Where Does Adam's Dominion Stop?


o be sure, the world is a mess right now. The book of Revelation talks about the punishment for those who destroy the earth (Rev. 18:11). The signs of mismanagement of this earth's resources are all around us: Air pollution, water pollution, hazardous nuclear wastes which will take thousands of years to decay, space age plastics in our garbage which the environment will need decades to decompose, depletion of the protective ozone layer by industrial wastes, and the elimination of the rain forests at the rate of 3,000 acres a day. The vanishing rain forests of South America are costing us dearly in ways we are first beginning to detect. These forests are made to create Oxygen. The living plants in these rich forests consume the Carbon Dioxide which we eliminate, and in turn dump oxygen into the environment. It has been estimated that the oxygen content of the atmosphere has dropped from 21% to 17% in the last decade and a half, thanks to the ravaging of the world's forests without due replacement of what we take.

The problem stems first to the fact that Adam and Eve were given joint dominion over the earth. In his first letter, Peter refers to the man and woman as joint heirs of favor (1 Peter 3:7). However, Adam and Eve's very first commission was to "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26). The command to "have dominion" is also repeated in verse 28 when Adam and Eve are told to "be fruitful and multiply."

Genesis chapter 2 repeats the creation story from another standpoint. In this chapter we are given more detail regarding Adam's relationship to the animal kingdom and we are also given some insights into the creation of Eve.

In Genesis 2:18, Yahweh our Elohim said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him." Notice, however, that Yahweh does not form Eve right away. First, Yahweh presents all the animals of the air and of the field to Adam to see what he would call them. Let us consider for a moment the authority, the dominion which Adam was given as these animals were paraded past him. "…whatsoever Adam  called every living creature, that was the name thereof." (Gen. 2:19). In the course of naming the animals of the air and of the field, no creature is found suitable for helping Adam. It must have been comical to be there in the garden that day, for surely Adam named the animals after their most dominant characteristics. Maybe he called the giraffe 'longneck" or the elephant "big ears." In the Hebrew language we may have remnants of Adam's original names for the animals. For example, the Hebrew word for goat, Strong's #8163, "saw-eer", means shaggy. Likewise, the Hebrew word for horse, Strong's #5483, "soos", comes from a word that means to skip. We know, of course, that Adam put some thought into it, because when he comes to the Woman, he logically explains how he arrives at her name. Genesis 2:23 reads, "…This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman (Hebrew: ISHA) because she was taken out of Man (Hebrew: ISH)."

Of course, this is all well and good. But one key lesson here is that Adam’s dominion includes the authority to name the animals, AND to name his wife.

In fact, the authority to name something, or somebody, is a sign of dominion over that thing or person. We can see this clearly in the following examples:

v  Moses changed the name of Hosea, son of Nun to Joshua (Yahshua), son of Nun, Numbers 13;16.

v  Yahweh changed Abram's name to Abraham, Genesis 17:5.

v  Yahweh changed Sarai's name to Sarah, Genesis 17:15.

v  Yahweh changed Jacob's name to Israel, Genesis 32:28.

v  Yahshua changed Simon's name to Cephas (meaning stone; Greek, Peter), Matthew 16:18.

v  Abraham named his son Isaac, Genesis 21:3.

v  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all gave names to the places where they traveled through the promised land (Yahweh-Yireh, Beersheba, Peniel, etc.).

v  Yahweh also proclaimed the name of John the Baptist and Yahshua the Messiah to their parents, before they were born, Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:13.

v  A woman is to be called by her husband's name upon marriage, Isaiah 4:1.

v  In Genesis 3:20, Adam gave his wife a new name, Eve (Hebrew, Chawah), meaning living, as she was the mother of all the living.

v  In Revelation 2:17, we are all promised a new name from our Savior.

v  In the book of Hosea, the prophet is instructed what to name his children, Hosea 1:4, 6, 9.

v  The prince of the eunuchs named Daniel "Belteshazzar," Daniel 1:7.

The list is seemingly endless. The Bible has a clear message in this regard. If you have authority over something or someone, you likewise have the authority to call them by whatever name you wish. Likewise, if you are in the habit of conferring names upon others at will, you better make sure you have the authority to do so.

This brings us, finally, to the real purpose of this study. Isn't it disrespectful, yes, even a colossal effrontery to the most high Elohim, that we take it upon ourselves to call Him by names of our own choosing?

Adam has authority to name the beasts of the field and of the air. Adam has the authority (improperly exercised) to destroy this earth with pollution and ruin. Property owners can name their lands what they will, as the Patriarchs did to the promised land as they passed through. Fathers can name their children as they wish (barring a heavenly direction otherwise) and wives are to take on the names of their husbands. But men have no right naming the Most High, according to their darkened folly, with words like God, Lord, etc., as a substitute for His great Name YAHWEH. Is not this the sin of Satan, to elevate one's self above the Almighty, by whatever means possible?

May we repent with sincerity of this subtle deception!

                                           ~Mike Banak

(Contact Bro. Michael A. Banak at 10013 So. Kildare, Oak Lawn, IL 60453).