Legends of the Patriarchs and Prophets – Adam and Eve After the Fall, by Sabine Baring-Gould

woodcut of 'Adam and Eve with their sons Cain and Abel'; published in 1860 by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld for 'Die Bibel in Bildern'; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsChapter

When Adam reached the earth, the Eagle said to the Whale, with whom it had hitherto lived in the closest intimacy, “Now we must part, for there is no safety for us animals since man has come amongst us. The deepest abysses of ocean must be thy refuge, and thou must protect thyself with cunning from the great foe who has entered the earth. I must soar high above the clouds, and there find a place of escape from him who is destined to be my pursuer till death.”

According to certain cabbalistic Rabbis, Adam, when cast out of Eden, was precipitated into Gehenna, but he escaped therefrom to earth, by repeating and pronouncing properly the mystic word Laverererareri. In the Talmud it is related that when Adam heard the words of God, “Thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18), he trembled in all his limbs, and exclaimed, “O Lord of all the world! I and my beast, the Ass, shall have to eat out of the same manger!” But God said to him, because he trembled, “Thou shalt eat bread in the sweat of thy brow.”

Learned Rabbis assert that the angel Raphael had instructed Adam in all kinds of knowledge out of a book, and this book contained mighty mysteries which the highest angels could not fathom, and knew not; and before the Fall the angels used to assemble in crowds, and listen to Adam instructing them in hidden wisdom. In that book were seventy-two parts and six hundred and seventy writings, and all this was known; but from the middle of the book to the end were the one thousand five hundred hidden secrets of Wisdom, and these Adam began to reveal to the angels till he was arrested by the angel Haddarniel. This book Adam preserved and read in daily; but when he had sinned, it fled out of his hands and flew away, and he went into the river Gihon up to his neck, and the water washed the glory wherewith he had shone in Paradise from off his body. But God was merciful, and He restored to him the book by the hands of Raphael, and he left it to his son Seth, and Enoch and Abraham read in this book.

Along with the book Adam retained the rod which God had created at the close of the Sabbath, between sun and sun; i.e., between nightfall and daybreak, so says the Rabbi Levi. Adam left it to Enoch, and Enoch gave it to Noah, and Noah gave it to Shem, and Shem to Abraham, and Abraham delivered it to Isaac, and Isaac gave it to Jacob; Jacob brought the staff with him to Egypt, and gave it to his son Joseph. Now when Joseph died, his house was plundered by the Egyptians, and all his effects were taken into Pharaoh’s house. Jethro was a mighty magician, and when he saw the staff of Adam and read the writing thereon, he went forth into Edom and planted it in his garden. And Jethro would allow none to touch it; but when he saw Moses he said, “This is he who will deliver Israel out of Egypt.” Wherefore he gave him his daughter Zipporah and the staff. But the book Midrash Vajoscha relates this rather differently, in the words of Moses himself: “After I had become great I went out, and seeing an Egyptian ill-treat a Hebrew man of my brethren, I slew him and buried him in the sand. But when Pharoah heard this he sought to slay me, and brought a sharp sword the like of which was not in the world; and therewith I was ten times smitten on my neck. But the Holy God wrought a miracle, for my neck became as hard as a marble pillar, so that the sword had no power over me. And I was forty years old when I fled out of Egypt; and I came to Jethro’s house and stood by the well and found Zipporah his daughter; and when I saw her, I was pleased with her, and asked her to marry me. Then she related to me her father’s custom, and it was this. “˜My father proves every suitor for my hand by a tree which is in his garden; and when he comes to the tree, the tree clasps him in its branches.’ Then I asked her where such a tree was, and she answered me, “˜This is the staff which God created on the eve of the Sabbath, which was handed down from Adam to Joseph; but Jethro saw the staff at the plundering of Joseph’s house, and he took it away with him from Pharaoh’s palace and brought it here. This is the staff on which is cut the Schem hammphorasch and the ten plagues that are in store for Egypt, and these are indicated by ten letters on the staff, and they stand thus: dam, blood; zephardeim, frogs; kinnim, lice; arof, various insects; defer, murrain; schechim, blain; barad, hail; arbeh, locusts; choschech, darkness; and bechor, first born: these will be the plagues of Egypt. This staff was for many days and years in my father’s house, till he one day took it in his hand and stuck it into the earth in the garden; and then it sprouted and bloomed and brought forth almonds, and when he saw that, he proved every one who sought one of his daughters by that tree.'” These are the words of the Book Midrash Vajoscha, and thereby may be seen that the staff of Adam was of almond wood; but Yalkut Chadasch, under the title “Adam,” says that the staff was of the wood of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

When Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, says the Talmud, they wandered disconsolate over the face of the earth. And the sun began to decline, and they looked with fear at the diminution of the light, and felt a horror like death steal over their hearts.

And the light of heaven grew paler, and the wretched ones clasped one another in an agony of despair.

