Paradise Lost

God the Father Character Analysis

The ruler and creator of the universe, the traditional Christian God without the third person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit). God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, but he demands total obedience from his creatures. While God allows angels and humans to have free will, he also is eternal, existing outside of time, and so foresees all future events. Therefore even Satan’s rebellion and the Fall of Man fit into God’s overarching plan, which brings good out of evil.

God the Father Quotes in Paradise Lost

The Paradise Lost quotes below are all either spoken by God the Father or refer to God the Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Paradise Lost published in 2003.
Book 2 Quotes

Thus Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed; for whence,
But from the author of all ill could spring
So deep a malice, to confound the race
Of mankind in one root, and earth with Hell
To mingle and involve, done all to spite
The great Creator? But their spite still serves
His glory to augment.

Related Characters: Satan, God the Father, Beelzebub
Page Number: 2.379-386
Explanation and Analysis:

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If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For man will hearken to his glozing lies,
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall
He and his faithless progeny: whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.

Related Characters: God the Father (speaker), Satan, Adam
Page Number: 2.91-99
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3 Quotes

So man, as is most just,
Shall satisfy for man, be judged and die,
And dying rise, and rising with him raise
His brethren, ransomed with his own dear life.
So Heav’nly love shall outdo Hellish hate,
Giving to death, and dying to redeem,
So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate
So easily destroyed, and still destroys
In those who, when they may, accept not grace.

Related Characters: God the Father (speaker), God the Son, Adam
Page Number: 3.294-302
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 4 Quotes

Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! Which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav’n.

Related Characters: Satan (speaker), God the Father
Page Number: 4.69-78
Explanation and Analysis:

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And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarged,
By conquering this new world, compels me now
To do what else though damned I should abhor.

Related Characters: Satan (speaker), God the Father
Page Number: 4.388-392
Explanation and Analysis:

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This one, this easy charge, of all the trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that only Tree
Of Knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,
So near grows death to life, whate’er death is,
Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou know’st
God hath pronounced it death to taste that Tree,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signs of power and rule
Conferred upon us, and dominion giv’n
Over all other creatures that possess
Earth, air, and sea.

Related Characters: Adam (speaker), God the Father
Related Symbols: The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
Page Number: 4.421-432
Explanation and Analysis:

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Straight side by side were laid, nor turned I ween
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
Mysterious of connubial love refused:
Whatever hypocrites austerely talk
Of purity and place and innocence,
Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
But our destroyer, foe to God and man?
Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source
Of human offspring, sole propriety,
In Paradise of all things common else.

Related Characters: God the Father, Adam, Eve
Page Number: 4.741-752
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 5 Quotes

Happiness in his power left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not too secure: tell him withal
His danger, and from whom, what enemy
Late fall’n himself from Heav’n, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence, no, for that shall be withstood,
But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.

Related Characters: God the Father (speaker), Adam, Raphael
Page Number: 5.235-245
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 7 Quotes

But lest his heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled Heav’n,
My damage fondly deemed, I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world, out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit raised
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,
And earth be changed to Heav’n, and Heav’n to earth,
One Kingdom, joy and union without end.

Related Characters: God the Father (speaker), Adam
Page Number: 7.150-161
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 8 Quotes

Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid,
Leave them to God above, him serve and fear;
Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever placed, let him dispose; joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve; heav’n is for thee too high
To know what passes there; be lowly wise:
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream not of other worlds…

Related Characters: Raphael (speaker), God the Father, Adam
Page Number: 8.167-175
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 9 Quotes

No more of talk where God or angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar used
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblamed: I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heav’n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment giv’n,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and misery
Death’s harbinger…

Related Characters: God the Father, Adam, Sin, Death
Page Number: 9.1-13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Queen of this universe, do not believe
Those rigid threats of death; ye shall not die:
How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life
To knowledge. By the Threat’ner? look on me,
Me who have touched and tasted, yet both live,
And life more perfect have attained than Fate
Meant me, by vent’ring higher than my lot.
Shall that be shut to man, which to the beast
Is open? or will God incense his ire
For such a petty trespass, and not praise
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain
Of death denounced, whatever thing death be…

Related Characters: Satan (speaker), God the Father, Eve
Related Symbols: The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
Page Number: 9.684-695
Explanation and Analysis:

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What fear I then, rather what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and evil,
Of God or death, of law or penalty?
Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine,
Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste,
Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?
So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she ate:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her works gave signs of woe,
That all was lost.

