Adam and Eve: Entering the Cave of Treasures

This story is part of the Adam and Eve unit. Story source: The Forgotten Books of Eden, edited by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr. (1926): The First Book of Adam and Eve 3-4.

Entering the Cave of Treasures

III. God said to Adam, "I have ordained on this earth days and years, and thou and thy seed shall dwell and walk in it, until the days and years are fulfilled; when I shall send the Word that created thee, and against which thou hast transgressed, the Word that made thee come out of the garden and that raised thee when thou wast fallen. Yea, the Word that will again save thee when the five days and a half are fulfilled."

But when Adam heard these words from God, and of the great five days and a half, he did not understand the meaning of them. For Adam was thinking that there would be but five days and a half for him, to the end of the world. And Adam wept, and prayed God to explain it to him.

Then God in His mercy for Adam who was made after His own image and similitude, explained to him, that these were 5,000 and 500 years, and how One would then come and save him and his seed. But God had before that made this covenant with our father, Adam, in the same terms, ere he came out of the garden, when he was by the tree whereof Eve took the fruit and gave it him to eat. Inasmuch as when our father Adam came out of the garden, he passed by that tree, and saw how God had then changed the appearance of it into another form, and how it withered.

And as Adam went to it he feared, trembled and fell down, but God in His mercy lifted him up, and then made this covenant with him. And, again, when Adam was by the gate of the garden, and saw the cherub with a sword of flashing fire in his hand, and the cherub grew angry and frowned at him, both Adam and Eve became afraid of him, and thought he meant to put them to death. So they fell on their faces, and trembled with fear.

But he had pity on them, and showed them mercy, and turning from them went up to heaven, and prayed unto the Lord, and said: "Lord, Thou didst send me to watch at the gate of the garden, with a sword of fire. But when Thy servants, Adam and Eve, saw me, they fell on their faces, and were as dead. O my Lord, what shall we do to Thy servants?"

Then God had pity on them, and showed them mercy, and sent His Angel to keep the garden. And the Word of the Lord came unto Adam and Eve, and raised them up.

And the Lord said to Adam, "I told thee that at the end of five days and a half, I will send my Word and save thee. Strengthen thy heart, therefore, and abide in the Cave of Treasures, of which I have before spoken to thee."

And when Adam heard this Word from God, he was comforted with that which God had told him. For He had told him how He would save him.

IV. But Adam and Eve wept for having come out of the garden, their first abode. And, indeed, when Adam looked at his flesh, that was altered, he wept bitterly, he and Eve, over what they had done.

And they walked and went gently down into the Cave of Treasures. And as they came to it Adam wept over himself and said to Eve, "Look at this cave that is to be our prison in this world, and a place of punishment! What is it compared with the garden? What is its narrowness compared with the space of the other? What is this rock, by the side of those groves? What is the gloom of this cavern, compared with the light of the garden? What is this overhanging ledge of rock to shelter us, compared with the mercy of the Lord that overshadowed us? What is the soil of this cave compared with the garden-land? This earth, strewed with stones, and that, planted with delicious fruit-trees?"

And Adam said to Eve, "Look at thine eyes, and at mine, which afore beheld angels in heaven, praising, and they, too, without ceasing. But now we do not see as we did: our eyes have become of flesh; they cannot see in like manner as they saw before."

Adam said again to Eve, "What is our body to-day, compared to what it was in former days, when we dwelt in the garden?"

After this Adam did not like to enter the cave, under the overhanging rock, nor would he ever have entered it. But he bowed to God's orders and said to himself, "Unless I enter the cave, I shall again be a transgressor."

(800 words)

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