FEED MY SHEEP Chapter 2, Adam Fails as King
AUTHOR: Camping, Harold
PUBLISHED ON: May 7, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                            CHAPTER 2

                      ADAM FAILS AS KING

    We have thus far determined  that the Bible teaches that there was  no
death before  the fall of  Adam amongst the creatures (man and  animals) with 
the breath  of life.  Thus, we  sense that no aspects  of  the  curse  of 
sin  (storms,  thorns,  thistles, earthquakes,  decay, etc.) were  present
before the  fall.  We, at this point, are very comfortable with all of the 
teachings of the Bible relating to  creation and our first parents. 
Everything was good.  The  animals  and  man  were  herbivorous  (Gen.
l:29,30).  Thorns  and thistles  came after  sin (Gen.3:18).  The six days of
creation  must  have  been  twenty-four  hour periods as the Bible seems  to
indicate, for  long periods of  time would have required death.  Even Romans 8
fits beautifully into this  understanding as we  read  there  that  creation 
itself  was subjected to futility (Rom.8:20).

    The  command  to  subdue  the  earth must, therfore, have been strictly 
for our first  parents and must  have no relationship to the believer today.

    But wait a moment.  We still haven’t faced the question of the timing of
Lucifer’s fall into  sin.  If he sinned before  Adam was created, couldn’t it
still be possible that some part of the earth was still cursed?  Then  to
subdue it could still have meaning for the believer today. 

    In  this chapter we  shall study more  intently the meaning of “subdue it”
and in so doing also discover  the timing of Lucifer’s fall into sin.  We
shall then be better prepared to begin to study more specifically the task of
the believer today.

Fill The Earth

    In  seeking  light  on  the  phrase  “subdue  it,” let us look briefly at 
other statments  in Genesis  1 relating  to our  first parent’s 
responsibility toward  the world.  Perhaps, by studying these  we  may  get 
some  insight  into the meaning of the phrase “subdue it.”

    The first phrase we should look at is the  phrase `be fruitful and 
multiply  and  fill  the  earth'(1) (Gen. 1:28).  We  see this phrase does
not relate in any  sense to a mandate to conquer, or  to  subdue.  This 
language  is  employed  to  indicate God’s blessing upon man who would fill
the earth with progeny.  Not only is it  a blessing to man  to see his seed,
but a mandate is surely implied here that this should be one of his goals in
the world. 

    Identical  language  is  employed  in  Genesis  1:22 after God created the
fish.  There we read:

    And  God blessed them,  saying, “Be fruitful  and multiply and
    fill  the waters  in the  seas, and  let birds multiply on the

    The fish, of  course, do not conquer or  subdue the sea.  They simply,
under the blessing of God, multiply and fill the sea which is the environment
in which  they exist.  This phrase, then,  does not help us to understand the
command to subdue the earth.

Till And Keep The Garden

    A second phrase that relates  to Adam and his work  before his fall into
sin is the command given to Adam in Genesis 2:15:

    The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to
    till it and keep it.

    In this command  Adam is told to till the  garden and keep it.  Let  us
examine these  tasks.  The word  “keep” is the Hebrew word shamar which means
to keep, observe, take heed (Young’s Analytical Concordance  of  the  Bible). 
Shamar  is translated as “keep” at least 284 times in the  Old Testament. 
Keep my commandments, keep all the  words of  this law,  are typical  Old
Testament sentences employing  shamar.  The  implication  is  that of
maintaining the present state of  affairs.  There is no suggestion in this
word of bringing into  subjection or bringing  into control that  which is out
of control.  Adam was to maintain a creation that was good and perfect.  This
command is,  therfore, also unrelated  to the word “subdue.”

    The command to dress  or till the garden is the  other part of Genesis
2:15.  The word “to  dress” or “till”  is the Hebrew word abad.(2)  It really
is  the opposite  of a  word like  “subdue” or “dominion.”  It  is 
translated  some  214  times in the Bible as “serve.”  It tells us that Adam
was to work in the garden, tilling it and doing what  was necessary to
maintain production.  It also carries  no implication of  Lordship over the 
earth, or of having the  earth in  a state  of subjection  to man.  Rather, it
implies that man was to maintain that which was already good and perfect.

Dominion Over The Creatures

    Thus far then, we have discovered no statement in the Biblical record  of
man  before the  fall that  relates to  this intriguing command to  subdue the 
earth.  There  is one  word, however, that appears to be quite  related to it. 
That is  the word “dominion.”  In Gen. 1:26 we read:

    Then  God  said,  “Let  us  make  man  in our image, after our
    likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
    and over the birds of the  air, and over the cattle, and  over
    all the earth, and over  every creeping thing that creeps upon
    the earth.”

    And immediately  following the command to  subdue the earth we read (Gen.

    …and  have dominion  over the  fish of  the sea and over the
    birds of  the air and over every  living thing that moves upon
    the earth.

