Tales of The Patriarchs lQapGen

This charming collection of stories is one of a fair number of Dead Sea Scrolls that scholars assign to the category "rewritten Bible." The category is a broad one embracing many different methods of "rewriting the Bible"; some examples do little more than select and rearrange portions of Scripture, apparently intending by such juxtapositioning to clarify the relationship and proper interpretation of the portions involved. The present text is more adventurous. Although at points the: author simply presents the text of Genesis more or less as he knew it, more often he adds details and even whole sections drawn from extrabiblical sources or oral traditions.

The author attempts to give the ~proper spin to the biblical text at crucial points where, in his view, dangerous misinterpretation is possible.

A clear example of this concern is the case of Abraham's wife, Sarah, and an unnamed Egyptian pharaoh. (Throughout the surviving portions of Tales, however, Abraham is referred to as "Abram," and Sarah as "Sara)"; the reason is that these portions of the tales correspond to chapters of Genesis that precede Genesis 17, the chapter in which Abraham and Sarah receive their new, but to us more familiar, names.) According to Genesis 12, this pharaoh took Sarai from Abram when the patriarch had gone down to the pharaoh's territory in search of food. Our author had a definite view of the chronology of Genesis, even where the Bible says nothing of such matters directly, and believed that Sarai must have been with the pharaoh for some two years. Had she then been violated repeatedly?

If so, this was a sordid tale indeed, bringing shame upon the Jewish people. Io obviate this implication of the biblical text, our author decided that the pharaoh must be shown to have been impotent the entire time. Then, of course, Sarai's purity would have been preserved. So he introduced a long addition to the biblical text at the proper point, explaining that God smote the pharaoh with "a baneful spirit." Because of this spirit's effect a disgusting discharge, perhaps gonorrhea— not just the pharaoh, but all his men were rendered impotent. Only with the help of the righteous Abram's prayer on his behalf was the Egyptian monarch cured, and then only on condition of Sarai's restoration to her husband.

Abram's description of his prayer is noteworthy: "So I prayed for him, that blasphemer, and laid my hands upon his head. Thereupon the plague was removed from him, the evil spirit exorcised from him, and he was healed." This is a description of an exorcism, one roughly contemporary with the New Testament passages that record the frequent exorcisms performed by Jesus of Nazareth. The scroll's description is particularly reminiscent of an exorcism described in Mark 9. Jesus accupies tried and failed to exorcise a spirit that continually threw a young boy into convulsions. Jesus had to perform the exorcism himself. Later, when asked by his disciples why they had failed, Jesus replied, "This kind can come out only through prayer" (Mark 9:29).

Another example of the author's concern with the purity of Abram's line appears in what may first seem but an insignificant detail added to the biblical text. After the Flood, Noah's family was essentially'in the same situation as Adam, Eve, and their children. With no other people around, whom could the young people marry? The Bible is silent on this problem, though it does provide genealogical information about Noah's sons and grandsons. The scroll adds details about Noah's granddaughters. The author claims the following: Shem, Noah's oldest son, had five sons and fve daughters; Ham had four sons and seven daughters; and Japheth had the reverse, seven sons and four daughters. The point: for the chosen meage of Shem, intermarriage with the lines of his brothers might introduce corruption; thus, his sons married his daughters. For the other two sons, intermarriage of their lines was not dangerous, so they had congruent numbers of sons and daughters who could then marry their cousins.

In such ways the author of this "rewritten Bible" text dealt with the patriarchs Enoch' Lamech, Noah and his sons, and Abraham.

Lamech, Noah's fathefi suspects that his newborn son may infact not be his own, but rather the product of an illicit union between his wfe, Bitenosh, and lusfulfallen angels known as Watchers or Nephilim.

Col. 3 Then I decided that the conception was at the hands of Watchers, that the~seed had been planted by Holy Ones or Nephil[im . . . ] 2I was in a turmoil because of this infant. 3Then I, Lamech, hurriedly went in to [my] wi[fe], Bitenosh, [and I said to her,] 4["I adjure you by . . . ] and by the Most Hi~h. bv the Lord. the Great One, by the King of all Et[ernity . . . have you conceived] 5[by one of I the Sons of Heaven? Tell me every detail truthfully [ . . . ] 6[in truth] make it known to me, without lies.Was this [ . . . ?] 7by the King of Eternity. You are to speak with me in utter truth, without lies [- - •]

Bitenosh allays Lamech's suspicions by recalling the time when Noah would have been conceived.

