His Name Was Human
Adam, and God’s creation of humanity (him), is interesting. Adam means humanity, Adamah is from the ground, so, Adam Adamah; humanity from the ground. It is used to mean human, humanity, and mankind. The English translation interchanges the words according to its context. In chapter one (Genesis), we are told God made male and female, but in chapter two it goes into greater detail how the male and female came to be. Before the two were identified as such, there was one being, Adam (human). Humanity made in the image of God. God said, “Let us make human in our image, in our likeness (Genesis 1:26).” Collective humanity is the image of God (*Tim Mackie).
So, God created mankind (Adam) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).
The poem above, is a Hebrew linguistic puzzle. Notice, He created the individual in His image. There is no sex, originally. Humanity is made in the likeness of God. Then, male and female are created, and ‘he’ becomes plural to ‘they.’ The story of how this happens is presented in chapter two.
The animals were presented to Adam to name. He named them, two by two (the way they came to Noah later in Genesis),as they were presented to him. What he named them, so they became known. In this activity, a match cannot be found for Adam. All the animals of the earth have a partner or other half, but Adam is alone. God says, “It’s not good for the human (Adam, man) to be alone (Genesis 2:18).”
Notice, God does not make another human out of the ground or dirt, ‘adamah’ is not used. Instead, God takes a side of the Adam, who has already been created.
The English translation is ‘rib’, but it’s not ‘rib’ in Hebrew. It means ‘side’, as in architecture, or the side of a building. It’s Adam’s other half. From the one, comes two.*
This is so important. The likeness of God is the combination of Man and Woman, the Adam. Woman is made from Adam, she embodies Adam’s other half. Humanity is the union of both Man and Woman. Male and female, they are two parts of the image. The two together, is the image of God. This is about the community of humanity. This is why later, verse twenty-four states, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).” Together they possess the ability to create another life (one) and on it goes. Later, God commands Noah, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1).”
Humanity, together, is the likeness of God. This means all peoples of the earth, every tribe, every nation, together are the image of God. You and I alone, cannot fulfill God’s likeness. We are literally ‘in this together.’
There’s the information.
Usually, at this point I connect the dots. I’m not going to do that. I believe the Holy Spirit is better at that than I.
Here’s what I will say: My prayer and hope are that we find a way to do that. I believe it begins with my choices every day. As an individual, I am able to sacrifice my pride. I am able to love someone more than myself. I am able to honor the image of God I see in everyone else. I am able to choose, I am not perfect, but I have committed myself to it.
This is why I am ‘born again.’
*Tim Mackie - The Bible Project Podcast Ep.226 (Nov. 30, 2020) - Our Collective Identity