Adam and Eve were literally the first people and were created uniquely from all other creatures and subsequent people
Tobit 8:6 You it was who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. You it was who said, ‘It is not right that the man should be alone; let us make him a helper like him.’
That Adam was not created by God subject to death.
That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body—that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon CIX.
Whoso shall assert that the protoplast would have died without sin and through natural necessity, let him be anathema.
But if anyone objects, or counterargues, that God made it a law to increase and multiply, and laid it down in express terms to the protoplasts, and that Adam’s children married one another in spite of the fact that they were brothers and sisters of the same parents, I deride and laugh to scorn the man who says these things and is unable to discern that in those days it was necessary to do this, because there were no other human beings of any other race, whereas nowadays there are many different races, so that this argument does not hold water.
Because of the fact that the first-formed man Adam, becoming a prey to the Devil’s envy, transgressed God’s vivifying commandment, all of us who are descended from Adam by successive generations of lineage, not only have been rendered mortal instead of being as thitherto immortal, but, alas! We are even delivered to death on a day when we do not expect it and in an hour whereof we wot not.
In writing to the Corinthians St. Paul says: “The head of the wife is the husband” (1 Cor. 11:3) — because Eve was taken out of Adam, and he became the cause of her becoming a woman).
Teaching and chanting are inconsistent with the nature and destiny of a Christian woman, just as are the priesthood and the bishopric. Eve, the woman formed by God, was the first to teach Adam once, in Paradise, and she ruined everything; that is why women are forbidden to talk in churches. The greatest adornment of women is silence.
134. That man was made for the sake of man we find stated also in the books of Moses, when the Lord says: “It is not good that man should be alone, let us make him an helpmeet for him.”169 Thus the woman was given to the man to help him. She should bear him children, that one man might always be a help to another. Again, before the woman was formed, it was said of Adam: “There was not found an help-meet for him.”170 For one man could not have proper help but from another. Amongst all the living creatures, therefore, there was none meet for him, or, to put it plainly, none to be his helper. Hence a woman was looked for to help him.
If Eve, that is, the emotions of the first woman, had kept her lamp lighted, she would not have enfolded us in the meshes of her sin. She would not have fallen from the height of immortality which is established as the reward of virtue.
Today that [human] nature, which was first brought forth from the earth, receives divinity for the first time; the dust, having been raised up, hastens with festive tread toward the highest peak of glory. Today, from us and for us, Adam offers Mary to God as firstfruits, and, with the unpoisoned parts of the muddy dough, is formed a bread for the rebuilding of the human race . . . Today pure human nature receives from God the gift of the original creation and reverts to its original purity. By giving our inherited splendor, which had been hidden by the deformity of vice, to the Mother of him who is beautiful, human nature receives a magnificent and most divine renovation, which becomes a complete restoration. The restoration, in turn, becomes deification, and this becomes a new formation, like its pristine state.
When any one of you has satiated himself with carnal meats, and meats of other kinds, then the impulse of concupiscence rises in him, and in this way the enjoyment127 of begetting a son is increased; and this happens not as if that had its spring in any virtue, or in philosophy, or in any other gift of mind, but in fulness of meats only, and in lust and fornication. And how shall any one tell me that our father Adam was made after the image of God, and in His likeness, and that he is like Him who made him? How can it be said that all of Us who have been begotten of him are like him? Yea, rather, on the contrary, have we not a great variety of forms, and do we not bear the impress of different countenances?
If then the Lord is in such sense created as a `beginning’ of all things, it would follow that He and all other things together make up the unity of the creation, and He neither differs from all others, though He become the `beginning’ of all, nor is He Lord of them, though older in point of time; but He has the same manner of framing and the same Lord as the rest. Nay, if He be a creature, as you hold, how can He be created sole and first at all, so as to be beginning of all? when it is plain from what has been said, that among the creatures not any is of a constant319 nature and of prior formation, but each has its origination with all the rest, however it may excel others in glory. For as to the separate stars or the great lights, not this appeared first, and that second, but in one day and by the same command, they were all called into being. And such was the original formation of the quadrupeds, and of birds, and fishes, and cattle, and plants; thus too has the race made after God’s Image come to be, namely men; for though Adam only was formed out of earth, yet in him was involved the succession of the whole race.
