Delayed Reaction?

by Bodie Hodge on February 5, 2010
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How long did Adam and Eve live in Eden before the Fall? Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., shows why sin must have entered in soon after Creation.

I am wondering if there is any Biblical indication of the specific length of time between the creation of man/woman (Gen. 1:29–30) and the fall of mankind (Gen. 3:6)?
I found the 1991 article from James Stambaugh, which talked about the diet change that occurred, but nothing else specifically addressing this question.
Thank you and God bless your ministry.
—R.H., U.S.

Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. Many people assume that there was a long period of time between the Creation and the Fall: as if it is difficult to believe that man (or Satan) could possibly have fallen right away, but a careful look at Scripture reveals a different story. Although the Bible doesn’t reveal the exact timeline, we can deduce an approximate time from the text.

In Genesis 1:28, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Had they waited very long, they would have been sinning against God by not being fruitful, or their perfect bodies were no better than those of a current healthy couple who commonly conceive within a year. So, it couldn't have been for long.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned (following Satan’s temptation) and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. This was prior to conceiving Cain. Genesis 5:3 indicates that Adam had Seth at age 130, and that Seth was a replacement for Abel after he was killed. Adam had at least three children before Seth: Cain (Genesis 4:1), Cain's wife (Genesis 4:17), and Abel (Genesis 4:2). He likely had many more during this time as well. So, the maximum time before the Fall would have to be much less than 130 years.

If we jump back to Creation Week, Adam and Eve couldn’t have sinned on Day 6 (the day Adam and Eve were created), since God declared that everything was “very good”—otherwise sin would be very good. It was likely not on Day 7, since God sanctified that day. Therefore, it had to be soon after this.

Archbishop Ussher suggests that Adam sinned on the tenth day of the first month in Ussher’s chronology, which is the Day of Atonement.1 The Day of Atonement is presumably representative of the first sacrifice, which God made by killing animals (from which He made coats of skins in Genesis 3:21) to cover Adam and Eve’s sin.

Although, we can’t be certain of this exact date, for the reasons stated above, we know it had to be soon after Day 7.

I pray this helps, God bless.


  1. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, trans. Larry and Marion Pierce (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003).


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