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#48272 Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:52 AM
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How are we to understand when death came into existence? For instance, before the Fall was their growth - Adam&Eve, animals and plants.

When God told Adam of death (Gen 2:15-17), did Adam understood what 'surely die' meant since he had not experienced any form of death at that point?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #48274 Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by John_C
How are we to understand when death came into existence? For instance, before the Fall was their growth - Adam&Eve, animals and plants.

When God told Adam of death (Gen 2:15-17), did Adam understood what 'surely die' meant since he had not experienced any form of death at that point?
Excellent question and one which I have occasionally pondered too.

1. I believe that "death" was non-existent until Adam was cursed for his disobedience. (cf. Gen 3:17; Rom 8:18-21)

2. Experiencially, Adam was not familiar with "death" because there was no death in the animal kingdom and of course with man. Therefore, what I'm left with is merely speculation. It is possible that intuitively through the Spirit Adam had some form of knowledge of death, else the threat of it would have been meaningless to him. OR... as it is the case in all of Scripture, the recorded accounts are not complete, i.e., ALL that God spoke to Adam was not written and thus it is possible that God explained to Adam what death was.

This is one of those questions which we must be satisfied with not knowing. grin There are some, of course, who begin with an erroneous presupposition and use the lack of biblical information to support a view also not taught in Scripture. For example, there are those who believe that there were humans on earth long before Adam and thus since "death" must have made sense to him, death among animals and humans pre-dated Adam, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Arthur Custance was one such persons who held to a Gap Theory of creation and there have been others who held to a similar view.


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John_C #48275 Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:40 PM
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An important consideration is time. Its doubtful it took Adam long to sin.


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2. Experiencially, Adam was not familiar with "death" because there was no death in the animal kingdom and of course with man

Hmmmm Since Adam didnt keel over and quit breathing, is it possible that 'death' as used refers not to death in and of its self, but the death of a human being,in a way the entire race of humans, having eternal consequences?

There is also the question of microbial life, some modern microbes life span is measured in hours.

God fashioned herd animals and predators, thousands if not millions of various types of predatory insects.

Every animal and every bug and many microbes were designed to sustain themselves through consumption. Obviously if you pull a carrot up out of the ground and eat it ,its dead.



Last edited by Hitch; Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:59 PM.
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Just a quick follow-up. What about the plant life before the Fall?


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John_C #48308 Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:40 PM
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Some people place the fall on day seven of creation week if we postulate that as true then plant life would have had at the most just a few days of existence.


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If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Hitch #48309 Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hitch
Hmmmm Since Adam didnt keel over and quit breathing, is it possible that 'death' as used refers not to death in and of its self, but the death of a human being,in a way the entire race of humans, having eternal consequences?
We know from using the 'Analogy of Faith', i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture, that the "death" threatened as punishment for disobedience was three-fold; physical (death of the body eventually over time), spiritual (immediate loss of love for God and all that is good and a predisposition toward self and sin) and eternal (the final but everlasting separation from God and the experience of the punishment pronounced).

We are not told if the animals we now know as being predators of other animals were carnivorous or not. It could be that they became predatory after the Fall as part of the curse???

Plant life does not have "life" in the sense of animals or humans. The environmental extremists seem to think so, but Scripturally, this is not the case. Thus, the eating of vegetation cannot be used as an example of "death". (cf. Gen 7:21-23)


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John_C #48393 Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:00 AM
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Did Adam needed to understand the concept of death? Say if God told him to not eat of the fruit or else I will hit you with a cane. And Adam, just so that you will understand what it means to be hit with a cane, turn around. When we tell a small child not to play with fire, whe tell them that you might get hurt. We don't put his hand in the fire so that he will understand. So why did Adam need to understand death? I think God made it pretty clear to him that not eating is the important part.
And then of what death was He talking. Spiritual or physical. If spiritual then how could God explain that to him? Even physical death would have been impossible to explain, actually impossible (would mean death excisted vefore the fall).
All animals had to be herbivores before the fall, the same as Adam and Eve. Eating meat and death only started after the Fall with God actually the first one to kill something.
About microbes, well things where very different then. A lot of them were not needed, because they are often used in breaking down dead bodies (which none yet around). Flies live 2 days, but there most probably wasn't any flies around - result of the fall.
So I think God gave Adam a command and expected him to keep it. For this reason I think they might have even lived in the garden a lot longer than 7 days or years (most probably a maximum of 70 or so by the time their first children were born).


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