Chapter 1 is a lengthy introduction involving God, Moses and the Angel of the Presence; the history of the world related by the Angel to Moses only starts in chapter 2.A minor point to start with, but one which niggles at me:
He created heaven and earth and everything that He created in six days, and God made the seventh day holy, for all His works; therefore He commanded on its behalf that, whoever does any work thereon shall die, and that he who defiles it shall surely die.This makes it sound the Sabbath is intended for all mankind, not just for Israel, but this is contradicted a little below.
The Creator of all things blessed it, but he did not sanctify all peoples and nations to keep Sabbath thereon, but Israel alone: them alone he permitted to eat and drink and to keep Sabbath thereon on the earth.So what did the first quote mean, then?
Chapter 3No timeline is given for the Eden story in the Bible. Midrash states that Adam and Eve were created, sinned, and sentenced to expulsion from Eden all on the first Friday, but God took pity upon them and delayed their expulsion until motzei Shabbos. Jubilees takes a quite different stance, using the Eden story to justify later halachic rulings in the Torah:
In the first week was Adam created, and the rib, his wife: in the second week He showed her unto him: and for this reason the commandment was given to keep in their defilement, for a male seven days, and for a female twice seven days. And after Adam had completed forty days in the land where he had been created, we brought him into the garden of Eden to till and keep it, but his wife they brought in on the eightieth day, and after this she entered into the garden of Eden. And for this reason the commandment is written on the heavenly tablets in regard to her that gives birth: 'If she bears a male, she shall remain in her uncleanness seven days according to the first week of days, and thirty and three days shall she remain in the blood of her purifying, and she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary, until she accomplishes these days which (are enjoined) in the case of a male child. But in the case of a female child she shall remain in her uncleanness two weeks of days, according to the first two weeks, and sixty-six days in the blood of her purification, and they will be in all eighty days.'Ever wondered at that talking snake in the Garden of Eden? Must have escaped from Narnia, because there are no talking snakes today, right? Jubilees gives an explanation:
On that day on which Adam went forth from the Garden, [...] was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak: for they had all spoken one with another with one language and with one tongue.Jubilees offers a date for the expulsion, and a name to the land where Adam and Eve went (I can't see obvious significance in the name):
On the new moon of the fourth month, Adam and his wife went forth from the Garden of Eden, and they dwelt in the land of Elda in the land of their creation.