Reconciling Genesis 1 & 2

Does Genesis 2 contradict with Genesis 1, and doesn’t this indicate that at least two different authors were involved in putting Genesis together? I’m writing about this now because Dad searched here and at the Fellowship Hall on the subject, to no avail. I don’t know if he tried Google or not, but there are probably hundreds — if not thousands — of Christians out there providing answers to the subject of the apparent Genesis 1 & 2 contradiction. How cool that he checked my sites and let me know that, well, my material was lacking! Hopefully, this post will fill the gap and make up for it.

First, just to get everyone on the same page, it may be beneficial to actually read Genesis 1 and 2 before continuing. I’ll wait. ;-)

Okay, welcome back. So, what exactly are we dealing with here? What is the claimed contradiction? Well, it is made up of the following, taken from Are There Contradictions in the Bible (Ralph O. Muncaster):

  1. Genesis 2:5-7 seems to indicate that man was created before vegetation.
  2. Genesis 1:12 indicates vegetation was created on day 3; Genesis 1:27 indicates man and woman were created on day 6.
  1. Genesis 2:7, 19 seem to indicate that animals were created after mankind.
  2. Genesis 1:20-25 indicates animals were created on days 5 and 6 and in Genesis 1:26, 27, the Bible indicates man and woman were created later on day 6.

So, there are two sets of seemingly contradictory details which can be found in the first two chapters of Genesis. Let’s look at the first two propositions and see whether they are truly irreconcilable.

The Order of Vegetation & Man

Genesis 1:12 states that, “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.”

Simple enough. Now, let’s grab that bit from chapter 2, verses 5-7: “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 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.” And for completion sake, I think verse 8 should be given as well, “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”

It is very apparent in Genesis 1 that plants preceded humanity but three days. However, does Genesis 2 disagree? Absolutely not. In fact, we see that prior to man’s creation, the creation of vegetation is described (2:4, 5), as well as the initial watering of such vegetation (2:6). These couple of verses are an expansion of the account given in chapter 1 verse 12.

Based on Genesis 2 alone, we don’t know the timespan between verses 6 (the watering of the plants via a mist) and 7 (the creation of man). The beginning of verse 7 (“And…”) simply indicates that there is a progression in events. From chapter 1, we see that 3 days have passed.

Many seem to mistake verse 8 in chapter 2 (the planting of Eden) as the creation of vegetation. That simply is not so. Eden was not the whole Earth (lest there be no land for Nod [4:16]). And the garden planted was simply “eastward in Eden.” This special planting does not constitute the same creation of plants that occurred in 1:12.

So, both Genesis 1 and 2 agree on the order that vegetation & man were created. Genesis 2, however, gives us a bit more detail, rather than the brisk survey of creation found in chapter 1.

The Order of Animals & Man

Genesis 1:20-25 states: “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. 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. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

“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. 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.”

Immediately after that, in verses 26-28, we are told of the creation of man. So, the order in Genesis 1 is clearly animals then man.

What says the second chapter? The relevant verses are 7 and 19.

Chapter 2 verse 7 says, “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.”

And then verse 19: “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.”

The order of events in chapter 2 is important to observe:

  1. 2:1-3 The conclusion of chapter 1’s quick survey of creation.
  2. 2:4 An introduction to chapter 2, “These are the generations…” (Or, “this is the history…”)
  3. 2:5-6 An insight into Day 3.
  4. 2:7 Creation of Adam.
  5. 2:8-17 Creation of the garden in Eden, and man’s placement therein.
  6. 2:18 It isn’t good for man to be alone.

That brings us up to the creation of some animals in verse 19. Man is in Eden, and he’s alone. While there were a myriad of creatures created on Days Five and earlier in Day Six, none of them had been placed in Eden, which was freshly planted. Man was placed there solitary, but that wasn’t good. So what we have in verse 19 is an additional creation of animals, farther on in Day Six. This time, only land animals and fowls of the air were brought forth to Adam to be named.

And finally, after that, we come to verse 21, at which point Adam is falling asleep and the formation of Eve is not far behind.

There isn’t any contradictions in those events. It is, however, crucial to read how chapter 2 begins. Indeed, it ties directly into the end of chapter 1, and then tells us that we’re now going to learn some of the history of the earth when it was created. How were plants tended to if it hadn’t yet rained? What’s up with Eden? Where did Eve come from? When was man placed over the animals? Genesis 2 provides us the answers.

In fact, let me put it this way for you:

  • Genesis 2:5-6 corresponds to Genesis 1:12.
  • Genesis 2:7-25 corresponds to Genesis 1:26-30.

