I was talking with someone recently and the question was raised as to when Eve was created. I immediately replied that she was created on the sixth day, albeit later in the day than Adam. One person seemed surprised by that concept. It appears that there are two positions on this.

What, then, is the basis for the belief that Eve was not created on the sixth day, but on a later day?


The Biblical basis for claiming that Eve was created after the sixth day is one from inference instead of literalism.

The account in Genesis 1 starts with all the creatures first, then man on the sixth day. Chapter two continues on describing a different time of creation, or a smaller, second creation, if you will.

The story in Genesis two has Adam created separately, then God places him in the garden (verse 15). Then God decides that Adam should not be alone so he brings all the beasts to Adam to name them. Because of the wording, some literalists say that God made separate beasts right in front of Adam to be named; Adam then names all of them (verses 19-20).

Adam found none of the beasts suitable for his helpmate, so God put him into a sleep then made Eve from his rib (verses 21 -22).

The inference is that naming all the beasts would take a good deal of time. Even assuming that there were less kinds then there are today, seeing all of them, examining them, then deciding a name for all of those kinds would surely take longer than a day. Unless God brought the beasts to Adam in rapid fire succession, and Adam named them just as quickly, literalists holding this position insist that the event took a long time, much longer than a day.

Proponents of this view must neglect a literal reading of these verses, however. The final verse in Genesis 1, declaring the close of the sixth day, unmistakably puts the creation of mankind then. Takers of this view simply state that they are two separate stories with two separate lessons and neither is necessarily literal or more valid than the other.

  • I agree with the above, but I disagree about being "literal of more valid than the other". As Scripture cannot contradict itself, reading Genesis 2, in verses 5-6 God waters the earth and causes the plants to grow. We read this in Genesis 1:11-12, on the third day. As such, it's literal and valid enough to say that the Genesis 2 account of Adam and Eve's creation, in fact, took place on the very same day - Day 6 - unless somehow there was a woman before Eve, which contradicts Eve being the mother of mankind. – Jesse Jul 7 '14 at 20:52
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    @Jesse The depends on how you define mankind, I think. There are views on this that say there were people created before Adam and Eve, but Adam and Eve were personally created by God. They were deemed special, just like the people Israel. – fгedsbend Jul 7 '14 at 20:56
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    I'd completely agree with you here, however Scripture tells us Adam was in fact the FIRST man in 1 Corinthians 15:45. While it could very well be a language discrepancy, I find that harder to believe than Adam not being the first. The Hebrew אָדָם does have different variations (mankind, man, man/woman, and male) - to my limited knowledge of Greek, such an issue is not the case. So we can affirm through Paul that Adam was, in fact, the very first man. I used to think there were people created beforehand too. The more I learned, the more I knew I suppose. – Jesse Jul 7 '14 at 21:04
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    @Jesse Again, that depends on how you define man. "Adam was the first man that God personally communed with." That might be what they would say. Just like Israel was the first people God communed with. Like most theologically opposing thoughts, this comes down to definitions. – fгedsbend Jul 8 '14 at 0:00
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    I'd agree with you again, fredsbend, however Scripture makes it very clear that Eve was named such because she was "mother of all living". This becomes literal as opposed to inference since we know she cannot be the mother of the animals. – Jesse Jul 8 '14 at 4:08

Many people reason that Eve was not created on the 'sixth day' because there are two quite separate creation stories in Genesis - verses 1:1-2:4a (attributed by scholars to the Priestly Source) and verses 2:4b-25 (attributed to the Yahwist). The first story says that man and female were both created on the sixth day, but does not mention Eve. The second story says that Eve was created from a rib taken from Adam, but there is no mention of how many days elapsed from the creation of Adam, whose creation was the very first event in this creation story (Genesis 2:7), and the creation of Eve, whose creation was the very last event in this creation story (Genesis 2:22)

Leon R. Kass explains, in The Beginning of Wisdom, page 56, that we must scrupulously avoid reading into the second story any facts or notions taken from the first, and vice versa. Following his advice, we can not read the creation of Eve out of Adam's rib into the first story, and we can not read the six days of creation out of the first story into the second one. We do not know the time span between the creation of Adam and Eve, but it must be substantial because, in the interim, God created each of the animals out of moist earth and brought them to Adam to be given names.

  • I appreciate your sources that you usually give, but they would be stupendously better if you found a link for them as well. I've been assuming these are actual books on your shelf, but perhaps google has the page you reference scanned in, so we can all read the source too. – fгedsbend Mar 23 '15 at 21:22
  • Actually, I did, indeed find this on google books from a simple google search ("Leon R. Kass The Beginning of Wisdom"), then navigated to page 56 then clicked on the link button at the top. – fгedsbend Mar 23 '15 at 21:27
  • @fredsbend I didn't realise Kass was accessible on the web, or I would have added a link, as I sometimes do when I can. There is also sometimes another problem in that Google only points to an extract without the page I am quoting. – Dick Harfield Mar 24 '15 at 0:00
  • Google books has a lot of stuff on there. Sometimes really ancient things too (like 1500's). If it is still under copyright, Google is only allowed to show you so much, so, yes, sometimes, the page you're quoting is not available, but a link that gets you the cover or a small preview is better than nothing. – fгedsbend Mar 24 '15 at 0:34

It is more than likely that Eve was taken from Adam after the sixth day. The clues can be gleaned from the Timeline:

Dry land Earth > Man fashioned + Gan Eden planted > Man borne to Gan Eden + Trees from the ground in Gan Eden > Man alone > living creatures as helpmate, from ground in Gan Eden > No suitable helpmate > Eve from Man in Gan Eden.

God made the dry land Earth on the third day.1 From that earth, he fashioned man on the sixth day.2 [And] the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, on the same day or _ day? The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it on the same day or _ day.3 [And] from the ground in the garden of Eden, God made the trees from which man could eat from, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.4 This was on the _ day.

... some time elapses ...

After deciding to make a helper fit for him, God made from the ground in Eden, every living creature that Adam was later to name.5 This was on the _ day.

... some time elapses ...but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. cf. [Gn 2:20]

Finally God takes Eve from Man on the _ day.

There isn't enough information to fill in the blanks and the timeline strongly indicates that Eve was taken out of Man, in Gan Eden, after the sixth day [Adam from dry land Earth].

1. [cf. 1:9-13]↩

2. [cf. Gn 1: 26-31 & Gn 2:7]↩

3. [cf. Gn 2:8, 15]↩

4. [cf. Gn 2:9]↩

5. [cf. Gn 2: 18-19]↩


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