As we shall see later, the answer to this question results in a very important point regarding the relationship between Jesus and His Bride. But first of all we need to take a closer look at the Creation account as given in Genesis 1 and 2 to understand the dilemma.
Day 1 (Gen 1:3-5) – The creation of light and its separation from darkness so that there was day and night.
Day 2 (Gen 1:6-8) – The division of waters above and beneath the “firmament” (most easily understood as the sky, expanse or heavens above the earth).
Day 3 (Gen 1:9-13) – The gathering of the waters to create land and sea. Then the earth brought forth grass, herbs and fruit trees.
Day 4 (Gen 1:14-19) – The creation of the sun, moon and stars to mark the seasons, days and years.
Day 5 (Gen 1:20-23) – The creation of living creatures in the waters and of birds in the sky.
Day 6 (Gen 1:24-31) – There are two parts to day six. First God created living creatures on the land, including livestock, wild animals and creatures that creep along the ground, then He created man in His own image, male and female He created them both, and He blessed them.
Day 7 (Gen 2:1-3) – God rests, since His work of creating is now complete
Now, other than the ongoing debate over the duration of a day, the reading of these verses is simply stated and the sequence of creation clear. (For the record, I am a six-day creationist). We are told that by the end of day six, both male and female are upon the earth, since in Genesis 1:28 God speaks to them both, saying “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.”
The difficulty arises when we continue in Genesis 2, to find that Adam is alone, or at least at first when he names all the animals that God shows him. So what are we to make of this? Well, to me, there is only one explanation that maintains the integrity of both the Genesis 1 and 2 accounts. That Genesis 2 records the same event but in greater detail rather than a separate account at a later time. There is nothing in Genesis 2 that requires it to be seen as a later event, in fact when looking in closer detail to what is written there, we find it is well and truly anchored to and concurrent with Genesis 1. For example, Genesis 2 not only details how God created the woman, but also how He created man. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. – Gen 2:7
Quite clearly this is an explanation of the “how” God created man, to the “when” God created man in Gen 1:27. But this only relates to the creation of Adam. Reading further in Genesis 2, it becomes evident God didn’t create woman at the same time, even though it was on the same day. It’s not until Gen 2:21,22 that the creation of the woman is recorded as a separate incident to the creation of the man Gen 2:7. The duration between them is when Adam named the creatures alone. All of this took place on day six of Creation. We may think that is a lot to happen on one day, but we would do well not to jump to any conclusions without further study and research around this, for which credible commentators have given very plausible explanation (see footnote below).
So to answer our opening question: On day six of Creation, God created both male and female as distinct from each other and therefore able to be fruitful and multiply, but He did not create them simultaneously or at the same time. The details of Gen 1:27 are found in Genesis 2. Namely, God created Adam from the dust, then later that day, after Adam had named the creatures the Lord brought him, He created woman, not from the dust but from out of Adam.
Before I finish, I want to share briefly why this account of Adam and Eve, helps to give some wonderful insights into the Bridal paradigm.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. – Gen 2:21,22 NKJV
The Bible says after taking the woman from out of Adam, that the Lord God brought her to him. It’s easy to miss this point, but O how wonderful the truth. The Bride comes out of the Bridegroom! Furthermore, even though we could say figuratively the woman was in the man, or that the Bride comes out of the Bridegroom, this is only part of the revelation. For we are not told that an already formed woman came out of the man, but it was the rib from which the Lord made Adam’s comparable helper. Only in the Father’s hands is the Bride made ready, only as His children does she grow mature capable of union with the Son, only in His House is she nurtured and cared for, until that formation is complete, and as Genesis records, “He brought her to the man”, so it is the Father gives the Bride away, and He presents us to His Son Jesus as His wife, exquisite and holy.