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.  Continue reading →
In the image of God he created him; The Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth
—Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7
Some midrash report that God created two Adams: one who was not made from dust but stamped in the image of God, and the other made from the dust of the earth. The former was placed in the garden of Paradise in heaven while the former, our Adam, was placed in the garden of Paradise on earth. The notion of two Adams derived from a seeming contradiction between the two creation accounts in Genesis where different things are said about man’s creation – an explanation reflected in the works of the first century Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. It was Philo’s belief that something made in God’s image must be very much like its Creator, far transcendent to human beings. He concluded therefore that the figure created in Genesis 1:27 was not the same as the man created in Genesis 2:7. Philo identifies the transcendent figure as the Heavenly Man, as God’s invisible image, and as God’s Logos, identifying the Logos as the “eldest-born Image of God” (De Confusione Linguarum 62-63). Thus, for Philo, the earthly man was made after the image of the Heavenly Man.
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God created man on earth, from one end of heaven to the other.
This verse from Deuteronomy lead some rabbinic writers to believe that God had originally created Adam as a giant, half man, half god; that he was more powerful and had more knowledge than the angels. When the angels saw him, they trembled and asked God if there were now two powers in the universe, one in heaven and one on earth. Being the jealous god that he is, Yahweh placed his hand on Adam and reduced his height to one-hundred cubits and removed his divine knowledge. This shrinking of Adam is also said to be confirmed in scripture: “You hedge me before and behind; You lay Your hand upon me” (Ps. 139:5). Since Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, God placed his hand back upon Adam to reform him down to proper size.
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Male and Female he created them.
According to the first creation account in Genesis it is suggested that man and woman were created at the same time, contrasting with the second account in chapter two where Eve is created after Adam from his rib. To reconcile this seeming contradiction, some ancient Rabbis suggested that God originally created an androgynous or hermaphrodite being with two heads, one male and one female, attached to the back. However, this made things understandably difficult and so God split them into two separate beings, which is what Eve’s splitting from Adam in Genesis 2 is actually referring to. Genesis Rabbah and Leviticus Rabbah are two collections of midrash which comment on this unusual interpretation, the former using a passage from Psalms to justify it: Continue reading →
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
The persistent suggestion that angels were created on the first day with a multitude of responsibilities subsequently lead some writers to believe that they helped God with creation, especially that of man. It is said that before creating him God first consults with his heavenly hosts about the endeavor: Continue reading →