This is an EXCELLENT question for many have been confused by these two accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. Let’s read Genesis 1:26-27, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Now let’s read Genesis 2:4-7, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 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 soul.”

Genesis 1:26-27 gives us a general account of the creation of man. Here we learn of the uniqueness of man…he was made in the image of his Creator and was given dominion over all the other creatures that God had made. Verse 31 tells us that God created man on the sixth day.

Genesis 2:4-7 gives us more details about the original creation of man. We learn here that “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Genesis 1 tells us that the Lord created man; Genesis 2 tells us HOW He created man. We see that the Lord stooped down and formed man out of the “dust of the ground.” Remarkable! When we consider how complex and intricate our bodies are, we are amazed. Yet, we learn here that God created man from the dust, or clay, of the earth He had created. When we know Him, we can say along with King David when he wrote in Psalm 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Yet, man remained just a formed pile of dust until the Lord “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” We don’t read that God did this with any of the animals, only Adam. This “breath of life” that came from God Himself was that which allowed Adam to know the Lord. Man is not a beast. No, we are unique in that God created us, giving us this breath of life that allows us to know Him, to love Him, and to follow Him. We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Notice, too, that in Genesis 1:26-27, we are told that Adam was created by God (Elohiym), yet in Genesis 2:7, we see that Adam was created by the LORD God (Jehovah Elohiym)! Glorious revelation! The Lord here tells us His eternal name…Jehovah, the self-existent One! So, I believe it is obvious that what we read in Genesis 2 is a re-telling of what we read in Genesis 1, with more vital information about WHO created Adam and HOW He did it.

Before closing, let’s consider briefly 1 Corinthians 15:45, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” This is in reference to Genesis 2:7 and refers to Adam as “the first man.” Who is this “last Adam”? It is Christ, Himself. While Adam was made a “LIVING” soul, Christ is a “LIFE GIVING” soul. Why is the Lord Jesus called the “last Adam”? Adam, by creation became the head of his race. Christ, by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross, became the head of a new race…those who are born again and have eternal life through Christ. If you are reading this, you have natural life, but do you have ETERNAL life? That comes through faith in that last Adam. He is the only one who not only HAS life, but He is able to GIVE life to all those who come to Him. (240.10)