Related Characters: Eve (speaker), God the Father
Related Symbols: The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
Page Number: 9.773-784
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 11 Quotes

Adam, Heav’n’s high behest no preface needs:
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard, and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seizure many days
Giv’n thee of grace, wherein thou may’st repent,
And one bad act with many deeds well done
May’st cover: well may then thy Lord appeased
Redeem thee quite from Death’s rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil.

Related Characters: Michael (speaker), God the Father, Adam, Death
Page Number: 11.251-262
Explanation and Analysis:

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God the Father Character Timeline in Paradise Lost

The timeline below shows where the character God the Father appears in Paradise Lost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Milton introduces his subject: “man’s first disobedience” against God and its sorrowful consequences. In the first line Milton refers to the consequences as the... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
...by the “infernal Serpent,” who is Satan. Satan was an angel who aspired to overthrow God, and started a civil war in Heaven. God defeated Satan and his rebel angels and... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
...He admits that he has been defeated, but he does not regret his war against God (though he never calls God by name). He claims that his heavenly essence cannot be... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Beelzebub answers, saying that God (whom he also avoids naming) seems to be omnipotent as he had originally claimed, and... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
...in his resolve. He addresses his legions and commits himself to continue his fight against God – his only question now is whether to go back to open war or use... (full context)
Book 2
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
...and their seemingly democratic state. He then opens the floor, asking whether they should fight God openly or with “covert guile.” (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
...devils’ current state in Hell, so they have nothing to lose by fighting “the Torturer” (God) and trying the weapons of Hell against him. At the very least they might disturb... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
...but whose words rang hollow even in Heaven. He contradicts Moloch’s advice, and suggests that God can always punish them in a worse way if they attack him again. Belial makes... (full context)
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Belial suggests that if they do not attack, then God might eventually abate in his anger, and so lessen the devils’ suffering. Belial defends his... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Mammon speaks next, and describes how futile it would be to submit to God and try to return to Heaven. Now that they have known revolt and freedom, they... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
...servitude in Heaven, but he warns that they are not free here – they are God’s “captive multitude.” (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Beelzebub then proposes an “easier enterprise” – he returns to Satan’s rumor that God planned to create a new world. This world will be filled with a race called... (full context)
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...this, now speaks more kindly to Sin and Death. He reveals his plan to find God’s new world and corrupt it, and he promises to bring Sin and Death with him... (full context)
Book 3
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
The scene then moves to Heaven, where God the Father sits on his throne with his Son at his right hand. Together they... (full context)
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
God says that Adam and Eve will listen to Satan’s “glozing lies” and disobey God, leading... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
God declares that he will be merciful in his punishment of mankind, as Adam and Eve... (full context)
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
God praises his Son and promises to save some humans who choose to trust in God.... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Sin and Innocence Theme Icon
Free Will and Predestination Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...of humanity. He will then return to Heaven with his “redeemed” and sit again with God, who can now be both just and merciful. All of Heaven is filled with admiration... (full context)
Hierarchy and Order Theme Icon
Disobedience and Revolt Theme Icon
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God praises the Son, describing how he will be born of a virgin, and explaining that... (full context)
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God declares that through the Son’s sacrifice “Heav’nly love shall outdo Hellish hate,” and he will... (full context)
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As soon as God stops speaking the Heavenly choirs of angels break out in song, throwing down their beautiful... (full context)
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...living things there yet, or any of the “vain things” that will distract humans from God in the future. Milton digresses to muse on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, mock the... (full context)
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...respectfully, saying that he has just come down from Heaven and is curious to see God’s new world and its inhabitants, as he wants to better praise God for his glorious... (full context)
Book 4
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...innocence. Satan remembers his own former glory, and recognizes how unfairly he has rebelled against God, who never showed him anything but goodness. Satan wishes he had not been made such... (full context)
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Satan briefly considers what would happen if he repented and subdued himself to God, but he knows that this could only be a false confession. He knows that if... (full context)
