The word אָדָם (’adam) means ‘man’ or ‘Adam,’ the proper name of the first man. Predominantly, it occurs as a collective/generic term referring to ‘mankind/humankind;’ and is derived from the feminine noun אֲדָמָה (’adamah) meaning ‘ground, dust, or earth.’

The LORD God formed man אָדָם (’adam) from dust of the ground אֲדָמָה (’adamah) and made him a living being by breathing into him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7).

Amid COVID 19 and Lent, the word אָדָם (’adam) reminds us, from where we came into being and where we shall return to (Gen 3:19); and moreover, how we became unique in the hands of the Creator God and our interdependence to the created order: God – human – nature.


Dr. Aravind Jeyakumar Moniraj is serving as the Associate Professor and HOD, Department of Old Testament at Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute in Chennai.

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40 Hebrew Words for Forty Days – Day 27