Fulfilled Theology - Preterist

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How many people were in the Garden? How many people went down to Eygpt?

Ken Singleton said:

But if, as the text suggests, that Adam was in fact the first human created, 

But Ken, what if that "suggestion" comes not from the text, but from the translators.  For example, how many people left Ur and went to Haran in Gen. 11:31?   How many people went down to Egypt in Gen. 46:27?  In both cases, it was in the thousands was it not?  Yet only those immediately important to the story are named and numbered.

This tells us something about the culture that produced Genesis.  They assumed lots of people were around those in the story.  They didn't imagine, as we do, that small groups of people lived independent lives.  They assumed that all these details were witnessed by dozens, possibly hundreds, occasionally thousands of people.

Same for the Garden.  Like the translators, you've 1) assumed that Adam = ish.  2) that no direct mention of other people means there were no other people or that the original writer assumed there were no other people.

Yet the text tells us the Garden was in the land controlled by the city-state Eden.  Yet Adam was priest and king of somebody.  Yet Cain was afraid of people in a foreign land but married into and built a city with those same people he feared.  Yet Scripture tells us that the Cherubs were men.

It is our unfortunate bias to not see people who are clearly in the text.  It is that bias, not the text, which suggests "that Adam was in fact the first human created."


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Hi Jeff,

It's good to interact with you again.

I can honestly see "from the text" where there is clear implication from Cain's wife and those he fears and the building of his city, that there "could" be other humans implied but not expressly stated. I could even go so far as to believe that maybe Gen 2 is about the creation of humanity at large (all in God's image) and that Gen 2 is the selection of one of those people, Adam. However, I get stuck on the language used which seems to me to be clear that one individual is "fashioned" from the dust of the ground and then "placed" into a garden in Eden.

I do not understand how you can argue your point from Gen 11:31 and Gen 46:27 as they both explicitly make clear that there were many others beyond the ones singled out to further the account, but this is not explicit in Gen 1. At best it can be inferred, maybe! I am not assuming anything about "ish" just following "all" the english translations (I am not a Hebrew scholar and feel it would be presumptuous to think that my use of an interlinear or a lexicon could mean I could argue against those who are skilled and trained in the original langues).

I do not understand where you get the idea that Eden was a "city-state" from the text (that can only come from the belief that Gen is set in a Sumerian setting and that only from an assumption that Israel's version of history, genealogy etc. is correct and all others are historically incorrect).

Nor do I see anywhere, "from the text" where it says anything about Adam being a priest and King over anyone.

Paul's theological use of Adam suggests strongly that Adam was the first human (I haven't finished Enns book yet so he may have things to say on this that changes my mind).

So, if you are going to convince me it has to come from exegesis of the text and not from scenarios created from external texts that "may or may not" have bearing upon the writing of Genesis.

Regards, Ken


I would like to make some further concessions.

I do not understand where or why "sacrifice" is suddenly spoken of "out of the blue".

I do not understand why Abel's sacrifice should be any more acceptable to God than Cain's sacrifice, especially in view of the fact that bringing offering of first fruits of the ground was commanded by God later in Israel's history. Clearly there is a lot going on here that is not fleshed out by the text, but presumably the original hearers would have understood.

I do not understand the significance of Seth being created in Adam's image.

You say the Cherubs were men. How do you derive this?

Regards, Ken


It's difficult throwing off the cultural blinders we were raised with.  The culture that wrote Genesis is more foreign to us, any culture alive today.

When Scripture says, "The land of X," what is meant?  That the land is owned by, controlled by, and governed by X.  Eden is not a description or name of a people.  Therefore it must be the name of a city-state.  No specific knowledge of Sumer is necessary to come to that conclusion.

I really don't care what Enn's says.  Paul said first Adam and last Adam.  If Adam means man as you imagine, then what do you imagine yourself to be?  Are you claiming to be something other than a man?  Think about it.

God is not a gentile, that He should lie, Nor a son of Adam, that He should repent.  Num. 23:19.

