Were Adam And Eve Really Supposed To Stay In The Garden Of Eden?

Adam and Eve's journey out of the Garden of Eden is one of the Bible's most infamous stories. A legendary warning about the consequences of disobeying God's word, the story of how the devil persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge — and how Eve persuaded Adam to join her in the act — is the origin story of the Bible in its entirety, making up its first book, Genesis (per World History).

Most of us know the basic details of the story, which describes how God created the heavens and the earth in seven days. And most of us are also familiar with the story of how Adam and Eve's downfall came when they chose to disobey God's order to avoid the tree of knowledge and its forbidden fruit, which contained the knowledge of good and evil.

We all know how the story ends: Adam and Eve ate the fruit and were cast out of the Garden of Eden, doomed to a life of earthly sin. But one particular passage in the Bible hints that there may have been some sort of divine planning behind Adam and Eve's fall.

Were Adam and Eve Supposed to Leave the Garden?

Genesis 1:28 describes one of God's orders to Adam and Eve, and it seems to hint that the pair's destiny lay far beyond the garden's idyllic edges."God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground," the passage reads.

The phrase "fill the earth" seems to imply that Adam and Eve were meant to expand out of the garden until they covered the entire planet. While this does not directly imply that the pair were meant to exit the garden during their lifetimes, it does indicate that humans were not meant to stay inside the garden for eternity. However, it's likely that if Adam and Eve hadn't eaten the fruit, the fate of humanity as it spread across the world would have been quite different. Still, the idea that God might have planned for humans to exit the garden at some point also begs the question: Why did God put the tree of knowledge in the garden in the first place? If God had really wanted Adam and Eve to live forever in paradise, couldn't he just have left the tree of knowledge out of the garden entirely?

Did God Intend for Adam and Eve to Eat the Apple?

Per GodTV, many Christian theologists believe that the tree was evidence of God's gift of free will — proof that God has given humans the ability to make our own decisions. This still raises the question of whether God knew Adam and Eve were going to eat from the tree of life.

Many have also wondered about how, exactly, Adam and Eve were supposed to fulfill their order to "be fruitful and increase" in Genesis 1:28, especially in light of the common perception that they only had three sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth (per Bible Study Tools). However, some early Biblical stories do actually indicate that Adam and Eve had many daughters and sons, who are mentioned in stories like "The Book of the Daughters of Adam," which didn't make the final version of the Bible but influenced many who read it (per The Pocket Magazine).

According to History, it took 400 years for the Christian Church to determine which stories they wanted to include in the original version of the Bible, suggesting that there are many influential tales such as this one that didn't make the final cut. One thing is clear: in the Bible, Adam and Eve may have disobeyed God's orders to avoid the fated fruit, but if you take the story at face value, they certainly succeeded in fruitfully multiplying, given the fact that the world's population is currently at 7.9 billion, per Worldometer.