Genesis 2:19 – Were animals created after the first humans?

Problem: While Genesis 1 places animals before the creation of humans, Genesis 2 teaches that these animals were “formed” after humans were created.

Solution: The Hebrew for “formed” does not denote a time frame. Ross writes,

Biblical Hebrew employs three verb forms. They express completed action, action not yet completed, and commands. The verb in Genesis 2:19 appears in the first form and simply indicates that the creation of the beasts and the birds occurred sometime in the past. The text says nothing about when such creatures were created relative to the creation of the first man. They could have been made before or after man, from a grammatical perspective.[1]
This would be similar to a person saying, “Last week, I got a job! I received my degree in business, so the company hired me.” By saying this, the person is not at all implying that they received their degree after getting a job. This wouldn’t make any sense. In context, it’s clear that they received their degree beforehand. In the same way, the author already wrote that animals were created before humans (Gen. 1:21). Here, he is talking about how these animals relate to humans; namely, what Adam would call them.

[1] Ross, Hugh. The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1998. 74.

“And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. (Gen 2:19)”

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