From the short negotiation between Adam and G-d it is clear that Adam is not asking for forgiveness.

So why didn't he ask for forgiveness?

1 Answer 1


Bereishis Rabbah 22:13 seems to indicate that Adam didn’t know that he had that option:

פָּגַע בּוֹ אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן אָמַר לוֹ מַה נַּעֲשָׂה בְּדִינְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ עָשִׂיתִי תְּשׁוּבָה וְנִתְפַּשַּׁרְתִּי. הִתְחִיל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן מְטַפֵּחַ עַל פָּנָיו, אָמַר, כָּךְ הִיא כֹּחָהּ שֶׁל תְּשׁוּבָה וַאֲנִי לֹא הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ

Adam bumped into [Kayin]. [Adam] said to [Kayin], “What happened with your judgement?” He said to him, “I repented and compromised.” Adam began banging his face; he said, “This is the power of repentance, and I didn’t know!”

Whether this means that he didn’t know repentance existed, or that he knew repentance existed but didn’t know it applied even to a sin like his, I’m not sure. In any event, he didn’t repent because he didn’t think he was able to.

  • Thank you. I think I missed by actually asking two questions in one. Your answer refers to not doing Teshuvah, but it doesn't show that he clearly knew that he sinned. Do you think it is obvious, or should I post a separate question on that? And then I can accept your answer.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 18:13
  • The text of the Midrash clearly implies that, at least by this point, he knew that he sinned. Whether he knew at the time (that is, before the consequences were meted out) this Midrash does not shed any light on, but if you ask that separately, I can pull a few earlier Midrashim that address that explicitly.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 23:35
  • Wholst an excellent answer the question why he didn't repent for the purpose of repenting remains.
    – user15253
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 9:50

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