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[THE FOURTH THOUSAND YEARS--FROM THE REIGN OF REU TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH YEAR OF THE LIFE OF EHUD.]
And in the days of Reu the Mesrâyê, who are the Egyptians, appointed their first king; his name was Puntos, and he reigned over them sixty-eight years. And in the days of Reu a king reigned in Shebhâ (Sâba), and in Ophir, and in Havilah. And there reigned in Sâba sixty of the daughters of Sâba. And for many years women reigned in Sâba--until the kingdom of Solomon, the son of David. And the children of Ophir, that is, Send (Scindia ?), appointed to be their [Fol. 23a, col. 1] Lophoron (?), who built Ophir with stones of gold; now, all the stones that are in Ophir are of gold. And the children of Havilah appointed to be their king Havîl, who built Havilah, that is, Hend (India ?).
[NOTES.--According to the Book of Adam (iii. 23), the first king of Egypt was called Yanuf; he built Memphis, that is, Misr. Sasen reigned p. 137 in Sâba and built the city of Sâba, the people of which are called "Sabeans." Bahlul, builder of Bahlu, reigned over Lebensa in India. The first king of Sâba is said to have been Menyelek I, the son of Solomon king of Mael and Mâkeda, Queen of Sheba.]
And Reu died, being two hundred and thirty-nine years old, and Serug his son, and Nâhôr and Tarah (Terah) buried him in Aor`în, the city which he built after his own name.
And Serug lived thirty years and begot Nâhôr, and all the days of his life were two hundred and thirty years. And in the days of Serug the worship of idols entered the world. And in his days the children of men began to make themselves graven images, and it was at this time that the introduction of idols into the world took place. For the children of men were scattered all over the earth, and they had neither teachers nor lawgivers, and no one to show them [Fol. 23a, col. 2] the way of truth wherein they should walk, and for this reason they became confused and fell into error. Some of them through their error adored the heavens, and some of them worshipped the sun, and moon and stars, and some of them the earth, and wild beasts, and birds, and creeping things, and trees, and stones, and the creatures of the sea, and p. 138 the waters, and the winds. Now Satan had blinded their eyes so that they might walk in the darkness of error, because they had no hope of a resurrection. For when one of them died they used to make an image of him, and set it up upon his grave, so that the remembrance [of his appearance] might not pass from before their eyes. And error having been sown broadcast in all the earth, the land became filled with idols in the form of men and women. And then Serug died, being two hundred and thirty years old, and Nâhôr, and Tarah [Fol. 23b, col. 1], and Abraham his sons, buried him in Sarghîn, the city which he built after his own name.
And Nâhôr was twenty-nine years old when he begot Terah. And in the days of Nâhôr, in the seventieth year of his life, when God looked upon the children of men, and saw that they were worshipping idols, a great earthquake took place, and all their houses were overturned and fell down; but the people did not understand within themselves, and they added to their wickedness. And Nâhôr died when he was one hundred and forty-seven years old, and Terah his son and Abraham buried him. Terah was seventy-five years old when he begot Abraham.
[NOTES.--Nâhôr was the son of Serug by his wife Melka, and he married Iyosaka, the daughter p. 139 of Kheber, the Chaldean, and she became the mother of Terah. The "Wind Flood" came upon the earth in the days of Nâhôr. God opened the storehouse of the winds and whirlwinds, 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. (Book of the Bee, chapter xxiii.) God sent forth winds, and the whirlwind, and earthquakes on the earth, until the idols were broken one against another. Instead of repenting, men added to their sins. Book of Adam (iii. 24.)]
And Terah was seventy-five years old when he begat Abraham. And in the days of Terah, in his ninetieth year, sorcery appeared on the earth in the city of Aôr (Ur), which Horon, the son of `Abhâr, built. Now, there was in the city a certain man who was very rich, and he died at that time. And his son made an image of him in gold [Fol. 23b, col. 2], and set it up upon his grave, and he appointed there a young man to keep guard over it. And Satan went and took up his abode in that image, and he spake to that youth (i.e. the son of the rich man) after the manner of his father. And thieves went into [his house], and took everything that the youth possessed, and he went out to the tomb of his p. 140 father weeping. And Satan spake unto him, saying, "Weep not in my presence, but go and fetch thy little son, and slay him here as a sacrifice to me, and forthwith everything which thou hast lost shall be returned to me here." And straightway the youth did as Satan told him, and he slew his son, and bathed in his blood. And Satan went forth immediately from that image [of gold], and entered into the youth, and taught him sorcery, and enchantments, and divination, and the lore of the Chaldeans, and [how to tell] fortunes, and [how to forecast] events, and [how to foretell] destinies. And behold, from that time the children of men began to sacrifice their sons to devils and to worship idols, for the devils entered into the images, and took up their abodes therein.