    The word  “dominion” which is  the Hebrew word  radah means to rule or
reign.  It is, thus, at least somewhat related to the idea of  subduing or 
bringing in  subjection.  The  word radah  can be found twenty-four times in 
the Bible.  It is  normally translated “dominion” or “rule.”  But
significantly, while in Genesis 1 it is used twice  to indicate  man is  to
have  dominion or  rule of all other creatures, exclusive of man, it is never
used in this manner again.  It  is used  to indicate  rule over  a slave 
(Lev. 25:43, 25:46,  and 25:53) rule  over those who  built Solomon’s temple
(I Kings 5:16,  I Kings 9:23, II Chron. 8:10); rule of the enemies of God 
over  God’s  people  (Neh.  9:18,  Lev. 26:17); rule of God’s people over the
enemy (Judges 5:13, Numbers 24:19, Ps. 49:14, Isa. 14:2,  Ps. 58:27);  rule of 
the enemies  of God  over the nations (Isa. 14:6,  Ezek. 29:15);  rule of 
Christ over  the nations (Isa 41-2,  Ps.  110:2,  Ps.  72:8);  rule  of false
priests over God’s people (Jer. 5:31, Ezek. 34:4); rule of Solomon  over the
land and kings  between the  Euphrates River  and the  Mediterranean Sea (I
Kings 4:24).

    What can  possibly be  the intention  of God  in using “radah” twice  in
Genesis I  to indicate man’s  relationship to the lesser creatures of the
world and then never repeating this?  Instead God uses the  same word to
emphasize man’s  relationship to man and to the nations.

    Especially interesting,  too, is  the statement  made to  Noah after  the 
flood.  Genesis  9:1  is  almost identical to Genesis 1:28–, except  that
where  Adam is  told to  subdue the earth and dominion  over  its  creatures, 
Noah  is  given  no such mandate.  Rather he is  told that God had  put fear
and dread  of man within the other creatures and  into mans’ hand they were
delivered.  Why this  complete change  in language?  Something drastic  must
have happened between the  events of Genesis 1:29 and those of  Genesis 9:1,2.

    The  word “dominion”  (radah) thus  appears to  introduce more questions
into our search for  the meaning of the command  to Adam to  subdue the 
earth.  Since  we sense  that there is an intimate relationship between
“subdue”  and “dominion” it  is time to  look forth  rightly at  the phrase 
“subdue it.”  In so  doing we will discover the  answers to the  questions
raised by  the word radah, and  we  shall  also  discover  the correlation
between the  words “subdue” and “dominion.”  Moreover, we shall also  find
answers to the questions  concerned with the timing of  Satan’s fall, and the
possibility of death and decay being present in the world prior to Adam’s

Adam Is To Subdue The Earth

    We  must logically look for our answers from the pages of Holy Writ.  The
Bible  is its own  interpreter.  It does  offer a valid and  beautiful
solution  to the  proper understanding  of this key phrase “subdue it.”

The word “subdue” which is the Hebrew word “kabash” is used twelve times  in
the  Old Testament  in addition  to this  use in Genesis 1:28.  It  is 
variously  translated subdue, subjection, assault, etc.  An examination of
these twelve  usages will help greatly to understand the  meaning of its  use
in Genesis.  Four times it is used to indicate  mastery as in the
relationship of  a master to a slave.  These passages are:

    Now our flesh  is as the  flesh of our  brethren, our children
    are  as their  children; yet  we are  forcing our sons and our
    daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already
    been  enslaved; but  it is  not in  our power  to help it, for
    other men have our fields and our vineyards (Neh. 5:5).

    But afterward they  turned and took  back the male  and female
    slaves they had set free, and brought them  into subjection as
    slaves (Jer. 34:11).

    And  now  you  intend  to  subjugate  the  people of Judah and
    Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves.  Have you not sins
    of your own against the Lord your God? (II Chron. 28:10).

    But then you turned around  and profaned my name when  each of
    you  took back  his male  and female  slaves, whom you had set
    free  according  to  their  desire,  and you brought them into
    subjection to be your slaves (Jer. 34:11).

    Once  it  is  used  in  the  book  of Esther when Haman threw himself on
the bed of Esther to plead for his life.  The king, who entered the room,
suspected Haman was trying  to seduce the Queen.  We read in Esther 7:8:

    And the  king returned  from the  palace garden  to the  place
    where  they were  drinking wine,  as Haman  was falling on the
    couch  where  Esther  was  and  the  king  said, “Will he even
    assault the queen  in my presence,  in my own  house?”  As the
    words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face.

    The  word  kabash  translated  “assault”,  therefore, in  this instance
also means mastery over, or bringing into subjection even as in the case of
the master-slave relationship.

    Five times  the word  kabash is  used in  relationship to  the Israelites
and the land of Canaan.

    And  every armed man  of you will  pass over the Jordan before
    the Lord, until he has driven out his  enemies from before him
    and the land is subdued  before the Lord; then after  that you
    shall return  and be  free of  obligation to  the Lord  and to
    Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord
    (Num. 32:21-22).

    And Moses said to  them, “If the sons  of Gad and the  sons of
    Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the Lord, will
    pass  with you over  the Jordan and  the land shall be subdued
    before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead  for a
    possession (Num. 32:29).

    Then the whole congregation of  the people of Israel assembled
    at Shiloh, and  set up the tent of meeting there; the land lay
    subdued before them (Josh. 18:1).

    Is not the Lord your God  with you?  And has he not  given you
    peace  on every side?  For he has delivered the inhabitants of
    the land into my hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord
    and his people (I Chron. 22:18).

