Adam names the animals

Many people probably don’t realize this but there are two accounts of creation in Genesis. The first is in chapter one and the second in chapter two.

It’s common early on in the Bible to see two different accounts of the same story. Scholars call these “doublets.” There are also two accounts of Noah’s flood, two accounts of covenants with Abraham, two accounts of the parting of the Red Sea, etc…

Scholars think that this is because the stories were from different authors during a time when Israel and Judea were separated and which were later edited together when the countries united again (the Documentary Hypothesis).

In any case, the chapter one account of creation contradicts the chapter two account on the order of the creation of animals and man.




Chapter one:

Animals first:

(Gen 1:24 NRSV) And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so.

Then Man:

(Gen 1:27 NRSV) So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Chapter two:

Man first:

(Gen 2:7 NRSV) then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

Then animals:

(Gen 2:19 NRSV) So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.


As a side note, there is a peculiar twist to the second creation account. As Adam is naming every animal, God and Adam notice that none of the animals were suitable as a “partner” for Adam (not even those that produced wool).

(Gen 2:20-21 NRSV) The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the LORD God caused…