Which came first the chicken or the egg?

While some people may think this is a silly question, it is no sillier than asking who came first Adam or Adam’s creator. A simple examination of the Bible would lead even the most diehard skeptic to conclude that Adam’s Creator came first. So why is there a question about whether or not a chicken or an egg came first? Because, sometimes simple questions are not so obvious. Therefore, the way to find the sure answer would be to check the Bible.

Before we look in the book of Genesis, we should define the word chicken. Chickens, according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is classified as a gallinaceous fowl. A gallinaceous fowl according to Webster’s latest dictionary is defined as:

“…of or relating to an order (Galliformes) of heavy-bodied largely terrestrial birds including the pheasants, turkeys, grouse, and the common domestic chicken”

Now that we know that a chicken is defined as a fowl, we can look in the book of Genesis to find when they were created by God. In Genesis Chapter One, we see the days of creation in order and the process whereby God created the heaven and the earth:

  1. God makes light shine(Genesis 1:1-5)
  2. God makes the Heaven, sky, and space (Genesis 1:6-8)
  3. God makes dry land and vegetation (Genesis 1:9-13)
  4. God makes the heavenly bodies to give light and to keep time (Genesis 1:14-19)
  5. God creates waterborne and airborne creatures (Genesis 1:20-23)
  6. God creates land animals and man (Genesis 1:24-31)

Focusing in on Genesis 1:20-23, the fifth day, where God created the water and airborne creatures, we see the following process:

(Genesis 1:20-23 KJV)  “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. {21} And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. {22} And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. {23} And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Emphasis added)

Since chickens are winged fowls, then we can conclude that they were created on the fifth day of creation. To understand when eggs came into the picture we only have to look at verses 21-22. In these verses, we are told that God created the water creatures, and then he created the land creatures.

After the creatures were created God told them to be fruitful and multiply. This means that the first male and female chicken laid their first egg. Logically speaking, if God had made the egg first we probably would not have chickens. This is because God, in His infinite wisdom,  gave the chicken the instinct to sit on the eggs and keep them safe and warm so they can hatch.

 Next, we will see how chickens came to be called chickens in Genesis 2:18-20:

 (Genesis 2:18-20 KJV)  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. {19} And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. {20} And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

Here we see that the fowls were formed out of the ground. When Adam was created on the sixth day, God brought the beasts and the fowls before Adam with the intention of showing him there was not a helpmeet (mate) for him (Genesis 2:18). Likewise, he gave Adam the task of naming all the beasts and fowls (Genesis 2:19-20). This is when chickens were first called chickens.

After the creation account, we see no more mention of fowls until we read of the flood account in Genesis 6 through Genesis 9. Of particular note is that Noah was told to take seven pairs of fowls into the ark (Genesis 7:3). This is because we find out later that God told Noah that they were to sacrifice animals, (Genesis 8:20) and could eat start eating them as food (Genesis 9:2-3). Because they could be eaten, God also gave animals an instinctual fear of man.

While we do not know how many of the seven pairs of chickens survived being sacrificed and eaten, we do know that God told Noah to bring the them out of the ark so that they could breed abundantly, be fruitful, and multiply on the earth again (Genesis 8:17).

So, when it comes to considering the question of asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, it is a good thing that God created the chicken first. If he had not considered this it is very well possible that the first breakfast that Noah and his family might have had would have been scrambled eggs and there would be no such thing as fried chicken (with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob of course).

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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