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  Who Did Adam and Eve Talk About?

This week we continue the question posed by the restaurant Hooters in Georgia, "Who did Adam and Eve talk about?" It isn't likely in the purity of the Garden of Eden that these two gossiped about anybody even supposing there was someone to talk about. But that's really the question: were Adam and Eve the only humans on the earth to begin with?

To answer this pondering we look to the two creation stories in Genesis 1.1-2.4a and the second beginning in Genesis 2.4b. According to Genesis 1, God creates the heavens and the earth and populates it with vegetation, animals, and finally the humans. "So God created humanity in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1.27).

In the English translation of the Bible it can easily be understood that God had created only Adam and Eve. However, this isn't so clear in Hebrew. In the original language of scripture the word for humanity is adam (just like the name, though until Genesis 4.25 the word adam is prefixed with "the," thus "the adam" designating humanity or a human in the event of the singular case). The adam, best translated as the humanity, is used here in 1.27. Just how many humans God created isn't stated it could have been two or two million.

In the second story, beginning with Genesis 2.4b we are told the story of a particular human in a particular garden. The story of Adam in the garden paradise certainly can be construed that to begin with there was only the one, single human on the whole earth. On the other hand, there's no good reason to assume those (after the splitting of the adam) in the garden were the only humans on earth. Indeed, it is clear the writer doesn't assume a lone family of humans on the whole face of the earth. In Genesis 4, after Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, they had children. The oldest son Cain killed Abel and was exiled by God to the land of Nod. His response? "Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me" (Genesis 4:14).

It is evident there must have been someone else on the earth of whom Cain feared. Who could this be? It is clear that our Paradise Family were not the lone inhabitants on the earth, even though it is only their story we read in Genesis 2-4. There were clearly other humans living on the earth outside of the area where Adam and Eve and their family settled. Indeed, it is from this population where Cain meets and marries his wife (see "Ponderings," November 1, 1995).

So, back to the original question from Hooters, who did Adam and Eve talk about? After they had left the garden and had become as sinful as you and I, they probably talked about well, perhaps they talked about those who frequent establishments like Hooters!

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