[NOTES.--According to the Book of Adam (iii. 24), the young man who ministered to the image had to sweep the ground around it, and to pour out water before it, and to burn incense. The image seems to have resembled somewhat the Ka-figure of the Egyptians, and its attendant may be regarded as the equivalent of the Ka-priest. A marginal note in the Syriac MS. of the "Cave of Treasures" in the British Museum says that the city Aôr is Erech (Warka). The "Interpreter" (i.e. Theodore), says it was Bêth p. 141 Mâhôzê (Ctesiphon and Seleucia), that is, Bêth Arâmâyê, but both statements are incorrect. The city referred to is Ur, where, in recent years, excavations have been carried out by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania. (See my Babylonian Life and History, London, 1925, and the account of the excavations given at the end of the present work, page 275.)]
And in the one hundredth year of the life of Nâhôr, when God saw that the children of men were sacrificing their Sons to devils [Fol. 24a, col. 1], and worshipping idols, He opened the storehouses of the wind, and the gate of the whirlwind, and a blast of wind went forth in all the earth. And it uprooted the images, and the places where offerings were made to devils, and it swept together the idols, and the images, and the pillared buildings in a heap, and piled up great mounds [of earth] over them; [and they are there] to this day. Now to this blast of wind learned men have given the name of "Wind-Flood"; but certain who have erred have said, "These mounds existed [already] in the days of the Flood [of waters]. Now those who have said these things have erred greatly from the truth; for before the Flood [of waters] there were no idols in the earth, and it was not because of idols that the Flood came, but because of the p. 142 fornication of the daughters of Cain. And, moreover, at that time there were no men on this earth, which was a waste and a desert. And our fathers were cast forth in days of old, as it were, into exile, because they were not worthy to be [Fol. 24a, col. 2] neighbours of Paradise. And through the Ark they were driven forth to the mountains of Kardô, and from there they were scattered about throughout all the earth. For these mounds came into being because of idols, and in them are buried all the idols of that time, and all the devils also who dwell in them are in these mounds, and there is no mound which hath not devils in it.
[Nimrod the fire-worshipper, and Yôntôn, son of Noah.]
And in the days of Nimrod, the mighty man (or giant), a fire appeared which ascended from the earth, and Nimrod went down, and looked at it, and worshipped it, and he established priests to minister there, and to cast incense into it. From that day the Persians began to worship fire, [and they do so] to this day.
And Sîsân, the king, found a spring of water in Drôghîn, and he made a white horse and set it over it, and those who bathed in the water used to worship the horse [Fol. 24b, col. 1]. And from that time the Persians began to worship p. 143 that (sic) horse. [According to the Book of Adam (iii. 25), the horse was made of gold.]
And Nimrod went to Yôkdôrâ of Nôdh, and when he arrived at the Lake (or Sea) of Atrâs, he found there Yôntôn, the son of Noah. [A marginal note in the Syriac MS. adds, "Noah begot this Yôntôn after the Flood, and he honoured him in many things, and sent him to the east to dwell there."] And Nimrod went down and bathed in the Lake, and he came to Yôntôn and did homage unto him. And Yôntôn said, "Thou art a king; doest thou homage unto me?" And Nimrod said unto him, "It is because of thee that I have come down here"; and he remained with him for three years. And Yôntôn taught Nimrod wisdom, and the art of revelation (divining ?), and he said unto him, "Come not back again to me."
