Does the Yahwist Account of Genesis 2 reflect a more primitive account of creation than the Priestly Account of Genesis 1?

I am really just flying a kite! I see Gen 1 - 2:4 as both describing, in majestic terms, God’s creative activity and as introducing homo sapiens as the final (?) step in His creation (Gen 1: 27)… ‘Male and female’ here (the plural seems to be implied) would refer to the species homo sapiens from its beginnings in 200 000 BC to the present, so includes pre-adamites, co-adamites and all subsequent generations. The reference does not seem to be specifically to Adam and Eve. I note that their original food included green plants – hunter-gatherers?

The passage from Gen 2: 4 onwards appears to contain much symbolism. Here the focus is on Adam and Eve and their immediate descendants, and we are introduced to agriculture (2: 15 and 4: 2:), animal husbandry (4: 2) and also metal-working (4:22) and the concept of cities (towns?) (4: 17) – all of this suggestive of the Neolithic revolution , c. 6 - 8 000 BC. Perhaps the more homely/personal style adopted in Genesis 2:4 ff is consequent upon the more settled nature of the culture that had then developed and the ‘family’ events that it is describing, as contrasted with the majesty of God’s work of creation.

As other contributors have pointed out, Gen 1 is consistent with an evolutionary approach. However, few if any have made a possible link of this second creation account with the Neolithic revolution. Could it be significant?

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I am glad you took an interest in this blog. I do like your answer and your quote about the second creation story. I do not know if this answers your question, but I do believe that it reflects an earlier creation story. Even though Genesis 1 comes first, it seems to reflect a more advanced reflection of God’s creation. In other words, God was trying to make them understand that he was revealing more truth about creation. Genesis 2 simply reflects the divine truth that God created the universe; however, he seems to be using terms that people in the Neolithic people would understand. In Genesis 1, he was trying to show a more advanced truth about creation even though there was some old science reflected there. The earth seems to be like a planter with a glass doom on it. God had reviewed more in Genesis 1; however, more revelation was to come. Do we have more to learn about God’s creation from this modern age? Most definitely. I hope this is a good answer for you. Oh, your name looks like Dutch or German. Is that the case? I hope what I have written makes sense. I have an eye infection in both eyes, and I had to go to the doctor yesterday to get more medicine. Happy New Year!

Edward Miller

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