sThen Bitenosh, my wife, replied to me very passionately, we[eping . 9She said,"O, my brother, my lord, remember my voluptuousness ~ . . . ] '°before the time of lovemaking, and my ardent response. I [am telling you] the whol[e] truth [ . . . ]" 1land my mind was then changed. l2Now when my wife Bitenosh saw that my disposition had changed, [ . . . ] l3Then she restrained her anger, speaking with me and saying,"O, my lord, my:[brother, remember . . . ] l4my pleasure. I swear to you by the Great Holy One, by the King of He[aven . . . ] l5that this seed comes from you, this conception was by you, the planting of [this] fruit is yours [ . . . It was] l6not by any stranger, neither by any of the Watchers, nor yet by any of the Sons of Heav[en.Wl: has] your expression been so altered, your mood so depressed? [ . . . ] Surely isI am speaking with you truthfully."

Still confused by the baby's glorious appearance, Lamech sends inquiry to EnochJ his grandfather. Enoch was thought to understand many hidden matters.

l9Thereupon I, Lamech, ran to Methuselah my father, and [told] him everything, [so that he would go ask Enoch,] 20his father, and come to understand the whole matter with certainty. For he, Enoch, is beloved and [ . . . with the Holy Ones] 2Ihis lot has been cast. They reveal everything to him.When Methusel[ah] heard [of these matters] 22he set out for his father Enoch, in order to learn from him the truth of the whole affair [ . . . ] 23his will. Then he went to the highest heaven, to Parvain, and there he found

The columns are renumbered following recent research that proves that the lQ20 fragments, which belong to this work, comprise (together with the so-called Trever Eagment) cols. 1 and 2. The analysis supporting these conclusions is forthcoming. Also, the lines of colt 20 (formerly 19) are renumbered to start with line 6, not 7, correcting a minor error in the text's original publication by Nahman Avigad and Yigael Yadin.

Enoch with [the Holy Ones]. 24He [sa]id to Enoch, his father,"O, my father, my lord, I [have come] to you [ . . . ] [hear] 25what I say to you. Do not be angry with me that I have come here [ . . . ]',

Col. 4 apparently contained the beginning of Enoch's reply to Methuselah. Enoch began by referring to the descent of angels to take human wives, which occurred in Jared's day. Compare Genesis 6:1-2.

Col. 4 3for in the days ofJared, my father . . .

Enoch's reply continues.

Col. 6 3T, Enoch, [ . . . ] 4not by the Sons of Heaven, but by Lamech, your son [ . . . ] 9And now, I say to you [ . . . ] and reveal to you [that . . . ] 't'Go, say to Lamech your son [ . . . ] 24Now when Methuselah heard [these things . . . ] 2sAnd spoke [ . . . ] with Lamech his son [ . . . ] 26Now when I, Lamech, [heard these things . . . ] 27th; at he brought forth from me [ . . . ]

The setting has shifted, and now the adult Noah speaks in his own words.

Col. 7 2And all my days I have practiced righteousness [ . . . ] 6I, Nc)ah, a man [. ] ~

God speaks to Noah.

Col. 8 [You sha-ll have domini~n over] the earth and all that is upon it, over the seas [and all that is within them . . . ] 7Then I rejoiced at the ~vvords o f the Lord of Heaven [ . . . ]

The end of the Flood and some of the immediate aftermath.

Col. 11 12t . . . ] the ark came to rest upon one of the mountains oi- Ararat [ . . . ] t3I atoned for all of the land [ . . . ] '5upon the altar I burned incense [ . . . ]

God again speaks to Noah and makes a covenant with him. Compare Genesis 9:4.

Col. 12 7You shall eat no blood [ . . . ]

Noah describes his family and their activities in the period after the Flood.

Col. 13 [ . . . ] "Behold, I have placed My bow [in the cloud]." And it became a sign for me in the cloud, to be [ . . . ] 2the [ea]rth [ . . . ] 3many [ . ~t was revealed to me [ . . . ] 7in the mountains of [Ararat . . . ] 8[ . . . ] a vineyard in the mountains of Ararat. Afterward, I descended to the base of this mountain, I and my sons and grandsons [ . . . ] 9[ . . . ] the devastation of the ' earth was large-scale.

[Son]s [and da]ughters were born to m[e] after the Flood. [To Shem,] my oldest son, a son was born first—namely Arpachshad, two years after the flood. AlL the children of Shem were 1l[E]lam, Ashur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, and five daughters. In addition, [the children of Ham were: Cush, Mizrai]n, Put, Canaan, and seven 12daughters; the childr[en] ofJapheth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai,Javan, Tubal, Moshok, Tiras, and four daughters.

