The opening chapters of Genesis are exceptionally important for understanding the rest of the Pentateuch. Apart from setting the initial scene, Genesis 1–3 determines the trajectory for all that follows. For this reason, it is vitally important to clearly comprehend the essence of these chapters within their present literary context. Unfortunately, discussions of Genesis 1–3 are too often hijacked by those who are almost exclusively preoccupied by the modern debate on the relationship between the biblical view of creation and that of contemporary science. [emphasis mine] Though this issue needs to be addressed, we should constantly remember that the author of these chapters penned them as an introduction to the narrative that unfolds in the books of Genesis to Kings. As we shall presently see, this narrative begins with the expectation that humans were created to build for God a temple-city on the earth. Unfortunately, God’s plans are almost immediately thrown into chaos as Adam and Eve betray their Creator and subsequently their descendants pursue their own agenda by constructing God-less cities.

Alexander, T Desmond. From Paradise to the Promised Land : An Introduction to the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.