Does anyone know when Adam ate the forbidden fruit and sinned? Does the Bible give us a day or time?
The answer is no!
If the Bible doesn’t tell us directly, is there any way to know on what day Adam sinned?
About 10 years ago, a couple in Canada, Larry and Marion Pierce, were in the process of translating Archbishop James Ussher’s Annals of the World from the Latin into the English. Then one day, I got a phone call from a very excited Larry telling me that Ussher had figured out that Adam ate the forbidden fruit on the 10th day of Creation. Larry said that he was going through Ussher’s wealth of reference notes when he discovered it.
I asked Larry on what grounds had Ussher based his assumption. Here is a summary of the explanation that Larry Pierce gave me that day over the phone:
In Leviticus 23, God gave Moses a list of feasts that He wanted His chosen people to celebrate:
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, The feasts of the Lord which ye shall call the holy assemblies, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done, but in the seventh day shall be the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation: ye shall do no work therein, it is the Sabbath of the Lord, in all your dwellings.
The Sabbath is based upon Genesis 1 and the days of the Creation Week, where God labored for six days and rested on the seventh.
4 These are the feasts of the Lord, and holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
5 In the first month and in the fourteenth day of the month at evening shall be the Passover of the Lord.
6 And on the fifteenth day of this month shall be the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8 Also ye shall offer sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord seven days, and in the seventh day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Passover is a remembrance of Exodus 12 when the angels of death passed over the houses of the Hebrew slaves that had been marked with lamb’s blood on their door posts while they were in Egypt. Being saved by the blood of a lamb was a picture of the promised Messiah who was known as the Lamb of God whose blood was to be shed for the salvation of his people.
An interesting note on Passover is in Exodus 12:2 God tells Moses that this shall now be considered the first month of their year. This indicates that prior to this time; this was not the first month from the time of Creation.
The Feast of Firstfruits (Yom Habikkurim)
9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the Priest,
11 And he shall shake the sheaf before the Lord, that it may be acceptable for you: the morrow after the Sabbath, the Priest shall shake it.
12 And that day when ye shake the sheaf, shall ye prepare a lamb without blemish of a year old, for a burnt offering unto the Lord:
13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, for a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord of sweet savor: and the drink offering thereof the fourth part of an Hin of wine.
14 And ye shall eat neither bread nor parched corn, nor green ears until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: this shall be a Law forever in your generations and in all your dwellings.
The Feast of Firstfruits was to commemorate the first spring harvest of barley that was to take place in the land that God promised His people. Barley is a spring crop and is usually harvested about 7 weeks before they would harvest their wheat crop. An interesting side note is that many Christian Jews celebrate this feast as Christ being the firstfruit.
The Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)
15 Ye shall count also to you from the morrow after the Sabbath, even from the day that ye shall bring the sheaf of the shake offering, seven Sabbaths, they shall be complete.
16 Unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days: then ye shall bring a new meat offering unto the Lord.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations bread for the shake offering: they shall be two loaves of two tenth deals of fine flour, which shall be baken with leaven for firstfruits unto the Lord.
18 Also ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of one year old, and a young bullock and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, for a sacrifice made by fire of a sweet savor unto the Lord.
19 Then ye shall prepare an he goat for a sin offering, and two lambs of one year old for peace offerings.
20 And the Priest shall shake them to and fro with the bread of the firstfruits before the Lord, and with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord, for the Priest.
21 So ye shall proclaim the same day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be an ordinance forever in all your dwellings, throughout your generations.
22 And when you reap the harvest of your land,thou shalt not rid clean the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou make any after gathering of thy harvest, but shalt leave them unto the poor and to the stranger, I am the Lord your God.
The Feast of Weeks follows the Feast of Fruitfruits and is a commemoration of the whole harvest and bounty that God promised his people once they settled in the Promised Land.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say, In the seventh month, and in the first day of the month shall ye have a Sabbath, for the remembrance of blowing the trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein, but offer sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.
If you recall, God changed the calendar year in Exodus 12:2 when he told Moses that this would now be the start of their year. The Feast of Trumpets is the celebration of this newly established Jewish New Year. The Hebrews would usher in the New Year with the blowing of the Shofar or ram’s horn.
The Feast of Booths or Tabernacles (Sukkot)
33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
34 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say, In the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be for seven days the feast of Tabernacles unto the Lord.
35 In the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36 Seven days ye shall offer sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, and in the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you, and ye shall offer sacrifices made by fire unto the Lord: it is the solemn assembly, ye shall do no servile work therein.
37 These are the feasts of the Lord (which ye shall call holy convocations) to offer sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, as burnt offering, and meat offering, sacrifice, and drink offerings, every one upon his day,
38 Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your free offerings, which ye shall give unto the Lord.
39 But in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep an holy feast unto the Lord seven days: in the first day shall be a Sabbath: likewise in the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.
40 And ye shall take you in the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
41 So ye shall keep this feast unto the Lord seven days in the year, by a perpetual ordinance through your generations: in the seventh month shall you keep it.
42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days: all that are Israelites born, shall dwell in booths,
43 That your posterity may know that I have made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
44 So Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
The Feast of Booths or Tabernacle is a commemoration of the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The term ‘Booths’ refers to the temporary housing or tents that the people lived in during their wandering in the desert. The term ‘Tabernacle’ refers to the Tent of Meeting used in the desert which was the precursor to the more permanent Temple to be built in Jerusalem.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
27 The tenth also of this seventh month, shall be a day of reconciliation: it shall be an holy convocation unto you, and ye shall humble your souls, and offer sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.
28 And ye shall do no work that same day: for it is a day of reconciliation, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.
29 For every person that humbleth not himself that same day, shall even be cut off from his people.
30 And every person that shall do any work that same day, the same person also will I destroy from among his people.
31 Ye shall do no manner work therefore: this shall be a law forever in your generations, throughout all your dwellings.
32 This shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall humble your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.
Considered to be the holiest of all of the Jewish feasts, has no direct Scriptural reference as to a historical event to commemorate.
Archbishop Ussher concluded that God assigned this holiest of feasts on the 10th day of the month in commemoration of when Adam ate of the fruit and brought sin into the world which would make it occur on the 10th day of Creation. The only reason mankind needs atonement is because of Adam’s sin which is imputed to all mankind ever since. Would it not make sense that the feast to commemorate the need for atonement would be held on the anniversary of that event as in all of the other feasts?
Additionally, Adam and Eve had been commanded to multiply and fill the earth at the end of the 6th day of Creation, but Scripture gives no indication that she had conceived prior to the Fall. After the Fall Genesis 4:1 opens with: Afterward the man knew Eve his wife which conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have obtained a man by the Lord. Therefore there had to be a very short amount of time between their mandate to be fruitful and multiply and when Eve first conceived.
Between God’s timing for the Feast of Yom Kippur and the fact that Eve had not yet conceived, Archbishop James Ussher concluded that the Fall of all of mankind into a sin cursed world occurred only 4 days after Adam was formed from the dust of the earth which was the 10th day of creation.
Can we say emphatically state that Adam’s Fall took place on the 10th day of Creation? No. However, Archbishop Ussher offers an explanation worth consideration.