Duration of Adam's stay in Eden


How long Adam and Eve Stayed in Eaden ? .From the scriptures it appears that they would have stayed there only for a few hours if not minutes . Considerng the following :

1.It can safely be concluded that on creation itself, Adam and Eve were full grow adults and not as babies coming out of womb. God asking them to multiply,lodging them in Eden,warning against eating the forbidden fruit etc.are relevant.At any rate there is nothing in the scriptures against this conclusion.
2.They had the command to multiply.Adam naturally had all the emotions and feeling a man have towards a women.Mind you, they were naked ,nobody to disturb them,and absolutely no work to do ! What then delay or prevents them from joining in body? Nothing!
3.But alas! Before they could do any’ adventure’ they were kicked out from Eden which is clear from Gen 4-1which says that Adam could ‘know’ Eve only after being ousted from Eden.
4.Thus, is there any fundamental mistake in the assumption that their stay in Eden was very ,very short? Am I questioning any church teaching ? Of course I am prepared to give some allowance for the time taken for Adam to fully ‘develop’ his feeling and for the serpent to convince Eve.


The only “fundamental mistake” in your assumption is that you’re reading the bible too literalistically. Genesis is telling a story, not giving a history lesson. And by that, I don’t mean it isn’t true, just that the events aren’t set out like a text book.

Genesis 4:1 only says that Adam made love to Eve. It doesn’t say or imply that was the first time. Genesis 1:29 says that God tells them to “be fruitful and multiply” even before they left the garden.


They did have work to do:
Genesis 2:15 “The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it

Yes, they were naked, but it seems that it was perfectly natural and normal and was not like it would be today if people walked around nude.

Genesis 2:25 “The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.”
Genesis 3:11 "**Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? **Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat? "

It seems to me you are trying to read Genesis like a play by play account, which it is not supposed to be.


The Hebrew word used (more often translated to “keep”) does not mean to cultivate the garden, but rather to guard the garden.


I think you did not get my point correctly.What I am also saying is that they did have the command to multiply.But they did any action in this regard only after ouster. To presume that they would have ‘known’ before that,but not fruitful,etc.is a bit indigestible. Any how fruitful action was done after ouster only. Now my point was that Adam could be in Eden only for a short period .That is the period after the creation of a fullgrown Adam but before his making a union with Eve.Even if it is amended as ‘fruitful’ union will it make much difference?


I just came across your post. To get straight to your point the answer is yes.

Here is a link to a really good article on the subject:


As the article states:

Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37).

Hope this helps.


The Bible doesn’t tell us this!

In Genesis 4, we see that “Adam knew his wife” (after the fall), but it does not say “Adam knew his wife for the first time”. So, there’s nothing in the Bible that suggests that intercourse began only after the fall.

To presume that they would have ‘known’ before that,but not fruitful,etc.is a bit indigestible.

Why? It would seem to make perfect sense, in the context of original sin.

If Adam and Eve had had a baby in the garden, and then later committed sin, then that baby wouldn’t have had a share in original sin (and therefore, there would be a human who did not need a savior). God, knowing all things, in His wisdom, did not will that they bear children until after the fall.


I never meant that there could be a fruitful union or that there could be a baby born in Eaden.The did the first fruitful union only after ousting from Eden.Thus Adam could be in Eden only for the period between his creation and his first fruitful union .It is reasonable to assume that they did not have any’ fruitless’ union earlier .My point is that this period could be very very short considering the ’ favourable ’ situation in Eden.


I recall reading, somewhere in private revelation, that Adam and Eve were in Eden for one day, before being driven out. Of course, God’s “day” and our idea of a day may not be the same length of time. :shrug:


So, you’re assuming that their reproductive systems worked more efficiently in the garden? Based on what evidence?


See,be in Adam’s ‘shoes’.(Don’t mind there is even no string aroud him).Your all organs are working perfectly.You have the command from none other than God to multiply.Practically no work.No making of food.Nobody to peep around.You see Eve in a similar attire. What you do then? You would not have wasted even a minute.Though you are kicked out in the mean while(without any damage to your vital organs) the first thing you do is…Now estimate the time gap.It is very very less…
The evidence is our own basic nature only !


It seems that you’re suggesting that, in the garden, Adam possessed a physical perfection that was taken from him following the fall. This is not what the Church teaches.

The Church teaches that, in the garden, Adam & Eve possessed preternatural gifts which they lost after the fall. These gifts are:

[list]*]impassibility (freedom from pain)
*]immortality (freedom from death)
*]integrity (freedom from concupiscence, or disordered desires)
*]infused knowledge (freedom from ignorance in matters essential for happiness)

Note that none of these imply that their physical bodies had functionality that was somehow more efficacious (or greater fertility, as you seem to be implying) than after the fall.

Therefore, it does not follow that they could not have had intercourse, based on the presumption that this would have meant that conception was imminent (as you seem to suggest). Thus, it does not follow that the time in the garden was necessarily short.

The evidence is our own basic nature only !

Good point. Our nature is such that not every act of intercourse leads to conception. That helps disprove your point; thanks for bringing it up! :thumbsup:


I believe if we read the scriptures closely, the scriptures speak of a land of Eden and a garden of Eden, in the east. Genesis 2:8 says “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.” Accordingly, Adam and Eve may have never left the land or region of Eden but they were driven out of the garden of Eden after their sin. The Bible does not tell us how long Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden before their fall from grace but they apparently sinned before Eve bore Cain and Abel (Genesis 4).


Not clear what you wanted to convey.I think my point in the OP is clear.That is the the time gap between the creation of Adam and his kicking out fromEden (from the ‘garden of Eden’ if you are very particular )


Frankly I don’t know what you are saying about my point in the OP which is about the period of Adam’s stay in Eden.My point was that it would have been quite less,may be only even a few minutes being the period between his creation and his mating with Eve mentioned in G4-1.


Well, I said “The Bible does not tell us how long Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden before their fall from grace but they apparently sinned before Eve bore Cain and Abel (Genesis 4).”

Accordingly, I think we can only speculate and possibly ‘reasonably assume’ on the duration of Adam and Eve’s stay in the garden of Eden before their sin with the consequence of being driven out of the garden of Eden. Since the scriptures do not explicitly tell us exactly how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden before their sin, any speculation as to the duration of their stay there would simply be a matter, I believe, of speculation or theological opinion. The Church as far as I know has not given an opinion on this matter which would require an assent of catholic faith. Nor do I believe it ever will as it appears God did not deem it necessary to reveal it explicitly from a reading of the word of God. The sacred writer inspired by God was concerned with more important theological matters than the precise duration of time Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden before their sin. Consequently, it appears that a catholic can have various opinions on the matter whether one thinks in terms of hours or minutes or days, weeks, months, or even years. I personally believe Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden longer than hours or minutes before they sinned. I would give them at least some days if not weeks, months, or even years.

According to Genesis 2, God created Adam, the man, first, then placed him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. Then Adam named all the animals after which God created Eve from Adam’s side. How long Adam lived in the garden of Eden enjoying God’s friendship and the gift of sanctifying grace before God made Eve from Adam, we can only speculate. Probably not long, as God knew he was going to make a woman from Adam’s body to be his wife and which the human race would be propagated. I give it at least a day or two or possibly more, maybe many days, who knows?

In Genesis 1, God gives the command to the male and female he created on day six which is Adam and Eve in Genesis 2, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” Did God give this command to Adam and Eve immediately after he created Eve from Adam’s side in Genesis 2? Genesis 2 doesn’t tell us and we probably cannot say with certainty that the command to be fruitful and multiply was given ‘immediately’ to Adam and Eve minutes after he created them in Genesis 1. Maybe God allowed Adam and Eve a kind of ‘spiritual’ honeymoon in the garden of Eden before they actually had intercourse with one another; at least a whole day if not many more. Before they sinned, Adam and Eve were not driven by lust for one another. Mary and Joseph were married and had great love for one another but they never had intercourse. Their marriage was a spiritual union which I think is the essence of married love from which follows the bodily union and the procreation of offspring. Interestingly, St Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica makes a comment about Adam and Eve receiving a general divine command relative to generation [probably the 'be fruitful and multiply] as well as awaiting a special command relative to the time (ST, Part I,q. 98, reply to obj. 2).

After Cain slew Abel, the scripture says "And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, for Cain slew him.” (Genesis 4:25). In Genesis 5:3, the scripture says “When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” So, Adam and presumably Eve lived 130 years before Seth was born. In fact, in the genealogies of the patriarchs before Noah, the youngest which the scripture says a patriarch became the father of some child is 65 years old; which afterwards it says “and had other sons and daughters.” Presumably, the other sons and daughters came after where the scripture says and so and so “became the father of …” I suppose some of the ‘other sons and daughters’ could have been begotten before the scripture says "became the father of’ so and so. I am commenting on one might say a surface reading of the text without looking meticulously into it at the present.

Presumably, Seth is the third son of Adam and Eve (cf. Genesis 4:25) who was born when Adam had lived 130 years (cf. Gen. 5:3). Gen. 4: 17-24 concerning Cain, his wife and descendants possibly should be placed after the birth of Seth. Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters (Gen. 5: 4) not all of whom are mentioned by name in the scriptures and Cain’s wife was probably his sister, a daughter of Adam and Eve (i.e. not a granddaughter of Adam and Eve).

The point is that Adam and Eve may have lived in the garden of Eden many years before they transgressed God’s commandment to not eat the forbidden fruit and before they had any children.


The question of whether or not Adam and Eve ever had sex in Eden has been a topic of theological speculation for a fairly long time, and the Dominicans and Franciscans back in the day never settled it. So probably we won’t either.

The interest for theologians is whether humans ever got to experience marriage and sex in in an unfallen state (in which case concupiscence has less power over our sexual lives), or whether Adam and Eve’s sin screwed things up for everybody (so to speak) before they got around to consummating their marriage.


Your point in your OP was in error: namely, Adam and Eve could only possibly had intercourse following the fall.

You followed that up with another odd assertion in your reply to seagal – ostensibly due to Adam’s and Eve’s ‘perfection’ in the garden, it seems “indigestible” to you that they might have had intercourse that wasn’t fruitful. (Therefore, since there were no children born in the garden, you conclude that there could not have possibly been intercourse.)

So, I’m merely pointing out to you that, among the preternatural gifts that Adam and Eve possessed in the garden, perfection in intercourse efficacy isn’t something that the Church teaches. Therefore, your suggestion of “just a few minutes in the garden” just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. :shrug:


Thanks for the well studied post.Since the matter is still open let me explain a bit more.
1.Yes,there is no direct words about the period of Adam’s stay in Eden. But we can reach a reasonable conclusion based on other incidents given.
2.If you go by the fruit eating incident alone we can’t reach any conclusion because, as you said , it could have taken years to happen after his creation.
3.But luckly there is some other thing very handy for us to help the estimation of the period,namelyG4-1,according to which a fruitful mating was done only after the ouster.
3.Now I am bringing some basic elements of natural human instinct and emotion here.Eve was created to be his friend .How intimate they would have been !There is nothing to indicate that some of their instincts and emotions were freezed by God so that they may be in ‘spiritual honeymoon’ only for some time.Moreover after giving the command to multiply and and giving them freedom to choose ,why he should interfere !
4.It does not need any expertise or experience to guess as to how long a man and women(consider their attire also!) in such a situation will wait for mating.
5.The possibility(this was mentioned in some posts) that they would have been mating but without result can be ruled out as it is unthinkable that Adam was careful to mate only during the safe days of Eve’ period etc or that he would have been using some other methods to prevent pregnancy.
6.Thus we can safely conclude that their first mating was after ouster.I leave it to estimate the time gap between his creation and this in these circumstances

( In some postings here it is taken for granted that sexual feeling or act is something inferior and not much liked or encouraged by our God ;Adam could not have even thought about such inferior things in the unfallen state etc. Highly disputable stand!)


This seems to presume a certain inability to control lust. Remember – in the garden prior to the fall, they didn’t have problems controlling their wills. :wink:

5.The possibility(this was mentioned in some posts) that they would have been mating but without result can be ruled out

You keep saying this… without any reasonable argument.

as it is unthinkable that Adam was careful to mate only during the safe days of Eve’ period etc or that he would have been using some other methods to prevent pregnancy.

Who ever said that? :rolleyes:

Besides which, now you’re presuming that they knew about ‘safe days’ or ‘other methods’.

On the other hand, even for some couples without physical problems, they can go a long time before conceiving. Your presumptions are without merit, given that you just say “it’s unthinkable”… :shrug:

6.Thus we can safely conclude that their first mating was after ouster.

No, we really can’t, not based on your arguments here.

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