According to the Bible, Adam was the first man. His name, which means "man" in Hebrew, is probably derived from the Hebrew word for "earth." The first three chapters of Genesis relate that God created Adam from dust, breathed life into him, and placed him in the Garden of Eden, where he lived with his wife, Eve, until they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The biblical account is similar to Egyptian and Mesopotamian accounts, in which the first man was made from clay, infused with life by a divine being, and placed in a paradise of delight.
Adam, red, a Babylonian word, the generic name for man, having the same meaning in the Hebrew and the Assyrian languages. It was the name given to the first man, whose creation, fall, and subsequent history and that of his descendants are detailed in the first book of Moses (Gen. 1:27-ch. 5). "God created man [Heb., Adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Adam was absolutely the first man whom God created. He was formed out of the dust of the earth (and hence his name), and God breathed into this nostrils the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the lower creatures (Gen. 1:26; 2:7).
He was placed after his creation in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate it, and to enjoy its fruits under this one prohibition: "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The first recorded act of Adam was his giving names to the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, which God brought to him for this end. Thereafter the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and while in an unconscious state took one of his ribs, and closed up his flesh again; and of this rib he made a woman, whom he presented to him when he awoke. Adam received her as his wife, and said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." He called her Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
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(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)
The Hebrew word transliterated "Adam" is found about 560 times in the OT. In the overwhelming majority of cases it means "man" or "mankind." This is true of some of the references at the beginning of Genesis (in the creation and Eden stories), and many scholars hold that up to Gen. 4:25 all occurrences of "Adam" should be understood to refer to "man" or "the man." But there is no doubt that the writer on occasion used the word as the proper name of the first man, and it is with this use that we are concerned. It is found outside Genesis in 1 Chr. 1:1 and possibly in other passages such as Deut. 32:8 (where "the sons of men" may be understood as "the sons of Adam"), and in some important NT passages.
The meaning of these passages is disputed. Some OT scholars regard them as primitive myth, giving early man the answers to such questions as "Why do snakes lack legs?" or "Why do men die?" Others see them as mythological, but as expressing truths of permanent validity concerned with man's origin and constitution or, as others hold, with "a fall upward." This latter view sees man as originally no more than one of the animals. At this stage he could no more sin than any other animal could. It was accordingly a significant step forward when man became aware of something he was doing as wrong. But it is highly doubtful whether the writer had in mind any such ideas. Clearly he thought of Adam and Eve as the first parents of the human race, and he is telling us of God's purpose that those into whom he had breathed "the breath of life" should live in fellowship with him. But Adam and Eve fell from their original blissful state as a result of their first sin. And that sin has continuing consequences for the whole human race. In later times the magnitude of the fall has sometimes been emphasized by affirming that Adam was originally endowed with wonderful supernatural gifts, lost when he sinned (in Sir. 49:16 Adam is honored "above every living being in the creation"; cf. the medieval stress on Adam's supernatural graces). But this is speculation.
The creation narratives tell us at least that man is related to the rest of creation (he is made "of dust from the ground," Gen. 2:7; for the beast and the birds cf. vs. 19), and that he is related also to God (he is "in the image of God," Gen. 1:27; cf. 2:7). He has "dominion" over the lower creation (Gen. 1:26, 28), and this is symbolized by his naming of the other creatures. The fall passage speaks of the seriousness of his sin and of its permanent effects. This is not a topic to which there is frequent reference in the OT, but it underlies everything. It is a fundamental presupposition that man is a sinner, and this marks off the literature of the Hebrews from other literatures of antiquity. The solidarity of Adam with his descendants is in the background throughout the OT writings, as is the thought that there is a connection between sin and death. Whatever problems this poses for modern expositors, there can be no doubt about the fact that the OT takes a serious view of sins or that sin is seen as part of man's nature.
In the NT Adam is mentioned in Luke's genealogy (Luke 3:38) and in a similar reference in Jude, where Enoch is "the seventh from Adam" (Jude 14). Little need be said about these passages. They simply mention the name of Adam to locate him in his genealogical place. There is perhaps an implied reference to Adam but without mention of his name (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8). Then there are three important passages with theological import (1 Tim. 2:13-14; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22, 45).
In 1 Tim. 2:13-14 the subordinate place of woman is argued from two facts: (1) Adam was created first, and (2) Eve was deceived though Adam was not. This passage presumes that the Genesis stories tell us something of permanent significance about all men and women.
