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The pássage verbally translated is as follows: and the Lord God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heavens, and he brought unto Adam to see what he would call it. And whatsoever Adam called it, (the living creature,) that was the name of it. And Adam gave names to every living creature, and to the fowls of the heavens, and to every beast of the field.
It is observable that the first period of this passage, namely, and the Lord God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heaven, was not intended to hint, that God, at this juncture, created any living creatures anew. The words should rather have been rendered agreeably to the translation of the Syriac version, the Lord God had formed....; for they are not a relation that God had now made them, but a recognition of what had been before related, that he had been the Creator both of the birds and cattle; none of which were made at this time ; for the one were
לראות מה יקרא לו וכל אשר יקרא-לו (נפש חיה) האום
Adamum ad et adduxit cælorum volatile omne ac etiam
c Sce Gen, i.
created a day sooner than Adam,' the other on the same day, but earlier and before him.
In like manner ; the words which begin the 20th verse, and Adam gave names to all callle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, do not mean that Adam now, at this one time, gave names to all living creatures ; but are rather a remark, that the names of the creatures were given by Adam, and by no other. He himself, (ha Adam,) says the text, named them; not now, all at once, which undoubtedly would have been too much for him; but he named them gradually, some at one time, and some at another, in the process of his life, as incidents happened to give occa. sion for his so doing.
That the fact really was not that Adam now named all the creatures, is evident, from the very express words of Moses, which relate the particular we are examining. The words of Moses are; and the Lord God brought unto Adam, to see what he would call it :" and whatsoever Adam called it, the living creature,' that was the name of it. The question here is, what did God bring unto the man? Our English version, follow
f Gen. i. 20.
& Ver. 24, 25. blireoth mah yikra lo. Gen. ii. 18.
i ve col asher yikra lo ha Adam nephesh chayath hua Shemo. Ibid.
k Hua shemo. Ibid.- The Samaritan text is rendered more strictly to the Hebrew words in the Latin translation of it in our Polyglot bible thus,--adduxitque ad Adam, ut videret, quomodo vocaret illud ; et omne quod vocaret illud Adam animæ viventis hoc est nomen ejus.
ing other translations, says them; i. e, every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, for these are the words to which them must refer. But we should oba serve, that the word them is not in the Hebrew text : according to Moses, the name given by Adam was 3 (lo,] i. e. to it; the pronoun being of the singular num ber, not plural; which the next sentence expresses more fully; for the words are not as we render the text, and whatsoever Adam called every living creature.There is no word in the text for every: the Hebrew words say, whatsoever Adam called it, the living creature, that was the name of, not them, but the text says that was the name of it.
Thus the fact before us appears to be, that God brought unto Adam, not all the living creatures; for the text says no such thing. God indeed made all the creatures,' and Moses here recognizes this truth : but God brought unto Adam some one creature only; a nephesh chayah in the singular number," to see what he would call it. Adam hereupon gave it a name;
1 Gen. i.
m See the text of Gen. ii. 19. I should have some difficulty to say, why nephesh chayah is not lenephesh chayah, in the dative case; as I think nephesh standing after and referring to lo the construction should require. But I would offer to the consideration of the learned, whether if in the ancient manuscript this text was written in lines ending with the words which I have made the final words of the sea veral lines, as I have before transcribed them, nephesh chayah might not be so situated at the end of a line, as that a copyist might mistake and put it to the end of the third line, when it
and what he thus called it, that was the name of it. God was pleased herein to bring Adam to a trial, to shew him how he might use sounds of his own to be the names of things : he called him to give a name to one creature, and hereby put him upon seeing how words might be made for this purpose : Adam under. stood the instruction, and practised accordingly. For so Moses tells us : Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field." The names of the creatures were not given by any express words from the voice of God; but were of Adam's own making, as he proceeded to use sounds of his own to be the names of things as himself designed them. God, as I said, brought Adam to name one creature : Adam had the sense and understanding to see hereby, how he might make words, and make use of them. Accordingly, in the progress of his life, as the creatures of the world came under his observation, he used this ability, aud gave names to them all.
Now if this was the fact, it must, I think, be allowed, that Adam had, as I have already observed, no formed, fixed, and innate language. If he had such a language,
really should be at the end of the second. If this may be supposed, the words of Moses are exceeding clear, being exactly as follows: And the Lord God had formed of the ground erery beast of the field, and erery foul of the hearens, and brought unto Adam a living creature, to see what name he would give to it. And whatsoerer name Adam gare it, that was the name of it, &c.
o Gen, ii, 20.
it must surely have been most superfluous to bring him to this trial, to set any creature before him to see what he would call it. An innate language, whenever and wherever he had seen any creature or thing in the world, would have instantly given him its innate name.
No trial could have been wanted to lead him to it, for this name would, as it were, have offered itself; and I cannot see how he should have thought of any other. But Moses seems in no wise to represent Adam under these limitations; a creature was brought to him to see what he would call it ; and there is not the least hint, that he was so much as directed what to call it; for (ha Adam) Adam himself named all the creatures. We have no reason to think that God dictated the name of any ; and the expressions of Moses hint that Adam had all possible liberty to name them, as his own imagination should lead him. It seems that nothing had been herein fixed or determined for him ; but he called every thing by what name he pleased, and whatsoever name he fixed and determined for any creature, that was the name thereof.
Our bibles close the 20th verse of the second chap. ter of Genesis with these words ; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. The adding these words to the end of this 20th verse may seem to represent, that in the transaction ending with this observation, there had been, undoubtedly, a survey taken of all the creatures in the world, to have it seen that none of them were fit to be Adam's associate ; and consequently
Ibid. ut, sup: