Two Creation Accounts of a Woman In Genesis

The first argument for Lilith that we shall tackle is the notion that Genesis’ account of Eve’s creation is not
consistent with its other creation accounts of a woman companion for Adam, and that the inconsistency is resolved
by concluding there must be two different women.  This argument must be put forth with great care, for this is the
only argument usually proffered by proponents of the Lilith legend, and unfortunately, it is almost always
presented in an outrageously faulted manner.  There are four separate accounts in Genesis that speak of the
creation of Adam and/or a woman.  The KJV rendition of each is listed below.  I hold that the first three discuss the
simultaneous creation of Adam and Lilith, while the last obviously discusses the later creation of Eve.  

The first creation account comes in Ge 1:26-29.  There God creates both a male and female, and the male bears
God’s image.  God then blesses the two and tells them they may eat of any tree.  The brevity of the account
certainly makes it appear as though God created both the male and female at the same time.  The fact that God
blessed them both at the same time also bolsters this conclusion.  It does not seem appropriate that God wait to
bless Adam until Eve was created.  Critics of Lilith assert that this seeming reference to a co-created woman is
merely an artifact of a very abbreviated account of Adam and Eve’s separate creations.  It is difficult to totally
refute their view based just on these casual observations.  Some ancient rabbis acknowledge the conflicts of the
passages and attempt to address the problem with assorted and odd arguments.  To explain both a male and
female being created together, surprisingly it is rather widely held that Adam was originally created androgynous
(i.e. with both male and female organs) or, like the Zohar states, that Eve was somehow attached to his side.  At
least with the Lilith legend no such outrageous scenarios are required.  The best refutation of Lilith is probably just
to say the implied co-creation of a male and female are the artifact of compressing their creation stories into a very
brief summary  

Ge 1:26-29 (First telling of Adam’s and Lilith’s creation)
    26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
    over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and
    have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in
    the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The second creation account comes in Ge 2:4-8.  It speaks of the generations of the heavens and earth and why
certain plants did not exist in the earth before this point.  It then speaks of a mist breaking forth from the earth and
watering the ground, and God’s creation of Adam from the dust of the ground.  In this most detail account of
Adam’s creation, the simultaneous creation of a woman is not apparent,  Because of this omission, this account is
rightfully taken by critics of Lilith as serious evidence against her legend.  However, as we shall see, there is much
in these passages that is not apparent in a casual reading of the KJV.  

Ge 2:4-8 (Second re-telling of Adam’s and Lilith’s creation)
    4  These 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,
    5  And 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.
    6  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
    7  And 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.
    8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

The third creation account comes in Ge 5:2.  Like the first account, it states that God created man in his own
image.  It states that God created both a male and female, blessed them, and rather curiously called their name
Adam in the day they were created .  The brevity of this creation account, like the first , again suggests that both
the woman and man were created at the same time.  The common name of Adam for the male and female again
invokes a common creation.  It is apparently another reason why some ancient rabbis attempt suggest that Adam
was originally created androgynous or that Eve was somehow attached to his side.  The passage concludes by
stating the male and female were created in the same day, again suggesting a co-creation.  Critics would once
again argue that apparent co-creation of a man and woman at the same time is again just an artifact of an
extremely succinct recap of Adam and Eve’s separate creations.  They would account for the phrase “in the day
they were created” with two explanations.  The first is that Eve was actually created on the same day as Adam.  
This is difficult to accept, given all the events which transpired between the creation of the two.  The second and
more effective argument is that the word for “day” here,
yom,  is used generically to mean a certain span of time.  
This is certainly an accepted meaning for
yom., but such a usage for it here seems out of place.  When yom is
used to specify a generic span of time, it usually denotes an era of time marked by some significant event.  For
example, the “day of the Lord” might actually refer to an era of judgment that spans over many years.  There is no
such era apparent in Ge 5:2.  

Ge 5:2 (A third recap of Adam’s and Lilith’s creation)
    Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

The fourth and final creation account comes in Ge 2:16-24.  It clearly speaks of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib
some time after God’s warning to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge.  

Ge 2:16-24 (Telling of Eve’s creation as a replacement)
    16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    17  But 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.
    18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    19  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.
    20  And 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.
    21  And 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;
    22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    23  And 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.
    24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

In summary, a cursory reading of the first and third creation accounts seemingly contradict the fourth creation
story concerning Eve.  The succinctness of their accounts along with some of the wording they employee suggests
that Adam and a woman were created at the same time.  However, there are plausible explanations for the
apparent contradictions.  A serious problem with the notion that Lilith explains these discrepancies lies in the
second creation account of Ge 2:4-8.  There Adam appears to be created alone, in conflict with the Lilith legend.   
Back to Lilith in the Bible
Back to Lilith in the Bible