The Gemara brings in the incident of a king gathering 72 sages to translate the Torah to Greek. They all came with the idea to change some Psukim. One of them was

זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בְּרָאָ֑ם וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹתָ֗ם וַיִּקְרָ֤א אֶת ־שְׁמָם֙ אָדָ֔ם בְּי֖וֹם הִבָּֽרְאָֽם
He created them male and female; He blessed them and called their name Adam, on the day they were created.

The Sages changed it to

זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בְּרָאוֹ

'Male and female, he created him'


Rashi says it is to show that they were made conjoined, and Hashem split them. But what is the big deal if they think they were made separate?

  • 1
    I wonder of there's a connection to Plato's myth of the androgynous (Plato, one of the greatest of the Greek philosophers, brought in Symposium a legend that humans were created conjoined and later separated).
    – Harel13
    Dec 2, 2021 at 5:36
  • 3
    R Steinsaltz explains it was to avoid the impression that there is a contradiction between this verse and the verse: “And God created man” (Genesis 1:27), which indicates that God created one person. sefaria.org/Megillah.9a.13
    – mbloch
    Dec 2, 2021 at 6:07
  • Rashi's comment is not meant to explain the deviation but to explain why the contradiction that motivated the deviation need not trouble us.
    – user19234
    Dec 2, 2021 at 18:57
  • @Harel13 the speech of Aristophanes has a more convoluted path to sexual dimorphism than the midrash repeated by Rashi. In his myth there were originally double men, double women and man-woman combos. Zeus split all three types, thus creating heterosexuals, homosexual men and homosexual women.
    – user19234
    Dec 2, 2021 at 19:42
  • @MosheWise I'm familiar. How is that contradictory?
    – Harel13
    Dec 2, 2021 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


The Talmud is saying that the translators were worried that leaving the text as is would create a contradiction between Genesis 5.1, where the creator creates a single being (hence the singular עשה אתו) and Genesis 5.2, where the creator creates multiple beings (hence the plural בראם). To avoid this contradiction they changed Genesis 5.2 to singular.

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