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Bible Q

Does Genesis 2:5-9 contradict Genesis 1?

Not at all! Genesis 1:1-2:3 is obviously a highly structured narrative of the days of creation, while Genesis 2:4-3:24 is clearly a much more detailed account of Eden. The author just decided to finish the overall creation week story before going back over some parts in more detail.

Everyone writes like this — in Scripture or elsewhere — when narrative threads overlap in time. For example, the books of Kings complete the story of each king before going back to pick up the story of their contemporaries (eg 1 Kings 15:24-25). Even cowboy movies do it: “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”

Vegetation appeared on the third day of creation (Genesis 1:12) and Adam was created on the sixth (Genesis 1:27). The account of Eden in Genesis 2:5-9 shows that on the sixth day no new young plants had ‘yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground’. This agrees with Genesis 1:12, where the vegetation had been created mature, already yielding seed – no new growth had yet occurred. Note that Genesis 2:5 tacitly assumes that vegetation had already been created (otherwise that would obviously be given as the reason for the lack of new growth, rather than the lack of rain and manpower), implicitly confirming (not contradicting) the record in Genesis 1.

After Genesis 2:6-8, the rain and the man have been provided and for the first time new growth is seen: ‘out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree’ (Genesis 2:9). Genesis 2:10-15 repeat that the garden of Eden is now watered and has a man ‘to work it and keep it’.

There is an interesting lesson in the fact from Genesis 2 that no new growth was possible until God provided the rain and the man. After his resurrection, the lord Jesus Christ is called ‘the second Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45) and was initially mistaken for a gardener in the garden (John 19:41; 20:15). He now tends the ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17) – a ‘garden’ of believers.

I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. (Isaiah 44:3-4)

As the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up (Isaiah 61:11)

3 Replies to “Does Genesis 2:5-9 contradict Genesis 1?”

  1. Genesis 2:5 clearly states nothing has grown yet. not “new stuff” it says Nothing grew yet… Or better yet Nothing was even in the earth…
    Genesis 1:11-12 Clearly says god made the earth bring forth plants with seed in them etc…

    Some argue genesis 2:5 is a continuation of 2:4 stating this was the history from day 1… meaning on day 1 there were no plants, but then it goes to say that mist watered the earth and god then made a man. then god planted the garden.
    Besides Genesis 1:27 says man and woman were made together and genesis 2:22 says god made woman out of man. I guarantee the 800,000 species of creatures (generously small number) took more than a split second to name.
    Also god took adamss rib while he was sleeping after this beast naming ritual.

    Genesis 1:28 says “…fill the earth and multiply…” yet they dont have kids till after “sinning”

    Not to mention Genesis 3 speaks of gaining the knowledge of good and evil, (right and wrong) and they saw they were naked? SURELY animals (not all but a lot) CLEARLY know right from wrong… at least in some sense or another, and they don’t see them selves naked…
    Did worms who ate the tree of good and evil start wearing leaves?

    So your lies are just fowl and These verses CLEARLY contradict each other.

    • As you say, Genesis 2:5 clearly states that nothing had grown yet. Trees were created mature on the third day – already bearing fruit and seeds (Genesis 1:12) – but nothing had yet grown from a seed. Genesis 2:5-15 is about things growing, not about vegetation in general. The ‘bush’ not yet in the land is a relatively rare Hebrew word, unlike the common words for plants and trees in Genesis 1:12; lexicons suggest it refers to a ‘shoot’ or young plant.

      Note carefully what the Bible actually says. Genesis 2:8-9 refers only to trees growing in the garden of Eden, not to the general creation of vegetation on the third day. This garden could have been planted specially for the newly created man on the sixth day.

      Genesis 1:27 says ‘male and female He created them’; it doesn’t say they were created together. Genesis 2 shows He created them separately. It doesn’t take much careful reading to figure that one out.

      The animals named by Adam in Genesis 2:19-20 were land mammals and birds, of which around 15,000 species are recognised, not 800,000. Even then, Adam’s taxonomy would be much more general than that of modern biology – what he might simply call ‘parrots’ modern biology subdivides into 370 species! Anyone could go to a zoo or a library and name all the land mammals and birds (grouping all the ‘similar’ ones) within a couple of hours – Adam wasn’t writing a biology textbook.

      Genesis doesn’t comment on whether animals know right from wrong or are bothered by nakedness, or which trees the worms ate. I suspect the point of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was the commandment Adam was given concerning it, not that the tree itself had magic properties.

  2. Nice to read this post again. Some argue genesis 2:5 is a continuation of 2:4 stating this was the history from day 1… meaning on day 1 there were no plants, but then it goes to say that mist watered the earth and god then made a man. Then god planted the garden. Thanks for allocation 🙂