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Testament of Adam

Testamentum Adami

Testament of Adam

The Testament of Adam is a short Christian pseudepigraphical work from late antiquity extant in Syriac and Arabic. The Ethiopic text and an Arabic version was published by Bezold in Nöldeke's Festschrift, Gieszen, 1906. It purports to relate the final words of Adam to his son Seth in which he speaks of prayer and then prophesies both the coming of the Messiah and the Great Flood.


And, moreover, understand thou concerning the hours of the day and of the night, and how it is seemly that ye should make supplication to God, and to pray to Him at each of His seasons. For my Creator taught me all this, and He told me the names of all the wild animals and beasts, and of the birds of heaven, and then God made me to understand the number of the hours of the day and of the night, and He told me how the angels praise God.

 Understand, then, O my son, 

that at the first hour of the day the prayer of my children ascendeth to God. 

And at the second hour the prayer and petition of the angels take place. 

At the third hour the birds of the heavens praise Him. 

And at the fourth hour the spiritual beings worship Him. 

And at the fifth hour all the wild beasts and animals salute Him.

At the sixth hour the petition of the Kîrûbêl (Cherubim) taketh place. 

And at the seventh hour all the angels enter the presence of God, and go forth therefrom, for at this hour the prayer of every living thing ascendeth to God. 

At the eighth hour the shining denizens of heaven praise Him. 

And at the ninth hour the angels of God who stand before the throne of the Most High do homage unto Him. 

And at the tenth hour the Holy Spirit overshadoweth the waters, and the devils flee away and remove themselves from the waters. And if the Holy Spirit did not overshadow the waters at this hour every day, no one could drink of the waters, [for if he did] his flesh (i.e. body) would be destroyed by the evil devils. And if the priest taketh water at this hour and mixeth with it holy oil, and anointeth the sick and those who are possessed of foul spirits with the mixture, they shall be healed of their sickness. 

And at the eleventh hour the glorifyings of the righteous take place.

And at the twelfth hour God, the Most High, receiveth the prayers and petitions of the children of men.


And at the first hour of the night the devils render thanks and praise to God Most High, and there is in them no evil and no harm for anyone until they have finished their service of homage. 

And at the second hour of the night the fish and every creature that is in the waters praise God, and the wild beasts and the whales. 

And at the third hour the fire praiseth Him--now it is in the lowest depth, and in that hour no one can address Him (?). 

And at the fourth hour the Sûrâfêl (Seraphim) proclaim Him Holy. 

And at the fifth hour the waters which are above the heavens praise Him. Now long ago I sat and listened to the angels at this hour, and [marvelled] how they cried out; [their cry] was like the noise of a mighty wheel, and they cried out like the waves of the sea with the voice of praise to God. 

And at the sixth hour the clouds praised God in fear and trembling. 

And at the seventh hour the earth was hushed in silence and every creature that was upon it, and the waters slumbered. And if at this hour the priest taketh some water and mixeth holy oil with it, and he anointeth therewith the sick and those who cannot sleep at night because of [their] pain, those who are sick will be healed, and those who are wakeful will fall asleep. 

At the eighth hour the earth maketh to grow grass and green herbs, and maketh the trees to put forth leaves and fruit. 

And at the ninth hour the angels perform their service of homage to God, and the prayer of the children of men cometh into the presence of God the Most High. 

And at the tenth hour the gates of heaven are opened, and God heareth the prayer of the children of the believers, and the petition which they ask from God is granted unto them; And at the sound of the wings of the Seraphim at that time the cocks crow and praise God. 

And at the eleventh hour there is joy and gladness on all the earth, for the sun entereth into the Garden (i.e. Paradise), and his light riseth in all the ends of the world, and illumineth every created thing. 

And at the twelfth hour it is befitting for my children to stand up before God, and pay homage to Him, for at this hour there resteth a great silence on all the heavenly beings.


Now therefore know thou all this, and hearken unto my word, and understand that the Word of God, the Most High, shall come down upon the earth, even as He told me at the moment when He thrust me out from the Garden (Paradise). For He told me that His Word in later days should become man from a woman who was a virgin whose name was Mary, and should hide in her, and put on flesh, and be born like a man with great power, and operative skill and knowledge. No one shall know Him except Himself and him to whom He manifested [Himself]. And God said that He should go about with people on the earth, and grow in days and years, and should perform signs and wonders openly, and should walk upon the sea as upon dry land, and should rebuke the sea and the winds openly, and they should be subject unto Him, and that He should cry out to the waves of the sea and they should make answer to Him speedily. And that He should make the blind to see, and the lepers to be cleansed, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to talk, and should raise up the paralytics, and make the lame to walk, and should turn many from error to the knowledge of God, and should drive out the devils from men.

And besides [these things] God spake unto me, saying, "Be not sorrowful, O Adam, for thou didst wish to become a god and didst transgress my command. Behold, I will stablish thee, not at this present, but after a few days." And again He spake unto me, saying, "I am God Who made thee to go forth from the Garden of Joy into the earth, which shall shoot forth thorns and brambles, and thou shalt dwell therein. Bend thy back, and make thy knees to totter in old age, and I will make thy flesh food for the worms. And after five days and half a day I will have compassion upon thee, and shew thee mercy in the abundance of my compassion and my mercy. And I will come down into thy house, and I will dwell in thy flesh, and for thy sake I will be pleased to be born like an [ordinary] child. And for thy sake I will be pleased to walk in the market place. And for thy sake I will be pleased to fast forty days. And for thy sake I will be pleased to accept baptism. And for thy sake I will be pleased to endure suffering. And for thy sake I will be pleased to hang on the wood of the Cross. All these things [will I do] for thy sake, O Adam."

To Him be praise, and majesty, and dominion, and glory, and worship, and hymns, with His Father and the Holy Spirit from this time forward and for ever and ever. Amen.

Furthermore, thou must know, O my son, Seth, behold a Flood shall come and shall wash the whole earth because of the children of Kâyal (Cain), the murderer, who slew his brother through jealousy, because of his sister Lûd. And after the Flood and many weeks the latter days shall come, and everything shall be completed, and his time shall come and fire shall consume everything which is found before God, and the earth shall be sanctified, and the Lord of Lords shall walk about on it."

And Seth wrote down this Commandment, and sealed it with his seal, and with the seal of his father Adam, which he took with him from the Garden (Paradise), and with the seal of Eve his mother.

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