Sacred Texts  Bible  Index  Previous  Next 

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

XXIII. (1) Know and understand that, when Adam was separated for 130 years from Eve, he slept alone, and the first Eve—that is, Lilith—found him, and being charmed

p. 49

with his beauty, went and lay by his side, and there were begotten from her demons, spirits, and imps in thousands and myriads, and whomever they lighted upon they injured and killed outright, until Methushelah appeared and besought the mercy of God. (2) After fasting for three clays, God gave him permission to write the ineffable name of God upon (his sword?), through which he slew ninety-four myriads of them in a minute, (3) until Agrimus, the firstborn of Adam, came to him and entreated him (to stop); he then handed over to him the names of the demons and imps. And so he placed their kings in iron fetters, while the remainder fled away and hid themselves in the innermost chambers and recesses of the ocean. (4) Hanoch called his son Methushelaḥ, and said to him, 'All the men died (###), and they came into the power (###) of the angel of death.' When Methuselah died (###), his missile (weapon, ###) died with him, and they buried his sword with him. (5) It is said of Methushelah that out of every word uttered by the mouth of God he used to make 230 parables in praise of God, and he studied 900 sections of the Mishna (Traditional Law). When he died, a voice of thunder was heard in the heavens, where the angels made a funeral oration, and they took him up, and the people saw 900 rows of mourners corresponding with the 900 sections of the Mishna, and the tears flowed from the eyes of the holy creatures on to the place where he died. (6) Enosh, the son of Seth, was asked, 'Who was thy father?' 'Seth,' he replied. 'Who was the father of Seth?' 'Adam.' 'And who was Adam's father?' 'He had neither father nor mother, but God formed him (shaped him) from the dust of the earth.' 'But man has not the appearance of dust.' 'After death man returns to dust, as it is said, "He will return to his dust"; but on the day of his creation man was made in the image of God.' 'How was the woman created?' He said, 'Male and female He created them.' 'But how?' asked they (his questioners). He answered, 'God took water and earth and moulded it together in the form of man.' They asked, 'But how?

p. 50

[paragraph continues] (7) Enosh then took six clods of earth, mixed them, and moulded them and formed an image of dust and clay. 'But,' said they, 'this image does not walk, nor does it possess any breath of life.' He then showed them how God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. But when He began to breathe into it, Satan entered the image so that it walked, and they went astray after it, saying, 'What is the difference between the bowing down before this image and before man?' That is what is meant when it is said, 'Then they began to apply the name of the Lord'; that is, they gave this name to other gods. On this account Enosh is mentioned in Scripture immediately before the word 'his image.'

Next: XXIV