This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the Lord God made the heavens and the earth,
there were no plants or grain growing on the earth, for the Lord God had not sent any rain. And no one was there to cultivate the soil.
But water came up out of the ground and watered all the land.
And the Lord God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.
Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had created.
And the Lord God planted all sorts of trees in the garden-beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the center of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches.
One of these branches is the Pishon, which flows around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found.
The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there.
The second branch is the Gihon, which flows around the entire land of Cush.
The third branch is the Tigris, which flows to the east of Asshur. The fourth branch is the Euphrates.
The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.
But the Lord God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden
except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."
And the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."
So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam[fn1] to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one.
He gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. But still there was no companion suitable for him.
So the Lord God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs[fn2] and closed up the place from which he had taken it.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam.
"At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called `woman,' because she was taken out of a man."
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.
Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"
"Of course we may eat it," the woman told him.
"It's only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die."
"You won't die!" the serpent hissed.
"God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil."
The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.
At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.
Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.
The Lord God called to Adam,[fn1] "Where are you?"
He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."
"Who told you that you were naked?" the Lord God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"
"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it."
Then the Lord God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."
So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly.
From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband,[fn2] he will be your master."
And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."
Then Adam named his wife Eve,[fn3] because she would be the mother of all people everywhere.
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Then the Lord God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!"
So the Lord God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
After banishing them from the garden, the Lord God stationed mighty angelic beings[fn4] to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.
Now Adam[fn1] slept with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When the time came, she gave birth to Cain,[fn2] and she said, "With the Lord's help, I have brought forth[fn3] a man!"
Later she gave birth to a second son and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain was a farmer.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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