Two Stories of Creation

Genesis 1:1-2:25

The first two chapters of Genesis tell the story of creation. The first provides an overview of the six-day process, while the second zooms in to detail the creation of Man specifically.

 

The Bible tells us that first, God created Heaven and Earth, then goes on to provide some of the details of that creation.

 

Each day focuses on a different aspect of the world we live in. On the first day, He creates light and separates it from the darkness. On day two He divides the waters between Heaven and Earth. On day three He forms the dry land and causes plant life to grow. On day four He places the sun, moon and stars in the sky. On day five He creates the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky. On day six He creates all the remaining animals, and before sunset, he forms man.

 

Of all His creations, God only interacts with man. He turns to His creation, both male and female, and commands humanity to be fruitful and multiply and exert dominion over the Earth. He provides sustenance in the form of the fruit of the trees, offering the growth of the ground for the consumption of animals.

 

As God looks over His creations, He declares that they are “good”. On the third day He uses the term twice, and when surveying the finished product, He declares it “very good”. Only on the second day does He neglect to use this epithet.

 

In chapter two we are treated to a slightly different perspective, and even a slightly different order of events. Here, Man is the main focus, and we are told of God’s other creative works in their relation to his needs. Thus, animals are formed only when God determines it is not good for Man to be alone.

 

Man is formed from the dust of the Earth, and God breathes a soul of life into his body, placing him in the Garden of Eden. He instructs this first Man, called Adam (in Hebrew, the word Adam is synonymous with Ish, or man), not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, then tells him to search among the animals He creates for a life partner. When Adam fails to identify with any of the animals, God causes a deep sleep to overtake him and He forms a woman out of Adam’s own side. We are told that both roam the garden naked, yet are not ashamed, foreshadowing the chapter to come.

 

In the second description of creation, the Torah tells us that God created the potential for plants, but nothing yet grew because rain had not yet fallen and there is no man to work the land.The Israel Bible cites the sage Rashi, who explains that God withheld the rain until Adam prayed for it. To this day the Land of Israel is dependent on annual rainfall for its water. This is God’s way of strengthening man’s relationship with Him, by building into the world a human need to pray.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

What do you think is the significance of humanity being created last?

 

 

Comments ( 38 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • All the creation which god made was for the benefit of man.The last day creation was pinnacle act of creation to glorify god

  • How loving is Hashem, that He provides for our needs before He creates us.

  • I agree with most you, particularly Herman, Ahuva, Shira, SueJean, and Herman Arentsen. Very well explained.

  • 1.All the necessities of life are provided for. 2. This shows the care of HaShem for men. 3. It teaches humility to come at the end of creation 4. In serving creation HaShem wants to be served.

  • I agree with Maimonides, I read his works often and get such awe and wonder and respect for our Creator. What other path is there, to love and fear HaShem.

  • According to Proverbs 25; 2, Elohim has hidden truths throughout Scriptures (glory of God to conceal a thing). He has so done in order to cause us to search them out (search out a matter). Of course, Elohim could just write/speak in a plain manner so we could readily understand. However, that would not give us strength. In depriving us of the ability to dig below the surface, our faith in Him would become weak and of no value.
    *
    With that in mind, I have brought to light a great mystery hidden within this first verse of Torah regarding the "Aleph/Tav symbol. To other comments I've made on the symbol, I would like to add two quotes from noted Rabbis.
    *
    From the "Ask the Rabbi" website, the Rabbi says, "The sages deduce laws from the places where the 'Aleph/Tav' appears. The rule is that it is meant to include something above and beyond the limited definition of the word".
    *
    Rabbi S.R. Hirsch says the symbol is related to the word, 'Os' or sign. The symbol stands for more than itself.
    *
    That is the mysterious uniqueness of this symbol. It's not just a random symbol. It appears over 2600 times in Torah alone, and nearly 3 times that much in the whole of Tanakh. In addition, about 800 times more, it appears with another letter before or after it, giving it a different meaning yet. With its very wide and varied use, I think it's a very valuable jewel indeed, well worth digging for.

    • I have been digging for the meaning of Aleph/tav for several months now and so grateful to read your comments. I will continue my study. It is good to know that I am heading in the right direction. Love this study.

  • In the spirit of v. 26 of the Israel Bible, "And God said: 'Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…'", there is significant evidence in this chapter concerning unity of action of the multiple parts of Elohim. In addition to v.1, the words, "Elohim et", appears in unity six more times before the chapter ends–vv. 7, 16, 21,25,27, & 31. It's clear Hashem is not double minded. Every part of Him is working together in unison. It's a concept that is clearly shown in the "shema" of Deut. 6: 4. It says YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey) is "one (echad)". In the first chapter of Torah alone, there are 7 witnesses that testify of the "unified One" character of our Elohim.

  • There is another consideration of the "Aleph Tav". These letters are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alephbet. The two letters together suggest "authority", in this case of an absolute sense. In all His glory and dominion, Elohim is the first and last in all He says and does. There is no other opinion but His. He put His Torah in the simplest of forms through Moshe, and commanded that it not to be added to or taken from. Religious leaders and teachers do not have the authority to alter any words spoken through Moshe.