And when Nimrod went up from the east, and began to practise the art of divining, very many men marvelled at him. And when Îdhâshîr (Ardeshir ?), the priest who ministered to the fire that ascended from the earth, saw that Nimrod was practising these exalted courses, he entreated the devil, who appeared in connection with that fire, to teach him [Fol. 24b, col. 2] the wisdom of Nimrod. And as the devils were in the habit of destroying those who came nigh unto them by sin, the devil said unto the priest, p. 144 "A man cannot become a priest and a Magian until he hath known carnally his mother, and his daughter, and his sister." And Îdhâshîr the priest did this, and from that time the priests, and the Magians, and the Persians take their mothers, and their sisters, and their daughters [to wife]. And this Îdhâshîr, the Magian, was the first to begin to study the Signs of the Zodiac, and [omens concerning] luck, and fate, and happenings, and motions of the eyes and eyelids, as well as all the other arts of the learning of the Chaldees. Now, all this learning is the error of devils, and those who practise it shall receive, together with the devils, the doom of the Judgment. And because this art of divination, which was employed by Nimrod, was taught to him [Fol. 25a, col. 1] by Yôntôn, none of the orthodox doctors have suppressed it; nay, they have even practised it. Now the Persians call it "Gelyânâ " (i.e. "Revelation") and the Romans "Estrômîôn" (i.e. "Astronomy"). But that [knowledge] which the Magians have, viz. astrology, is sorcery and the teaching of devils. There are some who say that it doth indeed [teach concerning] luck, and happenings (i.e. future events), and fate, but these are in error. Now Nimrod builded strong cities in the east, Babel, and Nineveh, and Râsân (Râs `Ain), and Selîk: (Seleucia), and Ctesiphon, and Âdhôrbaighân; and he made three fortresses.
[The History of Abraham.]
And Terah, the father of Abraham, lived two hundred and fifty years, and he died, and Abraham and Lot buried him in Hârrân. And there God spoke unto Abraham, and said unto him, "Get thee forth from thy land, and from among thy people, and come to the land which I will show thee." And Abraham took his household, Sârâ his wife [Fol. 25a, col. 2], and Lot, his brother's son, and he went up to the land of the Amôrâyê (Amorites); and he was seventy-five years old when he crossed the desert from the Euphrates. And he was eighty years old when he pursued the kings, and rescued Lot, his brother's son.
[NOTES.--When still a boy, Abraham had no belief in idols, and, according to the Kebra Nagast (chapter xiii), "when he was twelve years old his father sent him to sell idols. And Abraham said, 'These are not gods that can make deliverance'; and he took away the idols to sell even as his father had commanded him. And he said unto those unto whom he would sell them, 'Do ye wish to buy goods that cannot make deliverance, things made of wood, and stone, and iron, and brass, which the hand of an artificer hath made?' And they (the people) refused to buy the idols from Abraham because p. 146 he himself had defamed the images of his father. [An old tradition says that Terah made idols of mud, and it is possible that some of these may be represented by the terra-cotta figures of gods and goddesses which have been found in such large numbers in recent years at Ur and other ancient sites in Babylonia.] And as he was returning he stepped aside from the road, and he set the images down, and looked at them, and said unto them, 'I wonder now if ye are able to do what I ask you at this moment, and whether ye are able to give me bread to eat or water to drink?' And none of them answered him, for they were pieces of stone and wood; and he abused them and heaped revilings upon them, and they spake never a word. And he buffeted the face of one, and kicked another with his feet, and a third he knocked over and broke to pieces with stones, and he said unto them, 'If ye are unable to save yourselves from him that buffeteth you, and ye cannot requite with injury him that injureth you, how can ye be called "gods"? Those who worship you do so in vain, and as for myself I utterly despise you, and ye shall not be my gods.' Then he turned his face to the East, and he stretched out his hands and said, 'Be Thou my God, O Lord, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Creator of the Sun and Moon, Creator of the sea and the p. 147 dry land, Maker of the majesty of the heavens and the earth, and of that which is visible and that which is invisible; O Maker of the universe, be Thou my God. I place my trust in Thee, and from this day forth I will place my trust in no other save Thyself.' And then there appeared unto him a chariot of fire which blazed, and Abraham was afraid, and fell on his face on the ground; and God said unto him, 'Fear thou not, stand upright.'"
On the day of the birth of Abraham the house shone with a bright light. Many people fell down, and there was a cry in a loud voice, which said, "Woe is me! Woe is me! For he who shall crush my kingdom hath been born." And he who cried out wept, and described the events which should take place, saying, "It is he who shall burn down my abode." And there were among the people certain men who said, "Kill this child forthwith," and those who spake thus knew well that grace would be given to Abraham. And God set mercy in the heart of the father of Abraham, and he said to the Satans, "Whence come ye, O ye who tell me that I should kill my son who is a gracious gift of God?" And he reared the child . . . . . And Abraham was circumcised by the hand of Gabriel and Michael, who helped him. From the Book of the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth, ed. Perruchon.]
[Abraham and Melchisedek.]
And at that time Abraham had no son, because Sârâ was barren.