For there is nothing so social by nature, so unsocial by its corruption, as this race. And human nature has nothing more appropriate, either for the prevention of discord, or for the healing of it, where it exists, than the remembrance of that first parent of us all, whom God …was pleased to create alone, that all men might be derived from one, and that they might thus be admonished to preserve unity among their whole multitude. But from the fact that the woman was made for him from his side, it was plainly meant that we should learn how dear the bond between man and wife should be.
City of God, Book XIII.XXI
On this account some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself, where the first men, the parents of the human race, are, according to the truth of holy Scripture, recorded to have been; and they understand all its trees and fruit-bearing plants as virtues and habits of life, …as if they had no existence in the external world, but were only so spoken of or related for the sake of spiritual meanings. As if there could not be a real terrestrial Paradise! As if there never existed these two women, Sarah and Hagar, nor the two sons who were born to Abraham, the one of the bond woman, the other of the free, because the apostle says that in them the two covenants were prefigured; or as if water never flowed from the rock when Moses struck it, because therein Christ can be seen in a figure, as the same apostle says, “Now that rock was Christ!” No one, then, denies that Paradise may signify the life of the blessed; its four rivers, the four virtues, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice; its trees, all useful knowledge; its fruits, the customs of the godly; its tree of life, wisdom herself, the mother of all good; and the tree of the knowledge of good …and evil, the experience of a broken commandment. The punishment which God appointed was in itself, a just, and therefore a good thing; but man’s experience of it is not good.. . .These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offence to any one, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.
City of God Book XIV.XII
so we cannot believe that Adam was deceived, and supposed the devil’s word to be truth, and therefore transgressed God’s law, but that he by the drawings of kindred yielded to the woman, the husband to the wife, the one human being to the only other human being.
As the tender rose springs up among prickly thorns/ But does not offend in any way, since its beauty obscures its thorny branches,/ So holy Mary, the new virgin descending from the branch of Eve,/ Makes pure the old virgin’s offense./ Just so the old nature languished, corrupted/ Under the sentence of death. Once Christ was born,/ Man could be born anew and cast off his old nature’s stain.
Because of one man, all his descendants perished;/ And all are saved because of one man./ Because of one woman, the deadly door opened;/ And life returned, because of one woman.
But nobility is itself exhibited in choosing and practising what is best. For what benefit to Adam was such a nobility as he had? No mortal was his father; for he himself was father of men that are born.
Let us then draw near to Him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us partakers in the blessings of His elect. For thus it is written, “When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.
Ye see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing is love, and that there is no declaring its perfection. Who is fit to be found in it, except such as God has vouchsafed to render so? Let us pray, therefore, and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free from all human partialities for one above another. All the generations from Adam even unto this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ.
Our forefather Adam does not seem to have progressed gradually in wisdom as is the case with us, but immediately and from the very first days of his existence he is found perfected in intelligence, preserving in himself the enlightenment give him by God still unsullied and pure, and having the dignity of his nature still unadulterated.
Commentary 9, on John 13:18,
All things considered, I think it must be clear that the Creator of the universe gave to rational creatures their own proper reins of choice and permitted them to follow whatever spontaneous inclinations each of them might wish, going whatever way might seem best . . . That is how the first man, Adam I mean, was made from the beginning
At first, the feminine sex was obligated to give thanks to men, because Eve, born of Adam but not conceived by a mother, was in a certain sense born of man. Mary, instead, paid off the debt of gratitude: she did not give birth by means of a man, but by herself, virginally, through the working of the Holy Spirit and the power of God.
The Savior Christ came, not only to teach us what we need to do, but to endure suffering, ridicule, spitting, beating and death upon the Cross for us, so that He would deliver the race of Adam from hades where they had stayed for 5508 years from the time of the first Adam till the coming of the new Adam – Christ.
Egotism evicted man from Paradise; it is a great evil. Adam and Eve were simple and humble; that’s why they lived in Paradise. They didn’t have egotism. They did, however have the ‘primal nature,’ as we call it in theological language. When we say ‘primal nature’ we mean the gifts of grace that God bestowed on man in the beginning when He created him, namely, life, immortality, consciousness, freedom of will, love, humility, etc. Through flattery, however, the devil managed to delude them.
1. For at the beginning Adam was brought to life on the sixth day, after being formed from earth and infused with God’s breath. He was not begun on the fifth day, as some think, and finished on the sixth; the notion of those who say this is mistaken. He was unspoiled and innocent of evil and had no other name, for he had no surname referring to an opinion, a belief, or a distinction of his mode of life. He was simply called “Adam,” which means “man.” 2. A wife like him was formed for him out of himself – out of the same body, by the same breath. Adam had male and female children. And after 930 years of life he died.
Against Heresies, 78:17-19
Looking at the matter from the outside, one notices that Eve is the one from whom the entire human race took its origin on this earth. Mary, on the contrary, truly introduced life itself into the world by giving birth to the Living One, so that Mary has become the Mother of the living. . . . Eve became for men the cause of death, because through her death entered the world. Mary, however, was the cause of life, because life has come to us through her.
The successive appearance of other humans from the first human is no longer a creation like that in the beginning, for all remains on the same plane.
Others, on the contrary, marking the order of the making of man as stated by Moses, say, that the soul second to the body in order of time, since God first took dust from the earth and formed man, and then animated the being thus formed by His breath: and by this argument they prove that the flesh is more noble than the soul; that which was previously formed than that which was afterwards infused into it: . . . Nor again are we in our doctrine to begin by making up man like a clay figure, and to say that the soul came into being for the sake of this; for surely in that case the intellectual nature would be shown to be less precious than the clay figure. But as man is one, the being consisting of soul and body, we are to suppose that the beginning of his existence is one, common to both parts, so that he should not be found to be antecedent and posterior to himself, if the bodily element were first in point of time, and the other were a later addition . . . For as our nature is conceived as twofold, according to the apostolic teaching, made up of the visible man and the hidden man, if the one came first and the other supervened, the power of Him that made us will be shown to be in some way imperfect, as not being completely sufficient for the whole task at once, but dividing the work, and busying itself with each of the halves in turn.
The first man, and the man born from him, received their being in a different way; the latter by copulation, the former from the molding of Christ Himself.
Answer to Eunomius’ Second Book
That which reasons, and is mortal, and is capable of thought and knowledge, is called “man” equally in the case of Adam and of Abel, and this name of the nature is not altered either by the fact that Abel passed into existence by generation, or by the fact that Adam did so without generation.
Come then, there have been many men of old days illustrious for piety, as lawgivers, generals, prophets, teachers, and men brave to the shedding of blood, Let us compare our prelate with them, and thus recognize his merit. Adam was honoured by the hand of God,131 and the delights of Paradise,132 and the first legislation:133 but, unless I slander the reputation of our first parent, he kept not the command, Now Basil both received and observed it, and received no injury from the tree of knowledge, and escaped the flaming sword, and, as I am well assured, has attained to Paradise.
Even Adam, the first parent of the human race, was formed from the earth, which was made out of nothing, and after time, that is to say, after the heaven and earth, and the day and the sun, moon and stars, and he had no first beginning in being born, and began to be when he once had not been.
For they maintain that the Saviour assumed an animal body, formed in accordance with a special dispensation by an unspeakable providence, so as to become visible and palpable. But flesh is that which was of old formed for Adam by God out of the dust, and it is this that John has declared the Word of God became. Thus is their primary and first-begotten Ogdoad brought to nought.
Adam is first man
1. God created everything in six days. On the first day he fashioned light; on the second, the firmament of heaven; on the third, the land and the sea; on the fourth, the stars; on the fifth, the fish and the birds; on the sixth, the animals and the beasts of burden and finally the first man, Adam, in his image.
I formed the first man from a virgin earth, but the devil, making himself master, plundered as an enemy and threw him to the earth, thus mocking my fallen image. Now I want to remold Adam for myself from the virgin earth, so that nature might prepare a beautiful defense and receive the just crown against him who conquered her. Then will the enemy be properly shamed.
We have heard from that raving mistress gluttony, who has just spoken, that her offspring is war against bodily chastity. And this is not surprising, since our ancient forefather Adam teaches us this too. For if he had not been overcome by his stomach, he would not have known what a wife was. That is why those who keep the first commandment do not fall into the second transgression. And they continue to be children of Adam without knowing what Adam was. But they are made a little lower than the angels (in being subject to death). And this is to prevent evil from becoming immortal, as he who is called the Theologian [St. Gregory] says.
