We assume Adam was, what we would call today, a Man. Is this really the case? What does the Bible say?
Genesis 5:1 “… In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called THEIR name Adam, in the day when THEY were created.”
If you didn’t catch that, read it again. THEIR name was Adam. Not his name, not her name, THEIR name. Since when do two individuals receive one name? How about when they are one being? Also note, it does NOT say it was Jehovah God that created man, or in his likeness, but just God. This idea of a differentiation between Jehovah God and God may bother some but trust me it gets addressed in later scripture. Remember, in Genesis Book 1 there is absolutely no mention of Jehovah until Book 2 when the Garden of Eden and a different creation and mandate for man is described. Suddenly in book 5 the label Jehovah is removed when discussing the creation of man.
Just like I pointed out that Eve did not receive her name until they were taken out of the Garden of Eden, I believe there is more to this story than what is currently taught.
What is explained is that Jehovah God put Adam under a deep sleep, took a rib, created the woman, and sewed Adam back up. Jehovah God separated the woman out of the man that God created to create two beings.
God: Created Adam, being male and female as the verse describes
Jehovah God: Took the female out of Adam to create another being
Is this not what the verse says?
So what do you think? Was Adam initially a different type of being?
At the end of Genesis 4 we are introduced to Lamech and his two wives, who bear him sons who are the progenitors of skilled trades within this Middle Eastern culture.
Cryptically we are also introduced to what looks and sounds like a song or poem that Lamech spoke to his wives:
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: For I have slain a man for wounding me, and a young man for bruising me: If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Truly Lamech seventy and seven fold.
So what in the world did Lamech do? Whatever the man and young man did to him, he worsened the situation by killing them both. Then the book goes on to explain the birth of the 3rd son (we think) of Adam and Eve: Seth. But what’s this song of Lamech all about? Who were the man and young man he had slain?
The Bible in its current form doesn’t discuss, but there is a text that does: The Book of Jasher.
So, modern Christians, what do you do when you come across a cryptic verse in the Bible with little to zero explanation? Do you ponder on it, ignore it, or write it off? If there are texts that not only explain this mystery but add to the story of Genesis in total, would you be willing to read it?
I know for some, the answer is a resounding “NO!” for the Bible in it’s current form is supposed to be some divinely collated tome, without imperfection, and whole and complete as could possibly be.
For those with a more open mind, the story of Lamech mirrors the story of Cain, so much that, even as Lamech admits in his song that it mirrors Cain, it circles back to Cain in a way you wouldn’t possibly think.
Should it also be noted that this would be the 3rd murder mentioned in the Bible, but it’s not attributed to Satan or any part of DSL?
Taking a step back from a literary analysis of the Bible, I will be putting on my Anthropologist hat for some more perspective. My main focus of studies was/is the indigenous Peoples of the western hemisphere, native peoples of North and South America. My blood and my relatives. For now, I will peer across the great ocean and look into the Bible of the Middle East.
In Genesis 4 we are told that Cain is a tiller of the ground, and Abel is a herder of flocks. We can make the conclusions that Cain, or who or whatever he represents, is an agriculturalist, and Abel can represent pastoralism. Not an important fact? Obviously Jehovah preferred the pastoralists offering, though we really don’t know why. There is a bit of a hint that maybe Cain’s offering wasn’t up to snuff, didn’t follow the rules, henceforth was a sin. Is this an indication of a historical cultures transition from an agricultural society to a pastoralist society, which includes the following of a new god and a resetting of the generations of man? Of course, the Bible doesn’t say this, but it does explain the allegorical side of this story.