Romans 5 stresses the connection of mankind at large with Adam. It was through that one man that sin came into the world, and the consequence of his sin was death. This happened long before the law was given, so death cannot be put down to law-breaking. And even though people did not sin in the same way as Adam, they were caught in the consequences of sin: "death reigned from Adam to Moses" (Rom. 5:12-14). This brings Paul to the thought that Adam was a "type" of Christ, and he goes on to a sustained comparison of what Adam did with what Christ did. There are resemblances, mainly in that both acted representatively so that what each did has incalculable consequences for those he heads. But the differences are more significant. Adam's sin brought death and condemnation to all; it made people sinners. When law came in, that only increased the trespass. It showed up sin for what it was. The end result is disaster. By contrast Christ brought life and acquittal; such words as "free gift," "grace," and "justification" emphasize the significance of Christ's death. The end result is blessing. Paul concludes by contrasting the reign of sin in death with the reign of grace "through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
In Paul's magnificent treatment of the resurrection we read: "As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). The thought is not unlike that in Rom. 5. Adam was the head of the race and brought death to everyone in it; Christ is the head of the new humanity and brought life to all within it. Some have argued that the two uses of "all" must refer to the same totality, the entire human race. There is no question but that this is the meaning in respect to Adam. The argument runs that similarly Christ raises all from the grave, though some are raised only for condemnation. However, "made alive" seems to mean more than "raised to face judgment." It is probably best to understand "made alive" to refer to life eternal, so that "all" will mean "all who are in Christ." All these will be made alive, just as all who are in Adam die.
A little later Paul writes, "the first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (I Cor. 15:45). Adam became "a living being" when God breathed life into him (Gen. 2:7). Physical life was all the life Adam had and all he could bequeath to his posterity. But "the last Adam" gave life in the fullest sense, eternal life. Again there is the thought that Christ cancels out the evil Adam did. But the emphasis is not negative. It is on the life Christ gives.
The scriptural use of Adam, then, stresses the solidarity of the human race, a solidarity in sin. It reminds us that the human race had a beginning and that all its history from the very first is marked by sin. But "the last Adam" has altered all that. He has replaced sin with righteousness and death with life.
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)
C. K. Barrett, From First Adam to Last; K. Barth, Christ and Adam; B.S. Childs, IDB, I, 42-44; W. D. Davies, Paul and Rabbinic Judaism; J. Jeremias, TDNT, I, 141-43; A. Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the NT; H. Seebass, NIDNTT, 1, 84-88; A. J. M. Weddeburn, IBD, I, 14-16.
Adam, a type.
The apostle Paul speaks of Adam as "the figure of him who was to come." On this account our Lord is sometimes called the second Adam. This typical relation is described in Rom. 5:14-19.
(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)
In I Cor. 15:45 Paul refers to Jesus Christ as "the last Adam" (ho eschatos Adam) in contrast to "the first man Adam" (ho protos anthropos Adam). In this antithetic paralelism there is a continuity of humanity, but the second person who represents the new humanity so far excels the first that he is described as the one who became an active "life-giving spirit" (pneuma zoopoioun), where the original Adam (Gen. 2:7) became only "a natural living being" (psychen zosan). The contrast is heightened by Paul's pointed antithetic style, setting Adam as over against Christ in I Cor. 15:46-49:
First Adam 46: "natural" (psychikon) 47: "the first man" (ho protos anthropos) "from the earth, of dust" (ek ges, choikos) 48: "as was the man of dust, so are those who are of dust" (hoios ho choikos, toioutoi kai hoi choikoi) 49: "as we have borne the image of the man of dust" (kathos ephoresamen ten eikona tou choikou)
Second Adam 46: "spiritual" (pneumatikon) 47: "the second man" (ho deuteros anthropos) "from heaven" (ex ouranou) 48: "as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven" (hoios ho epouranios, toioutoi kai hoi epouranioi) 49: "we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven" (phoresomen kai ten eikona tou epouraniou)
The same contrast was also made earlier in I Cor. 15:21-22 and linked with death and resurrection:
First Adam 21: "since by a man came death" (epeide gar di' antropou thanatos) 22: "For as in Adam all die" (hosper gar en to Adam pantes apothneskousin)
Second Adam 21: "so also by a man has come the resurrection of the dead" (kai di' anthropou anastasis nekron) 22: "so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (houtos kai en to Christo pantes zoopoiethesontai)
The contrast is expressed again in Rom. 5:14-19, where Paul describes the first Adam as follows: disobedience, trespass, judgement, condemnation, death, many = all. But Jesus Christ as the second Adam is described in the following antithetic terms: obedience, grace, free gift, justification, acquittal, righteousness, life, many/all. The powerful effect of Christ as the second Adam is summed up in one of Paul's favorite expressions, "how much more" (pollo mallon, 5:15, 17, and 8, 10), which makes explicit the Christological implications of the "how much more" in Jesus' own proclamation (Matt. 6:30; 7:11). These ideas may also be found in John 5:21-29; Rom. 1:3-5; 6:5-11; II Cor. 5:1-4, 17; Phil. 2:5-11.
