Adam and Eve: The Sunrise and the Serpent

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 16-17-18.

The Sunrise and the Serpent




XVI. After this Adam and Eve ceased not to stand in the cave, praying and weeping, until the morning dawned upon them. And when they saw the light returned to them, they restrained from fear, and strengthened their hearts.

Then Adam began to come out of the cave. And when he came to the mouth of it, and stood and turned his face towards the east, and saw the sun rise in glowing rays, and felt the heat thereof on his body, he was afraid of it, and thought in his heart that this flame came forth to plague him.

He wept then, and smote upon his breast, and fell upon the earth on his face, and made his request, saying: "O Lord, plague me not, neither consume me, nor yet take away my life from the earth."

For he thought the sun was God. Inasmuch as while he was in the garden and heard the voice of God and the sound He made in the garden, and feared Him, Adam never saw the brilliant light of the sun, neither did the flaming heat thereof touch his body. Therefore was he afraid of the sun when flaming rays of it reached him. He thought God meant to plague him therewith all the days He had decreed for him.

For Adam also said in his thoughts, "As God did not plague us with darkness, behold, He has caused this sun to rise and to plague us with burning heat."

But while he was thus thinking in his heart, the Word of God came unto him and said:- "O Adam, arise and stand up. This sun is not God; but it has been created to give light by day, of which I spake unto thee in the cave saying, 'that the dawn would break forth, and there would be light by day.' But I am God who comforted thee in the night." And God ceased to commune with Adam.

XVII. Then Adam and Eve came out at the mouth of the cave and went towards the garden. But as they drew near to it, before the western gate, from which Satan came when he deceived Adam and Eve, they found the serpent that became Satan coming at the gate, and sorrowfully licking the dust, and wriggling on its breast on the ground, by reason of the curse that fell upon it from God.

And whereas aforetime the serpent was the most exalted of all beasts, now it was changed and become slippery, and the meanest of them all, and it crept on its breast and went on its belly. And whereas it was the fairest of all beasts, it had been changed, and was become the ugliest of them all. Instead of feeding on the best food, now it turned to eat the dust. Instead of dwelling, as before, in the best places, now it lived in the dust. And, whereas it had been the most beautiful of all beasts, all of which stood dumb at its beauty, it was now abhorred of them.

And, again, whereas it dwelt in one beautiful abode to which all other animals came from elsewhere and where it drank they drank also of the same, now, after it had become venomous, by reason of God's curse, all beasts fled from its abode and would not drink of the water it drank, but fled from it.

XVIII. When the accursed serpent saw Adam and Eve, it swelled its head, stood on its tail, and with eyes blood-red, did as if it would kill them. It made straight for Eve, and ran after her while Adam, standing by, wept because he had no stick in his hand wherewith to smite the serpent and knew not how to put it to death.

But with a heart burning for Eve, Adam approached the serpent, and held it by the tail when it turned towards him and said unto him: "O Adam, because of thee and of Eve, I am slippery, and go upon my belly."

Then by reason of its great strength, it threw down Adam and Eve and pressed upon them, as if it would kill them. But God sent an angel who threw the serpent away from them, and raised them up.

Then the Word of God came to the serpent, and said unto it, "In the first instance I made thee glib, and made thee to go upon thy belly, but I did not deprive thee of speech. Now, however, be thou dumb and speak no more, thou and thy race because in the first place, has the ruin of my creatures happened through thee, and now thou wishest to kill them."

Then the serpent was struck dumb and spake no more. And a wind came to blow from heaven by command of God that carried away the serpent from Adam and Eve, threw it on the sea shore, and it landed in India.


(800 words)




No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.