The descent of man from Adam to Noah

I

In the beginning, Adam and Eve were created. Their first children were Cain and Abel, the farmer and the shepherd. Cain killed Abel and fled; after that, Adam and Eve, full of grief, had a third son, Seth, and many daughters. Twenty-three daughters Adam had before he died, aged nine-hundred and thirty and not a year more; but only three sons Adam had, Cain and Abel and Seth --- and of these one was slain, another scum, and only the third true.

Now as far as Adam lived, there was peace, and his children were as children are, and married not; but with time Adam grew weary of toil and of the world, and grew sick and stayed in his tent and worked no more.

Then Eve came to him, crying, and asked this: My husband, my beloved, why will you not walk out to the fields anymore?

For so far the only human being to die had been Abel, and he had died violently.

Adam struggled up from his bed, and held Eve's hands, and said: It is as God has said, my wife, my beloved. We are made mortal; short is our span, and it is full of pain; not a thousand years have I lived, and already I grow weak. Soon I shall be no more.

Where shall you go? Eve cried.

Go, Adam coughed, I shall not go nowhere. This of me that you see, that has been the target of your kisses and embraces: it shall go nowhere, but it shall no more be me.

Where shall you go? Eve cried.

Adam grimaced. To places I will not have you follow me; to places under the knife, as the rabbit that is caught goes under the knife; as the grain that is cut is cut by a knife.

Where shall you go? Eve cried.

Then Adam closed his eyes, and said: I fear I shall not go anywhere; I shall merely cease, and be no more.

And it was so, and Eve cried as her husband grew colder.

II

Now after the death of Adam Eve grew silent and dwelt apart; and Seth the only true son of Adam became the first among equals, the first among all men. He had his sister Azura for a wife, and Azura gave him a son, Enos.

(It is said that in these early years of the world many things were allowed by God that are now forbidden: for in those years before the seed of the serpent slithered into the weakest of women and made their offspring pale as corpses from birth, or varicolored as the rainbow, and no lineage was kept free of that taint; well, before that all men and women were pure and stronk und morally superior to der unklean Infidel Skumvolk; but nowadays mankind is weak and any small thing will make their offspring into monsters.)

But a time after the death of Adam, Cain came back to his brother and sisters, and brought them necklaces of gold, and rings of silver; but these were for his sisters only; for Seth he brought nothing.

And Seth spoke to him, saying: Why does the kinslayer return? And why, returning, does he not beg his father's successor's mercy and forgiveness?

At this Cain let out a loud cry. What is there for me to beg you forgiveness for? True, I killed my brother; but this I have grieved overlong already, and been cast out alone into the world for; and the wretch whom I loved provoked me. Did I not bring the produce of my field as an offering to God just as my brother brought a choice portion of his flock? Did God not spurn my offering, yet accept his? Unless to herd is worthier than to farm --- and I see you do both --- then God did wrong me; and yet that was not the word that spilled out of my brother's mouth.

No, nothing but mockery was what he said! Quibbles, taunts, snide suggestions, saying the God of our father spurned me because I was dusty and sweaty of my hard work; I tell you, my unseen brother, if ever there has been or will be a reason for a moment's red madness, my brother gave me it. He was dead before my mind came back to me, and in a moment of madness I threw him on the altar for God to behold; but I have suffered and I have repented for my madness. I will not ask for your forgiveness, for you never knew either of us; you were born after both of us were gone.

Hearing this, Seth grew troubled, and did not raise the matter again; and because of this, the matter of Cain's guilt has ever since been a great argument among men; and it is, is a man to be blamed if he talks himself to death, and is a man to be blamed if he is out of his wits?

After this, Cain stayed with Seth, but they worked separate fields though they pooled their harvests into one; and though Seth also tended flocks, Cain did not.

III

Now a year after Cain's return there came to be a disagreement between him and his brother as angry as that of him and Abel; and this is how it came to be.

One fine summer day Cain came to Seth's tent, and said this: My brother, you have your wife Azura, who has given you a son, Enos. Are your not happy with your wife and your son?

To this Seth said: Verily I am happy with my wife, who is obedient and pleasant to the eye and the hand and the thigh; and verily am I pleased by my son Enos, who is a spitting image of me.

