I just got a copy of The Eternal Link by R. Pinchas Winston and it states (on page 33), "the birth of Cain and Abel actually occurred before the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, not afterwards". Later in the chapter, R. Winston lays out, hour by hour, the events of the 6th day (and I do not see footnotes that tell me where he got each piece of information from so I can't follow up on the details). He lists (page 37) that in hour 8, Adam and Eve procreated and Eve bore Kayin and a twin sister. Hours 9-12 are full of the events related to the eating of the tree and the expulsion.

I know that not everyone agrees that Hevel was born beforehand -- this answer cites an opinion that says "הבל לא נולד באותו פעם". But that opinion doesn't say WHEN Hevel was born, just that he wasn't born at the same time as Kayin.

According to those who say that he was born before the expulsion, is there anyone who lists when during the day (in relation to Kayin) he was born?

According to those who say he was born at another time, does anyone state when that other time is? -------------edit----------------

The Jewish Tmeline Encyclopedia by Mattis Kantor cites medrash that both Kayin AND Hevel were born 40 years later. This answers questions and raises others.


2 Answers 2


It appears to be from Pirkei De Rabbi Eliezer 11.

I saw it referenced by Rabbeinu Bachaye on Bereishis 2:7.

He writes there:

עפר מן האדמה. שעה ראשונה הוצבר עפרו, ושניה גבלו, ג' רקמו, ד' נזרקה בו נשמה, ה' עמד על רגליו, ו' קרא שמות, ז' נזדוגה לו חוה, ח' עלו למטה שנים וירדו ארבעה, ט' נצטווה, י' סרח, י"א נדון, י"ב נטרד והלך לו שנאמר (תהלים מט יג) ואדם ביקר בל ילין נמשל כבהמות נדמו, כן דרשו בסנהדרין סוף פרק אחד דיני ממונות וכן עוד בפרקי רבי אליעזר

עפר מן האדמה, “dust from the earth.” During the first hour of the sixth day the earth and dust from the various parts of the world were assembled. During the second hour this earth was made into some form of dough, kneaded. During the third hour the various parts of the body were structured and textured. During the fourth hour a living soul was breathed into Adam. During the fifth hour he stood on his legs. During the sixth hour he named the various animals. During the seventh hour he was presented with his wife Chavah. During the eighth hour Adam and Chavah performed marital intercourse on a bed and when they had completed this act of procreation four of them got up from the bed. [Chavah had given birth to Cain and Hevel. Ed.] During the ninth hour Adam was commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge. During the tenth hour, both Chavah and Adam sinned by eating from that tree. During the eleventh hour they were judged (they were told their punishment). During the twelfth hour he was expelled and left Gan Eden. This is what is meant by Psalms 49:13 - אדם ביקר בל ילין, נמשל כבהמות נדמו, “man did not spend a night in honour; he is like the beasts that perish.” This is how the verse was interpreted in Sanhedrin 38, and also in Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer chapter 11. (Sefaria translation and notation)

As an aside it is worth noting the Midrash in Bereishis Rabbah 22:2 which says differently to the Gemara in Sanhedrin that rather than four descended it was seven:

אָמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן קָרְחָה עָלוּ לַמִּטָּה שְׁנַיִם וְיָרְדוּ שִׁבְעָה, קַיִּן וּתְאוֹמָתוֹ, וְהֶבֶל וּשְׁתֵּי תְאוֹמוֹתָיו

Said Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korcha: two went up to the bed and seven descended, Kayin and his female twin, Hevel and his two female twins.


"According to those who say that he was born before the expulsion, is there anyone who lists when during the day (in relation to Kayin) he was born?"

The Gemarah Sanhedrin 38b, according to the Ra'am, seems to be the source that says they were born before the expulsion and that they were twins, born at the same time. (Translation from Sefaria, not according to Tosfos)

שמינית עלו למטה שנים וירדו ארבעה

the eighth, they arose to the bed two, and descended four, i.e., Cain and Abel were immediately born.

The Chiddushei Agados brings the Ra'am as saying;

והרא"ם כתב על אגדה זו דעלו למטה שנים וירדו ד' דלא דריש אתיים לרבויא עכ"ל נראה מדבריו שהוא מפרש וירדו ד' היינו אדם וחוה קין והבל ונעלם ממנו דברי התוס' דהכא דלפי סוגיא דשמעתין נמי ירדו ד' היינו אדם וחוה וקין ותיומתו אבל הבל לא נולד באותו פעם

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