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OF THE SUCCESSION OF GENERATIONS FROM THE FLOOD UNTIL NOW5.
SHEM was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxar two years after the flood; the sum of his years was six hundred. Arphaxar was a p. 39 hundred and thirty-five years old, and begat Kainan. Kainan was a hundred and thirty-nine years old, and begat Shâlâh: the sum of his years was four hundred and thirty-eight. Shâlâh was a hundred and thirty years old1, and begat Eber; the sum of his years was four hundred and thirty-three. Eber was a hundred and thirty-four years old, and begat Peleg; the sum of his years was four hundred and sixty-four. Peleg was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat Reu; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty-nine. In the days of Reu the languages were divided into seventy and two; up to this time there was only one language3, which was the parent of them all, namely, Aramean, that is Syriac. Reu was a hundred and thirty-two years old, and begat Serug; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty-nine4. Serug was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat Nahor; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty years5. In the days of Serug men worshipped idols and graven images. Nahor was seventy and nine years old6, and begat Terah; the sum of his years was one hundred and forty-eight. In the days of Nahor magic began in the world7. p. 40 And God opened the storehouse of the winds and whirlwinds1, and they uprooted the idols and graven images, and they collected them together and buried them under the earth, and they reared over them these mounds that are in the world. This was called 'the Wind Flood.' p. 41 Terah was seventy years old, and begat Abraham; the sum of his years was one hundred and five years1. So it is two thousand two hundred and forty-two years from Adam to the flood; and one thousand and eighty-one years from the flood to the birth of Abraham; and from Adam to Abraham it is three thousand three hundred and thirteen years2. And know, my brother readers, that there is a great difference between the computation of Ptolemy3 and that of the Hebrews and the Samaritans; for the Jews take away one hundred years from the beginning of the years of each (patriarch), and they add them to the end of the years of each of them, that they may disturb the reckoning and lead men astray and falsify the coming of Christ, and may say, 'The Messiah is to come at the end of the world, and in the last times;' and behold, according to their account, He came in the fourth millenium, for so it comes out by their reckoning.
4 In the Oxford MS. chap. xxvi.
5 Genesis, chap. xi. The numbers of the years of the Patriarchs agree neither with the Hebrew nor the LXX.
1 In the Oxford MS. 138 years.
3 'From Adam until that time they all spoke this language, that is to say Syriac, which is Aramean; for this language is the king of all languages. The early writers have erred, in that they say that Hebrew was the primitive language; and here have they mingled ignorant error with their writings. For all the tongues that are in the world are taken from Syriac, and all the languages in books are mixed with it.' Bezold, Die Schatzhöhle, p. 21; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 22 a, col. 1.
4 Gen. xi. 20, 21, two hundred and thirty-nine.
5 Gen. xi. 22, 23, two hundred and thirty.
6 Gen. xi. 24, twenty-nine.
7 According to the 'Cave of Treasures,' the origin of magic was this: 'In the days of Terah, in his ninetieth year, magic appeared on the earth in the city of p. 40 Ur, which Horon the son of Eber had built. Now there was in it a certain man who was very rich, and he died about that time. His son made for him an image of gold, and set it up on his grave; and he put a youth to watch it. Then Satan went and dwelt in that image, and he used to speak to the young man in the form of his father. But thieves went in and stole everything which the young man possessed; and he went to his father's grave weeping. And Satan spake with him, saying, "Weep not before me, but go, bring thy little son, and sacrifice him to me as a sacrifice; and everything which thou hast lost shall be restored to thee immediately." So he straightway did as Satan commanded him; and he slew his son, and bathed in his blood. Then Satan went forth from the image immediately, and entered into the young man, and taught him magic, incantation, divinations, chaldeeism, destinies, haps, and fates. And behold, from that time men began to sacrifice their children to demons and to worship idols, for the demons went in and dwelt in all the images. In the one hundredth year of Nahor, when God saw that men sacrificed their children to devils, and bowed down to idols, He opened the storehouses of the wind.' Bezold, Die Schatzhöle, p. 32; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875 fol. 23 b, col. 1, line 19 to fol. 24 a, col. 1 line 2.
1 Schoenfelder, custodiam spirituum et superorum!
1 In the Oxford MS. 205 years.
2 Read 3323 years. In the Oxford MS. 3330 years.
3 I.e. the Septuagint.