R G Gruenler
Elwell Evangelical Dictionary
C. K. Barrett, From Adam to Last; O. Cullmann, The Christology of the NT; R. Scroggs, The Last Adam; W. D. Davis, Paul and Rabbinic Judaism.
The first man and the father of the human race.
In the Old Testament the word is used both as a common and a proper noun, and in the former acceptation it has different meanings. Thus in Genesis 2:5, it is employed to signify a human being, man or woman; rarely, as in Genesis 2:22, it signifies man as opposed to woman, and, finally, it sometimes stands for mankind collectively, as in Genesis 1:26. The use of the term, as a proper as well as a common noun, is common to both the sources designated in critical circles as P and J. Thus in the first narrative of the Creation (P) the word is used with reference to the production of mankind in both sexes, but in Genesis 5:14, which belongs to the same source, it is also taken as a proper name. In like manner the second account of the creation (J) speaks of "the man" (ha-adam), but later on (Genesis 4:25) the same document employs the word as a proper name without the article.
In the first account (Ch. i, ii, 4a) Elohim is represented as creating different categories of beings on successive days. Thus the vegetable kingdom is produced on the third day, and, having set the sun and moon in the firmament of heaven on the fourth, God on the fifth day creates the living things of the water and the fowls of the air which receive a special blessing, with the command to increase and multiply. On the sixth day Elohim creates, first, all the living creatures and beasts of the earth; then, in the words of the sacred narrative,
he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
Then follows the blessing accompanied by the command to increase and fill the earth, and finally the vegetable kingdom is assigned to them for food. Considered independently, this account of the Creation would leave room for doubt as to whether the word adam, "man", here employed was understood by the writer as designating an individual or the species. Certain indications would seem to favour the latter, e.g. the context, since the creations previously recorded refer doubtless to the production not of an individual or of a pair, but of vast numbers of individuals pertaining to the various species, and the same in case of man might further be inferred from the expression, "male and female he created them." However, another passage (Genesis 5:15), which belongs to the same source as this first narrative and in part repeats it, supplements the information contained in the latter and affords a key to its interpretation. In this passage which contains the last reference of the so-called priestly document to Adam, we read that God
created them male and female . . . and called their name adam, in the day when they were created.
And the writer continues:
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son to his own image and likeness, and called his name Seth. And the days of Adam, after he begot Seth, were eight hundred years and he begot sons and daughters. And all the time that Adam lived came to nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.
Here evidently the adam or man of the Creation narrative is identified with a particular individual, and consequently the plural forms which might otherwise cause doubt are to be understood with reference to the first pair of human beings.
In Genesis, ii, 4b-25 we have what is apparently a new and independent narrative of the Creation, not a mere amplification of the account already given. The writer indeed, without seeming to presuppose anything previously recorded, goes back to the time when there was yet no rain, no plant or beast of the field; and, while the earth is still a barren, lifeless waste, man is formed from the dust by Yahweh, who animates him by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. How far these terms are to be interpreted literally or figuratively, and whether the Creation of the first man was direct or indirect, see GENESIS, CREATION, MAN. Thus the creation of man, instead of occupying the last place, as it does in the ascending scale of the first account, is placed before the creation of the plants and animals, and these are represented as having been produced subsequently in order to satisfy man's needs. Man is not commissioned to dominate the whole earth, as in the first narrative, but is set to take care of the Garden of Eden with permission to eat of its fruit, except that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the formation of woman as a helpmeet for man is represented as an afterthought on the part of Yahweh in recognition of man's inability to find suitable companionship in the brute creation. In the preceding account, after each progressive step "God saw that it was good", but here Yahweh perceives, as it were, that it is not good for man to be alone, and he proceeds to supply the deficiency by fashioning the woman Eve from the rib of the man while he is in a deep sleep. According to the same narrative, they live in childlike innocence until Eve is tempted by the serpent, and they both partake of the forbidden fruit. They thereby become conscious of sin, incur the displeasure of Yahweh, and lest they should eat of the tree of life and become immortal, they are expelled from the Garden of Eden. Henceforth their lot is to be one of pain and hardship, and man is condemned to the toilsome task of winning his sustenance from a soil which on his account has been cursed with barrenness. The same document gives us a few details connected with our first parents after the Fall, viz.: the birth of Cain and Abel the fratricide, and the birth of Seth. The other narrative, which seems to know nothing of Cain or Abel, mentions Seth (Chap. v, 3) as if he were the first born, and adds that during the eight hundred years following the birth of Seth Adam begat sons and daughters.
