The Bible doesn’t specify how many children did Adam and Eve have, but it does tell us about 3 of Adam and Eve’s sons. The first were Cain and Abel, and then came Seth. However, the Bible and tradition state that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4). After all, it was God’s commission to be “fruitful and multiply”.
The story of Adam and Eve’s sons
After Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden, where they no longer had access to the tree of life, Eve gave birth to two children, Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-2). As the two boys grew, they were very different. Abel followed the Lord God and Abel followed his heart. Eventually their differences lead Cain to kill Abel. God cursed Cain for killing his brother and he fled. Later Cain married and begat his own nation (see Where did Cain’s wife come from?).
After Cain murdered his brother Abel, Adam and Eve begat another son named Seth. This third son was “begotten when Adam was 130 years old” (Genesis 5:3). The scriptures state that Adam and Eve “begot sons and daughters” after Seth (Genesis 5:3-4). However, there is no mention of the exact number of their descendants, just the name of their first 3 sons Cain, Abel, and Seth.
Assumptions on the number of Children Adam and Eve had
Bible scholars assume that our first parents had a large family that consisted of many boys and girls. This assumption is based on the Bible telling us that Adam lived to be 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). This is about ten times longer than most people live today. People pre-flood would live at least 800 years after the birth of their first child. In fact, Adam lived long enough to meet Noah’s father, and His son long enough to meet Noah. It wasn’t sometime after the flood where people’s age dramatically decreased. This happened during Peleg’s lifetime, where interestingly enough the Bible in Genesis 10:25 tells us the earth was divided (see How was the Earth divided in the Days of Peleg?). But, everyone else pre-flood lived longer. In fact if we look at Bible genealogy we see that Noah lived long enough to meet Abraham.
With this in mind, if we take today’s fertility at the antediluvian time it would be about 350 years. If Adam and Eve had just one child every seven years of her fertility, then they would have had 50 children. This is a conservative estimate, as it is likely that they obeyed God’s first commission to: “be fruitful and multiply …” (Genesis 1:28).
It is interesting to note that there is a tradition outside the Scripture that can’t be proven in The Works of Josephus* which states that:
“The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was 33 sons and 23 daughters.”
The Take Home Message
God created Adam and Eve to be fruitful upon this earth. We are all the descendants of Adam and Eve, but let us strive to be more. While we don’t know the exact number of Children Adam and Eve had, it is important to note that his son Seth was born “in his own likeness, and after his image” (Genesis 5:3). This means he was of the same character. We notice that it was not as important to the Bible author to note the quantity of the children as it was the quality of their character.
May we strive to be among those who are renewed in knowledge after the image of Jesus Christ. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:10-11).
In His service,