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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

XXII. (1) Before Adam gave the animals their names God brought them before the angels, and said to them, 'Give names to everyone;' but they could not. God thereupon brought them before Adam, and he gave them the names by which they were ever afterwards known. Then God said to the angels, 'Were you not saying, "What is man, that Thou shouldst remember him"? Now his wisdom is greater than yours!' The angels then began to envy him, saying, 'Indeed, God will now love him more than He does us; if we can entice him to sin he will be destroyed from the earth. (2) Forthwith Samael, the angel of death,

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descended and looked at every creature, but he could find none as cunning and malignant as the serpent. The serpent then went to Eve, and began to speak of various things, until he broached the tree. 'Is it true,' he said, 'that God commanded you not to eat of any tree in the garden?' 'No; He only forbade us the one tree, which stands in the midst of the garden; we are not allowed to eat of its fruit, nor touch it, for on the day that we touch it we shall die.' (3) The serpent laughed at her, saying, 'It is only out of jealousy that God has said this, for He well knows that if you eat thereof your eyes will be opened, and you will know how to create the world just as He. Indeed, who can believe that for that thou shouldst die? Forsooth, I shall go and pluck (gather) some fruit.' The serpent accordingly stood on his feet and shook the tree, so that some of the fruit fell upon the ground; and the tree cried, 'O wicked one, do not touch me!' (4) When Eve saw the serpent touch the tree and not die, she said to herself, that the words of her husband were false. Therefore, on seeing that the fruit was beautiful, she desired it and ate of it. As soon as she had eaten thereof her teeth were set on edge, and she saw the angel of death with drawn sword standing before her. She then said in her heart, 'Woe unto me that I have eaten of this death, for now I will die; and Adam, my husband, who has not eaten of it will live for ever, and God will couple him with another woman. It is better that we die together, for God has created us together even unto death.' So when her husband came she gave him some of the fruit to taste. (5) As soon as he had eaten thereof his teeth were set on edge, and he saw the angel of death standing before him with drawn sword. 'What is this evil food,' he said to Eve, 'which thou hast given me to eat? perchance thou hast given me to eat of the tree of which I was forbidden to eat.' He was then exceedingly grieved. 'Why art thou so troubled?' she said, 'since what has happened was destined to happen.' She then thought, I and my husband are to die for having eaten of the fruit, whilst all the other creatures which have not eaten thereof will live

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on for ever in joy. It is better that we either die together or live together, since our Creator formed us together.' She therefore forthwith fed all the creatures of the world with the fruit—beasts, animals, and birds alike—until she came to a certain bird named Ḥōl (###) or, as some say, Milḥam (so called because it had pity upon itself, and refused, in spite of her exceedingly strong persuasions, to eat of the fruit or to listen to her voice). Eve said, 'Eat of this fruit, just as thy fellows have done.' But it replied, 'Woe unto thee, thou afflicted one, who hast brought death upon thyself, upon thy husband, and upon all the creatures of the world. I alone remained to be killed by thee, but I swear that I shall never eat of that fruit.'

(6) According to another tradition, the bird Milḥam said to Adam and his wife, 'You have sinned, and have caused many others to sin; you are not satisfied with having brought death upon all the creatures of the world, but you wish me also to sin against God. Indeed, I shall not listen to you.' (7) At that moment a voice was heard saying to Adam, 'Thee I have commanded not to eat of the fruit, and thou hast not obeyed My commands, but Milḥam the bird I did not command to keep My ordinances and My decrees, yet he has fulfilled what I commanded thee; behold, I will establish him and his descendants for all generations to be an everlasting witness for Israel.' And therefore they live for ever, and exist in that city which the angel of death built, and they increase and multiply as all other creatures.

(8) The sages say that these birds live for ever, and that during the space of a thousand years they become smaller and smaller until they are like very young chickens, so that their feathers fall off, and their limbs are divided. Then God sends two angels, who restore them to their eggs as at first, and they feed them until they are grown up again. This is their natural change from one thousand years to another, so that they become revivified like the eagle.