Book 11 Summary

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Adam and Eve pray to God, and he listens to their prayers but decrees that they must leave Paradise immediately, since they have been corrupted. He sends the archangel Michael to lead them out of the Garden of Eden and tells him to show Adam a vision of the future of humanity to give him some hope. Michael descends to earth and tells Adam that he will not die soon but that he and Eve must depart from Paradise now. Adam laments that his departure will end his communication with God, but Michael tells him that God is everywhere, and Adam will always be able to speak to him.

Michael takes Adam to the top of the highest hill in Paradise and puts drops of water from the Well of Life into his eyes to show him a vision of the future. First, he sees Eve’s two sons, Cain and Abel, and is shocked when Cain kills his brother. Michael tells him of the many other ways in which people will die and shows him a hospital in which the patients are all infected with terrible diseases. He tells Adam that there is now no way for mankind to avoid death, but he says that by living virtuous lives, people can avoid the extremes of violence and disease.

Adam then sees a vision of people feasting, dancing, and abandoning themselves to lust. He assumes that they must be happy, but Michael tells him that living for pleasure is also sinful and that these people are abandoning their work and forgetting their duty. He shows Adam scenes of war and destruction, in which only one man opposes the carnage. This is the Patriarch, Enoch, and the armies were the product of the lust Adam witnessed in his previous vision. He then sees more wanton scenes, against which Noah is preaching. Noah builds his ark and gathers animals onto it, and the sinful mortals are drowned with the other animals when the great flood comes. Adam is in despair, but Michael shows him the end of the flood and the rainbow which symbolizes God’s covenant that he will never send another. Adam’s descendants will continue to live on earth, since Noah and his family have been saved.

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