SECTION III.

LECH LECHA.

XII. AND the Lord said to Abram, Go thou from thy land; separate thyself from thy kindred; go forth from the house of thy father; go into the land which I will show thee. And I will make thee a great people, and will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed.

[JERUSALEM. And I will constitute thee a great people, and I will bless thee; and Abram shall be strengthened with many blessings.]

And I will bless the priests who will spread forth their hands in prayer, and bless thy sons; and Bileam, who will curse them, I will curse, and they shall slay him with the mouth of the sword; and in thee shall be blessed all the generations of the earth. [JERUSALEM. And I will bless him who blesseth thee, and he who curseth thee shall be accursed; and in thy righteousness shall all the generations of the earth be blessed.] And Abram went, according as the Lord had spoken with him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was the son of seventy and five years at his going forth from Haran. And Abram took Sara his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all the substance which they had acquired, and the souls whom they had proselyted in Haran, and went forth to go to the land of Kenaan. And they came to the land of Kenaan. [JERUSALEM. And the souls of the proselytes.] And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shekem, unto the plain which had been showed. [JERUSALEM. The plain (or valley) of vision.] And the Kenaanites were then in the land; for the time had not yet come that the sons of Israel should possess it. And the Lord was revealed unto Abram, and said, To thy sons will I give this land. And he builded there an altar before the Lord, who was revealed to him. And he went up from thence to a mountain which was eastward of Bethel, and outspread his tent, having Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and he builded there an altar before the Lord, and prayed in the Name of the Lord. And Abram migrated, going and migrating unto the south.

And there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Mizraim to be a dweller there, because the famine was strong in the land. And it was, as he approached to enter the limit of Mizraim, and they had come to the river, and were uncovering their flesh to pass over, that Abram, said to Sara his wife, Behold, until this I have not beheld thy flesh; but now I know that thou art a woman of fair aspect. It will be, therefore, when the Mizraee see thee, and view thy beauty, that they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, and thee will keep alive. Say, I pray, that thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake, and that my life may be spared on thy account. And it was when Abram had entered Mizraim, the Mizraee saw the woman to be very fair; and the princes of Pharoh beheld her, and praised her to Pharoh; and the woman was conducted to the royal house of Pharoh. [JERUSALEM. And the woman was conducted to the palace of Pharoh.] And Pharoh did good to Abram for her sake; and he had sheep, and oxen, and asses, and servants, and handmaids, and she-asses, and camels. And the Word of the Lord sent great plagues against Pharoh and the men of his house, on account of Sara, Abram's wife. And Pharoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done to me? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? When I would take her to me to wife, plagues were at once sent against me, and I went not unto her. And now behold thy wife, take (her) and go. And Pharoh commanded men concerning him, and they led him forth, and his wife, and all that he had.

XIII. And Abram went up from Mizraim, he and his wife (and) all that he had; and Lot with him, to go to the south. And Abram had become very strong in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he proceeded in his journeyings from the south unto Bethel, and returned to the place where he had outspread his tabernacle at the first, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at the beginning; and Abram prayed there in the Name of the Lord. And also unto Lot, who was remembered through the righteousness of Abram, there were sheep and oxen and tents. And the land could not sustain them to dwell together, because their possessions were great, and they were not able to dwell together. And contentions arose between the shepherds of Abram's flock, and the shepherds of the flocks of Lot; for the shepherds of Abram had been instructed by him not to go among the Kenaanaee and the Pherizaee, who, as yet, had power in the land, and to restrain the cattle that they should make no depredation in going to the place of their pasture: but the shepherds of Lot would go and feed in the grounds of the Kenaanaee and Pherizaee who yet dwelt in the land. [JERUSALEM. 6. Their treasures. 7. And there was strife between the shepherds of Abram's cattle and the shepherds of the cattle of Lot. The shepherds of Abram restrained their beasts until the time of their coming to the place of their pasture; but the shepherds of Lot did not restrain their beasts, but turned them free, and went. But Abram's shepherds had been instructed by Abram their righteous master, Go not to the Kenaanaee and Pherizaee; for as yet they have possession in the land.]

