The Seventh Day—Rest

Chapter 2 So the earth, the sky, and everything in them were finished. God finished the work he was doing, so on the seventh day he rested from his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. He made it special because on that day he rested from all the work he did while creating the world.

The First Man and the Garden of Eden

This is the story about the creation of the sky and the earth. This is what happened when the Lord God made the earth and the sky. This was before there were plants on the earth. Nothing was growing in the fields because the Lord God had not yet made it rain on the earth, and there was no one to care for the plants.

So water[a] came up from the earth and spread over the ground. Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and made a man.[b] He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose, and the man became a living thing. Then the Lord God planted a garden in the East,[c] in a place named Eden. He put the man he made in that garden. Then the Lord God caused all the beautiful trees that were good for food to grow in the garden. In the middle of the garden, he put the tree of life and the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil.

10 A river flowed from Eden and watered the garden. The river then separated and became four smaller rivers. 11 The name of the first river was Pishon. This river flowed around the entire country of Havilah.[d] 12 (There is gold in that country, and that gold is pure. A kind of expensive perfume and onyx are also found there.) 13 The name of the second river was Gihon. This river flowed around the whole land of Cush.[e] 14 The name of the third river was Tigris. This river flowed east of Assyria. The fourth river was the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to work the soil and take care of the garden. 16 The Lord God gave him this command: “You may eat from any tree in the garden. 17 But you must not eat from the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil. If you eat fruit from that tree, on that day you will certainly die!”

A Companion for Adam

18 Then the Lord God said, “I see that it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make the companion he needs, one just right for him.”

19 The Lord God used dust from the ground and made every animal in the fields and every bird in the air. He brought all these animals to the man, and the man gave them all a name. 20 The man gave names to all the tame animals, to all the birds in the air, and to all the wild animals. He saw many animals and birds, but he could not find a companion that was right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply. While he was asleep, God took one of the ribs from the man’s body. Then he closed the man’s skin where the rib had been. 22 The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman. Then he brought the woman to the man. 23 And the man said,

“Finally! One like me,
    with bones from my bones
    and a body from my body.
She was taken out of a man,
    so I will call her ‘woman.’”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife. In this way two people become one.

25 The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed.

The Beginning of Sin

Chapter 3 The snake was the most clever of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. The snake spoke to the woman and said, “Woman, did God really tell you that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

The woman answered the snake, “No, we can eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But there is one tree we must not eat from. God told us, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch that tree, or you will die.’”

But the snake said to the woman, “You will not die. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree you will learn about good and evil, and then you will be like God!”

The woman could see that the tree was beautiful and the fruit looked so good to eat. She also liked the idea that it would make her wise. So she took some of the fruit from the tree and ate it. Her husband was there with her, so she gave him some of the fruit, and he ate it.

Then it was as if their eyes opened, and they saw things differently. They saw that they were naked. So they got some fig leaves, sewed them together, and wore them for clothes.

During the cool part of the day, the Lord God was walking in the garden. The man and the woman heard him, and they hid among the trees in the garden. The Lord God called to the man and said, “Where are you?”

10 The man said, “I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid. I was naked, so I hid.”

11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”

She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

14 So the Lord God said to the snake,

“You did this very bad thing,
    so bad things will happen to you.
It will be worse for you
    than for any other animal.
You must crawl on your belly
    and eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other.
    Your children and her children will be enemies.
You will bite her child’s foot,
    but he will crush your head.”

16 Then God said to the woman,

“I will cause you to have much trouble
    when you are pregnant.
And when you give birth to children,
    you will have much pain.
You will want your husband very much,
    but he will rule over you.”[f]

17 Then God said to the man,

“I commanded you not to eat from that tree.
    But you listened to your wife and ate from it.
So I will curse the ground because of you.
    You will have to work hard all your life for the food the ground produces.
18 The ground will grow thorns and weeds for you.
    And you will have to eat the plants that grow wild in the fields.[g]
19 You will work hard for your food,
    until your face is covered with sweat.
You will work hard until the day you die,
    and then you will become dust again.
I used dust to make you,
    and when you die, you will become dust again.”

20 Adam[h] named his wife Eve.[i] He gave her this name because Eve would be the mother of everyone who ever lived.

21 The Lord God used animal skins and made some clothes for the man and his wife. Then he put the clothes on them.

22 The Lord God said, “Look, the man has become like us—he knows about good and evil. And now the man might take the fruit from the tree of life. If the man eats that fruit, he will live forever.”

23 So the Lord God forced the man out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground he was made from. 24 God forced the man to leave the garden. Then he put Cherub angels and a sword of fire at the entrance to the garden to protect it. The sword flashed around and around, guarding the way to the tree of life.


  1. Genesis 2:6 water Or “a mist.”
  2. Genesis 2:7 man The Hebrew word means “man,” “people,” or the name “Adam.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.”
  3. Genesis 2:8 East This usually means the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as far east as the Persian Gulf.
  4. Genesis 2:11 Havilah The land along the west coast of the Arabian peninsula and possibly, the part of Africa south of Ethiopia.
  5. Genesis 2:13 Cush Usually this means Ethiopia, but here, it probably refers to the area north and east of the Tigris River.
  6. Genesis 3:16 You will … over you Or “You will want to rule your husband, but he will rule over you.” In Hebrew this is like the last part of Gen. 4:7.
  7. Genesis 3:18 See Gen. 1:28-29.
  8. Genesis 3:20 Adam This name means “man” or “people.” It is like the word meaning “earth” or “red clay.”
  9. Genesis 3:20 Eve This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “life.”