After resting on day 7, God created Adam, exactly as written. The stand-out event of all eternity was not squeezed into Friday afternoon. Page 2 of your Bible has as many surprises as page 1.
The creation story really ends in Genesis 2:1-3, where “the heavens and earth were completed” and God rests. So what is God saying in Genesis 2:4-5:
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth; and there was no man to cultivate the ground.
This is usually assumed to be an introduction to a more detailed account of the creation of man on day 6 in Genesis 1:26. I call this the Classic view of Genesis 2. But these verses can be taken another way, namely, that this is describing something God did after He rested on day 7, exactly as written. This new account is about the creation of Adam and his subsequent lineage that carries on for the rest of the Bible. I call this the Day-8 view since it sees Adam created after God rested on day 7, seemingly on day 8.
The first thing you have to notice is that the Day-8 view is a valid assumption. Frankly, it is exactly how Genesis reads. So why has everyone opted for the Classic view. My guess is that they or “we”, because it’s what I originally did, saw that phrase “and there was no man to cultivate the ground” and assumed since “man” was created on day-6 that this is referring back to when God created man on day 6. This is logical but it does lead to problems, for example:
I expand on these issues in later chapters. Now let’s consider the Day-8 view. The immediate problem with the Day-8 view is that you have a man created on day 8, namely Adam, whom I shall refer to as day-8 man and another man created on day 6, whom I shall refer to as day-6 man. But let’s look at these points straight away:
But most of all, take note that in Genesis 1:26-27 God said that He was going to make man “in Our image and after Our likeness”, but then in verse 27 He only created man “in His image” – likeness is not mentioned. But in Genesis 5:1, God refers to the descendants of Adam as being made “in the likeness of God” – image is not mentioned. So on day-6 God did not create man in His likeness and that is what we now see happening in Genesis 2.
The animals created on day 6 were created from the ground (Genesis 2:19) and so too would day-6 man have been created. The man, Adam, was also formed from the ground (Genesis 2:7), but Adam was given life by the breath of God. The “breath of life” can also be read as “spirit”. This breath came from the mouth of God and so was the “Breath of God” which is synonymous with the “Spirit of God”. God sees life as spiritual (John 6:63). No other creature was given life in this way. God is spirit, so man in His likeness (character), not mere physical image, had to have a spirit. This is fundamental to New Testament revelation. So the breath of life is not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it is God imparting a spirit to Adam. The “other men” created on day 6 did not receive the breath of life, that is a spirit.
If you need precedent for physical and spiritual likeness, then 1 Corinthians 15:42-50 talks about the image of man of dust and the image of heaven. It even refers to this verse in Genesis. John 3:6 makes it clear we are flesh and spirit. The “dust of the earth” speaks of the mortal, fleshy body which God created first and the breath from God provided the spirit.
Ultimately, Jesus confirmed His divinity by imparting the Holy Spirit via His breath in John 20:22 . We are meant to see the link between that verse and the breath of God imparting life to Adam in Genesis 2. We can now see Jesus as God and His breath imparts the life-giving spirit.
So the Day-8 view is totally consistent with the Bible, but perhaps needing a post-resurrection revelation of the role of the Spirit to see the significance of image versus likeness. But there are other issues that must be considered:
All these issues will be addressed in more detail later but a quick summary is helpful to calm concerns:
Day-6 man was created to be servants for Adam and his descendants – the sons of God. Just as God created angels in heaven to be His servants, so too He created servants for His son Adam. These day-6 men were also there to domesticate a wild land that Adam and Eve would encounter when they left the garden. (There is precedence for this in the way God handed over the Promised Land to Israel.)
They were both of the same created type – mankind so they were both man. (In any case, Adam named the animals, including day-6 man, not God.)
Mankind was represented on the ark, by Noah and his family. Day-6 man did not get a seat and they were totally lost in the flood. (There are reasons for this in Genesis 6!)
Now I have given you all this very briefly. I found it necessary to get it out very quickly because our brain seems to start screaming as we adjust to a major shift in our understanding. There are more points affirming day-6 and day-8 man and more detail needs to be added to the points already described. But of critical importance, we need to note that any understanding of Adam as the first of the current mankind, and of the consequences of his sin, and of the flood – all the things that you grasped under the Classic view, have not changed! Later I will also discuss symbolic issues, but all the issues I have dealt with so far are from a plain reading of scripture, once we learn to discern where it is referring to day-6 and day-8 man. This is also of the utmost importance!
This Day-8 view has initially explained some quirky little issues about the apparent other men. But actually it has done far more than just that. If you hang in there and read more, you will see that:
This casts a different light on the image and nature of God that we see in Genesis.