And Abram said to Lot, Between me and thee let there not now be controversy, nor between my shepherds and thy shepherds; for we are brother-men. Is not all the land before thee? Separate then from me. If thou to the north, I to the south: if thou to the south, I to the north. And Lot uplifted his eyes towards (the place of) fornication; and beheld all the plain of Jardena that it was altogether well watered, before the Lord in his wrath had destroyed Sedom and Amorah; a land admirable for trees, as the garden of the Lord, and for fruitage, as the land of Mizraim as thou goest up to Zoar. And Lot chose to him all the plain of Jardena; and Lot journeyed from the east, and they separated the one man from his brother. Abram dwelt in the land of Kenaan, and Lot dwelt in the towns of the plain, and spread his tabernacle towards Sedom. And the men of Sedom were depraved in their wealth one with another, and they sinned in their bodies; they sinned with open nakedness, and the shedding of innocent blood, and practised strange worship, and rebelled greatly against the name of the Lord.

And the Lord said to Abram, after that Lot had separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look, from the place where thou art, to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west: for all the land that thou seest will I give unto thee, and to thy sons, for ever. And I will make thy sons manifold as the dust of the earth, as that, as it is impossible for a man to number the dust of the earth, so also it shall be impossible to number thy sons. Arise journey in the land, and make occupation of it in length and breadth; for to thee will I give it. And Abram stretched his tent (and made folds) for oxen and sheep, and came and dwelt in the vale of Mamre which is in Hebron, and builded there an altar before the Lord.

XIV. And it was in the days of Amraphel,--he is Nimrod, who commanded Abram to be cast into the furnace; he was then king of Pontos; Ariok, (so called) because he was (arik) tall among the giants, king of Thalasar, Kedarlaomer, (so called) because he had bound himself (or gone over) among the bondmen of the king of Elam, and Thidal, crafty as a fox, king of the peoples subjected to him, --made war with Bera, whose deeds were evil, king of Sedom, and with Birsha, whose deeds were with the wicked, king of Amora: Shinab, who had hated his father, king of Admah, and Shemebar, who had corrupted himself with fornication, king of Zeboim; and the king of the city which consumed (Bela) the dwellers thereof, which is Zoar. All these were joined in the vale of the gardens (paredesaia), the place that produced the streamlets of waters that empty themselves into the sea of salt. Twelve years they had served Kedarlaomer; and in the thirteenth year they had rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came Kedarlaomer and the kings who were with him, and smote the Giants (gibboraia) which were in Ashtaroth-Karniam, and the Strong who were in Hametha, and the Terrible who were in the plain of Kiriathaim, and the Choraee (dwellers in caverns) who were in the high mountains of Begala, unto the valley of Pharan, which was nigh upon the edge of the desert. [JERUSALEM. 3. All these were joined in the valley of the gardens. 5. And they slew the giants who were in Ashtaroth-Karnaim, the famed who were among them, and the formidable who inhabited the city which they had built, and the cavern people who dwelt in the mountain of Gebala, unto the valley of vision which is nigh upon the desert.]

And they returned, and came to the place where was rendered the judgment of Mosheh the prophet, to the fountain of the waters of Strife, which is Requam. And they smote all the fields of the Amalkaee, and also the Emoraee, who dwelt in En-gedi. And the king of Sedom, and the king of Amorah, and the kind of Admah, and the king of Zeboim, and the king of the city which consumed its inhabitants, which is Zoar, went forth, and set the array of battle against them in the valley of the gardens; with Kedarlaomer king of Elam, and Thidal king of the nations obedient to him, and Amraphel king of Pontos, and Ariok king of Thelasar; four kings arrayed in battle against five. [JERUSALEM. And Amraphel king of Pontos, and Ariok king of Elasar: four kings against five spread out the array of war.] And the valley of the gardens had many pits filled with bitumen: [JERUSALEM. The valley of the gardens was full of pits of bitumen:] and the kings of Sedom and Amora fled away, and fell there; and they who were left fled to the mountains. And they took all the property of Sedom and Amora, and all their food, and went. And they made captive Lot the son of Abram's brother, and his property, and went. And he had dwelt in Sedom.

And Og came, who had been spared from the giants that died in the deluge, and had ridden protected upon the top of the ark, and sustained with food by Noah; not being spared through high righteousness, but that the inhabitants of the world might see the power of the Lord, and say, Were there not giants who in the first times rebelled against the Lord of the world, and perished from the earth? But when these kings made war, behold, Og, who was with them, said in his heart, I will go and show Abram concerning Lot, who is led captive, that he may come and deliver him from the hands of the kings into whose hands he has been delivered. And he arose and came, upon the eve of the day of the Pascha, and found him making the unleavened cakes. Then showed he to Abram the Hebrew, who dwelt in the valleys of Mamre Amoraah, brother of Eshkol and brother of Aner, who were men of covenant with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was made captive, he armed his young men who were trained for war, grown up in his house; but they willed not to go with him. And he chose from them Eliezer the son of Nimrod, who was equal in strength to all the three hundred and eighteen; and he pursued unto Dan. [JERUSALEM. Domestics (marbitsi, down-liers) of his house, eighteen and three hundred, and pursued after them unto Dan of Kisarion.] And he divided them at night in the way; a part were to engage with the kings, and a part were hidden to smite the firstborn of Egypt. And he arose, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them which remained of them unto (the place) of the memorial of sin which was to be in Dan, from the north of Darmesek. [JERUSALEM. And he pursued them unto Havetha, which is from the north of Darmesek.] And he brought back all the substance, and also Lot his brother and his substance he brought back, and also the women and the people. And the king of Sedom came forth, after that he returned from destroying Kedarlaomer and the kings who were with him, to meet him at the plain of Mephana, which was the king's race-course. [JERUSALEM. And the kings who were with him, at the plain of vision which was the house of the king's plain.]

And Malka Zadika, who was Shem bar Noah, the king of Yerushalem, came forth to meet Abram, and brought forth to him bread and wine; and in that time he ministered before Eloha Ilaha. [JERUSALEM. And Malki Zedek, king of Yerushalem, who was Shem, who was the great priest of the Most High.] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Lord God Most High, who for the righteous possesseth the heavens and the earth. And blessed be Eloha Ilaha, who hath made thine enemies as a shield which receiveth a blow. And he gave to him one of ten, of all which he brought back.

And the king of Sedom said to Aram, Give me the souls of the men of my people whom thou hast brought back, and the substance take to thyself. [JERUSALEM. And the treasure take to thee.] And Abram siad to the king of Sedom, I have uplifted my hands in an oath before the Lord God the Most High, who for the just possesseth his possession of the heavens and the earth, if from a thread to the latchet of a sandal I receive any thing of all that is thine; lest thou magnify thyself in saying, I have enriched Abram from mine own. Have I not power over all the spoil?&emdash;Apart from what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshkol, and Mamre, they also receiving their portion. [JERUSALEM. If from a thread to the latchet of a sandal I receive of all that is thing: that thou magnify not thyself and say, I have enriched Abram.]

XV. After these words, when the kings had gathered together, and had fallen before Abram; and four kings had been slain, and nine hosts brought back, Abram reasoned in his heart, and said, Woe to me, because I have received the reward of my appointments in this world, and have no portion in the world to come. Or peradventure the brethren and friends of those who have been slain will combine in legions and come against me; or that at that time there was found with me the reward of a little righteousness, so that they fell before me; but the second time reward may not be found with me, and by me the name of the Heavens may be profaned. Thereupon was the word (pithgama) of the Lord with Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not; for if these men should gather together in legions and come against thee, My Word (Memra) will be thy shield: and also if these fall before thee in this world, the reward of thy good works shall be kept, and be prepared before Me in the world to come, great exceedingly.

