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I was just reading the account of Adam and Eve in the NIV 84 and it doesn't really say they didn't.

The Bible does mention when Sarah had her first boy. When Mary had her first son. But not really when Eve had her first son. Does it?

I'm just wondering because I have in my mind that they had children after they got kicked out. Partly because of the common belief. What am I missing?

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possible duplicate of How long was it before Adam and Eve sinned? –  Affable Geek Jan 29 at 14:11
Actually, I may retract that close vote because we could tighten things up. –  Affable Geek Jan 29 at 14:13
It would be good to have an answer to this on the basis of the doctrine of original sin or federal headship. I think one or both of them would mean that there couldn't have been any children before the fall or else the fall wouldn't have been universal. –  curiousdannii Jun 15 at 3:59

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The crux of this question is really How long was it before Adam and Eve sinned?

The biblical record only has the following facts:

  • Adam and Eve's first child was Cain, and the second Abel, by virtue of Genesis 4.

  • Genesis 4 also suggests that Seth was not born until after Cain killed Abel, an act that could not have occurred in the Garden.

  • Genesis 5 says that Adam was 130 when Seth was born, so that establishes an upper limit for the length of the time on the garden. (I will repeat my assertion that had I been Eve, I only would have lasted about 32 minutes before getting kicked out, nonetheless I digress.)

This means that the only two children who could have been born in the Garden are Cain and Abel.

Circumstantially, I would have to suggest that the evidence would make a much stronger case for the children being born after rather than before:

  1. There is no mention of anyone other than Adam or Eve being cast out. (And the Lillith thing is just Jewish legend.)

  2. The fact that the narrative records the conception of Cain after Genesis 3 gives no reason to suspect it happened before.

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Just to add to this great answer, Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And we must remember that Eve's punishment for their disobedience was: Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. That was pronounced by God at their expulsion. –  Bye Jan 29 at 16:42
+1 for preferring common sense to speculations that produce paradoxical problems. –  mojo Jan 31 at 22:54

They were removed from the garden before any children were born. Eve named her first child to reflect his birth when she said (obviously paraphased) ' I have gotten a child with the help of God'. She was making reference to God's curse of her after the fall. Also, it says after they were kicked out of the garden, Adam knew his wife Eve. Plus, Cain killed Abel and committed sin because of his sinful nature. This would not have been possible until after Adam and Eve's fall from grace.

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Source? Are you suggesting that they didn't have sex prior to being kicked out either? That seems highly unlikely. Affable at least makes his inferences clear. You've made a truth statement with no backup here. –  wax eagle Jan 31 at 12:49

No they did not, here is the timeline as I see it:

The commandments:

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Consequence for Breaking the 2nd commandment:

Genesis 3:23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

The children come:

Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

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I think they could have had many children in the Garden. However, Cain's arrival seems to fit in with what Eve thought to be a prophetic promise that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpant. In that prophecy Gen. 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Hence Cain's envy of Abel's sacrifice being accepted and his being rejected. Eve might have had an inadvertant hand in the death of Abel. So if there was a family living in paradise and sinless their sinlessness would not have lasted long due to Adam sinning they would have all fallen because sin had entered the world. I think when we read about Cain and Abel this is a whole different chapter of human history apart from the garden.

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This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. On this site, we're not looking for personal interpretation, but rather focusing on what various Christian groups teach. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Aug 5 at 23:22

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