Notwithstanding the differences and discrepancies noticeable in the two accounts of the origin of mankind, the narratives are nevertheless in substantial agreement, and in the esteem of the majority of scholars they are easiest explained and reconciled if considered as representing two varying traditions among the Hebrews -- traditions which in different form and setting embodied the selfsame central historic facts, together with a presentation more or less symbolical of certain moral and religious truths. Thus in both accounts man is clearly distinguished from, and made dependent upon, God the Creator; yet he is directly connected with Him through the creative act, to the exclusion of all intermediary beings or demigods such as are found in the various heathen mythologies. That man beyond all the other creatures partakes of the perfection of God is made manifest in the first narrative, in that he is created in the image of God, to which corresponds in the other account the equally significant figure of man receiving his life from the breath of Yahweh. That man on the other hand has something in common with the animals is implied in the one case in his creation on the same day, and in the other by his attempt, though ineffectual, to find among them a suitable companion. He is the lord and the crown of creation, as is clearly expressed in the first account, where the creation of man is the climax of God's successive works, and where his supremacy is explicitly stated, but the same is implied no less clearly in the second narrative. Such indeed may be the significance of placing man's creation before that of the animals and plants, but, however that may be, the animals and plants are plainly created for his utility and benefit. Woman is introduced as secondary and subordinate to man, though identical with him in nature, and the formation of a single woman for a single man implies the doctrine of monogamy. Moreover, man was created innocent and good; sin came to him from without, and it was quickly followed by a severe punishment affecting not only the guilty pair, but their descendants and other beings as well. (Cf. Bennett in Hastings, Dict. of the Bible, s.v.) The two accounts, therefore, are practically at one with regard to didactic purpose and illustration, and it is doubtless to this feature that we should attach their chief significance. It is hardly necessary to remark in passing that the loftiness of the doctrinal and ethical truths here set forth place the biblical narrative immeasurably above the extravagant Creation stories current among the pagan nations of antiquity, though some of these, particularly the Babylonian, bear a more or less striking resemblance to it in form. In the light of this doctrinal and moral excellence, the question of the strict historical character of the narrative, as regards the framework and details, becomes of relatively slight importance, especially when we recall that in history as conceived by the other biblical authors, as well as by Semitic writers generally, the presentation and arrangement of facts -- and indeed their entire role -- is habitually made subordinate to the exigencies of a didactic preoccupation.
As regards extra-biblical sources which throw light upon the Old Testament narrative, it is well known that the Hebrew account of the Creation finds a parallel in the Babylonian tradition as revealed by the cuneiform writings. It is beyond the scope of the present article to discuss the relations of historical dependence generally admitted to exist between the two cosmogonies. Suffice it to say with regard to the origin of man, that though the fragment of the "Creation Epic", which is supposed to contain it, has not been found, there are nevertheless good independent grounds for assuming that it belonged originally to the tradition embodied in the poem, and that it must have occupied a place in the latter just after the account given of the production of the plants and the animals, as in the first chapter of Genesis. Among the reasons for this assumption are:
the Divine admonitions addressed to men after their creation, towards the end of the poem;
the account of Berosus, who mentions the creation of man by one of the gods, who mixed with clay the blood which flowed from the severed head of Tiamat; a non-Semitic (or pre-Semitic) account translated by Pinches from a bilingual text, and in which Marduk is said to have made mankind, with the cooperation of the goddess Aruru.
(Cf. Encyclopedia Biblica, art. "Creation", also Davis, Genesis and Semitic Tradition, pp. 36-47.) As regards the creation of Eve, no parallel has so far been discovered among the fragmentary records of the Babylonian creation story. That the account, as it stands in Genesis, is not to be taken literally as descriptive of historic fact was the opinion of Origen, of Cajetan, and it is now maintained by such scholars as Hoberg (Die Genesis, Freiburg, 1899, p. 36) and von Hummelauer (Comm. in Genesim, pp. 149 sqq.). These and other writers see in this narrative the record of a vision symbolical of the future and analogous to the one vouchsafed to Abraham (Genesis 15:12 sqq.), and to St. Peter in Joppe (Acts 10:10 sqq.). (See Gigot, Special Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament, pt. I, p. 165, sqq.)
References to Adam as an individual in the later Old Testament books are very few, and they add nothing to the information contained in Genesis. Thus the name stands without comment at the head of the genealogies at the beginning of I Paralipomenon; it is mentioned likewise in Tobias, viii, 8; Osee, vi, 7; Ecclus., xxxv, 24, etc. The Hebrew adam occurs in various other passages, but in the sense of man or mankind. The mention of Adam in Zacharias, xiii, 5, according to the Douay version and the Vulgate, is due to a mistranslation of the original.