Then, Cain said, seeing as you have twenty-two other sisters to spare, would you not mind giving one of them as a wife to me? For I know the loneliness that is of the man that is alone in the desert of the world, with nothing but vipers and vultures for company, and with nothing but dogs to warm his bed; I would much like to have the closeness and comfort of someone who does not lick my face and piss my blanket, not all the time at least.

At this Seth was disturbed, and made angry; and he said: You kinslayer I may tolerate here among us good godly folk, for you are kin to me; but I shall never have one of my precious possessions, my very own sisters, be given to you and your filth and iniquity; sooner I would cut their throats than hand them to you.

Ah, said Cain, would you allow a woman come to me, if she so wished?

This Seth declared impossible, for he was the patriarch of all his sisters; and with great bellowing he gathered them all, and presented the matter to them.

Then, of the twenty-three daughters of Adam, one spoke out: her name was Aclima. And she said this: Great is Seth, our mighty brother; by the toil of his back we are fed; by the brawn of his arm we are kept from the nameless new beasts of the wood. He is as mighty as our father, Adam, before whom no mightier man ever was; yet he is but one man. Adam was content in his Eve, and desired no more. We know our brother desires more, but though great is his ability, and strong his thigh, there is no way one man can keep twenty-three women happy.

What, Seth cried, do you doubt my ability to know all of you?

No, Aclima said, not if there are intervals, and we are allowed to waste in boredom waiting for you to come around again; but yes, if you mean are you able to keep us all as you keep Azura your wife.

Wicked harlot, Seth cried, will you not have me?

I grow older day by day, Aclima said; I would be glad to know someone before I am too bent and broken to know much anything. We are twenty-three: take thirteen of us if you will, and leave the rest to your brother. Thirteen is too much for you; but I do not see other men round here no more. And she looked accusingly at Cain, who grew ashamed.

Great was the anger of Seth, and the shame of Cain; but in the end they could not do but what Aclima had said, for they were but two and the women were twenty-three, and the blind hours of the night were long, long as the knives used to cut their daily bread.

IV

This then was the division of the sisters, which Seth offered to God with a sacrifice, and which God approved, as was his habit to approve Seth's suggestions. Cain did not offer sacrifices.

To Seth, Azura his wife and twelve others, in total thirteen; and for this reason thirteen is an unlucky number, for the greed of Seth had awful consequences. They all went willing to Seth, for he was solid, dependable and familiar to them.

To Cain, Awan the doe-eyed and seven others, in total eight; and they all went willing to Cain, for he was tall, dark, handsome and dangerous.

This left Aclima and one other; and they would have neither Seth, nor Cain, for to their eyes both had been jerks. They went away by themselves, and of their fate many contradictory tales are told.

Rabhoh says they mated with beasts, and gave rise to the men of the far lands that have only a single eye, or have no head but a face in their chests, and to the men of the desert who have two thighs or more. But Rabhoh hated women, and is not to be trusted.

Tubal-Lollop says they learned a magic to make sons and daughters without a man; and they both wore false beards and enjoyed the embraces of each other. But Tubal-Lollop is widely regarded as an insane eater of odd mushrooms, and is not to be trusted.

Ur-Gomorah says they met the serpent in the wilderness, and became companions to him; and their descendants are the wild amazons that horribly, horribly and unnaturally live so that women rule over men, which is unnatural and horrible. But then again Ur-Gomorah was much like Rabhoh.

One other story says they in their exile grew to love each other, and laid with each other as a man lays with a woman; and the kind female face of God saw them, and made each fertile by the embraces of the other. This then was the birth of the people of Mitanni, who are the most beautiful and refined in the world; long may their land flourish and be fertile.

To the preceding Rabhoh adds, with his usual sniff, that being made fertile no doubt meant each had a thigh as a man has, but longer, stronger and more pleasant to eye and hand and the other place; but as has been said Rabhoh is a nasty, wicked, twisted little man, and tends to drool when he says this; thus no more of him and his thoughts.

V

Thus Seth and Cain got their wives, and moved apart from each other; for each was jealous of the possessions of the other, and their distaste for each other made each's wives cold to those of the other.

