Adam and Eve

I am not that well versed with The Bible, so please help me out. Anyway, from what I know, God created everything, the birds and the trees and all other species, before HE created someone like Him, the first man - Adam! Then, because Adam becomes lonely, he created Eve (from his ribs, if I am not mistaken).

Now, my question is, when God created the animals, does it mean He created the “male” gender only?

From what I know, He created both male and female of all species.

In both versions of the Creation Story (Genesis Chapter 1 and 2), sexual differentiation is only presented in terms of human beings. Genesis 1:27: "God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and God said to them,“Be fertile and multiply…” No mention is made of genders among animals.

Genesis 2:7, God creates man from dust and blows the breath of life into his nostrils. Then, in verses 19-20, God creates animals, as “a fitting helper” for man. None of them are satisfactory, so Genesis 2:18-24 tells of the creation of woman that the OP alludes to.

If one believes in multiple authors, then of course these are two different stories from two different eras, one of which puts women on equal footing with men (presumably, originating in the earlier nomadic period of the Israelites) and the other which puts women subservient to men (presumably, originating in the later period when the Greek and Egyptian influences changed the role of women among the Israelites.)

If one believes in a single Author (or a single Editor, redactor), then we look at the unity of the text, and note that human sexuality is viewed as being of a different order than animal sexuality. This is emphasized by the blessing on male and female in Gen 1:28, cited above.

The Orthodox Jewish response:

No. G-d created all animals as separate beings of both sexes.

However, G-d did it differently with Adam, because he wanted Adam (and humans in general) to feel a special connection with his (their) mate(s), “as one flesh.”

But God created the opposite human gender later on, as an afterthought, rather than as part of the original plan even though animals were created with opposing genders originally. If God had enhanced the existing human sexual relationship with additional characteristics it might make more sense.

But why knock ourselves out analyzing it? It’s fiction. It’s mythology. We could just as well scour Star Wars for inconsistencies.


Why do you say it wasn’t part of the original plan?

Like the emotional connection between lovers/spouses that doesn’t seem to exist, as far as we know, in mating pairs of other mammals?

Chaim Mattis Keller

Hey—I was born in Philadelphia, in a perfectly normal hospital!

Some animals do indeed seem to have emotional connections to their mates, and many species mate for life. There is evidence of animals pining away and dying when a mate dies. You could argue that humans have more profound emotional bonds than the combination of instinct and affection seen in animals, but I dunno, watching Jerry Springer I think some of the mate-for-life species have us humans beat hands-down when it comes to affection and fidelity. :wink:


first of all, there are numerous relationships one could point out as distinctly human, such as friendship or family. I would say this is the reason we have the special bond of marriage. Not because God created woman second.

also, is that a supported theological tenet, that it was part of the plan? I always got the distinct impression that the animals were supposed to do the trick for companionship, but didn’t really pan out.


First, the Bible text itself is usually quite sparse. Just because the text doesn’t mention “male and female” in connection with animals, doesn’t mean they weren’t created “male and female.” Be careful about reading too much into omissions in the text, like not mentioning Cain’s sisters.

Second, The Plan… well, kinda hard to deal with. Following the conventions of the text which often describe God in human terms, it certainly appears that God “changes his mind” several times in the text.

  • Adam and Eve are told to be vegetarians, to eat any fruit from any tree; vegetarianism doesn’t work, so Noah and his clan are told it’s OK to eat meat.

  • People, as an experiment, just don’t work. Adam and Eve blow it in the Garden; Cain kills his brother; people try to build the Tower of Babel and get zapped for it; then the behave so badly that they need to be wiped out in a Flood.

  • God tells Abraham that He is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorroh; Abraham pleads with God, and gets Him to “change His Plan” (although the conditions Abraham imposes turn out not to be effective.)

  • Several times after the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites behave so badly that God tells Moses that He will destroy them all; Moses intervenes and God “changes His Plan.”

  • Saul is selected as first King of Israel; but Saul fails, his line is wiped out and he is replaced by David. Didn’t God know that would happen? Why was Saul chosen (by God) if he was gonna fail?

  • Christians (Paul) would argue that the whole law code of the Torah (Five Books of Moses) were given by God, but then God “changed His Plan” and replaced that all with Jesus.

So, we have the inherent contradiction (in human terms) of the omniscient God “changing” His Plans. The usual interpretation is that God didn’t change His Plan, but that humankind’s understanding of God changed… or that the Plan all along was to give people choices, freewill, although they would make many wrong decisions on account of it.


Certainly humans have more than one kind of relationship that is distinct from their animal counterparts. The purpose of this aspect of the creation story, though, is to highlight the specialness of marriage, especially the degree to which it (usually) trumps family bonds (“Therefore, a man abandons his mother and father and cleaves to his wife…”).

