In Genesis 1:27 we have the creation of Adam on the sixth day of creation.

Genesis 1:27a, So God created Adam in God's own image...

But in the next chapter, we have:

Genesis 2:5-7, in the hebrew literally says "And before there was any plant of the field in/on the earth or any herb (Heb: etseb) of the field had sprouted up (verb tsamach - spring up or sprout) ... [7] then the Lord God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

This seems to point us back to day 3 of the genesis account after the earth was revealed by the pulling back and bounding of the waters below. Dry land was revealed, and then on day 3, plants were made to grow... Well before the beasts of the field were made or Adam in the previous account.

Genesis 1:12, in the hebrew says "And the earth brought forth (verb yatsa - came out) grass, herb (Heb: etseb) that yields seed according to its species, and the trees that bear fruit, with the seed inside, according to its species. ..."

It seems that Genesis 1:12 indicates that the herbs (etseb) had already sprouted (came out of the earth) in day three, before the creation of Adam in day 6. Genesis 2:5 seems to indicate that herbs of the field sprouted up after Adam was assembled from the dirt. Or at least it says that Adam was assembled before the herbs had sprouted. This would imply day 3 in the Genesis 1 narrative.

Is there some difference between "herbs" versus "herbs of the field" or the verbs "come out" versus "sprout up" when applied to plants? Seems to me there is no difference, but a temporal sequencing issue in the creation of humanity.

So was Adam made on day 3 according to Genesis 2, or Day 6 according to genesis 1, or is there some other map between these?

  • 1
    Gen 2 is simply a second account of creation from a different point of view with a quite different emphasis. Gen 1 and Gen 2 are not at odds
    – Dottard
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 21:41
  • Observe the names applied to Deity in the first and second account - Elohim and Jehovah. Observe that creation is made for a purpose - which is far more reaching than the creation itself. The New Creation (revealed in a New Testament) is the true purpose of Deity from before the foundation of the world. Does not the first 'creation account' express creation as a concept ? And is not that concept applicable to the New Creation, in Christ ? And does not the designation 'Elohim' convey more than 'Jehovah' ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 11:22
  • Really? Genesis 1:12 and 2:5-6 together imply the creation of Adam on day three. Genesis 1:27 implies Adam was created on sixth day. Can you suggest how I could clarify?
    – Gus L.
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 15:34
  • 1
    @GusLott I don't think you have yet convinced anybody that Genesis 1:12 and Genesis 2:5,6 have anything whatsoever to do with the specific creation of Adam and Eve. Your question needs vastly more input from yourself to substantiate what is, at present, an in-credible claim.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:47
  • The question is this: On the day that God created Adam, were there any plants עֵ֚שֶׂב (‘ê·śeḇ) on earth?
    – user35953
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


The argument revolves around the interpretation of Genesis 2:5

The Hebrew is not saying there were no plants on earth at the time of Adam’s creation day 6 but rather that Adam was created טרם יצמח before anything had sprouted/germinated

The text in Genesis 1:12 does not say that the earth sprouted/germinated flora but that the land/earth ותוצא הארץ brought forth the flora

As such Genesis is making the point that on day 3 the earth was filled with flora/vegetation according to Genesis 1:11-12 but that until at least day 6 of Creation, three days later NONE of these freshly brought forth plants had sprouted, germinated or reproduced the second generation of its kind according to Genesis 2:5.

This therefore flies in the face of evolution (Big Bang, abiogenesis) compatibility with Creation because according to Genesis 2:5 there was no rain until (after) day 6 and there was no reproduction or sprouting of seeds until (after) day 6 of Creation.

The whole ecosystem on the entire earth was brand new. This would make sense if God created in 24hr blocks starting with the heavens(filled with waters) and the earth brought forth light on day 1 of Creation.

And just to prove the point the sun and moon and stars came 24 hrs (or less) after the plants were brought forth. This is only possible if the time gap between plants and sun is less than 24hrs. Anything longer and the plants would have died due to lack of light/photosynthesis or heat. If God was interested in showing a complementarity between evolution and Creation He would not have put the sun after the plants.

If you reinterpret what the Hebrew actually says to fit modern paradigms the whole thing falls apart (somewhere), like this question demonstrates.

  • 1
    I was going to answer this question with a similar remark but you have done it for me. Well done. I agree, +1. The two verbs are different - "bring fourth" vs "sprout or germinate"
    – Dottard
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 21:54
  • Evolution theory by itself is meritless and laughable, apart from any consideration of Creation. Genesis and Evolution theory both focus on reproduction. Genesis' focus on "in kind" is enough to flatly discount Evolution. Reproduction is God's purpose. God's new creation is His ultimate purpose. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. His chosen ones are predestined to sonship. Gen 1:12 mentions "seed." But are you claiming that no plants were "visible" in 1:12? Or that there wasn't yet a second generation of plants in 2:5? (The garden plants come after Adam, but before Eve, in ch 2)
    – Walter S
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 22:12
  • I like how you word it @WalterSmetana there was not yet a second generation of flora. All that was visible was the first generation from day 3. (Point 2) I can appreciate your zeal to being it back to Jesus and it’s spiritual Parallelism but Creation was a physical event and a historical event that stands on its own regardless of its mirroring/symbolism. Commented May 20, 2020 at 23:17
  • Can you translate 2:5, or 2:4-6, to make the thought clearer in English?
    – Walter S
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 6:59
  • these are the historical events of the heavens and earth when they were formed/created in the day that Yahuah Elohim made the earth and heavens; and before all the small trees/or bushes/(saplings) of the land were in the ground/earth and before every grass of the land had sprung out (of the ground) because Yahuah Elohim has not rained on the earth and man had not worked/tilled/cultivated את the ground @WalterSmetana eden was made after Adam btw Commented May 21, 2020 at 13:20

The understanding of this precious portion can only arise out of the plain reading of the text of Gen 2:4-6, KJV.

Verses four and five constitute a single continuous thought, together with the notation about God not yet having to cause it to rain at the time He began His action mentioned in verse seven. These two verses make up a single sentence that establishes the subject matter of the next twenty-one verses as revealing the physical science of the visible things that were "made" and "formed" of the newly formed dust-ball named, "the earth. They show the physical connection of earthy man to the earth as being within "the generations of" the previously created, made, and formed, "the heaven and the earth".

**Gen 2:4-5:"" 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, 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.

Verse six is a continuation and further explanation of the notation in verse five about the waters.

But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Only after that introduction of the subject matter topic as being a generational matter, does Moses tell us about the physical forming of the physical body of the "soon to be formed, man" He had already created on that sixth day as as a single male-and-female spirit--in the image of God, and after His likeness, as described in Chapter one. Moreover, it will also show how that God would provide the ""seed of the woman"* introduced in chapter three for salvation of earthy man through that new forming of the woman--not of the dust of the ground--separate from the "earthy" man.

This woman will be a stark departure from all previous earthy creatures, in that rather than being formed of the dust of the ground--like all previous male and female beasts and creeping things--she will be formed of the flesh and bone of the man by whom her seed will be polluted with sin--except for one special occasion.

Accordingly, once again, God's WORD spoken by Moses, is not nearly as confused as we might sometimes imagine.

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