New English Translation
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.[a] I will make a companion[b] for him who corresponds to him.”[c] 19 The Lord God formed[d] out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would[e] name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam[f] no companion who corresponded to him was found.[g] 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep,[h] and while he was asleep,[i] he took part of the man’s side[j] and closed up the place with flesh.[k] 22 Then the Lord God made[l] a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
- Genesis 2:18 tn Heb “The man’s being alone is not good.” The meaning of “good” must be defined contextually. Within the context of creation, in which God instructs humankind to be fruitful and multiply, the man alone cannot comply. Being alone prevents the man from fulfilling the design of creation and therefore is not good.sn The statement about Adam being alone precedes the naming of the animals, and the command to be fruitful (1:28) came after the creation of woman (1:27). Naming the animals will show that none of them qualify as a companion for Adam (v. 20).
- Genesis 2:18 tn Traditionally “helper.” The English word “helper,” because it can connote so many different ideas, does not accurately convey the connotation of the Hebrew word עֵזֶר (ʿezer). Usage of the Hebrew term does not suggest a subordinate role, a connotation which English “helper” can have. In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. In this context the word seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion.” The woman would supply what the man was lacking in the design of creation and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking, although that is not stated here. See further M. L. Rosenzweig, “A Helper Equal to Him,” Jud 139 (1986): 277-80.
- Genesis 2:18 tn The Hebrew expression כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (kenegdo) literally means “according to the opposite of him.” Translations such as “suitable [for]” (NASB, NIV), “matching,” “corresponding to” all capture the idea. (Translations that render the phrase simply “partner” [cf. NEB, NRSV], while not totally inaccurate, do not reflect the nuance of correspondence and/or suitability.) The man’s form and nature are matched by the woman’s as she reflects him and complements him. Together they correspond. In short, this prepositional phrase indicates that she has everything that God had invested in him.
- Genesis 2:19 tn Or “fashioned.” To harmonize the order of events with the chronology of chapter one, some translate the prefixed verb form with vav (ו) consecutive as a past perfect (“had formed,” cf. NIV) here. (In chapter one the creation of the animals preceded the creation of man; here the animals are created after the man.) However, it is unlikely that the Hebrew construction can be translated in this way in the middle of this pericope, for the criteria for unmarked temporal overlay are not present here. See S. R. Driver, A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew, 84-88, and especially R. Buth, “Methodological Collision between Source Criticism and Discourse Analysis,” Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics, 138-54. For a contrary viewpoint see IBHS 552-53 §33.2.3 and C. J. Collins, “The Wayyiqtol as ‘Pluperfect’: When and Why,” TynBul 46 (1995): 117-40.
- Genesis 2:19 tn The imperfect verb form is future from the perspective of the past time narrative.
- Genesis 2:20 tn Here for the first time the Hebrew word אָדָם (ʾadam) appears without the article, suggesting that it might now be the name “Adam” rather than “[the] man.” Translations of the Bible differ as to where they make the change from “man” to “Adam” (e.g., NASB and NIV translate “Adam” here, while NEB and NRSV continue to use “the man”; the KJV uses “Adam” twice in v. 19).
- Genesis 2:20 tn Heb “there was not found a companion who corresponded to him.” The subject of the third masculine singular verb form is indefinite. Without a formally expressed subject the verb may be translated as passive: “one did not find = there was not found.”
- Genesis 2:21 tn Heb “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man.”
- Genesis 2:21 tn Heb “and he slept.” In the sequence the verb may be subordinated to the following verb to indicate a temporal clause (“while…”).
- Genesis 2:21 tn Traditionally translated “rib,” the Hebrew word actually means “side.” The Hebrew text reads, “and he took one from his sides,” which could be rendered “part of his sides.” That idea may fit better the explanation by the man that the woman is his flesh and bone.
- Genesis 2:21 tn Heb “closed up the flesh under it.”
- Genesis 2:22 tn The Hebrew verb is בָּנָה (banah, “to make, to build, to construct”). The text states that the Lord God built the rib into a woman. Again, the passage gives no indication of precisely how this was done.
- Genesis 2:23 tn The Hebrew term הַפַּעַם (happaʿam) means “the [this] time, this place,” or “now, finally, at last.” The expression conveys the futility of the man while naming the animals and finding no one who corresponded to him.