The only exceptions were Dinah, the youngest wife of Cain, and Mualaleth and Betenos, the two youngest wives of Seth; for those three had been sisters amongst sisters, and loved each other dearly. And it is to their credit that the children of Seth and the children of Cain did not become unknown to each other: for the children of Mualaleth and Betenos always sought those of Dinah, and gladly gave their sons and daughters in marriage to them; and the children of Dinah did likewise. For this they were sometimes hated and shunned by the other children, and called traitors and harlots and those that consort with the enemy; which to be frank was somewhat unfair.

The only exception to this were the people of Edna, the old hag that was the oldest daughter of Mualaleth; for she grew fearful at the hostily of the other wives of Seth, and did her best to outdo their hatred of those that were not of their root in Seth; and she so succeeded in this she married Enos son of Seth and gave him a son, Cainan, that began the first war that was fought among men: and it was a war to kill all the descendants of Cain. Cainan won that war, and killed Cain; and those of the children of Cain that survived fled to far places of the earth with their mothers, and swore to in time live with the wrong of Cainan, as Cain had in time learned to live with his wrong; and in this some of them succeeded; but others did not.

But after the death of Cain, Eve came from her seclusion, and she was old and bent; and the children of Seth split before her like the waves of a sea before a prophet; and she knelt and held the body of her son and cried.

Where Cain is buried, no-one knows save Eve; for it is said she cursed God holding her son, cursing Him for his indifference in watching the cruelty of men, and never interfering save in later condemnation; cursing Him for passing her punishment onto her innocent children; cursing Him for making Adam and Eve, if this then was what He had in mind for them and their children. And because of this God turned His eye away from her; and no-one knows where Cain is buried, save Eve; and no-one knows if Eve is still alive.

VI

The first son of Cain was Enoch, and he was as good as his father was wicked, and he was pleasing to behold and quick in his wit, easy in his compassion and deep in his caring; and barely had he lain once with his wife before God swept him up; for God is a jealous God, and will not tolerate too much goodness from men; for did he not decree theirs should be the part of pain and misery for the first couple's sin, forever and for every generation, even unto the ending of time?

The only son of Enoch was Irad; he was killed in the war of Cainan son of Enos son of Seth. The people of Irad killed a quantity of Cainan's young children in revenge, and were cursed; and they wandered the earth in dismay and anguish for forty years.

The third son of Irad was Mehujael, and after the forty years of guilt had passed he wished to gather all the children of Cain and then kill all the children of Seth; and he wasted the days of his life trying to do this.

The second son of Mehujael was Methusael, whose descent was this: Adam beget Cain, and Cain beget Enoch; Enoch beget Irad, and Irad beget Mehujael; and Mehujael beget Methusael, and Methusael beget Lamech; this is all there is to be said of Methusael.

VII

Lamech was the first son of Methusael, and lived in the days the children of Seth and Cain had become mighty peoples, and many in number, and many did not recall their origins, or their ancestral enmities; and this seemed good to Lamech.

Lamech went among the people of the tribe of Methuselah the Old, who was of the root of Seth, and ancient, and sonless; and Lamech faithfully served him, and drove his interests; and in time Methuselah gave his daughter Zillah to Lamech, and named him his heir.

All this time Lamech had not told Methuselah his origin, or his tribe, but had only said it was not good, and was not worthy of mention. But the morning after their first night together, Zillah asked this of her husband; and Lamech told her.

Zillah then went to her father, and told him her husband was of the people of Cain, of the most direct root from son to son; and Methuselah was agitated, and leaped to his feet, and tore at his beard, and said: What madness is this! He is faithful to me --- he is my son, better than any son I could have had or deserved! But he is an ancient enemy of mine! I should embrace him and wash his feet for the good he has shown to an old man like me! I should slay him and trample his corpse with horses for lying to me and being what he is! My eyes say I should love him; my heart says I should hate him. Why is an old man troubled with such evil problems as these? Have I not seen too much already? Am I to be tested until I break, to see whether my pride of ancestry or my hope of descent will rule?

Thus agitated, he went into seclusion, and stayed there for many years; and those years Lamech and Zillah had a child, a beautiful boy; and Zillah told no-one what she knew.

Then one beautiful spring day the child Tubal-Cain was playing in front of his father's tent, when a man strange to him came from the hills, gaunt and hairy and older than any he had ever seen; and Tubal-Cain was afraid.

