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Chapter 27


Terah dwells in the tent of Abraham – Death of Terah – God speaks to Abraham about a choice land and a nation of priests and prophets – Abraham is promised a son – Abraham goes to the land of Canaan – After many years Abraham goes to the land of Hebron – Abraham bids rest to one like unto the Son of the Morning – Sarah persuades Abraham to take Hagar to wife – Abraham bargains with Lucifer to spare the wicked – Lot escapes pestilence of Sodom and Gomorrah

 

1  Now Terah dwelt in the tent of Abraham and Sarah, and he would not put forth his hand to slay his son, for he had great regard for him.

2  For Abraham did teach Terah all the words of God. Wherefore, Terah did come to a knowledge of God and he walked straightly before him throughout the remainder of his days.

3  So it came to pass that Terah grew great with age and in his knowledge of God, and when he was two hundred and five years old he died and was buried in the land of Haran.

4  And Abraham prayed for the soul of his father, that God might receive him unto his bosom according to his mercy.

5  Now on a certain day, while Abraham was meditating upon the things of God, there came to him in the cool of the day, the Lord and he spoke to him, saying:

6  “Fear not, Abraham, for I am come to call you forth from the land of Ur of the Chaldeans, that you may be separated from among all the people of the land.

7  For I shall show you a land which is choice above all other lands, which land I shall give you and your seed forever.

8  Therefore, I shall make of you a mighty nation; even a nation of priests and prophets shall I fashion of your seed.

9  For I have set my hand upon you to make your name great among the nations, and to many nations and among diverse people shall you give the promise of blessing.

10  And I will send forth the power of my Spirit to bless those who bless you, and I will bring to account all who shall curse you, for in you shall all the families of the earth find an abundance of blessing.”

11  But Abraham spoke to the Lord, saying: “My Lord, you are great and mighty and know all things. Whereunto shall I go? Unto what choice land shall I find an inheritance for my seed?

12  For, behold, seeing that the land which you desire to give me is choice above all others, it shall have upon it a multitude of people.

13  Wherewith shall I contend against so many, seeing that I am small in the eyes of men, while they who possess the land already are many?

14  Consider, my Lord, and have mercy. For, behold, Sarah my wife is childless. How then shall I give the land of promise to children not yet born, or how shall you establish the covenant of promise with my seed, seeing that I have sown fallow ground?”

15  And the Lord answered Abraham saying: “Be not afraid of the inhabitants of the land whereunto I shall lead you, neither doubt the promises of the Lord God, for I shall fulfill even all my words to you.

16  For I shall be as a shield and a fortress unto you; as a high tower, strong and mighty, shall I become unto the righteous.

17  As a refuge and a hiding place shall all my words become, that you might possess unto your soul the assurance of hope, and the fulfillment of every good thing which I desire to give unto all who follow straightly the Lord their God.

18  Wherefore, seeing that the land which I have promised you is filled with the children of men, yet shall I cause you to dwell safely in the midst of them.

19  And I, the Lord, shall be your inheritance; even God shall overshadow your coming in and your going out, but the land shall I give unto your seed forever.

20  For in the day appointed shall Sarah conceive and bear a son, and he shall grow up in the admonition of the Lord, and I shall establish with him all the words which I shall covenant with you.

21  And his seed shall I make as the stars of the firmament; as the sands of the sea, so shall your seed be as a multitude of nations upon the earth.

22  Therefore, take heart and doubt not the Lord your God. For as you shall be faithful to observe all the words which I shall speak to you, even so shall I be diligent to fulfill the promises given.”

23  Thus spoke the Lord unto Abraham. And Abraham gathered even all his household and he journeyed with them from the land of the Chaldees.

24  And he came to the land which God had promised unto him as an inheritance, in the land of Canaan did Abraham make his abode.

25  And when the inhabitants of the land saw the host of Abraham, they did marvel because of his great wealth and his mighty men, and they exclaimed round about, saying: “Behold, a mighty prince has come to dwell among us.”

