This question must precede "why-didnt-adam-ask-for-forgiveness".

A short recap of the events as I understand it: G-d asks Adam not to eat from the tree, Eve is brought to Adam to be his supporter, Eve decides to taste the forbidden fruit and shares it with Adam.

THen the Torah says something unclear regarding their response:

וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת׃

Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked etc.

Then when they meet G-d to explain what happened Adam simply recalls the event as it was without showing any sign of interpreting it as a sin.

So, Did Adam and Eve realize they sinned before they were severely punished?

  • 1
    Of course they knew. They weren't half-wits
    – user15253
    Apr 25, 2019 at 9:47
  • 2
    @Orangesandlemons Thank you, you convinced me straight away.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 25, 2019 at 9:52
  • They knew, the problem though was that they laid the responsibility/blame for it with one another. Adam claimed Chava put him up to it, Chava said the same about the nachash.
    – Levi
    Apr 28, 2019 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


Rambam speaks about this in his Guide for the Perplexed (1:2:1):

Further observe the passage, "And the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked" (Gen. 3:7): it is not said, "And the eyes of both were opened, and they saw"; for what the man had seen previously and what he saw after this circumstance was precisely the same: there had been no blindness which was now removed, but he received a new faculty whereby he found things wrong which previously he had not regarded as wrong. Besides, you must know that the Hebrew word pakaḥ used in this passage is exclusively employed in the figurative sense of receiving new sources of knowledge, not in that of regaining the sense of sight.

  • 1
    I don't understand: פקח is indeed used with ראה (eg Kings 2:6:17 or Is 37:17), so perhaps ראה can also be used figuratively. Also, in Is 35:5 it seems that פקח is used literally about blind people.
    – magicker72
    Jun 30, 2021 at 23:30

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