Categories: Men in the Old Testament
- Genesis 2:7 reads: "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground."
- Here man is created from something that already existed. However, it doesn't have to mean actual dust. It could be referring to the basic elements, the kind of stuff that would be used as raw parts.
- God did not "create" man out of dust; he "formed" him, much like a potter forms at his wheel.
- Man is both the crown of God's creation, and the one who is totally dependent upon God, who is clay in His hands.
- The Hebrew reads, God formed 'adam from 'adamah. A good English translation might read, human from humus, groundling from ground, or earthling from earth.
- This earthling is nothing but a lump of clay until the Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He, then, becomes a living soul.
- God wanted to give him a safe place to live! He "planted a garden eastward in Eden and put Adam in there, whom he had formed."
- The Septuagint translates this as "paradise." But no one to this day has ever come close to determining just where this might have been. We have to be satisfied with knowing it was in the "east."
- In this garden was "every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food." Two trees in particular are singled out for special mention. The first is the "tree of life" and the other is "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
- Adam was placed in this garden for a reason. He is to help care for it and then enjoy it. The words are "dress and tend." The word "dress" has the connotation of serve. "Keeping" has the sense of guarding.
- Adam already has some responsibilities. He does not get to do whatever he wants.
- The Lord God said, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
- Something new has been added to the garden—rules and repercussions.
- Obedience is expected.
- Adam's life should be complete, but he is lonely.
- God says, "I will make a 'something' for him."
- God began by fashioning wild beasts, and birds from the sky and bringing them to Adam so he could name them.
- Whatever Adam called the creature was its name. But that special "something" was still missing.
- So God caused "a deep sleep upon the Adam and while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the Lord God fashioned the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman."
- Woman has been created to be "something" for Adam. The Hebrew word is ezer. It has been variously translated as helper or helpmeet.
- Some translate this as a helper "fit for him." It suggests that she is equal to him, corresponding to him, and fit for him.
- 2:25 states, "They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." The word for naked is arum.
- Up to now, everything in God's creation has been pronounced "good."
- When the serpent says, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden," that "you" is plural. It must include both Adam and the woman.
- The serpent contradicts God's words: "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
- The serpent claims that eating the fruit would have positive consequences. To have one's eyes opened generally refers to realizing new qualities of perception. Being like God is to imitate God, a goal for many in the Old Testament.
- Having said his piece, the serpent falls silent, while the woman thinks about the tree.
- The Bible says, "She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
- They disobeyed God's command.
- Immediately "the eyes of them were opened, and they knew they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons."
- Later, God calls out to them, "Where are you?" And this 'you' is not plural, it is singular.
- Adam says, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." This is the first instance of fear.
- God asks who told him he was naked, but then gets right to the point. "Did you eat from the forbidden tree?
- Adam answered, "The woman that you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Only after trying to attribute guilt to both God and the woman does the man admit that he ate.
- To Adam, God says, "…cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life…."
- Previously, his job had been to tend and keep the garden. Now he will have endless work in tilling the soil just to eke out enough food to eat.
- Then, Adam names the woman Eve because she is the mother of all living.
- God's next act of making clothes for them out of animal skins is a wonderful act of grace. First He cares for them; then, they will be sent out of the garden. But their needs have been met.
- In due time, Adam "knew" Eve and she bore two sons, Cain and Abel.
- Adam knew his wife again, and she bore another son and named him Seth.
- Adam was one hundred thirty years old when he became the father of Seth.
- Thus all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years; and he died.
- Paul writes in Romans 5:18ff, "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."
- In I Corinthians 15:22, he writes, "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
- In Paul's theology, Jesus was able to undo what Adam had done.