Is the Hebrew phrase, "formed from dust" a repudiation of normal childbirth for Adam?


I intentionally used the term “scribe” to best fit everyone’s scenarios. Priests could be scribes (if they were apprentices or instructors). Anyone with a writing implement and the knowledge to use it (whether cuneiform or alpha characters) can be fairly called a scribe. What misunderstanding do you think using the term “scribe” could create?

Further, by mentioning the scribes, we can also include those who may have helped shape the stories long after Moses was gone … and/or long before Moses got to them. Not all Christians think Moses wrote the words to his own death. They usually think someone else had to write those sentences.

I seriously doubt that explanation, George. The Sadducees were late on the scene - Hasmonean priesthood, highly aristocratic and political. Their opposition to the world to come was because they had it OK in this one, and didn’t relish the judgement.

Every indication is that, if there was a final edit of the Torah in later centuries, it was at the hand of a literate prophet(s).

George, “scribe” was somewhat misleading because you bracketed them with the Sadducees, and because the gospels have a class called “scribes” representing a particular class of literate interpreters of Torah. You have to differentiate the guys who debated Jesus from Jeremiah, of the writer of the histories (former prophets), or even Moses.

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@jongarvey Let’s suppose I am “right?”

Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!

What then?

Every person has to answer that question based on their own presuppositions.

For me, the thought that thousands of Hebrew could spend 2 or more centuries
in “Afterlife Central” (aka, Egypt) without having the slightest interest in an afterlife is
rubbish. And so that means someone had to reach out and SNATCH that content
out of any writings there might have been.

You have other issues that you find unlikely… so you come to a different conclusion.
This is part of the “1 from Column A & 2 from Columb B” menu of the Swamidass Models.


I concede that there is two and possibly three instances where it is. When I said there was only one instance of a connection between that word and visions I was referring to the five times the same form of the word used in Genesis 2 is used elsewhere in scripture. Your reference in Genesis 15 uses a different form of the same word. There is one more use of a different form of the word in scripture which is not associated with visions. So two of seven uses are associated with visions. Your example from Daniel uses a different word, albiet one from the same root word.

I do commend you for digging into the text. I learned something from your exposition. This should be what the debate is about first and foremost- discovering what the text actually says. I am frustrated to the extreme with the lavish speculation that goes on around here over something that is not even in the text. We should find out what the text is saying first and then speculate over what it means. Without that we are just speculating on our own speculations.

With that said, though there is a connection (2 of 7) between falling into a deep sleep and having some kind of dream or vision, the text in Genesis chapter two gives no hint that this is one of those instances.
Instead it reads like a surgery- one with deeper meaning but still a surgery. And I believe that you are normally most insistent that the words around the text should determine the meaning of any part of the text. All I ask is that you apply your own (usually sound I think) rule here.


You do allow for people to have the option that God didn’t want Adam to feel pain, yes?
Even the most ancient societies knew that some medical treatments were much easier to
perform if the patient was either unconscious or drunk.

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I was only trying to explain the paucity of references to life after death in terms of Israel’s own theology, not deny they exist at all.

Actually, I agree with George that it would be well-nigh impossible to live amongst nations with a strong belief in an afterlife and not even think of such a universal hope, especially when Genesis has such close literary links to Mesopotamian texts about eternal life - and the story of a tree of life lost, and perhaps to be regained (Proverbs, Isaiah, Ezekiel).


Jon, I love your writing but you are not giving them near enough credit. At the risk of inflaming my buddy @Guy_Coe on the Neanderthal mini-brain" thread here is evidence that Neanderthals used natural pain killers long long before the events of Genesis 2.

Love all the feedback, guys. Yes, this ought to be, first and foremost about what the text says AND what it means, and then about examining whether science somehow informs us on those questions. God is the author of both “books,” and special revelation will line up with general revelation, if we’re careful to interpret well, hold tentatively to non-essentials, listen to each other’s perspectives, and in the “end,” rejoice at the common endeavor to plumb God’s mysteries with good discernment. Again, I’ll simply agree to disagree, agreeably, on the “surgery” versus “vision” interpretation. That would depend mostly upon the recognizability of an ancient idiom than any feature in the grammar, which is admittedly sparse.
Kudos all around!

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That would be the first time aspirin was used as a general anaesthetic! :grinning:

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Well, just for fun…
Clinical features and complications of salicylate toxicity
When the Serum level >75mg/dL:
Respiratory alkalosis
Respiratory alkalosis
Cardiogenic shock
Pulmonary oedema
Coagulopathy: It is known that salicylate toxicity can cause a decrease in prothrombin. Vitamin K (if not prothrombinex) is the answer.
Oliguria and renal failure.
Lactic acidosis (due to uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation)
Do not overdo chewing on willow bark! : )

If your point was that it was local, my point was that even non-humans understood and used anesthetic. I figure wine was used as a general anesthetic even back “in the day”. I don’t think you can validly argue that this is an anchronism.

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And I don’t think you can definitively argue that there’s no Hebrew idiom involved in the word translated “rib.” In the Sumerian, for example, the word for “rib” is the same word for “life.” The biblical Hebrew vocabulary is limited to a mere 8,679 unique words in the entire Old Testament. When compared to English, we have VASTLY more available vocabulary words to convey shades of meaning. The Hebrew words, however, often carry a significant number of ordinary potential meanings, many of which seem completely unrelated to us. Add in the Hebrew idioms, and you have a potent recipe for translational error and cross-cultural misinterpretation.
The fact that the text says that God “made” Eve (asa) instead of “creating” (bara) her, is warrant to question whether a “de novo” result is implied, and normal chilbirth to a now absent mother is ruled out. That they were the lone humans in the garden is the point.
The fact that God “brought” her to the man, just like He had the animals, means she wasn’t just right there the moment he woke up. Feel free to disagree, but the text allows for all of those observations.
My “point” regarding the “aspirin” was to ironically note that overingestion can cause “deep sleep” kinds of episodes. DO NOT thereby conclude that I’m proposing that Adam was Neanderthal. It’s just a humorous irony, given our conversation thus far.

I am not. The word picture is evocative of a number of things. But you start with what happened, then build meaning from it. I am against jumping to proposed “meanings” that brush aside the reality of what the text says happened in favor of some esoteric “meaning”.

IT can’t be a “de novo” result because women already existed and she was not made “out of nothing previous”. She was made from Adam’s side, (and perhaps from his life). That DOES rule out a normal child birth for Eve. The text clearly says how she came about and what it describes is not a normal child birth.

Ahhh… the comfort of unwarranted certainty. We’re both guilty of it, apparently.

You got me on that one.

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So, the text is required to describe a normal chilbirth for it to be possible, interpretively? Or, does the author find that of such little significance that the only mention is of what is theologically significant?
Obviously, that’s possible. And precedented.
Just letting my stubborn side out. I don’t have to have the last word, so feel free to note some other irony, or make another inanely humorous comment like my last one… or, order up a mafia hit man to take me out! : )

Then, I’ll win The Darwin Award for annoying the entire forum to death. The news headlines will be stunning but I’ll get my “fifteen minutes of fame…” : )

The right question is “if the text describes her coming from a divine act which is nothing like a normal childbirth, is it possible she could have come about through normal childbirth anyway?” And the answer is “only if the text is wrong”. But if then all of our speculations are in vain. It would be like scientists trying to study a universe whose causes and effects were unreliable.

RE hitman. Will save these dialogues so if it comes to that no jury would convict…