Project Genesis

The Chumash (Five Books of Moses)

Adam and Eve story

Adam, a Hermaphrodite?

This is a strange question, but I’ve been curious about the syntax of the sentence in Genesis (1:27) where it states that “God created man, in His image he created them; male and female he created them.” Is the Hebrew any clearer, as the syntax in English suggests the possibility that God created man as both male and female?

Your intuition is correct. There is an opinion in the Talmud that states that God originally created Adam as a hermaphrodite and then split that one being into two separate bodies. Besides the verse that you cite, there is another a bit further on in Genesis that alludes to this concept: “Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and called THEIR name Adam on the day they were being created.” (Genesis 5:2)

Rabbi Ari Lobel

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