What are male and female in Genesis 1? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Some people now are asking about my view of divorce and remarriage in the Bible. In order to explain that, I think we also have to look at marriage in the Bible. What is it and what is it for? For that, let’s just start at the very beginning with Genesis 1.
If you’re wondering here whether we’re going to discuss the age of the Earth or if evolution was a part of the plan, you’re going to be disappointed. Whichever the true view is in this, I fear that too often we get caught up in the hows instead of the why and read Genesis in a way it wasn’t meant to be read. It’s my hope that whatever view you take on the how of creation, my look at the why will be able to resonate with you.
Something you notice in Genesis 1 is that there are opposites and these opposites are usually separated. Light and darkness and different waters are opposite. Those things which are opposed are divided.
This seems to happen fairly consistently even if the word divided or separated isn’t used. There is one great exception. This is when man and woman are created and these are not separated.
Man and woman are when the text turns truly poetic as this is the peak of the creation of God. Now I am sure some people who are not Christians are saying “Well here is where Genesis 1 and 2 contradict since in 1 they are created together and in 2 at different times!” I hear that, but that is not going to be my focus today.
Now in my view of this, humanity is created in the image of God in that they are meant to be the idol of God, which will represent God in the temple He has built, which is the entire cosmos. Man is meant to rule over the creation on behalf of God. We are to be the stewards making sure everything is kept in good order.
Yet here, you have two that can be considered opposites, but there is no separation mentioned. These two are to work together. God could have created one gender if He wanted to, but He didn’t. He made two and He made them to work together.
Also note something for those who think the Bible is misogynistic. In this passage, men and women are both in the image of God. There is no distinction in this. Man is not made largely in the image and woman has a pale reflection of that. Both of them are in the image of God. It’s really hard to think of a higher way to lift up women than to say they are fully in the image of God.
This also helps explain how we can all be equally human. If you were to point to our genetics and say that based on that we’re all equally human, well aside from identical twins, we have different genes. Our bodies are designed differently. Our brains can work differently. Even within the same sex, there are vast differences between us.
So what do we all have equally? The image of God. We all carry that. Every man is to treat his neighbor well because his neighbor is a fellow image-bearer.
Next time we do this, we’ll look some at Genesis 2 where we will interact more with the idea of male and female and how they come together. I also have some specific thoughts on female beauty in Genesis 2 that may surprise some of you. I know I got surprised with my final conclusion when I took a deeper look at that topic, but that is for another time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)