And Abram said, Lord God, great blessings hast Thou given me, and great (are they which it is) before Thee to give me: nevertheless, what profit is to me, when I pass from the world without children, and Eliezer the manager (bar pharnasath, the son of sustenance) of my house, by whose hands signs were wrought for (or to) me in Darmasek, expects to be my heir? And Abram said, Behold, to me Thou hast not given a son; and, behold, the manager of my house will be my heir. And, behold, a word from before the Lord was to him, saying, He shall not be thine heir; but a son whom thou wilt beget shall be thy heir. And He brought him forth without, and said, Look up now to the heavens, and number the stars, if thou art able to number them: and he said, So will be thy sons. And he believed in the Lord, and had faith in the (Memra) Word of the Lord, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness (lizeku), because he parleyed not before him with words. And He said to him, I am the Lord who brought thee out of the fiery furnace of the Kasdai, to give thee this land to inherit. And he said, Lord God, by what may I know that I shall be the heir of it? And He said, Bring Me oblations, and offer before Me an heifer of three years, and a goat of three years, a ram of three years, and a dove, and the young of a pigeon. And he brought all these before Him, and divided them in the midst, and set in order every division over against its fellow; but the fowl he divided not. And there came down idolatrous peoples which are like to unclean birds, to steal away the sacrifices of Israel; but the righteousness of Abram was a shield over them. And when the sun was nearing to set, a deep sleep was thrown upon Abram: and, behold, four kingdoms arose to enslave his children: Terror, which is Bavel; Darkness, which is Madai; Greatness, which is Javan; Decline, which is Pheras, which is to fall, and to have no uplifting, and from whence it is to be that the children of Israel will come up. And he said to Abram, Knowing, thou must know, that thy sons shall dwell in a land not their own, because thou hast not believed, and they will subjugate and afflict them four hundred years; and also that the people whom they shall serve I will judge with two hundred and fifty plagues, and afterwards they shall go forth into liberty with great riches. And thou shalt be gathered to thy fathers, thy soul shall rest in peace, and thou shalt be buried in a good old age. And in the fourth generation of thy sons they will return hither to inherit; because the guilt of the Amoraah is not yet complete. And when the sun had set there was darkness. And, behold, Abram saw Gehinnam ascending, smoke with flaming coals and burning flakes of fire, werewith the wicked are to be judged. And, behold, He passed between those divisions.

[JERUSALEM. 1. After these words, when all the kings of the lands, and the sultans of the provinces, had gathered together, and had made war against Abram the Just, and had fallen before him, and he had slain of them four kings, and had brought back nine hosts, did Abram the Just reason in his heart, and say, Woe, now, to me, because I have received the reward ordained in the present world, and have no portion in the world to come. Or peradventure the brethren and kindred of the slain who have fallen before me, who are in their cities and provinces, will combine in great legions, and come against me; or peradventure there were in my hand a few commandments in the former times, so that they fell before me when they had risen up against me; or it may be that righteousness was found in me at the former times, that they fell before me, but at the second time it may not be found, and the Heavenly Name will be profaned in me. Then was the word of prophecy from the Lord unto Abram the Righteous, saying, Fear not, Abram, though they should gather together and come against thee with many legions, My Word shall be thy reward and thy shield in this world, and a protector over thee all the days of the world to come. And though I deliver up thy adversaries before thee in this world, the reward of thy good works is prepared for thee also before Me in the world to come.

