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Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Adam is the figure on the left
Born 3760 BC (Hebrew calendar), 4004 BC (Ussher chronology)
Garden of Eden
Died 2830 BC (Hebrew calendar), 3804 BC (Ussher chronology)
Children Cain
Parents God (according to Genesis 3)

Adam dwelled in the Garden of Eden until he followed the lead of his wife Eve and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:6). After this, he attempted to deceive God and blamed his actions on Eve and, indirectly, on God Himself (Genesis 3:12).

The Fall of Man by Peter Paul Rubens

Adam and Eve,

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[1][2] were the first man and woman. They are central to the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors.[3] It also provides the basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original sin that are important beliefs in Christianity, although not held in Judaism or Islam.[4]

In the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, chapters one through five, there are two creation narratives with two distinct perspectives. In the first, Adam and Eve are not mentioned (at least not mentioned by name). Instead, God created humankind in God's image and instructed them to multiply and to be stewards over everything else that God had made. In the second narrative, God fashions Adam from dust and places him in the Garden of Eden. Adam is told that he can till the ground and eat freely of all the trees in the garden, except for a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Subsequently, Eve is created from one of Adam's ribs to be Adam's companion. They are innocent and unembarrassed about their nakedness. However, a serpent deceives Eve into eating fruit from the forbidden tree, and she gives some of the fruit to Adam. These acts give them additional knowledge, but it gives them the ability to conjure negative and destructive concepts such as shame and evil. God later curses the serpent and the ground. God prophetically tells the woman and the man what will be the consequences of their sin of disobeying God. Then he banishes them from the Garden of Eden.

  • After being banished from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve go to the East and live there for eighteen years and two months. Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel. Eve dreams that Cain drinks the blood of Abel, but that it then came out of his mouth. Cain kills Abel. Michael promises to Adam a new son, and Seth is born in place of Abel. (chapters 1-4)
  • Adam begets 30 other sons and 30 daughters. As Adam falls sick and is in pain, all his sons and daughters come to him, and he briefly recounts to them the story of the Fall. Seth and Eve travel to the doors of the Garden to beg for some oil of the tree of mercy (i.e. the Tree of Life). On the way Seth is attacked and bitten by a wild beast, which goes away when ordered by Seth. Michael refuses to give them the oil at that time, but promises to give it at the end of time, when all flesh will be raised up, the delights of paradise will be given to the holy people and God will be in their midst. On their return, Adam says to Eve: "What hast thou done? Thou hast brought upon us great wrath which is death." (chapters 5-14)
  • Eve recounts to her sons and daughters the story of the Fall from her point of view:
    • In the Garden, she is separated from Adam: she stays with the female animals and Adam with the male ones. The devil persuades the male snake to rebel against Adam and his wife: at the hour the angels go up to worship the Lord, Satan disguises himself as an angel and speaks to Eve using the mouth of the serpent. The serpent seduces Eve, who swears to give the fruit to eat to Adam too. The serpent places in the fruit the poison of his wickedness, which is lust. When Eve eats it, she discovers that she is naked. All the trees of the Garden lose their leaves. Only a fig tree, the plant she ate of, still has leaves, and she hides her shame with its leaves. Eve looks for Adam and deceives him: he also eats the forbidden fruit. (chapters 15-21)
    • Michael sounds a trumpet, and God enters the Garden mounted on the chariot of his Cherubim and preceded by the angels. His throne is set where the Tree of Life is, and all the trees break out in blossoms. He calls Adam, who hid because he was naked, and reproaches Adam, Eve and the serpent (the order of the reproaches is the opposite to that of Genesis). When the angels are casting Adam out of paradise, he asks to be allowed to implore God, saying: "For I alone have sinned." He begs God to be allowed to eat of the Tree of Life. God refuses to give him the fruit of immortality, but promises, if Adam will keep from all evil, to raise him up in the last day and give him the fruit. Before being cast out, Adam is allowed to take sweet spices (to offer sacrifices) and seeds for his food. (chapters 22-30)
  • Adam lies sick and foretells that Eve will die shortly after. He asks Eve to pray, because they do not know whether God is angry with them or merciful. While Eve is praying on bended knee, the angel of humanity (probably Michael) comes and shows her the spirit of Adam gone from his body and ascending to God. (chapters 31-32)
  • Chapters 33-41 narrate, with great richness of liturgical detail, the funeral of Adam.
    • A chariot of light, borne by four bright eagles with Seraphim and angels, arrives where Adam's body lies. The seven heavens are opened and Seth explains to his mother who are the two fearful figures in mourning: the sun and the moon, deprived of their light, because God is present. God has mercy on Adam, who is cleansed three times in water before being carried before God. God stretches out his arm, and hands Adam over to Michael to be carried to the third heaven until the last day. (chapters 33-37)
    • The chariot and all the angels bear Adam's body to the Garden and lay him on the earth. Only Seth can see the scene. The body is covered with linen clothes and fragrant oil is poured on it. The body of Abel also, which until then the earth had refused to receive, is taken to the same place. Both bodies are buried in the place from which God took the clay to create Adam. God calls Adam, whose body answers from the earth. God promises Adam that he and everyone of his seed will rise again. (chapters 38-41)
  • Six days later, Eve asks to be buried near Adam and dies praying to the Lord. Three angels bury Eve near Adam, and Michael tells Seth never to mourn on the Sabbath. (chapters 42-43)

See also