Which mitzvos did Adam have before eating from the tree?

Posible options:
1 - Not to eat from the tree.
2 - (the above +) to have children.
8 - (the above +) 6 mitvos
9 - (the above +) tzedoko

  • My related question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/86207/… Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 13:44
  • 3
    Maybe also לעבדה ולשמרה
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 14:34
  • @DoubleAA what is a source that says he was commanded to do that, (and not just a natural outcome of being there)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 15:23
  • Even if he wasn't commanded formally it's clearly the expected behavior. I don't know if that counts as a Mitzva or not (or why it matters what we call it)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Your question already mentions Rambam's Hilchot Melachim 9:1 as a source that Adam had at least six negative commandments

  1. idolatry
  2. “blessing” (euphemistically) the Name (of G-d)
  3. murder
  4. illicit sexual relations
  5. thievery
  6. establishing a system of justice

Radak derives each of these six commandments from the words in Bereshit 2:16 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat" (see also Sanhedrin 56b). Therefore by definition these six commandments were before Adam ate from the tree.

The seventh and eights negative commandments are

  1. Not to kill an animal to eat it which the gemara in Sanhedrin 59b derives from 1:29 that Adam was given plants to eat but not meat (there are alternative views: not to eat meat even from a dead animal or not to eat a limb from a live animal)
  2. You shall not eat of [the Etz Ha'Daat] or touch it, lest you die. (2:17, 3:3)

Beyond that we have at least two positive commandments appearing before the prohibition to eat from the tree

  1. Be fertile, multiply and fill the earth (1:28)
  2. Master the earth and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth (1:28)

On the verse "Keep [Gan Eden] and tend it" (2:15), various commentators (see here on MY) have suggested this could refer to physical labor, Torah study or sacrifices, thus making the total number much larger.

As confirmation, I asked R Binyamin Tabadi who agreed with the above. He offered three additional mitzvot (as found in the writings of R Nissim Gaon), suggesting they were given from the beginning since Adam had a relation with God "from day one".

  • Obedience to God
  • Knowledge of God
  • Worship of God

I have since then found a source that listed these, as well as the full list of the 30 commandments of Bnei Noach (based on Chulin 92a, see here on MY). Some of these 30 could possibly have been given to Adam before he ate the forbidden fruit although I don't think there is a source for that.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 18:45

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