Then all grew dark.

And the luckless ones fell on the earth, silent, and thought that God had withdrawn from them the light for ever; and they spent the night in tears.

But a beam of light began to rise over the eastern hills, after many hours of darkness, and the clouds blushed crimson, and the golden sun came back, and dried the tears of Adam and Eve; and then they greeted it with cries of gladness, and said, “Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; this is a law that God has laid upon nature.”

Among the Manichean myths prevalent among the Albigenses, was one preserved to us by the troubadour Pierre de-Saint-Cloud. When Adam was driven out of Paradise, God in mercy gave him a miraculous rod, which possessed creative powers, so that he had only to strike the sea with it and it would forthwith produce the beast he might require.

Adam struck the sea, and there rose from it the sheep; then Eve took the staff and smote the water, and from it sprang the wolf, which fell on the sheep and carried it off into the wood. Then Adam took back the staff, and with it called forth the dog to hunt the wolf and recover the sheep.

According to the Mussulman tradition, Adam’s beard grew after he had fallen, and it was the result of his excessive grief and penitence: how this affected his chin is not explained, the fact only is thus boldly stated. He was sorely abashed at his beard, but a voice from heaven called to him, saying, “The beard is man’s ornament on earth; it distinguishes him from the feeble woman.” Adam shed so many tears that all birds and beasts drank of them, and flowing into the earth they produced the fragrant plants and gum-bearing trees, for they were still endued with the strength and virtue of the food of Paradise.

But the tears of Eve were transformed into pearls where they dribbled into the sea, and into beautiful flowers where they sank into the soil.

Both wailed so loud that Eve’s cry reached Adam on the West wind, and Adam’s cry was borne to Eve on the wings of the East wind. And when Eve heard the well-known voice she clasped her hands above her head, and women to this day thus testify their sorrow; and Adam, when the voice of the weeping of Eve sounded in his ears, put his right hand beneath his beard, – thus do men to this day give evidence of their mourning. And the tears pouring out of Adam’s eyes formed the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates. All nature wept with him; every bird and beast hastened to him to mingle their tears with his, but the locust was the first to arrive, for it was made of the superfluous earth which had been gathered for the creation of Adam. There are seven thousand kinds of locusts or grasshoppers, of all colors and sizes, up to the dimensions of an eagle; and they have a king to whom God addresses His commands when He would punish a rebellious nation such as that of Egypt. The black character imprinted on the locust’s wing is Hebrew, and it signifies, “God is One; He overcometh the mighty; the locusts are a portion of His army which He sends against the wicked.” As all nature thus wailed and lamented, from the invisible insect to the angel who upholds the world, God sent Gabriel with the words which were in after-time to save Jonah in the whale’s belly, “There is no God but Thou; pardon me for Mohammed’s sake, that great and last prophet, whose name is engraved on Thy throne.”

When Adam had uttered these words with penitent heart, the gates of heaven opened, and Gabriel cried out, “God has accepted thy penitence, Adam! pray to him alone, He will give thee what thou desirest, even the return to Paradise, after a certain time.”

Adam prayed, “Lord, protect me from the further malice of my enemy Eblis.”

“Speak the word, There is no God but God; that wounds him like a poisoned arrow.”

“Lord, will not the meat and drink provided by this earth lead me into sin?”

“Drink water, and eat only clean beasts which have been slain in the name of Allah, and build mosques where you dwell, so will Eblis have no power over you.”

“But if he torment me at night with evil thoughts and dreams?”

“Then rise from thy couch and pray.”

“Lord, how shall I be able to distinguish between good and evil?”

“My guidance will be with thee; and two angels will dwell in thy heart, who shall warn thee against evil and encourage thee to good.”

“Lord, assure me Thy grace against sin.”

“That can only be obtained by good works. But this I promise thee, evil shall be punished one-fold, good shall be rewarded tenfold.”

In the meanwhile the angel Michael had been sent to Eve to announce to her God’s mercy. When Eve saw him, she exclaimed, “O great and almighty Archangel of God, with what weapon shall I, poor frail creature, fight against sin?”

“God,” answered the Angel, “has given me for thee, the most potent weapon of modesty; that, as man is armed with faith, so mayest thou be armed with shamefacedness, therewith to conquer thy passions.”

“And what will protect me against the strength of man, so much more robust and vigorous than I, in mind and in body?”

“Love and compassion,” answered Michael. “I have placed these in the deepest recesses of his heart, as mighty advocates within him to plead for thee.”

“And will God give me no further gift?”

“For the pangs of maternity thou shalt feel, this shall be thine, death in child-bearing shall be reckoned in heaven as a death of martyrdom.”

Eblis, seeing the mercy shown to Adam and Eve, ventured to entreat God’s grace for himself, and obtained that he should not be enchained in the place of torment till the day of the general Resurrection, and that he should exercise sovereignty over the wicked and all those who should reject God’s word in this life.

