LIFE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
M. Joseph Hutzler, Eschatologist
The Biblical Record
As a student in bible school, I recall reviewing the Genesis 5 genealogy with my professor. His response to this was shocking to me, and despite my great respect for him, I could not agree with his position. You can call me a fundamentalist if you wish to, but I cannot believe that the biblical record that I view today is anything but the Word of God for me today.
Otherwise, we will have to question all the verses and not just the chapters dealing with the lineage of Jesus Christ. After all, He is the central figure to the entire biblical narrative and the genealogies are a record of his parentage. Shall we not take them as they are? So here is how they break down.
Imagine the influence of the first man. Imagine listening to his recounting of creation, his understanding of who God is and what He expects from His children.
The Life of Adam
One question that has caused many to wonder is that of the children that Cain fears of after he murders his brother. Whom does he marry? Where did these people come from? To properly answer this question does at the end of the day call for a degree of speculation. Shall we have a conversation then that we both agree will not require us to be offended? I have seven points below covering my thoughts on the subject prior to going into the main study on this page. I hope you enjoy these points and that they can stimulate some mature discussion. One thing to remember as we move through this study, I will use the names Adam and Eve, but Eve did not bear this name until after the fall. Prior to the fall, both were referred to as Adam. A Hebrew word for mankind. Nowhere do we understand that they had individual names of particular meanings before the fall. Genesis 5:2. Study the Hebrew word Adam and you’ll see all the places in the Hebrew this word is used and it is always referring to mankind in a general sense.1
1) The command to be fruitful and multiply was either obeyed or not. The duration of man in the garden needs to take into consideration the naming of the animals, an action that would have taken years. (Today’s 30 million species walking past you, one per minute would take 56 years). Another thing is the ‘walking’ in the garden that Adam does with the Lord. It is inferred that this is something that they had grown accustomed to.
A small view of the first Adam
will lead to a small view of the
redemptive work by the second Adam.
So now we come to that first commandment – ‘be fruitful and multiply’. This command is made to beings that had the capacity to fulfill the command. Therefore we can conclude that Adam and Eve were not created as children, as some would believe, but as adults with a full understanding of all things asked of them by God. Adam’s display of wisdom regarding the species God parades before him, speaks to that level of maturity. God had brought a man and a woman together for the purpose of having children. God joined them together as a minister does today when a man and woman stand together to enter into covenant and marry. No marriage is legally binding without the marriage being consummated. Many have the notion that Adam and Eve after the fall had their ‘nakedness’ revealed. Some see this as an indicator that prior to this event they did not have sex or were not sexually active. This would not be an accurate interpretation of the events. It was the Glory of God that rested on Adam and Eve that illuminated them physically. Nakedness here (Genesis 3:7) is referring to the natural being exposed, without the Presence of God resting on them, without the Glory as their covering. They were alone, naked, bare in the garden, without the Glory resting on them. As the temple in Israel when God’s glory left it. Hollow, empty, powerless, vulnerable – naked. Similarly, manifestations of this Glory crowning or resting on man is seen in the life of Moses. After only 40 days in the presence of God, Moses was required to wear a veil to cover his face for his skin was so affected by his time in the presence of God. We also see the physical ‘side-effects’ of being in God’s presence in his life, as his natural strength was not diminished nor his eyesight at 120 years of age. See 1 Peter 4:14, Matthew 17 – The transfiguration – Christ’s physical appearance changed before the disciples. Psalms 8:5 – we see that man is crowned with this Glory. (As an aside – in that verse man is referred to as a little lower than the angels – this is a traditional substitution in the scripture and if you dare to study that through you’ll see that the original word there in Hebrew is not angels, but ‘Eliohim’ – the same word used in Genesis 1:1 – God. Man was created a little lower than God – not, nor ever, Angels). It is the work of Jesus, the second Adam, to return us to full fellowship with the Father just as the first Adam enjoyed.
So it was the Glory of God that crowned
or covered Adam and Eve.
(Our righteousness, our experience in the presence and love of God, our health, our dominion,
our seat, our walk – is all restored to us through the redemptive work of the cross.
It was to return mankind to our place at our Father’s side.)
Back to the garden, it would be silly to think that they would have no idea how their bodies worked or to try and account for delayed obedience to the command of God with regard to this command to be fruitful. The command was to be fruitful and multiply. Both Adam and Eve were brilliant, with a full capacity mentally. They would not have been ignorant about how to obey this command, not to mention their heart's desire to please their Father, living in harmony with Him. The garden provided a perfect place to raise a family, a perfect place to live in obedience and in harmony with their Father. To suppose that Adam and Eve delayed in this first command is to also assume that the animals themselves, likewise, were disobedient and neglected to procreate. This does not seem reasonable.
