But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
All Commentaries on Genesis 2:6 Go To Genesis 2
Ephrem The Syrian
For it says, "The trees were not in existence and the vegetation had not yet sprouted, seeing that the Lord had not caused rain to fall on the earth. A fountain went up from the earth to irrigate the surface of the earth." [ Gen2:5,2:6 ] Since everything was and is born through the interaction of water and earth, Scripture took care to indicate that trees and vegetation were not created at the same time as the earth, seeing that rain had not yet fallen. But after the great fountain of the great primordial deep had gone up and irrigated the entire surface of the earth, then, once the waters had been gathered together on the third day, the earth gave birth to all sorts of vegetation on the very same day.
The waters over which the darkness had been spread on the first day are the same as those which issued from this fountain, covering, in a twinkling of an eye, the entire earth. This is the fountain which was opened up in the days of Noah, covering over all mountains on the earth. Now this fountain did not come up from under the earth, but from the earth, for it explicitly says "the fountain was coming up"--not from beneath the earth, but " from the earth." That these waters in the earth do not precede the earth in time is testified by the fact that the earth carries them in its womb.
So "the fountain went up from the earth," as Scripture says, "and it irrigated the surface of the entire earth." [ Gen2:6 ] The earth then produced trees, vegetation and plants. It was not the case that God was unable to generate everything from the earth in any other way, but, because it was His will that the earth should give birth through the agency of water, He provided an initial beginning for this process, corresponding to the way in which it would be carried on until the end.
Having spoken about what had been omitted and left untold on the first day, Scripture reverts to the description of Adam's fashioning as follows: "And Adam was not there to work on the earth." [ Gen. 2:5 ] Indeed he was not in existence during all the days prior to the sixth, because it was on the sixth day that he was created. [Gen. 1:26-7, 31]