Bible Answer

Contradiction in Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 2?

In Genesis 1, the animals are created before Man, but in Genesis 2 the animals are created after Man. Is that a contradiction?

Regarding the seeming difference in creation order between Genesis 1 and 2, there is no conflict.

The order of events in Day 6 of chapter 1 is not intended to be read perfectly chronologically. Though most of the events of that chapter are presented chronologically, we can also see based on the overall structure of chapter 1 that Moses' narrative is building to the climactic moment when Man (i.e., man and woman) are created. Therefore, Moses places the creation of Man at the end of his narrative at the end of Day 6 to emphasize Man's special place in Creation.

However since it's important for us to know the actual order of events on Day 6, Moses also provided the account in chapter 2. In fact, chapter 2 was written precisely to clarify all that transpired on Day 6. We could retitle Genesis 2 as “A Deeper Look at Day 6.”

Therefore, we study chapter 2 to determine the actual order of events on Day 2, and the order of creation according to that chapter was Man, then animals, and finally Woman.