We must remind ourselves again that this book was written for the ancient decendents of Israel and go back and see how the people of that time and space would think. John Walton is a student of ancient cosmology and a profesor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He says 23 the people whom Moses was writing to would have understood the account of the seventh day of rest to be a temple text and consider it to be the most important of the seven days. To the ancients rest resulted when a crisis was resolved. Rest would be a matter of engagement without obstacles as opposed to our defination of disengagement without responsabilities.
Yahwea disingaged from the set-up tasks and began regular operations. The cosmos is the temple he rules from.
Now we have the story of how it all started with the understanding of the people it was first written to. Here Yahweh, through Moses, tells his people that before any vegitation had sprouted from the earth or rain had fallen from the sky the earth was watered from underground springs.
Again, this is not a scientific explaination; this is a story to explain to the people of the Near East, through whom Yahweh choose to spread his love to the rest of the world, what a wonderful world mankind lost.
Yahweh formed man out of the dust of the ground, planted a garden for him to live and work in and put those two trees in the middle surrounded by other trees that were beautiful to look at and good to eat from. Yahweh had given mankind his image – his moral fiber. He was able to choose right and hang on to his righteous character.
The description of the garden of Eden as a place where all the senses are continuelly pleased demonstrates how much mankind had to loose.
The creation of woman would indicate that we need community and the best companion for a man is a woman. Man had already maned all the other animals and didn’t find any with his brain power or any other atribute to match his abilities and stimulate his growth. The picture of Yahweh taking a rib from Adam and forming it into a mate for him suggests more to us now than it would have to us back in the time and space of the ancient Near East.
My own emotions and brain cells tell me that asexual life misses more than sexual and intelectual intercourse. Two people working side by side, even without speach, enriches the sensual appreciation of the work. The same goes for play.