“And where shall I dwell till the consummation of all things?” he asked of Allah.

“In ruined buildings, and in tombs, and in dens and caves of the mountains.”

“And what shall be my nourishment?”

“All beasts slain in the name of false gods and idols.”

“And how shall I slake my thirst?”

“In wine and other spirituous liquors.”

“And how shall I occupy myself in hours of idleness?”

“In music, dancing, and song.”

“What is the word of my sentence?”

“The curse of God till the Judgment-day.”

“And how shall I fight against those men who have received Thy revelation, and are protected by the two angels?”

“Thy offspring shall be more numerous than theirs: to every man born into this world, there will be born seven evil spirits, who, however, will be powerless to injure true Believers.”

God then made a covenant with Adam’s successors; He rubbed Adam’s back, and lo! from out of his back crawled all generations of men that were to be born, about the size of ants, and they ranged themselves on the left and on the right. At the head of those on the right stood Mohammed, then the other prophets and the faithful, distinguished from those on the left by their white and dazzling splendor. Those on the left were headed by Kabil (Cain).

God then acquainted Adam with the names and fate of all his posterity; and when the recital arrived at David, to whom God had allotted only thirty years, Adam asked God, “How many years are accorded to me?”

Allah replied, “One thousand.”

Then said Adam, “I make a present to David of seventy years out of my life.” God consented; and knowing the shortness of Adam’s memory, at all events in matters concerning himself inconveniently, He made the angels bring a formal document of resignation engrossed on parchment, and required Adam to subscribe thereto his name, and Michael and Gabriel to countersign it as witnesses.

A very similar tradition was held by the Jews, for in Midrash Jalkut (fol. 12) it is said: God showed Adam all future generations of men, with their captains, learned and literary men. Then he saw that David was provided with only three hours of life, and he said, “Lord and Creator of the world, is this unalterable?” “Such was my first intention,” was the reply.

“How many years have I to live?”

“A thousand.”

“And is there such a thing known in heaven as making presents?”

“Most certainly.”

“Then I present seventy years of my life to David.”

And what did Adam next perform? He drew up a legal document of transfer, and sealed it with his own seal, and God and Metatron did likewise.

To return to the Mussulman legend.

When all the posterity of Adam were assembled, God exclaimed to them, “Acknowledge that I am the only God, and that Mohammed is my prophet.” The company on the right eagerly made this acknowledgment; those, however, on the left long hesitated, – some said only the former portion of the sentence, and others did not open their mouths.

“The disobedient,” said Allah to Adam, “shall, if they remain obstinate, be cast into hell, but the true believers shall be received into Paradise.”

“So be it,” replied Adam. And thus shall it be at the end of the world.

After the covenant, Allah rubbed Adam’s back once more, and all his little posterity retreated into it again.

When now God withdrew His presence from Adam’s sight for the remainder of our first parents’ life, Adam uttered such a loud and bitter cry that the whole earth quaked.

The All-merciful was filled with compassion, and bade him follow a cloud which would conduct him to a spot where he would be directly opposite His throne, and there he was to build a temple.

“Go about this temple,” said Allah, “and I am as near to you as the angels who surround my throne.” Adam, who was still the size that God had created him, easily strode from Ceylon to Mecca after the cloud, which stood over the place where he was to build. On Mount Arafa, near Mecca, to his great delight, he found Eve again, and from this circumstance the mountain takes its name (from Arafa, to recognize, to know again). They both began to build, and erected a temple having four doors – one was called Adam’s door, another Abraham’s door, the third Ishmael’s door, and the fourth Mohammed’s door. The plan of the temple was furnished by Gabriel, who also contributed a precious stone, but this stone afterwards, through the sin of men, turned black. This black stone is the most sacred Kaaba, and it was originally an angel, whose duty it had been to guard the Wheat-Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and to warn off Adam should he approach it. But though his inattention the design of God was frustrated, and in punishment he was transformed into a stone, and he will not be released from his transformation till the Last Day.

Gabriel taught Adam also all the ceremonies of the great pilgrimage.

Adam now returned with his wife to India, and lived there till he died, but every year he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, till he lost his primitive size, and retained only the height of sixty eels.

The cause of his diminution in height was his horror and dismay at the murder of Abel, which made him shrink into himself, and he was never afterwards able to stretch himself out again to his pristine dimensions.

The Book of the Penitence of Adam is a curious apocryphal work of Syriac origin; I give an outline of its contents.

God planted, on the third day, the Terrestrial Paradise; it is bounded on the east by the ocean in which, at the Last Day, the elect will wash away all those sins which have not as yet been purged away by repentance.

On leaving this garden of delights, Adam turned to take of it one last look. He saw that the Tree which had caused his fall was cursed and had withered away.

