Eve's Account of the Fall from the Apocalypse of Moses XV–XXX
Eve's Account of the Fall from the Apocalypse of Moses XV–XXX
[As noted above (p. 142, n. 6) this account corresponds to the short speech of Eve to ‘all her sons and daughters’ in Life xlix. 1–1.2, though it differs in that (1) it is placed in the Apocalypse before and not after the death of Adam, and (2) it is very much more elaborate. In fact, it incorporates the only considerable body of matter contained in the Apocalypse that is not also contained in some form in the Life. It is printed partly for this reason, and partly on account of its intrinsic interest.]
3 … And he said to her, Call all our children and our children's children, and tell them how it was that we transgressed.
1Then Eve said to them, Listen, my children and children's children, all of you, and I will tell you how the enemy deceived us. 2It happened when we were guarding Paradise, each of us the part allotted to us by God. I was on guard in my lot, the south and the west. 3But the devil went to Adam's lot, where the male creatures were (for God had divided the creatures: all the males he had given to your father, and all the females he had given to me; and we each looked after our own).
1And the devil spoke to the serpent, saying, Get up and come here to me, and I will tell you something that could be to your advantage. 2And he got up and came to him. And the devil said to him, I hear you are the wisest of all the animals, and I have come to talk to you. 3Why do you eat Adam's tares and not the fruits of Paradise? Come, and let us see to it that he is thrown out of Paradise, just as we were thrown out because of him. 4The serpent said to him, I am afraid the Lord will be angry with me. 5The devil said to him, Do not be afraid, only be my tool, and I will put into your mouth such words as will deceive him.
1And he went immediately and hung from the wall of Paradise. And when the angels went up to worship God, then Satan appeared in the form of an angel and sang hymns like the angels. 2And I bent over the wall and saw him looking just like an angel. And he said to me, Are you Eve? 3And I said to him, I am. And he said to me, What do you do in Paradise? 1 Or ‘what are you doing in Paradise?’ And I said to him, God set us to guard it and to eat from it. 4The devil answered through the serpent's mouth, You do well; yet you do not eat from every plant. 5And I said, Yes, we do eat from every plant, except only one – the one that is in the middle of Paradise, about which God commanded us not to eat from it. For on the day you do eat from it, he said to us, you will certainly die.
1Then the serpent said to me, As God lives, I am grieved about you, because you are like the animals; and I would not have you remain in ignorance. Come, listen to me and eat, and learn the value of that tree. 2But I said to him, I am afraid that God will be angry with me, as he told us he would. 3And he said to me, Do not be afraid, for as soon as you eat from it, you too will be like God, 1 Or ‘like gods’. knowing good and evil. 4God realized this, that you would be like him, so he envied you and said, You must not eat from it. 5But go and look at the plant and you will see how splendid it is. 2 Lit ‘the great glory concerning it’. 6Yet I was afraid to take any of the fruit. And he said to me, Come, and I will give it you: follow me.
1And I opened the gate for him, and he came inside, into Paradise, and went on in front of me. And when he had gone a little way he turned and said to me, I have changed my mind: I will not give you any of the fruit to eat till you swear to me that you will give some also to your husband. 2I said to him, I do not know what sort of oath I should swear to you by; yet, so far as my knowledge goes, I promise you, By the Throne of Majesty, and by the Cherubim, and by the Tree of Life, I will give some of the fruit also to my husband to eat. 3And as soon as he had the oath from me, he went and put on the fruit the poison of his wickedness – that is to say, lust, the root and origin of every sin. And he bent the branch down to the ground; and I took some of the fruit and ate it.
1And at that very moment my eyes were opened; and I knew immediately that I had been stripped 1 Lit. ‘was naked’. of the righteousness I had been clothed with. 2And I wept and said to him, Why have you done this to me and deprived me of my glory? 3And I wept also because of the oath I had sworn. But he got down from the tree and vanished. 4And in my nakedness I began to look in my part of Paradise for leaves to hide my shame, but I could not find any; for, as soon as I had eaten, the leaves dropped off all the trees in my part of Paradise, except the fig-tree. So I took some leaves from it and made myself a girdle. 5And it was from that very same tree that I had eaten.
1And I cried out loud, saying, Adam, Adam, where are you? Get up and come to me, and I will show you a great secret. 2But when your father came I spoke wicked words to him – words that brought us down from our pinnacle of glory. 3For, when he came, I opened my mouth and began to exhort him and said (it was the devil speaking), Come here, my lord Adam: listen to me, and eat some of the fruit of the tree God told us not to eat of, and you will be like God. 1 Or ‘like a god’. 4And your father answered and said, I am afraid that God will be angry with me. And I said to him, Do not be afraid, for as soon as you have eaten you will know good and evil. 5And I quickly persuaded him; and he ate. And his eyes were opened immediately, and he too became aware of his nakedness. 6And he said to me, You wicked woman! What have I done to you that you have deprived me of the glory of God?
1And at that very moment we heard the archangel Michael blowing with his trumpet and calling to the angels and saying, 2Thus says the Lord, Come with me to Paradise and hear the judgement with which I am about to judge Adam. And when we heard the archangel trumpeting, we said, Behold, God is coming into Paradise to judge us. 3And we were afraid and hid. And when God appeared in Paradise, mounted on the chariot of the cherubim, with the angels going before him and singing hymns of praise, all the plants of Paradise, both of your father's lot and mine, burst into flower. 4And God's throne was set up where the Tree of Life was.