From the earth He formed his body and by His own inbreathing gave him a rational and understanding soul, which last we say is the divine image . . . . The body and the soul were formed at the same time—not one before and the other afterwards, as the ravings of Origen would have it.
The human race is one great tree of God; spreading and growing over the whole earth, and covering the whole earth with its branches. To the original rotten root – fallen Adam – God in His great wisdom and mercy has grafted a new living root – the Lord Jesus Christ – from Whom Christians derive their origin, as a shoot from the whole tree . . . Heathens are the unregenerate, inanimate shoot coming from the rotten root – Adam.
But that which is truly a sign, and which was to be made trustworthy to mankind,-namely, that the first-begotten of all creation should become incarnate by the Virgin’s womb, and be a child,-this he anticipated by the Spirit of prophecy, and predicted it, as I have repeated to you, in various ways; in order that, when the event should take place, it might be known as the operation of the power and will of the Maker of all things; just as Eve was made from one of Adam’s ribs, and as all living beings were created in the beginning by the word of God.
Hortatory Address to the Greeks, Chapter 38
And if you still hesitate and are hindered from belief regarding the formation of man, believe those whom you have hitherto thought it right to give heed to, and know that your own oracle, when asked by some one to utter a hymn of praise to the Almighty God, in the middle of the hymn spoke thus, “Who formed the first of men, and called him Adam.” And this hymn is preserved by many whom we know, for the conviction of those who are unwilling to believe the truth which all bear witness to.
. . . so that, since it is He through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made, and who enlivened man, shaped from the slime of the earth, with the breath of rational life, the same would restore our nature, fallen at the beginning of time, to its lost dignity . . . Since, therefore, the whole posterity of the first man was felled by one and the same grievous wound, and no merits of the saints were able to alleviate the condition of that mortal injury, the one only Physician came from heaven. For He alone was born son of the Blessed Virgin and without guilt, not outside the human race, but a stranger to sin . . . when He became the only one of Adam’s progeny in whom the Devil would have nothing to call his own.
And, first, we must inquire if Adam can be likened to the Son of God, when he was found in the transgression of the Fall, and heard the sentence, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”6 For how shall he be considered “the first-born of every creature,”7 who, after the creation of the earth and the firmament, was formed out of clay? And how shall he be admitted to be “the tree of life” who was cast out for his transgression,8 lest “he should again stretch forth his hand and eat of it, and live forever? “
When the earth was still virgin and untilled, God, taking mould, formed the reasonable creature from it without seed.12
The things which pertain to the divinity and humanity of the Second Man from heaven, in what has been written above, according to the blessed apostle, we have explained; and now we have thought it necessary to explain the things which pertain to the first man, who is of earth and earthy, being about, namely, to demonstrate this, that he was created at the same time one and the same, although sometimes he is separately designated as the man external and internal. For if, according to the Word of salvation, He who made what is without, made also that which is within, He certainly, by one operation, and at the same time, made both, on that day, indeed, on which God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; “34 whence it is manifest that man was not formed by a conjunction of the body with a certain pre-existent type. For if the earth, at the bidding of the Creator, brought forth the other animals endowed with life, much rather did the dust which God took from the earth receive a vital energy from the will and operation of God.
The woman, who had received the leaven of perfidy from the devil, received the leaven of faith from God. He hid it in three measures of flour, that is to say, in three periods of human history; namely, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Moses, and from Moses to Christ.
Thus the woman, who in Adam ruined the entire mass of the human race with the leaven of death, restored the entire mass of our flesh in Christ with the leaven of the Resurrection. Then the woman, who had baked the bread of suffering and sweat, baked the bread of life and salvation. . . . Through Christ, she became the true Mother of all the living, who in Adam had become the mother of all the dead. Christ willed to be born in this way, so that, as death came to all through Eve, so life might return to all through Mary.
