The Torah tells us that on the sixth day of creation, G-d decided to create mankind (Bereishis 1:26-27):

And G-d said, Let Us make Mankind in Our image, after Our likeness So G-d created Mankind in His own image, in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them.

However, only several pesukim later, the Torah tells us that G-d formed the man (Bereishis 2:7):

And the L-rd G-d formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Wouldn't it be more logical that man was formed at the same time, man was created? E.g. on the sixth day? It is only right before G-d planted the Garden in Eden, that man was formed. Is there a logical explanation for this?

This Shabbos, I've heard a possible explanation, however, I think this might be farfetched. G-d created people on the sixth day, not only Adam HaRishon. But, G-d saw that the people were like the people in the generation of Noach. They weren't connecting with G-d. So, G-d "formed man", e.g. appointed a man, Adam, to be "his rolemodel" and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". It was only after this was done by G-d, that mankind was connected to G-d. Can this be an explanation? This idea, although not completely as I write it, can be found in Sefer HaIkkarim (Maamar 3:2:7) by Rav Yosef Albo:

Hence in speaking of their formation, the Bible says, “And God saw that it was good,” to indicate that as soon as they come into existence, the good of which they are capable is attained and completed, and no other good is expected of them. But in the account of the formation of man there is no statement “that it is good,” which seems strange. For it would seem that the formation of man should be characterized as good just like the formation of animals. The reason for the omission is in order to indicate that the good that is intended in the creation of man is not the perfection of existence merely, as in the other animals, but another nobler perfection, which can be attained only when he has actualized his potentialities.

Are there sources that discusses this idea? Or are there sources that observe the same?

  • The general idea among the commentaries is that the Torah is simply repeating itself, I don't think I've come across an opinion that holds that this is referring to two separate creation/formation events. E.g. Chizkuni on 2:7. See Rashi on the double yud for another interesting tidbit. I have heard theories about there being a "mankind" before Adam, but never seen a source and have been advised several times that these are not generally accepted by the more chareidi world at least.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 20:11
  • Interesting. I saw the Chizkuni, and I agree. But to be honest, it would've make more sense.... Do you know why the concept of there being a mankind before Adam is rejected?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 20:14
  • I'm not 100% sure but so much hinges on it. Age of the universe, families of man, Hashem's special relationship with mankind (that last one is important and sensible to me). Sorry I can't be of more help, but I am curious to see what others say.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 20:45
  • Maybe this is support for like the whole cavemen thing? Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 10:10
  • סוֹף מַעֲשֶׂה בְּמַחֲשָׁבָה תְּחִלָּה
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


The Maharsha in Chidushei Agados Kesubos 8A in discussing the Birchas chasanim, says that the two pesukim are referring to different aspects of the creation of man. The first passuk refers to the creation of the neshama while the second one refers to the creation of the body. (It would seem that would be why the first one says “in our image” while the second one talks about the dust and formation)

וע"כ נאמר בהויית האדם ג' לשונות אלו בריאה שנאמר ויברא אלהים את האדם בצלמו בצלם אלהים וגו' והיא בריאת הנשמה. יצירה שנאמר וייצר ה' אלהים את האדם עפר מן האדמה היא יצירת הגוף

  • Wonderful. So, according to this, the neshama was created, but only until later, the man was created in the physical form, e.g. everything was "assembled" and the neshama was "put in"?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 20:57
  • That’s what it seems like he’s saying
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 22:15

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