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How Adam Knew What to Name the Animals

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Beast of the Field

Beast of the Field

Most people know that God gave Adam the task of naming the animals even though Adam had never seen any animals before. So, how did Adam know what to name the animals? Also, how could Adam name all the animals in such a short period of time? Hopefully, this article will answer both of those questions.

. . . And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to the cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field . . . (Genesis 2:19-20)

A close study of the above verses lets us know several things.

  1. The animals consisted of every beast of the field. This did not include house pets such as dogs, cats, etc.
  2. Adam named the animal group and not every animal within that group.
  3. Adam was responsible for naming every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, but he cannot be given credit for naming the different kinds of fish or sea creatures. Review the verses above.
  4. Adam did not have to go out to find the animals he named. God brought the animals to Adam and left it up to Adam to name them. That saved Adam a considerable amount of time.


Adam Did Not Name All Animals We See Today

Adam did not name all animals we see on earth today. He named only the groups. For example, he did not name every kind of animal. He did not name the many species we know about.

Adam's only task at that time was just to name the animals that God brought to him which did not include any of the sea creatures, or any of the creeping things.

God could have named the animals Himself, but naming the animals was an object lesson for Adam. God wanted Adam to see that he was different from the animals. God had not created the woman when Adam was given this major task. God deliberately did it that way so Adam would readily see that the woman was different when she was created later. It was to demonstrate to Adam that animals were quite different from humans.

Sheep Named By Adam

Sheep Named By Adam

How Adam Knew What To Name the Animals

Adam was not a baby when God created him. He was already a mature human being. He didn't have to learn to crawl, walk, or talk like babies have to do today.

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God programmed within Adam everything Adam needed to know so God could communicate with Adam as soon as he was created.

That's why God could communicate with Adam about the animals and about other things such as not eating from the tree in the middle of the garden.

Bird of the Air

Bird of the Air

How Adam Could Name All Animals At One Time

Adam knew what to name the animals because of God. Notice, God helped Adam with his task. God brought the animals to Adam. Adam did not have to go out and find them. In other words, God assisted Adam with his task.

This shows that God will help us with the assignment He gives us. So go ahead and name the task that God has assigned to your hands.

Genesis chapter 1 says that the animals were created according to their kinds, rather than according to their species. In fact, the phrase "after their kind" appears 10 times in just one chapter. Besides, there were fewer kinds of animals in Adam's day than there are species today.

Aftermath of Naming the Animals

After Adam named all the animals, he made a great discovery. None of the animals looked like him. He knew he needed a partner that was more like him. However, not one of them was a suitable match for him.

“But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:20).

The woman was created later, and Adam saw she was a suitable match for him.


Remember that God is involved in the task He assigns to us. He does not tell us to do something and turns His back on us. He is involved in the task every step of the way if we let Him.

  1. First, God gave Adam a task to do.
  2. God was specific by telling him exactly how to do it. Adam was assigned to name every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air and nothing else. If you had tried to name the fish and other creatures of the sea and every creeping thing on the earth, he would have been out of order. Therefore, it is much better to stick to exactly what God asks us to do.
  3. God helped Adam by bringing the animals to him. Adam did not have to go out and find the animals himself. God always provides us with what we need to fulfill the task He gives us.
  4. Adam did not push God away. Adam allowed God to help him, and his task was completely successfully in a timely matter. We should do the same.

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