The second chapter of Genesis makes consistent use of ה"א, instead of אלהים in the first chapter (see here).

The researchers famously attribute the discrepancy to different sources.

How is this explained in our sources? What does the introduction of ה' אלהים change in the creation narrative in the second chapter and on?

1 Answer 1


Rashi to the first verse in the Torah raises the issue:

ברא אלהים וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר בָּרָא ה', שֶׁבַּתְּחִלָּה עָלָה בְמַחֲשָׁבָה לִבְרֹאתוֹ בְּמִדַּת הַדִּין, רָאָה שֶׁאֵין הָעוֹלָם מִתְקַיֵּם, הִקְדִּים מִדַּת רַחֲמִים וְשִׁתְּפָהּ לְמִהַ"דִּ, וְהַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת ה' אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם: ברא אלהים
GOD [AS JUDGE] CREATED — It does not state 'ברא ה “The Lord (the Merciful One) created, because at first God intended to create it (the world) to be placed under the attribute (rule) of strict justice, but He realised that the world could not thus endure and therefore gave precedence to Divine Mercy allying it with Divine Justice. It is to this that what is written in (Genesis 2:4) alludes — “In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven”.

  • The answer specifically mentions ה"א.
    – N.T.
    Dec 19, 2021 at 3:44
  • Sorry, wasn't listening:)
    – Al Berko
    Dec 19, 2021 at 6:33

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