Partnership in Genesis 1 and 2

adam-and-eve-~-vmo0001There are two accounts of human creation.     Genesis 1 is like a photograph with a wide angle lens.  Genesis 2 is like a close up of the specifics.  We start with Genesis 1

Image and Likeness.  Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.  This is what Genesis 1:26-27 says.  The Lord says, “let us make man (adam) in our image and after our likeness…”  The word for “man” is Adam. Sometimes it means “male” sometimes it means “human being”.

Some have said that only men were made in the image of God.  There are some obscure references to support that. However, in the first instance where this arises, in Genesis 1, it is clear to me that “adam” here means both male and female. I give you and immediate and a close reference.


Immediate: Genesis 1:27 

“So God created man (adam) in his own image

In the image of God he created him’

Male and female he created them.”

            The immediate context, verse 27, clearly states that both male and female are ‘adam’ and are created in the Image of God.  How could it be made clearer?  Not just men, not just adults, not just the healthy or the strong, but every human being is made in God’s image.  One reason we respect life – all life – is to show respect for the image of God in another.

Near: Genesis 5:1.  From time to time Genesis makes summary statements that show a transition from one major section to another.  One of these is Genesis 5:1

This is the account of Adam’s line. When god created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.  He named them “mankind” (adam) when they were created.”

This summary comment, just 3 chapter later seas the deal.  God created male and female both in the image and likeness of God.  He called them both “adam”. The NIV translates that word “Mankind” to show that it is both male and female.

Partnership.  Notice what the Lord says in Genesis 1:28

“And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth….”

Notice that the Lord did not speak to Adam. He spoke to Adam and Eve; he said to “them” that they are to do these things.

So it is clear in the original text on humanity that men and women were made for partnership.

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