- Genesis 2:23 tn The Hebrew text is very precise, stating: “of this one it will be said, ‘woman’.” The text is not necessarily saying that the man named his wife—that comes after the fall (Gen 3:20).sn Some argue that naming implies the man’s authority or ownership over the woman here. Naming can indicate ownership or authority if one is calling someone or something by one’s name and/or calling a name over someone or something (see 2 Sam 12:28; 2 Chr 7:14; Isa 4:1; Jer 7:14; 15:16), especially if one is conquering and renaming a site. But the idiomatic construction used here (the Niphal of קָרָא [qaraʾ] with the preposition ל [lamed]) does not suggest such an idea. In each case where it is used, the one naming discerns something about the object being named and gives it an appropriate name (See 1 Sam 9:9; 2 Sam 18:18; Prov 16:21; Isa 1:26; 32:5; 35:8; 62:4, 12; Jer 19:6). Adam is not so much naming the woman as he is discerning her close relationship to him and referring to her accordingly. He may simply be anticipating that she will be given an appropriate name based on the discernible similarity.
- Genesis 2:23 tn Or “from” (but see v. 22).
- Genesis 2:23 sn This poetic section expresses the correspondence between the man and the woman. She is bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh. Note the wordplay (paronomasia) between “woman” (אִשָּׁה, ʾishah) and “man” (אִישׁ, ʾish). On the surface it appears that the word for woman is the feminine form of the word for man. But the two words are not etymologically related. The sound and the sense give that impression, however, and make for a more effective wordplay.
- Genesis 2:24 tn This statement, introduced by the Hebrew phrase עַל־כֵּן (ʿal ken, “therefore” or “that is why”), is an editorial comment, not an extension of the quotation. The statement is describing what typically happens, not what will or should happen. It is saying, “This is why we do things the way we do.” It links a contemporary (with the narrator) practice with the historical event being narrated. The historical event narrated in v. 23 provides the basis for the contemporary practice described in v. 24. That is why the imperfect verb forms are translated with the present tense rather than future.
- Genesis 2:24 tn The prefixed verb form יַעֲזָב (yaʿzov) may be an imperfect, “leaves,” with a gnomic or characteristic nuance, or a jussive, “should leave” (possibly indicated by the short o-vowel). The next two verbs, each a perfect consecutive, continue the force of this verb. For other examples of עַל־כֵּן (ʿal ken, “therefore, that is why”) with the imperfect in a narrative framework, see Gen 10:9; 32:32 (the phrase “to this day” indicates characteristic behavior is in view); Num 21:14, 27; 1 Sam 5:5 (note “to this day”); 19:24 (perhaps the imperfect is customary here, “were saying”); 2 Sam 5:8. The verb translated “leave” (עָזָב, ʿazav) normally means “to abandon, to forsake, to leave behind,” when used with human subject and object (see Josh 22:3; 1 Sam 30:13; Ps 27:10; Prov 2:17; Isa 54:6; 60:15; 62:4; Jer 49:11). Within the context of the ancient Israelite extended family structure, this cannot refer to emotional or geographical separation. The narrator is using hyperbole to emphasize the change in perspective that typically overtakes a young man when his thoughts turn to love and marriage.
- Genesis 2:24 tn The verb is traditionally translated “cleaves [to]”; it has the basic idea of “stick with/to” (e.g., it is used of Ruth resolutely staying with her mother-in-law in Ruth 1:14). In this passage it describes the inseparable relationship between the man and the woman in marriage as God intended it.
- Genesis 2:24 tn Heb “and they become one flesh.” The retention of the word “flesh” (בָּשָׂר, basar) in the translation often leads to an incomplete interpretation. The Hebrew word refers to more than just a sexual union. The man and woman bring into being a new family unit (הָיָה plus preposition ל [hayah plus lamed] means “become”). The phrase “one flesh” occurs only here and must be interpreted in light of v. 23. There the man declares that the woman is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. To be one’s “bone and flesh” is to be related by blood to someone. For example, the phrase describes the relationship between Laban and Jacob (Gen 29:14); Abimelech and the Shechemites (Judg 9:2; his mother was a Shechemite); David and the Israelites (2 Sam 5:1); David and the elders of Judah (2 Sam 19:12); and David and his nephew Amasa (2 Sam 19:13; see 2 Sam 17:25; 1 Chr 2:16-17). The expression “one flesh” seems to indicate that they become, as it were, “kin,” at least legally (a new family unit is created) or metaphorically. In this first marriage in human history, the woman was literally formed from the man’s bone and flesh. The first marriage sets the pattern for how later marriages are understood and explains why marriage supersedes the parent-child relationship. See NT use of this passage in Matt 19:5-6; Mark 10:8; 1 Cor 6:16; and Eph 5:31.
- Genesis 2:25 tn Heb “And the two of them were naked, the man and his wife.” sn Naked. The motif of nakedness is introduced here and plays an important role in the next chapter. In the Bible nakedness conveys different things. In this context it signifies either innocence or integrity, depending on how those terms are defined. There is no fear of exploitation, no sense of vulnerability. But after the entrance of sin into the race, nakedness takes on a negative sense. It is then usually connected with the sense of vulnerability, shame, exploitation, and exposure (such as the idea of “uncovering nakedness” either in sexual exploitation or in captivity in war).
