Tuesday, February 09, 2016

How Adam got his name

By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

The word אָדָם (pronounced: adam) is connected with the two other Hebrew words דַּם (dam) “blood” and אֲדָמָה (adamah) “earth/ground”. These words show us that the basic meaning of Adam was associated with both “blood” and “ground”. We can understand the simplicity of the meaning here only if we read the text in Hebrew. It matches almost perfectly with the statement that the “Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7) and the prohibition to eat any meat with blood still in it, because the soul of any living being is in its blood. (Genesis 9:4).

Mankind (Adam) and ground (Adama) were bonded together at the time of creation. The role given to Adam by God is clear; he is to rule God’s creation, by working the ground (Adamah). The word for work and worship is exactly the same in Hebrew (Avoda). Adam was to serve God as his royal appointee to lovingly take care of God’s magnificent work of creation. Before the fall of humanity there was work. In fact, the work was the worship, and the worship was the work.

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