From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

are recorded in the fragments of the Testament, and more shortly in the Life.

In particular, the Arian author of a commentary on St. Matthew, printed with the works of St. Chrysostom and known as the Opus Imperfectum, quotes a story about the Magi, "among whom (in their own country) was current a writing inscribed with the name of Seth, concerning the star which was to appear and the gifts that were to be offered to Christ." In the Armenian Gospel of the Infancy, translated into French by P. Peeters (1914), the Magi are represented as bringing with them a Messianic prophecy by Adam which Seth had received and handed on to his posterity. These are, of course. Christian compositions, and not necessarily or probably of early date.


Lamech is the next title in the lists of Apocryphal books which concerns us. There are two antediluvians of the name recorded in Genesis: in iv. 25 ff. we have the descendant of Cain, the author of the Song; in v. 25 ff. the descendant of Seth and father of Noah. The former has been the subject of more legend than the latter. The enigmatical Song has had explanations invented for it, of which that which has attained the widest currency is as follows. Lamech was blind, and used to go out shooting with bow and arrow under the guidance of the young Tubal Cain. The function of Tubal was to tell the old man where the game was, and direct his shot. One day Tubal was aware of something moving in the thicket; he turned Lamech's aim upon it, and the creature fell dead. It proved to be their ancestor Cain—covered with hair and with a horn growing out of his forehead—for such was the mark set upon him by God. Lamech, on learning what he had done, smote his mighty hands together in consternation, and in so doing smote and slew Tubal Cain. Thus it was that he "killed a man to his wounding and a young man to his hurt."

This tale is current in a separate form in Slavonic.