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(Gen 2:2) "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all His work which he had done." (Amplified Bible).

(Gen 2:7) And god formed man from the dust of the ground..."

There are two creation descriptions of man, but why is this description placed after saying that He finished all his work on the seventh day?

I know that there are two creation accounts, and about creating Lilith before Eve. That's why there's a second description of creating man, right? Is that why this creation account is placed after the statement that He finished everything and rested on the seventh day?


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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Regarding Lilith

Your question revolves around the discrepancy of details when reading Genesis 1-2 sequentially. In a strictly literal reading of these two texts together, it creates some obvious problems, one of which being the question of when humans, particularly men and women, were created. Some readers came to the idea that because Eve is specifically formed in Genesis 2, after man and woman have already been made in Genesis 1, that there must have been a previous woman. In Medieval Judaism, she was identified as 'Lilith'.

This is a historical reading of Genesis 1-2, but the interpretation is rejected by nearly all modern critical scholars, for a variety of reasons, but the most direct one being: No such 'Lilith' or 'first woman before Eve' is specified anywhere in Genesis, or any other biblical text.

The Two Creation Accounts

There was another question some time back asking about the authorial intent of Genesis 1; my answer is here, and can be summarized as such: Genesis 1 is a temple creation text, with the universe as God's temple that he 'rests' in (on the seventh day)

When we read Genesis 2, it is not a sequel to chapter 1. The vocabulary is different, the name used for God is different, the order in which God creates things is different. As such, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 should not be understood as happening in a sequence, nor should Genesis 2 be understood as taking place 'on the sixth day' of Genesis 1. Each creation account was written by an entirely different author, for entirely different reasons.

What we have are two entirely different stories.

What Genesis 1 describes is the creation of humanity, both men and women, after all the plants and animals have already been made, and that's that. What Genesis 2 describes is the creation of man (just the one), after which God creates the plants and animals, and only when none of them are found to be 'suitable' for the man does God created woman.

While both creation texts have something to say about humanity, and men and women, what it is they are saying is distinct and unrelated to what the other says. The 'seven days' are not a part of the Genesis 2 creation text.

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While I disagree with the differing authors of Genesis, you took exception to explain why-hence +1 – Tau Apr 23 '14 at 0:48

Disclaimer on Perspective

For the record, I do not hold to the Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP theory or otherwise) as another answer here gives as a solution. I believe the Pentateuch was largely (if not perhaps wholly) scribed by a single inspired author, Moses.

As such, the Pentateuch should be looked at as a unity, including Gen 1:1-2:3 in relation to Gen 2:4 and following.

Literary/Historical/Theological Focus

Your first question:

There are two creation descriptions of man, but why is this description placed after saying that He finished all his work on the seventh day?

Gen 1:1-2:3 is the introductory "overview" of creation week, and of course, the introduction to all of Scripture. This account gives the day by day details of God's creating during those seven consecutive 24-hour days (yes, others hold different views on interpreting the days).

At Gen 2:4 begins Genesis' toledot sections (אֵ֣לֶּה תֹולְדֹ֧ות; "these are the generations of..."), which organize the entire rest of the book. This first one is the generation and history of mankind being formed from the dust of the earth and breath of God, and what happens to mankind after that, up to the time that God is preparing to save the earth from mankind's wickedness with the flood of Noah (where the next toledot begins, Gen 6:9). As such, it is giving expanded detail of day 6 of creation week (Gen 1:24-31) during the section of chapter 2 up to the creation of Eve.

So the "two accounts" are just that, different accounts, but not describing different periods of time, just different details. Genesis is progressing in its literary and historical description to begin its "history of mankind" as God saw fit for us to need to know.

No Biblical Lilith

Your other two questions:

I know that there are two creation accounts, and about creating Lilith before Eve. That's why there's a second description of creating man, right? Is that why this creation account is placed after the statement that He finished everything and rested on the seventh day?

There is no Biblical textual support for a person such as Lilith, especially in Genesis. The only use of the Hebrew word לִּילִ֔ית is in Isa 34:14, and is in reference to an animal. So there is no textual basis at all for anyone to teach that Lilith is why there are two accounts of creating man in Genesis.


No, Adam was not created after the seventh day. The story shifts focus after giving an initial overview of God's creative work, a focus that begins to reveal how mankind is generated first from the earth, and then specific generations of people groups after that, with the focus being on moving toward Abrahamic peoples, especially through Jacob/Israel.