He was much surprised when night overtook him, for in Paradise he had not known darkness. As he went along his way, shedding tears, he overtook the serpent gliding over the ground, and licking the dust. That serpent he had last seen on four feet, very beautiful, with the hair of a young maiden, enamelled with brilliant colors. Now it was vile, hideous, and grovelling. The beasts which, before the Fall, had coveted its society, fled from it now with loathing.

Filled with rage at the sight of Adam and Eve, to whom it attributed its present degradation, the serpent flew at them and prostrated them. Thereupon God removed from it its sole remaining possession – the gift of speech, and it was left only its hiss of rage and shame.

Adam soon felt exhaustion, heat, fear and pain; – afflictions he had not known in Eden. As the shadows of night fell, an intense horror overwhelmed the guilty pair; they trembled in every limb and cried to God. The Almighty, in compassion, consoled them by announcing to them that day would return after twelve hours of night. They were relieved by this promise, and they spent the first night in prayer.

But Satan, who never lost sight of them, fearing lest their prayers should wholly appease the divine justice, assembled his host of evil angels, surrounded himself with a brilliant light, and stood at the entrance of the cave where the banished ones prayed. He hoped that Adam would mistake him for God, and prostrate himself before him.

But Adam said to Eve: “Observe this great light and this multitude of spirits. If it were God who sent them, they would enter and tell us their message.” Adam did not know then that Satan cannot approach those who pray. Then Adam addressed himself to God and said, “O my God! is there another God but Thou, who can create angels and send them to us? Lord, deign to instruct us!”

Then a heavenly angel entered the cavern and said, “Adam, fear not those whom you see; it is Satan and his host. He sought to seduce you again to your fall.”

Having thus spoken, the angel fell upon Satan and tore from off him his disguise, and exposed him in his hideous nakedness to Adam and Eve. And to console them for this trial, God sent Adam gold rings, incense and myrrh, and said to him, “Preserve these things, and they will give you at night Light and fragrance; and when I shall come down on earth to save you, clothed in human flesh, kings shall bring me these three tokens.”

It is because of this present that the cavern into which Adam and Eve retreated has been called the Treasure-cave.

Adam and Eve, greatly cheered, blessed the Lord, and thanked him for his goodness, and resolved to continue their repentance.

A short time after they committed a fault. Satan presented himself to them under the form of an angel of light, and announced that he was commissioned by the Most High to lead them to the brink of the River of the Water of Life, into which they were to plunge and wash away their sin.

They believed, and followed him by a strange road, and he led them to the edge of a precipice, down which he endeavored to fling them; for, he thought, were he to destroy the man and the woman, he would be supreme in the world God had made. But the Almighty rescued Adam and Eve, and drave Satan from them.

To punish themselves for their involuntary fault, Adam and Eve separated, so as not to see one another, and resolve to spend forty days up to their necks in the sea.

Before parting, Adam said to his wife, “Remain in the water here, and do not quit it till I return, and spend your time in praying the Lord to pardon us.”

Now, whilst they were undergoing this penance, Satan cast about how he might bring to naught our first parents, and he sought them but could not find them, till on the thirty-fifth day of their penance he perceived the two heads above the water; then he knew at once what was their intention, and he resolved to frustrate it. So he took upon him the form of an angel of Heaven, and flew over the sea singing praises to God; and when he came to the place where Eve was, he cried, “Joy, joy to thee! God is with thee, and he has sent me to bring thee to Adam to announce to him that he has found favor with the Most High.”

Eve instantly scrambled out of the water, and followed Satan to Adam, and the Evil One placed her before her husband, and vanished. When Adam saw his wife, he was filled with dismay, and beat his breast and wept. When she told him why she was there, he knew that the great Enemy had been again at his work of deception, and he fell into despair. But a voice from Heaven bade him return with Eve to the Treasure-cave.

Hunger, thirst, cold, and prayer had completely exhausted the pair, and Adam cried to the Lord, “O God, my Creator! Thou hast given me reason and an enlightened heart. When Thou didst forbid me to eat of the fruit of the Tree, Eve was not yet made, and she did not hear Thy command; in Eden we hungered not, nor felt thirst or pain or fatigue. All this have we lost. And now we dare not touch the fruit of the trees or drink of water without Thy command. Our bodies are exhausted, our strength is gone; grant us wherewith to satisfy our hunger, and to quench our thirst.”

God ordered the Cherubim who kept the gate of Eden, to carry to Adam two figs from the tree under which our first parents had concealed themselves after the Fall.

“Take,” said the Cherubim, presenting the figs to them, “take the fruit of the tree whose leaves covered your shame.”

“Oh!” cried Adam, “may God grant us some of the fruit of the Tree of Life.”

But God answered, “I will give unto you this fruit and living water, to you and to your descendants, on that day that I shall descend into the abode of death and shall break the gates of iron in sunder, to bring you forth into my garden of pleasures. That which you ask of Me shall take place at the expiration of five long days and a half (i.e., 5,500 years), after that my blood has flowed upon thy head, O Adam, upon Golgotha.”