I think that pretty much covers everything. I went into a tiny bit more detail than I had planned to, and certainly more than Ralph Muncaster did in the book I quoted earlier. However, I found his explanation simply assumed too much and was disappointingly incomplete, not even dealing with the second set of propositions I quoted from his book above.

Supplemental reading

Addendum

I’ll be the first to admit that there will be readers who don’t like my explanations. If we have to try so hard to make the text work, then obviously the “contradiction” is what is in the text, not long-winded explanations. The law of noncontradiction, as Aristotle stated it, maintains that “one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”

For a contradiction to remain a contradiction, it must have no logical reconciliations. I believe that Genesis 1 & Genesis 2 are harmonious, and that any contradiction present is merely apparent and not inherent in the text.

If a reconciliatory explanation exists for texts which appear contradictory, and if such reconciliation is itself logically sound, then the burden is on the one claiming contradiction to provide a logically sound contradiction.

21 thoughts on “Reconciling Genesis 1 & 2

  1. Admonit says:
    Sørina Higgins is a PhD student in English and Presidential Scholar at Baylor University. She also serves as Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Signum University, online. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection on “The Inklings and King Arthur” (Apocryphile Press,…

    Wow, thank you very much. This has always bothered me. My pastor often said, “Chapter 1 is like one window on your desktop, then you click on a little bit of it and a bigger window pops up with more detail.” But he never went on to explain how, and I had never stumbled across the solution. This is very encouraging to me! Thanks a lot!

  2. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    Admonit: Thanks for the encouraging word. I’m going to take that as evidence that my post was coherent. I wrote it more hastily than I would have liked, and I wasn’t quite sure if the ideas were expressed clearly enough.

    I’m glad that the post was helpful to you, despite my shortcomings in writing it.

  3. Justin says:

    Thanks Rick, although I haven’t encountered such an argument in any serious discussion, it is nice to have the answer now. You were very coherent and it is appreciated.

    The one thing I always like to keep in mind when someone brings a challenge to me about the Bible is this: If I’m wrong, then thanks for correction. If, however, I am correct, then no harm done. When someone challenges the faith (for example, the Taipot tomb theory [hey, an alliteration, okay, I’m done now]), it shouldn’t be a cause to get upset. Take it as an opportunity to better understand your faith and an opportunity to share your faith.

  4. Tony says:

    You can view chapter 2 as a series of flashbacks to fill in the details of chapter 1 if you like, but there are still some glaring contradictions between the two. First, the mist and watering in chapter 2 isn’t sufficient to make plants grow… it says the plants hadn’t sprung up yet because there was no rain AND ‘not a man to till the ground’. After the rain/mist, there’s no mention of plants growing, that only comes after Adam is made and God plants Eden. To me, that’s a strong indication that man came before the plants grew in chapter 2. Second, your suggestion that God created some ‘additional’ animals for the Garden of Eden doesn’t match up with 1:24 where He makes all the animals, even including the livestock, before man. And in verses 26 and 28 during and after making man He says man shall rule over everything. I don’t know what else He needed to make to populate Eden. What do you think the additional animals were that man needed to name? Third, it’s not true that chapter 1 doesn’t tell us when man was placed as ruler over the animals – that’s quite clear from the verses I just mentioned – it’s all settled on the 6th day, so there’s no need for chapter 2 to ‘fill in the details’. Fourth, in 1:27 it says God made man and woman together, but in chapter 2 Eve is clearly made after the animals — though I guess you get around that by claiming they were ‘additional’ animals. In any case, even if you manage to crowbar these contradictions together, the creation stories in Genesis don’t quite match the version alluded to in Job 38. In the end, I don’t see the point of trying to iron out the clear differences. So, there are contradictions in the Bible… so what? Why not accept the creation stories in Genesis and Job for what they are – allegories that throw different light on our relationship with God and the universe, rather than what they are not – historical fact.

  5. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    Tony:

    After God creates Eden and places man in the garden, there is nothing contradictory with chapter 1 for chapter 2 to describe God creating certain animals are created with the express purpose of populating the garden. After all, even prior to God’s creation of plant life, He still plants the garden — an additional act regarding plants. The additional creation of animals directly parallels that.

    As for which animals were created then as opposed to earlier, I would say there was no difference — everything made for the garden was likely made elsewhere. However, due to the garden animals unique roles, perhaps God made sure there were sufficient number of them. Or maybe He didn’t want to pull animals from elsewhere on the world back to the garden to “meet and greet” Adam.