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Thank you once again for your excellent answer! – Tau Apr 23 '14 at 0:54
Note that you do not need to believe in Documentary Hypothesis with 4 different sources to believe that Genesis 1 was in fact added to the text later. – James Shewey Sep 5 '14 at 23:04

Two creation accounts compared

A comparison of the creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:4a with that in Genesis 2:4b-25 raises some interesting contradictions. In the first story, man (and woman) are the last of God's creation, for example after all other animals have been created, whereas in the second story, Adam ('man') is the very first of God's creations and the other animals are only then created. In the first story, God is all powerful (El Shaddai) and simply speaks things into creation ("And God said, let there be ..."), but in the second (and earlier) story, God can not make living things out of nothing and must create Adam and the animals out of dirt (Genesis 2:7,19). Leon R. Kass says in The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis, p55 that pious readers, believing that the text cannot contain contradictions, ignore the major disjunctions between the two creation stories and tend to treat the second story as the fuller, more detailed account of the creation of man (and woman) that the first story simply reported.

Independence of the two creation stories

Kass tells us that once we recognise the independence of the two creation stories, we are compelled to adopt a critical principle of reading if we mean to understand each story on its own terms, without considering any facts or notions from the other account. Adam is part of the second story, and this does not have a concept of seven days. He was created at the very beginning.

Later traditions

According to Jewish mythology, Lilith was Adam’s wife before Eve, justified by the creation of woman in Genesis 1:27. A midrash in Genesis Rabba also appears to talk about a previous wife, telling us, in part (XXII. 7-8), "The first Eve had returned to dust." However, these notions are much later than the Book of Genesis and were not the original intent of the book.

Continuation of the second account

The story of the creation of Adam and Eve is followed by the story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man, Cain and Abel, all the way through to the story of Noah. To have placed it before the seven-day creation story would have disrupted the flow of the text. The Documentary Hypothesis says that what is now the first creation story was added by the Priestly Source during the Babylonian Exile. It was much easier to simply add the later account at the very beginning.

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The problem of time and the non existence of time

Hawking contents that time is about 15 billion years. Prior to this 15,000,000 billion years, Hawking contends we do not know what was before. This gets into various thoughts. For now, we will call it eternity or the eternal. The eternal or eternity is being outside of time. Now, if we take the reality of how we see time daily (seasons for example) and measure time, time probably begins on the 4th day. If we go back a day to the 3rd day, we read that seeds were sowed on the earth. Now, whether that be true or not, we can assume that seeds mean life. Plants need seasons. We can also assume plants die. There is an assumption of death. Death is an important part of understanding a week. Death is normally marked in the middle of the week. Although Jesus dies on the "6th" day, we could "metaphorically say that "silent wednesday meant death". Ironically and metaphorically, Jesus spends the 4th day in Bethany with a dead man named Lazarus.

We could start a whole different discussion on a man's sin and death versus the natural reality of death in living ecosystem. This is not the topic. The point that will be making here is Time and death. Prior to the 4th day, there is a problem with time. There might have been "seeds" tossed over the earth. Is time necessary to accomplish this event when speaking of the eternal. If we split the week in two, we have a possible reality of an eternal element of "time" which we cannot know as opposed to a time element that we seem to experience and live in which came possibly into existence on the 4th day. To make things clean, let's split the day in half. Eternity existed in the first half of the 4th day, and time became a reality in the second half of the 4th day.

What I am leading towards is the week has a format. IN this case, this week is a God week and the format is a 8 day week with 50 hours before and after the middle of the week. The first 50 hour does not exist because it is actually eternity or the place where the eternal exists. We see in the beginning light, "Let there be light".

I will not go into the format of time, but it is basically, shavuot or pentecost. The problem with shavuot or pentecost is we have only looked at it from a 50 (hours, days, weeks, years, etc) point of veiw only in the second half of the week. If a day had 14 hours meaning that an hour prior to the 12 and an hour after the 12 hours. This means each day eternity touches on the day. If we take three and half days with a 14 hour count and add an hour, we would have a 50 hour week. The 50th hour jumps back into eternity. The people who saw Christ on the 8th day were actually experiencing the reality of eternity. We could think how much does eternity have to slow down to keep up with time. It is a metaphor or a reality of the eternal that cannot be fully experience. We are left with faith and the Spirit helps to confirm this reality. The Spirit is also the product of the 8th day or as we know it, the 50th day when Pentecost took place. When a week is completed, the eternal always leaves something to be experience by us in this world. Before mentioning some examples of these 50 to 50 weeks, not all weeks are 50 to 50 weeks. The 50 to 50 weeks are the weeks that God completes. There are weeks that are 42 to 42 weeks. There weeks are Israel's weeks and in one case, there is the 7 year week which the adopted will have to complete. This seven year week will have a shift very similar to the passion week. The difference is the passion week has an hour as an hour and the seven year week has an hour as a month. We have an example of this 84 hour week in the book fo revelations that speaks of a seven year week.

