Translated from the Hebrew text published by Louis Ginzberg, “Beno shel Samael,” Ha-Goren 9 (1913): 38-41; reprinted in idem, ‘Al halakhah wa-aggadah (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1960), 227-28. He says he copied it from a Yemenite manuscript maḥzor in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary. For a valuable analysis of the few extant Muslim versions of this tale, see Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, “The Death and Life of the Devil’s Son: A Literary Analysis of a Neglected Tradition,” Studia Islamica 107 (2012): 157-83.
‘For the inclination of the heart of humanity is wicked from their youth’ (Gen 8:21). I will now reveal to you the secret of this verse.
At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, created His world, Samael came down (to earth) and with him was what appeared to be a small boy. He went to Eve and said to her: ‘Can my son stay with you while I make a journey to a distant place?’ She said to him: ‘He may stay.’ Then Samael went on his way.
Now on that day Adam the Protoplast had been walking about in the Garden of Eden. The moment Adam came back to his house, he saw that boy crying. He said to Eve his wife: ‘Whose son is this?’ She said to him: ‘He is the son of Samael.’ He said to her: ‘Why must we put up with this trouble?’ Now the boy kept weeping ever more loudly and bitterly to the point that he was aggravating Adam the Protoplast. What did Adam the Protoplast do? He arose and slaughtered him, but the boy continued weeping all the more! Adam the Protoplast (again) arose and chopped him up into little pieces, but afterwards each piece was individually screaming! What did Adam the Protoplast do? He (again) arose and cooked him, and he and Eve his wife ate him.
As soon as Samael realized that they had eaten his son, he came to them and said to them: ‘Give me back my son, and I’ll be on my way.’ They said to him: ‘We have not seen (him), nor do we know (where he is).’ He said to them: ‘Are you telling a lie!? The Holy One, blessed be He, will eventually give the Torah to Israel, and it is written within it that you should keep your distance from one telling a lie!!’ While they were talking, the son of Samael began speaking from within (מלב) Adam and Eve, saying to Samael: ‘Go on your way. I have now entered into their heart, and I will never depart from their heart, whether they or their descendants or the descendants of their descendants until the end of all generations.’ At that time Samael went on his way.
Thereupon Adam the Protoplast was sad, and he put on sackcloth and ashes. He was afflicting himself with innumerable periods of fasting until the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself unto him and said to him: ‘My son, do not be afraid of him! I am providing for you a remedy, for he came to you only as My emissary.’ He said to him: ‘What is this remedy that you are giving to me?’ He said to him: ‘The Torah.’ He said to him: ‘Where is the Torah?’ At that time he handed over to him the Book of Raziel the Angel, and he was studying it both day and night.
After some time the ministering angels came to Adam the Protoplast, for they were jealous of him. They told him that he was a divinity superior to them and were worshiping him. But Adam the Protoplast said to them: ‘Do not be worshiping me! Magnify the Lord your God with me, and let us extol His Name together, for I also like you am a created being!’ What did the ministering angels do? On account of the great jealousy they felt toward Adam the Protoplast, they took from him the book which the Holy One, blessed be He, had given to him and pitched it in the sea. They then went on their way.
Adam the Protoplast searched for the book but could not find it. He was highly distressed, and put on sackcloth and ashes. He afflicted himself with innumerable periods of fasting until the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself unto him from the supernal heavens and said to him: ‘Do not fear! I will restore the book to you!’ At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, summoned the Prince of the Sea and said to him: ‘Go under My agency to the sea, rescue the book, and give it to Adam the Protoplast!’ The Prince of the Sea, whose name is Rahab, went and rescued the book and gave it to Adam the Protoplast. It is the one mentioned in the verse ‘this is the book of the generations of Adam’ (Gen 5:1). May the Lord, blessed be He, deliver us from the evil inclination! Amen, may God’s will be done!