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3. How God Created the First People.

God created man in a different way from the other creatures. Before His creation, God, in the Most-holy Trinity, confirmed His wish. He said: "Let Us make man in Our own image, after Our own likeness" (Gen 1:26).

God created man out of the dust of the earth, that is, from matter, from which all material things were created in the earthly world, and He breathed into his face the spirit of life; that is, He gave him a spirit, free, intelligent, alive, and immortal, according to His image and likeness, and man came into being with an immortal soul. By this "breath of God," or immortal soul, man is separated from all the other living creatures.

So we belong to two worlds: in body to the visible, material, earthly world, but in soul to the invisible, spiritual, heavenly world.

God gave the first man the name Adam, which means "taken from the earth." He then caused Paradise, a beautiful garden, to grow on the earth, and placed Adam to dwell there so that he would cultivate and keep it.

In Paradise all kinds of trees with the most beautiful fruit grew; among them there were two special trees: one was called the tree of life, the other the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Tasting of the fruits of the tree of life had the power to preserve man from illness and death. Concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God commanded man: "of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 2:16-17). Then, at the command of God, Adam gave names to all the beasts and birds of the air, but he did not find among them a companion and helper for himself. God then brought a deep sleep upon Adam; when he went to sleep, He took one of his ribs and closed the place with flesh. And from the rib taken from man, God created woman. Adam called her Eve, that is, the mother of men.

God blessed the first people in Paradise, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it" (Gen. 1:28).

By having created woman from the rib of the first man, God showed us that all people come from one body and soul, that they should be one, and should love and care for one another.

Note: See Genesis, chaps. 1:27-29; 2:7-9; 2:15-25; 5:1-2.

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