For most who read and believe scripture, the account of creation in Genesis is understood to have taken place in six days, the seventh day being that one which was set apart as a day of rest from all that YHWH made. There are, however, some who do not believe that creation ceased on day six, but proceeded to day eight on which Adam, who is normally thought of as the first man, was created.
Those who have this view do not consider Adam and Eve to have been the first humans on Earth, but rather believe that those who were made on day six were a separate creation of human/ humanoid beings. Often it is explained in terms of these first ones having been all the various races minus that one which was chosen to bring forth Messiah, who was Adam, created on day eight.
It would not be wise to choose either view simply on how the information impresses one at first thought. Neither adhering to the more well accepted sixth day creation because of tradition, nor adopting the eight day view because of its novelty are good foundations for a clear answer. Perhaps many who choose either one, having encountered both, do so on the grounds of one of those two reasons but all interpretation should be tested thoroughly.
Support for the belief in an eighth day creation for Adam are often the following:
1. There is a clear distinction in the telling of the sixth day "humans" and the later telling of the creation of Adam. (Genesis 1 and Genesis 2)
2. The first people were created "in His image" both male and female, rather than Adam who was created alone (and androgynous) and later had a wife made for him out of his own flesh.
3. The first people were created, while Adam was "formed" out of the ground
4. There is a correlation between the first people created and the "beast of the earth" created on the sixth day.
5. The creation of the "eighth day" is evident in the pattern for all of human history - 7,000 years followed by the "eighth day" of the new creation.
6. The "breath of life" breathed into Adam is synonymous with a soul or spirit which the first created people did not have. The first people had YHWH's likeness, the second had His spirit.
7. Cain mentioned "everyone" who found him would kill him for his crime against Abel and the only explanation for those others is that there were people created prior to Adam and Eve.
8. Cain found a wife and this wife must have been one of those of the people who had been made before Adam and Eve.
Knowing whether or not these points are a good support for the theory means addressing each one in the context of scripture, demanding that scripture make a probable, not just possible case for it. The same is true of the conventional understanding. His word is not given in a way that requires us to guess. In theend, all correct interpretations will be those which add up to the simplest and most comprehensible answer according to literal language.
One Act or Two?
In Genesis chapter 1 there is a chronological description of creation, describing each day and what was made on that day. The first day describes the creation of the Earth, light, day and night. On the second day was the creation of the firmament of heaven. On the third day, dry land was made to appear and created plant life. On day four were the luminaries of heaven made, the stars, sun and moon. On day five were made sea creatures and birds. On day six, land animals were made, reptiles, mammals and finally people.
"Then 'Elohiym said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind. Cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to its kind," and it was so. And 'Elohiym made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind, and 'Elohiym saw that it was good.
Then 'Elohiym said, "Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our
likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So 'Elohiym created the man in His image, in the image of 'Elohiym He created him, male and female He created them." - Genesis 1:24-27
The seventh day is then set apart for rest from all these things YHWH made, but after the description of the seventh day comes another telling of the creation of humans.
"And Yahuwah 'Elohiym formed the man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature.
Yahuwah 'Elohiym planted a garden eastward in 'Eden and there He put the man whom He had formed". - Genesis 2:7,8
Is this a continuation of the account proceeding in chronological order to the eighth day? There are two points which seriously hinder this being probable. All other days described before this are done in such a precise way as to pointedly mention the beginning and ending of each "the evening and the morning"as in: "So the evening and the morning were Day One." , also giving each day aclear number. This is absent for an eighth day. There is no mention of an evening and a morning encompassing a certain day on which this occurred nor is there any mention of "day eight".
The second hindrance is an even more difficult one to justify. The proclamation of the end of the sixth day reads like this:
Thus the heavens and the earth and all (kol: whole, all, any every) the host of them were finished (kalah: end, to be finished, ceased). - Genesis 2:1
There is a clear statement that all things had been made at this point and that following this was cessation from the act of creation.
In His Image: Created or Formed?
Is there an indication that the first account describes a simultaneous "creation" of man and woman while the second describes a process of "forming" Adam alone from the clay?
