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. Other translations may use a different word. An eight-year-old boy figured out the puzzle. Can you? Happy hunting.

(Answer Key Below 🙂

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.

Answer Key: Check out Genesis 1:21; Job 7:12; Ezekiel 32:2; Matthew 12:40.


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Mark

    Great site

  2. Michael O'Connor

    I am the WHALE that swallowed Jonas.

  3. Shmikey

    The only problem with this analysis of the whale, (which I know is the answer) is that whales do have souls, just not immortal ones.

  4. smokjoe

    The answer definitely is a whale. Catholic theology teaches that only humans have souls. That is why in the riddle the whale cannot choose right or wrong or go to heaven or to hell. The soul in the whale was the soul of Jonah. If you read the riddle carefully, it was not the soul of the whale, but a soul that was in the whale (in its belly).

  5. CJ

    why the King James Bible? RSV Catholic Bible whale is used only once.

  6. Deborah D.

    Thank you so much! My father-in-law just had the riddle and we spent all day trying to figure this out. When I googled it, I found your answer. Thank you, it made Dad’s day.

  7. big- r-y-

    THE ANSWER IS SATAN………………………………….

    STEVE RAY HERE: Nope, try again 🙂

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