2) We have to keep in mind that the Biblical account of history does not cover every individual that ever lived. Who were the second cousins of Enoch? We don’t know. Why don’t we know? Because they are not relevant to the tracking of history from the fall of man to Christ. The purpose of the gospel story of ‘good news’ is the fulfillment of the prophetic word God gave in the garden – ‘the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent’, thereby reversing the curse, the results of man’s transgression in the garden. The Bible is showing us the lineage from the fall of man to Christ the Messiah through the genealogies. So when we accept that not all people’s are mentioned specifically in the scripture, we come to understand why Cain was afraid of other people killing him for the murder of Abel, and why these people are not specifically mentioned.
3) Would it had been possible for Adam and Eve to have had children in the garden? Yes, it was physically possible. Was it probable? I believe yes, it was probable. Let’s examine the activities surrounding the fall of man. At the tree, following the temptation, or deception of Eve, she partakes of the fruit. But notice what happens to her upon her transgression, nothing. Now God had said the if you eat of this particular tree “you shall surely die” – in the Hebrew it means ‘to die the deaths’ – plural – meaning both physical death and spiritual death. This was going to be the result of disobedience. Yet, we see that Eve partakes of the tree, and turns to give to her husband to eat after her. This required time, seconds albeit, but time – and during this time Adam does not see the fear in Eve’s eyes, does not notice the Glory of God leaving her body. She does not feel fear or shame, does not have the compelling desire to sew up a makeshift skirt out of fig leaves – nothing happens to Eve! It was not until the transgression of Adam in the next verse that we see that the effects of his transgression, the effects of sin instantly had its way over both of them. Their eyes were opened at that moment. This is plural, both of their eyes were opened. This would have had the same results on any and all living at this time. Eve suffered the results of death upon Adam’s actions, so too all of creation. In fact, death entered into all of creation. All animal life and weather systems, all of nature and indeed the universe. For God is not the author of confusion and chaos, God did not create a system of decay and death in anything He made. At the moment of the fall, all life, Eve and Adam and anyone else would have instantly felt separation from God.
4) Another clue is the curse laid upon Eve in the fall. God declares that her childbearing pain would be greatly multiplied. To greatly multiple this pain there has to be a scale of understanding in regards to the degree of pain or discomfort in the first place. This is a strong indicator that she had children prior to the fall. These children, like Eve, would have instantly felt the effects of the fall at Adam’s transgression. Why they are not mentioned is that they simply are not relevant to the story of redemption. Upon the fall of man, a series of actions take place and the plan of redemption begins to be revealed to mankind. Here, at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God levels the prophetic word over Lucifer declaring that from this moment, there shall come a redeemer from the seed of the woman that will crush the head of mankind’s enemy. This prophetic word will come through fallen mankind, through a union of this seed of a woman and the spirit of God. The Word will become Flesh. God joining with humanity to pay the price for humanity, for the sin of humanity. This Jesus did. A mystery hidden in the fullness of time and that in time would be revealed. This prophetic promise was actually displayed in the constellations over their heads. I welcome you to study the Mazzaroth, as mentioned in Job. Mazzaroth is a Hebrew word for constellations.
5) A study of ancient cultures shows that family groups and clans stayed together in numbers. This was both to make the best use of labour and resources as well as security, safety in numbers. It is plain to see that both Cain and Abel were closely associated with each other, yet these others that Cain is afraid would kill him were not local. Not closely associated with them as we see that Cain settles in the land of Nod. Cain and Abel were born after the exile from the garden. Born into a cursed world. But if there were others that were born in the garden, yet suffered as Eve did once Adam partook, these may have been older, perhaps much older. Perhaps generations. We really can’t say for sure.
Hence this is not a subject for the pulpit,
but it is or should be one for healthy,
mature Christian dialogue.
Once Cain is alienated from his family, he becomes a wanderer and travels eastward from the garden. Some would place this in lower Egypt if you study the origin of the garden from an ancient geographic sense. But I think it may very well have been more towards the Euphrates delta, in what is now Iraq and Kuwait. Here he builds a ‘walled town’, the clear definition of the word city mentioned in the scriptures. Obviously still concerned for his safety.
6) Now, any conversation about the possibility of genetic mutation needs to give way to the realization that mankind was created perfectly. Cellularly Adam and Eve were perfect. There would be no chance of genetic mutation this early in human history. The genetic mutations we see today are a result of thousands of years of deterioration. So this argument of mutation and incest falls short of the reality of their time, culture and physiology.
7) Yet another point, Eve is given a name by Adam as the ‘mother of all living’. This name was given to her before Cain is born. Genesis 3 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living.” Given to her before Cain but after death has been introduced to the world. But we have to keep in mind that the prophecy given in the garden of the seed of a woman striking down the serpent and given redemption to man was foremost in Adam’s mind. Study again the Mazzaroth and learn the lesson taught by Adam month by month to his children.
