Male and Female He Created Them: Genesis 1:27

Male and Female (2)

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c) Gen 1:27: Three brief sentences define the most compelling aspects of human existence.[1]

In a shift from poetic narrative, here we read the first true poetry in the Bible. This verse highlights the unique standing of humanity in God’s creation.[2]

“And God created humanity (adam) in his image. In the image of God, he created it.[3] Male and female, he created them.”



The verb “created” (bara) is singular, contrary to the “us” of Gen 1:26. This supports the view that the Lord had been speaking to his heavenly council regarding his plans to fabricate people.[4]

Here adam refers to all of humanity,[5] in contrast to a male person (zakhar).[6] It appears that the first usage of “Adam” as a personal name does not occur until Gen 3:17.[7]

Moses wrote, “Male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27 characterizes humanity by sexual differentiation. Unlike the animals, which God created in various species and kinds (min), he described people in terms of gender. Not until the flood narrative did the Lord portray creatures as male and female (Gen 6:19).[8]



Therefore, this verse affirms that God created both men and women in his image to rule over creation, even though sexual identity and function remain foreign to the Trinity.

Our sexuality comes from God as a gift, rather than an accident of nature or a mere biological phenomenon. Indeed, the Lord’s next words blessed human fertility (Gen 1:28).[9]

Since neither gender comprises all of humanity, men and women need interactions with each other.[10]

God created us as men and women. Therefore, he designed us to experience community across gender lines (Gen 2:18; 1 Cor 11:11–12). Only then can we express all that it means to be fully human,[11] whether we marry or remain single.

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Read Gen 1:26–27. Why is it significant that God created all of humanity to rule over his creation? If your family had been enslaved for generations, believing that the sole reason for your existence was to serve the god Pharaoh, how would learning that you had been created in the image of the creator of the universe affect your view of yourself? How do you interact across gender lines?





Go to The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28)

[Related posts include An Israelite View of Genesis 1Inhabitants of the Sea and Sky (Gen 1:20–23); Living Things from the Earth (Gen 1:24–25); Let Us Make Humanity (Gen 1:26); Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); A Restoration of Status (Matt 28:10); Interdependence (1 Cor 11:11–12); Author and Date of Genesis; Ancient Literature; and Hebrew Poetry]

[Click here to go to Women and Marriage Throughout Redemptive History or to Chapter 3: The Image of God (Genesis 1:26–31)]


[1] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 32.

[2] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 67.

[3] The pronoun here is third person masculine singular, which can mean either “it” or “him.”

[4] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 138.

[5] Gesenius, GKC, 402,

[6] Holladay, “זָכָר” (zakhar), CHALOT, 89,

[7] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “אָדָם” (adam), BDB, 9,

[8] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 138.

[9] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 138–9.

[10] Hoekema, Created in God’s Image, 97.

[11] Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, 8