    These also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the
    silver and  gold which  he dedicated  from all  the nations he
    subdued (II San. 8:11).

    In these verses, too, the word subdued (kabash) is emphasizing mastery. 
But over whom or what had they obtained mastery?  Was it over the  physical
land of Canaan as suggested by the phrase “land is subdued” or  “land shall be 
subdued.”  Had they  gone into the land,  reclaiming the wilderness,  planting
vineyards and building cities?  Having  done  all  this,  was  the  land 
subdued  or in subjection before them?

    The fact is that this is precisely what they did not do.  They were  to 
possess  the  land  and  these  provisions of plants and buildings were
completely prepared for them with no effort  of any kind on their part.  In
Joshua 24:13 we read:

    I  gave you a  land on which  you had not  labored, and cities
    which you  had not built,  and you dwell  therein; you eat the
    fruit of vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant.

    To subdue the land  of Canaan, therefore, must  have reference to 
something  entirely  different  to  that of subjugation of the physical land. 
If we look again at these passages where kabash is used, we note that in  each
case it deals with the  subjugation of enemies.  The land  was subdued only 
when the enemies  within the land,  who also claimed possession to the land,
had been destroyed from the land.  Even as kabash is used to relate to mastery
over a slave, so, in  these passages it used to  indicate mastery over an
enemy.  In  neither  case  does  it  relate  at  all  to material substances
such as a physical land.

    It  was an  enemy who  must be  removed from this land flowing with milk
and  honey.  Until he was removed,  the Israelites could not  claim  their 
mastery  over  it.  The  land  was  not  their possession in  actuality
although  it had  been given  to them  as their  right.  When  they  stood 
at  the boundary of the land of Canaan they were to go in and subdue it.  They
were to claim their rightful ownership, their  Lordship, over  this good and
wonderful land  by  destroying  or  enslaving  the  enemy  who  also claimed
ownership of the land.

    When we look now at Genesis 1:28 we see that man is to “subdue it.”  The
word  “it” without question  refers to the  earth.  Thus the language employed
here is exactly parallel to that  of “subdue the land” when Canaan was in
view. Adam was to “subdue the earth.”  We, therefore, must conclude that even
as in the  case of subduing the land of Canaan, Adam was not to subdue a
physical land  but an enemy  of  some  kind.  Adam  was  to  enslave someone
or destroy someone.  He  was to  become master  over some  other personality. 
This  person  or  persons  could  be  an  enemy who also wanted to possess the
land which had been given to him, even as the Amorites who claimed possession 
to the land  of Canaan were  the enemy who were  to  be  destroyed  by  the 
Israelites  as  they  subdued or subjugated (kabash) the land.

    Note  now the parallel  that exists between  the Israelites at the borders 
of Canaan and  Adam as the  first man on  this earth.  The  creation  lay 
before  Adam.  It  was  completed without his effort.  Similarly, the land
of Canaan lay before the Israelites.  It  was a good land.  The  cities and
vineyards had been completed without any effort on their part.

    Adam was  promised by God  that this creation  was to be under his
dominion.  He was to fill it with his progeny.  The Israelites were  told that
the  land of Canaan  had been given  to them as an everlasting possession. 
They simply were to go in and possess it.

Adam was told to subdue the land.  An enemy threatened.  He was to claim  his 
right  to  the  land  by  bringing  this  enemy  into subjection.  Likewise,
the Israelites were  to subdue the land of Canaan.  The  enemy who  required
subjugation  were the Canaanites who also  wanted ownership of  the land. 
Israel  would subdue the land–conquer this  enemy–by being  obedient to 
God.  Adam could also  subdue the land–conquer the  enemy who threatened–by
being obedient to God.  The parallelism being the two situations of Adam and
Israel is certainly striking.

    But who was this enemy in Eden?  It surely was not someone who already
occupied the land, for  the creation was good.  The  enemy was someone who had
become jealous of  God.  He, too, wanted to be a King.  This enemy was one of
the highest of the angels, Lucifer.  His  envy would  lead him  to a  terrible
act.  The New Testament points to  this envy  and pride  of Lucifer  who
became the devil, Satan.  In I Timothy 3:6 we read:

    He  must not be a recent convert,  or he may be puffed up with
    conceit and fall into condemnation of the devil.

    And in James 3:14, 15 the Scriptures declare:

    But if  you have bitter jealousy and  selfish ambition in your
    hearts, do not  boast and be false to  the truth.  This wisdom
    is  not  such  as  comes  down  from  above,  but  is earthly,
    unspiritual, devilish.

    Apparently,  the  sin  of  pride  was  driving Lucifer to this overt act
of rebellion against God.  And the creation of the world provided  the  golden 
opportunity.  If  he could enslave man, he would automatically become King of
this beautiful creation.  Since Adam  had been  given dominion  over it,  the
master of Adam would also be master of all which was subordinate to Adam.

    But how could Adam  subdue this potential enemy?  How  did the Israelites 
subdue the land  of Canaan?  By  obedience to God.  In the measure they obeyed
God, they came into possession of the land of Canaan.  God would lead in the
destruction of the enemy.

    One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord
    your God who fights for you, as he promised you (Josh. 23:10).

