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Two different stories of creation?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Question:


There are two different accounts of creation in the Torah. How do we reconcile them?


Answer:


Rashi - foremost Torah commentator - addresses this in a quite simple manner1 .

Genesis 1:27 says: "Male and female He created them." This verse informs us that Adam and Eve were both created on the sixth day, but it does not explain how they were created


Later Genesis 2:21-23 states: "He took one of his [Adam's] ribs, etc..." from which Eve was formed. These verses describe in detail HOW Eve was made.


This is one of the many examples in the Torah of a general statement that is later clarified and explained at length. In chapter one the Torah gives the general outline of creation and its chronology. In chapter two, it elaborates on the details of the actual processes involved.

A person might do something similar. He could say, "I just bought a house, and outfitted it with the best of everything, top of the line furniture, electronics, even kitchen utensils, and I moved in yesterday".

Next the person says: "Let me tell where I got it - I know this contractor, who knew about this house that went up for sale, and this electronics outlet gave 30% off if you bought $1,000 dollars worth of equipment...'

Is the second statement a different version of the first or an elaboration?

I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

Footnotes

  • 1. Baraitha of the Thirty Methods , Method 13

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Torah » The Bible » Five Books of Moses
G-d » Creation

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Rashi
Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105). Legendary French scholar who authored the fundemental and widely accepted "Rashi commentary" on the entire Bible and Talmud.
Adam
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
Genesis
The first book of the Five Books of Moses. It records the story of Creation and its aftermath, and chronicles the lives of the Patriarchs.