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ad'-am, 'adham (red earth)
Abel, Cain, Eden (Garden of), Eve, Seth
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

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 ( Genesis 5 ). "God created man [Hebrew., 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 his nostrils the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the lower creatures ( Genesis 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.

Being induced by the tempter in the form of a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, Eve persuaded Adam, and he also did eat. Thus man fell, and brought upon himself and his posterity all the sad consequences of his transgression. The narrative of the Fall comprehends in it the great promise of a Deliverer ( Genesis 3:15 ), the "first gospel" message to man. They were expelled from Eden, and at the east of the garden God placed a flame, which turned every way, to prevent access to the tree of life ( Genesis 3 ). How long they were in Paradise is matter of mere conjecture.

Shortly after their expulsion Eve brought forth her first-born, and called him Cain. Although we have the names of only three of Adam's sons, viz., Cain, Abel, and Seth, yet it is obvious that he had several sons and daughters ( Genesis 5:4 ). He died aged 930 years.

Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the whole human race. Evidences of varied kinds are abundant in proving the unity of the human race. The investigations of science, altogether independent of historical evidence, lead to the conclusion that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" ( Acts 17:26 . Compare Romans 5:12 - 12 ; 1 Corinthians 15:22 - 49 ).


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

earthy; red


Smith's Bible Dictionary

(red earth)

(1) the name given in Scripture to the first man. It apparently has reference to the ground from which he was formed, which is called in Hebrew Adamah . The idea of redness of color seems to be inherent in either word. The creation of man was the work of the sixth day--the last and crowning act of creation. Adam was created (not born) a perfect man in body and spirit, but as innocent and completely inexperienced as a child. The man Adam was placed in a garden which the Lord God had planted "eastward in Eden," for the purpose of dressing it and keeping it. [EDEN] Adam was permitted to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden but one, which was called ("the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," because it was the test of Adams obedience. By it Adam could know good and evil int he divine way, through obedience; thus knowing good by experience in resisting temptation and forming a strong and holy character, while he knew evil only by observation and inference. Or he could "know good and evil," in Satans way, be experiencing the evil and knowing good only by contrast. -ED.) The prohibition to taste the fruit of this tree was enforced by the menace of death. There was also another tree which was called "the tree of life." While Adam was in the garden of Eden, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air were brought to him to be named. After this the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and took one of his ribs from him, which he fashioned into a woman and brought her to the man. At this time they were both described as being naked without the consciousness of shame. By the subtlety of the serpent the woman who was given to be with Adam was beguiled into a violation of the one command which had been imposed upon them. She took of the fruit of the forbidden tree and gave it to her husband. The propriety of its name was immediately shown in the results which followed; self-consciousness was the first-fruits of sin their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. Though the curse of Adams rebellion of necessity fell upon him, yet the very prohibition to eat of the tree of life after his transgression was probably a manifestation of divine mercy, because the greatest malediction of all would have been to have the gift of indestructible life super-added to a state of wretchedness and sin. The divine mercy was also shown in the promise of a deliverer given at the very promise of a deliverer given at the very time the curse was imposed, ( Genesis 3:15 ) and opening a door of hope to Paradise, regained for him and his descendants. Adam is stated to have lived 930 years. His sons mentioned in Scripture are Cain, Abel and Seth; it is implied, however, that he had others.

(2) Man, generically, for the name Adam was not confined to the father of the human race, but like homo was applicable to woman as well as to man . ( Genesis 5:2 )

(3) A city on the Jordan, "beside Zaretan," in the time of Joshua. ( Joshua 3:16 )


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

(FROM ADAM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE APOCRYPHA) ad'-am, ('adham; Septuagint Adam).