    In the measure they disobeyed, they became slaves to the enemy in the
land.  The several hundred  years of history,  recorded in the book  of
Judges,  give vivid  testimony to  their enslavement, which followed when they
did not obey God by destroying  the enemy who also claimed ownership to the

    Adam,  of  course,  failed  the  test.  Lucifer came into the garden and
the  battle was joined.  He apparently took on the form of a serpent for it 
was the wisest of all the animals (Gen. 3:1).  The  Hebrew  word  for 
“subtle”  or  “crafty”  in  the  verse  is translated most  often in the Bible
as “prudent.”  Of all creation this  wisest of  all animals  would most 
easily be obeyed by Eve.  He, of  course, did  not join  the battle  head on 
with Adam.  He carefully planned his  strategy by capturing a lower echelon
ruler first.  Then her obedience to Satan  would insure victory over the king,
Adam, himself.  Satan follows the same technique today as he seeks to
overthrow the work of Christ by working through the bride of Christ, the

    I  feel a  divine jealousy  for you,  for I  bethrothed you to
    Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.  But
    I am afraid  that as the serpent deceived  Eve by his cunning,
    your  thoughts  will  be  led  astray  from a sincere and pure
    devotion to Christ (IICor. 11:23).

    Adam was to  subdue the earth  by destroying Satan.  He could assure the
destruction  of Satan by his perfect  obedience to God.  This understanding of
the word “subdue” (kabash) matches the usage of this word elsewhere in the

    The implementation of this command was assured by the words of Genesis

    And the  Lord God commanded  the man, saying,  “You may freely
    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 die.

    Here we  see how  God set  up the  testing arena.  A tree was included 
in the  garden from  which he  was not  to eat.  This is where  man  and 
Satan  met  to  determine  who  was to be Lord of creation.  As we continue 
our study, we shall see how this battle affected  both  heaven  and  earth. 
But  at  this  point  in our discussion we see clearly that  the phrase
“subdue it” of  Genesis 1:28 gives no aid or comfort to those who might 
believe there was death in  creation before Adam’s  fall.  And the 
understanding of this key phrase  opens up a  door to much  other significant
truth that relates to a historical Adam.

    But  before we  develop this  thought further,  let us address ourselves
to another question which also suggests the  possibility of death in the
creation  before the fall of Adam.  If  the angel, Lucifer, fell into sin and
had access to this earth, could not his sin  also  have  brought  death  or 
decay  in some measure to the universe?  Let us return to Eden  to answer this
question.  Let us attempt to determine the timetable of Lucifer’s fall into

When Did Satan Fall?

    In  I  John  3:8  we  read,  `the  devil  has  sinned from the beginning.’ 
Was  this  the  beginning  of  Genesis  1:1,  “In the beginning  God 
created?”  Did  it  occur  before the six days of creation?  Then Satan must 
have been created  a sinful being, or his  rebellion  must  have  been  so 
close  in  time  to the time specified in Genesis 1:1 that  to all intents and
purposes it must have  been alsmost  simultaneous with  the `beginning’  of
Genesis 1:1.  But other  Biblical evidence points to a  time when Satan or the
angel Lucifer  did walk in  perfection.  This is  suggested by the name  given
to him in  Isaiah 14:12, as well  as the statement concerning him in this same

    How  you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!  How
    you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low.

    This  thought, of sin in the  world of angels coming some time after 
their  creation,  is  also  suggested  by  such  Biblical statements as that
found in II Peter 2:4:

    For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast

    them tnto  hell and committed them to  pits of nether gloom to
    be kept until the judgment.

    Perhaps a clue to the timing of the angel Lucifer’s sin can be found in
Mark 10:6.  There we read:

    But from the beginning of creation,
    God made them male and female.

    Note  that this verse also speaks  of beginning even as I John 3:8 spoke
of  the beginning when  Satan fell.  But  “beginning” in Mark  10:6 is 
identified with  Adam and  Eve.  This would suggest that possibly  Satan did
not sin at least  until Adam and Eve were created.

    This concept of Satan’s rebellion occurring at about  the time of Eve’s
sin  is further strengthened when we  witness God’s curse upon him in Genesis

    The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have  done this,
    cursed are  you above all cattle, and  above all wild animals;
    upon your belly you shall  go, and dust you shall eat  all the
    days of  your life.  I will  put enmity  between you  and the
    woman,  and between  your seed  and her  seed; he shall bruise
    your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

    In the  case of  man and  creation it  was at  this moment  in history 
that the  ground was  cursed (Gen.  3:17-19), and man was condemned to return 
to the dust.  The parallel curse  comes upon Satan.  One  could  expect 
then  that  Satan’s  fall  was  also simultaneous with that of man’s. 