    Also, the statement that there was no man to till the ground does not seem to be a requirement for the plants to grow, like a mist would have been (and you’ve no idea how dense that mist may have been, so how can you claim it would have been insufficient? the creative days were unique times, after all…). We can see that in the subsequent verses when God brings forth plants in the garden and plants are growing left and right, all without man tilling the ground. It doesn’t seem like “no man to till the ground” was intended to be a reason why the seeds in the ground weren’t growing.

  6. Tony says:

    Parallel perhaps, but there is still a big gap between them. Sure, chapter 2 could be all about creating the Garden of Eden, which was done separately from the rest of the world, but why do it separately? It is so neat in chapter 1, with each day for a different thing, and then in chapter 2, according to your interpretation, God has to grow some more plants and make some more animals, presumably on the 6th day. It just doesn’t make sense, unless you look at Genesis 1 and 2 as two separate stories.

    The mist is a good example. By the way, I’m not claiming anything here, I’m just repeating what Genesis says. It says: “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” (2:5-7a) … Of course, you’re right – we know that plants grow whether man tills the ground or not. And in Genesis 1 the plants indeed grow first. But in Genesis 2 the author clearly wants to tell us that God made man first before growing the plants.

    You didn’t reply to my point about the third creation story alluded to in Job 38:4-12, so here it is in summary: first the earth’s foundations are laid, while the stars sing a chorus, then the sea is held back as it busts in a flood from the earth, cloud covers it, and the boundaries of the sea are set, then the sun rises.

    That’s all very different to Genesis 1, which is in turn different from Genesis 2.

    So I come back to my original point. Instead of trying to force a compromise, why not embrace the difference? After all, if we can accept that God is three separate but unified things, why can’t we accept that there are three different but ‘parallel’ creation stories?

  7. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    I believe and have shown that Genesis 1 & 2 are by no means contradictory. Much of the apparent contradictions vanish when one considers that most of the action takes place “in the garden eastward in Eden” and not elsewhere on the planet. That focus allows for special acts which the broad overview of Genesis 1 doesn’t get into.

    So, what about Job 38:4-12?

    Verse 7 states that the “morning stars” sang when God laid the foundations of the earth. You state that this must mean stars were already created. However, “morning star(s)” in the Bible does not refer to celestial objects; rather, it is a term given to a certain class of heavenly being. The word “Lucifer” means “morning star,” and Jesus Christ is the Morning Star according to the last chapter of the Bible. So, there’s no contradiction here if the hosts of Heaven — and not celestial objects — are singing here at the laying of Earth’s foundations.

    The rest of the relevant verses are questions posed by God to Job about the Creation; it does not seem to be a chronological recollection of it. I think you’re straining a bit too much to find a contradiction by forcing God’s rhetorical questions into being a play-by-play commentary.

    Also, why do I accept the Trinity but not 3 different creation accounts? The Trinity does not violate logic and is biblically sound. If the Bible is self-contradictory regarding creation, then the entire book loses both coherency and credibility. If God who inspired the Bible couldn’t keep His story straight, He is not one to be worshiped.

  8. Tony says:

    Hi Rick,
    The east of Eden difference is a valid point, but if that’s true then they are indeed 2 separate stories about 2 different creations, which was my point.

    I realize the creation story in Job is a set of rhetorical questions, and not necessarily in any order. But that doesn’t explain the main problem of the sea and the land. In Job the sea bursts forth from the womb of the earth, then the waves are held back, and the boundaries of the ocean defined. In Genesis 1 the waters are made first, and then gathered in one place so the dry land appears. Which is round the other way. Of course, Job could be talking about the flood, or (as my own church believes) the first destruction of the preadamic universe after Satan’s rebellion, or any number of other scenarios…

    But, since we know from science that NONE of these stories really happened, surely we have to look for the allegorical meaning behind them rather than take them literally. And, personally speaking, since the stories in the Bible don’t even match up, God seems to be telling us to look for meanings rather than facts. As a mainstream Christian in a fundamental church, I struggle with this every day, but usually keep my mouth shut. I think I’ll stop bothering you too. Thank you for letting me air some of my views on your excellent website.

  9. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    It is an unenviable position to be in, when one trusts the words of men over the sure word of the Scriptures.

    Always remember, when found speaking contrary to the Bible, it is so done because there is no light within the speaker (Isaiah 8:20).

