Death In The OT

C McC Mc Posts: 3,626
edited October 2019 in Bible Questions

Some want to know the origin of death, to better understand it in the NT.

  1. Death started with God or man?
  2. What is the first mentioned of death in the OT?
  3. Did death occurred before the fall of man (Adam and Eve)?
  4. What was the first human death? What was its cause?
  5. Was it due to the prohibition against eating or touching the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
  6. What was the first actual physical death?
  7. What was the situation prior to both the animal and Abel’s death?
  8. Was man made in a state of deathlessness or immortality? If so, what proof can one point to explain this? How did man became mortal? Or, was he always mortal?
  9. In short, was death a part of God's original plan for man and earth?

Take some time to think about a reality that touches so many lives, for so long. What are your thoughts in light of biblical teachings on this subject? CM

Post edited by C Mc on


  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,626

    Was death God's doing? Was it accidental? Or is death the consequences of man's doing-- the results of judgement and punishment? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,737
    edited November 2019

    I mentioned the following somewhere else in reference to someone asking about Gen 2:17, and I would think it sheds some light on the topic raised here as well. The main difficulty in understanding the "death" matter is in recognizing that Scripture speaks of "life" - and subsequently also of "death" in regards to TWO kinds of life (temporal earthly - eternal heavenly) with the loss of either being spoken of as "death" (loss of temporal earthly life / loss of eternal heavenly life).

    God told Adam and Eve:

     "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Gen.2:17 NASV). 

     "But you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good or evil ,for when you eat of it you will surely die." (NIV).

     "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (KJV)

     "You may eat from every tree in the garden, but not from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it you will certainly die."(NEB)

    I have more versions to quote from, however these 4 cover all of the others.

    Adam nor Eve either fell physically dead on that day. Yet God says in/on the SAME DAY you eat you will surely/certainly die. My question: Who/what of man died on that day?

    I contend that God told the truth and did not lie, and that therefore the man Adam certainly died ON THAT VERY DAY he ate of the fruit and committed sin by transgressing God's command. Please notice that God did NOT say, "a certain part of you will surely die on that day", neither did God say "you will begin to die ... on that day.  God very plainly and emphatically said "YOU will surely die on that day ..."

    We know from the further record in Gen that Adam continued to live in regard to his biological life on earth for several more centuries. So then, in regard to what did Adam die on that day?? 

    I contend that the answer is provided when considering that Scripture speaks of 2 kinds of life => (1) the physical or biological life man lives on earth between his first breath and his last breath (to use biblical terminology); (2) life in eternity in the spiritual realm of the presence of God.

    Adam was alive in regards to his temporal earthly life, and Adam had the promise of eternal life in the presence of God. Now, what happened on the day he sinned and ate of the fruit?? When he ate of the fruit he was a dead man ...not in regards to his temporal biological life on earth, but in regard to the eternal life in the presence of God !


    Now, sin on the very day man commits a sin puts man under condemnation of death, namely "eternal death" (as the opposite of "eternal life"); sin does not have as its consequence "biological earthly death" (as the end of physical temporal "biological earthly life").

    Redemption and salvation as accomplished by the completed work of Christ Jesus makes possible to those sinners who are dead as far as eternal life due to their sin to be made alive in regards to eternal life when they believe in Christ.

Sign In or Register to comment.