  • The "Aleph Tav" appears several thousand times within the whole of Tanakh. The source of my information is the "Aleph Tav Bible". It can be purchased online at the following website. Just copy/paste the link into your browser.
    http://www.messianicmarketplace.org/search?type=product&q=Aleph+Tav+Bible

    • Thank you for this information. I have felt that the study of the "et" will help me not only with my study but my teaching and mostly the development of my very soul. Praise The L-RD.

  • The first verse in the Hebrew Scriptures says, “B’reishit bara Elohim et hashamyim v’et haeretz”. The word, "et" (Aleph Tav) appears twice in this first verse. It's inclusion, position and meaning is very revealing. It first appears at the right hand of a "plural" Elohim. It clearly shows two distinct parts of our "one" Elohim, as in "let US make man". Verse two clearly speaks of the third part of this multi-part Elohim when Moshe uses the words, "Spirit (Ruach) of Elohim".
    *
    The word, "et", also appears in conjunction with "hashamyim" and again the same with "haeretz". This clearly suggests the Author/Owner of the creation, and the rightful Grantee to Avraham of the Promised Land.
    *
    With its inclusion in the text, the question is begged. Just what or who is this "et"? The meaning of "b'reishit", according to letter meaning, is simply put, "I will build a house for My Son". With that in mind, the meaning of the letters, "Aleph Tav", is just as clear. Aleph means "strength". Tav means "covenant or cross". Put together, the "Aleph Tav" means, "strength of the covenant or cross". Clearly, Moshe is describing a REAL person. His name is clearly written more than once elsewhere in Torah and the whole of Tanakh. Stay tuned to this continuing saga.

  • With the action of creation and its time behind, focus now bears upon the One creating, "Elohim". The word usage alone indicates a Diety of plural nature. If this Divine Being were an absolute one, then would not the word, "eloa", have been used? Since "Elohim" or "El" is always used throughout Torah in reference to the Elohim of Israel, should we not assume Moshe is speaking of a single Being with multiple parts?
    *
    At this point, I inject a strong "disclaimer". In no way, shape, or form do I support the doctrine of the "Trinity", as espoused by many. That's a doctrine of perversion born of the Catholic church and continued by protestant Christianity.
    *
    The letters that form, "Elohim", are "aleph", which means, "an ox or bull", and denotes the greatest of strength. "Lamed" comes next and means a "cattle goad", and suggests authority and control. "Hey" means "behold", and suggests a revealing. "Yod", which is positioned at the right of "hey", means "closed hand" and suggests a making or creating. "Mem" closes out the Name and means "chaotic water".
    *
    Put together, at least one meaning of "Elohim" could be, "I am the essence of strength and authority, Who guides your steps with the care of a Good Shepherd, revealing with an affirmative hand the creating of new life from the chaotic waters" of sin.

  • It is obvious, with a P’shat level understanding, man is the beneficiary of the entire creation. Yet, an even deeper search shows this same benefit through the all-knowing and merciful character of Elohim. He knew in advance of creation Adam would disobey Him and be sorely in need of redemption and already had a plan of action in place. Before I continue, I wish to enter the following “disclaimer”.
    *
    By including those other than of the Jewish faith within this forum, there is obviously going to be injection of their personal beliefs. There’s no way around it. In this same chapter in the “Bible” section, I made note of that situation. I stated that no one has the right to attempt swaying our gracious hosts to another way of thinking. Such would be rude and disrespectful. I further stated that if that was to be done, it would be so according to the Torah of Moshe and the prophets only. Wth the following, I respectfully submit what I believe to be the Hebrew understanding of this part of Torah. I further pray it doesn’t earn me what I’ve heard called, “the left hand of fellowship”, the boot if you will. I’m extremely grateful to be allowed to share my faith with my brothers and sisters of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi ,and hopefully learn from them.
    *
    For this consideration, understand the Hebrew language is not like English. Only words in the English language have meaning. Letters have absolutely no meaning by themselves. On the other hand, both Hebrew words AND letters have a specific meaning. A study of the meaning of each letter within a word can provide a mountain of wealth in insight into what Elohim is trying to tell us.
    *
    Certainly, Elohim is stating unequivocally from the beginning that this world and everything in it belongs to Him, the Creator. Yet, consideration of each letter of the first word, “b’reishit”, and their meaning, reveals of deeper understanding of the word.
    *
    The first letter is, “bet”, which means “tent” or “house”. The Scribes enlarge and embolden this letter to elevate its meaning specifically to the “House of Elohim”. In setting aside for now the “bet”, the remaining “reishit” means “first born”. The first two letters together, “bet-reyesh”, is the word for, “son”. The next two letters, “aleph-shin”, forms the word “ash” and means, “consuming fire”. The “aleph-tav” means “strength of the covenant”. The “shin” means “destroyer of the door”, which is the definition of the word “mighty”, suggesting Almighty Elohim. The “yod”, which sits to the right of “shin”, means “hand”, specifically a “closed” hand. It’s a sign of resolve, as in “I will do it”.
    *
    Put together these meanings and we have the statement, “There is going to be a first born son who is going to build the house of Elohim, who will be a consuming fire, the strength of the covenant, Almighty Elohim, and will sit at the right hand of Elohim”. With this meaning, we find a plan of redemption in place even before Adam sinned, a deeper understanding of the concept of “for the benefit of man”. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear.

