Genesis 1 and 2: Two Different Creation Stories
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The Purpose of this paper is to discuss the creation story in Genesis 1-2, explain why Genesis is not a continuation of Genesis 1, find the major points these stories make about who God is, and explain what Genesis 1-3 tell us today about God and our world.
Genesis 2 can not be an extension of Genesis, because the order of creation is differentiates from chapter 1 to chapter 2. In Genesis Chapter 1it is written that on the first day God created light. On the second day God separated sea from sky. On the third day came land. On the fourth the Sun, moon, and stars were created. Birds & fish, and land animals (male and female) & man were created on the fifth and sixth days respectively. Finally on the seventh day God rested.(It seems that the main point is that God is the creator of all things in particular, and the 7th day shows that God isn’t bound to creating things. He isn’t simply a creation machine, but can sit back and enjoy His creation, which attributes to Him, human characteristics. He isn’t impersonal.)
In Genesis 2, the creation only takes a meager one day to complete. First, God creates the man, Adam, when “He blew into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.”(Genesis 2:7) Second, God creates plants in the Garden of Eden. Third, God brings the animals to Adam, who names each of them. Seeing that “for Adam no fitting helper was found. So the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman; and He brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:20-22) Another point that affirms that Genesis 1 and 2 are two separate creation stories is that in Genesis 1:25-27 it tells how humans were created after man, and that the first man and woman were created simultaneously, while Genesis 2:18-19 claims, the humans were created before the other animals, and then the woman was created from man’s rib.
God or Gods, the role of people, and even the world that is made, are different in each and every creation story. In the Genesis 1 creation story God is looked upon as a King, and a very generous one. People are created in God’s image and there are no distinction between males and females. The world is the life, the order if you will, and in God’s words it is “Very good”. (Genesis 1:31.2) In Genesis 2, however, things are a little different. God is seen as more of a “parent to man.” He uses trial & error in his creation. People are looked upon as “children”; male and female are seen as corresponding partners. Also, the view of the world has changed. In the Genesis 2 creation story the world is created for the people, but it is problematic, and there is death in this world.
In Enuma Elish the story bears no similarity to Genesis 1 or 2, at all. In Enuma Elish creation story, the Gods are selfish and power hungry. The people are basically slaves for the Gods and the world was created to please them. The world can be seen as somewhat have a “holding pen” for humans.
Today, Genesis 1-3 tells us that humans will be compelled to commit sin. God will then punish man, but still have mercy for them; this is shown in Genesis 3. God told Adam and Eve that if they were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, that they would die. Yet after they eat the fruit of the tree God does not kill them, but let them live out of the garden, working very hard on the land.
In Conclusion, Genesis 2 can not be an extension of Genesis, because the order of creation is differentiates from chapter 1 to chapter 2. God or Gods, the role of people, and even the world that is made, are different in each and every creation story. Today, Genesis 1-3 tells us that humans will be compelled to commit sin.