(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?



6 Answers 6


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.

  • While I disagree with the differing authors of Genesis, you took exception to explain why-hence +1
    – Tau
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 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.

  • 1
    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. Commented Sep 5, 2014 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.


No Adam was not created on the seventh day or any time after the first six days of creation. Adam was actually created in the day that God created the earth and the heavens, possibly on the third day. Genesis 2:4-9 should be read in its context, I think the confusion comes from the fact that Adam is also the Hebrew word for mankind who were created on the sixth day both male and female.

I have been studying these two accounts carefully and I concluded that Adam was created first, then the plants. Animals were created as potential companions for Adam, but they were not compatible with him. Even though this two accounts of the creation of man are different they are actually complementary to each other and are interwoven. Eve was created on the sixth day, thus mankind came into being both male and female.

But I believe that God also created mankind on the sixth day using the template of Adam and Eve. Male and female He created them and blessed them saying be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 1:27-31). Where as He placed Adam in a garden and put restrictions on him, later on He cursed Adam and Eve.

There is no biblical prove for any woman named Lilith, Jewish mythologies and extra biblical texts are not reliable. They are all of the opinion that Adam was created on the sixth day or even after that. I disagree, I think that the text is very clear when this happened. You just have to look at the description of the earth in the second account it matches Genesis 1:6-10


The first account gives the overview of creation and establishes that it happened in six days. The second account gives the details of the creation of Adam, who was created in the day that God created the heavens and the earth.


God previously reserved the phrase “it was good” until after the completion of the day’s creation. Could Genesis 1:25 be the completion of God’s physical creation for day 6? And could Genesis 1:26-30 be the completion of the planning stage for the creation of mankind, even though some of it seems to be referred to in the past tense. God’s plans are so assured that they are sometimes spoken of in the past tense (example Isaiah Chapter 53) also I think time is very different for God; He sees present, past and future at the same time. And of course the events were very much in the past for Moses as he wrote Genesis? Therefore I believe God created Adam after he rested and Gen 2 is a continuation of Gen 1

I do not believe Eden was a dinky small garden but a huge area big enough for all the animals he created in Genesis 2:19-20, because God did not want the man to be alone.

Genesis 2:19 (KJV) 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

If God created Adam last, how could God bring them to Adam as He formed them?

  • 1
    Most of this doesn't address the question. The only part that does is "Therefore I believe God created Adam after he rested and Gen 2 is a continuation of Gen 1" but you haven't really provided any arguments for that position!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:36

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.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics SE, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other SEs. Our community looks for answers to reflect a good degree of research and references. Typically, we like answers that cite scholarly references Don't just tell us what you know, tell us how you know it. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 2:31
  • This is an unusual twist on the more common idea that the 7th day symbolically continues until now.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 11:51

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