Adam, Eve, and the Devil

In this book the authors develop an intriguing theory about the

Canaanite origin of the biblical traditions concerning the origin

of the cosmos and the creation of humankind. Adam, Eve, and

the Devil tells a new story about human beginnings and at the

same time proposes a fresh start for biblical research into primordial


A number of clay tablets from Ugarit, dating from the late thirteenth

century BCE, throw new light, Korpel and de Moor argue,

on the background of the first chapters of Genesis and the myth

of Adam. In these tablets, El, the creator deity, and his wife

Asherah lived in a vineyard or garden on the slopes of Mt Ararat,

known in the Bible as the mountain where Noah’s ark came

to rest. The first sinner was not a human being, but an evil god

called Horon who wanted to depose El. Horon was thrown

down from the mountain of the gods, and in revenge he transformed

the Tree of Life in the garden into a Tree of Death and

enveloped the whole world in a poisonous fog. Adam was sent

down to restore life on earth, but failed because Horon in the

form of a huge serpent bit him. As a result Adam and his wife

lost their immortality.

This myth found its way into the Bible, the Apocrypha and the

Pseudepigraphical literature, though it was often transformed or

treated critically. Adam, Eve, and the Devil traces the reception of

the myth in its many forms, and also presents the oldest pictures

of Adam and Eve ever identified (one of them on the front

cover of the book).