What is the purpose of God asking Adam to name the animals?
In Bereishit 2:19 God brings all the animals to Adam to see what he will name them. This has long puzzled me, because:
- God created them and already knows their functions (He doesn't need Adam to tell Him).
- God, having made Adam and especially b'tzelem Elokim, in the divine image, knows Adam's capabilities. God does not need to test to see if Adam can produce the correct answers. (But see Chizkuni below.)
- It doesn't seem to have a practical effect. Why does it matter what Adam names the animals?
I looked at some (English-language) commentaries but still feel like I'm missing the point. Here's what I've learned so far:
Rashi says it is to establish, on the very day the animals were created, that they are subjugated under Adam, but this is already said explicitly in Bereishit 1:28 where God tells Adam to rule over them.
S'forno says that bringing the animals before Adam was so Adam would realize he didn't have a partner like the animals do, but that doesn't specifically require naming them, just inspecting them. S'forno also says that the names give us a clue to each animal's function, but wouldn't divinely-issued names have done that more clearly?
Chizkuni seems to say that it was a test: "G-d wanted to find out how Adam reacted to the living soul He had blown into his nostrils i.e. if he would be able to correctly name the various species that fitted their nature." I'm having trouble understanding what this test shows. I'm not saying it never makes sense for God to test people; clearly He does in other places, including Avraham and Iyov. But that's after the expulsion from Gan Eden, after gaining the benefits of the tree of knowledge of good and bad, when people's character and fortitude can be in question.
Maybe it's any or all of those, and I'm just not properly understanding it (as indicated in my comments on each). What am I missing? What is the purpose(s) of having Adam name the animals?