2. And Abram said, Before Thee I supplicate mercy, O Lord God. Manifold blessings Thou hast given me, and many hast Thou before Thee still to give: nevertheless, what profit have I who go from the world childless, and Eliezer, the son of my house, by whose hands signs were wrought for me in Damasek, expecteth in himself to be my heir? 7. And He said to him, I am the Lord who brought thee out of the fiery furance from Ur of the Kasdai. 9. And a turtle and young pigeon. 10-12. And He brought before him all these, and divided them into divisions, and set one part over against its fellow; but the fowl He divided not. And when the birds descended, they came not nigh the divisions: those birds are unclean fowl, and those unclean fowl are the kingdoms of the earth which are worshippers of idols, and which counsel evil counsels against the sons of Israel; but the integrity of the righteous Abram hindered them. And when the sun was going to set, a sleep profound and sweet fell upon Abram. And, behold, Abram saw four kingdoms which should arise to being his sons into subjection (and) Terror&emdash;the Greatness&emdash;of Darkness&emdash;Fell&emdash;upon him: Terror, that is Bavel; Darkness, that is Media; Greatness, that is Greece; Fell, that is Edom, (Rome,) that fourth kingdom which is to Fall, and never to rise again for ever and ever. 17. And, behold, the sun went to set, and there was darkness, and Abram beheld till the seats were arrayed and the thrones set forth. And lo, Gehinam, which was prepared for the wicked in the world to come, enveloped in burning flakes and flames of fire, into which the wicked had fallen when in their lives they rebelled against the law, while the just who had kept it had been delivered from affliction. And all were seen by Abram while He passed between those divisions.]

In that day the Lord ordained a covenant with Abram, that He would not judge therein his sons, but would deliver them from the kingdom, saying, To thy sons will I give this land, from Nilos of Mizraim unto the great river, the river Pherath, the Shalmia, and the Kenizah, and Kadmonaah, and the Hittaee, and the Pherizaee, and Gibaraee, and the Emoraee, and the Kinaanaee, and the Girgeshaee, and the Jebusaee. [JERUSALEM. And all the sons of the East.]

XVI. But Sara, the wife of Abram, had not borne to him. But he had a handmaid, a Mizreitha, and her name was Hagar, a daughter of Pharoh, whom he gave to him as a handmaid at the time that he received her, being struck by the word from before the Lord. And Sara said to Abram, Behold, now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing, go to my handmaid and set her free; perhaps I may be builded by her. And Abram hearkened to the word of Sara. And Sara the wife of Abram took Hagar the Mizreitha handmaid, when Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Kenaan, and set her free, and gave her to Abram her husband to wife. And he went unto Hagar, and she conceived; and she saw that she had conceived, and the honour of her mistress was despised in her eyes.

And Sara said to Abram, All my affliction is from thee. Being secure that thou wouldst do me justice, I left the land and house of my father, and came up with thee to a foreign land; and forasmuch as I was not able to become a mother, I set free my handmaid, and gave her to lie in thy bosom; and she seeth that she had conceived, and mine honour is despised before her. But now is my affliction manifest before the Lord, who will spread peace between me and thee, and the land shall be replenished from us, nor shall we need the help of the progeny of Hagar the daughter of Pharoh bar Nimrod, who threw thee into the furnace of fire.

[JERUSALEM. And Sara said, My judgment and my affliction are delivered into thine hand. I left the house of my birth, and the house of my father, and came with thee in the faith of the Heavens. I have gone in with thee before kings; before Pharoh King of Mizraim, and before Avimelek king of the Philistaee; and I have said of thee, he is my brother, so that they might not kill thee. And when I saw that I was not made fruitful, I took Hagar the Mizreitha, my handmaid, and gave her to thee to wife, and said, She shall bring forth, and I will bring up whom she may bear, that I may be builded, be it only from her. But now seeing that she hath conceived, my honour is contemned and despised in her sight. Now may the Lord appear, and judge between me and thee, and fulfil mercies upon me and thee, and spread His peace between me and thee, and replenish the world from me and from thee, that we may not heed the son of Hagar the Mizreitha handmaid, who is of the children of the people who cast thee into the burning furnace of the Kasdin.]

