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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

XXX. (1) It came to pass, after these things, that the people did not turn from their evil counsels, but coming to their princes, they said, 'Behold, will not man be able to conquer the world? Come and let us build for ourselves a city and tower, the top of which shall reach heaven, so that it shall stand for ever.' (2) And it happened, when they began to build, that God saw the city and the tower,

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and said, 'Behold this people is of one speech; now the earth will not bear them, neither will the heaven support them. (3) Therefore I shall scatter them over the whole earth, and shall confuse their tongue, so that one shall neither be able to recognise his brother nor understand the speech of his neighbour. (3) And I will order them to the clefts, and they shall prepare for themselves dwellings made of reeds and straw, and they shall dig for themselves caves and holes in the dust, and the beasts of the field shall dwell among them. There they shall remain all their days, and shall not again counsel such a deed. And I will fight (or: I will draw near unto) them with shields (or: thorns, ###), and I shall destroy one portion by water and another by fire, and I shall destroy them with thirst, but Abram, My servant, I shall select; I shall bring him out of their land to the land upon which my eyes have long dwelt. (4) And when the people sinned and I brought a flood upon them, this land was not destroyed, for I did not cause the flood to descend upon it in My wrath, and I shall bring thither Abram, My servant, and shall make a covenant with him and his seed for ever, and I shall bless him and be to him a God for ever.'

(5) And it came to pass, when they commenced to build the tower, that God confused their tongue and changed their form into that of monkeys, so that one could not recognise his own brother nor could one man understand the language of his neighbour, so that when the builders ordered the people to bring stones they brought water, and when they told them to bring water they brought stubble. In this way their evil intentions were frustrated, and they ceased building the tower, and the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (6) For they had said, 'Come and let us build for ourselves a city, and let us take axes and break open the firmament so that the water flow from there and descend below, that He may not do unto us as He did to the generation of the flood. And let us wage war with those in heaven and establish ourselves there as Gods.' (7) But how could they build the city, since they

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had no stones? They made bricks from clay and pitch, and burnt them as a potter burns his pots in the oven and hardens them. In this way they made the bricks, and built the city and the tower exceedingly high, with seventy steps. The ascent was made from the east and the descent was from the west. If a man fell therefrom they did not heed it much, whereas if a brick fell, they wept bitterly and said, 'When, oh, when, will another be brought up?' (8) When Abram saw their wicked ways he cursed them in the name of the Lord, but they did not pay attention to his words. The Lord then descended with the seventy (thousand) angels that surround His throne, and at that time of the dispersion He confounded their tongue into seventy different languages.

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