I suspect you haven't seen this verse translated this way before.  If Adam = ish = man, as the translators claim, then why the distinction here?  God expects men to lie, but he expects those liars in covenant with him to repent.

Only a priest offers sacrifices.

Ken Singleton said:


I would like to make some further concessions.

I do not understand where or why "sacrifice" is suddenly spoken of "out of the blue".

The law was given in Genesis 1, and we are too culturally blinded to see it.  Jer. 4:22-23, Acts 26:23, my article The giving of the Law,   

I do not understand why Abel's sacrifice should be any more acceptable to God than Cain's sacrifice, especially in view of the fact that bringing offering of first fruits of the ground was commanded by God later in Israel's history. Clearly there is a lot going on here that is not fleshed out by the text, but presumably the original hearers would have understood.

Yes, the original readers would have understood.  Noah knew that only clean animals were to be sacrificed.  So did Abel, Cain, and Adam.  God's people were told when God proclaimed the light.

I do not understand the significance of Seth being created in Adam's image.

Seth was not created in God's image.  That means the imago dei is not a common feature of mankind.  Our ancestors in the British Isles some 2000 or more years ago did not have it, just as Seth did not have it.

You say the Cherubs were men. How do you derive this?

Ez. 28:14, 16.  The King of Tyre inherited the covenant God made with one of the Cherubs of Eden.  He was rich from the spoils of Eden.  He was about to be punished because he violated that covenant.

Does that help?


Hi Jeff,

A lot to chew on here.

I assume that on the basis of Jesus being the "last Adam" you are inferring that Adam cannot mean "man" or else there would be no men after Jesus? That "ish" is the Hebrew term for man, and that Adam therefore is .....? Fill in the blank for me (a specially chosen race of men which started with the priest Adam and finished with the High Priest Jesus?)

Good point about priest and sacrifices - does that mean Cain was also a priest and because he didn't sacrifice properly as a priest should his sacrifice wasn't acceptable? Presumably then Noah and Abraham and Moses must have been priests as they all sacrificed to God?

I will have to research the phrase "land of X" to see if it supports your view.

You are right about Nu 23:19 - all translations including LXX translate it as man and son of man. The Hebrew has "ish" and "Adam". So from this you make a distinction between two groups of people which informs your understanding of Adam?

Not sure I follow your thinking on Seth. I think you are saying that only Adam bore the image of God, but lost it due to sin and so did not pass on that image to Seth. Christ, presumably, was the Image of God (last Adam) and by faith in him the image is passed onto those "in him"?

Ok - I see from Ezekiel why you think that Cherub was reference to a man.

Thanks Jeff, I will ponder this stuff.

Regards, Ken

Jeff I still have trouble with your Law post on DID.

The reason is simply this:

Rom 5:12 states clearly that sin came into the world through one man - Adam. Yet you claim that sin was in the world before Adam. Therefore, if that is true, sin cannot have come into the world through Adam. So who was the "one man" through whom sin and death came into the world if it wasn't Adam?

In that Romans passage Paul is clearly talking about the period of time between Adam and Moses. It is during that time that sin was not imputed. You assume this means that "God" doesn't impute sin though the text does not state that. Presumably it is just as reasonable to state that "men" did not impute sin to themselves. In other words, "men did not reckon themselves to be sinners when there was no law" even though death reigned over them, and so the Law was given to reveal the sin of men. 

This to me fits the context better than trying to make out that sin was in the world prior to Adam.

Regards, Ken


Standard Hebrew usage.  A name X refers to the either the person X and/or his subjects and descendants both natural and covenantal.  For example, the Hebrew Israel is often translated Israelite when it refers to the people Israel.

And you shall be [as I understand, literally, you are, present tense] to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  Exodus 19:6

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people ... 1 Peter 3:9

Kingdom, royal, implies a king.  Priests, priesthood implies a priest.

There are numerous passages that say "ish" and "son of Adam."  All of them demonstrate this same no-covenant / covenant contrast.  By translating both ish and Adam as man, this contrast is hidden from the English (and Greek) readers.  Consider

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.  Mark 2:27

The Sabbath was made for ish, and not ish for the Sabbath. 

