Timeline 1 – Mankind in the Edenic Era

by John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted June 26, 2017, revised September 14, 2017

Last week, I started a series of timelines that will outline the history of the world which I have constructed and which conforms to the chronology of the Bible. This series will be interspersed among blogs on other subjects and will follow the structure in the table below. 

                                               GENERIC TIMELINES
Timeline 0 – Creation Week (3977 BC)
Timeline 1 – Edenic Era (3977 BC)
Timeline 2 – Antediluvian Era (3977-2321 BC)
Timeline 3A – Postdiluvian Era’s early phase 3A (2321-1870 BC)
Timeline 3B – Postdiluvian Era’s late phase 3B (1870-1464 BC)
Timeline 4A – Turbulent Era’s early phase 4A (1464-1008 BC)
Timeline 4B – Turbulent Era’s middle phase 4B (1008-754 BC)
Timeline 4C – Turbulent Era’s late phase 4C (754-665 BC)
Timeline 5A – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5A (Occident)
Timeline 5B – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5B (Middle East)
Timeline 5C – Early Historic Era (665-2 BC)’s part 5C (Orient)
Timeline 6A – Late Historic Era (2 BC-present)’s part 6A (Occident & Middle East)
Timeline 6B – Late Historic Era (2 BC-present)’s part 6B (Orient)


The Edenic Era began with Creation in 3977 BC, lasted a brief period of time in Creation’s first year (3977-3977 BC) – probably only days or weeks, possibly more, but less than a year – and ended with the Expulsion in 3977 BC.

The Terrestrial Environment

During the Edenic Era, the earth’s surface consisted of a single land mass surrounded by water and the earth’s climate was tropical.[1]

Life in the Garden

Initially Adam and Eve lived an idyllic life in the Garden of Eden, where God actually fellowshipped with them as they walked in the cool of the evening. They enjoyed almost complete freedom; it was limited solely by God’s proscription that they not eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 The Seduction of Eve

The Seduction of Eve is described in Genesis 3:1-6a, which reads as follows:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,

Adam and Eve were living in the garden in harmony with God when the Serpent set out to foster rebellion against God. His target, of course, was Adam, the first man and the head of the family.[2] Because the Serpent is very subtle and clever, however, he approached Eve.

Eve engaged in a conversation with the Serpent – probably without Adam being present (as we shall see in the next section, his presence or absence is not clear from the text).  In doing so, she rejected both his authority and his protection. In her pride, she believed that she did not need her husband’s covering and mediation, that she could handle the Serpent on her own. That was the first step in mankind’s rebellion against God.

Now, rebellion always involves tinkering with the Word of God.

First, the Serpent questioned what God had said: “Yea, hath God said…?” Indeed, God had said in this case.

Second, the Serpent changed what God had said: The Serpent stated, “…God said, ‘Ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden?’” That is not what God said! He said that Adam could eat of every tree in the Garden but one.

Third, Eve changed what God had said. She responded to the Serpent by saying: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” That is not what God said! She subtracted the words “freely” and “every.” She did not differentiate between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In fact, she even confused them. Lastly she added to the Word of God by saying “neither shall ye touch it.”

Finally the Serpent contradicted the Word of God. He said, “Ye shall not surely die,” and then uttered the Great Lie, “Ye shall be as gods.”

Thus tempted, Eve looked at the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and saw that it was “good for food,…pleasant to the eyes, and…to be desired to make one wise” – the three attributes of this world of which John wrote:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.[3]

Eve then ate of the forbidden fruit.

It is important to note here that Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit did not constitute the Fall.

First, God had uttered the permission, the prohibition, and the sanction regarding eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to Adam before he created Eve. Adam, the man, was responsible for observing and enforcing God’s prohibition.

Second, Adam was required to protect Eve from anything or anyone threatening her – that is, to provide a covering for Eve – and Eve was required to honor Adam’s authority over her. In this situation, she should have allowed Adam to respond to the serpent and speak for the family, but she did not do so. Either Adam was elsewhere or he was present, but in either case he failed in his duty to intervene.

Third, when Adam became aware of what Eve had done, he had not yet sinned. He now had the opportunity to repudiate what Eve had done. Indeed, it was his duty to do so as Eve’s husband and covering.

I imagine that all the angels in heaven stood still and watched to see what would happen next.

