Genesis 2:18 - 19
ESV - 18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
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The animals were never intended to fill Adams void, loneliness. I agree with the previous answer to a point. The animals were created prior the this point. The reference of the animals was merely a description of the animals that needed names. I do believe your question still stands though. God made man outside of Eden Vs 7. God planted the garden in Eden vs 8. 9-14 God describes Eden. God places Adam in the Garden to care for it, vs 15. God gave Adam rules, vs 16-17. God saw he was alone, 18. God brought all the animals to him to name them, 19-20. God made women out of man, 21-25. God still waited before he gave Adam his helper. Why? Possible answers &/or implications: God made man in the wilderness not in a garden. Man is wild by nature. God created Adam to serve even prior to the fall. Service is part of the undefiled creation. God describes a place that is unmatched in beauty and natural resources. God shows Adam that all the other animals have a match and God tells him to name them. I'm no theologin but here are some possible reasons. God wants Adam to obey Him first. That his relationship with God comes first. God begins to show Adam His provision and His expectation. Gods shows Adam that all of creation is designed for community, but Adams obedience and relationship with God comes first. Finally God gives Adam, Eve. Eve becomes the pinical of creation as she and her union with Adam completes the embodiment of the triune God. Eve was created within the beauty and provision of Eden. She has never seen the wild outside of Eden and is more delicate as a result. God is using this series of events to lay a foundation that will transcend time and culture. There are many other possible implications that could come out of this story. I encourage you to read through and try to draw out some more possible ideas, but do not deviate from scripture. Pray to understand it more deeply every time you encounter it.
You have a good question and I will try to answer in the best possible way. One thing that I'd like to correct is that God did not make animals, He created them. Now, concerning your question of why He created them after He decided Adam needed a helper. We have to look at the grammatical content. Genesis 2:19 reads :"Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name." This is a reference to what God did before forming Adam from the dust. This then takes us back Genesis 1:20-25. Genesis 2:18/19 were only making reference to what God did before He formed man out of the dust. This does not mean that God made animals after saying "It is not good for man.........helper for him". The word "had" is a past tense that is usually used when something was done or accomplished before now. I hope this clarifies and answers your question. If you have any more, please, let me know. God bless.
So far, it's clear that animals were created before Adam. Let me answer your question about animals being the first option for a companion for Adam. God, being all knowing, obviously knew that animals were not a match for Adam. However, he probably wanted Adam to be clear about it. That's why he presented the imperfect companions (animals) first, before he created the perfect one for Adam: Eve. God wanted Adam to notice and realize that there was no creation that was as unique as a woman for mans earthly companionship. He knew it, but he wanted Adam to make that choice himself.
God created the animals for Adam to name and to chose one that Adam would find to be compatible with himself. Remember that we are all in fact of the animal kingdom. When God presented the woman to Adam as a choice God believed would best suit Adam's character, Adam was wise enough to choose what God had created. An example of choosing the good over something else. Remember his example in the garden regarding the forbidden fruit. Just as an aside, Eve is said to be the mother of all living except for Adam who was the first human created by God.
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