Genesis 2:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:5, NIV: "Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,"

Genesis 2:5, ESV: "When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,"

Genesis 2:5, KJV: "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground."

Genesis 2:5, NASB: "Now no shrub of the field was yet on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground."

Genesis 2:5, NLT: "neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil."

Genesis 2:5, CSB: "no shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not made it rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground."

What does Genesis 2:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Setting the stage for the arrival of man, two things are missing at this point in the creation story: rain and someone to work the ground. This verse describes a world in which no shrubs or small plants of the field had yet sprung up. The Hebrew word for the plants God created during the prior days, as in Genesis 1:11, is de'se, which is a very general term. Here, in verse 5, the terms used are siah and ē'seb, which are more specific. This passage, then, is describing the lack of cultivated crops grown for humans to eat.

God caused all kinds of plants to grow on the land on the third day of creation, and we will see in verse 8 that God will plant trees in Eden with fruit good for food. This verse is pointing forward to man's future work and purpose on the earth, to plant crops and work the ground, to bring order to the earth by tending what God had made.