13Then I began to cultivate the earth together with aIL my sons. I planted a large vineyard at Mt. Lubar, and in the fourth year it produced wine for me. 14[ . . . ] When the first festival came, on the first day of that first festival—that of the [seventh] month—[ . . . ] [I began to enjoy the fruig lsof my vineyard; I opened this vessel and began to drink from it on the first day of the fifth year 16[since planting the vineyard] [ . . . ] On this day I invited my sons and grandsons and all our wives-and;daughters, and we aIL gathered together and went 17[to the place of the altar] [ . . . ] and I blessed the Lord of Heaven, the Most High God, the Great Holy C)ne who had saved us from destruction [ . . . ] 18[ . . . ] and for aIL [ . . . ] of his father. They drank and [ . . . ] 19[ . . . ] and I poured on [the altar] [ . . . ] and the wine [ . . . ]

Cols. 17 and l 8 apparently detailed the division he~earth~among Noah's descendants.

Col. 17 11. . . all the land of the north as far as [ . . boundary the waters ofthe~Mediterranean [ . . . 1 ]

Col. 18 8. . . to the west, to Asshur, as far as the Tigris. . . 9For Aram, the land of . . . as far as the source of [ . . . ] [ . . . ] this Mount of the Ox, and he crossed this portion westward as far as [ . . . ] ll[ . . . ] and upon the conjunction of the three portions [ . . . ] For Arpachshad, [ . . . ] 16 [ . . . ] To Gomer, he gave the northeastern portion as~far as the Tina:River and its circuit. To [Mag]og, [he gave] [ . . . ]

The hero of the story is now Abraham. This portion apparently concerns the 6uilding of the altar at Bethel. Compare Genesis 12:1-7.

Col. 20 6[ . . . And there I built] the ~[altar, and called] ther[e upon the name of G]o[d . . . 3 And I said,"You are indeed 7[the Eterojal [G]od for m[e], [ . . . ]" Previously, I had not reached the holy mountain; so I journeyed 8to [ . . . ] and I continued traveling to the south [ . . . ] until I reached Hebron—though Hebron had yet to be built—and I lived 9[there for two year]s [ . . . ]

Suffering from a famine, Abraham and his family go to Egypt.

Now, tnere was a famlne m all that land, but I heard that in Egypt there w[as] g[ra]in. So I journeyed to [enter] the land of Egypt . . . [and] I [reached] the Carmon River, one of the llbranches of the NiLe [ . . . ] Until this point we were stilL within our own land, [bug now I [cr]ossed the seven branches of this river that [ . . . ] 12[ . . . ] Now we had crossed our land and entered the land of the children of Ham, the land of Egypt.

Abraham has an ominous dream.

13I, Abram, had a dream the night of my entry into the land of Egypt. In my dream, I saw a cedar tree and a l4date-palm gro[wing] from [a single] roo[t]. Then people came intending to cut down and uproot the [c]eda.r, thereby to leave the date-palm by itself. l5-The date-palm, however, objected, and said,"Do not cut the [c]edar down, for the two of us grow fr[om] but a [sin]gle root." So the cedar was spared because of the date-palm, l6and v~as not cut down.

Abraham relates the dream to his wife, Sarai, and interprets its meaning.

Then I started from my sleep while it was stilL night, and said to Salai, my wife,"I have had a l7dream and no[w] am fearful [because of] it." She replied, "TelL me your dream so I may understand." So I began to explain~it to-liner, ~ l8and I also [explained its sign)ficance.] T said,"[ . . . ] [men wiIL come] i:ntending to kilt me while sparing you. Notwithstanding, this is the kindness l9[that you can do for me.] In every ~lace] where [we shalL go, say] concerning me, ' He Is my brother.' Thus I may live because of you and my life be spared owing to you. 20[ . . . they~ wilL attempt] to sepa[ra]te us and to kilt me." Then Sarai wept at my words that night. 21[. . . ] and the Pharaoh ofZo[an . . . ] Sarai n[o longer warlted] to go to Zoan 22[with me, for she ~vvas] exceedingly [afraid] lest any man attached to the E'haraoh of Zoan should see her.:

Nevertheless, after five years had passed 23[there came] three men, councilors from the Egyptian court [and advisers] of the Pharaoh of Zoan. T:hey came having~heard of [my] words and my wife, and kept plying me 24[w:ith many gifts3. They as[ked] me [for knowledge] of goodness, wisdom and righteousness, so I read to them the [Book] of the Words of Enoch. 25[. . .:] in the famine that . . . the Book of the words of Enoch [ . . . ] 26t . . . ] with much eating and drinking [ . . . ] wine [ . . . ]

Pharaoh's advisors return to him, including one named Hyrcanos, who describes Sarai's wondrous beauty in a poem.