Adam and Eve took the figs, which were very heavy, for the fruits of the earthly paradise were much larger than the fruit of this outer world in which we live. And when they were about to enter into the Cave of Treasures, they saw there a great fire; this mightily astonished them, for as yet they had not seen fire except in the flaming sword of the Cherub. Now this fire which surprised them was the work of Satan; he had collected branches and had fired them in the hope of burning down the cavern and driving Adam to despair.

The fire lasted till the morrow; Satan, without showing himself, keeping it supplied with fresh fuel. Adam and Eve did not venture to approach, but recommended themselves to God; and the Evil One, finding that his plan had failed, let the fire die out and departed.

Adam and Eve slept the following night at the foot of a mountain near their lost Eden. Satan beholding them, said, “God has made a compact with Adam, whom he desires to save, but I will slay him, and the earth shall be mine.”

He therefore summoned his attendant angels, and they dislodged a huge rock from the mountain and hurled it upon the sleepers. But as this mass was bounding down the flank of the mountain, and was in mid-air in one of its leaps, God arrested it above the heads of the sleepers, and it sheltered them from the dews of night.

Adam and Eve awoke greatly troubled by their dreams, and they asked of God garments to cover their naked bodies, for they suffered from the scorching sun by day, and the frost by night. God replied, “Go to the shore of the sea; you will there find the skins of sheep which have been devoured by lions: of them make to yourselves raiment.”

Satan heard the words of God, and he outran our first parents, that he might secure the skins and destroyed them, in the hopes that Adam and Eve, finding no hides, would doubt God and think that he had failed in His word. But God fastened Satan in his naked hideousness beside the skins, immovable, till Adam and Eve arrived, when he addressed them in these terms: “Behold him who has seduced you; see what has become of his beauty. After having made you such promises, he was about to rob you of these hides.” Adam and Eve took the skins and made of them garments. A few days after, God said to them, “Go to the west till you arrive at a black land; there you will find food.” They obeyed, and they saw corn full ripe, and God inspired Adam with knowledge how to make bread. But not having sickles they tore the corn up by the roots, and having made a rick of it, they slept, expecting to thrash it out and grind it on the morrow. But Satan fired this rick and reduced their harvest to ashes.

Whilst they wept and lamented, Satan came to them as an angel, and said, “This is the work of your Enemy the Fiend, but God has sent me to bring you into a field where you will find better corn.”

They followed him, nothing doubting, and he led them for eight days, and they fainted with exhaustion and were foot-sore. Then he left them in an unknown land; but God was their protector, He brought them back to their harvest and restored their rick of corn, and they made bread and offered to God the first sacrifice.

But enough of this apocryphal work, which contains a string of absurd tricks played by Satan on our first parents, which are invariably defeated by God; of these the specimens given above are sufficient.

A curious legend exists among the Sclavonic nations by which the existence of elves is accounted for. It is said that Adam had by his wife Eve, thirty sons and thirty daughters. God asked him, one day, the number of his children. Adam was ashamed of having so many girls, so he answered, “Thirty sons and twenty-seven daughters.” But from the eye of God nothing can be concealed, and He took from among Adam’s daughters the three fairest, and He made them Willis, or elves; they were good and holy, and therefore did not perish in the Deluge, but entered with Noah into the ark and were saved.

The story of Adam’s penitence, as told by Tabari, is as follows:

The moment that Adam fell out of Paradise and touched the ground on the mountains in the centre of Ceylon, he understood in all its magnitude the greatness of his loss and his sin. He remained stupefied with his face on the earth, and did not raise it, but allowed his tears to flow upon and soak into the soil. For a hundred years he remained in this position, and his tears formed a stream which rolled down the mountain, which still flows from Adam’s Peak in the island of Ceylon, and gives their virtue to the healing plants and fragrant trees which there flourish, and are exported for medicinal purposes.

When a hundred years had elapsed, God had compassion on Adam, and sent Gabriel to him, who said, “God salutes thee, O Adam! and He bids me say to thee, Did I not create thee out of the earth by My will? Did I not give thee Paradise to be thine abode? Why these tears and sighs?”

Adam replied, “How shall I not weep, and how shall I abstain from sighing? Have I not lost the protection of God, and have I not disobeyed His will?”

Gabriel said, “Do not afflict thyself. Recite the words I shall teach thee, and God will grant thee repentance which He will accept,” as it is written in the Koran, “Adam learnt of His Lord words; and the Lord returned to Him, for He is merciful, and He returns.” Adam recited these words, and in the joy he felt at the prospect of finding mercy, he wept, and his joyous tears watered the earth, and from them sprang up the narcissus and the ox-eye.

Then said Adam to Gabriel, “What shall I now do?”

And Gabriel gave to Adam wheat-grains from out of Paradise, the fruit of the Forbidden Tree, and he bade him sow it, and he said, “This shall be thy food in future.”

