After creating Adam and placing him in the garden with the rest of his creation, he observed that it was not good for Adam to be alone. It seems that God wanted Adam to feel his “aloneness” and that’s why all the animals that came to him for a name came to him in pairs: male and female. Maybe Roop is right, “God forms animals. Perhaps they will solve the problem of human loneliness. The animals are brought to ’adam for a response. The person names the animals, thereby giving them a place in the world. Although these creatures were made of the earth like the human creature, the animals cannot fulfill humanity’s need for community (vv. 19–20).”[1] Adam needs something more. He needs another compatible creature, fit for him, that is also created in the image of God. Genesis 2:20 tells us about this problem. It says, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a suitable companion fit for him.”

I really like my cat, Bentley! We’ve had a lot of cats but this one is a talker. He makes all kinds of sounds. As a matter of fact, he never shuts up unless he’s sleeping. He follows Kathy around wherever she goes in the house. He wraps himself around her legs and says, “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow….” You get the idea. Eventually Kathy will have enough and yell at him “will you please be quiet!” He doesn’t listen. Sometimes when I’m in a good mood, I’ll meow back at him, and we’ll have a conversation. I’ll ask him questions, but he can only say “meow.” He is a terrible conversationalist. You see cats can’t talk. My son JD told me about a man who advertised a talking do for sale for 10 bucks. A potential buyer went to see the dog and asked him questions. The dog was articulate and answered and would tell stories about all his travels and adventures around the world. When the buyer was told the owner only wanted 10 bucks for the dog, the buy inquired why so cheap. The owner said, “that dog is a rotten liar! He’s never been out of the backyard.”

God wanted Adam to see that he was incomplete. “He was just a half, and he needed the other half so that together they could be one. That was the thing God had in mind. God created Adam first and allowed him time to realize that he needed someone else.”[2] He needed someone like himself. “The beasts of the field were created and were divinely presented to Adam that he might recognize them, that he might name them, that they might awaken his intellectual energies, and that their departure might awaken within him the thought of loneliness. But the brutes are not companions for man, they cannot enter into the high enjoyments of his intellectual life, nor can they join him in his devotional moods.”[3] It wasn’t enough to simply have visits from God, even though this was very important. It wasn’t enough to have pets all around him. He needed more. “In order for true and happy companionship there must be a fair equality of intellectual power, of moral sympathy, and a real community of daily life, existing between the parties. Hence there was a deep necessity, in order to relieve the loneliness of Adam, that another human being should be created to keep him constant company.”[4]

[1] Roop, Eugene F. 1987. Genesis. Believers Church Bible Commentary. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.

[2] McGee, J. Vernon. 1998. Marriage and Divorce. Thomas Nelson.

[3] Exell, Joseph S., and Thomas H. Leale. 1892. Genesis. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary. New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Exell, Joseph S., and Thomas H. Leale. 1892. Genesis. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary. New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.