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Adam, Eve And The Serpent – The First Version Of The Fall (PRE 13)

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Chapter Summary

The retelling of the events in the Garden of Eden in Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer (PRE) constitutes an etiological myth on the origin of evil in the world. This chapter explores some of the sources-Gnostic, Islamic, and Christian-that may have provided the inspiration for this account, all drawing on the legend of the Fallen Angel. In author analysis of the role of Samael in the Garden, he compares text with other midrashic accounts-Avot de-Rabbi Natan and Breshit Rabbah. In particular, the chapter attempts to reconstruct a theological basis for the differences. PRE, uniquely, detaches the story of Satan's fall from the creation of Man, and links it, instead, to the drama of the Garden of Eden and the seduction of Eve. The chapter suggests that the differentiation between the archangel and the Serpent must be established in order to connect that myth back to Primeval biblical history.

Keywords: Adam; Eve; Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer (PRE); primordial serpent



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