Afterwards, Gabriel taught Adam to draw iron out of the rock and to make instruments of husbandry. And all that Adam sowed sprang up in the self-same hour that it was sown, for the blessing of God was upon it. And Adam reaped and thrashed and winnowed. Then Gabriel bade him take two stones from the mountain, and he taught him with them to grind the corn; and when he had made flour, he said to the angel, “Shall I eat now?” But Gabriel answered, “Not so;” and he showed him how to build an oven of iron. It was from this oven that the water of the deluge at Koufa flowed. He taught him also to make dough and to bake.

But Adam was hungry, and he said, “Let me eat now,” and the angel stayed him, and answered, “Tarry till the bread be cold and stale,” but he would not, but ate. Therefore he suffered from pain in his belly. Next, Gabriel by the command of Allah brought out of Eden the ox and fruit; of these latter there were ten kinds whose exterior was edible, but whose insides were useless to eat, such as the apricot, the peach and the date. And there were three that could not be eaten anyhow. Then he brought ten more whose insides and outsides might be eaten, such as the grape, the fig, and the apple. Said Gabriel to Adam, “Sow these,” and he sowed them. These are the trees that the angel brought out of Paradise.

Now Adam was all alone on the peak in the midst of Ceylon, and his head was in the first heaven. The sun burnt him, so that all his hair fell off; and God, in compassion, bade Gabriel pass his wing over Adam’s head, and Adam thereupon shrank to the height of sixty cubits. And then he could no longer hear the voices of the angels in heaven, and he was sore distressed.

Then God said to him, “I have made this world thy prison, but I send to thee out of heaven a house of rubies, in order that thou mayest enter in and walk round it, and therein find repose for thy heart.”

Thereupon out of heaven descended “the visited house,” and it was placed where now stands the temple of Mecca. The black stone which is there was originally white and shining. It was placed in the ruby house. Whosoever looked in that direction from ten parasangs off, could see the light of that house shining like a fire up to the heaven, and in the midst of that red light shone the white stone like a star.

Afterwards, Gabriel conducted Adam to that house that he might go in procession round it. All the places where his foot was planted became verdant oases, with rivers of water and many flowers and trees, but all the tract between was barren.

Gabriel taught Adam how to make the pilgrimage; and if any one now goes there without knowing the ceremonies, he needs a guide.

Then Adam met with Eve again, and they rejoiced together; and she went back with him to Ceylon. Now at that time there was in the world no other pair than Adam and Eve, and no other house than the mansion of rubies.

Now Eblis had made his prayer to Allah that he might be allowed to live till Israfiel should sound the last trumpet. And he asked this, because those who are alive when that trumpet sounds, shall not die any more, for Death will be brought in, in the shape of a sheep, and will be slaughtered; and when Death is slaughtered, no one will be able to die.

And God said, “I give thee the time till all creatures must die.”

Then Eblis said, “Just as Thou didst turn me out of the right way, so shall I pervert those whom Thou hast made.” Satan went to man and said to him, “God has driven me out of Paradise, never to return there, and He has taken from me the sovereignty of this world to give it to thee. Why should we not be friends and associate together, and I can advise thee on thy concerns?”

And Adam thought to himself, “I must be the companion of this one, but I will make use of him.” So he suffered him to be his comrade.

The first act of treachery he did was this.

Every child Adam had by Eve died when born. Eve became pregnant for the fourth time, and Eblis said to Adam, “I believe this child will be good-looking and will live.”

“I am of the same opinion,” answered Adam.

“If my prophecy turns out right,” said the Evil One, “give the child to me.”

“I will give it,” said Adam.

Now the child, when born, was very fair to look upon, and Adam, though he repented of his rash promise, did not venture to break his word; so he gave the child to Eblis, that is to say, he named it Abd-el-Hareth, or Servant of Hareth, instead of Abd-Allah, Servant of God. And after living two years it died.

Thus Satan became an associate in the affairs of man.

But others tell the conclusion of the story somewhat differently. They say that the child Abd-el-Hareth became the progenitor of the whole race of Satyrs, nightmares, and hobgoblins.

Maimonides says that the Sabians attribute to Adam the introduction of the worship of the moon, on which account they call him the prophet or apostle of the moon.

A large number of books are attributed to Adam. The passage in Genesis, ‘This is the Book of the generations of Adam’, led many to suppose that Moses quoted from a book written by our first parent. That such an apocryphal book did exist in after-times, appears from the fact of Pope Gelasius in his decrees rejecting it as spurious. He speaks of it as “the book which is called the Book of the generations of Adam or Geneseos.” And the Rabbis say that this book was written by Adam, after he had seen all his posterity brought out before him, as already related. And this book, they say, Adam gave to Enoch.

