Genesis 1 and 2 compared

Adam Created on the THIRD Day, not the SIXTH

by Jonathan Walther, July 7 2008

It is easy to misinterpret the prophet Ezekiel, because the chapters are jumbled out of order. Something similar is at work with Genesis chapters 1 and 2. On a first reading, it is easy to assume that the events of Genesis chapter 2 come after Genesis chapter 1. But this is confusing, because some of the events in Genesis 2 already happened in Genesis 1. Atheists like to use these so-called inconsistencies to reject the Bible as the Divinely inspired Word of God.

Last winter, late in 2007, I sat down and compared the two chapters. I had read previously that the chapters are "parallel accounts". That is, they both tell the same story, but with different words. So I wanted to put that theory to the test. To do the comparison, I put both chapters in a timeline and compared the events. And every detail lined up!

First, I present the two accounts in parallel. You can see how Genesis 1 and 2 compare for yourself. Then after that, I will discuss the results of this comparison.

Genesis 1

Genesis 2

The Beginning
(New Moon)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that יהוה God made the earth and the heavens,
Day One 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Day Two 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Day Three 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for יהוה God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And יהוה God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 8 And יהוה God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made יהוה God 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 knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15 And יהוה God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And יהוה God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Day Four 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Day Five 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 18 And יהוה God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground יהוה 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. 20 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.
Day Six 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 21 And יהוה 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; 22 And the rib, which יהוה God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 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. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Day Seven
(Sabbath)
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Creation of Adam on Day Three

Looking at the parallel accounts, you can see that Adam must have been created on Day 3. Before Day three, there was no dry land. Adam was created before there were any plants. Plants were created on day three, so Adam had to be created on day three, before the plants. Perhaps Adam spent day three watching his Heavenly Father create the plant life, and watching how the Creator attached names to the plants.

The Firstborn of all Creation

By virtue of his creation before all plants and animals, Adam was the very first living being created on earth. This gives him the title of firstborn of all creation, because only a living being can take the title of firstborn, while that which is dead, such as rivers, lakes, stones, and mountains cannot claim the title. So then, that which went before Adam was of such a nature that the title of firstborn could not be attached to it.

Later on, Adam sinned and lost his title of "firstborn of all creation". This title passed on to his successor, Jesus the Messiah. There is precedent for this in the Bible. Reuben was the firstborn of Israel, but he sinned, and his title of firstborn was passed to Joseph. Esau had the title of firstborn, but when he sold his birthright, it passed to his younger brother Jacob.

1 Chronicles 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Colossians 1:18 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.

Jesus is:

By these we know that many of us will be conformed to the image of Jesus, and will be like him and do greater works than him. By these we also know that Jesus takes on the fatherhood of the human race, and rulership of all plants and animals living, which formerly was the Dominion role of Adam. Finally, we know by these that Jesus was the first to be resurrected to eternal spirit life, the first grain of wheat to sprout from the ground and grow up into a full wheat stalk.

By understanding that firstborn of all creatures was a title that properly belonged to Adam before his fall, since he was created before the herbs of the field as well as before the beasts of the field, we no longer need ponder whether Christ "pre-existed" before he was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. His being firstborn was a title that was given to him due to Adam's fall, not because he was created before Adam.

What was Adam doing on Day Four?

Genesis 2 doesn't tell us anything about what Adam did on Day four. On day four, all the heavenly luminaries were created, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Since these bodies were given to us to tell time, no doubt our Heavenly Father used Day four to educate his Son Adam in the science of astronomy, how to tell time, and when the feasts (moedim) were to be kept.

What about pre-Adamic man and the beasts of the field?

Some people teach that the creation of "beasts of the field" included the creation of some sub-humans that look like people, but who are not people. They go on further to say that Cain married some of these almost-people, who were not in God's image.

Understanding that Adam was created on the third day, proves that the doctrine of "pre-Adamic man" is a lie.

The people who teach the doctrine about fifth day sub-humans also reject Bible's telling of the Six Day Creation and the Great Flood.

What about Neanderthals? And aliens?

DNA studies of monkeys, gorillas, orangutans, and Neanderthals, show that they are very similar to humans. Evolutionists say that humans and Neanderthals had a common ancestor. I won't go into the Nephilim story here. Many are now saying that humans are the result of mixing alien DNA with monkey DNA. Since Adam came before any other living being, there is no monkey DNA in Adam. Since Adam was created before the sun moon and stars, there is no alien DNA in Adam either.

The source of these claims for human/alien mixtures is Zechariah Sitchin and his followers, who have taken the myths of Greece, Rome, and especially Babylon, to come to their conclusions.

What does this mean for literal six day creationism?

The creation of Adam on the third day supports and proves six day creationism, and rules out definitively the people that teach "Theistic Evolution", or even just "very long days of creation". If Adam came first, what could he have evolved from?

Adam lived to be 130 years old and begat Seth. Before the birth of Seth, Cain and Abel had enough time to grow up and cultivate the ground. This rules out anyone who says that each day of creation was a thousand, or even a hundred years long. The best they can do is say that each day was 33 years long. But there are plant varieties that need insects and birds and other animals to germinate, sprout, and generally survive. More than a few literal days without animals would have guaranteed that there was no vegetation left by the time the animals were created. Until the vegetation germinated, what did Adam have to eat? A normal human can go three days without food quite comfortably. What about the animals? Hummingbirds have to eat every couple minutes. The food had to be available.

The Confusing Start of Genesis 2

The chapter division we currently have was not in the original manuscripts of the Bible. Genesis chapter two starts in the wrong place. You can see that Genesis 2:1 starts off by talking about the seventh day, the sabbath, and God resting. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that the rest of Genesis 2, from verse 4 onward, are talking about events after the seventh day of rest. If you start Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 2:4 together, then you see they run in parallel perfectly. The two chapters should have been divided better, but they weren't, so this detail is important to keep track of.

Wasn't Man Created on Day Six?

Adam was created on day three. On day six, Man was created in God's image. Or was he? The Hebrew word translated "make" in the King James Bible can also read "finish". Let us look at the verse again:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us finish man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

You finish something you already started. So Genesis 1:26, talking about the "finishing" of Man on the sixth day, and the creation of woman, harmonizes perfectly with the creation of Adam on the third day. Thanks to humblepie of the Evolution.vs.Creation forum for this insight about the word finish; read his original post here.

Adam was one man by himself, naming the animals. But on day six, man was created in the plural. Right away, God says let THEM have dominion, not "let HIM have dominion". What does it mean to be created in God's image? The churches teach that God is asexual, with no gender. But man did not exist in God's image until the time that both male and female humans were made. Elsewhere the Bible speaks of the sons of God in heaven. The New Testament speaks of families in heaven. (Ephesians 3:15) Yet, angels do not marry. (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25) What are we to make of this? God has a family in heaven, with male and female members, male and female angels. We humans are also children of God, and heirs if we obey him as our Father. I cannot say more on this topic, because I don't know any more. I leave you with this final thought:

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.