Col. 21 2 [. . . ] how splen[did] and beautiful is the aspect of her face, and how [ . . . ] 3[And] h[ow] supple is the hair of her head. How lovely are her eyes; how pleasant her nose and all the radiance of 4her face [ . . . ] How shapely is her ~reast, how gorgeous all her fairness! Her arms, how comely! Her hands, Show perfect—How Jovely] is every~spect of her hands! How exquisite are her palms, how long and delicate all her fingers!

Her feet, 6how attractive! How perfect are her thighs! Neither virgins nor brides entering the bridal chamber exceed her charms. Over all 7women is her beauty supreme, her loveliness far above them allL. Yet with allL this comeliness, she possesses great wisdom, and allL that she has 8is beautiful.

Pharaoh takes Sarai for himself? Abraham grieves and prays for God to judge Pharaoh and protect Sarai.

When the king heard Hyrcanos's words and those of his companions—for the three of them spoke of one accord—he desired her very much. So he sent 9immediately and had her brought to him. He saw her and was amazed at her beauty. Thereupon, he took her as his wife and sought to kill me, but Sarai said 10to the king,"He is my brother." Thus she benefited me and I was spared—I, Abram—by her good graces, and not killed. Then I wept copiously—I, iiAbram—both I and Lot, my nephew, that night when Sarai was taken from me by force.

12That night I prayed, entreating and seeking mercy. In anguish, tears running down my cheeks, I said,"Blessed are You, O God Most High, Eterna]L 13Lord, for You are Lord and Master over allL. Over aLL the kings of the earth You are Lord, to work justice among them. And now, '4I seek redress, O Lord, against the Pharaoh of Zoan, king of Egypt, for my wife has been taken from me by force. Render me a verdict against him, and display Your mighty hand 15against him and allL his house. May he not be empowered this night to defile my wife! Thus they may know YOU? O my Lord, that You are Lord over allL the kings 160f the earth." So I wept and spoke to none.

God answers Abraham's prayer, sending an afflicting spirit against Pharaoh.

That night God Most High sent a baneful spirit to smite him and every man of his household, an evil 17spirit that continued to affflict him and every man of his household. Consequently, he was unable to have sexual relations with her; indeed, he did not have intercourse with her even though she was with him ~8two full years. At the end of two years the plagues and affflictions grew yet more severe against him and every man of his household, so he sent messengers 19calling for allL [the wise men] of Egypt, along with all the magicians and healers of Egypt, thinking that perhaps they could cure him and his household of this pesti]Lence. 20Yet none of the healers, magicians, and wise men were able to cure him; on the contrary, the spirit affflicted all of them, too, 2iso that they fled.

Abraham agrees to exorcise Pharaoh's evil spirit in return for Sarai's being restored to him. Pharaoh rewards them and has them escorted out of Egypt.

Then Hyrcanos came to me, asking me to come pray for the 22king, and to lay hands upon him and cure him—for [he had seen me] in a dream. But Lot replied,"My uncle, Abram, is unable to pray for 23the king while Sarai, his wife, remains with him. Now, go tell the king to send his wife to her husband. Then he willL pray for him and he wi]L1 be cured." 24When Hyrcanos heard Lot's words, he went and told the king,"ALL these smitings and plagues 25by which my lord the king has been smitten and afflicted are because of Sarai, the wife- of~Abram! Let him return Sarai to Abram, her husband, 26and this plague willL depart from you,-that is, the spirit causing the discharges of pus."

So he callLed me to himself and asked me,"What have you done to ~ne because of your wife [Sar]ai? You told 27me,'She is my sister,' yet she was actuallLy your wife! I took her as my own wife! Here she is; take her, go, depart from 28allL the provinces of Egypt! But first, pray for me and my house that this evi]L spirit may be exorcised from~us." So I prayed for him, that blasphemer, 29and laid my hands upon his [he]ad. Thereupon the plague was removed from him, the evil [spirit] exorcised [from him,1 and he was hea]Led. The king rose and [in]formed 30me . . . and the king swore to me with an oath that [he had not touched] her. Then [they brought] m[e] 31S[ar]ai. The king gave her much [silver and g]old, and great quantities of linen and purple-dyed garments [ . . . ] [he put them] 32before her, and before Hagar as wellL. He restored her to me and assigned men to escort [me out of Egypt . .

