It says in Pirkei Avot 5:6 that God made the first pair of tongs immediately before creation.

The first person to make metal tools was Tubal Cain, who lived in the generation before the flood. Why the 9 generation gap?

This question is a spin off of this one

Why is it important that God created the first pair of tongs?

  • 1
    Are you asking why Adam didn't start with the metal working right away, if the tongs were already made?
    – Yishai
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 23:00
  • 1
    You can ask the same question about any of the other things created at that time. Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 23:22
  • 1
    Not really, all of the other things on the list are miraculous things used for a single miracle way in the future. Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 0:33
  • Good point! @ClintEastwood why not put that into the question? Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


The description of Hashem "making" is part of Ma'aseh Bereishis. That is the items that were not part of the normal "laws of nature" that had been created during the first six days of creation had to be created just before Shabbos, which put a stop to "creation". The actual use of the tongs for metal work had to wait until people had developed their civilization to the point that they actually used the tools and procedures that had been "created" as part of the world.

The connection to the first question can be that people think that everything that they invent or build comes from their own cleverness, abilities , and strength. The "tongs" teaches us that everything that we might come up with are really built upon that which Hashem has created and made available to us. It is not "Kochi veotzem yadi" that has built the civilization that we have, but besides being "pygmies standing on the shoulders of giants", it is actually Hashem who has given us the talents, abilities, and resources to built what we have.

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