Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #10: Adne Sadeh/Faduah, God’s first attempt at making Man

deleted scenes fire

Scythian Vegetable Lamb

17th century illustration of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, known originally in Jewish folklore as a Faduah

Little record remains of this myth, which says that prior to his creation of Adam, God constructed a human-like creature known as Faduah or Adne Sadeh. While it resembled man, it was attached to the earth by its naval cord upon which its life depended. Therefore it was confined to the radius of the length of its cord which could grow as long as a mile, surviving by eating whatever grew or walked in its circle. While it could live a very long life, it would die immediately if its cord snapped. [1]

It is stated in the Jerusalem Talmud that this is a human being of the mountains; it lives by means of its naval; if its naval be cut it cannot live. I have heard in the name of Rabbi Meir, the son of Kallonymos of Speyer, that this is the animal called “Jeduah.” This is the “Fedoui” mentioned in Scripture (lit. wizard, Leviticus xix. 31); with its bones witchcraft is practiced. A kind of large stem issues from a root in the earth on which this animal, called “Fadua,” grows, just as gourds and melons. Only the “Fedua” has, in all respects, a human shape, in face, body, hands, and feet. By its naval it is joined to the stem that issues from the root. No creature can approach within the tether of the stem, for it seizes and kills them. Within the tether of the stem it devours the herbage all around. When they want to capture it no man dares approach it, but they tear at the stem until it is ruptured, whereupon the animal dies.” [2]

The origin of this myth is based on the legendary Vegetable Lamb of Tartary illustrated above, originally called a Fedua in Jewish folklore as early as 436 CE (Talmud Ierosolimitanum). It would appear that the Faduah originally referred to a lamb that was attached to the ground by its naval cord, developing into a humanoid version in later centuries.

Sources and Further Reading:

[1] Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism (p. 144).

Primary sources: Midrash Tanhuma, Introduction 125; Ma’aseh Buch 201; Magen Avot 35b.

[2] Lee, Henry. The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (p. 6-7)


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