Genesis 2:19 - Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts ...

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19-20)
This verse has been mistranslated by those who did not understand the topic being discussed. Is Genesis really describing a time when Adam named all the species? Was Adam a biologist then? Did he really name the hundreds of thousands of species? And what does this have to do with the previous verse?

The word “beasts” here is the first mistranslation. This is taken from the Hebrew word חַי (chay), which means, according to the lexicon, ‘living, alive’ when used as an adjective and when used as a noun in the masculine, ‘relatives’ or ‘life.’ When used as a feminine noun, it can mean ‘living thing’ and ‘life,’ or ‘community.’

Furthermore, by the translation, one would assume that the creatures being discussed are those upon the planet earth. However, the description of their creation came in the first chapter of Genesis:

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. (Gen. 1:24)

In this Genesis 1:24 verse, the word “creatures” comes from the Hebrew word נפש (nephesh). In Genesis 2:19, the word “creatures” comes from the word חי (chay), which actually means means ‘soul, self, life, person, living being’ according to the lexicon. In 1.24, the word “living” before the word “creatures” is being translated from this word חי (chay).

This distinction is made because 1.24 is clearly discussing the creation of the physical organisms – which contain the self or soul (חי (chay)), whereas 2.19 is discussing those living beings (חי (chay)) themselves. The living being – each of us – is a spiritual entity. We are not these physical bodies. Rather, we are the spirit-person dwelling within these physical bodies. We are operating them, or driving them.

Genesis also clearly makes this distinction between the physical organisms, translated to the phrase “Let the land produce...” This comes from the Hebrew word ארץ (‘erets) – pertaining to the ‘earth,’ ‘soil’ or ‘ground’ according to the lexicon. This is allegorically describing that the physical organism is a product of the physical universe.

But the word used in Genesis 2:19 for “ground” is אֲדָמָה (‘adamah) which may refer to ‘ground’ or ‘land’, but with something that is ‘yielding sustenance.’ It is a substance that yields or constructs, according to the lexicon. This contrasts with אֶרֶץ (‘erets) of 1:24, which refers to ‘earth’ - the physical world.

Furthermore, “field” in Genesis 2:19 is being translated from the Hebrew word שָׂדֶה (sadeh) which can indicate ‘field’ or ‘land’ but not just any field or land: Rather, this word comes from the root ‘to spread out’ which indicates a cultivated or prepared field or land – an especially fertile, productive or creative land. This indicates 2.19 is discussing the spiritual world – from whence everything is produced.

Remember also that 2:19-20 follows the verse discussing the community of the spiritual world (see discussion with Genesis 2:18). We’ve already shown that this section beginning with Genesis 2:4 is not a rehashing of the creation of the physical world – as described in the first chapter of Genesis. Rather, it is the allegorical description of the appearance of the spiritual living beings and how some fell down to the physical world.

Again, this is confirmed by נֶפֶשׁ (nephesh), which is being incorrectly translated to “creature.” נֶפֶשׁ (nephesh), remember, means ‘soul, self, life, person, living being.’

The reason why translators have mistranslated this verse is because of a basic lack of understanding of our true identity. Our physical body is temporary, and transitory. This is a scientific fact. The body’s cells, molecules and atoms are constantly being recycled. Scientists have estimated that within five years, every atom and molecule of the body has been replaced. This means that within five years, we are wearing a new body.

Furthermore, every body dies and once the living soul leaves, the body decomposes. The fact that the living being – call it the soul or the self – leaves the body at death has been confirmed scientifically in hundreds of thousands of clinical death cases – where a person floats up above their body after the body has been pronounced dead in the hospital, and later gets revived, and the person recalls the event.

Many cases have confirmed the person indeed floated above their body because the person accurately recalls seeing things happening around them – or elsewhere in the hospital – while their body was lying dead on the operating table or hospital bed.

What leaves the body is the self – the spiritual living being. Each of us are spiritual living beings. We are not these temporary physical bodies.

However, when we are within a physical body, we have the illusion that this physical body is our identity. This is God’s design, to give us the illusion that we are away from God, and able to act out our desires (mixed with a heavy dose of education).

This misidentification with the body is the disease of the spiritual living beings trapped within the physical world. But one must have a clear understanding of our true identity as spiritual living beings in order to properly translate Genesis from its Hebrew into English or any other language.

In other words, this verse is not describing Adam naming all the species as supposed by the translators. Rather, this verse is describing something entirely different.

The Hebrew word that is being translated to “name them” and later “called” is קָרָא (qara’). This means ‘to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim.’ More specifically, according to the lexicon, ‘to call with the name of God.’

Furthermore, the word שֵׁם (shem) which is being translated to “that was its name” has a more specific meaning in this context, as it relates to ‘reputation, fame, glory’. According to the lexicon, שֵׁם (shem) can specifically mean ‘the Name as designation of God.’

Is Genesis not talking about God? Why would Genesis be discussing Adam naming the hundreds of thousands of species? Is this a biology text book or a book written to glorify God?

The answer is of course the latter. The Book of Genesis is not a biology textbook. There is no need for Adam to name thousands of species; and this has nothing to do with the subject matter anyway.

Rather, what is being described is God’s creation of the spiritual community of living beings (namely, us), and the fact that the spiritual living beings of the spiritual community glorify God’s Holy Names. This is a common activity of the spiritual realm, because the central component of Eden – the spiritual world – is the common love of its inhabitants upon the Supreme Person.

Glorifying God’s Holy Names is a spiritual activity that has been promoted throughout the books of the Bible, by so many of God’s representatives. Just consider these verses:

At that time men [of the earth] began to call on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26)
From there he [Abraham] went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 12:8)
...and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 13:4)
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the Name of the LORD, the Eternal God. (Genesis 21:33)
Isaac built an altar there and called on the Name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. (Genesis 26:25)
You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name.” (Exodus 20:7)
You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name.” (Deuteronomy 5:11)
“...he may minister in the Name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 18:7)
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of Him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22)
The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the Name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.” (Deuteronomy 21:5)
Then all the peoples on earth will see that You are called by the Name of the LORD, and they will revere You.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)
I will proclaim the Name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” (Deuteronomy 32:3)
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45)
 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the Name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town. (1 Samuel 20:42)
He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the Name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. (2 Samuel 6:2)
 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD Almighty. (2 Samuel 6:18)
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. (1 Kings 3:2)
You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under His feet.” (1 Kings 5:3)
I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when He said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for My Name.’” (1 Kings 5:5)
My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:17)
The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:20)
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the Name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. (1 Kings 10:1)
Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the Name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire – He is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” (1 Kings 18:24)
With the stones he built an altar in the Name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. (1 Kings 18:32)
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD?” (1 Kings 22:16)
He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the Name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. (2 Kings 2:24)
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the Name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:11)
Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.” (Jeremiah 20:13)
After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 16:2)
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the Name of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 21:19)
David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God.” (1 Chronicles 22:7)
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 22:19)
Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself. (2 Chronicles 2:1)
Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to Him for burning fragrant incense before Him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.” (2 Chronicles 2:4)
My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:7)
The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:10)
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD?” (2 Chronicles 18:15)
The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. (2 Chronicles 33:18)
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the Name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the Name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
The nations will revere the Name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere Your glory.” (Psalm 102:15)
So the Name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 102:21)
Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 113:1)
Let the Name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 113:2)
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3)
Then I called on the Name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!” (Psalm 116:4)
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:13)
I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:17)
That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the Name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.” (Psalm 122:4)
Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)
May those who pass by not say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the Name of the LORD.”“ (Psalm 129:8)
 “Praise the LORD. Praise the Name of the LORD; praise Him, you servants of the LORD” (Psalm 135:1)
Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.” (Psalm 148:5)
Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” (Psalm 148:13)
The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers – the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 18:7)
Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 24:15)
Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)
And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve Him, to love the Name of the LORD, and to worship Him...” (Isaiah 56:6)
From the west, men will revere the Name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His glory.” (Isaiah 59:19)
At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the Name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.” (Jeremiah 3:17)
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the Name of the LORD our God.” (Jeremiah 26:16)
 Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the Name of the LORD (Jeremiah 26:20)
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the Name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:26)
 “And everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD will be saved” (Joel 2:32)
“...we will walk in the Name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5)
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD his God.” (Micah 5:4)
Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the Name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:12)
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9)
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:39)
Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9)
‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:35)
Blessed is the king who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38)
 “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (John 12:13)
And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord. (Acts 9:28)
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.””  (2 Timothy 2:19)
Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord.” (James 5:10)
Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

These verses confirm that the praising and glorifying of God’s Holy Names is the highest devotional activity – an activity that can, if performed with humility and respect, elevate us back to the spiritual dimension and our spiritual family, where love for God runs rampant.

So instead of this verse discussing Adam becoming a biologist who names all the species, this verse actually describes a central activity of the spiritual community: Praising and glorifying God.

One might ask: How did the translators of Genesis 2:19 from Hebrew to Latin, English and other languages miss this reference to God’s Holy Names? The answer is that professional translators from the various sectarian institutions have not been interested in praising God’s Holy Names. This is evidenced by the fact that so many professional sectarian teachers virtually ignore all the other Biblical references to praising God’s Holy Names as evidenced above. They not only have ignored this important aspect of devotional activity among their teachings, but they have virtually ignored God’s Holy Names in their congregational rituals.

We thus suggest a more appropriate translation of Genesis 2:19-20:
Within the spiritual dimension God created a community of living beings, some of whom roamed the fields and some who flew as angels. God gathered them together with Adam, and they all called upon and glorified God’s Holy Names.