Adam - What Do We Really Know About Him ?


Scripture omits many details which our human minds seek to reach a more complete understanding. An example is the omission in the gospel accounts, with one exception, of weather conditions. We have no way of knowing what the weather was like during any event except the storm on the Sea of Galilee. We don't really need to know but our minds seek a complete picture. This may be because we have been trained by reading modern fiction.

There is an underlying reason for this. It is named curiosity. God created humans with a capacity for discovery and invention. In the Old Testament, or Torah, He repeatedly instructs mankind to "seek Him". This is repeated by Jesus in gospel accounts.

Those among us who have faith and trust in God recognize that He has revealed what HE wants us to know. Yet we seek to know more. This tendency is what caused Adam and Eve to eat forbidden fruit. They wanted know what the serpent promised they would know. Pursuit of that knowledge cost them, and us, our physical lives, and for those who fail to believe in Christ, their spiritual lives as well.

Through the years I have wondered about Adam beyond what scripture tells me. This expository work is my attempt to raise some questions and perhaps speculate about answers.

To begin, I wonder how the creation story in the Book of Genesis, (Mose 1 in the Torah) was revealed to mankind; to whom it was revealed; and who recorded it in the manner it is recorded. During my Old Testament reading and studies I noted that God said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites" or "Tell the priests", etc.

Moses spent forty days and nights on Mount Sinai, alone, in the presence of God. He made more than one trip up the mountain. From Genesis through Numbers God old Moses man things which are recorded. The one missing piece is, did God tell Moses about Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham ?

From a practical human historical viewpoint, it seem reasonable to me that Adam himself is the source. He was there. God walked with Adam in the garden. Adam was filled with knowledge of all sorts. His wife, and maybe other wives, bore children. We know of at least two who survived; Cain and Seth. Enosh, son of Seth, heralded the time when "men began to call upon the name of the Lord." [Genesis 4:26].

Because of the extremely long, by our standards, life spans of the Biblical Ancients, many generations overlapped and the information could easily be transferred down the line. God gave instructions that His commands be repeated and observed by every succeeding generation.

By the time Moses appears on the scene, Israel is established as a nation and in captivity in Egypt. The history recorded in Genesis essentially all happened before Moses was born so I am inclined to think Adam is the source of the Creation narrative. I can't say I accept that as fact because I have no basis for so saying other than the analysis I presented above.


ADAM

Genesis 1:26-31 tells us of God creating man (them) in God's own image and giving them dominion over all the creatures on the earth. This was the sixth day in the creation sequence. Genesis 2:7 begins a retelling, with greater detail, on mankind's creation. The verse tells us God made man from the dust of the ground then breathed into him making him a "living soul".

I am taking a literal approach to exploring what happened and what it might mean. The first thing I notice is that man was not "created" ex nihilo (out of nothing). Rather, man was formed by God from the soil of the earth. If we could have watched the forming of Adam, what would we have seen ?

I have tried to visualize this event. I see a number of possibilities, none of which strike me as accurate.
[1] God is visible as a large being who has hands that reach down from the sky, scoop up some dirt, then take it up to His workshop where he carefully fashions bones, muscles, veins and arteries, internal organs, and so forth. Ridiculous image, is it not ?

[2] God is not visible. The soil is visible. As I watch, the soil undergoes a transformation, morphing from dirt into the figure of a man, either standing are lying down. The eyes open. It is alive. Then the wind blows over him as the Spirit is infused. Now he is a living soul and a human being.

[3] An evolved mutant hominid is selected by God who infuses him with His Spirit. He becomes Man. God directs him to the Garden of Eden much as HE later directed Abraham to a new land where the Nation of Israel would come into existence.

These scenarios are merely a matter of speculation to which I give no actual credence.

In Genesis 1:20-23 God used the command, "Let" the waters teem with living creatures, etc. Unlike when He made man, scripture does not say He 'formed' the living creatures (marine and aerial life) from the waters. He told them to multiply. Next, in Genesis 1:24-25 He commanded "Let" the earth bring forth creatures, cattle, etc. after their own kind.

These events precede the forming of man from the ground. The time frame is given in days. Because the sun was not placed in the heavens until the fourth day [Genesis 1:14-16], the days of creation cannot be literal days as we now know them. The days are figurative for stages or ages. Scripture says,
2 Peter 3:8 NASB
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.

Peter said 'thousand years'. He could as easily have said 'billion years'. What God has permitted scientific investigation to show us is that the cosmos is more than seven days old. There is no conflict between scripture and what has been discovered by mankind.

Cosmologists estimate the age of earth at roughly five to six billion years with the cosmos roughly at fifteen billion years since creation (the big bang). They more or less agree that our cosmos came into being in a nanosecond or less. They disagree about how, what, or who, caused it. The truth is we do not know with any degree of certainty what amount of time elapsed from one thing to the next.

We necessarily backtracked a little from where we left Adam in Genesis 2:7.

In the next verse, Genesis 2:8, and 2:15, the Lord God made a garden and placed the man in the garden to cultivate it and keep it.

Where did God make man if not in the garden ?

The text sounds like Adam was made somewhere; then the garden was made; then the man was placed in it. This scenario might give comfort to "star people"; those who inwardly feel or believe they are strangers on this planet. I have experienced such thoughts. I believe this is due to the fact that we are from somewhere beyond the stars. We are from God's Spirit. The spirit within us yearns for Him, our Maker. But physically, we are 'dust' and to dust we shall return. Bodies return to the dust of this planet.

Here I depart from the text to raise some questions.
Adam was fully formed from the ground. He was never a human infant born of a human woman. Time and space were already established. The making of Adam, indeed the entire creation, occurred in linear steps. If we chanced to see Adam when he first came to life ...

What age would he have seemed to us to be ? 18? 25? 30?
How tall was he ?
What color was his skin ?
Was he hairless or hirsute ?
Full beard and long hair ?
Was his hair ever cut ? With what ?
How was he to 'cultivate' the garden ?
With his hands in the soil, or did he have tools ?
What grew in the garden by way of fruits and vegetables he was given for food ?
Did he have, or need, fire ?
Did he eat everything raw directly from the tree, shrub, or vine ?
Did he sleep ?
Did he experience illness of any kind ?
Were bacteria present in the garden ?


Moving on ...

Genesis 2: 10-14 describes the rivers flowing out of the garden and names them. Scholars have tried for aeons to locate the garden. Current infra-red satellite imagery discloses dried up river beds beneath the desert sands which, when joined with remaining rivers, form the pattern described in Genesis. If these are the four rivers, it places the Garden of Eden approximately at the head of the Persian Gulf or a bit northwesterly thereof. Where it was does not really matter much for my inquiry.

My questions relate to the garden itself. After Adam and Eve were expelled, a flaming sword was placed at the entrance to prevent them from returning, "lest they eat of the Tree of Life."

Was the garden enclosed by something ? It apparently had an entrance.
In the garden, did fruit go through the budding and seeding cycle, drop off and rot on the ground ?
How large an area did the garden occupy ?
What amount of work did the keeper(s) have to do ?
Were the animals and birds living in the garden with Adam (and Eve) ?
Did animals other than the serpent speak ?
Were there other people outside the garden ?
If so, whence came they ?


In Genesis 2:19-20 the Lord God formed every animal "out of the ground" and brought them to the man to see what he would name them. This statement differs from the previous "Let" command.

Does it mean they came into existence over time through natural evolution, produced by earthly processes beginning with single cells which diverged into species ?

This view is consistent with what we believe we know about origins. The living creatures in the sea preceded the airborne creatures and the land dwelling creatures. This sequence of events supports the "primordial soup" theory of evolution while not denying God as the cause. The same can be said of Adam. He was formed from the ground then received the breath of God that made him a living soul.

One important area of disagreement between evolution theory and the Biblical account is: modern scientist claim birds evolved from reptiles. The Bible states that the birds came on the scene before those who creep upon the earth.

The infusion of God's Spirit into Adam made him an immortal being. To our knowledge no other species has been so infused.

The verses speak of a helper for man but none was found. Of course not. God already knew there was no helper (read 'mate') for man among the animals. Yet, the verse implies God was looking for a helper for Adam because God had decided it was, "not good for the man to be alone."

We can't tell from the text what Adam thought about this matter. In verses 21-22 the Lord put the man into a deep sleep (anesthetized him ?), took out a rib and fashioned (cloned) a female version of him for him. No other creature's mate was so made. All the others were made and commanded to multiply which clearly implies the ability to reproduce "after their own kind." We know there is an inter species barrier which prevents, say, chickens mating with dogs. The same applies to humans and other species. Later in the Bible God states that it is an abomination to him for a man to copulate with an animal. The penalty is death.

Interestingly, though God commanded all the creatures He brought forth to multiply and fill the earth, He did not so command Adam. He gave man dominion over all the creatures but did not, that I can find, tell man to multiply.

Why not ?
Did God intend the first couple to live, as physical beings, eternally in the garden ?
Were they, two naked humans, to subdue the earth ? How ?


When God brought the female to him Adam said ...
Genesis 2:23 NASB
This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.?

To whom did Adam say this ?
Who but God was there to hear ?
Obviously, Adam had the capability of speech else would not have spoken.
Does speaking in the context mean vocal language such as we use ?
What language and what became of it ?
Or, did all this communication take place telepathically ?


In my personal experience with the Lord God, I have several times heard his voice as if audible but it came to me inside my mind. I have not heard Him speak in the manner of another human within earshot.

After the fall recorded in Genesis 3:1-6 they became aware of their nakedness and sought to hide. They heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden; were confronted; confessed; tried to place blame; received the curse of death; were clothed by God, and expelled from the garden.

