1:26. "In our image, etc."
By this word the perfection of our whole
nature is designated, as it appeared when
Adam was endued with a right judgment, had
affections in harmony with reason, had all
his senses sound and well-regulated, and
truly excelled in everything good. Thus the
chief seat of the Divine image was in his
mind and heart, where it was eminent: yet
was there no part of him in which some scintillations
of it did not shine forth. For there was
an attempering in the several parts of the
soul, which corresponded with their various
offices. In the mind perfect intelligence
flourished, uprightness attended as its companion,
and all the senses were prepared and molded
for due obedience to reason; and in the body
there was a suitable correspondence with
this internal order.
2:9. "And out of the ground made the
Lord God to grow."
No corner of the earth was then barren,
nor was there even any which was not exceedingly
rich and fertile: but that benediction of
God, which was elsewhere comparatively moderate,
had in this place
>> note 2 poured
itself wonderfully forth. For not only
was there an abundant supply of food, but
with it was added sweetness for the gratification
of the palate, and beauty to feast the
eyes. * * * We now understand what is meant
by abstaining from the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil; namely, that Adam might
not, in attempting one thing or another,
rely upon his own prudence; but that, cleaving
to God alone, he might become wise only
by his obedience. Knowledge is here, therefore,
taken disparagingly, in a bad sense, for
that wretched experience which man, when
he departed from the only fountain of perfect
wisdom, began to acquire for himself.
2:15. "And the Lord God took the man."
Moses now adds, that the earth was given
to man, with this condition, that he should
occupy himself in its cultivation. Whence
it follows, that men were created to employ
themselves in some work, and not to lie down
in inactivity and idleness. This labor, truly,
was pleasant, and full of delight, entirely
exempt from all trouble and weariness; since,
however, God ordained that man should be
exercised in the culture of the ground, he
condemned, in his person, all indolent repose.
Wherefore, nothing is more contrary to the
order of nature, than to consume life in
eating, drinking, and sleeping, while in
the meantime we propose nothing to ourselves
to do. Moses adds, that the custody of the
garden was given in charge to Adam, to show
that we possess the things which God has
committed to our hands, on the condition,
that being content with a frugal and moderate
use of them, we should take care of what
2:16. "I will make him an help."
Certainly, it cannot be denied, that the
woman also, though in the second degree,
was created in the image of God; whence it
follows, that what was said in the creation
of man belongs to the female sex. Now, since
God assigns the woman as a help to the man,
he not only prescribes to wives the rule
of their vocation, to instruct them in their
duty, but also pronounces that marriage will
really prove to men the best support of life.
* * * I confess, indeed, that in this corrupt
state of mankind, the blessing of God, which
is here described, is neither perceived nor
flourishes; but * * * if the integrity of
man had remained to this day such as it was
from the beginning, that divine institution
would be clearly discerned, and the sweetest
harmony would reign in marriage; because
the husband would look up with reverence
to God; the woman in this would be a faithful
assistant to him; and both, with one consent,
would cultivate a holy, as well as friendly
and peaceful intercourse.
3:1. "Now the serpent was more subtil."
It offends the ears of some, when it is
said God willed this fall; but what
else, I pray, is the permission of
Him, who has the power of preventing, and
in whose hand the whole matter is placed,
but his will? I wish that men would rather
suffer themselves to be judged by God, than
that, with profane temerity, they should
pass judgment upon him; but this is the arrogance
of the flesh to subject God to his own test.
I hold it as a settled axiom, that nothing
is more unsuitable to the character of God
than for us to say that man was created by
Him for the purpose of being placed in a
condition of suspense and doubt; wherefore
I conclude, that, as it became the Creator,
he had before determined with himself what
should be man's future condition.
"And he said unto the woman."
The artifice of Satan is to be noticed,
for he wished to inject into the woman a
doubt which might induce her to believe that not
to be the word of God, for which a plausible
reason did not manifestly appear.
3.6: "And when the woman saw."
Now, after the heart had declined from faith,
and from obedience to the word, she
>> note 3 corrupted
both herself and all her senses, and depravity
was diffused through all parts of her soul
as well as her body. It is, therefore,
a sign of impious defection, that the woman
now judges the tree to be good for food,
eagerly delights herself in beholding it,
and persuades herself that it is desirable
for the sake of acquiring wisdom; whereas
before she had passed by it a hundred times
with an unmoved and tranquil look. For
now, having shaken off the bridle, her
mind wanders dissolutely and intemperately,
drawing the body with it to the same licentiousness.
"And gave also unto her husband with
The opinion has been commonly received,
that he was rather captivated with her allurements
than persuaded by Satan's impostures.
For this purpose the declaration of Paul
is adduced, "Adam was not deceived,
but the woman."
>> note 4 But
Paul in that place, as he is teaching that the origin of evil was from the
woman, only speaks comparatively. Indeed, it was not only for the sake of
complying with the wishes of his wife, that he transgressed the law laid
down for him; but being drawn by her into fatal ambition, he became partaker
of the same defection with her. * * * We may say unbelief has opened the
door to ambition, but ambition has proved the parent of rebellion. * * *
For never would they have dared to resist God, unless they had first been
incredulous of his word. * * * I have nothing to assert positively respecting
the time, so I think it may be gathered from the narration of Moses, that
they did not long retain the dignity they had received; for as soon as he
has said they were created, he passes, without the mention of any other thing,
to their fall. If Adam had lived but a moderate space of time with his wife,
the blessing of God would not have been unfruitful in the production of offspring;
but Moses intimates that they were deprived of God's benefits before
they had been accustomed to use them.
3:16 "Unto the woman he said."
>> note 5 says, "I
will multiply thy pains," he comprises
all the trouble women sustain during pregnancy.
It is credible that the woman would have
brought forth without pain, or at least without
such great suffering, if she had stood in
her original condition; but her revolt from
God subjected her to inconveniences of this
kind. * * * The second punishment which he
exacts is subjection. For this form of speech, "Thy
desire shall be unto thy husband," is
of the same force as if he had said that
she should not be free and at her own command,
but subject to the authority of her husband
and dependent upon his will.
She had, indeed, previously been subject
to her husband, but that was a liberal and
gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast
3:17 "And unto Adam he said."
[This labor] stands in antithesis with the
pleasant labor in which Adam previously so
employed himself, that in a sense he might
be said to play; for he was not formed for
idleness, but for action. Therefore the Lord
had placed him over a garden which was to
be cultivated. But, whereas in that labor
there had been sweet delight; now servile
work is enjoined upon him, as if he were
condemned to the mines.