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The Creation of the First Man.


"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"

The outer material world is created and brought forth, the receptacle is ready. The Earth, the material world, is not unseen anymore, it is not shapeless, but it is still empty, for yet it does not have its material worth, for it is morally insane, having no responsibility.

And so, in order to fill the emptiness, to give the moral sense to the whole creature, call for the existence the beings, which are able, like angels, for the joy of living, which delights God, the creative Divine word is pronounced: "Let us make man." So that the new creature could be truly kind, it should be similar to its Creator, and therefore the Lord says: "Make in our image."

Here, in this most important moment of creation, in the moment of calling to existence of the similar to God, giving the new moral sense to the whole material world creature, we again see the holy seal of Trinity upon the Biblical lines: "In our image," not Mine, says the Lord.

Being Himself Trinity-Hypostatical, connected by the perfect Divine love of the Three Persons into one Divine Creature, He makes His creature, as once He had made angels, not in one person, but in two, so that they would give start to the appearance of the multitude of persons, but at the same time would be as one.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it."

In these verses of the 1st chapter of the Bible, saying about the original creation of the man, is used the Hebrew word "bara" — to create from nothing. Consequently, paraphrasing, we can say about the first Biblical report of the man’s creation this way: God, One in His Creature, but Trinity-like in Persons, made from nothing in His image and after His likeness a human, the man and woman, two persons of the same essence and gave them a blessing to multiply the number of persons and subdue the seen world.

But in the Bible not once, but twice it is said about the creation of the man: first in the 1st chapter, the second time in the second, verse 7. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground." Both the stories at the first glance are different: in the first it is said that God "bara," i.e. created from nothing the man in His image, after His likeness; in the second that He "assa," i.e. formed him from the dust of the ground, the same way as he formed all animals, about which it is said "formed." (In Hebrew it is the same verb "assa") "And out of the ground the LORD God formed…every fowl of the air" (Gen. 2:19). And the same way, as about the animals, in the 2d chapter of Genesis it is said about the man: "and man became a living soul." Further on: in the first narration God creates simultaneously the man and woman, two persons, and potentially the multitude of persons, similarly to the multiple angelic council, in one essence; in the second narration it is said only about the creation of the man, Adam, and only in some time his wife, Eve, is formed (assa) out of his rib.

This duality was used by the enemies of the Christianity as a "proof" of unsoundness of the Bible and the difference of the origin of the Biblical narrations. Meanwhile, if we remember the truth about the man, as about the double-essential, united spiritual creature, then the church understanding of the two narrations of the Bible about the creation of the man would become evident for us, as the description of different essences of human nature: spiritual and moral-physical.

St. Gregory of Nyssa in his work "About the System of the Man," pointing at the duality of the creation-formation of the man, says: "God created (i.e. "bara") the inner man and formed (‘assa") the outer one, He formed the flesh, but created the soul."

That is why, on his bodily nature the man is the part of the outer animalistic-materialistic world. All that we have in ourselves, exists in the surrounding us world. We are more close to the animal living world, to these, created by God living souls. Therefore a Christian can absolutely calmly assume the observation that in his bodily nature the man and a chimpanzee would be closet to one another, than a chimpanzee and a monkey. If to talk about the bodily nature of the man, then we would not be embarrassed by the possibility to put the man in the modern zoological classification in a certain place in the order of primates, in the class of mammals.

But a Christian cannot suppose that only with this is limited our place in the row of creations. No, in our spirit we are the similar to God creatures, "a little lower than the angels" (Ps. 8:5-7 and Hebr. 2:7), and between us, on the one hand, and the rest of the animal world, on the other, there is the deepest and impassible abyss: fulfilling our resemblance to God, we, the same way as the Lord, Who knows His creature, can perceive the terrestrial animals and the furthest worlds of the universe, but nobody, but us, in the boundless material world can perceive neither us, nor themselves, nor the outer, or inner world.

St. Anthony the Great says so about the relationship of the human and animal worlds: "The man, concerning his mind, gets in contact with the inexpressible Divine power, and concerning his body has the relativity to the animals" (The Edifications, book 2, chap. 42). And more: ‘All that grows can be called living, for it is growing and living, but it cannot be said that it has a soul. Plants have physical life, but do not have souls. The man is called a spiritual, reasonable creature, for he has the spirit (mind) and is able to acquire knowledge. The rest of the animals have breathing and souls…There are four various types of living creatures: some are immortal and have souls, such as angels; others have the spirit, soul and life, such as people, still others have life and souls, as animals; and the rest have only life, such as plants" (the same source, chap. 166)

The teacher of the Church of the 5th century Nemesius of Emessa in his work "About the Nature of the Man" writes: "In his body and the combination of elements the man is close to lifeless creatures. In the same traits and the ability to grow and multiply, he resembles plants. He has all this features in common with mute animals, and besides, he is similar to them in his desire to move, in feelings and wishes. And in his reasonable element he is connected with the bodiless spiritual creatures — angels."

"And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Gen. 1:28-29).

Having inhabited the Earth, entered onto It the one, who is the bearer of the moral value, the Divine-like spirit, God subdued to him all the brought forth by Him matter, fulfilling and developing his Divine similarity. The very Ruler of the Universe, the Lord, makes the man the ruler of the material and animal world, and at the same time makes this material and animal world, which do not have any value by themselves, the participant of the similar to Divine, morally worth life; the lifeless world He makes the spacious place for the man’s living, the world of plants — to provide the man with food, the animal world — as the space where the man rules, as the world, serving him, which he perceives, learns about, understands, gives names to (Gen. 2:20).

"And it was so" (Gen. 1:30).

And there was no more shade of the evil, everything was wise, all was perfected by the Good, according to the Divine will, Divine plan.

The creation of the world was finished. Through the human, similar to Divine spirit, the Lord bind with Him the whole created by Him material and animal world, making it the participant of the similar to Divine, light and joyful, right, reasonable and good life. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made" (Gen.2:1).

This seventh day, in which God "rested" from His work, i.e in which the creative process of forming new creatures ceased, is being continued till now and will continue till the end of ages.

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