Dost thou accept Adam to have been molded out of clay and produced without natural birth, dost thou accept Eve to be the offspring not of intercourse but of a rib, yet being unable to ascribe these things to natural law? For the successive multiplication and birth of men, keeping as it does a different order of procession, does not permit us to believe the procreation of those to have been the work of nature, nor, on the other hand, contrary to nature
God did not, as some people think, just give Paradise to our ancestors at the beginning, nor did He make only Paradise incorruptible. No! Instead, He did much more. Before Paradise He made the whole earth, the one which we inhabit, and everything in it. Nor that alone, but He also in five days brought the heavens and all they contain into being. On the sixth day He made Adam and established him as lord and king of all the visible creation. Neither Eve nor Paradise were yet created, but the whole world had been brought into being by God as one thing, as a kind of paradise, at once incorruptible yet material and perceptible. It was this world, as we said, which was given to Adam and to his descendants for their enjoyment. Does this seem strange to you? It should not. Pay attention to our argument, and it will show you clearly how this is so from the holy Scripture. It is written there: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void.” Next, the remaining creative works of God are given in exact detail, and then, after “there was evening and morning the fifth day, “ Scripture adds: “Then God said, “Let us make man after our image, in our likeness . . . male and female He created them [1:26-27]. Male and female, it says, not as though Eve had already come into being, but instead as she was still in Adam’s side, co-existing with him.
But—as is congruous with the goodness of God, and with His equity, as the Fashioner of mankind—He gave to all nations the selfsame law, which at definite and stated times He enjoined should be observed, when He willed, and through whom He willed, and as He willed. For in the beginning of the world He gave to Adam himself and Eve a law, that they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree planted in the midst of paradise; but that, if they did contrariwise, by death they were to die. Which law had continued enough for them, had it been kept. For in this law given to Adam we recognise in embryo all the precepts which afterwards sprouted forth when given through Moses; that is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from thy whole heart and out of thy whole soul; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not steal; False witness thou shalt not utter; Honour thy father and mother; and, That which is another’s, shalt thou not covet. For the primordial law was given to Adam and Eve in paradise, as the womb of all the precepts of God. In short, if they had loved the Lord their God, they would not have contravened His precept; if they had habitually loved their neighbour—that is, themselves—they would not have believed the persuasion of the serpent, and thus would not have committed murder upon themselves, by falling from immortality, by contravening God’s precept; from theft also they would have abstained, if they had not stealthily tasted of the fruit of the tree, nor had been anxious to skulk beneath a tree to escape the view of the Lord their God; nor would they have been made partners with the falsehood-asseverating devil, by believing him that they would be “like God;” and thus they would not have offended God either, as their Father, who had fashioned them from clay of the earth, as out of the womb of a mother; if they had not coveted another’s, they would not have tasted of the unlawful fruit.
For if circumcision purges a man since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did He not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? At all events, in settling him in paradise, He appointed one uncircumcised as colonist of paradise. Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised, and inobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering Him sacrifices, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was by Him commended; while He accepted what he was offering in simplicity of heart, and reprobated the sacrifice of his brother Cain, who was not rightly dividing what he was offering. Noah also, uncircumcised—yes, and inobservant of the Sabbath—God freed from the deluge. For Enoch, too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, He translated from this world; who did not first taste death, in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might by this time show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God.
An Answer to the Jews, chapter 13
Whence, again, David said that “the Lord would reign from the tree:” for elsewhere, too, the prophet predicts the fruit of this “tree,” saying “The earth hath given her blessings,”—of course that virgin-earth, not yet irrigated with rains, nor fertilized by showers, out of which man was of yore first formed, out of which now Christ through the flesh has been born of a virgin; “and the tree,” he says, “hath brought his fruit,”—not that “tree” in paradise which yielded death to the protoplasts, but the “tree” of the passion of Christ, whence life, hanging, was by you not believed!
What is more manifest than the mystery of this “wood,”—that the obduracy of this world had been sunk in the profundity of error, and is freed in baptism by the “wood” of Christ, that is, of His passion; in order that what had formerly perished through the “tree” in Adam, should be restored through the “tree” in Christ?
A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 27
Most true are the examples of the first creation. Adam’s flesh was formed of clay. Now what is clay but an excellent moisture, whence should spring the generating fluid? From the breath of God first came the soul. But what else is the breath of God than the vapour of the spirit, whence should spring that which we breathe out through the generative fluid? Forasmuch, therefore, as these two different and separate substances, the clay and the breath, combined at the first creation in forming the individual man, they then both amalgamated and mixed their proper seminal rudiments in one, and ever afterwards communicated to the human race the normal mode of its propagation, so that even now the two substances, although diverse from each other, flow forth simultaneously in a united channel; and finding their way together into their appointed seed-plot, they fertilize with their combined vigour the human fruit out of their respective natures. And inherent in this human product is his own seed, according to the process which has been ordained for every creature endowed with the functions of generation. Accordingly from the one (primeval) man comes the entire outflow and redundance of men’s souls—nature proving herself true to the commandment of God, “Be fruitful, and multiply.” For in the very preamble of this one production, “Let us make man,” man’s whole posterity was declared and described in a plural phrase, “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,” etc. And no wonder: in the seed lies the promise and earnest of the crop.
