Question:

Brother Jeff,

Did God create another man and woman before He created Adam and Eve? Genesis 1:26-28 says that God created man and woman in His own image to take care of all things He created. He also commanded them go and multiply. However, in Genesis 2:7, it says that God created Adam to take care of the Garden of Eden. This creates a problem since we learned from our fathers that Adam was the first man created and Eve was the first woman created out of the rib of Adam.

Our preacher told us in passing that before Adam, God created another man and woman. His explanation is that Genesis 1 comes first before Genesis 2. Can you help me on this?

Thank you so much.


Answer:

What people too often miss is that the book of Genesis is a collection of records. Throughout the book of Genesis, we find a Hebrew word toledoth appearing regularly. The word toledoth is translated as "These are the generations of ..." or "These are the records of ..." or "This is the history of ...". These appear to be signature lines of various authors of the record. The word toledoth appears eleven times:

Genesis 1:1Genesis 2:4 The record of the heavens and the earth. This is God's history of the creation. It covers the beginning to the seventh day of Creation.
Genesis 2:4Genesis 5:1 The record of Adam. It covers the sixth day of creation through the first several generations of Cain's family
Genesis 5:1 Genesis 6:9 The record of Noah. It is a genealogy from the creation of Adam to Noah.
Genesis 6:9 Genesis 10:1 The record of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. It covers from Noah to the death of Noah after the Flood.
Genesis 10:1 Genesis 11:10 The record of Shem. It is a genealogy of Shem and his brothers through several generations. It ends with the tower of Babel and the scattering of the nations.
Genesis 11:10 Genesis 11:27 The record of Terah. It is a genealogy of Shem's family down to Terah's children.
Genesis 25:12 Genesis 25:16 The record of Ishmael (contained within Isaac's record). It is a genealogy of Ishmael's children.
Genesis 11:27 Genesis 25:19 The record of Isaac. It covers Terah leaving Ur to Isaac's old age.
Genesis 36:1 Genesis 36:43 The record of Esau (contained within Jacob's record) It is a genealogy of Esau for several generations and tells us how the nation of Edom came to be.
Genesis 25:19 Genesis 37:2 The record of Jacob. It covers from Isaac's marriage to Rebekah to Jacob's return to Canaan.
Genesis 37:2 Exodus 1:1 The record of the children of Israel. It covers the life of Joseph to his death

Going through the accounts individually you will find that each is a complete story. The stories generally start prior to the recorder's birth to give some background, but all end before the recorder's death. The greatest detail is given of the recorder's life. Thus, there are overlaps between the accounts.

For example, God gives the greatest details about the creation of the world in Genesis 1:1-2:4, as one would expect -- He was the only one there. Adam writes about the creation in Genesis 2:4-25. He gives us a lot of details about what happened on the sixth day -- the day he was created. By the way Genesis 2:4-25 all occurred on the sixth day of creation. Noah also starts with creation in Genesis 5:1-2, but it is very brief because Noah is many generations away from the creation.

Therefore Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are not two separate creations, but the telling of the same creation from two different perspectives. It could not be two separate creations because Genesis 2:2 tells us that God rested from creating on the seventh day and that continues to this day (Hebrews 4:3-4).

Thank you so much for the help in clarifying the writing in Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2. I pray that God will always guide you and give you good health so that you can answer all the questions that you receive every day in your email. Take care and God bless you.