Previous Questions and AnswersIs there a contradiction between the accounts of creation in Genesis chapter one and chapter two?
It was pointed out to me that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 have different accounts of the creation (the order anyways). If the Bible is infallible, how is this possible?
Genesis chapter 1 records what God made on the specific days of the week. DAY 1 (vss. 1-5) the heaven and the earth; light; and day and night. DAY 2 (vss. 6-8) the firmament or Heaven. DAY 3 (vss. 9-13) dry land and seas; grass; herbs; and fruit trees. DAY 4 (vss. 14-19) sun; moon; and stars. DAY 5 (vss. 20-23) fish and fowl. DAY 6 (vss. 24-31) land animals and man. Chapter 2 begins with Day 7 (vss. 1-3), and God resting.
You will then notice that there is no mention of specific days (like, "the first day," and "the second day," etc.). Chapter 2, verse 4 starts on a different path by saying, "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." Notice here in this chapter that it DOES NOT say, "...in the DAYS (the six days) that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens," but "in the DAY..." So chapter 2 is not dealing with a day-by-day order of creation, like chapter 1, but with the whole creation week as a unit together.
So things mentioned in chapter 2 may appear in a different order, because it is not relating a day-by-day order any longer. Chapter 2 begins to deal with more specific matters of creation, giving us a little more detail about how God created things. Notice how short and to the point Genesis 1:27 is: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." We may think, by that verse, that God just spoke both man and woman into existence at the same time, but it is chapter 2 that gives us more details as to how God did it. We see in Genesis 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Then in 2:18-23 we read, "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 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. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
You can thus see how chapter 2 fills in the details as to how God made the man and the woman. There are no contradictions between chapter 1 and chapter 2. Chapter 1 was written to show the order and the specific days of creation, and chapter 2 was written to give us more details of certain matters of creation.
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