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OF THE SIN OF ADAM5.
WHEN God in His goodness had made Adam, He laid down a law for him, and commanded him not to eat of the tree of good and evil, which is the fig-tree. After Eve was created, Adam told her the story of the tree; and Satan heard it, and by his envy it became the occasion and cause of their being made to sin, and being expelled from Paradise, for it was by reason of him that Adam fell from the height p. 22 of his glory. Some say that Satan heard when God commanded Adam not to eat of that tree. Others say that God commanded Adam in his mind, mentally (and not by sense); others again say, by sense and openly. And Satan saw that the serpent was more subtle than all four-footed beasts1; and he played in him, as it were with pipes, in the hearing of Eve, like an instrument, and said to her, 'Ye shall not die, as God hath said to you, but ye shall be gods like God, knowers of good and evil.' Then Eve saw that the appearance of the fig-tree was beautiful, and that its smell was delightful; and she desired to eat of it and to become a goddess. So she stretched out her hand, and plucked, and ate, and gave also to her husband, and he likewise did eat. And they were stripped of the fair glory and glorious light of purity wherewith they were clothed, when they saw not each other's nakedness. And p. 23 their eyes were opened, and they saw their nakedness; and they took leaves of the fig-tree, and covered their nakedness for shame, and hid themselves beneath thick trees. Then God called Adam and said to him, 'Where art thou, Adam?'--not that He did not know where he was, but in a chiding manner--and Adam said, 'Lord, I heard Thy voice, and I hid myself because I am naked.' God said, 'Whence knowest thou that thou art naked? peradventure hast thou transgressed the law and command which I laid down for thee, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat?' Adam said, 'The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave to me, and I did eat.' And God questioned Eve in like manner; and Eve said, 'The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.' And God cursed the serpent, saying, 'Cursed art thou above all beasts upon the earth.' With the cursing of the serpent, who was the tool of Satan, Satan, who had instigated the serpent, was himself cursed; and immediately his legs were destroyed, and he crawled upon his belly, and instead of being an animal became a hissing reptile. And God set enmity between the serpent and man, saying, 'He shall smite the heel of man, but man shall crush his head, and the food of the serpent shall be dust.' God said to Eve, 'In pain shalt thou bring forth children;' and to Adam He said, 'Cursed is the ground for thy sake, and in toil and the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.' And the earth, by reason of the curse which it had received, straightway brought forth thorns and thistles. And God drove them out from Paradise at the ninth hour of the same day in which they were created.
4 Chap. xvii in the Oxford MS.
5 Gen. iii. 6-24.
1 'And he went and dwelt in the serpent, and carried him and made him fly through the air to the skirts of Paradise. Why did he enter into the serpent and hide himself (there)? Because he knew that his appearance was hideous, and that if Eve saw his form she would straightway flee from him. As one who teaches a bird* the Greek tongue, brings a large mirror and places it between himself and the bird, and then begins to speak to her; and the bird as soon as it hears his voice turns round, and seeing its own form in the mirror straightway rejoices, thinking that it is a companion speaking with her, and thus willingly inclines her ear and listens to the words of him that talks with her, and pays attention (to them) and learns to talk Greek; so also did Satan enter in and dwell in the serpent.' Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 6; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 6 b, col. 1.
* The bird that learns to talk is called 'parrot'.