ELDER KER: – I want your views on the length of time that Adam and Eve were in the garden before the transgression. I love the SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
Your unworthy friend, IRA NANCE.
Hickory Grove, Ky., Feb. 24, 1914.
Our friend has asked a question not answered anywhere in the Scriptures, and we do not think any one can have the slightest idea as to the exact length of time Adam and Eve were in the garden before the transgression. The Bible most positively declares, however, that they were there, and disobeyed the Lord’s commandment relative to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam lived nine hundred and thirty-five years on the earth; he was in the garden long enough to know the blessedness of innocency and the guilt of conscience because of sin; there long enough to make aprons of fig leaves; long enough to he clothed by the Lord with skins and receive the promise of eternal life through the Seed of the woman. He lived outside of the garden long enough to know there was no way in himself to enter the garden again where the Tree of life was; the flaming sword turned every way to prevent the approach of the transgressor. No doubt he felt, as well as saw, the necessity of a Mediator between him and God. Hence the days of his years were those of sorrow and affliction while he tilled the ground from whence he was taken. To our mind no man has ever known better than did Adam why the ground brings forth briers and thorns, nor better what it is for man to live by the sweat of his face. He knew experimentally the vast contrast between the garden of Eden, with all its glory, and the cursed ground outside, in which he had to toil and of which he was a part, therefore could appreciate the bitterness of earth life equal if not to a greater extent than any one of his posterity.
It may be in the mind of our friend Nance that the creation of the world, the giving of the law to Adam and the transgression of the same all took place in six days, as we now count time. Such may have been, but each “day” may have been a dispensation of time covering hundreds of years, as careful reading shows a multiplication of all beasts, fowls of the air, fishes of the sea, and every tree brought forth after its kind from the seed during the six days. Does it not seem right to think the Creator gave, in the creation and formation, a nature to all creatures? If so, that nature was the same in the beginning as now, hence it required the same length of time to multiply then as now, and the same time for a tree to bring forth fruit then as now. If this idea is correct, then Adam may have been in the garden several hundred years before the transgression. We have often refrained from presenting a thought that would seem a little different from the general idea of brethren, lest some one be disturbed by it, yet it is well, we think, to have the pure mind exercised to investigation of things for one’s self, that “the Scriptures be the man of our counsel,” and not the notion or idea of any man. One thing is most positively sure, which all must admit, viz., when the prophets used the term, “In that day,” they did not refer to a day of twelve or twenty-four hours, but to the gospel day, which has now lasted two thousand years about, and the Maker thereof only knows how much longer it will endure. Be it a million years, or even longer, it will be “one day unto the Lord.”
We leave these reflections for the careful consideration of our friend. K.
Elder H. C. Ker
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 7
April 1, 1914