Adam and Eve
In the Judaeo-Christian Bible, Adam was the first man to be created and Eve the first woman. Adam and Eve were given an ideal place to live happily, in the Garden of Eden: their importance is not simply that they were the first people, but that they disobeyed the commands of God, and subsequently caused all the misfortunes of the human race, starting with their expulsion from Eden. This was formulated by Christian thinkers into the doctrine of Original Sin. AWE has different pages that you may like to consult:
- The Creation, which shows how Adam and Eve fit into the overall way the world was made;
- The Fall of Man, which deals with their disobedience and the arrival of sin into the world.
Adam and Eve are the ancestors of all people, through their children Cain and Seth; their second son, Abel had been murdered. (The origin of the mothers who bear Cain's and Seth's children is not given.)
According to Islamic tradition, Adam and his wife (who is not named), who died two years later, are buried at Mecca. According to Jewish tradition, Eve is buried beside Adam on Mount Machpelah. A late Jewish tradition asserts that Eve was Adam's second wife; he had first been married to Lilith, who had claimed equality and refused to be put into a subordinate position. Lilith, in other traditions, is a demon who destroys children and women in childbirth.
- Etymological note: Adam is a common Semitic word: ādām, a general word for 'man', 'mankind', 'humanity' - homo sapiens, in Hebrew. So the name of the first man, in the myth of the Abrahamic faiths means no more than 'Man'. The word is derived from adamah, 'ground', earth (Adam was "formed ... of the dust of the ground", Gen. 2 7) and related to the words adom 'red', admoni 'ruddy' and dam 'blood'. Adam named the first woman Eve "because she was the mother of all living." (Gen. 3, 20); in Metzger and Coogan 2001, Katharine Doob Sakenfeld says "The Bible interprets this name to mean 'the mother of all living,' ... because the name sounds similar to the Hebrew word for 'living being.' The wordplay is probably etymologically incorrect, and later rabbinic tradition proposed a connection with the Aramaic word for 'serpent.' The actual linguistic derivation of the name remains uncertain." Others link it to the Indian name Jiva or Ieva, the creatress of forms. and many Middle Eastern names for the life force: for example, the Hittite and Aramaean Hawwah and the Persian Hvov. It derives, according to Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges (2006), "via Latin Eva, from Hebrew Havva, which is considered to be a variant of the vocabulary word hayya 'living' or 'animal'".
'The Old Adam' is a phrase used to mean 'a person [usually male] in a state of original sin', or, more figuratively, 'the impulse to behave sinfully'.