The Fall of Adam

The Fall of Adam is described in Genesis 3:6b-7, which reads as follows:

3:6b …and [Eve] gave [the fruit] also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Eve handed the forbidden fruit to her husband, who was now with her, and “….he did eat!”

Now, it is a biblical principle that one person represents the group of people over whom he exercises leadership or authority. The husband represents the family, the priest represents the congregation, and the king represents the nation. In each case the representative’s righteousness or unrighteousness affects the group. The representative’s faithfulness or unfaithfulness, obedience or disobedience, determines the blessings or the curses which God will visit upon the group – sometimes “unto the third and fourth generation,” sometimes “to a thousand generations.”

Adam was not just the head of a family. He was the first man and thus he was the progenitor of all men, women, and children to follow – with the exception of our Lord. Thus he was the representative of all mankind. By eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam brought ruin, not just on himself and his family, but on all mankind. Paul made this clear when he wrote:

…death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come….For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.[4]

Adam’s behavior here is a good example of uxoriousness – that is, a husband’s indulgence of his wife by allowing her to say or do what she wants, even if what she wants is wrong in God’s sight. The motivation behind uxoriousness is easy to understand. The husband wants to please his wife and to avoid conflict in the house. Unfortunately, uxoriousness is all too common in husbands. Pleasing one’s wife rather pleasing God can become a habit.

Immediately after Adam ate the forbidden fruit, both Adam and Eve felt naked, and they tried to cloth themselves with aprons of fig-leaves and hide from God. Of course Adam and Eve felt the shame of physical nakedness, but this shame was only a part of their sense of nakedness. Moreover, they had succeeded in clothing themselves in aprons, and thus their physical nakedness was not the real issue. The real issue is revealed in the next section.

The Interrogation of Adam and Eve

The Interrogation of Adam and Eve is described in Genesis 3:8-13, which reads as follows:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.(KJV)

The key to what transpired here is contained in Adam’s explanation to God of why they hid: “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid.”

Previously, neither Adam nor Eve had any reason to fear God. In fact they had enjoyed God’s companionship. Now they knew that they were exposed to God’s wrath. They were uncovered (the concept of the covering again), and their leafy aprons did not remedy this situation.

When God questioned Adam concerning whether or not they had eaten of the forbidden fruit, Adam responded with, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Consider this response carefully. First Adam implied that God was to blame for giving him that disobedient woman. Second, he implied that Eve was to blame for giving him the fruit, even though he could have chosen not to eat it. Only lastly did he admit his transgression.

Eve then blamed the Serpent: “The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

All of this finger-pointing is typical of fallen humanity. I do it. You do it. We all do it. How many times have we said: It wasn’t me, it was him – or her – or them?

The Judgment of the Serpent, Eve, and Adam
(including the Adamic Covenant)

The Judgment of the Serpent, Eve, and Adam is described in Genesis 3:14-24, which reads as follows:

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (KJV)

Verses 3:14-19 indicate that God passed judgment on all concerned.

Verses 3:14-15 – Because the serpent instigated man’s rebellion, God condemned him to crawl upon his belly in the dust forever and to be bruised in the head by the Seed of the Woman (the Lord Jesus Christ).

Verses 3:16 – Because Eve rejected her husband’s covering and persuaded him to rebel, God condemned her – and all women after her – to bear children in pain and to desire and be ruled over by her husband.

Verse 3:17-19 – Because Adam ate of the forbidden fruit – for he was the one to whom God gave dominion over the Garden and thus he was the one whom God held ultimately responsible – God condemned Adam – and all men after him – to toil for food and to die physically – he had already died spiritually. In order to force Adam to toil, God cursed the earth: henceforth it would bring forth thorns and thistles and resist Adam’s efforts to cultivate it. This curse affected not just the soil in which men would toil, but Universe in its entirety. It altered the fabric of the cosmos, introducing decay and disorder into the inanimate world and disease and death into the animate world.

Verse 3:20 indicates again that Adam named his wife Eve “because she was the mother of all living” – that is, the mother of all subsequent people. Lest that she would be the mother of all subsequent people seems obvious, remember that Adam was created by God out of the earth and Eve was formed by God out of bone and flesh that God had removed from Adam’s side. Neither Adam nor Eve was born of a woman. But each and every subsequent person would be born of a woman, who was a descendant of Eve.