- Genesis 2:25 tn The imperfect verb form here has a customary nuance, indicating a continuing condition in past time. The meaning of the Hebrew term בּוֹשׁ (bosh) is “to be ashamed, to put to shame,” but its meaning is stronger than “to be embarrassed.” The word conveys the fear of exploitation or evil—enemies are put to shame through military victory. It indicates the feeling of shame that approximates a fear of evil.
New English Translation
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry[a] about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky:[b] They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds[c] them. Aren’t you more valuable[d] than they are? 27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?[e] 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers[f] of the field grow; they do not work[g] or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass,[h] which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven,[i] won’t he clothe you even more,[j] you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unconverted[k] pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But above all pursue his kingdom[l] and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.[m]Read full chapter
- Matthew 6:25 tn Or “do not be anxious,” and so throughout the rest of this paragraph.
- Matthew 6:26 tn Or “the wild birds”; Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).
- Matthew 6:26 tn Or “your heavenly Father gives them food to eat.” L&N 23.6 has both “to provide food for” and “to give food to someone to eat.”
- Matthew 6:26 tn Grk “of more value.”
- Matthew 6:27 tn Or “one cubit to his height.” A cubit (πῆχυς, pēchus) can measure length (normally about 45 cm or 18 inches) or time (a small unit, “hour” is usually used [BDAG 812 s.v.] although “day” has been suggested [L&N 67.151]). The term ἡλικία (hēlikia) is ambiguous in the same way as πῆχυς (pēchus). Most scholars take the term ἡλικία (hēlikia) to describe age or length of life here, although a few refer it to bodily stature (see BDAG 435-36 s.v. 1.a for discussion). Worry about length of life seems a more natural figure than worry about height. However, the point either way is clear: Worrying adds nothing to life span or height.
- Matthew 6:28 tn Traditionally, “lilies.” According to L&N 3.32, “Though traditionally κρίνον has been regarded as a type of lily, scholars have suggested several other possible types of flowers, including an anemone, a poppy, a gladiolus, and a rather inconspicuous type of daisy.” In view of the uncertainty, the more generic “flowers” has been used in the translation.
- Matthew 6:28 tn Or, traditionally, “toil.” Although it might be argued that “work hard” would be a more precise translation of κοπιάω (kopiaō) here, the line in English reads better in terms of cadence with a single syllable.
- Matthew 6:30 tn Grk “grass of the field.”
- Matthew 6:30 tn Grk “into the oven.” The expanded translation “into the fire to heat the oven” has been used to avoid misunderstanding; most items put into modern ovens are put there to be baked, not burned.sn The oven was most likely a rounded clay oven used for baking bread, which was heated by burning wood and dried grass.
- Matthew 6:30 sn The phrase even more is a typical form of rabbinic argumentation, from the lesser to the greater. If God cares for the little things, surely he will care for the more important things.
- Matthew 6:32 tn Or “unbelievers”; Grk “Gentiles.”
- Matthew 6:33 tc ‡ Most mss (L N W Δ Θ 0233 ƒ1, 13 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M lat sy mae) read τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ (tēn basileian tou theou kai tēn dikaiosunēn autou, “the kingdom of God and his righteousness”) here, but the words “of God” are lacking in א B sa bo Eus. On the one hand, there is the possibility of accidental omission on the part of these Alexandrian witnesses, but it seems unlikely that the scribe’s eye would skip over both words (especially since τοῦ θεοῦ is bracketed by first declension nouns). Intrinsically, the author generally has a genitive modifier with βασιλεία—especially θεοῦ or οὐρανῶν (ouranōn), the latter attested by Clement of Alexandria—but this argument cuts both ways: Although the evangelist might be expected to use such an adjunct here, scribes might also be familiar with his practice and would thus naturally insert it if it were missing in their copy of Matthew. Although a decision is difficult, the omission of τοῦ θεοῦ is considered most likely to be the initial text. NA28 includes the words in brackets, indicating doubt as to their authenticity.sn God’s kingdom is a major theme of Jesus’ teaching. The nature of the kingdom of God in the NT and in Jesus’ teaching has long been debated by interpreters and scholars, with discussion primarily centering around the nature of the kingdom (earthly, heavenly, or both) and the kingdom’s arrival (present, future, or both). An additional major issue concerns the relationship between the kingdom of God and the person and work of Jesus himself.
- Matthew 6:34 tn Grk “Sufficient for the day is its evil.”