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 to anyone who could write a puzzle that he could not solve. He failed to do so, and paid the lady $1,000 (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 and twice in the Revised Standard Catholic Edition.

An eight-year-old boy figured out the puzzle. Can you? If you give up, need a hint, or guess the answer, write me at A hint at the end of the riddle if you want to cheat. Happy hunting!


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 immortal 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.

If you give up and want the answer, extract and write down every third letter to form the answer: wmwdhhzwautlcxe

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. A. Pablo Garza

    I use your riddles for my 9th grade CCD class. They love it.

  2. Janell Hoelscher

    Mr. Ray, I am recording the 3 part series from the 700 Club television show on Reformation. I would
    like to hear your opinions on their interpretation when it concludes.

  3. Kevin Zrenda

    Steve- this is great! thanks– will use with my PREP/CCD class : ) God Bless- Kevin

  4. Bill912

    If the answer is supposed to be "whale", then the riddle is faulty. "In my body He placed no soul." All animals have animal souls.

    STEVE RAY HERE: Ha ha! OK, I fixed it to say no immortal soul.

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