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Codex Junius 11

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Codex Junius 11

This file contains translations from the Anglo-Saxon of the
following works: "Genesis A", "Genesis B", "Exodus", "Daniel",
and "Christ and Satan". All are works found in the manuscript of
Anglo-Saxon verse known as "Junius 11."

These works were originally written in Anglo-Saxon, sometime
between the 7th and 10th Centuries A.D. Although sometimes
ascribed to the poet Caedmon (fl. late 7th Century), it is
generally thought that these poems do not represent the work of
one single poet.

This electronic edition was proofed, edited, and prepared by
Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@AOL.COM), December 1995.


Other Translations --

Bradley, S.A.J.: "Anglo-Saxon Poetry" (Everyman Press, London,

Critical Editions --

Doane, A.N. (ed.): "Genesis A: A New Critical Edition"
(University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1978)

Doane, A.N. (ed.): "The Saxon Genesis: An Edition of the West
Saxon Genesis B and the Old Saxon Vatican Genesis" (University of
Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1991)

Dobbie, Elliot VanKirk (ed.): "The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records,
vol. I - The Junius Manuscript" (Columbia University Press, New
York, 1937)

Farrell, R.T. (ed.): "Daniel and Azarias" (Methuen & Co. Ltd.,
London, 1974)

Tolkein, J.R.R. (ed.): "The Old English Exodus" (Oxford
University Press, Oxford, 1981)

GENESIS (Genesis A & B)

NOTE: This work is generally believed to be a composite of two
separate poems, usually referred to as "Genesis A" (or "The
Earlier Genesis") and "Genesis B" (or "The Later Genesis").
"Genesis A" is the work at lines #1-234 and #852-2935; "Genesis
B" is interpolated into "Genesis A" at lines #235-851.

The reason for this interpolation is not known. Perhaps the
original compiler preferred the version of the story presented in
"Genesis B", or perhaps the text of "Genesis A" from which he was
working with was missing this section. Adding to this confusion
is evidence that "Genesis B" appears to be a translation from an
earlier and separate Old Saxon retelling of the biblical "Book of
Genesis", a fragment of which (corresponding to lines #791-817 of
"Genesis B") survives.

"Genesis", like the other poems of "Codex Junius 11", is not a
direct translation into Anglo-Saxon of the Old Testament "Book of
Genesis". Rather, it is an effort to retell the story in the
poetry and style of the Germanic Epic, a style still popular with
the Anglo-Saxons at the time "Junius 11" was compiled.




(ll. 1-28) Right is it that we praise the King of heaven, the
Lord of hosts, and love Him with all our hearts. For He is great
in power, the Source of all created things, the Lord Almighty.
Never hath He known beginning, neither cometh an end of His
eternal glory. Ever in majesty He reigneth over celestial
thrones; in righteousness and strength He keepeth the courts of
heaven which were established, broad and ample, by the might of
God, for angel dwellers, wardens of the soul. The angel legions
knew the blessedness of God, celestial joy and bliss. Great was
their glory! The mighty spirits magnified their Prince and sang
His praise with gladness, serving the Lord of life, exceeding
blessed in His splendour. They knew no sin nor any evil; but
dwelt in peace for ever with their Lord. They wrought no deed in
heaven save right and truth, until the angel prince in pride
walked in the ways of error. Then no longer would they work
their own advantage, but turned away from the love of God. They
boasted greatly, in their banded strength, that they could share
with God His glorious dwelling, spacious and heavenly bright.

(ll. 28-46) Then sorrow came upon them, envy and insolence and
pride of the angel who first began that deed of folly, to plot
and hatch it forth, and, thirsting for battle, boasted that in
the northern borders of heaven he would establish a throne and a
kingdom. Then was God angered and wrathful against that host
which He had crowned before with radiance and glory. For the
traitors, to reward their work, He shaped a house of pain and
grim affliction, and lamentations of hell. Our Lord prepared
this torture-house of exiles, deep and joyless, for the coming of
the angel hosts. Well He knew it lay enshrouded in eternal night,
and filled with woe, wrapped in fire and piercing cold,
smoke-veils and ruddy flame. And over that wretched realm He
spread the brooding terror of torment. They had wrought grievous
wrong together against God. Grim the reward they gained!