Beside this, there existed an Apocalypse of Adam, which is mentioned by Saint Epiphanius, who quotes a passage from it, in which Adam describes the Tree of Life, which produced twelve kinds of fruit every year. And George Syncellus, in his Chronicle, extracts a portion of an apocryphal Life of Adam.

Amongst the Revelations of Saint Amadeus are found two psalms, which, in vision, he heard had been composed by Adam. One was on the production of Eve, the other is a hymn of repentance, a joint composition of the two outcasts. It runs as follows:

Adam. – “Adonai, my Lord God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies do away my transgressions. I am bowed down with trouble, Thy waves and storms have gone over me. Deliver me, O God, and save me from the flood of many waters. Hear my words, O Heavens, and all ye that dwell in them. May the angels bear up all my thoughts and words to Thee, and may the celestial virtues declare them. May the Lord bend His compassionate ear to my lowly petition. May He hear my prayer, and let the cry of my heart reach Him. Thou, O God, art the true and most brilliant light; all other lights are mingled with darkness. Thou art the sun that knowest no down-setting, that dwellest in inaccessible light. Thou art the end to which all flesh come. Thou art the only satisfaction of all the blessed.”

Eve. – “Adonai, Lord God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and for the multitude of Thy mercies do away my transgressions. Thou before all things didst create the immovable heaven as a holy and exalted home, and Thou didst adorn it with angel spirits, to whom Thou didst in goodness declare thy purposes. They were the bright morning stars who sang to Thee through ages of ages. Thou didst form the movable heaven and Thou didst set in it the watery clouds. Those waters are under the immovable heaven, and are above all that live and move. Thou didst create the light; the beauteous sun, the moon with the five planets didst Thou place in the midst, and didst fix the signs and constellations. Thou didst produce four elements, and didst kindle all with Thy wisdom.”

Adam. – “Adonai, Lord God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and for the multitude of Thy mercies do away my transgressions. Thou hast cast out the proud and rebel dragon with Thy mighty arm. Thou hast put down the mighty from their seat and hast exalted the humble and meek. Thou hast filled the hungry with good things, and the rich Thou hast sent empty away. Thou didst fashion me in Thine own image of the dust of earth, and destine me, mortal, to be immortal; and me, frail, to endure. Thou didst lead me into the place of life and joy, and didst surround me with all good things; Thou didst put all things under my feet, and didst reveal to me Thy great name, Adonai. Thou didst give me Eve, to be a help meet for me, whom Thou didst draw from my side.”

Adam. – “Adonai, Lord and God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and for the multitude of Thy mercies do away my transgressions; for Thou hast made me the head of all men. Thou hast inspired me and my consort with Thy wisdom, and hast given us a free will and placed our lot in our own hands. But thou hast given us precepts and laws, and hast placed life and death before us that we might keep Thy commandments, and in keeping them find life; but if we keep them not, we shall die. Lucifer, the envious one, saw and envied. He fought against us and prevailed. Conquered by angels, he conquered man, and subjugated all his race. I have sinned. I am he who have committed iniquity. If I had refused in my free will, neither Eve nor the Enemy could have obtained my destruction. But being in honor I had no understanding and I lost my dignity. I am like to the cattle, the horse, and the mule, which have no understanding.”

Eve. – “Adonai, Lord and God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and for the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences. Great is our God, and great is His mercy; His goodness is unmeasured. He will supply the remedy to our sin, that if we will to rise, we may be able to arise; He has appointed His Son, the glorifier of all, and our Redeemer; and He has appointed the Holy Mother to be our mediatrix, in whose image He has built me, Eve, the mother of all flesh. He has fashioned the Mother after the likeness of her daughter. He has made the father after the image and likeness of His Son; and He will blot out our transgressions for His merits, if we yield our wills thereto, and receive His sacraments. He will receive a free-will offering, and He will not despise a contrite heart. To those going towards Him, He will fly with welcome, He will pardon their offences and will crown them with glory.”

Adam. – “Adonai, Lord and God, have mercy upon me for Thy great goodness, and for the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences. O God, great is the abundance of Thy sweetness. Blessed are all they that hope in Thee. After the darkness Thou bringest in the light; and pain is converted into joy. Thou repayest a thousand for a hundred, and for a thousand thou givest ten thousand. For the least things, Thou rewardest with the greatest things; and for temporal joys, Thou givest those that are eternal. Blessed are they that keep Thy statutes, and bend their necks to Thy yoke. They shall dwell in Thy Tabernacle and rest upon Thy holy hill. They shall be denizens of Thy courts with Thee, whose roots shine above gold and precious stones. Blessed are they who believe in the triune God, and will to know His ways. We all sing, Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, and we magnify our God. As in the beginning the angels sang, so shall we now and ever, and in ages of ages. Amen.”

Manasseh Ben-Israel has preserved a prophecy of Adam, that the world is to last seven thousand years. He says this secret was handed down from Adam to Enoch, and from Enoch to Noah, and from Noah to Shem.