And when he returned from the battle of the kings, the agency of God called him, and he crossed the mountain of Yâbhôs (Jebus ?), and Melchisedek, the king of Shâlîm, the priest of the Most High God, went forth to meet him. And when Abraham saw Melchisedek, he made haste and fell upon his face, and did homage to him, and he rose up from the ground and embraced him, and kissed him, and was blessed by him; and Melchisedek blessed Abraham. And Abraham gave Melchisedek tithes of everything which he had with him, and Melchisedek made him to participate in the Holy Mysteries, [of] the bread of the Offering and the wine of redemption. And after [Fol. 25b, col. 1] Melchisedek had blessed him, and made him to participate in the Holy Mysteries, God spake unto Abraham, and said unto him, "Thy reward is exceedingly great. Since Melchisedek hath blessed thee, and hath made thee to partake of bread and wine [with him], I also will assuredly bless thee, and I will assuredly multiply thy seed."
And when Abraham was eighty-six years old Ishmael was born to him by Hâghâr, the Egyptian woman, whom Pharaoh had given to p. 149 Sârâ as a handmaiden. Now Sârâ was the sister of Abraham on the father's side, because Terah took two women to wife. When Yâwnû, the mother of Abraham, died, Terah took to wife a woman whose name was "Naharyath" (or Shalmath, or Tona, or Tahdif), and of her Sârâ was born. It was because of this [fact] that Abraham said, "She is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother" (Gen. xx. 2, 5).
[The Birth of Isaac.]
And Abraham was ninety-nine [Fol. 25b, col. 2] years old when God went into his house and gave Sârâ a son, and he was one hundred years old when Isaac was born to him. And Isaac was thirteen years old when his father took him and went up to the mountain of Yâbhôs (Jebus) to Melchisedek, the priest of God, the Most High. Now Mount Yâbhôs is the mountain of the Amôrâyê (Amorites), and in that place the Cross of Christ was set up, and on it grew the tree which held the ram that saved Isaac. And that same place is the centre of the earth, and the grave of Adam, and the altar of Melchisedek, and Golgotha, and Karkaftâ, and Gefîftâ (Gabbatha). And there David saw the angel bearing the sword of fire. There, too, Abraham took up Isaac his son for a burnt offering, and he saw p. 150 the Cross, and Christ [Fol. 26a, col. 1], and the redemption of our father Adam. The tree (i.e. thicket) was a symboI of the Cross of Christ our Lord, and the ram [caught] in its branches was the mystery of the manhood of the Word, the Only One. And, because of this, Paul cried out and said, "If they had only known [it] they were not crucifying the Lord of glory." Let the mouths of the heretics be stopped who in their madness impute passibility to the Eternal God.
Now, when Christ was eight days old, Joseph, the betrothed of Mary, rose up to circumcise the Child according to the Law, and he circumcised Him according to the custom that was the Law. In like manner Abraham took up his son as an offering, but he at the same time [fore]saw in this [act] the crucifixion of Christ. And this thing did Christ openly proclaim before the multitudes of the Jews, saying, "Abraham, your father, wanted to see My days, and he saw and was glad" (John viii. 56). Abraham saw the day of the redemption [Fol. 26a, col. 2] of Adam, and he saw and rejoiced, and it was revealed unto him that Christ would suffer on behalf of Adam.
[The founding of Jerusalem.]
And in that same year in which Abraham offered up his son as an offering, in that same p. 151 year [I say] Jerusalem was built; and the beginning of the building thereof was in this wise. Melchisedek having appeared and shown himself to men, the kings of the nations heard his history, and they gathered together and came unto him.
[The names of the kings who built Jerusalem.]
|Abimelech, king of Gâdhâr.|
Âmarphîl, (Amraphel), king of Sen`âr.
Arioch, king of Dâlâsâr (sic).
Kardla`mar (Chedorlaomer), king of Elam.
Tar`îl (Tidal), king of the Gîlâyê.
Bârâ (Bera), king of Sodom.
Barshâ (Birsha), king of Gomorrah.
Shênâbh (Shinab), king of Adhâmâh.
Shamâ`ir (Shemeber), king of Zeboim.
Salâkh, king of Bâlâ`.
Tâbhîk, king of Damascus.
Baktôr, king of the desert.