The Sabbath was made for Adam, and not Adam for the Sabbath. 

Our ancient ancestors in the British Isles never heard of the Sabbath.  Neither had my wife's ancient ancestors in western Africa.  There is a covenantal distinction here in Christ's words.  Which man fits, given Old Testament Hebrew?  There is a difference and it is unfortunate that the Hebrew scholars don't recognize it.

So who was the "one man" through whom sin and death came into the world if it wasn't Adam?

It was Adam.  The situation today is in some sense the same as before Adam.  Christ ended  sin and death.  Therefore, in one sense, there is no more sin.  Yet, in another sense, we see plenty of sin.

Vs. 13 gives us a timeline.  Sin exists, but is not imputed.  Law is given.  Sin exists and is then imputed.  Agreed?

Okay.  Isn't Adam's death is an imputation of sin?  In a legal, condemning sense, sin came into the world in Gen. 3.  Sin was imputed in Gen. 3.  Gen. 3 describes the 3rd and last step of the timeline given in vs. 13.  That is the law was given before Gen. 3, and sin existed before that.

The first step of the timeline, sin exists, but is not imputed.  The people have no law.  They are sinning in ignorance.  How do you say that scripturally?  Jer. 4:22-23 describes the same state as does Gen. 1:2.  Gen. 1:2 describes the state of sin w/o law and w/o imputation, that is, the state of ignorance.

Yes, this is way out there from anything you've seen anywhere else.  But every detail is there in Scripture.


Hi guys.  If all those "IN" the "last adam" bore His "image", then all those "IN" the "first adam" also did (1 Cor 15:49).  IOW, Adam's ENTIRE posterity.  NO exceptions.  He "sinned" and 'defiled' that "image", which then passed to all his "generations", elect/obedient or otherwise.  Likewise, his "image" would have passed to them 'undefiled' had he not "sinned".  The "faithful" had their "image" "cleansed" (Ac 10:28) and "restored" (Rom 8:29, 1 Cor 15:49, 2 Cor 3:18, Col 3:10), the rest remained "unclean".


"..just as through one man sin entered the 'world' (Ken, in case you're concerned about my use of phrases like, the 'adamic' "world", or 'covenant "world", notice, Paul's mention here of the "one man" limits the "world" into which his "sin" came to the one of THAT "one man", i.e. to Adam and to his posterity; ancient Chinese, etc, had no part in any of it), and Death through sin (SAME limitation), and thus Death spread to ALL men (NOT just to the Israelites, but also to "holy" people like Job, Sarah and Rebecca who were NOT of Abraham's loins), because ALL sinned.." (Rom 5:12).  And why did "ALL" sin?  Because they had "ALL" been "IN" their 'common ancestor' when he did (1 Cor 15:22).  [ See places like Heb 7:9-10, Ex 34:7, for examples of this kind of various acting. ]


The "image" was referenced to Seth right at the start because he needed to be 'especially' noted.  Abraham needed to be 'especially' noted for the same reasons.  It was through Seth's/Abraham's line that the promised "Seed" came (Lk 3:34, 38).  (I've spoken of "image" "here".)


Adam could well have become a "priest", offering up "sacrifices" for both himself and the children he'd "condemned" to "Death" (Rom 5:12-18).  But in his state of innocence (before his "eyes were opened"; Gen 3:7) he had nothing to seek propitiation for (Heb 2:17).  Nevertheless, "in the beginning" he had "dominion" (Gen 1:26) as head (Lugal) of the 'community'.