    Incidentally, we sometimes think of the curse  of Genesis 3:14 as being 
applicable to the  animal which was  the ancestor of the snake.  The snake 
may well be  the descendant of  a serpent which was  cursed as a  result of
it’s  involuntary involvement with the sin of  Satan.  But the  curse in its 
primary emphasis is  on the serpent,  the devil.  Verse 15  has reference 
only to Satan, and there is no change in the object  of God’s statement
between verse 14  and verse  15.  Moreover,  the Bible  expressly calls  Satan
a serpent in  a number of places,  a most notable place  of which is
Revelation  12.  Furthermore, in  Isaiah 65:25, God  speaks of the new heaven
and new  earth, and in this  context he speaks of  dust being the serpent’s
food.  This  can only be a fulfillment  of the curse of Genesis 3:14.(3)

    So the earth is cursed, man is cursed by death and travail  in childbirth 
and Satan is cursed.  Satan and mankind stand equally guilty before  God. 
Upon both are  pronounced the condemnation of God.  Only man is given hope as 
God intimates victory for mankind over  Satan,  as  he  promises  a 
Redeemer  in  Genesis  3:15. Significantly, it  appears that the  final
judgment upon  Satan is also simultaneous in time  and parallel in character
to  that upon mankind.  Both will be thrown in  the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10
and 15).  Both  are destroyed from  this earth when  Christ returns in
judgment  (Rev. 19:11-21).  This parallel  termination of man and Satan
emphasizes  the possibility  of a  simultaneous falling into sin. 

    We have seen thus far that for a number of reasons Satan’s sin probably 
occurred  simultaneously  with  that  of man’s.  None of these  reasons is  in
itself  conclusive.  But  all are within the intent  of  Scripture.  There 
is,  however,  one  other  rather impressive  reason that  points to  Satan’s
initial  sin occurring simultaneously with man’s. 

    When we  examine God’s statement  to Adam in  Genesis 1:28, we see that he
is to subdue the earth.  We  have determined that this must be understood as a
mandate to Adam to conquer and destroy the enemy,  Satan, who  would attempt 
to subjugate  Adam.  He  was to expose and  destroy Satan  by his  perfect
obedience  to God.  But nothing  is  said  to  Adam  by  God  relative  to the
question of redeeming a  universe or heaven  from the ravages  of Satan’s sin. 
We  know  as  a  fact  that  Satan’s sin produced real distress in heaven for
many of the angels rebelled with him.  Moreover,  as we have seen, his
rebellion also produced a cursed earth and death in man and the lesser
creatures.  If Satan had  rebelled much earlier than  the time of the episode
in the Garden of Eden, so that there already were results–death and decay–in
the universe as  well as rebellion in heaven,  one surely could  expect some
provision  for redemption of  the earth and heaven.  None, however, is
suggested or intimated before  the fall, in regards to  Adam’s mandate.  His
only job was to conquer Satan by  his perfect and loyal obedience.  Could this
have been because Satan’s fall was simultaneous?

    When we  look at the last Adam,  Jesus Christ, however, we see immediately
that He had a two-fold task.  He must destroy Satan by His  perfect  obedience 
as  part  of  His  mandate.  In  this He paralleled the first Adam.

    But the God-man Jesus must also destroy the work of Satan.  He must redeem
a  cosmos that had become ruined  and deranged because of the dominion of
Satan. The  havoc of Satan’s rebellion not only resulted  in a  wrecked earth 
but also  in a heaven that required renewing.  This renewing was Christ’s task 
as we see in Ephesians 1:9.

    For  he has  made known to  us in all  wisdom and insight  the mystery  of
his will,  according to purpose  which he set forth in Christ as a plan for
the fullness of time, to  unite all things in him, things in heaven and things
on earth.

    This corresponds to the statment of II Peter 3:12,13–that the heavens as
well as the earth are to be  renovated, and new heavens and a new earth to be

    Waiting  for  and  hastening  the  coming  of  the day of God,
    because  of which the  heavens will be  kindled and dissolved,
    and the  elements will melt  with fire.  But  according to his
    promise  we  wait  for  new  heavens  and a new earth in which
    righteousness dwells.

    Adam was given no  mandate relative to the work  of Satan and, therefore,
we must conclude heaven  as well as earth were  without the  ravages  of  sin 
until  this  moment  in  history  when  the temptation  took place. 
Therefore, Satan’s  fall must  have been simultaneous with man’s.

Creation Cursed

    Now  the  whole  picture  of  misery  lies unfolded before us.  Satan is
cursed so that whereas in his pride he wanted to be King, he  now  is  told 
that  he  is  to  be less than the least of the animals.  He, who aspired to 
rule over man who was created in the image of God, is cursed to be less than
the least of the creatures with the breath of life.  The creation,  too, was
cursed.  Because Adam, who had been given  dominion over the  creation, was
cursed, all that over which he was to reign was also cursed.

    This is the significance of the words of Romans 8:19-23:

    For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of
    the sons of God;  for the creation was subjected  to futility,
    not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in
    hope;  because the creation  itself will be  set free from its
    bondage  to  decay  and  obtain  the  glorious  liberty of the
    children of  God.  We  know that  the whole  creation has been
    groaning  in  travail  together  until  now;  and not only the
    creation, but we ourselves, who  have the first fruits of  the
    Spirit, groan inwardly  as we wait  for adoption of  sons, the
    redemption of our bodies.

    The  creation  which  had  been  given  to  Adam  as  a loyal, obedient, 
wonderful, living  creation now  had become rebellious, and deranged  with
death  as the  evidence of  this futility.  The ground was cursed  so that it 
brought forth thorns  and thistles.  It would no longer be obedient to King
Adam who was to till it and keep it  (Gen.2:15).  Instead man  must draw his 
living from this rebellious cursed earth by the sweat of his brow (Gen.