The man spoke to him, then laid down, and there died; and great was the shock and sorrow of Lamech and Zillah when they came and saw it was Methuselah that laid there.

And this the child Tubal-Cain told: the old man had blessed him, and called him a righteous child, a worthy child. Hearing this, Lamech cried in a great voice and tore his clothing, and rubbed salt and ash into his hair and bit at his lip; and built a mountain as a tomb for Methuselah, and gave great sacrifices to God.

It is said that the tomb of Methuselah was so high clouds met at the top of it, and it had four faces as smooth as the side of a blade, and a tip as sharp as a spear's tip; but where that tomb is, no-one knows, for the past is dead and buried and forgotten more often than not.

VIII

In Lamech son of Methusael were the children of Cain and the children of Seth made one and whole; and these are the children of Lamech.

And the sons of Lamech were these: by his wife Adah, Jabal and Jubal, who were a herder and a flute-player, one for the open spaces and one for the villages of the valley; but though they were as set against other as Abel and Cain, they did not fall to strife.

By his wife Zillah, Tubal-Cain, who was the first and the most peerless in the working of bronze and iron. First he made a mill that ground grain out of the dust of the earth; and his family was fed. Second he made a mill that ground fresh, sweet water out of the morning wind; and his family had water to drink. Third he made a mill that ground wine from the night-wind; but the wine of this mill made him mad. In madness he built a fourth mill, one that ground a swaying stairway from the bones of the earth; and climbing this stair he tried to go up and see God; but God caused a great wind to come, and the stairway to God's habitation was flung down, and Tubal-Cain died.

And Tubal-Cain's wife, Bizaza, gathered her children and said this: This was a man sure that all that glitters is gold; but he forgot God is a gold that glitters not. This was a man who set to work his head humming, up to the whispering wind, his shadow taller than his soul; and he fell. But one day the forests will echo with laugher, for one day Tubal-Cain shall come again, and he shall be wiser.

By his wife Betenos, [Lamech had the sons] Noah and Annuah; and having had these children, [Lamech] died.

IX

In time the clamor and the roar of the people of the world grew too great for God to bear; and the various ways of the people of the world grew alien and distressing unto Him; and he did not approve of the things they offered up to him.

Thus God spoke to Noah son of Lamech, and told him He found mankind wicked and unpleasing to Him.

Noah then said to God this: You have made us; now behold us. You have guided us; now suffer us. What more is there to say, for you see all, and all you want, is there for your will.

This God considered for a time, and then again spoke to Noah, and told him he still did not approve of mankind.

Noah then said to God: Lord, let me then go among the people if you will not. Tell me what you want to be said, and I will say it. If you want something to be done, my family is numerous: I have three strong brothers, and numerous sisters; cousins and uncles and cousins numerously removed I have plenty. My own children are many, too. They are not as great in their zeal for you as I am, but they are good and true, and they will listen to me: if you want a thing to be done, say it and it will be done.

After a forthnight God came again to Noah, and said this: Noah, build you an Ark, for yourself and your wife and children alone. I am God, and I shall do as I always do.

And so all the children of Jabal and Jubal were drowned; and all the children of Tubal-Cain save the girl that had married Noah; and Annuah Noah's brother was drowned, and all the rest of mankind; and the abomination of desolation was almost complete.

Only Noah and his family lived; and because Noah was a weak man, he fell to his knees and thanked for his life the God that had killed all his kin and everyone he knew; and God did not strike him down.

Thus, like all of mankind is in God's eyes cursed because of the sin of Adam and Eve, so is all of mankind cursed in its own eyes for the shameful weakness of Noah, who licked the hand that killed his kin.

This all is told in the first chapters of the Book of the Wars of the Lord, whose main part tells of how Joshua vanquished the tribes of Canaan, and the lavish people of Mitanni, and the tribes of Anak, and the foul descendants of Atlantis, and killed all of them, every single one of them, and ground their infants under his heel and threw their old ones off the toppling walls of their cities, and hoisted their men up screaming on sharp pikes, and cut off the teats and noses of their women and then had them burned alive as they wailed and cried, because they were all foul and contrary to the Lord; except that the virgin women Joshua kept for his own sport.

All hail God.

last updated: (Mar 14 2011)