Abraham returns to Canuan.

33So I, Abram, left, with many, many flocks, together with silver and gold, and went up from [Egyp]t. [Lot,] 34my nephew, accompanied me, and he also had acquired many flocks for him~elf, and had taken a wife from among the daughters [ofEgypq. I [cam]ped [with him] Col. 22 1[in] each of my i-^ormer encampments unti]L I reached Bethel, where I had once erected an altar. Now T rebuilt it 2and offered up burnt o:fferings and a cereal offering to GodL Most High. There I called upon the name of the Eternal Lord and praised the name of God. I blessed 3God and gave thanks to Him there for aLL the i9Locks and goods He had given me, and for the good that He had done me, and because He had returned me 4to this land safely.

Lot separates from Abraham and goes to live in Sodom. Genesis 13:6~7 explains that the land could not support both of them, for their f ocks were too numerous; also, their herders werefighting one another. The Tales downplays these diffculties. God appears to Abraham in a vision.

After this day Lot separated from me because of the actions of our shepherds. He went to live in the vaLLey of the Jordan, taking allL his flocks 6 with him. I a]Lso added greatly to what he had. He pastured his flocks and kept on the move until he- reached Sodom, where he bought himself a house 7and settled down to live. I myself cont~inued living on the mountain of Bethel, and thought it unwise that my nephew Lot had separated from me.

Thereafter God appeared to me in a vision of the night and told me,"Go up to Ramath-Hazor, which is on the north of 9Bethel where you now live, and lift up your eyes. Look to the east, west, south, and north. Survey aLL l°this land that I am about to give to you and your descendants forever.' So I went up the next day to Ramath-Hazor and surveyed the land from ~'that heightj from the River of Egypt to Lebanon and Senir, and from the Mediterranean to the Hauran, and all the land of Gebal as far as Kadesh, and all the 12Great Desert to the east of the Hauran and Senir as far as the Euphrates. And He said to me,"I will give all this land to your descendants; they will inherit it forever. i3Moreover, I will multiply your descendants like the dust of the earth that none can count. Your descendants shall be numberless. Arise, walk about, go 14see how long and how wide it is, for I wilI give it to you and to your descendants after you, forever."

Abraham surveys the promised land.

Then I went -- I, Abraham traveling in a circuit to survey the land. I began the circuit at the Gihon River, traveling along the Mediterranean until 16I reached the Mount of the Ox. I circled from the coast of this great saltwater sea, skirting the Mount of the Ox, and continued eastward through the breadth of the land '7until I came to the Euphrates River.4I journeyed along the Euphrates until I reached the Red Sea in the east, whence I followed the coast of 18the Red Sea until I came to the tongue of the Reed Sea, jutting out from the Red Sea. From there I completed the circuit, moving southward to arrive at the Gihon 19River. Afterwards I returned home safely and found all my men well.

Shortly thereafter I went to dwell at the (3aks of Mamre that are in Hebron, 20actually somewhat to the northeast of Hebron. There I built an altar and offered up a burnt offering and a cereal offering to God~Most High. I ate and drank there, 2lI and all the men of my household, and invited Mamre, Arnem, and Eshkol, three Amorite brothers and my friends. They ate and drank together 22with me.
Abraham battles the four kings of the east. Compare Genesis 14, whose narrative this portion of the Tales elaborates considerably. The author of the Tales is also concerr~ed to update or identify the names of biblical peoples and places.

23Prior to those days Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, Amraphel, the king: of Babylon, Arioch, the king of (:appadocia, and Tidal, the king of Goiim, which 241ies between the two rivers had come. They had waged war on Bera, the king of Sodom, Birsha, the king of Gomorrah, Shinab, the king of Admah, 25Shemiabad, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. All these gathered themselves together to battle in theValley of Siddim. Now, the king of 26Elam and the kings with him proved stronger than the king of Sodom and all his allies. Thus they imposed tribute upon them.