At Hebron is a cave, “which,” says an old traveller, “Christians and Turks point out as having been the place where Adam and Eve bewailed their sins for a hundred years. This spot is towards the west, in a valley, about a hundred paces from the Damascene field; it is a dark grotto, not very long or broad, very low, in a hard rock, and not apparently artificial, but natural. This valley is called La valle de’ Lagrime, the Vale of Tears, as they shed such copious tears over their transgressions.”

Abu Mohammed Mustapha Ben-Alschit Hasen, in his Universal History, says that Adam’s garment of fig-leaves, in which he went out of Eden, was left by him, when he fell, on Adam’s Peak in Ceylon. There it dried to dust, and the dust was scattered by the wind over the island, and from this sprang the odoriferous plants which grow there.

Adam is said to have not gone altogether empty-handed out of Paradise. Hottinger, in his Oriental History, quoting Jewish authorities, says: “Adam having gone into the land of Babel, took with him many wonderful things, amongst others a tree with flowers, leaves and branches of gold, also a stone tree, also the leaves of a tree so strong that they were inconsumable in fire, and so large as to be able to shelter under them ten thousand men of the stature of Adam; and he carried about with him two of these leaves, of which one would shelter two men or clothe them.” Of these trees we read in the Gemara that the Rabbi Canaan asked of the Rabbi Simon, son of Assa, who had gone to see them, whether this was true. He was told in reply that it was so, and that at the time of the Captivity the Jews had seated themselves under these trees, and in their shadow had found consolation.

But Palestine seems also to have possessed some of the trees of Adam’s planting, for Jacob Vitriacus in his Jewish History says: “There are in that land wonderful trees, which for their pre-excellence are called Apples of Paradise, bearing oblong fruit, very sweet and unctuous, having a most delicious savor, bearing in one cluster more than a hundred compressed berries. The leaves of this tree are a cubit long and half a cubit wide. There are three other trees producing beautiful apples or citrons, in which the bite of a man’s teeth is naturally manifest, wherefore they are called Adam’s Apples.” Hottinger says that at Tripoli grows a tree called Almaus, or Adam’s apple, with a green head, and leaves like outspread fingers, no branches, but only leaves, and with a fruit like a bean-pod, of delicious flavor, and an odor of roses. Buntingius, in his Itinerary, describes an Adam’s apple which he tasted at Alexandria, and he said the taste was like pears, and the clusters of prodigious size, with twenty in each cluster, like magnificent bunches of grapes. But the most remarkable fact about them was that, if one of the fruit were cut with a knife, the figure of a crucifix was found to be contained in it. And this tree was supposed to have been the forbidden tree, and the fruit to have thus brought hope as it also brought death to the eater. Nider, “In Formicario,” also relates that this fruit, thus marked with the form of the Crucified, grows in Granada.

“At Beyrut, of which Saint Nicodemus was the first bishop,” writes the Friar, Ignatius von Rheinfelden, “I saw a wonderful fruit which is called by the Arabs, Mauza, and by the Christians Adam’s fig. This fruit grows upon a trunk in clusters of fifty or more, and hangs down towards the ground on account of its weight. The fruit is in shape something like a cucumber, and is a span long, yellow, and tasting something like figs. The Christians of those parts say it is the fruit of which Adam and Eve ate in Paradise, and they argue thus: first, there are no apples in those parts; secondly, Saint Jerome translated the word in the Bible, Mauza; thirdly, if the fruit be cut, within it is seen the figure of a crucifix, and they conclude thereby that the first parents were showed by this figure how their sin would be atoned; fourthly, the leaves being three ells long and half an ell wide, were admirably adapted to make skirts of, when Adam and Eve were conscious of their nakedness. And Holy Scripture says nothing of apples, but says merely – fruit. But whether this was the fruit or not, I leave others to decide.”

Adam is said by the Easterns to have received from Raphael a magic ring, which became his symbol, and which he handed down to his descendants selected to know and read mysteries. This was no other than the “crux ansata,” or handled cross, so common on Egyptian monuments as the hieroglyph of Life out of death. The circle symbolized the apple, and thus the Carthusian emblem, which bears the motto “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis,” is in reality the mystic symbol of Adam. “Which,” says the Arabic philosopher, Ibn-ephi, “Mizraim received from Ham, and Ham from Noah, and Noah from Enoch, and Enoch from Seth, and Seth from Adam, and Adam from the angel Raphael. Ham wrought with it great marvels, and Hermes received it from him and placed it amongst the hieroglyphics. But this character signifies the progress and motion of the Spirit of the world, and it was a magic seal, kept secret among their mysteries, and a ring constraining demons.”

MLA Citation

  • Sabine Baring-Gould. “Adam and Eve After the Fall”. Legends of the Patriarchs and Prophets, 1881. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 December 2019. Web. 10 May 2021. <>