Which was Created first, Man or Animal?

Question

Genesis 1 and 2 seem to have two different accounts, especially when it comes to the creation of man and beasts. In Genesis 1:24 the animals are created and then in Genesis 1:27 man is created, while in Genesis 2:7 man is created and in Genesis 2:19 the animals are created. Why do these accounts contradict each other?

Answer

I would suggest that there is no contradiction between the accounts and also would suggest that both accounts record the creation of animals as happening before the creation of man. I believe the fault lies in the way the KJV translates the verses in Genesis 2.

Genesis 2:18-19 - And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And 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.

If you compare other translations on this you will find quite a difference.

Now Yahweh God had formed from the ground every living thing of the field and every bird of the heavens, which he brought in unto the man, that he might see what he should call it,—and, whatsoever the man should call it—any living soul, that, should be the name thereof. (Rotherham)

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (NIV)

The LORD God had formed all the wild animals and all the birds out of the ground. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called each creature became its name. (God's Word Translation)

And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name. (Douay-Rheims)

And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim had formed every animal of the field and all fowl of the heavens, and brought them to Man, to see what he would call them; and whatever Man called each living soul, that was its name. (Darby)

And furthermore Yahweh Elohim, having formed from the ground all field life and every flyer of the heavens, He is also bringing it to the human to see what he will call it. And whatever the human living soul is calling it, that is its name. (Concordant Literal Version)

As you can see from these translations of the passage they are consistent with the record found in Genesis 1:24-31.

Written by Matthew Smith