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of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar : four kings with five. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah filed, and fell? there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son,
who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken
captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he Hammurabi (Amraphel), from a cast of the relief divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh,3 which is the king's
1 slimepits. Wells of bitumen, such as is still found at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
2 fell. Their armies fell, not the kings themselves. 8 A spot, probably near Jerusalem, not identified.
dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem' brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said : “ Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be the most bigh God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.” And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, “ Give me the persons, and take the goods to thy-. self.” And Abram said to the king of Sodom : “I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich : save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."
Sarai, Hagar, and the Promised Seed (Gen. xv. 1-xviii. 15). After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, “ Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” And Abram said, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus ?” And Abram said, “ Behold, to me thou hast given no seed : and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, “ This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” And he brought him forth abroad, and said, “ Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them : and he said unto him, “ So shall thy seed be.” And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him: “ I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” And he said: “Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” And he said unto him: “Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each
1 Salem. Probably an old name for Jerusalem. The Tel-el-Amarna tablets (see p. 122) show that Jerusalem was known – as Uru-salim - as early as about 1350 B. c.
3 steward. R. V. has : 'he that shall be possessor.'
piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years ; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again : for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace,' and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt 2 unto the great river, the river Euphrates : the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaim, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram : “ Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.” And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived : and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram : “My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee." But Abram said unto Sarai: “Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee." And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.3
1 furnace. An earthenware stove-like vessel with embers at the bottom. The rite here described is one by which a covenant was customarily ratified. See note, p. 422.
2 river of Egypt. Possibly the Wady el Arish on the border of Egypt.
8 The following clause from the code of Hammurabi (see p. 20) would seem to show that an ancient Semitic usage is here involved :
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said : “Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou ? and whither wilt thou go?” And she said, “I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.” And the angel of the Lord said unto her : turn to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." And the angel of the Lord said unto her : "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude." And the angel of the Lord said unto her: “Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael ; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction; and he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her “Thou God seest me:" for she said, “Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him: “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect; and I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying: “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations; neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I made thee; and I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
And God said unto Abraham: “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee;
“146. If a man has married a votary [a woman consecrated to a deity), and she has given her husband a maid who has borne children, and if afterward that maid has placed herself on an equality with her mistress because she has borne children, her mistress shall not sell her; she shall place a slave-mark upon her, and reckon her with the slave-girls.”
1 Beer-lahni-roi. “Well of the living one that hath seen."
Every man child among you shall be circumcised; and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting coyenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."
And God said unto Abraham: “As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name bę. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.” Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart : “ Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old ? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear ?” And Abraham said unto God, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” And God said : “ Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed ; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee : Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 'And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
And the Lord appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said: “My Lord, if now I have