Abram's Knowledge of God and wonderful Deeds (xi. 16-24).
16. And the child began to understand the errors of the earth that all went astray after graven images and after uncleanness, and his father taught him
writing, and he was two weeks of years old, and he separated himself from his father 4 that he might not worship idols with him. 17. And he began to pray to the Creator of all things that He might save him from the errors of the children of men, and that his portion should not fall into error after uncleanness and vileness. 18. And the seed time came for the sowing of seed upon the land, and they all went forth together to protect their seed against the ravens, and Abram went forth with those that went, and the child was a lad of fourteen years. 19. And a cloud of ravens came to devour the seed, and Abram ran to meet them before they settled on the ground, and cried to them before they settled on the ground to devour the seed, and said, "Descend not: return to the place
whence ye came," and they proceeded to turn back. 20. And he caused the clouds of ravens to turn back that day seventy times, and of all the ravens throughout all the land where Abram was there settled there not so much as one. 21. And all who were with him throughout all the land saw him cry out, and all the ravens turn back, and his name became great in all the land of the Chaldees. 22. And there came to him this year all those that wished to sow, and he went with them until the time of sowing ceased: and they sowed their land, and that year they brought enough grain home and ate and were satisfied. 23. And in the first year of the fifth week Abram taught
those who made implements for oxen, the artificers in wood, and they made a vessel above the ground, facing the frame of the plough, 1 in order to put the seed thereon, and the seed fell down therefrom upon the share of the plough, and was hidden in the earth, and they no longer feared the ravens. 24. And after this manner they made (vessels) above the ground on all the frames of the ploughs, and they sowed and tilled all the land, according as Abram commanded them, and they no longer feared the birds.
86:4 This is the theme of much later Jewish legend. See especially the first part of the Apocalypse of Abraham, an edition of which appears in this series. Cf. xii. 1-14 below.
87:1 An improved method of sowing by means of a seed-scatterer attached to the plough (Arab. bûk) is here described. This marked an advance on the primitive method of scattering the seed by hand, and its invention is ascribed to Abraham. In Rabbinical tradition Noah is the inventor of the plough and kindred instruments. Cf. Krauss, Talmudische Archäologie, ii. 553 (note 151).
Next: Abram seeks to convert Terah from Idolatry; the Family of Terah. Abram burns the Idols. Death of Haran (xii. 1-14)