1. Usage and Etymology:
The Hebrew word occurs some 560 times in the Old Testament with the meaning "man," "mankind." Outside Genesis 1 - 5 the only case where it is unquestionably a proper name is 1 Chronicles 1:1. Ambiguous are Deuteronomy 32:8, the King James Version "sons of Adam," the Revised Version (British and American) "children of men"; Job 31:33 the King James Version "as" the Revised Version (British and American) "like Adam," but margin "after the manner of men"; Hosea 6:7 the King James Version "like men," the Revised Version (British and American) "like Adam," and vice versa in the margin. In Genesis 1 the word occurs only twice, 1:26 , 27. In Genesis 2 - 4 it is found 26 times, and in 5:1 , 3 , 4 , 5. In the last four cases and in 4:25 it is obviously intended as a proper name; but the versions show considerable uncertainty as to the rendering in the other cases. Most modern interpreters would restore a vowel point to the Hebrew text in 2:20 ; 3:17 , 21 , thus introducing the definite article, and read uniformly "the man" up to 4:25, where the absence of the article may be taken as an indication that "the man" of the previous narrative is to be identified with "Adam," the head of the genealogy found in 5:1. Several conjectures have been put forth as to the root-meaning of the Hebrew word:

(1) creature;

(2) ruddy one;

(3) earthborn. Less probable are

(4) pleasant--to sight--and

(5) social gregarious.

2. Adam in the Narrative of Genesis:
Many argue from the context that the language of Genesis 1:26 , 27 is general, that it is the creation of the human species, not of any particular individual or individuals, that is in the described. But

(1) the context does not even descend to a species, but arranges created things according to the most general possible classification: light and darkness; firmament and waters; land and seas; plants; sun, moon, stars; swimming and flying creatures; land animals. No possible parallel to this classification remains in the case of mankind.

(2) In the narrative of Genesis 1 the recurrence of identical expressions is almost rigidly uniform, but in the case of man the unique statement occurs (verse 27), "Male and female created he them." Although Dillmann is here in the minority among interpreters, it would be difficult to show that he is wrong in interpreting this as referring to one male and one female, the first pair. In this case we have a point of contact and of agreement with the narrative of chapter 2.

Man, created in God's image, is given dominion over every animal, is allowed every herb and fruit tree for his sustenance, and is bidden multiply and fill the earth. In Genesis 2:4 - 5:5 the first man is made of the dust, becomes a living creature by the breath of God, is placed in the garden of Eden to till it, gives names to the animals, receives as his counterpart and helper a woman formed from part of his own body, and at the woman's behest eats of the forbidden fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." With her he is then driven from the garden, under the curse of brief life and heavy labor, since should he eat--or continue to eat?--of the fruit of the "tree of life," not previously forbidden, he might go on living forever. He becomes the father of Cain and of Abel, and of Seth at a time after the murder of Abel. According to 5:3 , 5 Adam is aged 130 years at the birth of Seth and lives to the age of 930 years.

3. Teachings of the Narrative:
That man was meant by the Creator to be in a peculiar sense His own "image"; that he is the divinely appointed ruler over all his fellow-creatures on earth; and that he enjoys, together with them, God's blessing upon a creature fit to serve the ends for which it was created--these things lie upon the surface of Genesis 1:26 - 31. In like manner 2 - 4 tell us that the gift of a blessed immortality was within man's reach; that his Creator ordained that his moral development should come through an inward trial, not as a mere gift; and that the presence of suffering in the world is due to sin, the presence of sin to the machinations of a subtle tempter. The development of the doctrine of the fall belongs to the New Testament. See ADAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT; FALL, THE.

4. Adam in Apocrypha:
Allusions to the narrative of the creation and the fall of man, covering most points of the narrative of Genesis 1 - 4, are found in 2 Esdras 3:4 - 7, 10 , 21, 26 ; 4:30 ; 6:54 - 56 ; 7:11, 46 - 48 ; Tobit 8:6, The Wisdom of Solomon 2:23 ; 9:2 ; 10:1, Ecclesiasticus 15:14 ; 17:1 - 4 ; 25:24 ; 40:1 ; 49:16. In both 2 Esdras and The Wisdom of Solomon we read that death came upon all men through Adam's sin, while 2 Esdras 4:30 declares that "a grain of evil seed was sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning." Aside from this doctrinal development the Apocrypha offers no additions to the Old Testament narrative.



abel, adam, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, cain, define, eve, forbidden fruit, garden of eden, god, serpent, seth



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