gracelessace  asked:

(1/2) You had a great post on early Genesis and gender, and you mainly talked about Genesis 1:27-28. I found it interesting that throughout the entire creation story, this first of the adam was never named- in my translation he's just called "the human" whereas Eve is named after their expulsion from the Garden (3:20). I was looking to see if Adam was ever named, and I found he was in Chapter 5- "This is the record of Adam's descendants. On the day God created humanity, he made them to resemble

(2/2) God and created them male and female. He blessed them and called them humanity (adam) when they were created.“ (Ch. 5:1-2) Do you have anything to say or any notes on the original Hebrew text and/or meaning of this passage, and what that would mean for your interpretation?

Oh thank you for this ask! While writing that post I was trying to remember if Adam was ever actually called Adam as his name rather than to mean “the human” and I guess I didn’t look far enough ahead – there it is at the start of chapter 5 indeed. 

I’ll pull apart the Hebrew of 5:1-2 now and let’s see what we find.

My translation: “This is the book of the begettings [generations/descendants] of Adam. On the day God created adam, in the likeness of God he made them; male and female he created them and blessed them and called their name adam on the day they were created.” 

[Spoilers: I find that the most interesting bullet point is the last one, so feel free to skip to that.] 

  • “…of Adam.” – This is indeed a usage of the noun adam as a proper name rather than as “the human;” we know this because the article ha (“the”) is not used with it – as well as common sense given that it’s used with the word “descendants” and genealogies are always of specific people. (There are no capital letters in Hebrew so that wouldn’t help us know it’s a name.) 
  • “On the day God created adam– here I suppose adam could be the name Adam since it doesn’t have the article ha with it, but it’s more likely to mean humanity since in the next verse it’s going to refer back to this use of adam with a plural verb (which we’ll get to in a second). 
  • “in the likeness of God he made them” – here we have the singular masculine (or default neutral by English reckoning) pronoun used in Genesis 1:27 to refer to the collective plural implied in adam.
  • “male and female he created them” – here the pronoun is plural.
  • “and blessed them and called their name adam” – here’s the most interesting part interpretively I’d say.
    First of all, we have the same idea found in 1:28, that God blesses not just the “male” but the “female,” so yay for that.
    Then, for something new (not super revelational but as a supplement to what we discovered in Genesis 1 and 2), we have the specific naming of these first humans as simply adam by God. More on that below.

So to me these couple of verses further bolster what I discussed in the previous post, with a little bit extra to add to the interpretation.

Things that 5:1-2 re-affirms from the Genesis 1 and 2 verses of the previous post without adding much new: 
- that God made “male and female” (with the possibility that this is not a binary “and”) in general, but with no mention of God labeling individual humans as either male or female (or neither, etc.). So the possibility that God allows humans to gender themselves after having created those genders (or sexes? or simply physical differences that humans will then try to make sense of through coming up with gender??), rather than “selecting” a gender for each of us, still stands. 

Things that are iterated in new ways here in 5:1-2:
- The word adam being used as the proper name for that first human, Adam, which doesn’t have much to do with the gender interpretation but is good to note since he’s called that in other places in scripture so it’s clearly part of the tradition that the first person’s name was Adam.
- The idea that God named these new beings adam, or humanity/humankind. In Genesis 1 and 2 we could imply that adam is what God called them – rather than ish (man) and/or ishah (woman) – since that is the word used in the text while God makes them, sets the first adam in the Garden, and so on. But here we learn for sure that God calls them adam as their name. Again, this isn’t some huge revelation, but to me it further bolsters the idea that God did not “name” their gender for them – God simply named them all human, with male and female (the “and” holding a whole spectrum of gender) as part of collective humanity but not imposed by God onto individual persons, if that makes sense.

If anyone has more commentary on gender in early Genesis, I’d love to hear it!


On this day in music history: March 23, 1978 - “…And Then There Were Three…”, the ninth studio album by Genesis is released in the US (UK release is on April 7, 1978). Produced by David Hentschel and Genesis, it is recorded from September - October 1977 at Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, NL. The albums’ title refers to the departure of guitar Steve Hackett who quits prior to the recording sessions, reducing Genesis to a trio of drummer and lead vocalist Phil Collins, guitarist and bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks. The album also sees them bridging the gap between their earlier progressive rock roots, moving toward more tightly structured pop songs. It is their most successful release to date, spinning off two singles including their first US hit “Follow You, Follow Me” (#23 Pop). “ First released on CD in 1987, it is remastered and reissued in 1994, and again in 2007, with the latter release also being issued as a hybrid SACD + DVD. The SACD contains a high definition remaster of the stereo mix, while the DVD features a 5.1 surround remix of the album. The DVD also includes original music videos, new interviews with the members of Genesis, a vintage documentary from the band’s 1978 tour, and still photos from the era. …And Then There Were Three” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, number fourteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


My Top Ten Releases of 2016

1. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

2. A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

3. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

4. Domo Genesis - Genesis

5. Noname - Telefone

6. Jay Prince - Smile Good

7. Dave - Six Paths

8. AJ Tracey - Lil Tracey

9. Frank Ocean - Blonde

10. J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only

Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are two specific trees in the story of the Garden of Eden. 
Tree of Life served to maintain Adam’s biological processes for an extended earthly animal life. It did not provide immortality as such, for the tree, being finite, could not grant infinite life. Hence after a period of time, the man and woman would need to eat again from the tree or else be “transported to the spiritual life.” The common fruit trees of the garden were given to offset the effects of “loss of moisture”, while the Tree of Life was intended to offset the inefficiencies of the body.
Consuming the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the original sin committed by Adam and Eve that subsequently became known as the Fall of man in Genesis 2-3. In Catholicism, the tree should be understood both symbolically and as a real tree - similarly to Jerusalem being both a real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem. The fruits of that tree were not evil by themselves, because everything that God created was good. It was disobedience of Adam and Eve, who had been told by God not to eat of the tree, that was obnoxious and caused disorder in the Creation, thus humanity inherited sin and guilt from Adam and Eve’s sin.