Male and Female He Created Them

Just wondering…

Assuming that God made pairs of every animal, He already had the male/female idea in mind.

Why do you suppose that He didn’t make humans as a pair at first?

And on what day do you think Eve was created?

Here are the relevant passages:

Genesis 1:26-28, 31, 2:1-3

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule…”

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

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:4-7, 15, 18, 20-22

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens- 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Male and Female He Created Them

  1. And just to open things up…

    I think that Adam and Eve were both created on the sixth day.

    Unlike the animals, I believe there is something perichoretic about Adam and Eve being part of the same whole.

    Agree? Disagree?

  2. Just a guess, but the animals were probably smart enough to *know* they needed each other. The man, on the hand, needed some experiential convincing. :)

  3. might be a simplistic thought, but couldn’t the story of the male’s lacking be a picture of separation, sin and ego driving us away from love and companionship?

    it seems striking that in the midst of proclaiming things Good and Very Good, God had reason to say “it is not good” even before we have the story of what some would call “original” sin. and even without the prompting and lies of a serpent.

    i think those were more questions than answers.

    looking forward to more voices here!

  4. There are three creation accounts in Genesis which are not “chronological”. They were both created on the sixth day per the Genesis 1 account. The Genesis 2 and Genesis 5 accounts give us more details.

  5. I think the second account is an artistic rendering, no less truthful than the first, but capturing the emotional side of creation. Its not linear and logical, its more experiential. Its not intended to convey chronology but show us how relationship fits into God’s creation. I think that God created both Adam and Eve on the 6th day. I also think that he created more than just one pair. No evidence for that, but it just kinda seems the thing that Father would do. Of course Adam and Eve figure prominently in the Bible, but I think they do so as representatives of creation. Its fitting that the Bible begins and ends with The Artist’s canvas. In Genesis, Moses (presumably) is looking back with a brush in one hand and a palette in the other. He’s attempting to bring the relationship between mankind and God to life in a way that conveys the passion and the fall. In Revelation, John is looking forward, and describes the canvas of wild events that God unfurls for his hands to record.

  6. Um, I’ll go ahead and wager she was created on the 13th day. Which, since the Jews mark their Sabbath based on the first day of rest on Saturdays, means it was also appropriately the first Friday the 13th!

    See, what I’m thinking is Saturday came and God was restin’, then Sunday came and there was football on so Adam couldn’t be bothered, and then he had to work all week, so it wasn’t until he wanted to go out that next Friday night that he realized he needed a help mate. Or at least some help finding a mate.

    [ducks and runs]

    I kid! I kid! :o)

  7. In the age Genesis was written, animal husbandry would have been a central aspect to most of the listeners worldview. I think that the story is clearly stating that while procreation is still important, the male/female pairing in humanity was not centrally about reproduction. Like Grace said, I think it was largely to demonstrate the perichoretic nature being created.

    Peace,
    Jamie

  8. Grace I think the perichoretic nature thing is most likely and I think both were created at least close to the same time.
    To me it does seem possible that separate sexes for humans came about after the original creation. Although it doesn’t seem like God would have created all the animals as separate sexes & not man.
    Just some thoughts.

  9. bob,
    So do you think the purpose was for man to experience loneliness?

    david,
    Interesting thoughts. Maybe “not good” existed before sin?
    I plan to leave this up over the weekend. I hope that people will continue to weigh in.

    charis,
    I agree. In fact that is why I broke them up the way that I did. Basically Genesis 2:4-22 is a retelling of Genesis 1, but it adds the detail that there was a period of time (how long?) where man existed without a female counterpart.

    bob,
    Me either, almost, but not quite. :)

    david,
    What kind of heretic would suggest more than one pair?! Just kidding. :)
    That is something I haven’t considered. The novel Eve that I recently read suggested other civilizations on the earth outside of the garden. I always imagined only Adam and Eve in the garden.

    Also, I agree that we are talking about the account as a rendering, not necessarily literal. Within that context, by asking which “day” we may not be talking about 7 24-hour days. While the time may not be literal, I believe the chronology is important.

    jim,
    You’ve made a great case for Day 13, better than the one I’ve heard so far for Day 8. ;)

    jamie,
    Good point. Unlike the animals, the purpose of gender for humans is much more than reproduction.

    shaun,
    Genesis 1:26-28 says pretty plainly that they were both created on the 6th day, but we don’t necessarily know if that is an actual “day.”

    everyone,
    Does it matter in any significant way if Eve was created before or after the 7th day?

  10. My hunch would have been that the writer(s) of Genesis had a worldview that saw people as quite a different kind of thing from animals. So despite Genesis 1 being laden with symbolism, poetry, symmetry, it wouldn’t have made sense to draw parallels between the creation of humans and the creation of animals.

