Musee National de la Renaissance, Ecouen, France/Bridgeman Art Library
The angel assigned by God to guard Paradise drives Adam and Eve out with his flaming sword, in this 16th-century painted enamel plaque from the National Museum of the Renaissance in Ecouen, France. For eating the forbidden fruit, the first couple was banished from the Garden. But what happened then? Between the Fall in Genesis 3 and the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, the Bible doesn’t really tell us what Adam and Eve’s lives were like, except that Adam tilled the earth as a farmer and Eve bore him sons. Several apocryphal stories, however, that may date from as early as the late Second Temple period—and that are still repeated as folktales in Eastern Europe—describe how Adam and Eve had more problems with Satan after they relocated “east of Eden” (Genesis 3:24). In the accompanying review, David R. Cartlidge discusses a new book about these popular legends that fill the gap in the story of Adam and Eve.