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Adam and Eve
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Adam and Eve

This article is about the biblical Adam and Eve. For other uses, see Adam (disambiguation)

According to the Book of Genesis of the Bible, Adam (אדם "Dust; mankind", Standard Hebrew Adam, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĀḏām) was the first man created by God. Adam's mate, Eve or Hava (חוה "Living", Standard Hebrew Ḥavva, Tiberian Hebrew Ḥawwāh, Latin Eva), was either created from his rib (Gen. 2.21-22), or created at the same time (Gen. 1.27) as Adam, depending on which part of Genesis is read and how it is interpreted. Depending on which tradition is believed, she may or may not have been the first woman or Adam's first wife.

Table of contents
1 The Meaning of the name Adam
2 Adam in the Bible and Torah
3 Later Tales
4 Adam in Islam
5 Art
6 See also
7 External link

The Meaning of the name Adam

Origin Meaning
Biblical Earthy; red
English Of the red earth.
Hebrew Red, a reference to either the red skin or the red earth of Eden from which the Old Testament Adam was created in Genesis 2. Famous bearer: 7th century Irish St Adamnan, meaning 'little adam', was the biographer of St Columba.
Muslim The Biblical Adam is the English-language equivalent.

Adam in the Bible and Torah

"God created man [Heb., Adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." According to this account, Adam was absolutely the first man whom God created. He was formed out of the dust of the earth (hence his name, which means "red earth"), and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the lower creatures (Gen. 1:26; 2:7).

The story of Garden of Eden (the name possibly from Akkadian edinu based on Sumerian eden 'plain, steppe') recounts how God created Adam and Eve, gave them the commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and expelled them from the garden after they disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. Christians interpret this story of the fall as the basis of the idea of original sin.

The story is in Genesis, chapters 2 and 3.

After his creation, Adam was placed 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. Until then they were nude, but now they no longer felt comfortable like that and made aprons of fig leaves. 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 (Gen. 3). Eastern Orthodox tradition says that from the time Jesus was born, the flaming sword was removed from the Garden of Eden, making it possible for humanity to re-enter Paradise.

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. Only three of Adam's childen, viz., Cain, Abel, and Seth are named in the Genesis but it is said that he had other sons and daughters as well. (Gen. 5:4). According to the text, he died aged 930 years.

Later Tales

In the Book of Jubilees a daughter Awn is born to Adam and Eve after the birth of Abel and a daughter named Azr following the birth of Seth and then nine other sons who are not named. Cain later marries Awn and Seth marries Azr. But according to Genesis Rabba and other later sources Cain had a twin sister and Abel had two twin sisters or Cain had a twin sister named Lebuda and Abel a twin sister named Qelimath. In The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Cain's twin sister is name Luluwa and Abel's twin sister is named Aklia.

There are a number of pseudepigraphical works about Adam and Eve:

According to some traditions, Adam had an earlier mate, Lilith.

A tradition not found in the Bible text holds that the forbidden fruit was an apple. The larynx in the human throat has been called Adam's apple because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in the throat of Adam.

Some Biblical scholars have placed the Garden of Eden in what is now the Persian Gulf [1]. Others have suggested a location in Anatolia. Biblical geography had four rivers flowing from it: Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon and Gihon.

Adam in Islam

While Adam is also regarded as the first human in Islam, he is also a prophet as well, in the sense that he was one of the people to whom God spoke. In the Quran, Allah (God) creates Adam of clay. Muslims believe that God simply created Adam out of mud, and breathed his spirit into him giving him life.

When God orders Iblis or Satan to bow to Adam, Satan refuses due to his pride and is summarily banished from the heavens. However, he promises God that he will lead as many humans astray as he can, to which God replies that those who will it will follow Satan, while those who will it will follow God. Liberal movements within Islam have used God's command to bow before Adam as a means of supporting human rights.

Adam was sent to Earth to live in the Garden of Eden, and was soon joined by Eve. They were allowed to live as they pleased there, but not to eat from a certain tree and taste its fruit. However, they both eventually succumbed to the temptation of Satan, and were sent to Earth. God warned them not to follow Satan. He promised them that they would one day return to him if they were to live a life based on religious principles.

Islamic traditions hold that Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka has an enormous footprint of Adam.


Early Renaissance artists used the theme of Adam and Eve as a way to represent female and male nudes in a then morally acceptable way. Sometimes a fig leaf covered their genitals.

See also

External link