This post gives the Biblical definitions of the words used for man. These definitions agree with the way men are currently treated. However, this is NOT God's definition for a man. Humans created the definitions, NOT God. In order to understand God's definition for a man, please read the post, ""The Definition of a Real Man". Also, the definition of a man according to God is COMPLETELY dependent on the definition of a woman according to God. You can find this out this post: "Definition of a Real Woman"
Also, if you are looking for an explanation of how to become a man, here is a link to the beginning of a Series from February 2011: HOW to become a man.
This post has become very popular with people "googling" for answers to The Roles of The Sexes. Thank you for choosing this site to answer your question. I realize you are probably in a rush to answer some burning question and I believe this post will answer it. However, I would like to make you aware this post is part of a Series that covers the roles of both men and women according to the world, the definitions used in the Bible, and God's non-contradictory explanation. Please mark this post and take time to come back and look at the following links to get a bigger understanding:
Definitions of the words for "Man" that are used in the Bible (This post)
Definition of "Man" according to the World
Definition of "Man" according to God's Word
Definitions of the words for "Woman" that are used in the Bible
Definition of "Woman" according to the World
Definition of "Woman" according to God's Word
This month we are looking at the two Universal Strongholds that are hindering our ability to fix the church.
Last week we looked at the first Universal Stronghold: Leadership.
Remember, a stronghold is a source of ammunition and resources for the enemy within our brains that ultimately leads to us being Unprofitable. When I speak of Universal Strongholds, I'm stating that EVERYTHING about this topic is Unprofitably filed away in our brains. For instance, when people speak of "Leadership" it is Unprofitable in the Long Term because they ACTUALLY describe attributes that are the OPPOSITE of what would make ALL of us Profitable.
This week, we began looking at the second Universal Stronghold: the roles of the sexes.
This week we are covering the males. Next week (and for the rest of the month), we will cover the females. By the end of this month, we will see that both of these Universal Strongholds (Leadership and The Roles of The Sexes) are forming a contradictory loop in the thought processes of our culture's "brain".
In the previous post, I asked for your definitions of "man" and "boy". The guidelines were that the definition ought to be stated in terms of a cause and Jesus ought to be the Ultimate example of the definition.
Please reread the previous post for more background on the guidelines for determining your definition.
Today, we will look at the Hebrew words for "man" and "male".
"1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."
First of all, notice that the Bible says God created MAN...and then says "male and female" He created them. Next, notice that God called THEIR name Adam. What are these Hebrew words?
man is Strong's #120 adam (pronounced aw-dawm' ) - "from 119; ruddy, i.e., a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.)"
Strong's #119 adam (pronounced aw-dam' ) - "to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy: - be (dyed, made) red (ruddy)"
The word "man" applies to BOTH males and females. That's why God called THEIR name "Adam"...they were BOTH "man". However, the English word "man" in the Bible can come from another Hebrew word...
"24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
man in this passage is Strong's #376 iysh - "a man as an individual or a male person;"
Back to the Genesis 5 passage:
male is Strong's #2145 zakar (pronounced zaw-kawr' ) - "from 2142; prop. remembered, i.e. a male (of man or animals, as being the most noteworthy sex)"
2142 zakar (pronounced zaw-kar' ) - "a prim. root; prop to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e. to remember, by impli. to mention; also (as demon. from 2145) to be male"
This is a subtle point...
Genesis 5 states that GOD called them "Adam". That was the word God used. However, when the passage says God created "male and female", these are NOT the words God used to describe the male and female version of "man".
So, the definitions for the words representing "male" and "female" come from humans. These definitions are effects of people...the result of people defining words. God did NOT write the Hebrew dictionary. People came up with the definitions of Hebrew words. (One of the definitions for Strong's #120 is "hypocrite". Did this portion of the definition come from God or a person?)
God's SPECIFIC meaning for each word is sometimes given in God's Word. For example, the definition for "sin" is given in God's Word as "whatsoever is apart from faith". When God does NOT give the specific definition in His Word, we need to use God's Word to determine the definition of a word God used.
We are trying to define "man" as it relates to the mature male version of our species. We are trying to define "boy" as it relates to the immature male version of our species.
What we learned from the Hebrew definition for "male" is that people defined the Hebrew word for "male" in terms of an effect: it is the sex that is remembered and mentioned!
WHY are males the sex that the Bible makes sure to record and mention when it presents genealogies? I can't say for sure. However, I can say that males are the sex that the Bible does NOT fail to remember and mention...and as an effect of this cause, people have determined the definition for the Hebrew word for "male"...it is defined in terms of this effect of being mentioned and remembered.
It looks like we will have to search elsewhere for the definitions of "man" and "boy"...