These twelve kings gathered together and came to Melchisedek, king of Shâlim [Fol. 26b, col. 1], the priest of the Most High God. And when they saw his appearance, and heard his words, they entreated him to go with them. And he said unto them, "I am not able to go from this place to any other"; and they took counsel together about building him a city, and p. 152 said to each other, "Verily, he is the king of the whole earth, and the father of all kings." And they built him a city and made Melchisedek to live in it; and Melchisedek called the name thereof "Jerusalem." And when Mâghôgh, the king of the south, heard [of this], he came to him, and saw his appearance, and spake unto him, and gave him offerings and gifts. And Melchisedek was held in honour by all, and he was called the "Father of Kings."
Now, as concerning what the Apostle said, "there was no beginning to his days, and no end to his life" (Heb. vii. 3) [Fol. 26b, col. 2], it has been thought by simple folk that he was not a man at all, and in their error they have said concerning him that he was God. God forbid that there should have been no beginning to his days or end to his life. [The Apostle spake thus] because when Shem, the son of Noah, took away Melchisedek from his parents, no word is said as to how old he was when he went up from the East, and it is not said how old he was at the time of his departure from this world. Now, he was the son of Mâlâkh, the son of Arpakhshar, the son of Shem, and he was not the son of one of the Patriarchs. And the Apostle said that none of his father's family had ever ministered p. 153 at the altar (Heb. vii. 6). The name of his father is not written in the genealogies, because Matthew and Luke, the Evangelists [only] wrote down the [names of the] Fathers [in chief, i.e. Patriarchs]; and for this reason neither the name of his father [Fol. 27a, col. 1], nor the name of his mother, is known. The Apostle did not say that he had no parents, but [only] that they were not written down in Matthew and Luke.
And in the one hundredth year [of the life] of Abraham there was a king in the East whose name was "Kûmrôs." He built Shemesht (Samosata), after the name of his son Shemeshtô, and Klawdîya (Claudias), after the name of his daughter Kâlôdh, and Pîrîn after the name of his son Pôrôn.
[Nimrod founds Nisibis, Harrân and Edessa.]
And in the fiftieth year of [the life of] Reu, Nimrod went up and built Nisibis, and Edessa, and Harrân, which is Edessa. And Harrânîth, the wife of Dâsân, the priest of the mountain, surrounded it with a wall, and the people of Harrân made a statue of her and worshipped her. And Baltîn, who was given to Tamûzâ (Tammuz)--now because B`êlshemîn loved her, Tammuz fled before him--set fire to Harrân and burned it.
[The Death of Sârâ.]
And when Sârâ, the wife of Abraham, died, Abraham took to wife Kentôrâ [Fol. 27a, col. 2], the daughter of Baktôr, the king of the desert. And there were born unto him by her Zamrân, and Yakshân, and Mâdhân, and Medhyân, and Ashbâk, and Shôh. [See Gen. xxv. 1, 2; 1 Chron. i. 32. A marginal note in the Syriac MS. says, "these sons of Kentôrâ are called sons of Daran by the prophet."] And from these are sprung the Arabs.
[Isaac and Rebecca.]
And when Isaac was forty years old, Eliezer, a son of the house of Abraham, went down and brought Rabkâ (Rebecca) from the east, and Isaac took her to wife. And when Abraham died Isaac buried him by the side of Sârâ.
[NOTE.--According to the Book of Adam (iv. 4), Abraham was 175 years old when he died, and Isaac and Ishmael buried him. Rebecca was the daughter of Bethuel, the Aramean, a native of the town of Arâch (Erech ?).]
And when Isaac was sixty years old Rebecca became with child of Esau and Jacob. And being sorely afflicted, she went to Melchisedek, and he prayed over her and said unto her, "Two p. 155 nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be removed from thy loins, that is to say, shall go forth from thy womb. One nation shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall be in subjection to the younger, that is to say, Esau [Fol. 27b, col. 1] shall be in subjection to Jacob."
[The founding of Jericho.]
And in the sixty-seventh year of [the life of] Isaac, Jericho was built by seven kings, namely, the king of the Hittites, and the king of the Amorites, and the king of the Girgantes, and the king of the Jebusites, and the king of the Canaanites, and the king of the Hivites, and the king of the Perizites; and each of them surrounded it with a wall. Now the son of Mesrîn (Mizraim), the king of the Egyptians, had founded Jericho in olden time. And Ishmael made a mill of the hands (i.e. a handmill) in the desert, a mill of slavery (i.e. a mill to be worked by, slaves).
