Wednesday, April 3
The Creation Of Many Adam And Eves
Probably, like many readers, I have pondered how man came about. Was it Creationism? Evolution? Or one of the other myriad, often wacky, suggestions?
What puzzles me most is Adam of the Bible. Was he really the first man? And Eve really the first woman? If so, does this mean their children interbred? Incest?
A lot of questions! But then someone told me the meaning of the word adam in Hebrew - the Bible being originally written in Hebrew. I've also Googled this, and it seems pretty much agreed as to what adam means.
I'll take the Wikipedia entry as an example:
"Adam (Hebrew: אָדָם, Arabic: آدم) in Biblical (as well as modern) Hebrew is sometimes used as the personal name of an individual and at other times in a generic sense meaning mankind"
Other suggestions I read:
"Adam means essentially human being or humanity. Not man"
This makes the likes of Genesis 1:27 more understandable when it says: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of of God created he him; male and female created he them."
If you want to go down the creationism trail surely this says that God created them i.e. humanity. This wasn't a single creation of one man, followed by one woman. So there was no single Adam and Eve, but many.
This also makes sense of Genesis 4:16 where Cain - the son of Adam and Eve - dwelt in the Land of Nod and how in Genesis 4:17 "Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch." Cain could only have done this if more women were available?
In Genesis 5:2 this is confirmed when it states: "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."
Perhaps the lesson is that the Bible can be interpreted in various ways. It's intereting that this is accepted, for example, in the Bahá'í faith. `Abdu'l-Bahá writes in 'Some Answered Questions':
"Therefore, this story of Adam and Eve who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvelous explanations. Only those who are initiated into mysteries, and those who are near the Court of the All-Powerful, are aware of these secrets. Hence these verses of the Bible have numerous meanings." Source: Bahá'í Reference Library
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