Adam and Eve (Myths and Legends of the World)
The mythologies of many cultures include stories of a first couple, a man and woman who were the parents of the entire human race. In the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious traditions, these first parents were Adam and Eve.
The Story of Adam and Eve. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, contains two accounts of how Adam and Eve came into being. The first version, which most likely dates from between 600 and 400 B.C., says that God created all living thingsncluding a man and woman "in his own image"n the sixth day of creation. According to the second version, which is longer and probably several centuries older, God (here named Yahweh) made Adam from dust and breathed "the breath of life" into his nostrils. God then created animals so that Adam would not be alone. However, God saw that Adam needed a human partner, so he put Adam to sleep, took a rib from his side, and created Eve from it.
Adam and Eve lived in a garden called Eden, from which four rivers flowed out into the world. Like other earthly paradises in mythologies of the arid Near East, Eden was a well-watered, fertile place that satisfied all of the needs of Adam and Eve. God imposed only one restriction on life in this paradise: not to eat the fruit of a certain treehe tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A sly serpent in the garden persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden...
(The entire section is 1019 words.)
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