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...him – he will work his hardest to commit evil deeds, and try to pervert God’s goodness. Satan does not realize that as he is having this internal debate, his dark... (full context)
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...a “prowling wolf” entering a sheep’s pen, or like “lewd hirelings” (paid clergy) climbing into God’s Church. Satan immediately flies to the tallest tree in the center of Eden, the Tree... (full context)
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...whose name is Adam, speaks to the woman, Eve. Adam says that they should praise God for their bounty and happiness, and not complain about the easy work they have to... (full context)
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...unfair that they should have such joy while he is condemned to Hell. He notes God’s commandment against eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and decides that this is... (full context)
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...bower is covered with flowers of heavenly color and aroma. Before entering they pray to God, praising his glory and thanking him for their happiness. They then enter the bower and... (full context)
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...their natures with lust yet. For them sex is a pure act of love, obeying God’s command to populate the earth. Milton further states that only “our destroyer” would condemn sex... (full context)
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...which might have destroyed Paradise or even the whole mortal universe in its fierceness, but God halts the conflict by placing a sign of Golden Scales in the sky. (full context)
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Gabriel points to the Golden Scales, with which God ponders the outcomes of all events. On one side is the result of Satan staying... (full context)
Book 5
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...life. Eve cries two tears but then is cheered by Adam’s words, and they praise God spontaneously and profusely. They then go about their morning work tending to the garden, leading... (full context)
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The scene shifts to Heaven, where God calls the Archangel Raphael and tells him that Satan has entered Paradise and is trying... (full context)
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...questions Raphael further about angels’ food. Raphael answers by discussing the kinds of substances in God’s creation. There are different levels in the hierarchy, with each higher form retaining the attributes... (full context)
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Adam asks why any being would choose to be disobedient to God, and Raphael tells Adam (Eve has possibly left the scene) that his happy state is... (full context)
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...of disobedience. He begins his story: When Heaven was still united and at peace, before God had created the mortal universe out of Chaos, God summoned all his angels to hear... (full context)
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...this Archangel could not sleep, for he was tormented by envy for the Son of God. The Archangel was proud and did not want to worship the Son, but felt that... (full context)
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God and his Son watched all this happen, though Satan thought he was being secret. God... (full context)
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...armies before him and delivered a speech, saying that they had been unjustly ruled by God, and now that they are supposed to also worship the Son the injustice is doubled.... (full context)
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...of all the legions objected to Satan’s argument. Abdiel called Satan blasphemous, and affirmed that God was the rightful king of Heaven, as he created all the angels (including Satan) and... (full context)
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Satan argued that he could not remember when he was created by God, so he must be self-created and “self-begot.” Because of this he has as many rights... (full context)
Book 6
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...Heaven. Abdiel returned to find that the good angels were already preparing for war, as God had seen everything and instructed them. God praised Abdiel for his faithfulness and obedience even... (full context)
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...was for angels to be fighting angels, as they are both children of the same God. Satan came forward in a golden chariot made to look like God’s throne. Abdiel could... (full context)
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...good angels, claiming that they defended “servility” against his “freedom.” Abdiel countered that to serve God is the way of Nature, as in the natural hierarchy God is monarch. Abdiel then... (full context)
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...chaos and destruction in Heaven, but not as much as might have occurred had not God limited the strength of each angel and arranged their strategies of battle. Finally Satan fought... (full context)
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...“Two planets” colliding, until Michael struck Satan with his sword, which was specially tempered by God himself. The sword sheared off Satan’s entire right side, so that he knew the horror... (full context)
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...they fought back. There would have been even more damage done to Heaven had not God then sent his Son to end the conflict and prove himself as worthy of deity. (full context)
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The Son put on all the armor and power of God and rode forth in the divine chariot. Michael immediately drew the Heavenly army back and... (full context)
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...army in glory, and all the angels praised and worshipped him. The Son re-ascended to God’s throne and sat down at the right hand of his Father. Raphael says again that... (full context)
