Sacred-Texts Christianity Index Previous Next
OF ADAM'S KNOWING EVE.
WHEN Adam and Eve went forth from Paradise, they were both virgins. After thirty years Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived p. 25 and brought forth Cain together with his sister Kelêmath at one birth1. And after thirty years Eve conceived and brought forth Abel and Lebôdâ his sister at one birth. And when they arrived at the age for marriage, Adam wished and intended to give Abel's sister to Cain and p. 26 Cain's sister to Abel; but Cain desired his own sister more than Abel's1. Both (i.e. Kelêmath and Lebôdâ) were his sisters, but because of their birth at one time I have called them thus. Now Cain's sister was exceedingly beautiful. The two brothers made an offering to God because of this matter. Abel, because he was a shepherd, offered up of the fat firstlings of his flock in great love, with a pure heart and a sincere mind. Cain, because he was a husbandman, made an offering of some of the refuse of the fruits of his husbandry with reluctance. He made an offering of ears of wheat that were smitten by blight; but some say of straw only. And the divine fire came down from heaven and consumed the offering of Abel, and it was accepted; while the offering of Cain was rejected. And Cain was angry with God, and envied his brother; and he persuaded his brother to come out into the plain, and slew him. Some say that he smashed his head with stones, and killed him; and others say that Satan appeared to him in the form of wild beasts that fight with one another and slay each other. At any rate, he killed him, whether this way or that way. Then God said to Cain, 'Where is Abel thy brother?' Cain said, 'Am I forsooth my brother's keeper?' God said, 'Behold, the sound of the cry of thy brother Abel's blood has come unto me;' and God cursed Cain, and made him a wanderer and a fugitive all the days of his life. From the day in which the blood of Abel was shed upon the ground, it did not p. 27 again receive the blood of any animal until Noah came forth from the ark. Adam and Eve mourned for Abel one hundred years. In the two hundred and thirtieth year1, Seth, the beautiful, was born in the likeness of Adam; and Adam and Eve were consoled by him, Cain and his descendants went down and dwelt in the plain, while Adam and his children, that is the sons of Seth, dwelt upon the top of the Mount of Eden, And the sons of Seth went down and saw the beauty of the daughters of Cain, and lay with them2; and the earth was corrupted and polluted with lasciviousness3; and Adam and Eve heard of it and p. 28 mourned. Now Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years1. Some say that in the days of Seth the knowledge of books went forth in the earth; but the Church does not accept this. When Seth was two hundred and fifty years old2, he begat Enos; and Seth lived nine hundred and thirteen years3, and he died. Enos was two hundred and ninety years4 old when he begat Cainan; and Enos first called upon the name of the Lord. Some say that he first composed books upon the course of the stars and the signs of the Zodiac5. Enos lived nine hundred and five years. Cainan was a hundred and forty6 years old when he begat Mahalaleel; and he lived nine hundred and ten years. Mahalaleel was one hundred and sixty-five7 years old when he begat Jared; and he lived eight hundred and ninety-five years8. Jared was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he begat Enoch; and he lived nine hundred and sixty-two years. Enoch was one hundred and sixty-five9 years old when he begat Methuselah; and when he was three hundred and sixty-five years old, God removed him to the generation of life, that is to Paradise. Methuselah was one hundred p. 29 and eighty-seven years old when he begat Lamech; and he lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years. Lamech was a hundred and eighty-two years old when he begat Noah; and he lived seven hundred and seventy-seven years1.
3 Chap. xix in the Oxford MS.
1 The 'Cave of Treasures' relates the story of Cain's birth and the dispute of the brothers thus: 'When Adam wished to know Eve his wife, he took from the skirts of Paradise gold, myrrh, and frankincense, and put them in a cave: and he blessed it and sanctified it that it might be the house of prayer of himself and of his sons, and he called it the "Cave of Treasures." And Adam and Eve came down from that holy mountain to its skirts below; and there Adam knew Eve his wife. Some say that Adam knew Eve thirty years after they had gone forth from Paradise. And she conceived and bare Cain and Lebôdâ his sister with him; and again she conceived and bare Abel and Kelêmath his sister with him. When the youths had grown up, Adam said to Eve, "Let Cain take to wife Kelêmath who was born with Abel, and let Abel take Lebôdâ who was born with Cain." But Cain said to Eve his mother, "I will take to wife my own sister, and let Abel take his;" for Lebôdâ was beautiful. When Adam heard these words, he was very grieved, and said, "It is a transgression p. 26 of the law that thou shouldst take to wife thy sister who was born with thee. But take ye of the fruit of the trees and the young of the flocks, and go ye up to the top of this holy mountain, and enter into the Cave of Treasures, and offer up your offerings there, and pray before God, and then be united unto your wives." And it came to pass that when Adam the first priest, and Cain and Abel his sons, were going up to the top of the mountain, Satan suggested to Cain to slay Abel his brother for the sake of Lebôdâ, and because his offering was rejected and not accepted before God, while that of Abel was accepted. And Cain increased his envy against Abel his brother; and when they came down to the plain, Cain stood up against Abel his brother and slew him by a wound from a flint stone.' See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 8; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 7 b, col. 2 to fol. 8 a, col. 2.
1 According to R. Hûnâ, Cain wished to marry his sister because she was born with him, Berêshith Rabbâh on Gen. iv. 8.
1 According to Gen. v. 3, in the one hundredth and thirtieth year. The Oxford MS. gives the 233rd year.
2 Gen. vi. 2.
3 'And the sons of Seth had intercourse with the daughters of Cain; and they conceived by them and brought forth mighty men, the sons of heroes, like towers, Hence early writers have erred and written, "The angels came down from heaven, and had intercourse with mankind, and from them were born mighty men of renown," But this is not true; they have said this because they did not understand, Now see, my brother readers, and know that this is neither in the nature of spiritual beings, nor in the nature of the impure and evil-doing demons who love adultery; for there are no males nor females among them, nor has there been even one added to their number since they fell. If the devils were able to have intercourse with women, they would not leave one single virgin undefiled in the whole human race.' See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 18; and Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 14 b, col. 2. p. 28 'Seth became a leader to the children of his people, and he ruled them in purity and holiness. And because of their purity they received this name, which is better than all names, that they should be called the children of God . . . . . . . . . and they went up in place of that band of demons which fell from heaven, to praise and glorify on the skirts of Paradise.' See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 10; and Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 9 a, col. 2.
1 'Our father died at the 9th hour of Friday, the 14th of the month of Nîsân, 930 years after the creation of the world, and gave up his soul to his Maker at the same hour in which the Son of Man on the Cross gave up His soul to His Father.' See Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 9; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 9 a, col. 1.
2 105 years, Gen. v. 6.
3 In the Oxford MS. 905 years.
4 90 years, Gen. v. 9.
5 The Oxford MS. omits this passage.
6 70 years, Gen. v. 12. The Oxford MS. has 920 years.
7 65 years, Gen. v. 15.
8 In the Oxford MS. 833 years.
9 65 years, Gen. v. 21.
1 In the Oxford MS. 774 years. This MS. omits to say how old the patriarchs were when they begat their sons.