Which day was Adam created? Harmonizing Genesis 1 and 2

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ChristianHedonist

Puritan Board Freshman
For those of you who hold to a literal (6 24 hour days) creation, I'd like to get your thoughts on whether Adam was created on the sixth day or before the sixth day. From Genesis 1 alone, it seems that Adam would have been created on the sixth day:

23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.​

However, from Genesis 2 it seems that he must have been created before the sixth day:

4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

5When 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, 6and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The 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 helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,

"This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man."

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.​

It seems from Genesis 2 that Adam was created before the plants and before the animals (see verse 5 and verse 19), and then after this Eve was created.

My brother's theory is that Adam was created before the sixth day, such as on the third day, and Eve on the sixth. This could fit with both chapters 1 and 2, because chapter 1 does not explicitly say that Adam himself was not created until the sixth day. He sees Genesis 1:26-27 as referring to the completion of the creation of mankind when Adam and Eve had both been created, rather than referring to when he first created the man, Adam.

What do you think of this interpretation? Is it reasonable? Or do any of you harmonize chapters 1 and 2 with a different interpretation?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
One thing, be careful about putting too much reliance upon the translation using the word "then" as a strict temporal signifier. The Hebrew word is more along the lines of "and". As in "And he said. . . and the Lord God formed. . . ."

As for the theory that Adam was created before the plants, I just don't see that at all. The KJV seems to put it more clearly:

Gen 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
Gen 2:5 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.
Gen 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


It's a recap of Chapter 1. Heavens and earth when they were created, every plant and herb, (and by the way, even though it didn't rain yet, they were watered by a mist from the earth), and Man was created.

No need to place Man's creation any earlier that I can see.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Or do any of you harmonize chapters 1 and 2 with a different interpretation?

The Christian tradition regards Adam and Eve being made on day 6 (hence 6 as the number of man). Vegetative life was created on day 3 in a mature state; that is why the fruit of the trees could be eaten as soon as Adam and Eve were made. The reference in 2:5 points to second generation growth as a part of the work of providence.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Dan, read the Septuagint account, which is clearer then the Hebrew in this case.

I'm with Victor; there's no way a person with an agricultural background would see a contradiction in the accounts. Plants were created mature, and food plant seed just doesn't come up without working the soil.

I think the reason that this whole idea of a contradiction in the accounts is modern is that only 2% or so of Westerners make their living by farming. To the ancients, if someone claimed that there was a contradiction in this case, they'd just shake their heads and assume the person making the claim was a bit daffy.

Best
Tim
 
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