No, Eve was not just now having children. She had in all likelihood had many. The duration of time for man to have been in the garden could just as easily been 100 years or 1000 years as it could be a week. No one can tell you for sure, that goes for me too. Eve is indeed the mother of all living, and the very definition of the word ‘living’ is meaningless without the word death. What framework of life do you have in eternity? You are. You exist. Without death, there is no end and any thought of life, within the context of how we define it today. Review definitions of the word life and see for yourself. Death plays into the context. Eve now is the mother of all living, as all living are now on the clock so to speak. Existing for a period of time, that period of time we call life until they ultimately die.
This is profoundly seen at the birth of Enosh – the grandchild of Adam in the line of Christ, born to Seth who was the replacement of the murdered Abel. Adam was the eternal man, holding in his hands a newborn baby, just breathing its first breaths.
Now Adam, with tears in his eyes, looks down and names this child
– ‘mortal’ – meaning ‘doomed to die’.
This is a name coming from the father of mankind who was to father God’s children in paradise forever. Raising a family who would know and walk with God in a place that knew no death. Here, is a poignant example of Adam’s broken heart, holding death in his hands as the baby is just breathing for the first time. The results of the fall are there in his hands. Eve is indeed the mother of all living, of all life, and perhaps this too is prophetic, as many of the names in the bible are, and perhaps Adam is looking for that promise that will come. The life-giver to redeem the curse of death. The weight that rests heavily upon Adam’s shoulders.
Regarding Adam’s role in the garden. I just read an article the presupposed that there needed to be weeds in the garden, to give Adam something to cultivate! Something to do to ‘keep’ the garden. It’s funny the things we accept of this broken, natural and cursed world because we can’t imagine one without the things we face here every day.
Instead of supposing elements that stemmed from the curse
and fall of man pre-existing, let’s go ahead and imagine a perfect world.
The kind of world that a perfect God would make for his perfect children. A kind of world that reflected heaven on earth, as His will is. Today’s study of string theory points to a harmonic vibration in everything that surrounds us. From the sand to the rocks, from the deer drinking from the brook to the green grasses growing under tall trees. It all vibrates at specific frequencies. Each has it’s own. Any gardener knows that there are certain plants that you don’t plant beside each other due to how they grow. I wonder if on a quantum level they are out of tune beside each other. Understanding quantum theory, from which string theory derives, brings you to understand that if we could hear all of creation, it would sound like a symphony. I don’t see Adam as a gardener as much as I do a composer. Arranging areas of the garden that not only looked beautiful, but sounded heavenly when arranged. Read some accounts of near-death experiences, of those who have died and visited heaven and you’ll get an idea of what life was like in the paradise that God had created, in a world without sin.
God had prophesied in the Garden to Lucifer that the seed of the woman would disarm and dethrone him. Although God knew who this would be - the devil had no idea who to look for. Thus any individual seen walking with God would be a threat to Lucifer. We see in the life of Cain and Abel, two individuals who honor different paths. Cain felt pride and self-righteousness in his own labours or work and Abel respected the teachings and instruction he had received in regards to what and how to sacrifice to the Lord.
Now, it may be that Abel as the keeper of the flocks was charging his brother ever-increasing fees for the lamb which Cain needed to purchase… no one really knows for sure. Nevertheless, as Abel demonstrated his desire to keep the covenant with God, Lucifer worked through Cain to strike him down.
Now years later… the Bible tells us that when Adam was 130 years old, Seth was born. Seth has a son when he is 105 years old. This makes Adam 235 years old when Seth brings his father, his first grandson. Remember that Adam, while he was in the garden, was eternal. Death had no dominion over him or for that matter over anything that God had created. God had not made a world system or a system of nature that was dominated by a death cycle. It was as a system in balance in all things. There was no death.
Now after the fall, death entered Adam’s spirit instantly and began its work on
Adam’s body which began to break down at the cellular level.
All of nature reacted to this new cycle of death and the curse that followed.
Adam began to die now. Time started. Time – the system we use to track the progress of things and their decay. The Bible tells us Adam was 130 at the birth of Seth. Therefore he was 50 at some point, 25 at some point, 1 at some point. When he walked the last time through the gates of the garden and the doors closed behind him with the angel guarding the way – Adam began dying and time commenced, tracking his decline. 930 years later he passed away, death finally getting the victory over his physical body.
At the moment, that Seth brings his firstborn to the Patriarch of the family, Adam is 235 and he is holding the first of the next generation – his grandson. He holds this baby in his arms and with tears in his eyes, he declares the child’s name: “You are ‘Doomed to Die’ – ‘Mortal’ – that is literally what the name Enosh means. Adam calls his grandson Enosh. Doomed to die. A significant reminder of the consequences of Adam’s sin. Adam, the father of mankind, who walked with God in intimacy in the garden and enjoyed life eternally – traded it all for a lie – and subjected all of his descendants to mortality – death.