    Man was  cursed.  In  the day  he disobeyed  he died.  He died spiritually
in that he was separated from God by his sin.  He died physically as indicated
by the decay that began in his  body.  The evidence of this death was the
eventual return of his body  to the dust.  Even  as his  body dedayed,  the
entire  creation would  be subject  to decay  and death.  The instructions 
given to Adam in Gensis  1:28  were  given  before  the  entrance  of  sin
into the creation with all of its  horrible consequences.  Adam and Eve  as
the first  people in  their beautiful  world were  given the guide lines  for 
their  kingsship  over  it.  But  they disobeyed and, instead, were made
subject to Satan.

    It is very enlightening to read in the Bible  God’s mandate to Noah when
he  left the ark.  Then the world,  which had become too sinful to  continue,
had been destroyed; and  God began again with Mr. and Mrs. Noah and  their
three sons and their wives.  Now all the curses of  Genesis 3 have  been
declared.  The  world is under the dominion of Satan as prince of the earth. 
God, however, again gives an  outline of  man’s responsibilities  in this  sin
stained world.  He uses very parallel language to that given in the garden to

    In Genesis 9:1,2 we read the mandate given to Noah:

    `And God  blessed Noah  and his  sons, and  said to  them, “Be
    fruitful and multiply,  and fill the earth.”  The  fear of you
    and the dread of  you shall be upon every beast  of the earth,
    and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on
    the ground and all  the fish of the  sea; into your hand  they
    are delivered.’

    Note the similarities of Genesis l:28,29:

    And  God blessed them, and God  said to them, “Be fruitful and
    multiply and  fill the earth and subdue  it; and have dominion
    over  the fish of  the sea and  over the birds  of the air and
    over every  living thing tht  moves upon the  earth.”  And God
    said,  “Behold,  I  have  given  you every plant yielding seed
    which is upon the face of the earth, and every  tree with seed
    in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

    Both  Adam  and  Noah  are  blessed,  both are commanded to be fruitful,
to  multiply and to  fill the earth.  But at this point the  similarity comes
to a crashing  halt.  Adam is told to subdue the earth  and have  dominion
over  all of  its creatures.  God is silent  with  reference  to  Noah’s 
subduing the earth, or having dominion over its creatures.  Instead, the
beasts are to  live in fear and dread of him.  How clearly the Bible describes
the change in creation  in these verses.  Noah cannot be  told to subdue the
earth because he is a slave of Satan.  By Adam’s sin, man has lost his  claim
to Lordship  over this earth.  Satan is rightly called the “prince of this
earth,”  and the “prince of the air.”  He has enslaved man and robbed him of
his kingship and authority over the creatures.  Even though Satan has been 
cursed, he has become the ruler of  man and  creation.  The  beasts are  not
loyal,  willing subjects to man as they were before the  fall.  Instead, they
obey man only because of fear.  They are slaves of slaves.

Creation Redeemed

    This dark,  dismal picture  sets the  stage for  the coming of Jesus 
Christ.  Already  in  Genesis  3:15  God  promises  that a Redeemer will come
who will destroy Satan.  This Redeemer, who  is the  seed of the woman, that
is, he, too, is a man, will crush the head of the serpent.  He will  utterly
enslave him and destroy him by  his perfect obedience to God.  He  will do
what Adam failed to do.  By his perfect  obedience to God he will  claim this
creation as  his own  possession.  He  will have  mastery over it and reign
over  it as king.  This is why  Paul in Romans  5:14 calls Adam a type  of
Christ.  This is  why Jesus  announced in  Luke 4 at the beginning  of  his 
publice  ministry  that he had come to set the prisoners  free.  They  were 
to  be  set  free  from bondage and enslavement to Satan.

    Satan  fully  realized  Christ’s  threat  to  his kingdom.  He attempted
to kill the baby Jesus using Herod as his tool.  He came to Jesus in the
wilderness to tempt  him.  The language of Matthew 4:1 is very pertinent:

    Then Jesus was  led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be
    tempted by the devil.

    Christ must establish his claim to this earth by subduing  the enemy
Satan.  He  is following the footsteps of Adam.  God had set the stage for
Adam’s test by the command that they were not to eat of  the  tree.  If 
Jesus,  too,  succumbed to the temptations of Satan, the present ruler of the 
earth, he, also, would become his slave and the creation would be Satan’s
forever, or God would have to introduce an altogether different plan for its

    Christ is  the seed of  Abraham.  The seed  of Abraham is also spiritual
Israel, the body  of Christ.  Even as Israel  was tested by God for 40  days
while Moses was  on Mt. Sinai, 40  years while they were  in the wilderness, 
and 400 years  during the period of the judges, so  Christ was tested  for 40
days.  Adam had failed.  Israel had failed again and again.  Now Christ had
come to do what Adam had  failed to  do.  Now  Christ had  come to  do what
Israel under  the  law  had  failed  to  do.  So  he was driven into the
wilderness  to  prove  His  obedience,  His rightful claim on this creation
which He created.

