Male and Female

I’ve recently been reading through the early chapters of Genesis. When I got to the account of the flood I came accross some unfamiliar vocabulary about male/female. That got me thinking and searching:

  • the phrase אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתוֹ (which you might think means “a man and his wife”) occurs only twice in the OT and referrs to animals (Genesis 7:2).
  • the same vocabulary used in 1:27 and 5:2 זָכָר and נְקֵבָה (e.g. “male and female he created them…”) is also used four times of animals (6:19; 7:3, 9, 16) – it’s used more to talk of animals than humans.

Any significance? Does it impact how we interpret Gen 1:27 and the “image of God”?

Why is it that the phrase זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה doesn’t occur in the OT after Gen 7:16? The writer of Genesis seems to go to great lengths to detail who/what was on the ark and there is much repeition. But Gen 7:21ff doesn’t have the same detail about what drowned? It doesn’t mention “male and female”. Similarly in ch8 (esp v18) when the animals leave the ark, there isn’t the same level of emphasis or repetition or the phrase “male and female” there!?

What’s going on??? I’m just asking the questions. I don’t know the answers!!


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