Furthermore, you will see that the creation process represented by days 1 to 7 was just setting the scene for what happens in Genesis 2 with the creation of Adam and which flows on seamlessly into the rest of history. This is why I refer to Genesis 1 as God’s “preface” to the Bible.
You will see that time-scales and debates about the creation process become somewhat irrelevant and we can focus on God’s agenda for mankind that started with Adam 6,000 years ago.
OK, I’m going to launch into some more detail. You will need to read the following chapters, but don’t lose the big picture!
I read that the phrase “heaven and earth” is a sort of idiom meaning “everything” since heaven and earth sums up all of creation. This is good to know. Genesis 1:1 says it is about the creation of “the heavens and the earth” and actually describes the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything else and then ends. But Genesis 2 seems to only talk about the creation of Adam and Eve and its account has no end.
What I think God is saying in this introduction to Genesis 2:4 is that Adam and Eve are the reason He created everything, so that there was a place for His children. Further, that Adam was made of both the earth and also the heavenly spirit. In Adam, heaven and earth came together. In a sense, this is where God impregnated this natural universe with a spirit. And this is meant to remind you of what God did when He impregnated Mary with the spirit of His son Jesus. The first Adam and the last Adam (Jesus) became living (or life-giving) spiritual beings, not mere flesh and bone.
In God’s timetable the physical description points to something even greater. The introduction here talks about two unusual conditions of no rain and no plants yet they would seem to have been created in days 2 and 3. But the unexpected absence of rain and certain plants also points to something greater. I provide more detail in Appendix B1, No Plants, but very briefly we can see that:
Rain and seed are symbolic of the Word of God and so their absence is consistent with the fact that a suitable man, one with a spirit, had not yet been created. In other words, He could not impart His word until there was a spiritual man to receive it. (Deuteronomy 32:2, Isaiah 55:10-11)
In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23) and the Parable of Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30) people groups are likened to plants sown in the field – exactly the plant types described here in Genesis 2:5. You need a man to plant the seeds. In particular, in the explanation of the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13:36-43, Jesus (who is the second man or last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47), is the sower of the seed.
The plants of the field were dependent on having the man. All men came into existence through Adam and are dependent for their salvation on Jesus, the last Adam.
The great thing is that the symbols of the introduction are talking about the need for a spiritual man and in the very next verses God fulfils that by creating Adam, as a spiritual man, by giving him the breath, or equally spirit, of life from God Himself. In the plain reading these details simply seem unusual, but the symbols speak powerfully about the Word of God and hint about the second Adam, even as God is about to describe the creation of the first Adam. It also speaks about how all people groups will come through this first Adam, just as all people are saved through the last Adam.
This symbolic understanding is applicable whether you use the Classic or Day-8 view. By itself it is not definitive. But this adventure actually began here for me. As I saw the significance of the symbols I became convinced that this could no longer be just more detail of day 6. I don’t know what aspect of the support for day-8 man will speak most powerfully to you, but you will also need a conviction that this is what God has intended. No academic debate will do it!
I want you to see more than the plain reading and see that the text, not me, is inviting you to look further. The stand-out event of all eternity is about to unfold. The introduction is saying that everything is waiting for a spiritual man. This introduction seems inconsistent with the precise ordering and sequencing of days 1-6. It is not God making a mistake but God inviting us to see more. I no longer want to try and massage these irregularities and other aspects of Genesis 2, into Friday afternoon. God is doing a new thing. It is no longer the creation of all things natural. It is the start of a new week!
If you have been brought up on the Classic view then the Day-8 view must seem so radical or even scary to you. I know; it took me a while to grasp it even as the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to it. Keep reading; keep testing what I say to see if it does not give glory to God and a focus on Jesus.
Try and grasp this. I have offered a new view. I have suggested that it has fewer problems than the Classic view. This does not mean that I say the Classic view is wrong because God has been happy for that view to exist for thousands of years. Critical theology about Adam and original sin is not altered. But hard questions come to mind about why this has not been seen ages ago. It’s OK – ask the Holy Spirit to help you!
I don’t expect you to grasp or even accept all that I have just said in this brief introduction. The following chapters expand and backup the idea presented here. Basically, keep reading – it just gets better.
One of the main reasons the Day-8 view will be opposed is that Christians who believe in evolution, a slight contradiction since evolution is a denial of God as creator, have already proposed that man evolved and then 6,000 years ago God gave a spirit to one of these evolved men. Sounds a bit like day-8 man doesn’t it? But there are plenty of other reasons to reject this evolution plus a spirit idea.
What I have proposed is two distinct created men, not one evolved man plus a spirit, and I can support it. But despite all the support I will offer, because the lie has come first, many will fear to follow where the evidence leads. All I can do is to show you the support for day-8 man. It’s up to you to let go of preconceptions. I have not opened a door to evolution – I have closed it, but you have to read on to see the evidence in Genesis 6.