Book 7
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...of creation is not a secret from humans, as it will help Adam further glorify God. Raphael does warn Adam that the “appetite” for knowledge requires temperance, but then he begins... (full context)
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In describing this new race, God said that they would not dwell in Heaven until they had proved themselves “by degrees... (full context)
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After God’s announcement the angels all praised him for bringing “Good out of evil.” The Son then... (full context)
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The Son (now referred to as God) divided the land from the water on the second day, and on the third day... (full context)
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God then created his “master work,” a creature who stood upright and had the “sanctity of... (full context)
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...the mortal universe directly beneath Heaven so that angels could easily commune back and forth. God rested on the “seventh day” while angels praised him and his new creation, and this... (full context)
Book 8
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...the movements of the stars and planets, the relative size of the Earth, and why God created such huge heavenly bodies to serve the smaller Earth (if they indeed rotate around... (full context)
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...that size does not necessarily mean importance when it comes to heavenly bodies, and that God has concealed his designs regarding the movements of the orbs. Raphael does not answer whether... (full context)
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...was absent on the day of Adam’s creation. He was busy on an errand from God, checking that the gates of Hell remained closed, so that no devils could escape and... (full context)
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Adam was then visited by a vision of God, who explained how and why he was created and gave him dominion over Eden and... (full context)
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...companion, and none of the animals shared his gifts of speech and reason. He asked God for a companion, as he longed to share his thoughts with someone else and he... (full context)
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...Adam woke up to search for her. Then she came to him, led on by God’s voice. Adam immediately thanked God for Eve’s creation and announced that she would be his... (full context)
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...as the sun is setting, and as he leaves he again warns Adam to love God before Eve, and for both of them to remain obedient to God and avoid temptation.... (full context)
Book 9
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Satan finally controls his thoughts and reaffirms his purpose to bring evil out of God’s good, and in one day to mar what took it six days for God to... (full context)
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The next morning Adam and Eve wake up and give their usual spontaneous praise to God. Then Eve proposes that she and Adam work separately instead of together as she usually... (full context)
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...if they defend themselves against Satan alone, they will gain “double honour,” and that surely God would not make their happiness so fragile as to depend on them always being together.... (full context)
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...sees the Tree she says the journey was “Fruitless,” as she has been forbidden by God from eating its fruit. Satan asks about this commandment, and Eve reaffirms that she and... (full context)
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...then says that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge has revealed to him that God actually wants Eve to disobey him, as this will prove her independence and “dauntless virtue”... (full context)
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Satan further says that God has forbidden the fruit so as to keep Adam and Eve “low and ignorant” instead... (full context)
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...thinks about Satan’s persuasive words. She muses that the fruit must be very powerful if God has forbidden it, and if the serpent has truly eaten it then she doesn’t need... (full context)
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...He knows he will be dooming himself by eating the fruit, but reasons that surely God would not destroy them or punish them too harshly. Eve is delighted at his faithful... (full context)
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...lost, and evil got.” Adam laments that he will never be able to look at God or an angel again without shame. The two are suddenly aware of their nakedness, and... (full context)
Book 10
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Back in Heaven, God immediately knows when Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit. The angelic guards of Eden... (full context)
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The Son reminds God that whatever judgment he passes will later fall on himself, as he has already volunteered... (full context)
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...gave him the fruit to eat, and as she had been given to Adam by God he couldn’t suspect her of sinning. The Son immediately rebukes Adam, asking if Eve is... (full context)
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...that the serpent tricked her into eating the fruit. The Son (now referred to as God) immediately condemns the serpent to forever crawl on its belly as a punishment for being... (full context)
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God punishes Eve by condemning all women to suffer in childbirth and to submit to their... (full context)
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...devils are allowed to return to their usual forms, but every year in the future God punishes them this way. (full context)