(ll. 47-77) Fierce of heart, they boasted they would take the
kingdom, and easily. But their hope failed them when the Lord,
High King of heaven, lifted His hand against their host. The
erring spirits, in their sin, might not prevail against the Lord,
but God, the Mighty, in His wrath, smote their insolence and
broke their pride, bereft these impious souls of victory and
power and dominion and glory; despoiled His foes of bliss and
peace and joy and radiant grace, and mightily avenged His wrath
upon them to their destruction. His heart was hardened against
them; with heavy hand He crushed His foes, subdued them to His
will, and, in His wrath, drove out the rebels from their ancient
home and seats of glory. Our Lord expelled and banished out of
heaven the presumptuous angel host. All-wielding God dismissed
the faithless horde, a hostile band of woeful spirits, upon a
long, long journey. Crushed was their pride, their boasting
humbled, their power broken, their glory dimmed. Thenceforth
those dusky spirits dwelt in exile. No cause had they to laugh
aloud, but, racked with pangs of hell, they suffered pain and woe
and tribulation, cloaked with darkness, knowing bitter anguish, a
grim requital, because they sought to strive with God.

(ll. 78-81) Then was there calm as formerly in heaven, the kindly
ways of peace. The Lord was dear to all, a Prince among His
thanes, and glory was renewed of angel legions knowing
blessedness with God.


(ll. 82-91) The citizens of heaven, the home of glory, dwelt
again in concord. Strife was at an end among the angels, discord
and dissension, when those warring spirits, shorn of light, were
hurled from heaven. Behind them stretching wide their mansions
lay, crowned with glory, prospering in grace in God's dominion, a
sunny, fruitful land, empty of dwellers, when the accursed
spirits reached their place of exile within Hell's prison-walls.

(ll. 92-102) Then our Lord took counsel in the thoughts of His
heart how He might people, with a better host, the great
creation, the native seats and gleaming mansions, high in heaven,
wherefrom these boastful foes had got them forth. Therefore with
mighty power Holy God ordained, beneath the arching heavens, that
earth and sky and the far-bounded sea should be established,
earth-creatures in the stead of those rebellious foes whom He had
cast from heaven.

(ll. 103-119) As yet was nought save shadows of darkness; the
spacious earth lay hidden, deep and dim, alien to God, unpeopled
and unused. Thereon the Steadfast King looked down and beheld
it, a place empty of joy. He saw dim chaos hanging in eternal
night, obscure beneath the heavens, desolate and dark, until this
world was fashioned by the word of the King of glory. Here first
with mighty power the Everlasting Lord, the Helm of all created
things, Almighty King, made earth and heaven, raised up the sky
and founded the spacious land. The earth was not yet green with
grass; the dark waves of the sea flowed over it, and midnight
darkness was upon it, far and wide.

(ll. 119-134) Then in radiant glory God's holy spirit moved upon
the waters with wondrous might. The Lord of angels, Giver of
life, bade light shine forth upon the spacious earth. Swiftly
was God's word fulfilled; holy light gleamed forth across the
waste at the Creator's bidding. Over the seas the Lord of
victory divided light from darkness, shadow from radiant light.
The Lord of life gave both a name. By the word of God the
gleaming light was first called day. And in the beginning of
creation was God well pleased. The first day saw the dark and
brooding shadows vanish throughout the spacious earth.


(ll. 135-143) The day departed, hasting over the dwellings of
earth. And after the gleaming light the Lord, our maker, thrust
on the first of evenings. Murky gloom pressed hard upon the
heels of day; God called it night. Our Lord sundered them, one
from the other; and ever since they follow out the will of God to
do it on the earth.

(ll. 143-153) Then came a second day, light after darkness. And
the Lord of life ordained a pleasant firmament amid the waters.
Our Lord sundered the seas and established the heavens. By His
word the King, Almighty God, raised them above the earth. The
waters were divided under the heavens by His holy might; the
waters were sundered from the waters, under the firmament.

(ll. 154-168) Then came hasting over the earth the third fair
morning. Not yet were the wide ways and spacious tracts useful
unto God, but the land lay covered by the deep. The Lord of
angels, by His word, commanded that the waters come together,
which now beneath the heavens hold their course and place
ordained. Then suddenly, wide-stretching under heaven, lay the
sea, as God gave bidding. The great deep was sundered from the
land. The Warden of life, the Lord of hosts, beheld the dry
ground far outspread. And the King of glory called it earth.
For the ocean-billows and the wide-flung sea He set a lawful path
and lettered them....

((LACUNA -- two to three leaves missing))


(ll. 169-191) ....It did not seem good to the Lord of heaven that
Adam should longer be alone as warden and keeper of this new
Paradise. Wherefore the King, Almighty God, wrought him an
helpmeet; the Author of life made woman and brought her unto the
man whom He loved. He took the stuff of Adam's body, and
secretly drew forth a rib from his side. He was fast asleep in
peaceful slumber; he knew no pain nor any pang; there came no
blood from out the wound, but the Lord of angels drew forth from
his body a growing rib, and the man was unhurt. Of this God
fashioned a lovely maid, breathing into her life and an eternal
soul. They were like unto the angels. The bride of Adam was a
living spirit. By God's might both were born into the world in
the loveliness of youth. They knew no sin nor any evil, but in
the hearts of both there burned the love of God.

(ll. 192-195) Then the Gracious King, Lord of all human kind,
blessed these two, male and female, man and wife, and spake this

(ll. 196-205) "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the green earth
with your seed and increase, sons and daughters. And ye shall
have dominion over the salt sea, and over all the world. Enjoy
the riches of earth, the fish of the sea, and the fowls of the
air. To you is given power over the herds which I have hallowed,
and the wild beasts, and over all living things that move upon
the earth; all living things, which the depths bring forth
throughout the sea, shall be subject unto you."

((LACUNA -- One or more leaves missing))

(ll. 206-234) And our Lord beheld the beauty of His works and the
abundance of all fruits of this new creation: Paradise lay
pleasant and inviting, filled with goodly store and endless
blessings. Bountifully a running stream, a welling spring,
watered that pleasant land. Not yet did clouds, dark with wind,
carry the rains across the spacious earth; nathless the land lay
decked with increase. Out from this new Paradise four pleasant
brooks of water flowed. All were divisions of one beauteous
stream, sundered by the might of God when He made the earth, and
sent into the world. And one of these the mortal dwellers of
earth called Pison, which compasseth the land of Havilah about
with shining waters. And in that land, as books tell us, the
sons of men from far and near find out the best of gold and
precious gems. And the second floweth round about the land and
borders of the Ethiopians, a spacious kingdom. Its name is
Gihon. The third is Tigris, whose abundant stream lieth about
the limits of Assyria. Likewise also the fourth, which now
through many a folk-land men call Euphrates....

((LACUNA -- At least one, possibly two, leaves missing))

(Beginning of "Genesis B")


(ll. 235-236) "...Eat freely of the fruit of every other tree.
From that one tree refrain. Beware of its fruit. And ye shall
know no dearth of pleasant things."

(ll. 237-245) Eagerly they bowed them down before the King of
heaven, and gave Him thanks for all, for His teachings and
counsels. And He gave them that land to dwell in. Then the Holy
Lord, the Steadfast King, departed into heaven. And the
creatures of His hand abode together on the earth. They had no
whit of care to grieve them, but only to do the will of God for
ever. Dear were they unto God as long as they would keep His
holy word.


(ll. 246-260) The Holy Lord, All-wielding God, with mighty hand
had wrought ten angel-orders in whom He trusted well, that they
would do Him service, and work His will. Therefore God gave them
reason, with His own hands shaped them, and stablished them in
bliss. But one He made so great and strong of heart, He let him
wield such power in heaven next unto God, so radiant-hued He
wrought him, so fair his form in heaven which God had given, that
he was like unto the shining stars. He should have sung his
Maker's praise, and prized his bliss in heaven. He should have
thanked his Lord for the great boon He showered on him in the
heavenly light, and let him long enjoy. But he turned him to a
worse thing, and strove to stir up strife against the Highest
Lord of heaven, who sitteth on the throne of glory.

(ll. 261-276) Dear was he to our Lord. Nor could it long be hid
from God that pride was growing in His angel's heart. He set
himself against his Leader, scoffed at God with boasting, and
would not serve Him. He said his form was beautiful and bright,
gleaming and fair of hue. Nor could he find it in his heart to
serve the Lord God, or be subject to Him. It seemed to him that
he had greater strength and larger following than Holy God might
have. Many words the angel spake in his presumption. By his own
power alone he thought to build a stronger throne and mightier in
heaven. He said his heart was urging him to toil, to build a
stately palace in the north and west. He said he doubted in his
heart if he would still be subject unto God:

(ll. 277-291) "Why should I slave?" quoth he. "I need not serve a
master. My hands are strong to work full many a wonder. Power
enough have I to rear a goodlier throne, a higher in the heavens.
Why should I fawn for His favour, or yield Him such submission?
I may be God as well as He! Brave comrades stand about me;
stout-hearted heroes who will not fail me in the fray. These
valiant souls have chosen me their lord. With such peers one may
ponder counsel, and gain a following. Devoted are these friends
and faithful-hearted; and I may be their lord and rule this
realm. It seemeth no wise right to me that I should cringe a
whit to God for any good. I will not serve Him longer."

(ll. 292-298) Now when God had heard all this, how His angel was
beginning to make presumptuous head against his Leader, speaking
rash words of insolence against his Lord, needs must he make
atonement for that deed, endure the woe of strife, and bear his
punishment, most grievous of all deaths. And so doth every man
who wickedly thinketh to strive with God, the Lord of might.

(ll. 299-319) Then Almighty God, High Lord of heaven, was filled
with wrath, and hurled him from his lofty throne. He had gained
his Master's hate, and lost His favour. God's heart was hardened
against him. Wherefore he needs must sink into the pit of
torment because he strove against the Lord of heaven. He
banished him from grace and cast him into hell, into the deep
abyss where he became a devil. The Fiend and all his followers
fell from heaven; three nights and days the angels fell from
heaven into hell. God changed them all to devils. Because they
heeded not His deed and word, therefore Almighty God hurled them
into darkness, deep under earth, crushed them and set them in the
mirk of hell. There through the never-ending watches of the
night the fiends endure an unremitting fire. Then at the dawn
cometh an east wind, and bitter frost, ever a blast of fire or
storm of frost. And each must have his share of suffering
wrought for his punishment. Their world was changed when God
filled full the pit of hell with His foes!

(ll. 320-322) But the angels who kept their faith with God dwelt
in the heights of heaven.


(ll. 322-336) The other fiends who waged so fierce a war with God
lay wrapped in flames. They suffer torment, hot and surging
flame in the midst of hell, broad-stretching blaze of fire and
bitter smoke, darkness and gloom, because they broke allegiance
unto God. Their folly and the angel's pride deceived them. They
would not heed the word of God. Great was their punishment!
They fell, through folly and through pride, to fiery depths of
flame in hell. They sought another home devoid of light and
filled with fire -- a mighty flaming death. The fiends perceived
that through the might of God, because of their presumptuous
hearts and boundless insolence, they had won a measureless woe.

(ll. 337-355) Then spake their haughty king, who formerly was
fairest of the angels, most radiant in heaven, beloved of his
Leader and dear unto his Lord, until they turned to folly, and
Almighty God was moved to anger at their wantonness, and hurled
him down to depths of torment on that bed of death. He named him
with a name, and said their leader should be called from
thenceforth Satan. He bade him rule the black abyss of hell in
place of striving against God. Satan spake -- who now must needs
have charge of hell and dwell in the abyss -- in bitterness he
spake who once had been God's angel, radiant-hued in heaven,
until his pride and boundless arrogance betrayed him, so that he
would not do the bidding of the Lord of hosts. Bitterness was
welling in his heart; and round him blazed his cruel torment.
These words he spake:

(ll. 355-367) "This narrow place is little like those other
realms we knew, on high in heaven, allotted by my Lord, though
the Almighty hath not granted us to hold our state, or rule our
kingdom. He hath done us wrong to hurl us to the fiery depths of
hell, and strip us of our heavenly realm. He hath ordained that
human kind shall settle there. That is my greatest grief that
Adam -- wrought of earth -- should hold my firm-set throne and
live in joy, while we endure this bitter woe in hell.