The first account reads as follows:
"So 'Elohiym created (bara: create) the man (adam) in His image, in the image of 'Elohiym He created him, male and female He created (bara:create) them." - Genesis 1:27
Here there is the word "bara" which is pointed out as differing from the word used in the "forming" of Adam in Genesis 2:
"And Yahuwah 'Elohiym formed (yatsar: mold, squeeze) the man (adam) of the dust of the ground" - Genesis 2:7
If there is a point being made here referencing a different mode of creation employed between the first and second humans, it should by all means remain consistent. It is, however, not the case. In Genesis 4 is the account of the birth of Seth, who is born in replacement of the slain Abel. We must be assured that Seth was the son of Adam and Eve, this being repeated throughout scripture many times, not the son of an earlier creation of humans. Following this account is the use of the word "bara" (create) in reference to Adam and Eve as well as a reference to their creation "in His image".
"And 'Adam knew his wife again and she bare a son and called his name Sheth, "For 'Elohiym," she said, "has appointed me another seed instead of 'Hebel whom Qayin slew." And to Sheth, to him also there was born a son and he called his name 'Enowsh. Then men began to call upon the name of Yahuwah. This is the book of the generations of man (adam) in the day that 'Elohiym created mankind. In the likeness of 'Elohiym He made him, male and female He created (bara) them and blessed them and called their name 'Adam in the day when they were created." - Genesis 4: 25,26, Genesis 5:1,2
Beast of the Earth connected to First Humans?
It is often believed among those who support an 8th day creation that the description of the creation of the "beast of the Earth" in Genesis is synonymous with those first humans created prior to Adam. This is also, many times, connected with the Beast of the Earth mentioned in Revelation.
Scripture gives the account of the creation of the "beast of the Earth" in Genesis like this:
"And 'Elohiym made the beast (chay: life,living) of the earth according to its kind, cattle (behemah) according to its kind, and everything that creeps (remes:reptile) on the earth according to its kind, and 'Elohiym saw that it was
good. ." - Genesis 1:25
There is perhaps little to be said of this as any connection to the creation of human or humanlike creatures. The word "chay" preceding a list of animals which were made on the sixth day could only logically be a collective statement before a more detailed list. It is not a word which is specific to any certain sort of living creature.
Where this connection is usually made, it is included within a doctrine that strongly supports the idea of a superior race and lesser peoples who are made fundamentally different by the manner of their creation. It is often found in Christian identity and British Israelism cults and follows the ages old tradition of an idea which began in the rulership of nephilim over weaker humans. Turned upside down, this idea is given a Christian face with which to
tempt the pride of believers and alienate various ethnic groups from Christianity.
Is the Future New Heaven and Earth created on an "eighth day"?
It is said that one day is equal to a thousand years in the eyes of YHWH and though the precise days of creation are given in terms of 24 hour intervals, the whole of human history might be sensibly mapped out over a week of millennia. It is completed, therefor, in the same time construct as the act of creation. It is theorized that if Adam was the new creation of the eighth day,his creation coincides with the new heaven and new earth to be created after the thousand year Sabbath of Messiah's reign.
The difficulty with this idea is that the model we have been given to observe has no day eight. We are shown a seven day cycle, the last day of which is Sabbath and the following day is not day eight, but day one. The concept of a day eight in the cycle is only applicable within an occult context where there is an emphasis on day eight being the day of the phoenix, the rebirth, the new age.
Sabbath by it's very nature, is special because it is the final touch on creation, it is the moment where the labors are enjoyed instead of toiled over, it is the sum reward of all things worked for. When the millennial reign of Messiah ends, we should not expect and eternal rotation of the same patterns of time we now have. By being a new creation, even time itself will not be measurable by any present concept of it, that also, will be new. There can be no day eight in a new creation as eight proceeds from the prior series of numbers1-7 and is not, by definition, new.
Did Elohim impart His spirit to Adam but not to the first humans?
In Genesis 1:26 it is said that "man" is made in His image:
"Then 'Elohiym said, "Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." - Genesis 1:26
The later account describes the formation of Adam and how he became a living being:
"And Yahuwah 'Elohiym formed the man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature." - Genesis 2:7
It is believed by many who see these as separate creations that this describes the difference between those first humans and Adam. While the first received the physical likeness of their maker, the second received His Spirit, indicated by the words "breath of life".
The phrase"breath of life" and "living soul" is understood in this belief to refer to life in a spiritual or eternal sense. The words themselves, though, do not indicate a special or eternal sort of life which was exclusively given to Adam, but rather an animating force which is applicable to all things which live and breathe.
