April 16, 2006 Q & A

Creation of Man in Genesis


In the book of Genesis 1:26, why did God say "Let us make man [singular] ... let them [plural] have dominion"? Was there more than one person at that time? And Genesis 1:27 mentions "male and female," but in Genesis 2:22, God has just made the woman out of Adam's rib. Could this be written wrong?


Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of creation! Thank you for your question to the OPC Question and Answer web page.

No, I don't think it is written wrong, since God's Word is infallible and is always true. In Genesis 1 God says that he will make "man." Here the word for "man" is being used in a generic sense. In other words, he is going to make mankind, and he is going to do so through creating the first of mankind—Adam and Eve. This is why he uses the plural "them."

This in no way conflicts with Geneis 2:22. There God made mankind, male and female–Adam first, then Eve. See, the account of the creation of man in Genesis 1 is a "big picture" account, telling us generically that God made man—male and female. But what that means, and the particulars of how God made man male and female, are not given to us until Genesis 2—which serves as a more detailed re-telling of the creation of man.

Does that make sense? If not, please feel free to follow up with me.



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