Insight to the Word

Ancient Hebrew literature often conveyed meaning through intentional wordplays. In Genesis 2, the Hebrew word translated “man”—’adam (Genesis 2:7) is very similar to the Hebrew word translated “ground” (vv. 5–7)—’adamah. If a modern translation attempted to capture this wordplay, it might translate “man” (’adam) as “earthling” and “ground” (’adamah) as “earth.” By pairing these words, the passage communicates key insights into human nature. Humanity was formed from the earth or ground (v. 7) and so is intimately connected to it. But humanity was also given a unique relationship to God, who gave human beings the “breath of life” (v. 7). Formed from the earth, human beings are also those to whom creation’s care is entrusted (v. 15).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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