Did God elect to manifest Himself as a physical being in the garden ?
How else could they hear the sound of Him walking, then calling out to Adam ?



EXPULSION

Genesis 3:14-24 records the curses, clothing, and expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden. It does not tell whether the serpent was allowed to remain there nor what became of the other animals or the garden itself. The flaming sword was placed at the east end of the garden to prevent access to the Tree of Life.
Genesis 2:22-23 NASB
Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" - therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

Now they are living somewhere outside the garden. Imagine them showing up in some other environment in which they had to work to produce food.

Did God abandon them to the earth's elements ?
Were there other humans living outside the garden ?
How did they accomplish cultivation of the ground from which they were taken ?
How did they know what to do and how to do it ?


I believe that if we really needed to know the answers to these questions God would have revealed them to us. In the absence of answers from God, man has sought to explain our origins using the evolutionary model in which pre-hominids existed, in Africa, where several different species developed until the humanoids called homosapiens, us, emerged as the victors.

It is possible to speculate that such evolution occurred and at some point God saw fit to take one man, who was indeed produced from the ground, breathed an immortal spirit into him, then place him in the garden so described. This would mean that man evolved from a "lower" animal species which was produced from the earth as male and female. Eve alone was made from her mate's body by God.

Using this premise, any other people on the planet were not of Adam's species. Yet, in short order Adam's offspring found mates outside the garden, in the world. In the complete text of Genesis it becomes much more complicated. On earth are fallen angels who reproduce with the "daughters of men" and begot some beings referred to as super men and giants.

Eventually, God wipes out the entire animal population of the earth save Noah and family. Humanity was given a fresh start but the curse on the earth remained nd remains. The complete genealogy of humankind therefore runs from Adam through his direct descendants to Noah and from Noah down to us. The fallen angels, with their leader the devil, are still on the earth but are without physical form that can reproduce with humans. There are among us people who are labeled 'Satan's Spawn' because of the evil they commit. Jesus referred to the devil being the father of the Pharisees. This He applied to them in the spiritual sense. We have today people who do Satan's bidding but who were not physically produced by him.

Adam and Eve got into begetting .. Cain, Abel, and Seth.

Genesis 1:28 NASB
God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.?

God's expressed intent is that they multiply and fill the earth. Clearly, that meant their descendants would fill areas beyond the confines of the garden. Had they not believed the serpent, and not expelled, would they and their descendants have been able to eat from the Tree of Life forever ?

Cain was sent away to Nod by God. The text records the conversation between God and Cain. As it was, Cain was a farmer who grew crops. How he did this without a tractor is mystery. Abel husbanded flocks. We are not told where the flocks came from in the first place.

Did animals follow Adam and Eve out of the garden or were they already present ?
Because we have no time frame, yet know God populate earth with animals, do we assume they existed and were breeding while Adam and Eve were living in the garden ? Makes sense.
How long did Adam and Eve reside in the Garden of Eden ?
It reads as if it all happened in a few days, but was it ten years or one hundred years ?
Did Adam and Eve have sexual intercourse prior to expulsion ?
If not, why not ? They were human like us.
Why and how was Abel keeping flocks ? It was not until after the flood that Noah [man] was permitted to eat animal flesh.
How did he get flocks and or herds ?
Who domesticated them ?
When ?



NAKEDNESS

The topic of their nakedness has confused me for a long time. It still does. Here are relevant quotations from the Bible.
Genesis 2:25 NASB
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3:7 NASB
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Genesis 3:10 NASB
He [Adam] said, [to God] "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."

Genesis 3:10 NASB
And He [God] said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Now in our seventies, my wife and I have adopted a degree of modesty chiefly because our aging bodies are unattractive and we are well past the time of life when reproduction was a focus. When we were younger and sexually active it was common for us to be naked together and we felt no shame.

I have experienced first hand how a child has no awareness of nakedness. I know there are nudist colonies and nude beaches where people are not ashamed to be seen naked. I do not understand the significance to Adam and Eve of discovering their own nakedness. They were naked all along and it was fine. Suddenly, their eyes are open to perceive good and evil and the one reaction they show is covering their genitals.

Adam told God he was afraid because he was naked. Why? Does this mean nakedness is evil ? Hardly. Every creature God made He made naked. Every living creature is born naked. Except mankind, all animals other than those who happen to be in costume at the moment of death, die naked.

A little research into the Ancient Hebrew text reveals the same information as shown in the NASB, though the syntactical arrangement differs. Clearly, being naked somehow caused Adam and Eve to want to conceal their genitals, as it was their "loins" they covered. They were apparently not concerned about Eve's naked breasts. If you have ideas about this topic please send me email.
© Written by Wayne Hepburn, August 2012


Theology Index Theology
TOPICS
Himandus Net Home Himandus
HOME


© Sagaverus - all rights reserved.
Web links welcomed and "fair use" quotation permitted.