For even more explanation of this people’s culture, we are introduced to new generations of man born of Cain in Genesis 4, via his great-great-great grandson, Lamech. Lamech took two wives (polygamy normalized in the Bible?) and this is what we have explained to us after these generations:
Cain – tiller of the ground – Agriculture
Abel – herder of flocks – Pastoral
Jabal – The father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle – Pastoral
Jubal – The father of those who handle the harp and pipe – Musicians
Tubal-cain – The forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron – Metallurgy
It should be noted as these latter 3 men are introduced, so is their sister Naamah brought up. But the daughters of Adam and Eve were not? (For those under the impression Adam and Eve had daughters despite not being mentioned in Genesis.)
In many cultures, trades and skills are passed down from generation to generation and tend to stay in families, so this is not a surprise being read in Genesis.
So now we have the progenitors, the fathers of some of the different facets of these people’s culture, a lineage to explain these facets going back to the origins of their generations.
This is not unheard of and actually quite common. Patrons of a modern culture tied to the past. When a culture changes drastically it often gets recorded in writing, in oral tradition, in art. Is this what we are dealing with in Genesis? The genesis of a new phase in the existence of this peoples? A resetting of an era?
Genesis 4:1 “…I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah.” Ok, is Eve referring to getting a man (Adam)? Or is she referring to a “man” being born to her who was named Cain? With really zero information about how/why they became so, Abel is said to be a keeper of sheep (pastoralist) and Cain a tiller of the ground (agriculturalist). Jehovah favors Abel’s offerings over Cain’s, Cain becomes angry, and he is scolded by Jehovah. He is told that if he does well, his offering will be lifted, but if he does not, then it is a sin, which he is told he does rule over the sin. Cain confronts his brother in the field and slays him.
Jehovah curses Cain to walk the earth as a wanderer and a vagabond, and the earth will not yield to him. Cain, in anguish, says the curse is too much to bear and that all who meet him will want to slay him.
Genesis 4:14 “… and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me.”
Ok, supposedly Cain is the 3rd person to have been created, so then who is he referring to when he says “whosoever”? Is he referring to other people who wander the earth, people not addressed in this particular Jehovah creation? Could he be referring to the beings that God in Genesis 1 refers to when he says “we”? Or is he referring to a possible people described as being created in Genesis 1:26?
Cain is still Jehovah’s creation so he puts a curse on anyone who would slay him will receive vengeance 7 fold, and Jehovah appoints a sign for Cain so that anyone who finds him will not kill him. So just what was this “sign”? I hear it often called the “mark of Cain” but it’s not described. Was it an actual sign worn over his neck? Was it a mark on his body, face, or other that would make it apparent to anyone not to slay the wearer?
Cain leaves Jehovah, goes to the land of Nod, east of Eden, and with his wife, conceives his first son Enoch.
Ok, so where did his wife come from? Was she already on the earth just in a different part? Those who believe Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth would just then say “oh well Adam and Eve must have had daughters.” But the Bible does not mention any daughters! Again, it does not even mention that Adam and Eve were the first on earth, only that they were put into the Garden to tend to it. We just ASSUME they were the first.
Mysteries that are just not covered in the text. I believe they are key to our understanding of what the stories of the Bible truly tell. Creation was good in Book 1, but the Creation of Book 2 to this point on is chaotic, bloody, and imperfect and leads to more questions that just aren’t answered in these texts.
So what happens when there are no definitive answers? We come up with our own. “Well Adam and Eve had daughters so that explains where the wives came from.” The Bible does not say that. “Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on Earth”. The Bible does not say that.
When we make up our own answers and conclusions, and the person next to us makes up their own, then we source the divisiveness that has separated individuals, families, congregations and churches since the first “church” was created.
Anthropologist point of view: This distinction between pastoralist vs agriculturalist and one being favored over the other tells me that this could be a story describing, allegorically, the changeover of a culture into a pastoral based way of life. After all, it was divinely chosen and favored by the so called creator god of this people.
The famous story of the fruit of the tree, Adam’s wife being tempted by what many say was the Devil, and the corruption of the “first” man and woman and the first sin which the rest of us were supposedly born into.
