The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 5)

Continuing with Eutychius’ rewrite of Genesis and the Cave of Treasures.

9. When they went out [from the ark] they built a city and called it Thamanīn (29), from their number, which means “We are eight”.  God – powerful and exalted – then said to Noah: “There will not be another flood in future”.  God then made a covenant with Noah, which is the rainbow that appears in the clouds, telling him: “When you see this rainbow, it will be the sign of the covenant”.  Then the sons of Noah planted a vineyard and, having squeezed a new beverage, they gave it to Noah, their father, who drank and got drunk.  While he was asleep, his genitals were exposed.  Sām and Yāfit then took a cloth and placed it over him and walked backwards so as not to see their father’s genitals. That was how they covered their father’s genitals.  When Noah awakened from sleep, his wife informed him of what had happened.  He was angry with his son Hām and cursed him saying: “Cursed be Hām and may he be a servant of his brothers” (30).  Later Hām adopted all the instruments of entertainment and was also cursed for that.  He became a servant of his brothers, he and his descendants, i.e. the Copts, those of the Sūdān, of Abyssinia and of Nubia, also called Berbers.

10. Two years after the flood, Sām had Arfakhshād at the age of one hundred and two years.  Noah lived, after the flood, three hundred and fifty years.  Feeling close to death, he spoke secretly to his son Sām telling him: “Take the body of Adam out of the ark without anyone seeing you and take bread and wine with you to help you along the way.  Take Malshīsādāq, son of Fāliq, with you and go and lay it down where the angel of God shows you.  Then order Malshīsādāq to stay in that place without taking a wife and to live there religiously for the rest of his life, because God has chosen him to be a servant in his presence.  He will not build a house or shed the blood of wild beasts or birds or any other animal there. He will not offer any other sacrifice to God other than bread and wine.  He will dress in animal skins, he will not shave his hair or trim his nails, and he will remain alone, because he is the priest of God Most High.  The angel of God will precede you until you have come to the place to bury the body of Adam.  Know that this place is the centre of the earth”.  After giving these instructions to Sām, Noah died on Wednesday, at two in the morning, on the 2nd of Ayyār, i.e. Bashans (31).  Noah had lived in all nine hundred and fifty years, and died when Sām was four hundred and fifty.  His sons Sām, Hām and Yāfit embalmed the body, buried it and mourned him for forty days.  Sām lived in all six hundred years, one hundred before the flood and five hundred after the flood.

11. At the age of one hundred and thirty-five years Arfakhshād had Qīnān (32). Arfakhshād lived in all four hundred and sixty-five years.  At one hundred and thirty years Qīnān had Shālakh. Qīnān lived in all four hundred and thirty years.  At one hundred and thirty years Shālakh had ‘Abir. Shālakh lived in all four hundred and sixty years.(33).  ‘Abir is the father of the Jews and the Arabs call him Hūd (34).  At one hundred and thirty-four years ‘Abir had Fāliq (35) who was called this way because in his time the earth was divided (36).  After Fāliq, ‘Abir had Qahtān (37) who is the father of the Arabs.  In his day people used to paint the images of every person renowned for his courage or his beauty or for his wisdom and for his illustrious fame and worship them.  The cause of their cult of images dates back to the fact that before the death of a man of great prudence or wisdom or courage, they set up the image in the halls where they used to gather.  When an affliction hit them and they sought relief, they would gather before that image and consult with it, as if the same image were to take part with them in their search for wisdom; they took the utmost care not to exclude, in this difficulty, the memory of any of those who had preceded them.  And so, continuing in their custom, they ended up worshiping images.  From the deluge to the birth of Fāliq five hundred and thirty-one years had passed away, and from Adam to the birth of Fāliq two thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven years.

12. From Fāliq was born Malshīsādāq, the priest (38). As for Sām, he did what his father Noah had advised him.  He entered the ark at night and took Adam’s body away without anyone noticing.  He then called his brothers and told them: “My father advised me, when he was dying, to walk the earth until reaching the sea and see how the earth is, its rivers and its valleys, then return to you.  I entrust to you my wife and my children: watch over them until I return.” Sām then said to Fāliq: “Give me your son Malshīsādāq, so that he may help me along the way”. Sām then took the body of Adam and Malshīsādāq with him, went out and met the angel of God, who walked before them until he brought them to the centre of the earth and showed them the place.  When they had set down the body of Adam, the place opened.  Sām and Malshīsādāq deposited the body of Adam in the place that had opened to them and it closed.  That place is called al-Gulgula, or al-Iqrāniyūn (39). Then Sām instructed Malshīsādāq [to do] all that Noah had advised him and told him: “Stay here and be a priest of God, because God has chosen you to serve in his presence. This is the angel of God, who will come to you at all times”. Then Sām returned to his brothers and Fāliq said to him: “Where is young Malshīsādāq?” Sām replied: “He died on the way and I buried him”. And they felt great pain for him.  ‘Ābir was seventy years old when Arfakhshād died in the month of Nīsān, i.e. Barmūdah (40): he had lived all four hundred and sixty-five years.  In the one hundred and third year of the life of ‘Abir, there died Sām, son of Noah, on the Friday of the month of Aylūl, i.e. Tūt (41): he had lived for six hundred years (42).  ‘Àbir lived in all four hundred and sixty-four years.(43)

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