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Adam, Plants and Rain

With Genesis 2:4 the creation narrative changes some what in nature. The first chapter is a sequential period by period account of the creation. The second chapter does not necessarily keep to the time step order and back tracks now and then to review what has already been recorded. We will use the word by word translation as published by J. P. Green in the "The Interlinear Bible".

4) These (are) the generations of the heavens
and the earth when they (were) created in the day (#3117)
of the making of Jehovah God's earth and heavens.

This introduction uses the Hebrew word most often translated as day (yowm) to indicate the time period of the entire creation and other translations render the phrase "in the day" as "in the time".

5) And every shrub of the field not yet it was on the earth,
and every herb of the field not yet it had sprung up,
for not had rain (#4305) sent Jehovah God on the earth,
and a man was not to till the ground.

Here we back track some to a time when there was a solid ground but no shrubs and herbs, it had not rained, and man was not around. This would appear to be a time in the day (also translated time, age or aeon) three of chapter one when the land had appeared in the midst of the waters, but the herbs and shrubs were not yet present since there was no rain to irrigate them. Three conditions that the Lord Jehovah was to change in the next four verses. These three changes are the same as occurred in the latter part of day three and day six of chapter one.

6) And a mist (#108) went up from the earth
and watered all the face of the ground.

Here the Lord first provides watering up from the ground which indicates that the ground is well soaked since this is the condition necessary for a mist, vapor, or fog to form over the land. The Hebrew word translated as mist can also be translated as fog or vapor as we have indicated and only appears again in Scriptures in Job 36:27 where the hydrologic cycle is described as follows.

Job 36:27) For He draws up the drops of water,
they distill rain (#4306) into mist (#108),
which drip down the clouds
and drop upon men abundantly.

job 36:27

Contrary to the many theories that have been proposed concerning the condition of the hydrological cycle before the flood, there is here no indication that this cycle differs greatly from that of today. The condition of there being no rain is described only in conjunction with the time when plants and man also did not exist. And then the hydrologic cycle is initiated with no indication that it differs significantly from that of today. The Hebrew word for rain does not appear again until Genesis 7:4 when the Lord says;

Gen 7:4) I will cause to rain (#4305) on the earth forty days and forty nights ....

But, no where between Genesis 2:6 and 7:4 do we have any indication that the hydrologic cycle is any different than that described in Job 36.

7) And formed Jehovah God the man (of) dust from the ground,
and blew into his nostrils breath of life;
and became the man a soul living.
And planted Jehovah God a garden in Eden, to the east;
and put there the man whom He had formed.
And made spring Jehovah God from the ground every tree
pleasant to the sight and good for food.

Here the Lord has completed the job and placed on the earth all three parts than were noted as not present in verse 5, rain, plants and man. The chapter goes on and describes the rivers that watered the garden, but the geographical description seems different from that of today since not all four "rivers" can be located today by name. Needless to say there has been much discussion concerning the location of the garden and what four rivers these might be! (see the topic Ararat) Also we have added the concept of a special garden with special trees (the Tree of life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). We wish that much more detail was provided concerning the garden and its climate and the rest of the world outside of the garden and its climate, but unfortunately such details are not provided. Did the earth outside of the garden have "bad" weather, did thorns and thistles exist outside of the garden? We could speculate, but we will not!

But the total job of the creation as described in Genesis 1 is not completed yet.

19) And formed Jehovah God from the ground
every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens,
and brought to the man to see what he would call it,
and all which might call it the man
(each) soul living that (was) its name.

22) And formed Jehovah God the rib
which He had taken from the man into a woman.
and brought to her in the man.

In verse 19 we back track to day five and six of Genesis 1 and the animals and birds are formed and then finally finish the work of day six of Genesis 1 in verse 22 of Genesis 2 when the woman is formed.

We have skipped a number of the details for a later research topic.

Conclusion: The more detailed creation account of Genesis 2 differs in form and adds more detail than Genesis 1, but in no way provides any discrepancies. In this chapter there is presented no evidence that the climate and hydrologic cycle differs significantly than that of today. Such possibilities are just not included.

You ask, why use a word for word translation with its word arrangements that are not considered as good English structure? That is because during the authors' studies we have come to the conclusion that very often when the Hebrew is put into good English form the translators do not retain in some cases the true sense of the Hebrew.

Concerning the often discussed vapor canopy theories, recent computer simulations indicate that a thin canopy is theoretically possible and could provide a more even and moderate climate all over the globe. But if the vapor layer is not of optimum characteristics it could either provide too much of a green house effect and extremely high temperatures, or too much vapor and you have a cooling effect of course. However, vapor layers of optimum characteristics for climatic conditions do not hold enough water to provide a significant percentage of the total amount of water to flood the total globe to the depth required by the Genesis account. Therefore, the vapor canopy theories do not seem to provide a totally satisfactory explanation for the flood. There also must be a significant contribution from the "fountains of the deep". (for a more detailed discussion of the flood see "the flood" or to "COAL" for more evidence refuting the vapor canopy theory. )