And in the one hundred and third year of his life Isaac blessed Jacob, who was forty years old, and having received the blessing from his father, he went down into the desert [Fol. 27b, col. 2] of Beersheba, and lay down to sleep there; and when he was lying down he took a p. 156 stone and made a pillow of it. And he saw in his dream, and behold, a ladder was set upon the earth. And the top of it was in the heavens. And the angels of God were going up and coming down, and the Lord stood at the top of it. And Jacob woke up from his sleep, and said, "This is truly the house of God"; and he took the stone of his pillow, and made it an altar, and he anointed it with oil. And he vowed a vow and said, "Of everything which I have will I tithe for this stone." Now, it is manifest to those who possess understanding that the ladder which Jacob saw symbolizeth the Cross of our Redeemer. And the angels who were going up and down were the ministers of Zechariah and Mary, and the Magi, and the shepherds. And the Lord Who was standing at [Fol. 28a, col. 1] the top of the ladder symbolized Christ, Who stood on the Cross that He might go down to redeem us.
[NOTES.--The Power of God which was upon the top of the ladder was [a type of] the manifestation of God the Word in pure flesh of the formation of Adam. The place in which it appeared was a type of the Church; the stone under his head, which he set up for an altar, was a type of the altar; and the oil which he poured out upon it was like the holy oil wherewith they anoint the altar. Book of the Bee (chapter xxvii).]
[Jacob and Baptism.]
And when God had shown the blessed Jacob the Cross of Christ by means of the Ladder of the Angels, and the coming down of Christ for our redemption, and the Church, the House of God, and the altar by means of the stone, and the offerings by means of the tithes, and the anointing by means of the oil, Jacob again went down to the East that there God might show him baptism. And Jacob looked, and saw, and beheld three flocks of sheep lying down by a well; and there was a great stone placed over the mouth of the well. And Jacob drew nigh, and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the sheep of his mother's brother. And having watered the flocks, he took Rachel and kissed her.
Now by "Well" [Fol. 28a, col. 2] the blessed Jacob indicated (or, depicted) baptism, which was covered over (i.e. hidden) from the races of men, and generations and tribes. And the three flocks of sheep which were lying down by the well are a type of the three divisions and three groups [who come] for baptism, namely, men and women and children. And that Jacob saw Rachel coming with the flocks, and that he neither embraced her nor kissed her until he had rolled away the stone from the well, and she had watered the flocks, is in accordance with p. 158 the law of the sons of the Church, who neither embrace nor kiss the Lamb of Christ until baptism hath opened [the way]; they go down into the waters and put on strength from them and then the sons of the Church embrace and kiss. And as Jacob served with Laban for seven years, and the woman he loved was not given to him, so also was it with the Jews, who served Pharaoh, king of Egypt, in slavery, and went forth. [Fol. 28b, col. 1.] For the Covenant of the Church, the Bride of Christ, was not given unto them, but that Covenant which was old, and worn out, and of no effect. Now the eyes of [Leah], the first woman whom Jacob took to wife, were hateful, whilst the eyes of Rachel were beautiful, and her countenance was radiant. A covering (i.e. veil) was laid over the face of the first Covenant, so that the children of Israel might not see the beauty thereof; as for the second Covenant, it is wholly light.
[Jacob's sons. The Death of Isaac.]
Jacob was seventy-seven years old when he received the blessing of Isaac, his father, and he was eighty-nine years old when he begot Reuben, his firstborn, by Leah. The sons of Jacob are these:--
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulon; these are the sons of Leah.
p. 159 Joseph and Benjamin were the sons of Rachel.
Gad and Asher were the sons of Zilpah, the handmaiden of Leah [Fol. 28b, col. 2].
Dan and Naphtali were the sons of Bilhah, the handmaiden of Rachel.
And after twenty years Jacob returned to Isaac his father. And all the days of the life of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years--until the thirty-first year of the life of Levi--and he died in the one hundred and twentieth year of the life of Jacob. Twenty-three years after Jacob went up from Harrân, Joseph was sold to the Midianites; he was sold during the lifetime of Isaac, and they mourned for him. When Isaac died Jacob and Esau, his sons, buried him with Abraham and Sârâ. Seven years later Rebecca died, and was buried with Abraham, and Isaac, and Sârâ; and Rachel died and was buried with them.