Did  he fail?  No.  By his perfect  obedience He won a resounding victory
over the enemy.  And try as he might throughout the  years of  Jesus’ 
ministry,  Satan  was  unable  to  break  through this obedience.  Satan’s
doom was  sure.  But would Christ  be obedient even unto death?  Jesus had
said to Nicodemus,  “For God so loved the world He  gave his only  begotten
son.”  Christ’s  mandate was far  more  serious  and  complex  than  Adam’s. 
Adam was to claim possession of  a perfect  world by  his perfect  obedience
to God.  Christ must not only claim possession of  the world, but also must do
what was necessary to make that world perfect again.  The world of  Adam
needed  no improvement.  It was  good. It  was the ideal kingdom.  All of it
was loyal, obedient and loving in relationship to  King  Adam.  The  world 
that  Christ  had come to redeem was wrecked.  It was cursed.  It had been
under the dominion of Satan for 11000 years.(4)  Time after time God had had
to visit it with judgment.  At  one time  God had  even destroyed  the earth
by the great Noahic Flood, because of  the degradation into which it  had
fallen.  The work cut out for  Christ was indeed formidable.  And because
Christ was God He knew with  awful certainty the awfulness of God’s wrath that
was to be poured out on this  world as penalty for its rebellion  and sin. 
Satan  thought that crucifying  Jesus was  a  tremendous  solution  to  his 
problem.  With Jesus dead, Satan’s kingship was secure.  He hadn’t succeeded
in causing Jesus to disobey God during the 40 days of temptation in the
wilderness.  And even though  Satan and his demons recognized that judgment
day was coming  and that Jesus was involved in this (“Have you come to torment 
us  before  the  time?”  Matt.  8:29).  Satan,  who  had introduced  death 
into  the  world,  believed  death was the only answer to his problem with 
Jesus.  Already in Genesis 3:15 it had been prophesied that  Satan would
bruise  the heel of  the seed of the woman.  Christ was the seed of the woman.
Something dreadful was to  happen to Jesus,  in fulfillment of  the prophesy
that his heel would be bruised.  Could this dreadful thing be  the death of

    So Jesus  is betrayed by Judas under the power of Satan.  Will He go
through this awful sacrifice in obedience to the will of the Father?  “I do as 
the Father has commanded me”  (John 14:31), was the desire of Jesus.  And 
because of the sheer horror of the path He must walk, Jesus asks, is  there
another way?  Could the cup be removed from Him?  And then in perfect 
obedience He declares “not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

    Jesus  hangs  on  the  cross.  He  has become sin for all who believe  in
Him.  He is satisfying  God’s justice on behalf of all who had or will  place
their trust in  him.  He endured the  pain, the equivalent punishment of an
eternity in Hell for all of these, and had  not been destroyed by the very 
magnitude of the wrath of God.

    When the penalty was paid, He had to prove that death also had been
vanquished.  Moreover, He  must complete  his identification with  this world 
He had  come to  redeem. After  declaring “It is finished” and commending His
Spirit into the hands of His  Father, He allowed His body to be buried. But
His body did not decay (Acts 2:31).  Death had been  vanquished.  Decay which 
came with death into the world as a product of sin and death had been complete
and final on the cross.

    Further  proof  of  his  victory  over  death  was  given  in magnificant
fashion by the empty tomb on that first Easter moring. 

    Christ had  come to destroy  the devil.  Through  his death he
accomplished this.

    Since, therefore, the children  share in  flesh and  blood, he
    himself  likewise  partook  of  the  same nature, that through
    death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is
    the devil (Heb. 2:14).

    He came to destroy the works of the devil.

    He who commits  sin is of the devil; for  the devil has sinned
    from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to
    destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).

    By  Christ’s perfect  obedience Christ  had subdued the earth.  He had 
established his  rightful claim  as Lord  of creation.  No wonder we read in
Hebrews 1:8:

    But on the  Son he says, “Thy  throne, O God, is  for ever and
    ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. 

    By his death, with its resurrection proof, He established that death  no
longer  had any  hold on  men, if  they believed on him.  There was to be a
resurrection for them, even as He arose from the dead.  Thus, he  destroyed
the  work of  Satan, the most terrible evidence of which was decay and death.

    At the beginning of this discussion  it was indicated that, in addition to 
Genesis 1:28 where Adam is  told to subdue the earth, there were  twelve
places  where the  Hebrew word  for “subdue” is used.  The Hebrew word  is
kabash.  Ten of the verses were listed.  Let us now look at the remaining two. 
They are:

    He  will  again  have  compassion  upon  us, he will tread our
    iniquities under foot.  Thou wilt cast all our  sins into the
    depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).

    The Lord of hosts will protect them, and they will devour  and
    tread down the slingers, and they will  drink their blood like
    wine, and  be full like  a bowl, drenched  like the corners of
    the altar (Zech. 9:15).

    Notice here that these prophetic verses used the word “kabash” as
indicating on the one hand that the enemies, the slingers, were to  be trod
down,  and on the  other that our  iniquities would be trod  under  foot. 
This  was  prophetic  language describing the coming victory of Christ over
sin and Satan. 

    Parallel language is easily found in the New Testament:

    And  he has put all things under his feet and has made him the
    head over all things for the church (Eph. 1:22).

    But  to what angel  has he ever  said, “Sit at  my right hand,
    till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet” (Heb. 1:13).

    …putting everything in subjection under his feet (Heb. 2:8).

    The  subduing  of  the  earth  had  truly been accomplished by Christ.