  10. Andy Bird says:

    Rather than go through all that mental gymnastics is it not much easier (and there for more likely) to accept that :

    The authors of Gen 1 and 2 were different.
    They are 2 different creations myths from the earliest memories of the Israelites.
    1 is a poem
    1 is a narrative
    Accept that those who compiled what is now the Old Testament were happy to include 2 different stories and did not get upset about it (THEY did not feel the need to write a 1000 word essay on it in, say, Chapter 3) and if it was good enough for the compilers of gen then it should be good enough for you.
    Both stories are great stories that set the frame work for the Israelites relationship with their god despite being different.

    All this mental gymnastics you go through just so you can hold the Old Testament to be true seems absurd.

    Even if you accept your reasoning it does not rule out that possibility that the book was compiled by more than 1 person! i am curious why you take this as an article of faith? Surely a god inspired writer is a god inspired writer and it makes no difference if it was written by one, two or 100 people?

    oh and


    It is an unenviable position to be in, when one trusts the words of men over the sure word of the Scriptures.

    Always remember, when found speaking contrary to the Bible, it is so done because there is no light within the speaker (Isaiah 8:20).

    that was cheap. tony made a perfectly reasonable point there and to threaten him with scripture was uncalled for and the intellectual equivalent of telling him to ‘shut up’!

  11. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    When you say they are two distinct accounts, I say that you have little reading comprehension. The “contradictory” elements of Genesis 2 are speaking in a much more limited context — that of a garden, which itself was but an area in a region known as Eden — compared to the global scope of chapter 1.

    If both accounts claimed to be detailing the same events, well, that’d be a noteworthy contradiction. I may have been raised in the public schools, but I did learn how to read: it is very plain that the focus of the chapters is different.

    No “mental gymnastics” is needed to read the chapters and accept them for what they say. On the other hand, quite a few illogical leaps are required to claim that the events being described are the same and, due to the differing details, are contradictory. (And one must ignore key points in the text as well.)

    God cannot lie, so if He did inspire the texts, they must be harmonious. There is no textual reason to believe that Genesis 1 is simply a poetic account illustrative of some truths — indeed, Exodus 20 reiterates the “six days” creation not as a poetic illustration, but as a natural basis for Law. Jesus also mentioned the earliest chapters of Genesis in the most believing ways, upholding them as the basis for marriage and so on.

    Regarding Tony’s point and my reference to Isaiah 8:20, his point is only reasonable if one wants to violate the Scripture I quoted. As a Christian, I figure he should appreciate knowing that verse, allow it to transform his life (as Christians are supposed to allow the Scriptures to do), and be thankful for it. If he has a problem believing the Word over men, then he shows his unbelief. It’s as simple as that.

  12. Roger says:

    Genesis 1 and 2 were likely written by Moses under the inspiration of God to provide the background to the law given at Mount Sinai. Another way of reading the chapters is in parallel. This will give a proper understanding of what it means for man to be made in the image of God. By parallel means in the following combination of verses:

    Gen 2:5 starts between Gen 1:10 and 11. After God created the dry land He formed Man from the uncontaminated dust. God then went on to create the vegetation and plant the garden – the third day. Gen 2:18 starts at Gen 1:24 when God creates the animals and a helper to man and after man sees them and names them and does not find a suitable helper God says in Gen 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” That is where Gen 2: 21 fits in.

    Run that through your theology and give it some thought.

  13. Andy Bird says:

    “Genesis 1 and 2 were likely written by Moses under the inspiration of God to provide the background to the law given at Mount Sinai.”

    wrong

    scholars are pretty sure that gen 1 was written during the exile in babalon. the isrealites were under enormous pressure to assimilate into Babylonian society and culture. gen 1 was probably a scribes / priests attempt at reinforcing the Sabbath as a means of keeping the isrealites a whole unique society.

    one of the problems of reading the bible based only on what it says is that you completely miss and ignore the real social background of the bible its self.

    let me make this quite clear:

    it is impossible to read the bible fundamentally! full stop. end of story.

    what you call a bible, written in english, is at best a guess at what the original text were. they have been altered and filtered and changed over and over and over again. that is the nature of language.

    let us take a very trivial example..

    the word ‘cool’ in the 1950s the use of the word was quite clear.. ‘not warm’.. in the 60s it was used as an in word by a particular subset of society.. in the 80s dropped out of use in 00’s it was adopted by society as a whole. this is ONE WORD.. IN ENGLISH.. cerving HALF A CENTURY. you are attempting to inject whole and complete meaning into books that have been pulled together with THOUSANDS of words.. IN HEBREW, ANCIENT GREEK about a guy who spoke ARAMAIC over THOUSANDS of years. a quick search on the internet revealed 5 recipes that claim to be elvis’ favourite chicken dish! 5 ! he only died a few decades ago!

