Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/23

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5
THE OLD TESTAMENT

the penitence of Adam: of the attempt made by him and Eve to do penance apart for forty days in the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates—an attempt frustrated by Satan, who disguised himself as an angel and induced Eve to come out of the water on the pretence that God had forgiven and forgotten all. This story appears both in the Eastern Book (or Conflict) of Adam and Eve, and in the Latin Life of Adam. The common source of these widely divergent streams must lie far behind both.

The Life of Adam has been mentioned. In some form it has made its way into most of the vernaculars of Europe, usually by means of the Latin version, which is common in MSS. from the ninth to the fifteenth century. It and its elder sister, or parent, the Greek, may be read in English in Charles's Pseudepigrapha, and I need not analyze either further than to say that the Greek and Latin both contain detailed accounts of the Fall, and of the Death and Burial of Adam, while the Latin also has, as noted above, something about his Penitence. But these were not the only Lives of Adam that were current. A text of a different kind is quoted by George Syncellus in his Chronography, p. 5. He says: I have been necessitated (by the silence of the canonical Scriptures, he means) to give some explanation of this matter (i. e. the dates of Adam's life), such as other historians of Jewish antiquities and Christian history have recorded out of the Leptogenesis (i. e. the Book of Jubilees) and the so-called Life of Adam—though they may not seem authoritative—lest those interested in such questions should fall into extravagant opinions. In the so-called Life of Adam, then, is set forth both the number of the days of the naming of the beasts, and that of the creation of the woman and of the entrance of Adam himself into Paradise, and of the precept of God to him about the eating of the tree, and of the entry of Eve into Paradise with him, and the story of the Fall and what followed it, as is subjoined.

"On the 1st day of the week, which was the 3rd day