I've given my views of BIBLICAL "sin and Death" here.  But briefly:


People have transgressed personal/societal standards and suffered natural demise (like all flesh; Ps 49:12) from humanities dawn.  That was not BIBLICAL "sin and Death".  That "entered" the adamic "world" by "one man" in approx. 4,000BC (Rom 5:12), NOT by 'many men' across the globe myriad ages ago.  "Death" for Adam meant being barred from the Father's "glory" (symb. "Tree of Life") and returning to "dust" in the "land" as a result (Gen 2:17, 3:19).  "..'And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever'—therefore the LORD God sent him out of the Garden.." (Gen 3:22-23).  [ NO literal "Tree" could bestow "life without end".  Only the Father could bestow such a thing; Jn 12:50. ]


Ancient Brits, etc, had NEVER been promised ongoing "life" with the Father so they couldn't loose it (i.e. suffer BIBLICAL "Death").  Nevertheless, their bodies suffered natural decay like everyone else's.  Nor had such peoples borne God's righteous "image", so they couldn't "transgress" against it; Rom 5:13 (i.e. commit BIBLICAL "sin").  Like Jeff said, they had no idea who YHWH was or what a Sabbath was all about.  (At that time they were preparing to erect Temple Sites like Stonehenge.)


However, "IN" Adam "ALL" his descendants had "sinned" against the "righteousness of God" (see above), the "requirements" of which were engrained in the "nature" they received from their father (Rom 2:14-15, 26, Ac 17:26-28).  On the "last Day" they had no "excuse" (Rom 2:16).  After they'd been born into the world they continued to "sin" against God 'individually' and had that "sin" "imputed" to them 'individually'; they WOULD "give account" for them (Matt 16:27, Rom 14:12-13, Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 4:5).


Paul's reference in Rom 5:13 was to the "written code", the "Law" of Moses that had been etched onto "tablets of stone" for the Israelites.  Before Sinai obviously no-one could "sin" against those "tablets" and so that "imputation" didn't apply.  But once it had been "added" they began to see what their "sin" against YHWH truly was, "exceedingly sinful" (Rom 7:13).


The "written code" was an externalisation/codification of the "righteous requirements" that lay at the heart of God's Law; which thing was "spiritual" (Mk 12:30-31, Rom 7:14).  "God is love", a "spiritual" attribute (1 Jn 4:8), Adam bore God's "image" (Gen 1:26-27), therefore "love" and its "requirements" became part of his "nature" and that of his posterity.


The "written code" was "added" to Israel, God's "servant" (Lev 25:55), on account of their continual "transgressions" because they were a "stiff-necked people" (Ex 32:9, 18-19).  But Gal 3:19 shows that even for them God's "righteous requirements"/Law was present PRIOR to Sinai.  You CANNOT be accused of "transgressions" when there's NOTHING to "transgress" against in the first place!



Great post!


We find the use of adam exclusively in the important Bible term: "the sons of men." It is unto adam (not iysh or enowsh) that Yahweh gives His Law (Amos 4:13).  It is the Hebrew adam that is used in contrast with the "beast" (behamah, Strongs H929.)  It is adam that is used in all prophecy!

Three centuries before Christ, the Hebrew word adam is translated as anthropos (Strongs G444) in Greek.  In the New Testament.  Thus, when we see anthropos, we therefore cannot assume it is in reference to every kind of human; the context of its use demands consideration.

Whoever this adam is, it was him that fell, and it what to him and his descendants that the law and the promises were given.  Adam was the first Covenant man. 

The Bible tells us that the man was placed in the Garden (Genesis 2:8).  Notice that the Garden was created first - then the man.  The man was placed there to till or dress (the Hebrew abod - to serve) and keep it.  The Hebrew word shamar translated as "keep" has the meaning of dominion. 

The Hebrew word translated simply as tree, ets, is often used as an idiom for nations.  Here is what I think is the most fascinating of many examples which can be found in the Hebrew Bible:

The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us.But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? (Judges 9:7-11)

Trees were often used as idioms, representing nations or peoples.  Here, the Assyrian was a "cedar" in Lebanon:

Behold, the Assyrian [was] a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. (Ezekiel 31:3)

Numerous other examples are found in both the Bible and extrabiblical texts, as well as countless Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian texts.  The fig tree represented Judah, and the Olive tree always represented Israel as a whole. 

For His Kingdom,

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