And one little correction: The specialness of the bond of marriage, in the Biblical perspective, is not “because G-d created woman second.” It is because G-d originally created the two as a single being and then separated the two halves rather than creating them separately to begin with, as with the animals.


In mammals? I’m aware that such a thing occurs in birds, but it was my understanding that monogamy amongst mammals is very rare and I never heard of the “pining” bit amongst mammals.

Don’t think I didn’t notice the wink-smiley at the end of this post of yours…but think seriously about that for a moment. Did that Jerry Springer sort of insanity become big prior to the popularization of the concept of “casual sex”? And aren’t the problems in those relationships very, very often due to the fact that, despite that expected casualness, at least one of the parties has an emotional connection to the other that somehow trumps sensible considerations (I know I should have left him after the fourth time he threatened me with a knife while high on cocaine, but…I love him so much!)?

Chaim Mattis Keller

Well, Jerry’s been big for what, about a decade now? And “casual sex” has been popular for oh, maybe a couple million years? Nope, Springer wasn’t big prior to that:)

The Sufi interpretation of the creation of Adam & Eve that I have heard was that there were two beings named “Adam.” The first Adam was androgyne, both male and female at once. After Eve, the female, was separated from this first Adam, what remained (the second Adam) was male. This is why the male and female are so eager to unite with one another, because they miss that primordial unity with each other.

I believe the flood was first then the tower of Babel.

But your point stands.


Wolves and coyotes mate for life. Gerbils sometimes do three-way lifemating. There’s a few other mammals that mate for life. And some of those lifematings are homosexual, BTW. Some birds and monkeys have a steady partner but occaisionally sneak around on the side, like certain humans do. Humans can indeed form profound emotional ties, but I don’t know that looking at our sexual and marital habits necesarily shows that our husband-wife relations have an emotional connection that animals do not.

As to pining amoung mammals, well, I have anecdotal evidence of pets who pine away when their mate/beloved friend dies. You can give that what credence you wish, but for that matter I have no more than that as evidence for humans pining away when a mate dies. Even among humans, the usual response to the passing of a love is grief and a period of mourning, not death. I do not wish to over-anthropomorphize, but many animals do seem to feel a degree of mate-affection within the limitations of their intellect, and miss and grieve for them when they are gone.

What Chronos said. :wink: I think a certain percentage of people have always slept with anything that moved regardless of their lover’s feelings, it’s just now you can get on TV for doing so (even if you’re not really good-looking!).

Well, there certainly is an expectation of monogomy in most relationships in this culture; in the episodes I’ve seen it’s never been “I Said It Was OK to Sleep With My Sister, But Now I’ve Changed My Mind” (although I’m certain there’s been an episode on that). The people on the show are always shocked and hurt and angry that their lover was cheating on them; that’s not the reaction you’d see if there was an expectation that cheating was OK, although everyone knows it sometimes happens. As for emotional considerations trumping sensibility, well, there are dogs who adore their master despite their master’s cruel treatment of them (cats are less susceptible to this, not being pack animals like dogs or humans. Although my cat has never seriously bit me or become less affectionate despite the fact that I am constantly forcing foul medicines down her throat and poking her with needles nowadays, so perhaps her affection for me is overcoming her sensible desire to fight me off. :wink: ) And there are animals that will never return love, no matter how lovingly they are cared for. I think the difference (if there truly is one, and not just one in our subjective perceptions) between animal and human emotions is one of degree, not kind.

Does the bond of affection that could only be created by making the woman out of man means that homosexual love cannot be equal to heterosexual love? I must admit I’ve more often seen the “woman being made out of man” scripture being used to limit women’s opportunities and imply their inferiority.

[Edited by Gaudere on 10-10-2000 at 03:35 PM]

Gaudere (and Chronos, in second quote):

Of course…emotions are pretty tough to determine scientifically.

Granted that some always have, but (as far as I know) there was never, until modern times, a society in which non-marital sex was de-stigmatized. Most people held it in until marriage. Most of those who didn’t did their messing around furtively, and those who were caught (either through pregnancy or by other means) went ahead and got married, because sex wasn’t meant to be taken lightly. These days, children out of wedlock is not only no big deal, it’s practically celebrated in the media (Congrats for Madonna! Roseanne!). The problems in society that have arisen from this attitude, though, are a pretty significant percentage of the folks whose stories are aired on these talk shows…starting not with Jerry Springer, who indeed goes back only a decade or so, but with Phil Donahue, who pretty much created the genre, not long after the beginning of the sexual revolution.

Let me answer this diplomatically (I know there are many homosexuals on this board who could easily take offense, please understand that none is meant): not according to the Biblical religious belief system. I think the Bible is quite clear that the strongest bond in a person’s life is expected to be the one that exists between a husband and wife, one male, one female.

The shame of it is that the common perception…the Adam was originally purely male, and that G-d later created the female, a new creature, from a piece of him…is most likely based on mistranslation. The Orthodox Jewish explanation of that creative event was that Adam was originally androgynous, composed equally of male and female attributes, and that G-d split this being into two distinct beings, one of each sex.

Chaim Mattis Keller

Well, if you just want to accept it on faith that male-female human sexual pairs have a special bond that male-male sexual pair and female-female sexual pairs and animal mated pairs do not have, what can I possibly say? :wink:

Huh? There’s lots of tribal societies that do not neccessarily mandate exclusive monogamous relationships. And look at the Greeks…sure, you had sex with your wife for reproduction, but sexual relationships with hetarai and pre-pubescent men outside marriage had no stigma at all! (Unless you were a bottom…) There’s no sign that there were a great deal of scandals about it; that’s simply the way the culture was, and it was accepted. Look throughout the histories of the European royal courts…bastard children everywhere, lovers of married monarchs being given high favors, etc. Read the Canturbury tales and Shakespeare…how many references are there to cuckolding? Most women who got pregnant without wedlock sent off to the nunnery to work for the nuns…in fact, many of the nunneries had a reputation for being, uh, houses of ill repute. I think the popularity of Phil and Springer is not becuase people are having sex any more, but just that they can talk about it openly and broadcast it to five million people, rather than whisper rumors to each other. But c’mon…whoever started the bit about Catherine the Great and the horse was definitely a proto-Jerry Springer, lacking only a video camera and mass communication! :wink: I think the sexual revolution was just moving to a more sexually open age after the powerful Victorian and Puritan influences, but I suspect the wheel will come 'round once more and someday we’ll start believing in sex just for reproduction and worring about women who display an “unhealthy interest in sex” again.

[asshole hat ON]
Star Wars has fewer inconsistecies, though.
[/asshole hat OFF]


Who said anything about monogamy? Even the Bible allows polygamy.

I’m not disputing any of what you said here. But these things were not accepted openly in society; they were at best spoken of obliquely with a wink, and more often kept hidden (or attempted to)…the nunnery example of yours being exhibit A. Royal bastards were never openly put ahead of “legitimate” children for the throne. (Although royals were always laws unto themselves anyway.) For all your examples, my point remains accurate: sure, there’s always been non-marital sex, the human sex drive being what it is, but it’s always been on the sly.

Again, there have always been rumor-mongers and spreaders of gossip, ribald ones as well as tame ones…but there’s a difference between scattered rumors and a society that fills a dozen talk shows with cases like these five days a week, 52 weeks a year. And that’s with ordinary people, not with royals (such as Great Kate) who’ve always been less reserved than the common folk simply because they have the power to be.

I agree with you, except that I hardly think that the less-open attitude began with Victoria or the Puritans. Certainly Victorian England was outrageously prudish, but the expectation that sex was an act reserved for partners who share a sacred bond has been around, and prevailing, much farther back than that, even in societies whose moral code have no basis in Western religious mores.

As for the last part of your statement, all I can say, is I hope that the pendulum doesn’t swing back quite that far. But human history does seem to waver between extremes. I guess we’ll just have to do our best.

Chaim Mattis Keller

I don’t know that sending young pregnant girls to a nunnery is better than what we have now. Discouraging people from getting knocked up irresponsibly is a good thing, but excessive shame and censure can harm both the woman and the child. Sending away pregnant women to the nunnery kept far away the consequences of sex, and it was usually hushed up as well; if the women stayed aound, other girls could see the effect it has on their lives (and if the “hushing up” regarding sex was too well done, young girls could end up completely ignorant of what sex was and what could result, which made them easy prey to manipulative young men or their own hormones).

They are today? :eek:

The Greeks were not at all shy about flaunting extramarital affairs–they were far more accepted then then they are today. Wives were not supposed to mess around (though some gave up their status of wives to become prostitutes out of a desire for lovers), but it was perfectly OK–in fact, expected–for men. Not every society has mandated fidelity. Assholes who are willing to hurt their lovers have always existed; they can make it onto Jerry Springer because people love a scandal. Once the lover revealing his cheating happened with a very limited audience and had to spread by word of mouth. Now we can see it on-air, and the persons willing to go on TV get fame and fortune!

Mass communication. I’m not claiming that people are more murderous than they we in the middle ages simply because I can see five murders on TV a day, since what I know of the culture and literature of those times tends to display much the same attitude, prevalence and acceptance of killing as we have today. Hard stats would convince me otherwise, however. I feel much the same way about attitudes towards sex. The Greeks certainly kick our rear when it comes to accepting extramartial sex.

Like what? The Christians has a good deal to do with the “sex is only for reproduction bit” in the areas and times where they had influence. I did mention the Greeks, and there are tribes that do not see sex as necessarily within a “marriage” with no other sex allowed. Various religions also permitted/endorsed premarital and extramartial sex on certain days or in certain circumstances. I personally think we move in a boom and bust cycle, but we’re never 100% licenetious or 100% sex-with-sacred-bond as a society.