And Abram said to Sara, Behold, thy handmaid is under thy authority: do to her what is right in thine eyes. And Sara afflicted her, and she escaped from before her. And the Angel of the Lord found her at the fountain of waters in the desert; at the fountain of waters which is in the way to Chagra. [JERUSALEM. Chalitza.] And He said, Hagar, handmaid of Sara, whence comest thou, and whither does thou go? And she said, From before Sara my mistress I have escaped. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Return to thy mistress, and be subject under her hand. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Multiplying I will multiply thy sons, and they shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Behold, thou art with child, and thou wilt bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because thy affliction is revealed before the Lord. And he shall be like the wild ass among men: his hands shall take vengeance of his adversaries, and the hands of his adversaries be put forth to do him evil; and in the presence of all his brethren shall he be commingled, (yitharbeb, Arabized,) and shall dwell. And she gave thanks before the Lord whose Word spake to her, and thus said, Thou art He who livest and art eternal; who seest, but art not seen! for she said, For, behold, here is revealed the glory of the Shekina of the Lord after a vision. (JERUSALEM. And Hagar gave thanks, and prayed in the Name of the Word of the Lord, who had been manifested to her, saying, Blessed be Thou, Eloha, the Living One of all Ages, who hast looked upon my affliction. For she said, Behold, Thou art manifested also unto me, even as Thou wast manifested to Sara my mistress.] Wherefore she called the well, The Well at which the Living and Eternal One was revealed; and, behold, it is situate between Rekam and Chalutsa. And Hagar bare Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was the son of eighty-six years when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

XVII. And Abram was the son of ninety and nine years, and the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am El Shadai; serve before Me and be perfect (shelim) in thy flesh. And I will set My covenant between My Word and thee, and will multiply thee very greatly. And because Abram was not circumcised, he was not able to stand, but he bowed himself upon his face; and the Lord spake with him, saying, Behold, I have confirmed (or divided) my convenant with thee; and thou shalt be the father of many peoples. And thy name shall be no more called Abram, but Abraham shall be thy name, because to be the father of a great multitude of peoples have I appointed thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and will set thee for congregations; and kings ruling over peoples shall come forth from thee. And I have established My covenant between My Word and thee, and thy sons after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to thee and to thy sons after thee. And I will give to thee and to thy sons after thee the land of thy habitation, all the land of Kenaan, for an everlasting possession: and I will be to them Eloha. And the Lord said to Abraham, And thou shalt observe my covenant, thou and thy sons after thee in their generations. This is My covenant, that you shall observe between My Word and you, and your sons after you:--Every male of you being circumcised, though he have not a father to circumcise him. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, as a sign of the covenant between My Word and you. And the son of eight days shall be circumcised among you, every male in your generations; from him who is brought up in your house, or bought with your silver, unto every son of the peoples who is not of you. He who is circumcised shall circumcise him who is brought up among you, or bought with your silver; and it shall be My covenant in your flesh for a covenant for ever. And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, unless he have some one to circumcise him, that man shall be cut off from his people; he hath made My covenent to pass away. And the Lord said to Abraham, The name of Sara thy wife shall be no more called Sara; for Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless in her body, and will also give from her a son to thee, and I will bless, him, and he shall be for assemblies, and kings ruling over nations shall be from her.

And Abraham fell on his face, and wondered, and said in his heart, Shall the son of a hundred years have progeny, and Sarah, the daughter of ninety years, bear a child? [JERUSALEM. And Abraham bowed upon his face, and wondered.] And Abraham said before the Lord, May not Ishmael be established, and serve before Thee? And the Lord said, In truth Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name Izhak; and with him I will confirm My convenant for an everlasting covenant to his sons after him. And concerning Ishmael I have heard thy prayer. Behold, I have blessed him; and I will spread him abroad, and multiply him very greatly. Twelve princes shall he beget, and I will give him to be a great people. But My COVENANT will I establish with Izhak, whom Sarah shall bear to thee at this time in the year after. And He ceased speaking with him; and the Glory of the Lord ascended from Abraham.

And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all brought up in his house, and all bought with money, every male among the household people of Abraham, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day in which the Lord spake with him. And Abraham was the son of ninety and nine years when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. In the same day, in the fourteenth year, was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And every man of his house, the house-trained, and the purchased with money of the sons of the people, was circumcised with him.