Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, September 28th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Take our poll

Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Search for…
Prev Entry
Next Entry
Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

Ad'am. (red earth).

1. The name given in Scripture to the first man. It apparently has reference to the ground from which he was formed, which is called in Hebrew, Adamah. The idea of redness of color seems to be inherent in either word.

The creation of man was the work of the sixth day - the last and crowning act of creation. Adam was created (not born) a perfect man in body and spirit, but as innocent and completely inexperienced as a child. The man Adam was placed in a garden which the Lord God had planted "eastward in Eden," for the purpose of dressing it and keeping it. See Eden.

Adam was permitted to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden but one, which was called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," because it was the test of Adam's obedience. By it, Adam could know good and evil in the divine way, through obedience; thus knowing good by experience in resisting temptation and forming a strong and holy character, while he knew evil only by observation and inference. (Or he could "know good and evil," in Satan's way, by experiencing the evil and knowing good only by contrast. - Editor).

The prohibition to taste the fruit of this tree was enforced by the menace of death. There was also another tree which was called "the tree of life." While Adam was in the garden of Eden, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air were brought to him to be named. After this, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and took one of his ribs from him, which he fashioned into a woman and brought her to the man. At this time, they were both described as being naked without the consciousness of shame.

By the subtlety of the serpent, the woman, who was given to be with Adam, was beguiled into a violation of the one command which had been imposed upon them. She took of the fruit of the forbidden tree and gave it to her husband. The propriety of its name was immediately shown in the results which followed; self-consciousness was the first-fruits of sin; their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked.

Though the curse of Adam's rebellion of necessity fell upon him, yet the very prohibition to eat of the tree of life after his transgression was probably a manifestation of divine mercy, because the greatest malediction of all would have been to have the gift of indestructible life super-added to a state of wretchedness and sin.

The divine mercy was also shown in the promise of a deliverer given at the very promise of a deliverer given at the very time the curse was imposed, Genesis 3:15, and opening a door of hope to Paradise, regained for him and his descendants. Adam is stated to have lived 930 years. His sons mentioned in Scripture are Cain, Abel and Seth; it is implied, however, that he had others.

2. Man, generically, for the name Adam was not confined to the father of the human race, but like homo was applicable to woman as well as to man. Genesis 5:2.

3. A city on the Jordan, "beside Zaretan," in the time of Joshua. Joshua 3:16.

Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Adam'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​sbd/​a/adam.html. 1901.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile