This post is not an exhaustive look at the distinctiveness that existed in humanity in the beginning, it is a summary of material already covered.

Unity and distinctiveness in the beginning
As discussed, Adam and Eve (mankind) were created to be in unity. God gave marriage to order the relationship between Adam and Eve and all of mankind. Their marriage unified mankind (there were only 2 humans at the time) and was becoming an essential part of human unity. Within the order of marriage Adam and Eve were given distinct roles. Both of them were made fit for purpose (e.g. Eve with the capacity to bear children).

As the head of mankind Adam was given Eden, to eat of its fruit, work the ground, rule over it and protect it from evil. It was Adam who received the original command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and he was held responsible for breaking unity with God. God created Adam first so that his distinctive role and purpose in his family (immediate and all humanity) would be as head (1 Timothy 2:14).

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 ESV)

God revealed that it was not good for Adam (mankind) to be one and alone, so Eve was created from Adam (sharing in his flesh), but was not an exact duplicate of him. Eve was clearly different from Adam yet still human. She was called helper because she was designed to live in unity with him and help him in what God had given him to do. She also enhanced him, Adam was no longer one and alone, through their unity they more fully reflected the image of God (one but not alone). One distinctive feature Eve possessed was her ability to bear children for the purpose building and enhancement of the unity of the flesh of Adam. This is why after the fall God cursed Eve in her childbearing, saying:

To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

(Genesis 3:16 ESV)

So this is the role that Eve was created for, to help her husband and bear children for the good of mankind. This was her role and no one else’s. In using their God-given abilities they would both uphold and perpetuate the unity in the flesh of Adam.

So from the beginning distinctiveness was important part of humanity. Adam and Eve were one (united) yet distinct, one and many at the same time. In this way they reflected the image of God, one and may.

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