The previous post in this series is:
The first post in this series about Creation is In the Beginning.
From Creation to Man
The meaning of toledots means that this is not a second creation, but simply a retelling of one portion of creation. In this case, Adam (probably1,2) is telling what happened on day six of creation. But Adam (or whoever penned it) first starts with what things were like before he was actually created. He must have asked God about these things.
For example, in verse 5 he says there weren’t any plants yet. But, that condition was changed on day three of creation, three whole days before Adam comes on the scene. Next he tells us that it hadn’t rained yet, which very likely means God had to tell him this as well. (If you had never seen rain, how would you know that it will fall eventually?)
Note that this passage is NOT saying there was no rain on the earth for some long period of time. Specifically, it doesn’t imply that it didn’t rain until the Flood came. That MAY be the case, but it seems unlikely.
Still, he does mention a mist coming out of the ground. So, it is possible that there was no rain until some later date. It’s possible that something caused the mist to be turned into the “fountains of the deep” that is the first source of water indicated for the Flood (Genesis 7:11).
Then another thing God had to explain: God created Adam from dirt. Adam began living when God breathed the “breath of life” into his nostrils. The phrase “breath of life” is a two-word Hebrew phrase “nephesh chayah”. It literally means breath of life. It is used of all land animals, all birds, and some sea creatures. It is not used for plants or insects.
In the cases of the animals, God created them with the capacity to breathe (live). But, in Adam’s case, He literally breathed into Adam the breath of life. This is significant, because Man was created “in the image of God”. So, having a special method to bring the pinnacle His creation to life matters enough to include it here.
The next post in this series is: