Project Genesis

The Chumash (Five Books of Moses)

Adam and Eve story

Order of Creation of Man and Animals

Question: In Genesis 1:20-23 it speaks of birds and creatures being created by G-d on the 5th day and in Genesis 1:24-28 it speaks of G-d creating man and letting man rule over beast on the 6th day. This however contradicts Genesis 2:7-20 which states that man is created (Adam) and then beast is created because G-d feels it is not good for Adam to be alone and lets Adam name all of the creatures. So my question is which one is right and even if one is right how can they differ from each other in the first place?

Answer: Thank you for your excellent question. I believe that the commentary of Rashi on verse 2(19) is bothered by it too.  Let me quote part of his words: “This is the same act of creation that was referred to above…it also teaches us here that at the time of the creation of the animals, immediately on that very day they were brought before man to be named…” (see all of Rashi’s words for more details.)

In other words, Rashi is not understanding that the verses in Chapter 2 are giving a chronological order, that first man was created, then the animals. I would try to translate the relevant verses like this:

G-d said, It is not good for man to be alone; I will create for him a help-mate corresponding to him. Now, G-d had (already) created, from the earth, all the animals of the fields and all the birds of the heavens, so he brought them to the man, to see what he called them… The man had now given names to all the domesticated animals, the birds of the heavens, and all the wild animals of the field, and the man still had found no one to be a help-mate corresponding to him. So G-d cast a deep sleep on the man…

In other words, the point here of bringing the animals is to demonstrate to the man that he needs and lacks a wife. The details of the time-line were given in chapter 1.

Best wishes,
Michoel Reach

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