For Adam was first formed; then Eve. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression.
A similar line of argument is pursued in I Cor., xi, 8, 9. More important is the theological doctrine formulated by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans, v, 12-21, and in I Cor., xv, 22-45. In the latter passage Jesus Christ is called by analogy and contrast the new or "last Adam." This is understood in the sense that as the original Adam was the head of all mankind, the father of all according to the flesh, so also Jesus Christ was constituted chief and head of the spiritual family of the elect, and potentially of all mankind, since all are invited to partake of His salvation. Thus the first Adam is a type of the second, but while the former transmits to his progeny a legacy of death, the latter, on the contrary, becomes the vivifying principle of restored righteousness. Christ is the "last Adam" inasmuch as "there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12); no other chief or father of the race is to be expected. Both the first and the second Adam occupy the position of head with regard to humanity, but whereas the first through his disobedience vitiated, as it were, in himself the stirps of the entire race, and left to his posterity an inheritance of death, sin, and misery, the other through his obedience merits for all those who become his members a new life of holiness and an everlasting reward. It may be said that the contrast thus formulated expresses a fundamental tenet of the Christian religion and embodies in a nutshell the entire doctrine of the economy of salvation. It is principally on these and passages of similar import (e.g. Matthew 18:11) that is based the fundamental doctrine that our first parents were raised by the Creator to a state of supernatural righteousness, the restoration of which was the object of the Incarnation. It need hardly be said that the fact of this elevation could not be so clearly inferred from the Old Testament account taken independently.
Publication information Written by James F. Driscoll. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
PALIS in VIG., Dict. de la Bible, s.v.; BENNETT and ADENEY in HAST., Dict. of the Bible, s.v. For New Testament references, see commentaries; for Old Testament, GIGOT, Special Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament, I, iv; VON HUMMELAUER, Comm. in Genesis.
The Hebrew and Biblical name for man, and also for the progenitor of the human race. In the account of the Creation given in Gen. i. man was brought into being at the close of the sixth creative day, "made in the image of God," and invested with dominion over the rest of the animate world. Man was thus created, male and female, charged to replenish the earth with his own kind and to subdue it to his own uses. In Gen.ii. a more particular account of man's creation is given. The scene is in Babylonia, near the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in the country of Eden. After the soil had been prepared by moisture "God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. ii. 7). He was then placed in a garden planted for him in Eden, to "till and tend it." Of all that grew in the garden he was permitted to eat freely, except "the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Man next made the acquaintance of all the lower animals, learning their qualities, and giving them names. But among these he found no fit companion. Hence God, by express creative act, made for him a mate, by taking a rib from his side and constructing it into a woman.
"Why was only a single specimen of man created first? To teach us that he who destroys a single soul destroys a whole world and that he who saves a single soul saves a whole world; furthermore, in order that no race or class may claim a nobler ancestry, saying, 'Our father was born first'; and, finally, to give testimony to the greatness of the Lord, who caused the wonderful diversity of mankind to emanate from one type. And why was Adam created last of all beings? To teach him humility; for if he be overbearing, let him remember that the little fly preceded him in the order of creation."
In a dispute, therefore, as to which Biblical verse expresses the fundamental principle of the Law, Simon ben 'Azkai maintained against R. Akiba-who, following Hillel, had singled out the Golden Rule (Lev. xix. 18)-that the principle of love must have as its basis Gen. v. 1, which teaches that all men are the offspring of him who was made in the image of God (Sifra, Ḳedoshim, iv.; Yer. Ned. ix. 41c; Gen. R. 24). This idea, expressed also by Paul in his speech at Athens, "[God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts, xvii. 26), found expression in many characteristic forms. According to Targ. Yer. to Gen. ii. 7, God took dust from the holy place (as "the center of the earth"; compare Pirḳe R. Eliezer xi., xx.) and the four parts of the world, mingling it with the water of all the seas, and made him red, black, and white (probably more correctly Pirḳe R. El. xi. and Chronicle of Jerahmeel, vi. 7: "White, black, red, and green-bones and sinews white; intestines black; blood red; skin of body or liver green"); compare Philo, "Creation of the World," xlvii.; Abulfeda, "Historia Ante-Islámica." The Sibylline Oracles (iii. 24-26) and, following the same, the Slavonian Book of Enoch find the cosmopolitan nature of Adam, his origin from the four regions of the earth, expressed in the four letters of his name: Anatole (East), Dysis (West), Arktos (North), and Mesembria (South). R. Johanan interprets as being an acrostic of (ashes), (blood), and (gall; see Soṭah, 5a). But this interpretation seems to have originated in other circles; for we find Isidor of Seville ("De Natura Rerum," ix.) declare that Adam was made of blood (sanguis), gall (cholē), black gall (melancholia), and phlegm: the four parts constituting the temperaments, which correspond to the four elements of nature, as does the microcosm to the macrocosm (see Piper, "Symbolik der Christlichen Kirche," 90, 469). R. Meir (second century) has the tradition that God made Adam of the dust gathered from the whole world; and Rab (third century) says: "His head was made of earth from the Holy Land; his main body, from Babylonia; and the various members from different lands" (Sanh. 38a et seq.; compare Gen. R. viii.; Midr. Teh. cxxxix. 5; and Tan., Peḳude, 3, end).