Verses 3:21-24 indicate that God made certain provisions for Adam and Eve.

Verse 3:21 indicates that God immediately provided a covering for Adam and Eve. This verse is critically important. Above, I spent some time on the concept of the covering and showed how Eve forsook the covering of her husband, and how Adam failed to stop her from doing so and then failed to countermand what she had done. Now, because Adam failed to prevent or repudiate Eve’s disobedience and then disobeyed God himself, both Adam and Eve were exposed to the wrath of God. They needed a covering to protect them. As an expression of his mercy and loving kindness to those who have faith in him, God provided such a covering. He slew animals – probably sheep – and gave them to Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. In doing so, he shed the blood of innocent creatures. From this, Adam and Eve should have learned that atonement for sin can only be provided by God himself through the shedding of innocent blood.

Verse 3:22 indicates that God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden as a preventative measure. Adam and Eve were no longer innocent. They now knew the difference between good and evil, but they knew it imperfectly, and they had demonstrated a willingness to act on their own judgment. If they and their descendants ate of the Tree of Life, they would live forever and fill the earth with rebellious people. Thus he expelled them as a preventative measure.

Verse 3:23 indicates that God also expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden as a pedagogical lesson. They and their descendants had to learn the seriousness of what they had done, which only living with the consequences of their sin could teach them. Adam had to struggle with the earth to produce food, and Eve had to bear children in pain, as God had sentenced them to do. Then both had to die physically. Not surprisingly, there is a lesson here for all of us. Despite the fact that we may repent of our sins, God will usually require that we suffer their consequences.

Verse 3:24 indicates that God provided Adam and Eve with a place to meet with God in the future. God placed the Cherubim at the gates of Eden to guard them – “to keep the way of the Tree of Life.” Some commentators see the Cherubim solely as preventing Adam and Eve from returning to Eden. I see them as also keeping open the way back to Eden and the Tree of Life. I believe that these are the Cherubim to which Exodus 25:10-22 refers. God instructed the Israelites (a) to build an ark in which to store the two tablets on which God had written the ten commandments, (b) to build a golden Mercy Seat on top of the ark, and (c) to place a golden Cherub on each end of the Mercy Seat, facing inward so that their wings would meet in a protective embrace, both in front of and behind the Mercy Seat. God then promised Moses, “…there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two Cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony,…” [5]. The LORD Himself would be “the way” which individuals must take to return to Eden and to a continuous fellowship with God. During the time between the construction of the Tabernacle circa 1464 BC and the destruction of the Herodian Temple in 70 AD, once a year on the Day of Atonement the High Priest entered the inner-sanctum of the Tabernacle or Temple, which was called the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled the blood of innocent lambs on the Mercy Seat as atonement for the sins of the nation – this blood was a prefigurement of the blood that Jesus would spill on Calvary..

God’s Curse on Universe and the Expulsion

In addition to his judgments on Satan, Eve, and Adam, God imposed a curse on Universe as a whole, which resulted in what I call “the Adam Disturbance.”

The Adam Disturbance consisted of a change in the fabric of Universe. After it, all physical systems tended toward disorder and decay and all living organism became subject to disease and death. Thus I surmise that a universal cataclysm occurred, which rendered Universe subject to the processes described by the Law of Entropy (or the Second Law of Thermodynamics). The exact nature of the cataclysm is not unknown. Moreover, its other effects are not known. For instance, it may have altered the earth’s topography, because the biblical description of Eden cannot be matched to an existing area of land. This cataclysmic event, however, was followed by so many other cataclysmic events that discerning all of its effects is probably impossible. This event probably coincided with the laying down of the NEOPROTEROZOIC STRATA in the orthodox geologic column.[6]

Probably coincident with or immediately following the Adam Disturbance, God expelled mankind from Eden (hereafter, this event is referred to as “The Expulsion”).

Neither the Adam Disturbance nor the Expulsion is dated.

© 2017 John Holbrook Jr.

[1] Adam and Eve were comfortable roaming about naked.

[2] 1 Corinthians 11: 3-7, Ephesians 5: 23.

[3] I John 2: 15-16.

[4] Romans 5: 14, 19.

[5] Exodus 25:22.

[6] The third and final phase of the Proterozoic Eon in the orthodox geologic column.

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