    it is not possible.

    now i am sure that rick will come back and write some nonsense about the final book that you have in front of you being divinely inspired.. blah blah blah but let us look at what that claim entails..

    each of the thousands of original authors (just look at the letters of paul as an example of how lots of different authors are now grouped together as a single author)of the old and new testaments are divinely inspired to put pen to paper. (we will ignore the fact that most of these stories were passed down word of mouth changing from generation to generation)

    there are loads of these books knocking around but the final selection is again divinly insired in the case of the new testament we know when and were this selection was made and by whom.. again this collection of cathoic bishops and roman big wigs were divinely inspired to chose the right books. i often wonder how this sits with protestants ie which books got in and was kicked out was dictated by the the catholic church! .. are you sure satan did not step in at this point and put wrong books in??? ;)

    then there comes the translations.. again you have to believe that the translators were divinely inspired to deliver the right words in the right context.

    as rick has already pointed out.. some translations are better than others. this makes the point that some translations are clearly wrong.. people are being deceived by the bible! clearly the divine inspiration was running a bit thin at that point.

    every time you try to read the bible fundamentally you are ignoring the context and richness of the people and societies that these myths came out of. you don’t see that the bible is a greatest hits of middle eastern mythology. nearly every story in the old testament can be found in other, older middle eastern mythologies.. no one is trying to read them as if they are real..

    look at acts.. did you realise that we have 2 surviving copies of Acts? one is in the new testament and the longer version is not… so which is the real word of god? how do you know that you are reading the real version of Acts?

    we wont even go into the endless list of biblical contradictions or even new testament mythisism (which you should really really read up on.. mythisism is the idea that the new testament is purely a collection of myths about jesus who is himself a mythical being.. the fact that this is actually intellectually possible gives you an insight into how thin facts are about the new testament)

    if you are really interested in understanding the bible, how it came about, etc you should listen to the Bible Geek aka Dr Bob Price (he has about 5 degrees and I have never come across anyone so knowledgeable about the bible)..no really.. listen to him.. you will find him really entertaining even if you done agree with him.

    right – breakfast time

  14. Roger says:

    Hey Andy, those are “sick” comments and thoughts (hope you are up to date on your word definitions). I agree with a lot of stuff Rick says otherwise I wouldn’t even bother looking at this blog or waste my time posting in it.

    You may be a good person to answer my question. Why is it that so many people who don’t beleive the Bible to be true spend so much time arguing and promoting it? It seems if it isn’t true and can’t be read as such then why bother, it will eventially go away.

    I think the KJV and the NIV has contributed to people believing that the bible can’t be trusted because of all the translation errors in them. What do you do if you find a translation error? – you correct it but you don’t through the whole document out.

    People with a bunch of degrees or not doesn’t determine if someone has the right understanding about something. The more degrees a person just means they know a lot about something, but that something they know about may or may not be true.

  15. Andy Bird says:

    “you may be a good person to answer my question. Why is it that so many people who don’t believe the Bible to be true spend so much time arguing and promoting it? It seems if it isn’t true and can’t be read as such then why bother, it will eventually go away.”

    1) I am a theologian by training and love debate and find Rick quite an entertaining and challenging debater.
    2) you never know, one of ricks readers may see the light and join us enlightened atheists.
    3) No matter which way you look at it the Bible is interesting.. we just find it interesting for different reasons .. you as the basis of your life and me as a glimpse into the thoughts and psyche of an ancient race and the evolution of ideas and myths.

    “people with a bunch of degrees or not doesn’t determine if someone has the right understanding about something. The more degrees a person just means they know a lot about something, but that something they know about may or may not be true.”

    indeed.. this is true. however, to understand and appreciate the bible in the way and manner i am suggesting you might find interesting you need to know lots.. and lots. about middle eastern mythology, archaeology, history, psychology, Roman history, Hellenic thought, etc

    and besides the Bible Geek is very very entertaining.. please listen to at least one of the episodes.. Christians and non-Christians alike will appreciate his very interesting discussions.

    please don’t be put off just because an atheist it pointing you in his direction.. give it a try.

  16. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    I want this conversation to continue over on the Fellowship Hall. Andy, I replied to your second-to-last comment already in this thread and await your reply. You should be able to post on the Hall without registering, assuming I have permissions set correctly.