On account of the Sabbath the sun retained its brightness for the day; but as darkness set in Adam was seized with fear, thinking of his sin. Then the Lord taught him how to make fire by striking stones together. Thenceforth the fire is greeted with a blessing at the close of each Sabbath day (Pesiḳ. R. xxiii.; Pirḳe R. El. xx.; similarly, Pes. 54a).
When Adam heard the curse, "Thou shalt eat of the herbs of the earth," he staggered, saying: "O Lord, must I and my ass eat out of the same manger?" Then the voice of God came reassuringly: "With the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread!" There is comfort in work. The angels taught Adam the work of agriculture, all the trades, and also how to work in iron (Book of Jubilees, iii. 12; Gen. R. xxiv.; Pes. 54a). The invention of writing was ascribed to Adam.
To Adam are ascribed Ps. v., xix., xxiv., and xcii. (Midr. Teh. v. 3; Gen. R. xxii., end; Pesiḳ. R. xlvi.; see Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." ii. 337 et seq.). His body, made an object of worship by some semi-pagan Melchisedician sect, according to the Christian Book of Adam, was shown in Talmudic times at Hebron, in the cave of Machpelah (B. B. 58a, Gen. R. lviii.), while Christian tradition placed it in Golgotha near Jerusalem (Origen, tract 35 in Matt., and article Golgotha). It is a beautiful and certainly an original idea of the rabbis that "Adam was created from the dust of the place where the sanctuary was to rise for the atonement of all human sin," so that sin should never be a permanent or inherent part of man's nature (Gen. R. xiv., Yer. Naz. vii. 56b). The corresponding Christian legend of Golgotha was formed after the Jewish one.
Ginzberg, Die Haggada bei den Kirchenvätern, in Monatsschrift, 1899; Kohut, in Z. D. M. G. xxv. 59-94; Grünbaum, Neue Beiträge zur Semitischen Sagenkunde, pp. 54,79; Dillman, Das Christliche Adambuch; Malan, Book of Adam and Eve, 1882; Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, 1883, 1888; Siegfried, Philo von Alexandrien. For further bibliographical references see Schürer, Geschichte, 3d ed. iii. 288-289.K.
Iblis, the Devil, Respited.
"When thy Lord said to the angels, 'Verily, I am about to create a mortal out of clay; and when I have fashioned him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall ye down before him adoring.' And the angels adored, all of them save Iblis, who was too big with pride, and was of the misbelievers. Said He, 'O Iblis! what prevents thee from adoring what I have created with My two hands? Art thou too big with pride? or art thou amongst the exalted?' Said he, 'I am better than he; Thou hast created me from fire, and him Thou hast created from clay.' Said He, 'Then go forth therefrom; for verily thou art pelted, and verily upon thee is My curse unto the day of judgment.' Said he, 'My Lord! then respite me until the day when they are raised.' Said He, 'Then thou art amongst the respited until the day of the stated time.' Said he, 'Then, by Thy might, I will surely seduce them all together, except Thy servants amongst them who are sincere!' Said He, 'It is the truth, and the truth I speak; I will surely fill hell with thee and with those who follow thee amongst them all together'" (sura xxxviii. 70-85).
At a later period Mohammed develops the personal character of the first man and his direct relationship to God, whose vicegerent (khalifah, calif) he is to be on earth. At the same time Satan is represented as being the one who drove Adam from paradise: Adam as Vicegerent of God.
"And when thy Lord said unto the angels, 'I am about to place a vicegerent in the earth,' they said, 'Wilt Thou place therein one who will do evil therein and shed blood? We celebrate Thy praise and hallow Thee.' Said [the Lord], 'I know what ye know not.' And He taught Adam the names, all of them; then He propounded them to the angels and said, 'Declare to Me the names of these, if ye are truthful.' They said, 'Glory be to Thee! no knowledge is ours but what Thou Thyself hast taught us; verily, Thou art the knowing, the wise.' Said the Lord, 'O Adam, declare to them their names'; and when he had declared to them their names He said, 'Did I not say to you, I know the secrets of the heavens and of the earth, and I know what ye show and what ye are hiding?' And when He said to the angels, 'Adore Adam,' they adored him save only Iblis, who refused and was too proud, and became one of the misbelievers.
