2-04-16-hereisthestoryasweknowit
Here is the history of this as we know it.

This puzzle was written by a lady in California in 1890 in response to a gentlemen in Philadelphia, who said that he would pay $1,000.00 to anyone who could write a puzzle that he could not solve. He failed to do so, and paid the lady $1,000.00 (a great sum at that time). The answer is one word, five letters long, and appears only four times in the King James Version of the Bible.

God made Adam out of the dust, But thought it best to make me first. So I was made before the man, according to God's Holy plan. My whole body God made complete, without arms, or hands, or feet. My ways and acts did God control, but in my body He placed no soul. A living being I became, and Adam gave to me a name. Then from his presence I withdrew, for this man Adam I never knew. All my Maker's laws I do obey, and from these laws I never stray. Thousands of me go in fear, but seldom on the earth appear. Later, for a purpose God did see, He placed a living soul in me. But that soul of mine God had to claim, and from me took it back again. And when this soul from me had fled, I was the same as when first made; without arms, legs, feet, or soul, I travel on from pole to pole. My labors are from day to night, and to men I once furnished light. Thousands of people both young and old, did by my death bright lights behold. No right or wrong can I conceive; the Bible and it's teachings I can't believe. The fear of death doesn't trouble me; pure happiness I will never see. And up in Heaven I can never go, nor in the grave or hell below. So get your Bible and read with care; you'll find my name recorded there.

                                                   
RIDDLE ANSWER
Sense we were not around in the 1890's and the lady that wrote the riddle is not alive today, then we really don't know what the correct answer really is. All we can do is try and take it verse for verse and see if our answer fits.

God made Adam out of the dust, but thought it best to make me first; So I was made before the man, According to God's Holy plan.

Animals were created before man.

My whole body God made complete, Without arms, hands, or feet. My ways and acts did God control, but in my body He placed no soul.

Whales have no arms, hands or feet and has no soul.

A living being I became, and Adam gave to me a name. Then from his presence I withdrew, For this man Adam I never knew.

Adam named all the creatures but because Adam lived in the Garden of Eden, he didn't associate with the whale.

All my Maker's laws I do obey, and from these laws I never stray. Thousands of me go in fear, But seldom on the earth appear.

The whales were hunted so they hide in the ocean's depts.

Later, for a purpose God did see, He placed a living soul in me. And when this soul from me had fled, I was the same as when first made. That soul of mine God had to claim, And from me took it back again.

Jonah was swallowed and then spit back up by a whale.

Without arms, legs, feet, or soul, I travel on from pole to pole. My labors are from day to night, and to men I once furnished light. Thousands of people both young and old, did by my death bright lights behold.

Whales travel all over the globe and their bodies were used for oil in lamps for light.

No right or wrong can I conceive, The Bible and it's teachings I can't believe. The fear of death doesn't trouble me, Pure happiness I will never see. And up in Heaven I can never go, Nor in the grave or Hell below.

Whales can't read and they have no souls to be in Heaven or Hell.

So get your Bible and read with care; You'll find my name recorded there. Did you find the whale there: Geneses 1:21 Job 7:12 Ezekiel 32:2 Matthew 12:40

Hope you enjoyed the riddle and try it on some friends!

                                                                       
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