Now God gives Adam the first command: eat whatever tree’s fruit you want, but not the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He also tells Adam what would happen if he does eat from it: Adam would die.
A lot has been made of this. Was it a command, that when disobeyed, would cause immediate, physical death? If so, why didn’t Adam and Eve die? Was the fruit poison? Was this a prophecy? Or, perhaps, was it intended that God would add the Curse to the Creation if this happened?
We can’t know for sure, but I suspect it’s some of all of those, and probably more. Eating the fruit would be the single most traumatic thing that happens to the universe until Jesus’ time. Virtually everything changed. And, when Jesus came into the world, virtually everything did change, again. But, that’s a tale for another day.
Here, I want to point out that the word for dying is used twice, once as an infinitive and once as a finite verb1. The effect could be translated into English as “dying you will die”, but that doesn’t play well to English-speaking readers. The bottom line is that the emphasis is on the absolute certainty of death, not (as it somewhat appears in English) as immediate death.
We now know that this statement applies to eternity as well. Adam and his progeny will be dying as they die for all eternity. This is absolutely certain, unless something changes. This “something” would be that Jesus comes to pay the sin penalty for Adam and his descendants. Jesus died for all Mankind, including every one of Adam’s descendants. To take advantage of this, people just need to put their trust in Jesus. If we do not, the penalty still applies to us: dying, we will die, and that death will occur throughout all eternity.
Back to THIS day (day six, before the Curse), God decides that it’s not good for Adam (and, by extension, all human males) to be alone. So, Adam reports that God created all the animals, and He brought them to Adam so Adam could name them.
Naming things, in the Bible, is important. It signifies authority. Even in our world, parents choose their childrens’ names, because they have authority over them. Cities and countries get to name places like mountains, lakes, and rivers, because they have the authority to do so. So, from the fact that God had Adam name the animals, it is clear that Adam has been made head over Creation by God. This will come up later, as well.
One other purpose for Adam naming the animals was so that Adam could figure out that none of them were to be his mate. Yes, toucans, peacocks, and zebras are pretty, but they’re not quite the same thing as the woman would be. So, God puts Adam to sleep, takes out a rib, and makes a woman out of that rib.
“Hold on!” one might say. “Men and women have the same number of ribs. This couldn’t be true!” Actually, the rib would grow back, if the operation were done correctly2. And, He being the Great Physician, we can safely assume that God did it correctly.
When Adam woke up, he probably said something like “Oo la LAH”. OK, that’s not true; what he actually said was “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” But, “oo la lah” sounds much cooler, and face it: I’m a guy.
Then the text (not necessarily Adam) says “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” This has been the basis for marriage ever since. Perhaps in his marriage vows, Adam might have been thinking, “you’re the only woman for me!” While this is a good thing for husbands to say to their wives, in this case Eve was the only woman, period.
Then, God reminds us that they were naked and unashamed. (Make that OOOH LAA LAH!!!”)