And Judah, the son of Jacob, took unto himself to wife Shû` (Shuah), the Canaanitess [Fol. 29a, col. 1], and his father was grieved because he had taken to wife a woman of the seed of Canaan. And Jacob said unto Judah, "May the Lord God of our fathers Abraham and Isaac not permit the seed of Canaan to be mingled with our families." And there were born unto Judah by Shuah, the Canaanite woman, `Îr (Er), Ônân, and Shêlâ (Shelah). And Judah took a wife p. 160 for Er his firstborn, Tâmâr, and he consorted with her unnaturally, and God put him to death. And Judah gave Tâmâr to Ônân, and as soon as his seed became available for Tâmâr he wasted it, and him also did God put to death. Thus, God did not permit the seed of Canaan to mingle with the seed of Jacob, even as Jacob prayed God that the seed of Canaan, the firstborn of the lascivious Ham, might not be mingled among the generations [Fol. 29a, col. 2] of the Fathers. And God made Tâmâr go out to the roadside, and Judah lay with her in the passion of fornication, and she conceived and brought forth Peres (Pharez) and Zarah.
[Jacob in Egypt.]
And Jacob and all his descendants went down into Egypt to Joseph, and he lived in Egypt seventeen years; and Jacob died, being one hundred and forty years old, and Joseph was fifty-six years old when his father died, in the twelfth year of Kâhâth. And the wise physicians of Pharaoh embalmed him, and Joseph took him up [to Canaan] and buried him with Abraham and Isaac his father.
[NOTE.--According to the Book of Adam (iv. 5), Jacob lived in Egypt fourteen years, and died there at the age of 157 years, when Joseph was 53 years old.]
[The Genealogies of the "Tribes" and the "Children of Israel."]
Now there are certain doctors who trace the genealogies of the Tribes from the death of Jacob, and who mix them together, but they do not do this in the light of knowledge. They set in the midst two genealogies, one of the "Tribes," and the other of the "Children of Israel" [Fol. 29b, col. 1]. Now fix thine attention on these generations, and how they became mixed together. [When] they went forth from Egypt: Judah begot Pharez, Pharez begot Hesrôn (Hezron), Hezron begot Ârâm (Râm, 1 Chron. ii. 9), Ârâm begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshôn (Nahson), and Nahshôn was he who became prince of Judah. And Amminadab gave the sister of Nahshôn to `Îr (so in the text, but read Eleazar), the son of Aaron, the priest; of her was born Phinehas, the great priest, who prayed "and the plague was stayed" (Num. xxv. 7, 8; Ps. cvi. 30). Behold, I have shown thee that from Amminadab, the priesthood of the children of Israel was transmitted by the sister of Nahshôn, and the kingdom by Nahshôn her brother. Observe also that the priesthood and the kingdom were transmitted by Judah to the children of Israel.
And Nahshôn begot Shîlâ, that is to say, Salmôn, and Shîlâ begot Boaz. Observe now p. 162 that the kingdom went forth from Boaz and Ruth [Fol. 29b, col. 2], the Moabitess, for the old man Boaz took Ruth to wife so that Lot, the son of Abraham's brother, might have participation in the transmission of the kingdom. And God did not deprive the righteous man Lot of the reward of his labour, because he had suffered in exile with Abraham, and he received the angels of God in peace. And that the righteous man Lot might not be reviled because he slept with his daughters, God granted that the royal succession might be maintained by the seed of both, and that Christ should be born of the seed of Lot and Abraham. And from the seed of Ruth, the Moabitess, Obed was born, and from Obed, Jesse, and from Jesse, David, and from David, Solomon; these are the descendants of Ruth, the Moabitess, the daughter of Lot. And of Na`mâ (Naamah, 1 Kings xiv. 21), the Ammonitess, another daughter of Lot, whom Solomon took to wife [Fol. 30a, col. 1], was born Rehoboam, who reigned after Solomon.
Now Solomon married many wives, seven hundred free-born women, and three hundred concubines; and of the thousand women which he took to wife, he had no son except from Naamab the Ammonitess. And why was it p. 163 that God did not give him a son from these [others]? It was in order to prevent the wicked seed of the Canaanites, and Jebusites, and Amorites, and Hittites, and Gergasites, and the seed of the peoples whom God hated, from mingling in the succession of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
[NOTE from the Kebra Nagast, chapter lxvii.--And the Angel of God went down to Solomon and said unto him, "From being a wise man thou hast turned thyself into a fool, and from being a rich man thou hast turned thyself into a poor man, and from being a king thou hast turned thyself into a man of no account, through transgressing the commandment of God. And the beginning of thy evil was the taking of many wives by thee, for through this thou didst transgress His Law, and His decree, and the ordinance of God which Moses wrote and gave to you, to Israel, that ye should not marry wives from alien peoples, but only from your kinsfolk and the house of your fathers, that your seed might be pure and holy, and that God might dwell with you. But thou didst hold lightly the Law of God, thinking that thou wast wiser than God, and that thou wouldst get very many male children. But the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men, and he hath only p. 164 given thee three sons: the one who carried off thy glory into an alien land, and made the habitation of God to be in Ethiopia; the one who is lame of foot, who shall sit upon thy throne for the people of Israel, the son of the kin of thy kin from Tarbâna, of the house of Judah; and the one who is the son of a Greek woman, a handmaiden, who in the last days shall destroy Rehoboam and all thy kin of Israel; and this land shall be his because he believeth in Him that shall come, the Saviour]
[The chiefs of Israel born in Egypt.]
