Why Only One Adam?

  • Share on Pinterest

In the tropical wilderness of Costa Rica I randomly came across the most interesting book, A Treasury of Jewish Folklore. The book was discretely tucked away in the midst of a coffee shop library. For a week I found myself skipping about the book reading thought provoking and comical stories from Jewish Folklore.

A fitting posting for Valentines day, the story below is from the book and has remained in my memory.

Why did God create only one Adam and not many at a time?

He did this to demonstrate that one man in himself is an entire universe. Also He wished to teach mankind that he who kills one human being is as guilty as if he had destroyed the entire world. Similarly, he who saves the life of one single human being is as worthy as if he had saved all humanity.

God created only one man so that people should not try to feel superior to one another and boast of their lineage in this wise: “I am descended from a more distinguished Adam than you.”

He also did this so that the heathen should not be able to say that, since many men had been created at the same time, it was conclusive proof that there was more than one God.

Lastly, He did this in order to establish His Own power and glory. When a maker of coins does his work he uses only one mould and then all the coins emerge alike. But the King of Kings, blessed be His name, has created all mankind in the mould of Adam, and even so no man is identical to another. For this reason each person must respect himself and say with dignity: “God created the world on my account. Therefore let me not lose eternal life because of some vain passion!”

An excerpt from A Treasury of Jewish Folklore. Copyright 1948 by Crown Publishers. “Why Only One Adam”, page 6. Adapted from the Agada in the Talmud.

The article provides a thought provoking reason each person is unique. While I don’t completely agree with the philosophy of all the points it is worth extending the article to include an additional thought.

Adam was created in God’s perfect image and we share in Adam’s fallen image, not God’s perfect image. How amazing the love of God that Jesus the Messiah should come to redeem the children of Adam, which are but a poor reflection of the perfect image of Adam.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16 NIV