For twelve years they continued 27to pay their tribute to the king of Elam, but in the thirteenth they rebelled against him. Consequently, in the fourteenth year,,he king of Elam sallied forth with all 25his allies, and they ascended by way of the desert. They smote and plundered beginning from the Euphrates. They kept smiting—smiting the Rephaim who were irr Asteroth-29Kernaim, the Zumzammim who were in Amman, the Emi.m [who were in] Shaveh-Hakerioth, and the Horites who were in the mountains of Gebal—until they reached E1- 30Paran, in the desert. Then they turned back and struck [En-mishpat and the people] who were in Hazazon-Tamar 3iThereupon the king of Sodom went out to confront themj along with the king of [Gomorrah, the k]ing of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of 13ela. [They wa]ged war 32in the valley of [Siddim] with £hedorla[omer, the king of Elam, and the kings] who were his allies. The king of Sodom was put to flight, while the king of Gomorrah 33fell into- pits [of tar . . . ] The king of Elam plundered all the flocks of Sodom and 34[Gomorrah . .: . ]

And Lot, Abrams nephew who had been living in Sodom, was taken captive Col. 23 'along with them, he and all his flocks. One of the herdsmen of the 2flock that Abram had given Lot escaped from the captives and came to Abram—at the time Abram 3dwelled in Hebron. The herdsman inforrmed him that his nephew Lot and all his flocks had been taken into captivity, but that Lot had not been killed. He also told him that 4the kings were ~marching along the trail of the GreatValley toward their own territory, taking captives and plunder, smiting and killing, heading 5for the city of Damascus.

Abram wept over his nephew Lot, but then gathered his strength and arose 6to select from among his servants elite warriors, three hundred and eighteen of them. Arnem, 7Eshcol, and Mamreh set out with him. He pursued the kings as far as Dan, where he found them 8encamped in theValley of Dan. He attacked by night from four directions, killing 9some of them that night. Some he slaughtered, others he pursued; they fled before him '°until they reached Helbon, located to the north of Damascus. Thus Abram recovered from them everyone they had taken captive lland everything they had taken as spoils, and despoiled their own property as well. He further saved his nephew Lot and all his flocks. All 12those who had been captured he brought back.

The king of Sodom heard that Abram had recovered all the captives 13and plunder, so he went up to meet him. He came to Salem, that is,Jerusalem, whereas Abram~was encamped in theValley 140f Shaveh, that is, theVallcy of the King, the~Valley of Beth Hakerem. Now Melchizedek, the king of S,alem, provided 15food and drink for Abram and all the men with him. He himself was a priest o-f God Most High, and he blessed i6Abram, saying,"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the Lord of heaven and earth. Blessed be God Most High l7who has closed your grasp about your enemies." Then Abram gave him a tithe of all the flocks that had belonged to the king of Elam and his allies.

18At that point the king of Sodom drew near and said to Abram,"My lord Abram, ~9give me my men, the captives with you, whom you have rescued from the king of Elam; as for the plunder, 701et it all pass to you." Abram replied to the king of Sodom, "I lift my 2ihand and swear this day by God Most High, the Lord of heaven and earth: I shall not take even a thread or sandal strap 22from all that is yours, lest you go on to say 'All Abram's wealth derives from plunder of what 230nce was mine.' I exempt from this oath what my men have already eaten, and the portion belonging to the three men who 24marched with me. They are sovereign over their own portion, and can restore it to you or not." So Abram returned all the plunder and 25captives, giving them to the king of Sodom. As for all the captives accompanying him who were natives of this land, these he freed 26and sent on their way.

God appears to Abraham in a vision, and promises that Eliezer shall not be his heir. Compare Genesis 15:1-4; the Tales manfests a clear concern with chronology here, for Genesis says nothing about how long Abraham had been in vanous places. The dialogue between God and Abraham is also markedly dfferent, here emphasizing ilbraham's wealth much more than the biblical narrative does.

27After these events God appeared to Abram in a vision and said to him, "Consider, ten full years 28have passed since the day that you left Haran. Two you spent here, seven in Egypt, and one 29has passed since you returned from Egypt. Now, take an accounting of all that you possess; note how your pos~sessions have doubled and more, compared to 30what you took with you the day you left Haran. So fear not, I am with you. I shall be your 3isupport, your strength. I myself shall be your shield and bucmer aga~nsl any IUt: Il~~ than you. Your wealth and flocks 32shall multiply exceedingly"

Abram replied,"My Lord God, my wealth and flocks are already vast. But what good are 33all [th]ese things to me, inasmuch as when I die, I go childless, having no sons? In fact, one of my household staff will inherit what I have. 34Eliezer, a member of [my household staf], that [ . . . ] young man is set to be my heir." God said to him,"No, this man shall not be your heir,~but rather one who shall be [your own] issue [ . . . ] 

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