Genesis Chapter 2
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5And 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.
Here we have the first obvious contradiction of Genesis. How is there no man to till the ground if man was created on day 6? Are we moving backwards?
6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
The first rain!
7And 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.
Oh, Genesis. Creating man was so fun, let's do it again, but differently. Was this done by a different author? Let's see what others say about this. From Exchanged Life we have:
Is this a contradicting second creation story? The key to this question is found in verses 7-8. Look closely at the timeline here. God formed man, breathed life into him and he became a living being. Then God planted a garden and there he put the man whom He had formed. We are still on the sixth day. Five days were spent creating the heavens and the earth and all the living creatures in the earth and sea. On the sixth day, God created man as the crown of His creation. He is now a living breathing complete man named Adam. In Adam’s presence God planted the garden of Eden. Out of the ground of that garden, God formed pleasant trees and plants for beauty and food. God pauses to instruct Adam about the trees. "All is for you and good to eat except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Adam nods his head in acknowledgment and watches in wonder and God continues to create out of the garden. God proceeds to create the beasts of the field and birds of the air. Adam is included in the creative process as God creates and then gives Adam the task of naming them as they are created. God uses the creation in the garden as a time to teach and also to draw Adam into the creative process. He is given the opportunity to take ownership in God’s creative process as each animal is brought before him to be named. The error people make is that they don’t look at the whole picture but try to separate these as two separate events. The Garden of Eden was created on the sixth day. It is not a summarization of the creation account. (http://www.exchangedlife.com/Sermons/gen/gen_contvsy.shtml, 06/07/10)
Basically, we are to believe that God, while penning has memoirs, has decided to go back to the 6th day, after detailing the 7th day, and give a little more illumination into his activities. I must be making the mistake of not looking at the whole picture (basically, he's God and can do what he wants in whatever order he wants and then he can tell you he did it differently than he initially stated). I am glad that there are individuals out there that can so easily see into the mind of God that they are able to illuminate this for us!
8And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold;
12And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx stone.
13And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates.
15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19And 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.
So even if God is now back to reminiscing about Day 6, we are discussing birds which are supposed to have been formed on Day 5. Also, the land animals were supposedly done before man was made. Let's see what the Apologists have to say:
The main reason that skeptics do not see harmony in the events recorded in the first two chapters of the Bible is because they fail to realize that Genesis 1 and 2 serve different purposes. Chapter one (including 2:1-4) focuses on the order of the creation events; chapter two (actually 2:5-25) simply provides more detailed information about some of the events mentioned in chapter one. Chapter two never was meant to be a chronological regurgitation of chapter one, but instead serves its own unique purpose—i.e., to develop in detail the more important features of the creation account, especially the creation of man and his surroundings.(http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/513, 06/07/10)
Thanks Apologists. It is not that Genesis is contradictory, but that I do not understand the purpose of Genesis. I am glad that the people at Apologetics Press were able to determine what was meant by Chapter 2 and have been able to enlighten me. I do wonder how they were able to come to that conclusion. Is it written somewhere else in the bible? I imagine that this is the best explanation they have been able to come up with so they do not have to directly consider their dissonant notions.
20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Rather than creating woman and man simultaneously as seemed to be specified in Chapter 1, we have woman being made from man. This gives a nice opening for all future biblical misogyny.
24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
While I was looking for what others had to say about Genesis contradictions (a cursory search), I was surprised by the number of apologists (and faux-apologists) out there. I do not generally do searches that lead me into that camp. Honestly, it is always frightening for me to see such things because of the backward logic employed and the determination behind it. If anyone is up for a scary movie, check out "Jesus Camp." That is what my search reminded me of. I will be writing more about the sites I found soon.