How Long Were Adam and Eve in the Garden?

Gustave Doré’s Adam and Eve Driven out of Eden. Circa 1865. See Credits.

This is an interesting question that’s not very well addressed in the Bible. I don’t intend to expound on the question here, but merely to mention those passages in the various writings that might seem to address this question. As of today, 21 May 2023, I know of three passages that seem to apply. Here they are:

The Bible

The Bible collection doesn’t say much, except that we can deduce from the records that Cain was born after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, and that Seth was born (to replace murdered Abel) when Adam was 130 years old. (Genesis 5:3) But this doesn’t narrow it down much for us.

The Book of Jubilees

3:15 Adam and his wife were in the garden of Eden for seven years tilling and keeping it, and we gave him work and we instructed him to do everything 16 that is suitable for tillage. And he tilled (the garden), and was naked and knew it not, and was not ashamed, and he protected the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle, and gathered its fruit, and eat, and put aside the residue for himself and for his wife [and put aside that which was 17 being kept]. And after the completion of the seven years, which he had completed there, seven years exactly, [8 A.M.] and in the second month, on the seventeenth day (of the month), the serpent came and approached the woman, and the serpent said to the woman, ‘Hath God commanded you,

The First Book of Adam and Eve

13:15 “But thou didst not keep one day*My commandment; until I had finished the creation and blessed everything in it.”

*This seems to suggest that Adam did not keep the command for a whole day, but this certainly raises some questions, such has how he would have had time to name the animals, and whether Eve would have been in the Garden on the first day Adam was there. (Some of these writings suggest information to the contrary.)

Vitae Adae Evae (The Life of Adam and Eve—Latin)

54:1 (Adam entered paradise after forty days, and Eve after eighty. Adam was in paradise for seven years and near to the day they moved each one of the beasts

The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (2 Enoch)

2 Enoch 32:3 And I blessed all my creatures visible (physical) and invisible (spiritual). And Adam was five and half hours in paradise.*

*We have to be careful here, because while this might sound like it speaks to our question, this is actually from a passage about Adam’s spirit being taken to see God after his death, after which he was sent to Sheol. In case you don’t know it, throughout all the ancient Hebrew literature, “paradise” referred at times to the Garden of Eden, to the place of the righteous in Sheol, and to Heaven. So we have to be careful.

I should add here an intriguing coincidence regarding the passage above and a chapter from the Vitae Adae Et Evae (The Latin version of the Life of Adam and Eve–RH Charles translation). Here’s that passage, where you will notice a similarity to the “five and a half hours” mentioned in the 2 Enoch passage above:

Vitae Adae Et Evae
42.1 ‘For I tell thee that in no wise wilt
thou be able to receive thereof save in the last
42.2 [When five thousand five hundred years
have been fulfilled, then will come upon earth
the most beloved king Christ, the son of God,
to revive the body of Adam and with him to
42.3 the bodies of the dead. He Himself, the
Son of God, when He comes will be baptized
in the river of Jordan, and when He hath come
out of the water of Jordan, then He will anoint
from the
42.4 oil of mercy all that believe in Him. And
the oil of mercy shall be for generation to
generation for those who are ready to be born
again of
42.5 water and the Holy Spirit to life eternal.
Then the most beloved Son of God, Christ,
descending on earth shall lead thy father Adam
to Paradise to the tree of mercy.]

I note the similarity between “five and a half hours” and five and a half millennia. I do not know what to make of it at present, but it seemed worth noting here.


I don’t have a strong opinion on this matter yet, and am still considering the possibilities presented in these writings. At first blush, however, it seems that the Jubilees and Life of Adam and Eve accounts may be the less problematic. And it is my opinion that, of extrabiblical works, Jubilees may be one of the most highly-respected ones—for whatever that’s worth.

I should say, however, that there is some reason to believe that “day” was not always intended literally, and that it’s possible that if “a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8) is meant to apply here, then The First Book of Adam and Eve’s author is telling us that they didn’t even keep the command for a thousand years. And Adam died at 930 yearswhich some will point out, using this same sort of reckoning, is indeed on the very “day” he at of the fruit.

These things are worthy of more study, but I didn’t want to leave this post without mentioning them.


How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before they sinned?

How long were Adam and Eve in Paradise?

When were Adam and Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden Paradise?

How long between creation and the Fall?

Leave a Reply