1. WHEN Abraham's wife was getting old, her ears were opened to hear the voice of God. And God said unto her:
2. Concerning thy son, Isaac, hear thou thy God, even the God of Abraham: My labors are not for a day, nor without judgment.
3. Behold, in the land of Es-seth, the p. 337b place of thy husband in his youth, have I built for many generations concerning the seed of my people. For which reason thy son Isaac shall take a wife that shall inherit my voice.
4. Before the time of thy husband's father's father, I sent my angel from heaven, saying: Go thou and raise me up an heir to hear my voice, for I will dwell for a season with the children of men.
5. And my angel fulfilled his part, and I have come and talked with thee and with thy husband face to face. And even in like manner can I talk to thy son, Isaac, and he can hear me also. And Isaac shall raise up heirs to my voice through his wife, to whom he is not known in this day.
6. Sarai told Abraham what God had said to her; and so Abraham and Sarai went to the altar which Abraham had built, and they prayed alone; and God came and spake, saying: What would ye?
7. And Abraham said: Concerning our son Isaac's wife? And God said: Because of the blessing of Sarai, thy wife, who hath been upright all her days, I will give her comfort in her old age.
8. Send thy servant to the land of thy fathers, and I will send my angel with thy servant, and he shall come to a maiden who shall be Isaac's wife. So, Abraham called his servant, who was overseer over his goods, and he said to him: Equip thyself with camels and asses, and with servants, and with jewels I will give thee, and go thou to Syria, the land of my fathers, and bring a damsel hither, who shall be Isaac's wife.
9. The overseer said unto Abraham: Alas me! How shall thy servant choose a wife for thy son? Or, if choosing, how shall he induce her to come so far? Abraham said: That which God hath commanded of me, I have told thee, save that God saith: My angel shall go with thy servant, and he shall not err.
10. So the servant of Abraham, in fear and trembling, equipped himself with ten camels and twenty asses, and with thirty servants, taking presents and goods, and departed, and the journey occupied two and twenty days. And all the while the overseer reasoned upon what he should say, for he had misgivings that he was on a fool's errand.
11. Nevertheless, he prayed to God that he might do his own part wisely. p. 338b So when he came near Abraham's father's people, the angel of God spake in his heart saying: She that cometh with a pitcher on her head shall be Isaac's wife. Say thou to her: Wilt thou give me a drink? And she will say: I will give thee a drink, and also draw water for thy servants, and for thy camels.
12. And the overseer looked, but saw no damsel, and he marveled; but presently he saw many damsels, one of whom had a pitcher on her head; and his heart failed him till she came near, and he said: Give me a drink? And she gave him a drink and said unto him: Thou art a stranger: pray thee, I will water thy camels and give drink unto thy servants.
13. And she so gave as she said; and when she had finished, the overseer said unto her: Who art thou? And she answered him, and he perceived she was Isaac's niece by Abraham's father's second wife, but of no blood kin. And then she asked the overseer who he was and whence he came; and he told her, even from Abraham, whose servant he was. So she invited him to her people's houses, and she ran ahead with joy to tell who had come so far, bringing word from Abraham.
14. Now when the camels and asses had been fed, and straw spread for the travelers to lie upon, and when the repast was spread for them to eat, the overseer rose up, perceiving the way of God, and he said: Till I have spoken, eat not, but hear ye the words of God. So he related the object of his visit as commanded by God, and in reference to the angel of God, and the words that came to him.
15. And when he had finished, the power of God came upon the damsel, whose name was Rebecca, and she rose up and spake, saying: Isaac shall be my husband, and I shall be his wife, for I know this matter is of God!
16. So it came to pass after some days, Rebecca departed from her people, and by her faith in God came to Abraham's home, and Isaac took her to wife, and Sarai rejoiced before God because of the light of his kingdom through Abraham's heirs.
17. And God said unto Abraham: Divide thou thy people into families of tens, and families of hundreds, and families of thousands, and give to each family one rab'bah, and yet to all of them together one chief rab'bah. And p. 339b make thou thy will, and appoint thy son Isaac and his heirs by his wife Rebecca to be thy successor, that My voice may remain with My chosen.
18. And Abraham made his will and did in all things as God commanded; and he further made the rab'bah officers in the rites of emethachavah, and communicated to them the sacred name of the Creator (E-O-Ih), and the plans of the upper and lower heavens, the dominion of God and the dominion of satan, which were kept secret with the rab'bah.
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19. God said: Behold, there is a time to clear up all things, present and past: Were Abraham father to Hagar's son, Ishmael, and had he been true to the law of sacrifice amongst the heathen, then, Ishmael, being first-born, would have been chosen for the burnt offering.
20. In which matter the Ezra Bible is shown to be false before Jehovih, in regard to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, and the burnt offering also.
21. Which words were not my words, nor the words of my angels, but the words of the Eguptian record.
END OF ABRAHAM'S HISTORY, AND OF THE FIRST FONECEAN BIBLE.
Next: God's First Book: Chapter XIV