In the first account of creation, both Adam and Eve are made on the same occasion. However, the other account portrays the two being created at different times, whereby Adam was created first, and Eve was made out of his rib. In fact, the two stories are contradicting. Midrash, which refers to a body of Jewish writings, has attempted to reconcile the two creation accounts (Neusner 50). The rabbis developed the story to try to reconcile the two accounts.
According to Midrash, in the primary creation account, the female who was created at the same time with Adam was Lilith, and after she had insisted on a physical and spiritual equality with Adam, she was condemned to eternal life as an evil spirit. The writings show that after the two had been driven out of the Garden of Eden, Adam engaged in reconciliation with Lilith and produced an ethnic community of human-demon (Neusner 70). In the context of this story, Lilith is viewed as a negative light. Lilith’s demand for autonomy against male domination is what has motivated women emulate her. Using Lilith’s story is important to note that the struggle between women and men is still evident, something that could imply that they were created at the same time. The narration of Eve’s and her descendants at the grave that is prevalent in the Midrash is a clear indication of Lilith’s demonic offsprings that continue asking for their rights. In fact, this forces Eve to inform her children about Lilith.
In the second creation account, Eve is created because Adam was lonely. According to the writings, because the woman was created from the man’s ribs, she was willing to submit to him. It is important to state that Midrash accepts the fact that in the primary creation account male and female were created at one time while in the succeeding account they were created at different occasions. However, the purpose of creating them varied with the time they were created.
- Neusner, Jacob. What is Midrash?. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014. Print.