Published on Tuesday, 25 March 2008 15:28
hen Satan had knowledge of this he became mad with indignation. And so he drew near to the gate of paradise, whereat stood on guard a horrid serpent, which had legs like a camel, and the nails of his feet cut like a razor on every side. To him said the enemy: "Suffer me to enter into paradise."
'The serpent answered: "And how shall I suffer thee to enter, God having commanded me to drive thee out?"
'Satan answered: "Thou seest how much God loveth thee, since he bath set thee outside of paradise to keep guard over a lump of clay, which is man. Wherefore, if thou bring me into paradise I will make thee so terrible that every one shall flee thee, and so at thy pleasure thou shalt go and stay."
'Then said the serpent: "And how shall I set thee within?"
'Said Satan. "Thou art great: therefore open thy mouth, and I will enter into thy belly, and so thou entering into paradise shalt place me near to those two lumps of clay that are newly walking upon the earth."
'Then the serpent did so, and placed Satan near to Eve, for Adam, her husband, was sleeping. Satan presented himself before the woman like a beauteous angel, and said to her: Wherefore eat ye not of those apples and of corn?"
'Eve answered: "Our God hath said to us that eating thereof we shall be unclean and therefore he will drive us from paradise.
Satan answered: He saith not the truth. Thou must know that God is wicked and envious, and therefore he brooketh no equals, but keepeth every one for a slave. And so he hath thus spoken unto you, in order that ye may not become equal to him. But if thou and thy companion do according to my counsel, ye shall eat of those fruits even as of the others, and ye shall not remain subject to others, but like God ye shall know good and evil, and ye shall do that which ye please because ye shall be equal to God."
'Then Eve took and ate of those [fruits], and when her husband awoke she told all that Satan had said; and he took of them, his wife offering them, and did eat. Whereupon, as the food was going down, he remembered the words of God; wherefore, wishing to stop the food, he put his hand into his throat, where every man has the mark.