    • Thank you so much for this increased understanding. It takes a determined desire and study to gain such detailed understanding and I am grateful you paid the price.

    • Sir, I thank you deeply for your commentary. Born and raised a Cathloic I have been studying , since I left the Catholic Church in the 70's, or should I say searching the true Word Of G-D. I am not able to read Hebrew yet but study each letter. Studying the Torah has changed my views and I cannot get enough of The Word. Creation has taken a deeper meaning, during this week of Tabernacle I find your comment on the plan of redemption was from the very beginning not just interesting but true. I have believed for years that HaShem desires to tabernacle with His people.

  • One of the aspects of my life that I depend on is the idea that Elohim has always gone ahead of me to prepare a way or a path for me. I believe that this is a promise that is deeply rooted in Scripture as we are told that HE knew us while we were still in our mother’s womb.
    *
    It is fitting that everything on earth would have been prepared for Adam when he was created. His path/life was prepared for him to step right up and do what was required of him as he was created as a full-grown man with the abilities to do the work of a man, not as a child to be raised up.
    *
    I also agree with the idea that Creation is the work of the Creator and no man can take any credit away from the Creator and claim to have any hold or right over any of it. As the Psalmist said, “the earth is Adonai’s and the fullness therein…”
    Baruch Hashem.

  • G_d created everything prior to Adam shows me that He alone not only provides all our needs and is in control, but man can never take his glory by taking the credit for it. when i see what is happening around me in the world today, the rise of wickedness and the display of mans evil actions towards one another at times is frightening. I take time out land look around me. I look at the heavens with the planets and Stars in place, the sun and the moon He has set just where they should be, then i look at the trees, the Shrubs……I focus on everything that man cannot take credit for and i know that my G_d is an all powerful G_d and He is in control.
    There is absolutely nothing on this earth that Adam can take credit for ..He may have named the animals but G_d gave him the wisdom to name them….man invents but wisdom to invent comes from G_d alone.

    • As Jeremiah says (9:22) “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his riches.”

    • I agree that God created everything Adam needed prior to creating Adam. How much more sense that makes than the account of evolution that it has the first creatures with lungs crawling up on to dry land before the land has anything to eat on it! Evolution is a failed attempt to explain how everything came into existence by accident without G-d creating anything! Baruch Hashem Hameloch haolam.

  • To know the heart of God and the joy of his fellowship with man is seen in the glorious beauty of his creation.

    • In fact, Maimonides writes that the way to get to know God and love Him is through the study of nature and His creations. In his words: “What is the path [to attain] love and fear of Him? When a person contemplates His wondrous and great deeds and creations and appreciates His infinite wisdom that surpasses all comparison…” (Foundations of Torah 2:2).

      • I agree with Maimonides, I read his works often and get such awe and wonder and respect for our Creator. What other path is there, to love and fear HaShem.

  • God had to create everything for man’s use before creating him which is to assure man that God is able to supply his need so man’s dependence must be on God. Everything was made for man, even the Sabbath.

  • Mrs Peggy Ann

    Man to love God as his Father ?

  • Jayne

    The purpose of the Creation was for man’s benefit so it was all prepared for man before his creation.
    Man was made in the ‘image’ of G-d . In ancient times there was the idea of the sacred garden. The image of the God was always put into the garden last.

    • I believe that God created man both for man's benefit and for the benefit of Himself. I know that there are people who say that God is perfect and has no needs but I can't remember Where but I seem to remember that G-d's nature is love. G-d created man with the capability to receive God's love and to love Hashem in return. The Great Shama says, "Hear O Israel Adoni our G-d Adoni is One. Thou shall Love Adoni Our G-d with all thy heart, with all our soul, and with all thy might. "If G-d commands us to love Him that completely, then surely it is important to Him that we do thaf

  • Herman

    1. there was no oxigen without plants, so man could not breath (when created before all others
    2. to teach man humility towards creation, even servanthood towards it.
    3. G’d being busy for man and creation could with the help of creation teach man to serve Him (B”).

    • I like how you include both a practical explanation and a lesson. Thank you, Herman! The sages teach that there is a double lesson in man’s creation on the sixth day. On the one hand, he is the pinnacle of creation, the crown jewel. This teaches the value of humanity. On the other hand, even the lowly worm was created before man. This teaches us humility.

  • Sheila

    Man was created as God’s representative to govern the earth and have dominion over the fish, the birds,the beasts and every living creature that moves. Gen1:28 — God’s command to man was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. For man to fulfill this blessing the 6 days of creation as spoken in order by God needed to be in place as recorded. For man to be created on the 6th day God approved this completely and saw it was very good.

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