"And Yahuwah 'Elohiym formed (yatsar: mold, squeeze) the man (adam) of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (n'shamah: puff, wind, breath) of life (chay:life,living) and the man (adam) became a living (chay) soul (nephesh: breathing, living creature). Yahuwah 'Elohiym planted a garden eastward in 'Eden and there He put the man (adam) whom He had formed
(yatsar). - Genesis 2:7,8"
Here "chay" is used, just as it is used earlier in Genesis to describe the sort of life which animals have. The word "nephesh", which is often translated as "soul" cannot be understood in the sense of what people normally think of as a soul. It, also, is used to describe a creature, any creature, who is living and breathing as shown here:
"So 'Elohiym created great sea creatures and every living thing (nephesh) that moves, with which the waters abounded according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind, and 'Elohiym saw that it was good." - Genesis
Was the "everyone" Cain was afraid of an indication of multitudes of humans made before Adam?
Cain made this well known statement when he was cursed by YHWH to become a vagabond for the murder of his brother:
"And Qayin said to Yahuwah, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!
Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground. I shall be hidden from Your face. I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth and
it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." - Genesis 4:13,14
Anyone or "every one" ,as it is given in the KJV, is seen as indicating a great number of people. That indication is not literally present but thought to implied by the way it is often used in the context of the English language. The word is translated from "kol" which properly means, any, all or every. It does not indicate a number, either few or many, but simply describes any or every of whatever certain group is in question. It would make as much sense if Adam and Eve were the only two others as much as it would if there were multitudes of others.
Jubilees is a helpful text in considering the theory of the eighth day creation as a whole and it gives a good idea of how many people were on earth as produced through Adam and Eve at the time of this event. Without including possible grandchildren there would have been approximately eleven children of Adam and Eve alive at the time conservatively. All of these would perhaps feel justified in seeking due vengeance for their brother's murder.
" And in the third week in the second jubilee she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth she gave birth to her daughter Âwân. And in the first (year) of the third jubilee, Cain slew Abel because (God) accepted the sacrifice of Abel, and did not accept the offering of Cain" - Jubilees 4:1,2
Where did Cain find a wife?
It is often pointed out that Cain could not have gotten a wife anywhere if there had not been "other" humans present who were not of his own parents. There is no reason to assume this, however. The command against incest had not yet been given, and for a good reason, all who were available for marriage in the beginnings were siblings. Jubilees also offers insight to Cain's wife:
" And Cain took ’Âwân his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch at the close of the fourth jubilee. And in the first year of the first week of the fifth jubilee, houses were built on the earth, and Cain built a city, and called its name after the name of his son Enoch. " - Jubilees 4:9
The introduction of the theory of two creations of mankind is an important indicator of the motive, reasoning and philosophy behind it. If it were intended as the interpretation we should receive from His word, its teaching should bear the fruit of that and be identifiable in both ancient Judaism (before Babylon) as well as the early Christian church. Where it has sprung up, though is not in either of these places, but in the mind of a Jew who lived in Alexandria and who was much more a student of Greek pagan philosophy than Judaism.
Philo of Alexandria was known for his writings which attempted to meld together traditional Judaism and Greek philosophy. It is an attempt which is not unlike the goal the Catholic church worked toward in melding together Christianity and pagan religious systems. He interpreted nothing in scripture as literally true, but believed in a symbolic and allegoric interpretation which in essence means nothing, as no symbol is meaningful without a clear object or truth which it symbolizes. If YHWH meant to give us riddles which only a few
could understand, why then can we easily recognize the message present in His
word that demonstrates how He uses simplicity and lowliness rather than worldly wisdom and high estate?
"Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength because of Your enemies that You may silence the enemy and the avenger". -Psalm 8:2
Philo sought to"reveal" a cryptic and hidden meaning in the bible which was not there, the same snare which continually draws believers, even today, down a path of speculation which inevitably draws ever nearer a pagan religious system and away from a truth YHWH plainly gave. One of these cryptic meanings he revealed to his followers was the theory of an eighth day creation, stating that the first men were made in a perishable physical image of their maker but the second were created as creatures with His spirit. The very theory that makes it's appearance in the beliefs of many seeking Christians today originated in a man who taught concepts which were derived out of Greek Mystery Religions.
We have a Creator who has given us a perfect representation of truth in a most logical, most common sense way. and i have never known anything written to have made as much sense as His word does when read just as it reads. It is the persistent Author of Confusion, Satan, who seeks to make what was simple into something complicated, knotted and difficult to follow. There might be no better general rule of reading His word than "if it is not said, it was not meant.".