No one knows for sure how long Adam and Eve were in the garden before things went so very wrong. Given the clues we have in Scripture, it might not have been long.
In Genesis 5:3, we discover that Adam and Eve had a son named Seth when Adam was 130 years old. By then, the tragic story of brotherly betrayal had already played out in the lives of the older sons, Cain and Abel. Playing around with some simple math, rounded numbers and a rather significant amount of speculation, we can guess that it’s possible that Adam was 100 years old when he was expelled from the garden.
That doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that Adam lived to be 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). He lived about a tenth of his life before everything fell to pieces.
No matter how long their stay, there is no doubt about their departure.
A serpent’s crafty question, a woman’s faulty assessment and a man’s willing compliance set the stage for the fall of humanity.
But, God already had a plan – a plan he articulated even as he spoke judgment over man, woman and snake.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspringand her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
– Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
So, who is who? Clearly, we can identify the woman as Eve.
But, as my Momma might have said, “That ain’t just any ol’ snake.
While Genesis does not name the snake as Satan, that identification is traditionally held and Scripture itself supports the inference.
And, the offspring of the woman? Well, there we have the first reference to Jesus – just three chapters into the first book of the Scriptures.
As God pronounces his sentence on Satan, he acknowledges that the serpent will enjoy a temporary, illusionary victory. There would, however, be a son born from among the descendents of the woman who would crush Satan.
For a moment in time millennia later, it looked like Satan may have won. In the moment when the brightness of the Judean day turned dark and the Light of the world extinguished himself on a Roman cross, it certainly looked like Satan and his offspring had won the day.
It looked like he had truly bruised the heel of the woman’s Offspring.
Three days later, the Light stepped out of the tomb, rising to eternal life, reversing the effects of the fall and bringing forgiveness and salvation to all.