Now the formation of Adam took place in this way:
On the Sixth Day, which is the Eve of the Sabbath, at the first hour of the day, when quietness was reigning over all the Ranks of the Angels, and the hosts of heaven, God said, “Come ye, let Us make man in Our image, and according to Our likeness.” Now by this word “Us” He makes known the Glorious Persons of the Trinity.
And when the angels heard this utterance, they fell into a state of fear and trembling, and they said to one another, “A mighty miracle will be made manifest to us this day, that is to say, the likeness of God, our Maker.”
And they saw the right hand of God opened out flat, and stretched out over the whole world; and all creatures were collected in the palm of His right hand. And they saw that He took from the whole mass of the earth one grain of dust, and from the whole nature of water one drop of water, and from all the air which is above one puff of wind, and from the whole nature of fire a little of its heat and warmth.
And the angels saw that when these four feeble, inert materials were placed in the palm of His right hand, that is to say, cold, and heat, and dryness, and moisture, God formed Adam.
Now, for what reason did God make Adam out of these four materials unless it were to show that everything which is in the world should be in subordination to him through them? He took a grain from the earth in order that everything in nature which is formed of earth should be subject unto him; and a drop of water in order that everything which is in the seas and rivers should be his; and a puff of air so that all kinds of creatures which fly in the air might be given unto him; and the heat of fire so that all the beings that are fiery in nature, and the celestial hosts, might be his helpers.
God formed Adam with His holy hands, in His own Image and Likeness, and when the angels saw Adam’s glorious appearance they were greatly moved by the beauty thereof. For they saw the image of his face burning with glorious splendor like the orb of the sun, and the light of his eyes was like the light of the sun, and the image of his body was like unto the sparkling of crystal. And when he rose at full length and stood upright in the center of the earth, he planted his two feet on that spot whereon was set up the Cross of our Redeemer; for Adam was created in Jerusalem.
There he was arrayed in the apparel of sovereignty, and there was the crown of glory set upon his head, there was he made king, and priest, and prophet, there did God make him to sit upon his honorable throne, and there did God give him dominion over all creatures and things.
And all the wild beasts, and all the cattle, and the feathered fowl were gathered together, and they passed before Adam and he assigned names to them; and they bowed their heads before him; and everything in nature worshipped him, and submitted themselves unto him.
And the angels and the hosts of heaven heard the Voice of God saying unto him, “Adam, behold; I have made thee king, and priest, and prophet, and lord, and head, and governor of everything which hath been made and created; and they shall be in subjection unto thee, and they shall be thine, and I have given unto thee power over everything which I have created.”
And when the angels heard this speech they all bowed the knee and worshipped Him.
The Jews say that the words, “Come, let Us make man,” refers to God and the angels, but the Fathers of the Syrian Church understood that God refers to the Three Persons of the Trinity. Some Fathers believe that Adam was formed on the morning of the Sixth Day, outside Paradise, but others think that the formation of Adam took place in the evening in Paradise.
According to some, Paradise was created before the world, and, according to others, on the Third Day. Bar Hebraeus says that Adam was created on Friday of the first week of Nîsân (April/Spring Equinox), the first month of the first year of the world. The Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches have a tradition that the angels were not all created at the same time. The great archangel Michael, who is called the “Angel of the Face,” and all his Rank of angels were created in the first hour of Friday, the Priests in the second, the Thrones in the third, the Dominions (or Sultâns) in the fourth, the Lords in the fifth, the Powers in the sixth, the Tens of Thousands in the seventh, the Governors in the eighth, the Masters in the ninth. After the Governors the Rank of angels governed by Satan were created, and then the Tenth Rank.
According to a Coptic tradition preserved in the Discourse on Abbatôn, the Angel of Death, by Timothy, Archbishop of Rakoti (Alexandria), the clay of which Adam was made was brought by the angel Mûrîêl from the Land of the East. When God had made his body He left it lying for forty days and forty nights without putting breath into it. At the request of our Lord, Who promised to become Adam’s advocate and to go down into the world, God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life three times, saying, “Live! Live! Live! according to the type of My Divinity.”
Thereupon Adam rose up, and worshipped the Father, saying, “My Lord and my God. (Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, page 482.)