  17. Maurie Nord says:
    Comstock Records recording artist. Entertainer/Singer/Songwriter …

    Rick, I like your style and enjoyed the pangaea of Genesis 1:5.

    Structurally I like the “Toledoth” theory of Genesis authorship. “This is the “toledoth” or “record of” ……..which follows, not precedes, the material involoved. This method of “signing” off an account was common in other Semitic writings of the day and the beauty of this is that the first toledoth was signed off by Yahweh Himself. The toledoth leaves no doubt that the Genesis authors were writing history and not fable, nor poetry nor any other form of literature. There are ten toledoths in Genesis which were written by the descendants of Adam and that explains the diversity of writing styles which drew the attention of the proponents of the now, largely-abandoned Documentary Hypothesis. Moses received these toledoths, compiled and sometimes edited them to clarify locations etc. One of the best Introductions to the Old Testament is that one written by Tremper Longman and Raymond Dillard. They like the toledoth form and seem to put it forward as a very clean style of structure for the book of Genesis.

  18. Joshua Chang says:

    Thanks for your efforts to solve the contradiction but I am not sure if you really addressed the problem. The contradiction between Genesis 1:12 and Gnesis 2:5 is not really about when God commanded the land to produce vegetation but on when the land actually produced the plants. Gen. 1:12 says, on the third day, the land produced vegetation and God saw that it was good. On Gen. 2:7 shows that God formed man before the plant had sprung up from the land on Gen. 2:5. The question is how could Gen. 1:12 say that the land produced plants when God didn’t even make the man yet on the sixth day?

    I hope you see where I’m getting at. Let me know if you can solve this. Thanks!

    • Maurie Nord says:
      Comstock Records recording artist. Entertainer/Singer/Songwriter …

      Ah ………okay Joshua. ”

      1:12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.” This is the record of God (Toleda)
      God tells the story in general.

      2:5 “Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, (for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,) 6 but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the (Lord) God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” This is the record of Adam (Toleda) He re-tells the text with added detail.
      The “Lord” God is inserted by editor / compiler Moses to distinguish God from the multitude of God’s that the early Israelites were accustomed to. In Adam’s version, likely told to him by God in further detail, the sequence of events is this: God creates vegetation and ignites the sun immediately, but He does not include the irrigation details. Adam includes those details along with the details of his creation from the *dirt. Moses inserts the comment about rain coming upon the earth to clarify to his contemporary readers that in the antediluvian age, it did not rain, rather water springs did the irrigation and the planet was surrounded by a canopy of water (Gen 1:6) to protect the planet from the sun and to maintain a consistent temperature. At the time of the flood, the water canopy collapsed in a huge deluge upon the pangaea (one continent land mass) then the “fountains of the deep burst forth and soon the land mass was covered. Only then, did it begin to rain after the atmosphere was changed into that which we have in this present age of middle earth. Another event of astounding proportions was that the pangaea shattered into tectonic plates which God set in motion (continental drift) and His intention was to thwart Satan’s second plan to destoy mankind with another evil rebellion under the wicked Nimrod who introduced vile idolatry. Since He promised never to flood the earth again, He would then confound their languages and scatter them throughout the continents to prevent them from unifying and instituting universal worship of the demon fertility goddess Ishtar (easter) Diana to the Greeks, Venus to the Romans, Freya to the Germans. There were sickening pockets of this worship, of course, and some of those (the Canaanite) God commissioned Israel to destroy as they were using temple prostitutes to have ritualistic sex with the demon goddess, then nine months later at Easter, the prositutes gave birth and the sacrificed the babies to demon goddess and Baal (Molech) The dipped eggs into the blood of the babies to die them red (Ishtar eggs sound familiar?). This separation through language confusion and intercontinental isolation has worked up until these modern times when the principle of language confusion has all but disappeared and the “International Community” has one language, English, to communicate and basically they are saying “Now let’s finish building that tower we started.” This is the “time of the end” and God will bring this age to a close and establish His Kingdom under the sceptre of David through his descendant Jesus Christ, Messiah.

      “In those days and at that time,
      when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
      2 I will gather all nations
      and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[b]
      There I will put them on trial
      for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,
      because they scattered my people among the nations
      and divided up my land.
      3 They cast lots for my people
      and traded boys for prostitutes;
      they sold girls for wine to drink.”

      The regathering of the dispersed Israelites is His obvious sign that He is about to wrap things up.

      I know this is much more than the initial “problem” that you wanted to deal with but what the heck, I got on a roll. LOL

      Hope it helps fill in any possible gaps

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