured the same sort of blood that was in his own body. (See Matthew 19:4-6.) Now he had someone to whom he could act as God’s prophet and with whom he could share the marvelous account of creation.
11-13. (a) With Adam’s receiving a wife, what questions might arise? (b) What was God’s purpose for the first human couple? (c) What would serve as food for the perfect human family?
11 What, though, was the purpose of man’s Creator in giving him a wife? Was it merely to provide for him a helper and complement, a companion of his own kind to keep him from growing lonesome? The record explains God’s purpose as it relates to us God’s blessing that was pronounced upon their marriage:
12 “And God went on to say: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.’ And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. Further, God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.’
13 “And God went on to say: ‘Here I have given to you all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you let it serve as food. And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.’ And it came to be so.”—Genesis 1:26-30.
Prospects Ahead of the First Human Couple
14. With God’s blessing, what future lay before the perfect man and woman, and what could they rightly envision?
14 What a wonderful thing it was for that perfect man and his perfect wife to hear the voice of God talking to them, telling them what to do and blessing them! With God’s blessing, life would not be in vain, but they would be enabled to do what they were told to do. What a future was ahead of them! As the happily married couple stood there in their home, the garden of Eden, they likely meditated on what would come to be as they carried out God’s will for them. As their mind’s eye looked forward into the distant future, they saw, not just the “garden in Eden, toward the east,” but the whole earth filled with radiant-faced men and women. (Genesis 2:8) The heart of the man and the woman would leap at the thought that all of these were their children, their descendants. All were perfect, flawless in bodily form and structure, having perpetual youth that abounded with fine health and the joy of living, all of them expressing perfect love for one another, all unitedly worshiping their great Creator, their heavenly Father, doing this along with the first human father and mother. How the heart of the first man and woman must have swelled at the thought of having such a family!
15, 16. (a) Why would there be plenty of food for the human family? (b) As the happy family grew in number, what work would there be for them outside the garden of Eden?
15 There would be plenty of food for every member of this human family that filled the whole earth. There was plenty of food to begin with, there in the garden of Eden. God had provided for them and given to them all vegetation bearing seed to serve as healthful, life-sustaining food, along with the fruit-bearing trees.—Compare Psalm 104:24.
16 As their happy family grew in number, they would expand the garden to the lands beyond the borders of Eden, for God’s words indicate that outside the garden of Eden, the earth was in an unprepared state. At least, it was not cared for and was not brought to the same high level of cultivation that marked the garden of Eden. That was why their Creator told them to “subdue” the earth as they filled it.—Genesis 1:28.
17. Why would there be plenty of food for the growing population, and what would eventually prevail as the garden was enlarged?
17 As the garden was expanded by perfect cultivators and caretakers, the subdued earth would yield plentifully for the growing population. Finally, the steadily enlarging garden would cover all the earth, and an earth-wide paradise would prevail, to flourish as mankind’s everlasting home. It would be a beauty spot to view from heaven, and the heavenly Creator could pronounce it very good.—Compare Job 38:7.
18. Why would the global garden of Eden be free from disturbance, and what peacefulness would prevail?
18 It would all be as peaceful and free from disturbance as that garden of Eden in which the newly married man and woman found themselves. There would be no need to fear danger or harm from all those animals and flying creatures that the first man, Adam, had inspected and named. Like their first human father and mother, those perfect inhabitants of the earth-wide Paradise would have in subjection the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the heavens, and every living thing moving about on the earth, even the wild beasts of the open field. With an instinctive sense of subjection to man, who was created “in God’s image,” these lower living creatures would be at peace with him. Their tender, perfect human masters, in having these lower living creatures in subjection, would foster a climate of peace among the animal creation. The peaceful influence of these godlike human masters would spread protectively over these contented lower living creatures. Above all, perfect mankind would be at peace with God, whose blessing would never be removed from them.—Compare Isaiah 11:9.
God Rests From His Creative Works
19. (a) With regard to God’s purpose, what must the first man and woman have realized? (b) What did God indicate with regard to time?
19 As the perfect human couple would contemplate the completed earthly scene according to God’s purpose, they would realize something. For them to carry out this marvelous commission from God would require time. How much time? Their Creator and heavenly Father knew. He indicated to them that the great series of creative days had now reached another closing and that they were standing at the “evening,” the starting point of a new day according to God’s own marking of creative days. It was to be a blessed day and sanctified to God’s own pure, righteous purpose. The perfect man, the prophet of God, took note of this. The inspired narrative tells us:
20. What does the Bible account say concerning “the seventh day”?
20 “After that God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion. And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made. And God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred, because on it he has been resting from all his work that God has created for the purpose of making. This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.”—Genesis 1:31–2:4.
21. (a) Does the Bible say that God ended his day of rest and that it was very good? Explain. (b) What questions arise?
21 The account does not say that God ended his day of rest and saw that it was very good and that there came to be evening and morning, a seventh day. To correspond with the preceding six creative days, the seventh day has yet to be pronounced very good, for it has not yet ended. Can Jehovah God pronounce the day very good thus far? Has it been a day of peaceful resting for him thus far? What of that heart-ravishing prospect that the first man and woman envisioned to themselves on their marriage day in Paradise? Let us see as the scene unfolds in the next article.
These are names found in the Hebrew text of Genesis and other inspired books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
How Would You Respond?
□ What task did God give Adam in addition to caring for the garden, and what did this entail?
□ What did the account of creation at Genesis 1:1-25 reveal?
□ How was the first human wife created, and how did Adam respond on their marriage day?
□ What prospects were ahead of the first human couple?
□ How did God indicate that the great series of creative days had reached another closing?