How Long Was Adam in the Garden?

Curiosity is an unavoidable temptation. Even those who affirm the authority and sufficiency of the Bible occasionally wonder, "What if ... ?" or "What about . . . ?" One question often pondered is the amount of time that passed between Adam's creation and his fall into sin. Ultimately Scripture is not explicit on this issue, so no conclusion should be dogmatic. Still, it is profitable to examine what God's Word does reveal for our edification. Genesis 1 describes the first six days of this world's existence. In that time God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). He brought forth vegetation, animals, and finally, man and woman (Genesis 1:26). On the sixth day God saw that all He had made was "very good" (Genesis 1:31), and on the seventh day He rested "from all His work" and "blessed and sanctified it" (Genesis 2:2–3).

These verses allow a couple of conclusions: Adam could not have sinned on the sixth day because God declared all things good. Nor is it likely that the Fall occurred on Day Seven, for this day was consecrated. How long, then? For several reasons, it seems likely that only a short time passed.

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