Some of the examples of these God weeks are the creation week which leaves creation to be experienced. There is the ark of the covenant week which leaves the law to be experienced. There is the temple week which leaves the ability to worship god. There is the immanuel week which brings God into the world. There is the passion week where one can touch God. There is the pentecost week where God enters us.

What does all of this have to do with the creation of Adam and the creation of man? First of all, to have an second Adam, Immanuel, there has to be a first Adam. Every week has a sacrifice which comes back to the concept of death which we mentioned in the beginning here. For a Second Adam to exist, there had to be a sacrifice that had to be very connected to the first Adam. The sacrifice was the flood. The logic is there was a a man Adam. Now, he could have been the "first" man. The problem lies in what we define as a Man. The same thought can be wrestled with in what we understand as time.

Unfortunately, there is no way that I can actually fully explain completely in a short setting here.

Here are some of the assumptions.

Time is billions of years. Before time is eternity.
When time ends, there will be eternity again.

Evolution holds some truth. There probably was an evolving element in the creation process. Time in billions of years or millions most likely could allow for a process. Now, what man developed on the 6th day can only be understood in what we have found. This is not what we know as history.

There was "a man" created on the 7th day. This man would be used as an instrument to eventually bring another man to save creation or "man".

Time and history is the truth of our actual situation. If time is billions of years, we are living out time in the less than a second of what has been in terms of time. A man named adam as been created in the last second of the seventh day. This means there is a great possibility that the day is almost over which leads to a "8th" theology. To go into the background of the 8th day is a topic all by itself. We know that Jesus rose on the 8th day by faith in our case (an maybe the spirit), but there were witnesses who claimed Jesus rose on the 8th day.

God created or put into motion and "evoution" system on the 6th that develop some being that is called "man" on the 6th day. The time line is caught up in billions of years or maybe millions.

God created on the seventh day in the last second which according to our history if tracked back to the time of the mesopotamia or the sumerian time. Looking at it with honest eyes, time as week know our history is at best 17,000 years old.

A man, named Adam, was created around this time line by God.

One can say this is all myth. One can also say that God is taking the last second of the whole creation story to save a few.

There is a saying the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The Creation story is the first and God was the worker who worked the week. It is the first week to begin and the last to finish.

There are 15 weeks. There are 70 workers. 11 weeks are done. 4 weeks remain, the creation week, the benjamin week, the 2nd pentecost week and the 1st resurrection week.

The creation week has less than a milisecond left. The benjamin week has 3 hours left. The 2nd pentecost has 52 hours left. The 1st resurrection has 6 days and a 8th day left.

Jesus works the passion week. All weeks mirror the passion week. The passion week is the paradigm, the passion paradigm.

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The 6th day of Genesis has not happened yet. It is still future.

Gen 2 is taking place in the FIRST DAY of Gen 1

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,

That clearly says it is in the day that God made the earth and the heavens. Which is the first verse in the Bible and the first day.

First lets look at the verse of the creation of man in Gen 1:

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

At this point we have to ask God what is the Image of God and who is the HIM.

As always your bible has the answer, it is not for our own interpretation.

2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The also in Col 1 (speaking of Jesus) 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

So the image of God is Christ, with Jesus the head of the body, and the church is the body. And you are created in HIM (Christ)

Col 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

So God says that He is going to "create man in his own image" (the look of your own natural body) And he says "male and female created he them"

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

The word likeness here in verse one is described in Gen 3:22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:

So we are like God, knowing good and evil, and thus the separation of the light and the darkness in the FIRST DAY of Genesis 1. So Adam was created in His likeness in the First day of Gen 1, but in His image in the Last Day (Day 6 of Gen 1), and also the last literal day of 6000 years.

As was Jesus first created as a man "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" Then after His resurrection, The image of God.

2 Pet 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (In 2 Pet 3 we are told about the separation of the waters during Noah's flood, which is described as Day 2 of Gen 1) and Also we are given the length of the days of Gen 1.

1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (create man in his own image);the last Adam was made a quickening spirit (in the image of God created he him).

And now for why it is still future..

If you read the rest of 1 Cor 15:44-58 the answer is clear.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

At this point these words from God will make more sense.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

So Gen 1:27 I thus understand like this:

God will create everyone in His own spiritual body, looking like the persons natural body, male or female, and raise them in His image (Christ, the spiritual body), on the last day.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

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