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OF THE FORMATION OF ADAM.
ON the Friday, after the making of all created things, God said, 'Come, let us make man in our image and in our likeness4.' The Jews have interpreted the expression 'Come, let us make,' as referring to the angels; though God (adored be His glory!) needs not help from His creatures: but the expositors of the Church indicate the Persons of the adorable Trinity. Some say that when God said 'Come, let us make man in our image and in our likeness,' the angels by the eye of the Spirit saw the right hand (of God) spread out over the whole world, and there were in it parts of all the creatures both spiritual and corporeal. And God took from an these parts5, and fashioned Adam with His holy hands, and breathed into him the breath of life, p. 16 and man became a living soul1. Others say that God took earth from the four quarters of the world2, and formed Adam outside paradise; p. 17 while others say that God fashioned him in the middle of the earth, on the spot where our Lord was crucified, and that there also was p. 18 Adam's skull laid. After God had formed Adam outside Paradise, He brought him in as a king, and made him king over all the creatures, and commanded him to give a name to each of them. God did not gather together unto Adam all cattle, nor (all) that swim in the sea, nor (all) the birds of the air, that he might give them names1; but he received dominion and power over them to make use of them as he pleased, and to give them names, as a master to his slaves. And when God had brought him into Paradise, He commanded him to till it and to guard it. Why did God say 'to till it and to guard it'?--for Paradise needed no guarding, and was adorned with fruit of all kinds, and there was none to injure it--unless it were to exhort him to keep His commandments, and to till it that he might not become a lover of idleness. Because Adam had not seen his own formation, and was not acquainted with the power of his Maker, it was necessary that, when Eve was taken from him in his own likeness, he should perceive his Maker, and should acknowledge that He who made Eve also made him, and that they two were bound to be obedient to Him.
3 Chap. xiv in the Oxford MS.
4 Gen. i. 26.
5 Among other things, Jewish tradition says that the first Adam had two faces; that he was formed in two parts, on the one side male, and on the other female; that in height he reached from earth to heaven (Chagîgâh, p. 12, col. 1); and that he could stretch from one end of the world to the other (Sêpher Hasîdîm, No. 500).
1 Gen. ii. 7.
2 See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, pp. 3 and 4; and Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 4 b, col. 1, line 23 to fol. 5 b, col. 1, line 14: 'The creation of Adam was on this wise. On the sixth day, which is Friday, at the first hour, p. 17 when silence reigned over all the ranks of the (heavenly) hosts, God said, "Come, let us make man in our image after our likeness"--hereby making known concerning the glorious Persons (of the Trinity). When the angels heard these words they were in fear and trembling, saying one to another, "We shall see a great miracle to-day, the likeness of God our Maker." And they saw the right hand of God stretched out and extended over the whole world; and all created things were collected in the palm of His right hand. And they saw that He took a grain of dust from all the earth, a drop of water from the whole nature of water, a breath of wind from all the atmosphere above, and a little warmth from all the nature of fire. And the angels saw when these four feeble elements--that is, cold and heat and dryness and moisture--were laid in the palm of His right hand, and God formed Adam. For what reason did God make Adam out of these four elements, unless it were that through them everything in the world should be subject unto him? He took a grain of dust, that all natures which are of dust might be subject unto Adam; and a drop of water, that all those in the seas and rivers might be his; and a breath of air, that all kinds of birds of the air might be given unto him; and the heat of fire, that all the fiery beings and (heavenly) hosts might come to his aid. And God formed man with His holy hands, in His image and likeness. When the angels saw his glorious appearance, they trembled at the beauty of his appearance; for they saw the form of his face blazing with glorious beauty like the sphere of the sun, and the light of his eyes was like the sun, and the form of his body like the light of crystal. And when he stretched himself, and stood in the centre of the earth, he set his two feet on the spot where the cross of our Redeemer was placed: for Adam was created in Jerusalem, and there it was that he put on royal apparel, and the crown of glory was set upon his head; and there was he made king and priest and prophet, there did God set him upon the throne of His glory; and there He made him master over all creatures. And all beasts and cattle and fowl were gathered together, and they passed before Adam and he gave them names; and they bowed their heads to him, and all natures did homage to him and were subject unto him. And the angels and (heavenly) hosts heard the voice of God saying to him, "Adam, behold I have made thee king and priest and prophet and lord and chief and governor of all things made and created; to thee shall they be subject, and thine shall they be: and I have given thee power over everything that I have created." And when the angels heard these words, they all blessed and worshipped him.'
1 So also Bar Hebraeus in the Ausar Râzê or Horreum Mysteriorum, Brit. Mus. Add. 21,580, fol. 32 a, col. 1.