1) Gen 2:4–6: Here the focus shifts from a cosmic view of creation in which God formed the world for his glory alone, with humanity as his final creative act of self-glorification, to an account of creation in which the Lord is near, living together with Adam in paradise.
In each of the ten instances in Genesis where the phrase “These are the generations of” occurs, Moses switched to a new topic describing what or who came forth (eg. Gen 4:25–5:3; Gen 6:7–10; Gen 9:28–10:1).
Consequently, this section does not describe the process of creating the heavens and the earth, but rather what they propagated.
Therefore, a good translation of v. 4a is, “Here is what became of the heavens and the earth.”
Much as in v. 6, the Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursag describes sweet water coming up from the earth. People did not yet work the ground to create irrigation canals, which were similar to the ones used in Egypt even today.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
a) Read Gen 2:4–6. What clue do we have that Gen 2 depicts what the heavens and the earth propagated, rather than how God created them? Why wasn’t agriculture taking place?
[Related posts include In the Beginning of God’s Creating (Gen 1:1–2); Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); The Lord Breathes Life (Gen 2:7); A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); Ancient Near Eastern Genealogies (Gen 5:1); In the Likeness of God (Gen 5:1–2); Author and Date of Genesis; and Ancient Literature]
[Click here to go to Chapter 5: A View from the Ground (Genesis 2:4–25)]
 Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, 71–2.
 Hamilton, Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 152.
Dr. Sarah Hall, personal communication (18 March 2015).
 S. N. Kramer, trans., “Enki and Ninhursag: A Paradise Myth,” in ANET, line 45, 38, https://archive.org/stream/Pritchard1950ANET_20160815/Pritchard_1950_ANET#page/n63/mode/2up.
E. A. Zaghoul, et al., “Detection of Ancient Irrigation Canals of Deir El-Hagar Playa, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt, Using Egyptsat-1 Data,” The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science 16, no. 2 (December 2013): 153–61, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110982313000227.
Tour Egypt, “Egypt Picture – Water Buffalo Assists with Irrigation,” http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/picture03312005.htm.