So big question: Is “the serpent” (note the lower case) in Genesis 3:1 the Devil? Satan? Lucifer? None of the above? Is the Devil, Satan, and/or Lucifer all the same being? Was it really a snake that tempted Eve? The author didn’t say it was the Devil, Satan, or Lucifer (hereby known as DSL), merely that is was a serpent also created by Jehovah God: Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made.” So why would Jehovah God do such a thing?
Since when could serpents and humans communicate? If the phrase “the serpent” really means DSL then this makes perfect sense because we know DSL can communicate with man. If it truly was a mere serpent, than the idea that man and animal could communicate (common knowledge in many ancient and/or indigenous non-Western cultures) isn’t that far off.
Try communicating with a serpent now. Something has changed significantly.
So if it’s either a) DSL or b) a mere serpent, whoever it is obviously knows more than Adam and Eve and also knows the words of Jehovah God as commanded to them. It also knows that death (the sentence proscribed for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge) isn’t the death that we usually define it today. The death Jehovah God was describing was more of a spiritual death which would eventually lead to a physical death. Genesis 3:5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.”
So, death in this case means: eyes open, realization of good and evil that was only meant for Jehovah God. Does human enlightenment = Death?
It was at this point I came to another conclusion for more thought: Is God not ONE being? Is “he” more than one entity? Obviously more than one being was part of creation whether as observer or participant “Let us make man in OUR image” from Genesis Book 1. Jehovah God is one being. “Elohim” is a plural word, so when we speak of God are we supposed to be speaking of the “host”, or army, that exists in heaven that includes Jehovah, and other entities, including Angels, Cherubim, and all the other beings in the different levels of heaven? Is it safe to assume they had open eyes and the realization of good and evil? In which case they are God (or more correctly part of the collective God) as well?
Atheist/Agnostic perspective: This is another point in the Bible where one could say “well, why couldn’t God just fix everything if he is the creator of the Universe and is All Powerful?”
Interesting question and unfortunately applicable multiple times in upcoming verse without answer (that would appease the typical Atheist/Agnostic. I find that Christians will justify it somehow as saying it’s part of the master plan.)
The result of the eating of fruit: The serpent is is the cursed of all cattle and beast, sentenced to slither along on it’s belly. Wait, what?! Was the serpent moving in a different way beforehand? Before it was cursed? Upright? Flying? Serpent beings in other cultures often show them flying, floating, moving in ways serpents as we know them today don’t move. Dragon’s anyone? The serpent shall be cursed to be bruised in the head by the heel of the seed of Woman (is the seed of Woman different from the seed of Man?) We also learn that the serpent also has seed, hence a lineage the way man has. Adam’s wife, seemingly representing all women henceforth, is cursed to suffer in pain at child birth and her children will bruise the head of the serpent.
Adam got the worst of it. For listening to his wife (where he was culturally mandated to cleave to his wife in Book 2) he will now walk on cursed ground, the works of his tilling will produce thorns and thistles, eating bread in the sweat of his face where he will eventually turn to the dust whence he was created (was the man created in Book 1 also made out of dust?). Here’s another interesting tidbit: NOW Adam’s wife was given a name: and that name was Eve. She was given a name AFTER they were cursed by Jehovah God. Adam named all the animals immediately but did not name Eve until after his eyes were opened and Jehovah God chastised him, cursed them, and removed them from the Garden of Eden. It was up until this point she was simply called “the woman.” Interesting.
Once again, pointing to the multiple beings that Jehovah God was around he says “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”
The final verse is most intriguing. Jehovah God “drove out the man”, but what about Eve, we assume she was also thrown out but the verse does not say that. At the east of the garden a Cherubim was placed, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
So just what is the “flame of a sword”? Is this the same as flaming sword? Flaming swords is a weapon of fantasy as far as I know. Is this an analogy for something else?
The questions pile up, and I will come back to this book later, but for now we move on to the birth of the first children of Adam and Eve.