"THIS is the Book of the generations of Adam.55a-55b In the day that Alhim created man, in the likeness of Alhim made he him." (Gen. v., 1.) Said Rabbi Isaac: "The Holy One showed Adam the forms and features of his descendants that should appear in the world after him, and of the sages and kings who should rule over Israel. He also made known to him, that the life and reign of David would be of short duration. Then said Adam to the Holy One, 'let seventy years of my earthly existence be taken and granted to the life of David.' This request was granted, otherwise Adam's life would have attained to a thousand years. This was the reason that David said: 'For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the work of thine hands (Ps. xcii., 5), for thou hast filled me with joy in prolonging the days of my life. 'It was thy own act and wish,' said the Holy One, 'when thou wast incarnated as Adam, the work of my hands and not of flesh and blood.' Amongst the wise men and sages that should appear on the earth, Adam rejoiced greatly on beholding the form of Rabbi Akiba who would become distinguished by his great knowledge of the secret doctrine. On seeing, however, as in a vision, his martyrdom and cruel death, Adam became exceedingly sad and said: 'Thine eyes beheld me ere I was clothed in a body and all things are written in thy book; each day hath its events that shall come to pass, are therein to be found.' Observe that the book of the generations of Adam was that which
the Holy One through the angel Rosiel, guardian of the great mysteries and secret doctrine, gave unto Adam whilst yet in the garden of Eden. In it was written all the secret wisdom and knowledge concerning the divine name of seventy-two letters and its esoteric six hundred and seventy mysteries. It also contained the fifteen hundred keys, the knowledge and understanding and use of which had never been imparted to anyone, not even to angels, before it came into the possession of Adam. As he read and studied its pages, angelic beings assembled around him and acquired the knowledge of Hochma, or divine wisdom, and in their delight exclaimed 'Be thou exalted, oh God above the heavens, and let thy glory be above all the earth' (Ps. lvii., 5). Then was it that the holy angel Hadraniel sent one of his subordinates to Adam, saying unto him, 'Adam! Adam! guard thou well and wisely the great and glorious gift entrusted to thee by thy Lord. To none of the angels on high have its secrets55b ever been revealed and imparted, save to thyself. Be thou therefore discreet and refrain from making them known to others.' Acting on these injunctions Adam zealously and secretly kept this book up to his expulsion from the garden of Eden, studying it and making himself acquainted with its wondrous mysteries. When, however, he disobeyed the commands of his Lord, the volume suddenly disappeared leaving him overwhelmed with grief and most poignant regret, so that he went and immersed himself up to the neck in the river Gihon. On his body becoming covered with unsightly ulcers and sores threatening physical dissolution, the Holy One instructed Raphael to return the book to Adam. After obtaining a full knowledge of its occult teachings, he handed it, when at the point of death, to his son Seth, who in his turn bequeathed it to his posterity, and eventually it came into the possession of Abraham who was able by its secret teachings to attain to higher and more enlightened knowledge of the Divine, as was the case with his predecessor Henoch and enabled him, as it is written, 'to walk with the Alhim,' that is, to converse with them."