The paper "The Hebrew Creation" is a wonderful example of an assignment on religion and theology. God in the first account is the same as God in the second account On the outset and reading the selections from the point of view of form and style, the God from the first account does appear to be the God from the second account. Firstly, as to terminology, God in the first account is referred to as Elohim, while God in the second account is referred to as Yahweh. There is also a significant difference in the styles in which the accounts were written.
The first account may have drawn materials from the ancient Mesopotamian myths that predate it, while the second account, actually a much earlier account than the first, emanates from an earlier stage in the development of Judaism. While the two may differ in form and style, in substance it may be said that Yahweh of the earlier account and Elohim in the later version are one and the same. There is no essential contradiction between the portrayals in both accounts of a God who has created everything that exists, and who has fashioned humankind “ in His image and likeness, ” and fashioning the first man from clay with His own hands, and breathing His life into him.
There is no difference in the stewardship that God had entrusted unto humans, and the primacy he accords them as the highlight of his creation. The two accounts are completely reconcilable on the nature of Elohim in the first account and Yahweh in the second. There are marked differences, most apparent of which is the sequence of things created.
In the first account, humankind was created on the last day, after all, plant and animal life. In the second account, Adam was created before plants and animals, and Eve created after. Furthermore, the first account states that man and woman were created simultaneously, and both in the image and likeness of God. In the second account, the man was created first, and woman, almost as an afterthought, was drawn from Adam’ s rib and fashioned as his companion only when the animals were deemed not sufficient to be his helper and partner.
The differences in the accounts, however, are not irreconcilable. It is generally acknowledged that accounts of the Bible, particularly as to the Creation, are not to be taken literally but should be seen and interpreted as to the time in which they were written. The first account is patterned after the Mesopotamian myths and would be understandable to the people of the day, differing only in that the Biblical account does away with the polytheism of the myths. The second account teaches a lesson, more in the nature of Jesus’ parables, and is often likened to the parable of the prodigal son.
Both accounts would have served their purpose in their days, to convey the message of God to the faithful in a manner they could understand. In the first account, there appeared no distinction between the first man and the first woman as to who has primacy over the other. In the second account, not only was the woman drawn from the side of Adam, but she was intended as his helper, and she was named by him.
In fact, in both accounts, no mention is made of Adam as a proper noun (Adam is Hebrew for every man). It is generally accepted that Adam’ s act of naming the plants and animals, and finally Eve, establishes his dominance over them. Again, seen from the view of contextual interpretation, there is no conflict between them that is irreconcilable. The apparent predominance of males over females that may be deduced from the second account is merely the accepted practice of that age and has no bearing upon dogma or religious compulsion.