Genesis 2:25 MEANING

Genesis 2:25

(25) They were both naked.--This is the description of perfect childlike innocence, and belongs naturally to beings who as yet knew neither good nor evil. It is not, however, the conclusion of the marriage section, where it would be indelicate, but the introduction to the account of the temptation, where it prepares the way for man's easy fall. Moreover, there is a play upon words in the two verses. Man is arom = naked; the serpent is arum=crafty. Thus in guileless simplicity our first parents fell in with the tempting serpent, who, in obvious contrast with their untried innocence, is described as a being of especial subtilty.

Verse 25. - And they were both naked. Not partially (Pye Smith), but completely destitute of clothing. Diodorus Siculus and Plato both mention nakedness as a feature of the golden age and a characteristic of the first men (vide Rosenmüller, Scholia in love), The man and his wife. The first pair of human beings are henceforth recognized in their relationship to one another as husband and wife. And they were not ashamed. Not because they were wholly uncultivated and their moral insight undeveloped (Knobel, Kalisch); but because their souls were arrayed in purity, and "their bodies were made holy through the spirit which animated them" (Keil). "They were naked, but yet they were not so. Their bodies were the clothing of their internal glory; and their internal glory was the clothing of their nakedness" (Delitzsch). It is not surprising that the primeval history of mankind should have left its impress upon the current of tradition. The Assyrian tablets that relate to man are so fragmentary and mutilated that they can scarcely be rendered intelligible. So far as they have been deciphered, the first appears on its obverse side "to give the speech of the Deity to the newly-created pair (man and woman), instructing them in their duties," in which can be detected a reference' to something which is eaten by the stomach, to the duty of daily invocation of the Deity, to the danger of leaving God's fear, in which alone they can be holy, and to the propriety of trusting only a friend; and on its reverse what resembles a discourse to the first woman on her duties, in which occur the words, "With the lord of thy beauty thou shalt be faithful: to do evil thou shalt not approach him" ('Chaldean Genesis,' pp. 78-80). The Persian legend describes Meschia and Meschiane, the first parents of our race, as living in purity and innocence, and in the enjoyment of happiness which Ormuzd promised to render perpetual if they persevered in virtue. But Ahriman, an evil demon (Dev), suddenly appeared in the form of a serpent, and gave them of the fruit of a wonderful tree. The literature of the Hin-does distinguishes four ages of the world, in the first of which Justice, in the form of a bull, kept herself firm on her four feet; when Virtue reigned, no good which the mortals possessed was mixed with baseness, and man, free from disease, saw all his wishes accomplished, and attained an age of 400 years. The Chinese also have their age of happy men, living in abundance of food, and surrounded by the peaceful beasts ('Kalisch on Genesis,' p. 87). In the Zendavesta, Yima, the first Iranic king, lives in a secluded spot, where he and his people enjoy uninterrupted happiness, in a region free from sin, folly, violence, poverty, deformity. The Teutonic Eddas have a glimpse of the same truth in their magnificent drinking halls, glittering with burnished gold, where the primeval race enjoyed a life of perpetual festivity. Traces of a similar belief are found among the Thibetans, Mongolians, Cingalese, and others (Rawlinson's 'Hist. Illustrations of Scripture,' p. 10). The Western traditions are familiar to scholars in the pages of Hesiod, who speaks of the golden age when men were like the gods, free from labors, troubles, cares, and all evils in general; when the earth yielded her fruits spontaneously, and when men were beloved by the gods, with whom they held uninterrupted communion (Hesiod, 'Opera et Dies,' 90). And of Ovid, who adds to this picture the element of moral goodness as a characteristic of the aurea aetas ('Metam.,' 1:89). Macrobius ('Somn. Scipionis,' 2:10) also depicts this period as one in which reigned simplicitas mali nescia et adhuc astutiae inexperta (Maedonald, 'Creation and the Fall,' p. 147). "These coincidences affect the originality of the Hebrew writings as little as the frequent resemblance of Mosaic and heathen laws. They teach us that all such narratives have a common source; that they are reminiscences of primeval traditions modified by the different nations in accordance with their individual culture" (Kalisch)

2:18-25 Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proof of this he named them all. It also shows his insight into the works of God. But though he was lord of the creatures, yet nothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are all our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by special grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both of prudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is so near and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is to be done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes for covering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: they needed none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was man in his state of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favours did he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yet man, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soon became as the beasts that perish.And they were both naked, the man and his wife,.... Were as they were created, having no clothes on them, and standing in need of none, to shelter them from the heat or cold, being in a temperate climate; or to conceal any parts of their bodies from the sight of others, there being none of the creatures to guard against on that account:

and were not ashamed; having nothing in them, or on them, or about them, that caused shame; nothing sinful, defective, scandalous or blameworthy; no sin in their nature, no guilt on their consciences, or wickedness in their hands or actions; and particularly they were not ashamed of their being naked, no more than children are to see each other naked, or we are to behold them: besides, they were not only alone, and none to behold them; but their being naked was no disgrace to them, but was agreeably to their nature; and they were not sensible that there was any necessity or occasion to cover themselves, nor would they have had any, had they continued in their innocent state: moreover, there was not the least reason to be ashamed to appear in such a manner, since they were but one flesh. The Jerusalem Targum is,"they knew not what shame was,''not being conscious of any sin, which sooner or later produces shame. Thus Plato (r) describes the first men, who, he says, were produced out of the earth; and for whom the fertile ground and trees brought forth fruit of all kind in abundance of themselves, without any agriculture; that these were , "naked and without any covering"; and so Diodories Siculus (s) says, the first of men were naked and without clothing. The word here used sometimes signifies wise and cunning; it is rendered "subtle" first verse of the next chapter: and here the Targum of Jonathan is,"they were both wise, Adam and his wife, but they continued not in their glory;''the next thing we hear of is their fall.

(r) Politico, apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 12. c. 13. p. 588. (s) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 8.

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