Man’s connection to the Land – Part 1

In the Book of Genesis chapter 1 we are given the history of creation as God the Creator speaks all things into existence out of nothing. In the opening, God is identified as Elohim, the plural of the word El, meaning Ruler or Divine One. As may be familiar to some, God began with light, “Let there be light” and subsequently created the cosmos in which we live including the sun, moon, and stars, atmosphere, seas, land, plants, animals, and finally on the sixth day, man.

As the crowning achievement to creation, God created man in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Note again plurality, Us and Our, which highlights the Trinitarian nature of God. Not only was this fashioning of man in God’s own image unique to creation, a likely reference to man as both the representation and representative of God, Scripture tells us that God used existing material to create man.

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2:7

On first glance, we might wonder why is it that man wasn’t created ex nihilo, out of nothing. Instead, God took the material for man from the dust of the ground, which He had previously created out of nothing, formed man, then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God made man from the ground, forever linking the two. God declares in Gen. 1:31 that man had been given dominion over every creature on the earth in which was the breath of life, but here we see a specific action from God to man in the procession of the breath into man. It’s significant to note that man, adam, was created from the ground, adamah, evidencing that even in the Hebrew language there was a noted intrinsic link of one with the other. We find a similar relationship as God creates help for man, ish (male), in the form of woman ishshah (female), meaning from man (Genesis 2:23). So man was created with a direct and unique relationship to the land. Woman was created with a direct and unique relationship to the land, through her unique relationship to man.

Land –> Man –> Woman

Clearly, not only was man given dignity that the rest of creation did not have, not only was he given a regal status that the rest of creation lacked, but he was made with an intrinsic connection with the land that none of the rest of creation possessed.

Next time we will explore why this connection was made.

About the author

Christian saved by grace through faith.

Comments

  1. That man was not created ex nihilo is something I never thought about but makes sense now that you mentioned it. There’s so much more to the creation story that I don’t know and have been thinking about. Stephen Dempster’s “Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible,” from the NSBT series talked about how the whole OT had a unifying theme of Dominion (Land) and Dynasty (Bloodline/Genealogy), and you highlighted something that wasn’t in the book, or I might just have missed! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and really appreciate your writing. (Gal. 6:9).

  2. Thanks Maggie, good to hear from you! D&D is an excellent book, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful over the years.

    I still can’t email, but thank you for the encouragement!

    I’m on X, if you want to keep up (@E415Min)
    John

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