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the LORD God formed a man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
God is portrayed as a potter molding man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebrew between adam ("man") and adama ("ground"). Being: literally, "soul."
1, 1--2, 4a: This section introduces the whole Pentateuch. It shows how God brought an orderly universe out of primordial chaos.
1, 2: The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogany. After God's creative activity, part of this vast body forms the salt-water seas (vv 9f); part of it is the fresh water under the earth (Ps 33, 7; Ez 31, 4), which wells forth on the earth as springs and fountains (Gn 7, 11; 8, 2; Prv 3, 20). Part of it, "the upper water" (Ps 148, 4; Dn 3, 60), is held up by the dome of the sky (Gn 1, 6f) from which rain descends on the earth (Gn 7, 11; 2 Kgs 7, 2. 19; Ps 104, 13). A mighty wind: literally, "a wind of God," or "a spirit of God"; cf Gn 8, 1.
In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial literary structure of Gn 1, 1--2, 41, God's creative activity is divided into six days to teach the sacredness of the sabbath rest on the seventh day in the Israelite religion (Gn 2, 2f).
This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology. The sacred author incorporates it here, not only in order to account for the prehistoric giants of Palestine, whom the Israelites called the Nephilim, but also to introduce the story of the flood with a moral orientation--the constantly increasing wickedness of mankind.