26  So Abraham dwelt in Canaan peaceably for the space of many years, and all the inhabitants round about had respect for him, for he was wise above all men, and the hand of God was made manifest in all his doings.

27  Wherefore, the land of Canaan became as an inheritance to Abraham because he walked in holiness before God and man, and in the visions of the night the Lord spoke to him, saying:

28  “Come now, my friend Abraham, lift up your eyes upon all the lands round about. For all the land which you see shall I give you and your seed forever.

29  For I shall make your seed great among all the people of the land, evensomuch that none shall be able to number them.

30  Now arise and walk throughout the land. Go forth throughout the length and breadth and wheresoever your foot shall tread, even that land will I give you for an inheritance.”

31  So Abraham arose and journeyed throughout all the land of Canaan. And when Abraham came to the waters of Mamre in the land of Hebron, he beheld its great worth, for the water was sweet and the land filled with plenty.

32  Thus did Abraham come to dwell in the lands of Hebron; by the waters of Mamre did he dwell; under the shadow of the terebinth tree did he spread his tent.

33  Now on a certain day, Abraham was sitting in the door of his tent during the heat of the day; beneath the shadows of the terebinth trees did he refresh himself.

34  And there came from out of the wilderness one who was like unto the Son of the Morning, and with him were two others, like unto men.

35  And the Spirit of God entreated Abraham that he should go to them and bid them rest awhile from their journey. So Abraham did as the Lord commanded.

36  And he went to the one who was like unto the Son of the Morning and spoke to him, saying: “Greetings, my lord, from Abraham the son of Terah.

37  Behold, my lord, how it is the heat of the day. Therefore, may I give to you and your servants some food and water?

38  If I have found favor in your sight, my lord, pass not by the tent of your servant.

39  For I shall call forth my servant, and he shall bring to you a little water made sweet with honey, and then shall you find refreshment and rest beside the waters of Mamre.”

40  So Abraham called a servant to go and bring water to his guest, and he called Sarah to bring forth food to eat and sweet wine to drink.

41  Thus did Sarah attend unto the Son of the Morning, and Abraham seeing that all was well, went forth unto his flocks to find a choice lamb whereby he might prepare a feast.

42  Now the one who was like unto the Son of the Morning, when he beheld Sarah tending, spoke to her, saying: “Tell me, daughter, where are your children? Why do they not attend their mother?”

43  And when Sarah heard these words, she despaired aloud, saying: “My lord, I am barren and now past the age of childbearing. These many years have I dwelt beside my husband, yet I have never borne him a child.”

44  Now when Sarah had spoken these words, the stranger thought to conspire against the house of Abraham, that he might prepare the way wherein Abraham should be led to commit whoredoms before the Lord of Hosts.

45  And he spoke unto Sarah, saying: “Surely, my daughter, has the God of Abraham not promised that from his loins should come a multitude of nations? Wherein do you say: I have no children and am now past the age of child bearing?

46  Have you no trust in the promises of God? Are you made to despair by reason of these many years? Wherewith shall the faith of Sarah be made to perish and the promise of God vanish away?”

47  But Sarah answered him, saying: “My lord, am I not old and bent with many years? Consider how I have taken hope these many years in the promises of God, yet now in my great age am I made to despair towards God.

48  Of what value is the wealth and greatness of my husband, seeing that he is without a son to inherit the fruit of his labor, or who will be made partaker of the promises of God?

49  Now seeing that God has truly promised Abraham a multitude of seed, I am unable to fulfill and I have turned my soul to weeping and much sorrow.

50  Therefore, seeing that I am old and without child, then according to the custom of our ways, Abimelech, the chief steward of Abraham, shall inherit all and I shall be left desolate.”

51  But the Fallen One answered, saying: “Do not despair, neither grieve in your heart, for if you would that Abraham should have a son then give unto him your handmaiden, Hagar. She shall bear Abraham a son whereby God shall keep all his word.

