d) Gen 2:19–20: God first formed the animals from the same ground which he used to create Adam (Gen 1:20–26; Gen 2:7).

Then Adam began to fulfill God’s directive to exercise authority over these creatures (Gen 1:28). He did so by naming them, an activity previously reserved for the Lord (Gen 1:26).[1]

In the ancient world, to confer a name was to speak from a position of authority and sovereignty.[2] Emperors frequently employed this tactic over their under-lords (2 Chron 36:4; 2 Ki 24:15–17).

In the process of identifying the roles and functions of each of the animals, Adam recognized that none could serve as his partner. He would have to look elsewhere for assistance with his God-given functions of subduing and ruling to extend the garden-temple (Gen 1:26–28Gen 2:8–10), serving and keeping it (Gen 2:15), and being fruitful and multiplying (Gen 1:28).[3]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Read Gen 2:19–20. How did the parade of the animals increase Adam’s longing? Why do you think God chose to do that to him? How can you encourage someone living in isolation?






Go to An Equal and Adequate Partner


[Related posts include Living Things from the Earth (Gen 1:24–25); Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); The Lord Breathes Life (Gen 2:7); A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); Serving and Keeping (Gen 2:15); and Not Good! (Gen 2:18)]


[Click here to go to Women and Marriage Throughout Redemptive History; or to Chapter 5: A View from the Ground (Genesis 2:4–25)]


[1]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 75.

[2] Hamilton, Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 176.

[3] Walton, Genesis, 187.