It is certain that, from the very beginning of his nature, man was impressed with these instincts (of sleep). If you receive your instruction from God, (you will find) that the fountain of the human race, Adam, had a taste of drowsiness before having a draught of repose; slept before he laboured, or even before he ate, nay, even before he spoke; in order that men may see that sleep is a natural feature and function, and one which has actually precedence over all the natural faculties. From this primary instance also we are led to trace even then the image of death in sleep. For as Adam was a figure of Christ, Adam’s sleep shadowed out the death of Christ, who was to sleep a mortal slumber, that from the wound inflicted on His side might, in like manner (as Eve was formed), be typified the church, the true mother of the living.
But you do not believe that the dead are raised. When the resurrection shall take place, then you will believe, whether you will or no; and your faith shah be reckoned for unbelief, unless you believe now. And why do you not believe? Do you not know that faith is the leading principle in all matters? For what husbandman can reap, unless he first trust his seed to the earth? Or who can cross the sea, unless he first entrust himself to the boat and the pilot? And what sick person can be healed, unless first he trust himself to the care of the physician? And what art or knowledge can any one learn, unless he first apply and entrust himself to the teacher? If, then, the husbandman trusts the earth, and the sailor the boat, and the sick the physician, will you not place confidence in God, even when you hold so many pledges at His hand? For first He created you out of nothing, and brought you into existence (for if your father was not, nor your mother, much more were you yourself at one time not in being), and formed you out of a small and moist substance, even out of the least drop, which at one time had itself no being; and God introduced you into this life. Moreover, you believe that the images made by men are gods, and do great things; and can you not believe that the God who made you is able also to make you afterwards?
Now, the beginning of the creation is light; since light manifests the things that are created. Wherefore it is said: “And God said, Let light be,24 and light was; and God saw the light, that it was good,” manifestly made good for man. “And God divided the light from the darkness; and God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters: and it was so. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And God called the firmament Heaven: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the water under the heaven be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And the waters were gathered together into their places, and the dry land appeared. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed after his kind and in his likeness, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, in his likeness: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb yielding seed after his kind, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind, on the earth: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light on earth, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth the creeping things that have life, and fowl flying over the earth in the firmament of heaven: and it was so. And God created great whales, and every living creature that creepeth, which the waters brought forth after their kind and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and all the creeping things of the earth. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man: in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over all cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth. And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat, and to all the beasts of the earth, and to all the fowls of heaven, and to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, which has in it the breath of life; every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the sixth day God finished His works which He made, and rested on the seventh day from all His works which He made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because in it He rested from all His works which God began to create.”
But as to what relates to the creation of man, his own creation cannot be explained by man, though it is a succinct account of it which holy Scripture gives. For when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness,” He first intimates the dignity of man. For God having made all things by His Word, and having reckoned them all mere bye-works, reckons the creation of man to be the only work worthy of His own hands. Moreover, God is found, as if needing help, to say, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” But to no one else than to His own Word and wisdom did He say, “Let Us make.” And when He had made and blessed him, that he might increase and replenish the earth, He put all things under his dominion, and at his service; and He appointed from the first that he should find nutriment from the fruits of the earth, and from seeds, and herbs, and acorns, having at the same time appointed that the animals be of habits similar tom an’s, that they also might eat of an the seeds of the earth.
In the same way, the creation of man was not, as with the rest of the living creatures, the result of an ordinance given to the earth: in this case God did not ordain, but said in His eternal Counsel ‘let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’
Man was created last according to the Greek Fathers, in order that he might be introduced into the universe like a king into his palace. “As a prophet and a high priest,” added Philaret of Moscow, [G. Florovsky, op. cit. p. 179] giving an ecclesiological accent to the cosmology of the Bible. For this great theologian of the last century, the creation is already a preparation for the Church, which was to begin to exist in the earthly paradise, with the first men. The books of God’s Revelation are for him a sacred history of the world, beginning with the creation of the heavens and the earth, and ending with the new heaven and the new earth of the Apocalypse. The history of the world is a history of the Church which is the mystical foundation of the world.