Christ Shall Have Dominion

    Early in  this chapter  we saw  how Adam  before the  fall was given 
dominion (radah) over the  lesser creatures.  We noted with amazement that
this command or mandate to have dominion over these creatures  was  never 
repeated  after  the  fall.  Rather when we examine the use of radah in the
Scriptures  we see especially four usages  in  addition  to  that  of  Genesis
I.  In Leviticus radah relates to  dominion of  a master  over a  slave.  In 
this it  is parallel  to the  use of  the word  “subdue” (kabash)  to indicate
mastery as that of a master holding a slave in subjugation.

    The second usage is that of the enemies of God ruling over the nations of
the  world or over the  people of God (Neh.  9:28, Lev. 26:17, Isa. 14:6,
Ezek. 29:15, Jer. 5:31, Ezek. 34:4).  In this we are  given  symbolical  or 
figurative  language  showing  Satan’s dominion over this world. Radah is the
word that God uses in these passages because this world, which was to have
continued under the dominion of man as King of this world, and as outlined in 
Genesis I,  has  instead  come  under  the  dominion of the enemies of God
headed up by the prince of this world, Satan.  This parallels  the situation
of Israel  when they failed  to destroy or  “subdue” the enemy.  They instead
were brought into subjection by the enemy.

    The third use  of the radah  is in those  passages which speak either 
directly or  figuratively to  the dominion  of Christ over this world (Isa.
41;2, Psalm 110:2, Ps. 72:8, I Kings 4:24).  This is a result of Christ’s
victory over  Satan and his rightful place as  Lord  by  virtue  of  his 
redemptive work.  The new Testament addresses itself to this dominion by
Christ in such  passages as I Peter 5:11;(5)

    To him be the dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.

    The fourth usage is  that of God’s people having dominion over the enemies
of Christ (I Kings 5:16, I Kings 9:23, II Chron. 8:10, Judges  5:13,  Numbers 
24:19,  Ps.  49:14, Isa. 14:2, Ps. 68:27).  This  is  surely  prophetic 
language  of  the Christian believers ruling over  Satan in Christ.  This
begins in  this life  when we are  saved,  and  will  find  its  ultimate
fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth. 

    We  thus  see  that  the  dominion  of  Genesis I  as employed throughout
the Bible is in perfect accord with the use of the word “subdue” (kabash) in
the Holy Canon.

    In summary we  have seen that  from every viewpoint  the Bible emphasizes
the  truth that  there was  no death  before the sin of Adam  and Eve.  We
have  seen that  the mandate  they received to subdue the earth was a command
to perfect obedience in the face of the enemy Satan.  Thus man would establish
his legitimate right to Lordship over  this creation.  The  angel, Lucifer,
Satan,  saw in this creation the possibility of satisfying his own desires.

    But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his
    own desire.  Then desire when  it has conceived gives birth to
    sin; and  sin when it  is full-grown brings  forth death (Jas.

    So  Lucifer, who became Satan,  subdued man and simultaneously he, the 
earth, and man were  cursed.  All were judged  by God and were made  subject
to  His wrath.  By conquest  Satan had  become prince of this earth. 

    Adam’s  task was  relatively limited.  The world  in which he lived was 
good and  sinless.  Death  and decay  were non-existent anywhere in the entire

    Christ, the last Adam, came to do what the  first Adam did not do.  But 
Christ’s task  was infinitely  greater than  Adam’s.  He must not only
vanquish Satan, but must also redeem the cosmos from the  curse  of  God,  and 
from  the  results of Satan’s dominion.  Truly, the Bible teaches that there
was no curse in any sense upon the world before Adam’s fall.

    Many questions have been raised by this chapter.  If Satan was cursed in
the garden, why  was he permitted in the presence of God as we read in  Job? 
And  if Christ destroyed Satan and his  works by his atonement, why is Satan
still operating  in the world?  And how does  all of this  help us in  our
quest for  an answer to the question of the believers task today?

    We shall continue in our study to look at these questions.

(Notes to numbered passages in Chapter 2)

(l)  In  the  KJV  the  word  “fill”  of this phrase is translated
`replenish.’  To replenish  something signified  that it once was full or had
plenty; it became empty, and now must be filled again.  The Hebrew word is
male.  It is translated seven times in the KJV as replenish or to be
replenished.  But is  it translated at least 175  times as fill, or full or 
fulfill.  There is no basis in the text or  the context  of the  entire Bible 
that insists  that the translation of male  must be “replenish”  in Gen. 1:28.
In fact, the later  translations, (RSV, ASV, etc.)  have changed this usage in 
this text  to “fill.”  This agrees  with the  teaching of the entire Bible.

(2)  See Chapter 4  of this book  for a more  complete analysis of this

(3) An interesting parallel  exists between man and Satan  in this regard. 
Man returns to  the dust as  a result of  the curse upon him.  Satan 
ultimately  is  to  have  dust  for food which is to suggest he is in the dust
or is of the same level with the dust.

(4) For an analysis of the history of man established  by biblical reckoning
see “The Biblical Calendar of History” by Harold Camping in Journal of the
American Scientific Affiliation, Sept. 1970,  p. 102.

(5) See also I Peter 4:11, Jude 25, Rev. 1:6.

Continued in FEED3.TXT

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