Bible >> Two creation stories in Genesis
|1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swam, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
4These 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 plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up – for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground – 7then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.|
10A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. 11The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is 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 till it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely 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 die.”
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, 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 cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he 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;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of man this one was taken.”
24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
|God created man after the animals
(Genesis 1:26-27 & 1:20-25)
|God created man before the animals
(Genesis 2:7 & 2:19-20)
|God created man and woman at the same time
|God created man and woman at different times
(Genesis 2:7 & 2:18, 21-22)
“In the opening chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Judeo-Christian Bible, editors combined two previously independent stories about the universe’s beginnings. Scholars ascribe the first account (Gen 1:1-2:4) to a priestly author writing in Mesopotamia during the sixth century B.C., when many upper-class Israelites were held captive in Babylon. This priestly narrative, which calls God Elohim, a generic term for “divine being,” opens with a precreation chaos of undifferentiated waters similar to that in the Babylonian creation story, the Enuma Elish. Unlike the Babylonian tale, which features violent conflict between different generations of gods, however, the biblical narrative reshapes older myths of a primordial chaos to fit a monotheistic concept. In Genesis 1, a single deity – Elohim – transforms chaos into cosmos by his word alone, creating the world by a six-step process of separation, division, and differentiation.
In the priestly account, humans – both male and female – are fashioned at the same time and both in “the image of God.” Following the formation of dry land, plants, and animals, humanity’s appearance in the divine image is the climax of creation. In its second tale or origins (Gen 2:5-25), it is not Elohim but Yahweh (the personal name of the biblical God) who creates, and he does so in an entirely different environment and in a different order. Instead of beginning with a watery chaos as the priestly author does in Genesis 1, the Yahwist writer (so called because he or she consistently identifies God as Yahweh) sets creation in an arid desert that has to be irrigated. Instead of making humanity’s appearance the final event, the Yahwist states that, after Adam (whose name means “humankind” is formed from dust, the animals are fashioned and brought to Adam to name. Only when Yahweh discovers that no animal provides a suitable mate for his human creature does the Deity decide to create a woman.” (Harris & Platzner 2008, p.73)
- Harris, S.L. & Platzner, G. (2008). Classical Mythology: Images & Insights. 5th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.