“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Is this set of 3 lines meant to imply the order in which he made them? ie - the man first, and then the woman from the man, and together they are an earthly re-presentation of his image.

The word used for ‘man’ in the first line is “hā·’ā·ḏām”. From my simple understanding, this means “the man” or “this man”. Is this right? And if so, is it then referring to the initial creation of Adam, before Eve was built from his rib.

Also, in the second and third verses how do we get the translations of “him” and “them” in English? Are these inferred by ’ō·ṯōw and ’ō·ṯām respectively?

2 Answers 2


First, regarding "ha-adam": Yes, in Hebrew this is the definite article, usually thought equivalent to "the" in English, followed by "adam," which means "man." It is possible to translate this as "the man." However, in Hebrew the definite article serves another purpose: it makes the following noun definite, or proper. In other words, the "the" here may be considered the grammatical function of capitalizing an English word. It is the reason the word is considered a title or name in this context. So "Adam" is an appropriate translation.

Secondly, regarding the order of creation, we know this from other scriptures.

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13, KJV)

Because this is later specified so plainly as this, it must have some significance.

Finally, regarding God's "image," it is not to be confused with the concept of "appearance." God's "image" or "likeness" has everything to do with character. Adam and Eve were both created sinless--even as God is sinless. Notably, when, after their sin, they had a child, the Bible records something significant about their son's image.

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; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth: (Genesis 5:1-3, KJV)

The son was not made in God's image. He came in Adam's image.

"Adam," as noted in verse 2, was "their" name. God used the name "Adam" (Man) for humankind, both the male and the female. It was the "male Adam" who gave the "female Adam" the name "Eve"--by which she was afterward known.

Regarding your final question, it is unclear which verses you mean in saying the "second and third" verses, as you only quoted Genesis 1:27. However, the words to which you refer are the pronouns created by adding a pronominal suffix to the Hebrew direct-object marker (DoM). Without a pronominal suffix, it usually just indicates that the next word is the direct object of the verb, and it is not translated. There are occasional usages of the DoM which are translated as "with," but never when it has a pronominal (pronoun) suffix. These pronouns created with the DoM are the equivalent of object pronouns in English, e.g. "him" and "them".


This from the Pulpit Commentary:

The threefold parallelism of the members of this verse is likewise suggestive, as Umbreit, Ewald, and Delitzsch remark, of the jubilation with which the writer contemplates the crowning work of Elohim's creative word. Murphy notices two stages in man's creation, the general fact being stated in the first clause of this triumphal song, and the two particulars - first his relation to his Maker, and second his sexual distinction - in its other members. In the third clause Luther sees an intimation "that the woman also was created by God, and made a partaker of the Divine image, and of dominion over all." Genesis 1:27

The definiteness of הָֽאָדָם֙ (ha-adam) means that the translation could actually be, "mankind" (NIV, ISV, NAB), or, "human-beings" (NLT), or, "humans" (CEV), or, "humankind" (NRSV, NHEB), etc.

As if to confirm this, the three-fold parallelism is a means to confirm this because "mankind/humankind includes both male and female.

Thus, things should have been, but sin entered the world and mankind thus developed a fallen, sinful human nature as Paul correctly observes:

  • Rom 5:12 - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.

Thus, instead of inheriting God's image, Adam's son inherited a fallen/sinful human nature as recorded in Gen 5:3 which says that Seth inherited Adam's image in contradistinction to the image of God explicitly mentioned in V1 & 2. Note the final sentence of Gen 5:2 -

And in the day they were created, He called them [plural] “man.” [singular "Adam" in Hebrew]

This is a direct allusion to Gen 1:27. Thus, Gen 1:27 is discussing the creation of both male and female and says nothing about the order. That is left to Gen 2 to describe.

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