Following questions about naming animals, in Genesis narrative, God creates Earth, it grows plants and trees, God creates animals, then man, man names animals.

Who named the plants, for example, the 7 Minim of Eretz Israel? Did angels know their names? Did Adam know their names?

1 Answer 1


Philo (Midrashei Philon 2:19) posits, that Adam also named the entire plant world, along with the mineral world.

See also Abarbanel (Breishis) who asks your question:

השאלה הי"ז. באמרו וייצר ה' אלהים מן האדמה כל חית השדה וגו' והיא כי מה ענין זה לכאן. ואם בא הכתוב לספר יצירת האשה למה זה זכר בתוך ספורה קריאת שמות לכל הב"ח שאינו מהדרוש אף שיצירת הב"ח כבר נזכרה ביום הששי ומה צורך בהשנותה פה וכמו ששאלתי ביצירת האדם ויקשה בכלל זה שאם בא הכתוב להגיד שאם הניח שמות הדברים כפי הסכמתו, מדוע אמר בלבד חית השדה ועוף השמים, ולא זכר יסודות וצמחים דוממים ומתכות ושאר הנמצאים עצמים ומקרים שהיה ראוי להניח להם גם כן שמות:

  • 1
    Very interesting sources, thank you.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 8, 2021 at 20:13
  • The Philo quotation would have originally been written in Greek as part of Zητήματα καὶ Λύσεις (Questions and Answers on Genesis, this quotation is I:22) though the substantial text from that largely survived in Armenian, and is probably more available in English than in Hebrew
    – Henry
    Apr 9, 2021 at 16:41
  • @Henry Philo of Alexandria’s influence on Jewish literature is very limited. He isn’t known to have studied under any of the Rabbinic Sages. He visited Jerusalem, and wrote admiringly about its beauty, but did not mention any of the local Rabbis, especially Hillel the Elder, who was his contemporary. His access to the Torah was apparently via the Greek Septuagint, and some scholars debate if he even knew Hebrew. He was influenced by local Greek preachers, and adopted an untraditional eclectic viewpoint, in which he blended the Torah's theological concepts with Greek philosophical principle. Apr 11, 2021 at 14:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .