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I recall someone suggesting to me one time that Adam and Eve had a total or twenty of so children, and that this came from some Jewish writings. Is there any indication, then, from history regarding how many children they had?

It seems they would have likely had at least seven, as Cain, Abel and Seth are named. Seth was considered to be in place of Abel, and it is said that after Seth, Adam and Eve had other sons (plural) and daughters (plural). Thus, Cain (1) + Abel (1) + Seth (1) + other sons (2+) and daughters (2+) would equal at least seven children.

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 offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him. Genesis 4:25 ESV

The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:4 ESV

So, again, is there any indication from tradition or historical writings regarding how many sons and daughters Adam and Eve had altogether?

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It had to be many, as they were commanded "Be fruitful and multiply" to populate the earth, but an exact number, based on the Bible, is not known. –  jlaverde Sep 24 '13 at 12:33
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We are all "sons of Adam", so billions... :) –  Flimzy Nov 8 '13 at 15:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Less than 1011. At least than 7.

Assuming that:

  1. Adam only had one wife (Eve), which is an argument based strictly on a lack of evidence
  2. That Eve's normal gestational period was 9 months and had twins no more than average (1 in 86).
  3. That Eve lived approximately the same amount of time as Adam (again an argument from lack of evidence),

then we can say:

  1. 800 years / 9 months per child (assuming no rest between children) = 1000
  2. Twins appear in 1 out of every 86 births = 11

I think we can then establish an upper limit for Adam and Eve having a maximum of 1011 children.

Beyond that, one can only speculate.

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Interesting... and a bit humorous... I do wonder if there is anything from tradition. –  Narnian Sep 24 '13 at 14:07
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Despite their likely being no definitive answer, you have approached this logically and given an very nice answer. Very nice. –  Jared Sep 24 '13 at 15:09

Ok, I did some searching, and there seems to be some tradition that alleges Adam and Eve and 33 sons and 23 daughters.

This is actually mentioned in one of the answers to a question on this site regarding how the world got populated. The answer references this page.

Another page suggests that it is a footnote in the works of Josephus, whom I like to refer to as "Joe Cephas".

It is believed by old Jewish traditions the children of Adam and Eve numbered 56. Adam had 33 sons and 23 daughters.

Here is a link to the works of Josephus, where this appears:

The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition was thirty-three sons, and twenty-three daughters.

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33 strikes again –  The Freemason Sep 24 '13 at 16:11
    
Don't forget 23. –  Ben Miller Nov 8 '13 at 15:46

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