Steven DiMattei, a biblical scholar who maintains the website Contradictions in the Bible, has a great post covering the creation of man in the J source (Genesis 2:4b-7). He points out that before there can be any plant life there must be two things: water to bring the plants life and a man to maintain the plants. The former is fulfilled in 2:6 and the latter in 2:7. Interestingly, the water that comes from the earth (hā-’ā-reṣ) waters the ground (hā-’ă-ḏā-māh) and it is from the dust of “the ground” (hā-’ă-ḏā-māh) that Yahweh Elohim forms a man (hā-’ā-ḏām). DiMattei writes,
Man’s relationship to the ground is the central and predominant theme in this second creation account and it is presented in several ways. Right down to the creation of his very bones, man is defined in relationship to and in the same terms as the ground! This is not only vastly different from the views and beliefs of our first author, but completely negates and contradicts them. From the perspective of the culture that shaped our present author’s attitudes and perceptions about man, the creation of man could not have been drafted in any other way than by presenting him as a creature of the soil, a thing of the earth, an earthling in a very literal sense.
You can read the rest of his piece that goes into the details of the second creation account’s version of the creation of man here.
Featured image: By Lucas Cranach the Elder – Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=965610