In fact, the Biblical narrative gives no precise account of the nature of the image; but it does present the whole creation of man as an act apart, different from the creation of other beings. Like the angels, who, as St. Isaac the Syrian puts it, were created ‘in silence,’ man was not formed by a divine command addressed to the earth. Rather God Himself fashioned him from the dust of the earth with His own hands; that is to say, according to St. Ireneus, with the Word and the Holy Spirit, and breathed the breath of life into him. St. Gregory Nazianzen interprets the passage in Genesis in the following way: ‘The Word of God taking a portion of the newly created earth, has with his own immortal hands fashioned our frame, and imparted life to it; since the spirit which he breathed into it, is an effluence of the invisible Divinity. Thus out of the dust, and out of the breath, man was created in the image of the Immortal, for in both the spiritual nature reigns supreme.
On the fifth day the land and water brought forth their progenies. On the sixth day the things that were wanting were created; and thus God raised up man from the soil, as lord of all the things which He created upon the earth and the water. Yet He created angels and archangels before He created man, placing spiritual beings before earthly ones. For light was made before sky and the earth. This sixth day is called parasceve,5 that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. For He perfected Adam, whom He made after His image and likeness. But for this reason He completed His works before He created angels and fashioned man, lest perchance they should falsely assert that they had been His helpers.
The teacher responded, “Though you have not been exposed to higher learning, you must have studied the history of the Old and New Testaments, published for schools in the form of questions and answers. Do you recall that, when the first man Adam was in his innocent state, all creation was subject to him and that the animals approached him with fear and he named them? The elder to whom this rosary [prayer rope] belonged was a holy man, and holiness is nothing else than the sinner’s return from his sinful state to the innocent state of the first man by means of self-discipline. When the soul of a man becomes holy, then the body is holy also. And the rosary which was constantly in the hands of the holy elder became empowered by his touch and spirit; it acquired, so to speak, the power of the first man’s innocence. This is what we mean by a spiritual mystery of nature! And all animals in natural succession, even to this day, feel that power through the sense of smell, since the nose is the chief sensory organ in animals.
Listen, O heavens, to the wonder, And give ear, O earth, for the daughter of fallen Adam, sprung from dust, has been called to bring forth her own Maker for our salvation and restoration
We were greatly wounded by the transgression of the first formed man, O Christ; we have been healed by the stripes which wounded You for our sake, O Lord, for You are the strength and restoration of the weak.
Listen, O heavens, to the wonder, And give ear, O earth, for the daughter of fallen Adam, sprung from dust, has been called to bring forth her own Maker for our salvation and restoration.
With Your hand, O Christ, You fashioned me from the dust in Your own image, and when through sin, I lay in the dust of death, You went down to Hades with me, raising me up with Yourself.
O Christ: in Your goodness, You were hung as a lamb on the Cross on Golgotha. You were pierced with a spear between the condemned. You gave life to us who are fashioned of dust and who honour Your divine Resurrection in faith.
WHEN THE EWE-LAMB SAW YOU, HER OWN LAMB, ON THE CROSS AND PIERCED WITH NAILS, SHE GROANED AND WAS STRUCK WITH FEAR AND AWE: HOW CAN IT BE THAT YOU ARE DYING, WISHING, O MY SON, TO TEAR UP THE DEBT OF ADAM, THE FIRST-FORMED MAN, AND TO REDEEM FROM DEATH ALL HUMANITY ?// GLORY TO YOUR DISPENSATION, O LOVER OF MANKIND
Though he fashioned living flesh for Himself from you, O Virgin, your Son, the Word of God, was not a created being: the Fashioner of Adam, the first-formed man.
The Lord of all who formed you from the rib of Adam, Was made flesh from your virgin side. We cry out and sing His praises: All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord, and exalt Him above all forever
O Lord: You hung upon the Cross and destroyed the sin of our first father Adam. You filled our mother Eve with joy, for You come to save Your anointed.
Adam, the first-formed man, was banished long ago from the divine delights of Paradise through the will and intent of the murderer. But you, O unwedded one, led him back again by bearing Him who delivers us from our transgressions.