    I’d have said that the point of the Genesis 2 account was to show us how important human relationships are to the plan of God, not particularly to emphasize an order. Why not the other way around, then? Well maybe just because women are the ones who give birth, so if either sex were dispensable, it would be the men. But in fact both are needed!

    As for which day, I’m not sure where you’re going with that. Adding to allegories usually ends up unbalancing them. (but I confess to liking the “13th day” suggestion of Jim , above :-) ).

  11. Why do you suppose that He didn’t make humans as a pair at first?

    And on what day do you think Eve was created?

    I don’t accept a literal, 6-day, 24 hour sequence of creation nor a young earth (6,000-10,000 year old YEC) model. It could be evolution the method God uses to ‘bring forth’ vegetation & animals & all manner of living things. If so, at some point in the evolutionary process, God ‘breathed’ into our hominid ancestor the breath of life. Self-awareness. Intellect. Knowing. A key change was made in the spiritual/soulish component of what we categorize as human. It was this very unique essence of our humanity that is the reason for the poetic ‘pause’ in the Genesis 2 account…

    If our genetic (DNA) component instantly changed it would have required both male & female of like chromosomal structure to be able to reproduce. Eve would have had to ‘come from’ the newly evolved human. It might be the poetic way to explain the more scientific details of our origins.

    In order to emphasize this self-awareness factor, there had to be a period of time between the original couple being introduced. Adam ‘knew’ there was something missing in the created order by simple observation of the natural order. All the animal kingdom paired & named & although he was a complete person, he was not all humanity was intended to be. He was not complete humanity.

    I think this was the beginning of self-awareness, gender identification, & the deeper appreciation of God’s design+purpose for sexual expression.

    Taking the rib out of Adam element: I do not ‘picture’ this as the first human operation+cloning+gender changing procedure as literal. To me it represents a more intimate portrayal of our intended closeness or connection with other people. The animals created in sexual pairs, but appearing at the same time. The author of Genesis puts the time lag element into the story of our origins to emphasize our greater capacity for community, pairing, family, nurture, mutual concern & support, etc. We were created as social creatures with a greater capacity for representing God to the rest of Creation. For better or worse, that original intent still echoes through our DNA even though marred by what we categorize as sin. I think this aspect of how deeply it affected us represented by the recorded ‘curses’ listed in Genesis 3:16-19. I will not attempt to expand on the implications or meanings of those curses, but it appears to be a very serious concern God addressed that all of Adam’s progeny had to deal with up to this very day…

  12. AS Rob Bell says in everything spiritual – Yep.

    First recorded instance of the eys of God spotting something not good … loneliness. Anyone lonely? God says … this is not good.

  13. OK ,
    So in response to Grace.
    the one thought that came to my mind from your question about Eve’s “significance” if she were created later than Adam was that if God held to the order of progression of the rest of His creation; it would mean that Eve was the most complex of all the creation.

  14. I’m not going to answer your questions but I am going to propose a theory I first heard from a Rabbi that I think holds water. Ok? Thanks.

    Adam is created. God says it is “not good” for him to be alone. The next thing we see happening is Adam surveying/naming all the animals…why? Adam was looking for a “suitable helper” among the animals. The most obvious choice for Adam was the snake as the snake was naked like Adam (the word for “cunning” and “naked” are the same root in Hebrew…so the serpent was more “naked/cunning” than any other creature…I took the Rabbis word on that).

    When Adam doesn’t choose the snake, and Eve is created, the seeds of what happens in Chapter 3 are planted. The serpent attempts to kill Eve AND Adam…because she/he was not chosen to rule w/ Adam.

    It makes for a great story…and seems to have some merit. You can read the Rabbi’s interpretation (part 1) here:
    Sorry…the link was long…just google Serpents of Desire part 1 and you’ll find it.

  15. andrew and shaun,
    I agree that Chapter 2 isn’t chronological, but is an important explanation of relationship between man and woman and between man and God. I believe there may be significance to the fact that they are created on the same day and before the 7th day.

    gogo and mark,
    I’ve been thinking about this. We aren’t told that Adam experienced need or loneliness. He might not have. This is something that we read into the text.

    God knew that it was “not good” for Adam to be alone, but it isn’t like He had never thought of that before or forgot to create a female. I believe that she was always a part of His plan, not an afterthought.

    joseph,
    There are truths to be learned from the creation account that are not invalidated by a non-literal reading of it. The spiritual and relational effect of the curses are very significant.

    fr’nklin,
    Well that’s an interesting thought, and it certainly explains the enmity of the snake, but I don’t really buy it. :)

    When Adam was naming the animals, I don’t think that God was surprised that Adam’s counterpart wasn’t among them. I’m not sure what the purpose of that was besides giving Adam authority to name.

    It’s been great having all of this input. It is good to think about the how’s and why’s of all of this.

  16. Adam and Eve were definitely created on the same day — when a bunch of power-hungry control freaks sat around and conjured up the whole creation story,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s