1And God called Adam, saying, Adam where are you? Can the house be hidden from its builder? 2Then your father answered, We have not hidden, Lord, because we think thou canst not find us; but I was afraid, because I am naked, and overawed, Lord, by thy might. 3God said to him, Who showed you that you are naked? Have you forsaken my commandment which I told you to observe? 4Then Adam remembered my promise to him, I will protect you if God is angry; 1 Lit. ‘I will make you safe before God’. and he turned to me and said, Why have you done this? 5And I said, The serpent deceived me.
1God said to Adam, Because you have disregarded my commandment and have listened to your wife, cursed shall the ground be by your labours. 2You will work it and it will not yield its wealth: thorns and thistles will it grow for you; and by the sweat of your brow you shall eat your bread. Manifold will be your toils: you will be crushed by bitterness; and of sweetness you will have no taste. 3Weary you will be and yet find no rest, by heat exhausted and by cold distraught. You will labour incessantly, but not be rich; and you will grow fat, yet come to no good end. 1 The MSS vary in this catalogue both in the ordering, and in the inclusion or omission, of some of the details. 4Even the beasts, over whom you were given the dominion, will rise up in rebellion against you, because you have not kept my commandment.
1And the Lord turned to me and said, Because you listened to the serpent and turned a deaf ear to my commandment, you shall suffer the pangs of child birth 1 Text ‘you shall be in vain things’. and agonizing pains. 2You shall bear children in much trembling, 2 = τϱόμοις. Text ‘in many ways (= τϱόποις)’. and within a single hour you shall come to the point of birth and lose your life, so intense will be your anguish and your pangs. 3 Then will you make confession and say, Lord, Lord, save me, and I will turn no more to carnal sin. 4And so, by your own words will I judge you, because of the enmity which the enemy has planted in you.
And he turned to the serpent in great wrath and said, Because you have done this and become a graceless creature 1 Lit. ‘vessel, thing’. and have deceived the innocent in heart, accursed shall you be more than all beasts. You shall be deprived of the food you used to eat and shall feed on dust all the days of your life. On your breast and your belly shall you crawl and lose your hands and feet. There shall be left to you neither ear nor wing nor any limb that in your malice you ensnared them with and caused them to be thrown out of Paradise. And I will put enmity between you and human kind: 2 Lit. ‘and his seed’. they shall watch out for your head and you shall watch out for their heel till the day of judgement.
1So he spoke and gave orders to his angels that we should be thrown out of Paradise. 2And as we were being driven out, with loud lamentations, your father Adam pleaded with the angels, saying, Spare me a moment, so that I may entreat the Lord to have compassion on me and pity me, for only I have sinned. And they left off driving him. 3And Adam cried out with tears and said, Forgive me, Lord, for what I did. 4Then the Lord said to the angels, Why have you stopped driving Adam out of Paradise? Is it I who have done wrong? 5Or is my judgement faulty? Then the angels fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord, saying, Thou art righteous, Lord, and thou judgest rightly.
1And the Lord turned to Adam and said, I will allow you to remain in Paradise no longer. 2And Adam answered and said, Grant me, Lord, to eat from the Tree of Life before I am thrown out. 3Then the Lord spoke to Adam, saying, You shall not have any of it now, for because of you I have commanded the Cherubim to guard it with the flaming sword that turns every way, so that you should not taste it and thereby gain immortality for ever: you must endure instead the conflict that the enemy has brought upon you. 4Yet after you have gone out of Paradise, if you can keep yourself from all evil (as one about to die), at the resurrection 1 Lit. ‘when the resurrection has again come into being’. I will raise you up, and then shall you be given to eat from the Tree of Life, you shall be immortal for evermore.
1So the Lord spoke and ordered us to be thrown out of Paradise. 2But your father Adam wept in the angels' presence in 1 Lit. ‘opposite, over against’. Paradise; and the angels said to him, What would you have us do for you, Adam? 3And your father said to them, Behold, you are driving me out: I beg you, let me take away some sweet-smelling herbs from Paradise so that I can make an offering to God after I have gone out of Paradise, and God may listen to me. 4And the angels approached God and said, Jael, eternal king, give orders that Adam be given sweet-smelling incense from Paradise. 5And God ordered Adam to go and take sweet-smelling spices from Paradise and also some seeds for his food. 6And the angels let him go; and he gathered both kinds – crocus and nard and calamus and cinnamon, and other seeds for his food. 7And, taking them with him, he went out of Paradise. And we found ourselves on earth.
So now, my children, I have shown you how it was we were deceived. And as for you, see to it that you do not abandon what is good.
And when Eve had said this, surrounded by her sons, and Adam was lying ill and about to die the following day …
1 Or ‘what are you doing in Paradise?’
1 Or ‘like gods’.
2 Lit ‘the great glory concerning it’.
1 Lit. ‘was naked’.
1 Or ‘like a god’.
1 Lit. ‘I will make you safe before God’.
1 The MSS vary in this catalogue both in the ordering, and in the inclusion or omission, of some of the details.
1 Text ‘you shall be in vain things’.
2 = τϱόμοις. Text ‘in many ways (= τϱόποις)’.
1 Lit. ‘vessel, thing’.
2 Lit. ‘and his seed’.
1 Lit. ‘when the resurrection has again come into being’.
1 Lit. ‘opposite, over against’.