ADAM Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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Adam was the first man created by God, according to Book of Genesis, and noted in       
subsequent Jewish, Christian and Islamic commentary. He is considered a                 
prophet by the Islamic, Mormon, Mandaean and Bahá'í faiths.                           
Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine             
Chapel. Adam is the figure on the left.                                                 
The story is told in the book of Genesis, contained in the Torah and Bible,             
chapters 2 and 3, with some additional elements in chapters four and five.               
Two accounts of the story of creation are told in the book of Genesis.                   
God created all living creatures human beings on the sixth day of Creation. He           
created man in his image, after his likeness. "Male and female created he them;         
and blessed them, and called their name Adam, ... " (Genesis 5:2). "Adam" is a           
general term, like "Man" and could refer to the whole of humankind. God blessed         
them to be "fruitful and multiply" and ordained that they should have "dominion         
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and         
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth"         
(Gen. 1.26-27, KJV).                                                                     
God first formed Adam out of "the dust of the ground" and then "breathed into           
his nostrils the breath of life", causing him to "become a living soul" (Gen. 2.         
7, KJV). God then placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, giving him the commandment         
that "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But 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" (Gen. 2.16-17, KJV).                               
God then noted that "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen. 2.18,           
KJV). He then brought every "beast of the field and every fowl of the air" (Gen.         
2.19, KJV) before Adam and had Adam name all the animals. However, among all the         
animals, there was not found "a helper suitable for" Adam (Gen. 2.20, NASB), so         
God caused "a deep sleep to fall upon Adam" and took one of his ribs, and from           
that rib, formed a woman (Gen. 2.21-22), subsequently named Eve. There is no             
mention of Adam waking up from his sleep.                                               
Adam and Eve were subsequently expelled from the Garden of Eden, were                   
ceremonially separated from God, and lost their immortality after they broke God's       
law about not eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.         
This occurred after the serpent (understood to be Satan in many Christian               
traditions) told Eve that eating of the tree would result not in death, but in           
Adam and Eve's eyes being opened, resulting in them being "as gods, knowing good         
and evil" (Gen. 3.4-5). Convinced by the serpent's argument, Eve eats of the             
tree and has Adam do likewise (Gen. 3.6).                                               
As a result, both immediately become aware of the fact that they are naked, and         
thus cover themselves with garments made of fig leaves (Gen. 3.7). Then, finding         
God walking in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve hide themselves from His                 
presence (Gen. 3.8). God calls to Adam "Where art thou?" (Gen. 3.9, KJV) and             
Adam responds "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was         
naked; and I hid myself" (Gen. 3.10, KJV). When God then asks Adam if he had             
eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam responds that his wife         
had told him to (Gen. 3.11-12). Herein is the second sin that Adam committed.           
The first being that he ate from the forbidden tree.                                     
As a result of their breaking God's law, the couple is removed from the garden (Gen.     
3.23) (the Fall of Man) and both receive a curse. Adam's curse is contained in           
Gen. 3.17-19: "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast         
eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:         
cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days           
of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou             
shalt eat the herb of the field: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,         
till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou           
art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (KJV).                                             
After they were removed from the garden, Adam was forced to work hard for his           
food for the first time. He and Eve had many children although only three are           
named in Genesis: Cain, Abel, and Seth. The Book of Jubilees, in addition, names         
two of his daughters: Azura, who married her brother Seth, and Awan, who married         
her brother Cain.                                                                       
According to the Genealogies of Genesis, Adam died at the age of 930. With such         
numbers, calculations such as those of Archbishop Ussher would suggest that Adam         
would have died only about 127 years before the birth of Noah, nine generations         
after Adam. In other words, Adam's lifespan would have overlapped Lamech (the           
father of Noah) at least fifty years.                                                   
According to the book of Joshua, the City of Adam was still a recognizable place         
at the time that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on entering Canaan.             
He appears to an extent in both Eastern and Western Christian liturgies.