The Timing of the Fall in the Garden of Eden
How soon after their creation on day six did Adam and Eve sin? In the 2011 Fall issue of Creation magazine, in the article, Why Bible History Matters, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati makes three observations that provide a time frame.
1. Adam and Eve did not conceive any children prior to the Fall
2. Eve would likely have become pregnant during her first menstrual cycle
3. Lucifer also would have rebelled in the short time between Creation and the Fall
Recognizing that Adam and Eve fell prior to conceiving their first child is the primary realization for chronicling the earliest days in human history. Our Bible study album, Genesis: The Fall, makes these and other biblical and biological observations (some of which are presented below) that may further narrow the timing of the fall of Adam and Lucifer. Scripturally, Dr. Sarfati is on solid ground concluding that Satan fell in that short time period. For as traditionally understood, the passage interpreted as Satan's fall in Ezekiel 28 says about Lucifer that, "You were in Eden, the garden of God." And in Isaiah 14, the parallel passage about the perfect and wise Lucifer, “you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven… I will ascend above the heights of the clouds…"
Program Note: You can also listen to this article on the timing of Adam's fall being discussed by Real Science Radio hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams.
Lucifer was "fallen from heaven," not geographically, for He was on the Earth in the Garden of Eden coveting to rise above the clouds and ascend of his own will into heaven. So he fell not from heaven, but from God's kingdom of heaven, which initially encompassed everything created, including, in a special way, our planet's surface, which God prepared for the kingdom of heaven on Earth. For Lucifer was, "perfect… from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." And prior to his temptation of Eve, he was not cursed to be lower than the animals, and prior to Eve's fall he was not at enmity with Eve nor with her future descendants. For God said, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle… And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed."
Recall the Apostle Paul's counsel regarding the qualification of someone who would be a leader, that he be, "not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil" (1 Timothy 3:6). For Lucifer coveted both the obedience of man and the millions of offspring who were represented by the ova in Eve's ovaries (along with all their posterity). So he tempted Adam and Eve, and he did so before their first conception. While it may seem difficult to imagine that Man would fall so quickly, as would an archangel, and his followers, surely that difficulty would increase, not decrease, the longer these beings had lived in fellowship with God.
But when might Eve have become pregnant? With a significant range among healthy women, the typical human menstrual cycle is about 28 days (four 7-day weeks) and ovulation occurs, while varying a few days either way among women, averaging near the middle of the cycle. During that time, the hypothalamus triggers a vital and irreducibly complex process beginning with instruction to the pituitary gland to release gonadotropic hormones, which the blood stream carries to the ovaries, which in turn use hormonal chemical signals to prepare the endometrium of the womb.
We reliably infer from both secular and sacred history that Adam and Eve had no sinless offspring. For if they had, there would have been war not only in heaven, and between man and God, but also between fallen and unfallen mankind, something that has not occurred. Thus, Eve did not conceive a child prior to Adam's sin.
While a woman's ovum is viable for about one day after being released, a man's sperm can live in vivo, even today after millennia of degeneration, in the woman's fallopian tubes for up to one week. By subtracting that week from the approximate middle of Eve's estimated 28-day cycle, it appears that Adam may have rebelled within seven days of his creation. Since Adam and Eve were created on day six, the Fall may have occurred on the calendar date one week later which would have been the 13th day of creation.
Biblical numerology, while a valid area of study, easily leads to destructive superstition and so must be discussed wisely. The number 13 does not factor heavily into biblical numerology but its first reference dates a rebellion, and its second dates the origin of a false claim from some Gentiles of being the true possessors of Israel's covenant, and a third contrasts devotion to God with devotion to one's self.
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. Gen. 14:4
Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised… Gen. 17:25
"...the house was finished… So he was seven years in building [God's Temple]. But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house…" 1 Kings 6:38 – 7:1
These biblical references may have subtly played into man's superstitious ideas about the number 13. Many owners of skyscrapers and hotels avoid marking a 13th floor. The otherwise astounding Mayan calendar led to an irrational fear of the world ending in 2012 after its final 13th Baktun. And many people foolishly fear Friday the 13th. The exact date of the Fall is beside the point however. What is relevant in the study of human history is that there is strong biblical evidence to indicate that Lucifer, Adam and Eve fell within about one week of creation.
by Pastor Bob Enyart
Denver Bible Church
Real Science Radio.com
Additional Resources: Get a convenient PDF of this study and hear a BEL radio program titled, How Much Time Passed Before the Fall? And Bob and Fred Williams address the timing of the fall briefly toward the end of one of their more technical Real Science Radio shows, titled World Renowned Cornell Geneticist Rejects Darwinism. For more fun Bible study resources, DVDs, audio downloads and MP3 CDs, and books, please check out Bob's Writings at KGOV.com and the KGOV Store, especially the Subscriptions, Bible Study Albums (video or audio), and Bob's fun and educational DVDs!
A Note on Hormones vs. Pheromones: Hormones are chemical signals WITHIN an organism. Pheromones are chemical signals BETWEEN organisms. Endocrinologist Dr. Joel Brind of Baruch College in New York City explains that the first cry of the baby to mom that he is hungry is the chemical signal detected by Early Pregnancy Tests, which chemical therefore is not a hormone but a pheromone signal to another organism, that is, from one person to another, from child, to mom. See AmericanRTL.org/abortion and AmericanRTL.org/Bible for more about the personhood of the unborn child.
* Gestation -- Painless Childbirth: Pain in childbirth is a result of sin. For after Adam and Eve rebelled, to the woman God said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children..." (Gen. 3:16). After being created on the sixth day (Gen. 1:27), Adam sinned so quickly that his wife did not even have time to conceive a child before the Fall. However, if Eve had given birth before the Fall, she would not have experienced pain in childbirth. Why not? As a result of Lucifer tempting Eve, God then put enmity between him and mankind. And as a result of Eve's sin, God multiplied the length of time for human gestation. (He did this most likely by a factor of 1.5, from six months, six being the biblical number for man, to nine months, nine being a number for judgment.) Sin and death destroyed the perfection of the cosmos itself, for "the creation was subjected to futility" (Rom. 8:21). The Apostle Paul then continued, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now" (Rom. 8:22). So after man's sin, the Earth became a hostile place to live. This would be especially true for tiny human newborns who would therefore have a terribly high mortality rate. So God designed Adam and Eve so that if they sinned, children would grow much larger in the womb (as compared to many other animals, and as compared to His original design). As God said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring for children" (Gen. 3:16). For by a typical figure of speech, using the beginning of something to represent the whole, the term conception is a metaphor meaning gestation. By this common type of figure, an author with three titles on the best-seller list doesn't have simply three "titles" on that list but three whole books, just as the original title of the Genesis comes from its first word, and as the word Law can refer to the entire Old Testament because the Pentateuch is the first of three divisions and so can stand as a reference to all the Hebrew Scriptures. Finally, by lengthening (i.e., multiplying) a woman's gestation, her baby would have a much greater chance of surviving in our hostile world, which help comes at the expense of mom's suffering and pain. Thus, even the curse itself reveals God's mercy and love. (See also, AmericanRTL.org/the-bible-and-abortion#pain.)