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In the Guide for the Perplexed (Part 1, Chapter 7), Rambam quotes the Midrash which states that during the 130 years when Adam was under rebuke, he begat spirits, i.e demons; when, however, he was again restored to divine favor "he begat in his likeness,in his form." And Rambam refers to Adam's posterity before Seth as being not human in the true sense of the word. When and how was Adam restored to divine favor?

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    Presumably at the end of 130 years??
    – Dov
    Sep 23, 2023 at 20:09
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    Refer also to Eiruvin 18b
    – Dov
    Sep 23, 2023 at 20:11
  • By asking when, I am not asking for a date, rather the question is, after what was Adam restored to favor? What happened in those 130 years (and why 130 years?) that meant that Adam was restored to favor. There is nothing in Bereshit that answers these questions. Accepting that eating the fruit caused Adam to fall out of favor. Nothing after that incident until the birth of Seth indicates that Adam did anything to restore him to favor. In fact I have always read the begetting of Seth in 'his image and likeness' to mean that Seth was begotten in the sinful image of Adam after the fall. Sep 24, 2023 at 3:55

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As per your comment:

What happened in those 130 years (and why 130 years?) that meant that Adam was restored to favor.

Refer to Eiruvin 18b which shows how he took steps to repent:

מֵיתִיבִי, הָיָה רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר: אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן חָסִיד גָּדוֹל הָיָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁנִּקְנְסָה מִיתָה עַל יָדוֹ, יָשַׁב בְּתַעֲנִית מֵאָה שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה, וּפֵירַשׁ מִן הָאִשָּׁה מֵאָה שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה, וְהֶעֱלָה זִרְזֵי תְּאֵנִים עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ מֵאָה שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraisa: Rabbi Meir would say: Adam the first man was very pious. When he saw that death was imposed as a punishment because of him, he observed a fast for a hundred thirty years, and he separated from his wife for a hundred thirty years, and wore belts [zarzei] of fig leaves on his body as his only garment for a hundred thirty years.

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Radak on Bereshit 5:3 states that he had done teshuva and became a perfectly righteous person after 130 years. He suggests that it was a form of intellectual pollution that he fixed through teshuva. It was a curse that Hashem placed on him, and lifted once they were in good standing again. Ohr HaChaims states that this pollution was absorbed from the fruit that Chava ate, and was expelled by that time.


More deeply, the Arizal explains that when Adam sinned, some parts of his sublime soul (that comprised all the souls of mankind) became corrupted with total evil. This happened at once in the spiritual plane, but in the physical plane, this takes time to happen, and it took 130 years for these souls to come from him into the darker places that they (temporarily) needed to go as a result of his original sin.

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Basing my answer on this Midrash, Adams relationship with Eve was restored by Hashem himself, through a strong sexual desire for her. This happened after 130 years.

Midrash Tanchuma Buber, Bereshit 26:1

...During the whole 130 years in which Adam had withdrawn from Eve, the spirits were coming to him and being inflamed with passion from him so that he was begetting demons (mazziqin). At that time the Holy One said: I created my world only for fruitfulness and multiplying. So it is stated (in Is. 45:18): HE DID NOT CREATE IT AS A VOID; HE FORMED IT FOR HABITATION. What did the Holy One do? He put a sexual desire for Eve into the heart of Adam. So he had intercourse with her, and she bore Seth. Thus it is stated (in Gen. 5:3): WHEN ADAM HAD LIVED A HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS, HE BEGOT < A SON > IN HIS OWN LIKENESS {IN} [AFTER] HIS IMAGE...

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