English translations

Adam and Adamah


language * Adam * Adamah * male – female


Linguistically the word Adam, “man”, is often related to the word “earth”, viz. adamah. It is said (as linguists often conclude superficially) that Adam was so called because he had been taken from the earth. Yet this is essentially completely wrong, also linguistically. Indeed, the word “man”, Adam, comes from the word “I resemble”, so resemblance. This means to say that man was made in the likeness of God. The word “likeness” has the same stem as “man”; so the essential of man is not that he was taken from the earth but that he resembles God, like God said at Creation that He would create man to his image and likeness. Accordingly the word “adamah”, earth, comes from “man”. It is the feminine form of “man”, and the woman is always younger than the man, comes after the man, and through man the earth is indeed deified, brought to God. It is not so that the earth forms man, but man must form the earth.

It is typical to see that this linguistic error is made in times of materialism, when the feminine side of man, this earthly life, is emphasized. But in times when it is known that man is also divine, that indeed the divine in man is the determining factor, it never occurred to people to say that Adam comes from adamah, because it was very well known that the feminine was derived from the male, and that the man does not have to conform to the woman.



Copyright © 2024 Academie voor de Hebreeuwse Bijbel en de Hebreeuwse Taal.