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...feast on the plants, the animals, and then on humans after she has corrupted them. God watches the two from Heaven and laments to his angels how they are ruining his... (full context)
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The angels sing praises about God’s justice, and then God sends them down from Heaven to alter the universe. They either... (full context)
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...sin, and he wishes that he could bear all the punishment himself. He doesn’t understand God’s sense of justice, that he should punish the whole universe and all future humans for... (full context)
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...was deceived by the serpent, but then she accepts the full blame for disobeying both God and Adam and wishes that God would place all the punishment on her. (full context)
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...portion of the punishment she has, then Eve shouldn’t wish for the full brunt of God’s wrath. Adam decides that they should stop blaming each other, but try to lessen their... (full context)
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Adam warns Eve about the dangers of despairing, and that God will not allow her to escape punishment even by killing herself. He reminds Eve of... (full context)
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...He then suggests that they return to the place where they were punished and ask God for forgiveness and grace. Eve agrees, and the two fall on their knees, weeping and... (full context)
Book 11
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God hears Adam and Eve’s prayers, which were themselves inspired by his grace. The Son intercedes... (full context)
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God commands Michael to be firm with Adam and Eve, but also kind, and to show... (full context)
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Adam and Eve finish their prayers, and Adam anticipates that God will hear them and be merciful. Again he reminds Eve of the prophecy about bruising... (full context)
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...the loss of their beautiful home. Michael comforts them, but Adam knows he must obey God’s command. (full context)
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Adam laments that he will never be able to speak with God again, and that if he had been allowed to remain in Paradise he would have... (full context)
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First Adam sees two men offering sacrifices to God, and when one is accepted by God and the other not, the second man kills... (full context)
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...him that these people are just as sinful as the murderers earlier. They have forgotten God and live only for pleasure, the women forgetting their domestic duties and the men allowing... (full context)
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...spoke out against them was Enoch, the only righteous man left in the world, and God took him up to Heaven as a reward. The next vision shows more scenes of... (full context)
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Michael describes all the sins of the humans God destroyed in the flood, and tells how God instructed the one righteous man (Noah) to... (full context)
Book 12
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...stock” from Noah’s family. While they still remember their punishment people are more obedient to God than before the flood, and they offer him many sacrifices of livestock and crops. (full context)
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...forces his subjects to build a huge tower, hoping to reach Heaven and gain fame. God sees this and disrupts the tower’s construction by making all the workers suddenly speak different... (full context)
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...condemning the sin of trying to rule over other humans, who should remain free. Only God has rightful dominion, and he gave men to rule only over animals and plants, not... (full context)
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Michael continues, saying that humans will grow ever more sinful until God turns away from all of them except for one righteous man, Abraham, who obeys God... (full context)
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...later move to Egypt and eventually become enslaved by the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. God will then choose a righteous pair of brothers (Moses and Aaron) to deliver the Israelites.... (full context)
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...long time before returning to Canaan. In the desert Moses ascends to Mount Sinai, where God appears to him and deliver the Ten Commandments. These (and other laws) will exist to... (full context)
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...then be many battles and miracles as the Israelites retake Canaan. Adam interrupts, relieved that God will bless a race of humans after they have been cursed for so long, but... (full context)
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David’s son (Solomon) will build a great temple of God, but his descendants will then lose it to a conquering nation (Rome). The Messiah will... (full context)
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...becomes incarnate as a man and allows himself to suffer and die, receiving all of God’s punishment for Adam’s sin. The Son will be hated all his life and then killed... (full context)
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Michael confirms that the followers (Christians) will be persecuted, but says that God will send down a “Comforter” (the Holy Spirit) to protect them with spiritual armor and... (full context)
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...await his offspring. He resolves to live the rest of his life in obedience to God, and in this way to bring good out of evil even in small ways. Michael... (full context)