Now the succession of the children of Israel is this: Levi, and Amram, and Moses, and Joshua, the son of Nôn, and Caleb, the son of Yôfannâ (Jephunneh). These were born in Egypt.
[NOTE.--Moses was the son of Amram, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi; his mother's name was Yokâbâr (Jochebed). Book of the Bee (chapter xxix).]
And when Moses was born he was cast into the river, and Shîpôr (in Ethiopic, Sephurah), the Egyptian woman, the daughter of Pharaoh, took him up, and he lived in the house of Pharaoh p. 165 for forty years. And then [Fol. 30a, col. 2] he killed Pethkôm, the Egyptian, the chief of the bakers of Pharaoh. Now this was noised abroad in the house of Pharaoh, after Pharaoh's daughter Makrî, who was called "Shîpôr Mesrên (i.e. "Trumpet of Egypt"), was dead, and Moses was afraid, and he fled to Midian, to Reuel, the Cushite, the priest of Midian.
[NOTES.--Moses was a beautiful child, and was called "Pantîl" (Paltîêl ?), and "Amlâkyâ," and the Egyptians used to call him the "Shakwîthâ of Pharaoh's daughter." Various names are given to this princess, e.g. Makrî, Mary, Shîpôr, Tharmesîs, Tarmûthîsâ; Bar Hebraeus says she was the daughter of Amûnpthîs, or Amûnpâthîôs. Book of the Bee (chapter xxix).]
And Moses took to wife Zipporah, the Cushite woman, daughter of the priest, and two sons were born to him--Gershom and Eliezer. And in the second year of the life of Moses, Joshua, the son of Nôn, was born in Egypt. And Moses was eighty years old when God talked with him from out of the bush, and because of his fear his tongue halted, even as he said to God, "Behold, my Lord, from the day wherein Thou didst speak to me I have been halting of tongue." Moses lived in Egypt forty years, and in the house [Fol. 30b, col. 1] of the priest of Midian forty p. 166 years, and he passed forty years in governing the people. And he died at the age of one hundred and twenty years on Mount Nebo.
[NOTES.--From Adam until the death of Moses was 3,868 years. Book of the Bee (chapter xxx). MOSES' ROD.-Adam cut the rod from a branch of the Tree of Good and Evil which grew in Paradise, and he used it as a staff all his life. It passed from hand to hand to Abraham, who smashed his father's idols with it. It went with him to Egypt, and when it came to Jacob he used it as a shepherd's crook. Judah received it and gave it to Tamar, and then an angel laid it up in the Cave of Treasures until Midian was built. An angel showed Jethro the Cave, and he took the rod from it, and from him it went of its own free will to Moses. The rod became a serpent, and it swallowed up the rod of Pôsdî, the sorceress. The rod was taken unto the promised land by Joshua, and Phineas hid it in the dust at the gate of Jerusalem, where it remained until Christ showed it to Joseph, who took it to Egypt and brought it back to Nazareth. It passed to James, the brother of our Lord, but was stolen by Judas Iscariot, who gave it to the Jews who were crucifying our Lord; to them it "became a judgment and a fall." Book of the Bee (chapter xxx).]
[The Successors of Moses.]
And Joshua, the son of Nôn, was the governor of the children of Israel for twenty-seven years. And after the death of Joshua, the son of Nôn, Kûshân, the Wicked (Chushanrishathayim), was lord over the people for eighty years.
And `Athnâîl (Othniel), the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was lord over Israel for forty years.
And then the children of Israel were in subjection to the Moabites for eighteen years.
And Ahôr (Ehud), the son of Gera, ruled the children of Israel for eighty years.
AND IN THE TWENTY-SIXTH YEAR OF HIS LIFE THE FOURTH THOUSAND YEARS CAME TO AN END.
(See Book of Adam, IV, chapter vii.)