52  Then shall your reproach be taken away from before the eyes of men and your shame covered before God.

53  For shall not the son of Abraham be unto you a son also, seeing that Hagar is but your handmaiden?”

54  Such were the words spoken to Sarah whereby she might tempt Abraham to sin towards God. And Abraham returned from among the flocks and Sarah went unto her tent to consider all the words which were spoken unto her.

55  Now Abraham came again to his guest who sat in the shade of the terebinth trees, and when he approached, the Son of the Morning arose and looked towards the cities of the plain, even Sodom and Gomorrah.

56  And he spoke to Abraham, saying: “Behold, O Abraham, how the people have corrupted themselves in great iniquity. Consider how they have consumed their souls by the lusts of the flesh.

57  Therefore, I have come to execute judgment and desolation upon the wicked, and all they who have walked in the way of evil shall become subject to the father of lies, and he alone shall possess the souls of the wicked.”

58  And Abraham, when he heard these words, drew nigh unto him, for he perceived that the destroying angel had come to inflict wrath and indignation against the children of men.

59  And he spoke to him, saying: “My lord, shall you destroy even all the inhabitants of the plain?

60  How then shall the wicked repent if they are made to perish in their sins? Are there no righteous among them for whose sake the lives of the wicked might be spared until the day of repentance, when they shall turn again to God and be saved?

61  Suppose, my lord, that there be fifty righteous in the land. Will you not spare the cities of the plain for the sake of fifty righteous?”

62  And the Son of the Morning spoke unto Abraham, saying: “If there shall be found among the inhabitants of the land fifty righteous, then shall I spare all the people for their sake.”

63  But Abraham spoke, saying: “Consider, my lord, how that the God of Heaven and earth is just and merciful unto the fallen, for it is truly said that God delights not in the death of the wicked.

64  Now perchance there be only forty-five righteous among the inhabitants of the plain, will you destroy the wicked for the lack of five righteous?”

65  And he answered, saying: “If there be but forty-five righteous among the inhabitants of the plain, yet will I spare even all for the sake of forty-five.”

66  But Abraham, being bold in the Spirit, spoke again, saying: “Suppose, my lord, that there be only forty righteous found?”

67  And the Son of the Morning answered, saying: “Yet for the sake of forty will I spare Sodom and Gomorrah.”

68  Again Abraham spoke, saying: “Perchance there be only thirty righteous, will you not spare even all the inhabitants that they might know of a surety the mercies of God?”

69  And again he answered, saying: “Yet for the sake of thirty righteous will I spare the wicked.”

70  Now Abraham spoke again, saying: “Surely, my lord, your mercy is beyond comprehension. Therefore, I pray lord that you shall be gracious unto Abraham. For if there be only twenty righteous found, will you not spare the wicked for their sake?”

71  And he answered, saying: “I will destroy neither Sodom nor Gomorrah if it so be that you shall find twenty righteous among them.”

72  And again Abraham put forth his petition, saying: “My lord, hear the words of my soul and be not angry, for I will speak but this once more.

73  Suppose I shall find but ten righteous upon the land, will you spare even all for their sake?”

74  Now the Fallen One smiled upon Abraham, for he was brought to a remembrance concerning the mercies of God toward the children of men.

75  And he spoke to Abraham, saying: “If there be but ten righteous, yet will I forbear and not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.”

76  So spoke the Son of the Morning to Abraham, and he took with him his two companions and they did journey unto the cities of the plain.

77  And when he had gone, Abraham called unto his chief steward, Abimelech. And he instructed him to hasten quickly into the lands round about Sodom and there give warning to his nephew, Lot. For Abraham desired not the destruction of his brother’s son.

78  Thus would Abraham make intercession on behalf of the wicked, even as the Spirit of God had moved upon him.

79  Yet notwithstanding this there came upon all the inhabitants of the plain a great and dreadful pestilence, for famine and disease raged upon the lands, and no man was saved except the house of Lot.

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