Another Bride for Adam?
Q: Did Adam have a wife before Eve? Genesis 1:26-27 shows that God created man and woman at the same time. Genesis 2 shows when Eve was created from the rib of Adam.
A: Genesis 1 and 2 don’t tell of separate wives for Adam. Instead, each tells the Creation account from a different perspective. The initial day by day report, poetic in form, proceeds in a step by step manner. Each day, God did something, and it was good. Finally, after He’d created and formed everything else, God made man. Then He called His Creation “very good. (1:31)”
Note that each time He’s mentioned from 1:1-2:3, Genesis calls Him “God.” Why not His personal name, Yahweh (the Lord)? Probably because until the sixth day there was no one to call on His name. Genesis first establishes from the divine point of view that “God created the heavens and the earth. (1:1)”
Once man is introduced as the final gem of His creative talent, the story is told again as an account of the relationship between God and man. Therefore, we now hear about “the Lord God” and His intimate relationship with humanity in this second telling. Genesis 2:18-25 doesn’t mean that God made a replacement wife, for if this was a new woman then 2:7 would mean that the Lord God had also made a replacement man, since this is a second account of his creation, also.
Instead of messing around with duplicate first parents, the simple explanation is that we first receive a bare history, followed by an intimate biographical sketch. The second chapter doesn’t contradict the first. Rather, 2:4-25 provides details to the flat statement that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (1:27)”
Among those hung up over a proto-wife for Adam are many invested in the writings of the Jewish Kabbal. They insist that a woman named Lilith was his bride before Eve. However, these stories never ring true when compared with Holy Scripture.
Illustrations from the Web Gallery of Art.
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.
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Newspaper column #570:1