The Simplicity of the Obvious

Studies in Genesis 1

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28 ESV)

Man is similar yet different than all else God has created. Man is like all other life created on Earth. Yet, Man is not like all other life on Earth.

God uses three words to describe physical humanity. Adam means Man and is used as the proper name for the first man, Adam. A masculine noun, adam means ruddy, which means red and implies a creature which is mostly hairless, having exposed skin. Adam means human and is used 393 times in the Hebrew Scripture. In Genesis, Adam, the first human, is the representative of all humans.

God then delineates between male and female. Zakkar is the male of the species (either human or animal), a masculine noun, and neqebah is the female of the species (either human or animal), a feminine noun. So, Man is the human race, both male and female. Male is used 82 times throughout the Hebrew Scripture. Female is used 18 times in the Hebrew Scripture, one time in Jeremiah 31:22 and the rest in the Pentateuch. Many other nouns are used to describe people’s gender. In Genesis chapter one these are the only nouns used.

God identifies animals according to their species and makes each species a male and a female so they can “be fruitful and multiply” and fill the earth. This is the blessing of God for the animals of the earth. Every animal from the sea creatures and birds of the air to Man are blessed with the ability to procreate. Actually, every living thing is given the blessing of procreation. In the physical universe, on the physical planet called Earth, every living thing can reproduce. On Earth, and by extension throughout creation, procreation demands the species be male and female.

God is neither male nor female. In the Genesis story God never identifies as either male or female. He is God. Even though the grammar and syntax of the Hebrew language classifies Elohem as a masculine noun He is not male. God identifies Man with Himself, not He with Man.

God separates out Man from all of the rest of creation. Man is the same stuff as all the animals, with similar physical characteristics. But Man is different in his given authority over all other created things on the Earth because of the image of God.

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