"And He said, 'O Adam, dwell, thou and thy wife, in paradise, and eat therefrom amply as you wish; but do not draw near this tree or ye will be of the transgressors.' And Satan made them backslide therefrom, and drove them out from what they were in, and He said, 'Go down, one of you the enemy of the other; and in the earth there are an abode and a provision for a time.' And Adam caught certain words from his Lord, and He turned toward him; for He is the Compassionate One easily turned. He said, 'Go down therefrom altogether, and haply there may come from Me a guidance, and whoso follows My guidance no fear is theirs, nor shall they grieve'" (sura ii. 29-36).
In sura vii. 10 et seq. the same story is repeated, though with several additions. In particular, Mohammed has now learned the manner in which Satan tempted Adam:
The soul of Adam had been created thousands of years previously, and at first refused to enter the body of clay. God forced it violently through Adam's nose, which caused him to sneeze. As it descended into his mouth, he commenced to utter the praises of God. He tried to rise; but the soul had not yet descended into his feet. When he did stand upright, he reached from earth up to the throne of God, and had to shade his eyes with his hand because of the brilliancy of God's throne. His height was gradually diminished, partly as a punishment for his sin, and partly through grieving at the death of Abel.
When Adam was driven from paradise, he first alighted on the island of Sarandib (Ceylon). Here his footprint (seventy ells long) is still to be seen, as is that of Abraham in Mecca. From Ceylon Adam journeyed to the holy city in Arabia, where he built the Kaaba, having through fasting and silence gained the partial forgiveness of God.
Another legend connects the building of the Kaaba with Abraham. When the time came for Adam to die, he had forgotten the gift of forty years to David, and had to be reminded of it by the Angel of Death. He is said to have been buried in the "Cave of Treasures"-a Christian, rather than a Jewish, idea. Several of these peculiar features are found again in the Pirḳe de-Rabbi Eliezer, a work that was compiled under Arabic influence (Zunz, "G. V." 2d ed., pp. 289 et seq.).
J. Frederic McCurdy, Kaufmann Kohler, Richard Gottheil
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.
Koran, suras xxxviii. 71-86. ii. 28-32, vii. 10-18, xv. 28-44, xvii. 63-68, xviii. 48, xx. 115, and the commentaries on these passages; Gottwaldt, HamzœIspahanensis Annalium Libri x. pp. 84 et seq.; Tabari, Annales, ii. 115 et seq.; Ibn al-Athir, Chronicon, ed. Tornberg, i. 19 et seq.; Al-Nawawi, Biographical Dict. of Illustrious Men, ed. Wüstenfeld, pp. 123 et seq.; Yakut, Geographisches Wörterbuch, ed. Wüstenfeld, vi. 255 (index). Compare Geiger, Was Hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume Aufgenommen ? pp. 100 et seq.; Weil, Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner, pp. 12 et seq.; Grünbaum, Neue Beiträge zur Semitischen Sagenkunde, pp. 54 et seq., where a large number of rabbinical parallels will be found.G.
The second narrative (Gen. ii. 4-iv.) is the beginning of a history written much earlier than the priestly document. Its interest centers in Adam not as the first link in the chain of the history of Israel, but as the founder of the human race. The descriptions are naive and anthropomorphic, telling of man's home in Eden, his divinely given mate, his progress in knowledge, his sin, his banishment from paradise, and the fate of his children.
A closer examination of the narrative will show that the word is primarily used in a generic sense, and not as the name of an individual. In Gen. i. its use is wholly generic. In Gen. ii. and iii. the writer weaves together the generic and the personal senses of the word. In all that pertains to the first man as the passive subject of creative and providential action the reference is exclusively generic. Indeed, it is doubtful whether "Adam" as a proper name is used at all before Gen. iv. 25 (J) and v. 3 (P). Here the same usage is manifest: for in the two opening verses of chap. v. the word is used generically. It may also be observed that the writer in Gen. ii., iii. always says "the man" instead of "Adam," even when the personal reference is intended, except after a preposition, where, however, a vowel has probably been dropped from the text. The explanation of the variation of usage apparently is that, as in the case of most of the early stories of Genesis, the material of popular tradition, which started with the forming of man out of the earth, was taken up and worked over for higher religious uses by thinkers of the prophetic school. Adam is not referred to in the later Old Testament books, except in the genealogy of I Chron. J. F. McC.
The Talmud says nothing about the existence of a Book of Adam, and Zunz's widely accepted assertion to the contrary ("G. V." 2d ed., p. 136) is erroneous, as appears upon an inspection of the passage in 'Ab. Zarah, 5a, and Gen. R. xxiv. 2. There can be no doubt, however, that there existed at an early date, perhaps even before the destruction of the Second Temple, a collection of legends of Adam and Eve which have been partially preserved, not in their original language, but somewhat changed. It is possible to prove that the apocryphas, Apocalypsis Mosis- as Tischendorf, following a copyist's erroneous inscription, called the book-and Vita Adæ et Evæ, and to a certain degree even their Slavonic, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic offshoots, are of identical Jewish origin. According to these apocryphal works and to the Eastern and Western forms of the Apocalypsis, the Jewish portion of the Book of Adam must have read somewhat as follows (the parallels in apocryphal and rabbinical literature are placed in parentheses):
The sentence of God was carried into effect. Banished from the garden, which was henceforward surrounded by a sea of ice (Book of Enoch, Hebrew version; "B. H." iv. 132), Adam and Eve settled in the neighborhood of Eden in the East (Gen. R. xxi. 9). They were no sooner out of their blissful abode than a paralyzing terror befell them. Unaccustomed to the earthly life and unfamiliar with the changes of the day and of the weather-in paradise an eternal light had surrounded them (Gen. R. xi. 2)-they were terrified when the darkness of night began to fall upon the earth ('Ab. Zarah, 8a), and the intercession of God's word () was necessary to explainto them the new order of things. From this moment the sufferings of life began; for Adam and Eve were afraid to partake of earthly food, and fasted for the first seven days after their expulsion from paradise, as is prescribed in Talmudic law before an imminent famine (Mishnah Ta'anit, i. 6).
The days of repentance having passed, the twins Cain and Abel were born to Adam and Eve (Gen. R. xxii. 2). And soon Cain rose, ran away, and brought a reed to his mother (; compare Gen. R. xxii. 8): "Cain killed his brother with a reed ()"; for, according to the unanimous opinion of the Haggadah, the children of Adam and Eve were born fully developed (Gen. R. xxii. 2). Eve saw in a dream that Cain had assassinated his brother, and Abel was found slain with a stone (Gen. R. xxii. 8; Book of Jubilees, iv. 31); but the earth refused to receive his blood (Giṭ. 57b). As a compensation for the murdered Abel, God promised Adam a son who should "make known everything that thou doest."
The reconstruction of the Jewish Book of Adam here attempted may be hypothetical in some points, for neither the Apoc. Mosis nor the Vita can be considered to represent a true copy of the original. But it makes clear that these two apocryphas are based on the Hebrew or Aramaic Book of Adam and that the latter belongs to the midrashic literature, as many of its allusions can only be explained by the Midrash. The legends of Adam with which rabbinical literature abounds seem to point to the same source. Thus the statement in Abot de-Rabbi Nathan (i. 6, ed. Shechter) that Eve always addressed Adam as "lord" is apparently not intelligible, until compared with the Vita and the Slavonic Book of Adam, both of which contain similar statements, which, therefore, must have existed in the original, from which they both drew independently of each other. With regard to the alleged Christian elements and reminiscences of the New Testament in the Apoc. Mosis and Vita they will be sufficiently characterized by the following examples: Apoc. Mosis, iii., "Child of Wrath," is based on a haggadic etymology of the name Cain, and has nothing to do with Eph. ii. 3; and Apoc. Mosis, xix., "Lust is the beginning of all sin," is thoroughly Jewish (see above), and need not therefore have been taken from such a source as James, i. 15. This, moreover, is the case with all the other alleged Christian passages in the Apoc. Mosis, which would prove nothing, even if they were of Christian origin; for it can not be surprising to find Christian allusions in the language of a book so widely read among Christians as the Apocrypha. Even passages where one would expect that a Christian editor or compiler would interject Christological notions are quite free from them; all of which tends to show that neither the Apoc. Mosis nor the Vita was in any way tampered with by Christian writers.
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.
Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., iii., 288 et seq.; Fuchs, in Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments (trans. and ed. by E. Kautzsch), ii. 506-529; Ginzberg, Die Haggada bei den Kirchenvätern, in Monatsschrift, 1899, pp. 63 et seq. The most important editions of the Books of Adam are: Apoc. Mosis, in Apocalypses Apocryphœ, ed. Tischendorf, 1866; Vita Adœ et Evœ, ed. H. Meyer, in Abhandlungen der Bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; Philosophisch-Philologische Klasse, xiv. (1878); the Old Slavonic Book of Adam; Jagic, in Denkschriften der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse (1893), i. et seq., xlii.; Malan, Book of Adam and Eve, translated from the Ethiopic, London, 1882.L. G.
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