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Did Adam Understand Death?

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Did Adam Know About Death?

Adam was created perfect in a world without death. On the same day he was created, and before Eve was created, God gave Adam one command:

"The Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.' - Genesis 2:16-17.

Did Adam know what it meant to die?

Those who assume the answer is, there is no way he could understand death, are making some major assumptions not supported in scripture. They typically assume Adam was created with as little knowledge as a baby and he had a lot to learn. But that's not true. Adam could immediately talk with God. Adam was able to name all the animals, before Eve was created. Obviously knowledge was included when God created Adam. Adam knew what words meant, was able to communicate and do creative work of his own in giving (creating) names for the animals.

Also, what do you know about the character of God? Would God tell the only person living something that potentially involved death, and not ensure that person understood death? No. Scripture does not tell us anything about Adam's understanding of death, but based on what it does tell us it is apparent Adam understood death.

But, why doesn't the Bible explicitly answer this question? Why doen't scripture tell us the Adam knew what death was? That's asking more of the Bible than it is intended to be. The Bible was never intended to answer every question we might ask. It is not a history book. It is not a science book. The Bible was given to us by God so that we would know God; know ourselves (we are sinners); and know the solution to the problem of sin. The Bible records those things that are needed to accomplish this. Yes, the Bible includes a lot of history, and sometimes in great detail. And yes, the Bible does provide all we need know for salvation and living a Godly life. But it does not give specific answers to every question we might have.


More information:

Did Adam and Eve Know What Death Was? (GQ)

Did Adam Understand What Death Was? (CIM)

I Have the Bible—What More Do I Need? (AIG)