(ll. 368-388) "Alas! could I but use my hands and have my
freedom for an hour, one winter hour, then with this host I would
-- But bands of iron crush me down, the bondage of my chains is
heavy. I am stripped of my dominion. Firmly are hell's fetters
forged upon me. Above me and below a blaze of fire! Never have
I seen a realm more fatal -- flame unassuaged that surges over
hell. Ensnaring links and heavy shackles hold me. My ways are
trammelled up; my feet are bound; my hands are fastened. Closed
are the doors of hell, the way cut off. I may not escape out of
my bonds, but mighty gyves of tempered iron, hammered hot, press
hard upon me. God hath set His foot upon my neck. So I know the
Lord of hosts hath read the purpose of my heart, and knew full
well that strife would grow between our host and Adam over the
heavenly realm, had I the freedom of my hands.


(ll. 389-400) "But now we suffer throes of hell, fire and
darkness, bottomless and grim. God hath thrust us out into the
black mists. He cannot charge upon us any sin or evil wrought
against Him in His realm! Yet hath He robbed us of the light and
cast us into utter woe. Nor may we take revenge, nor do Him any
evil because He stripped us of the light. He hath marked out the
borders of the world, and there created man in His own image,
with whom He hopes again to people heaven, with pure souls. We
needs must ponder earnestly to wreak this grudge on Adam, if we
may, and on his children, and thwart His will if so we may

(ll. 401-407) "No longer have I any hope of light wherein He
thinketh long to joy, in bliss among His angel hosts; nor may we
ever bring this thing to pass, that we should change the purpose
of Almighty God. Let us therefore turn the heavenly kingdom from
the sons of men, since we may not possess it, cause them to lose
His favour and turn aside from the command He laid upon them.
Then shall His wrath be kindled, and He shall cast them out from
grace. They shall seek out hell and its grim gulf, and in this
heavy bondage we may have the sons of men to serve us.

(ll. 408-424) "Begin now and plan this enterprise. If ever in
olden days, when happily we dwelt in that good kingdom, and held
possession of our thrones, I dealt out princely treasure to any
thane, he could not make requital for my gifts at any better time
than now, if some one of my thanes would be my helper, escaping
outward through these bolted gates, with strength to wing his way
on high where, new-created, Adam and Eve, surrounded with
abundance, dwell on earth -- and we are cast out hither in this
deep abyss. They are now much dearer unto God, and own the high
estate and rightful realm which we should have in heaven! Good
fortune is allotted to mankind.

(ll. 425-437) "My soul is sorrowful within me, my heart is sore,
that they should hold the heavenly realm for ever. But if in any
wise some one of you could bring them to forsake God's word and
teaching, soon would they be less pleasing unto Him! If they
break His commandment, then will His wrath be kindled. Their
high estate shall vanish; their sin shall have requital, and some
grim penalty. Take thought now how ye may ensnare them. I shall
rest softly in these chains if they lose heaven. Whoso shall
bring this thing to pass shall have reward for ever, of all that
we may win to our advantage, amid these flames.


(ll. 438-441) I will let him sit next me, whoever shall return to
hell proclaiming that they have set at naught, by word and deed,
the counsels of the King of heaven and been displeasing to the

((LACUNA -- Section missing of indeterminate length.))


(ll. 442-460) Then God's enemy began to make him ready, equipped
in war-gear, with a wily heart. He set his helm of darkness on
his head, bound it full hard, and fastened it with clasps. Many
a crafty speech he knew, many a crooked word. Upward he beat his
way and darted through the doors of hell. He had a ruthless
heart. Evil of purpose he circled in the air, cleaving the flame
with fiendish craft. He would fain ensnare God's servants unto
sin, seduce them and deceive them that they might be displeasing
to the Lord. With fiendish craft he took his way until he came
on Adam upon earth, the finished handiwork of God, full wisely
wrought, and his wife beside him, loveliest of women, performing
many a goodly service since the Lord of men appointed them His

(ll. 460-477) And by them stood two trees laden with fruit and
clothed with increase. Almighty God, High King of heaven, had
set them there that the mortal sons of men might choose of good
and evil, weal and woe. Unlike was their fruit! Of the one tree
the fruit was pleasant, fair and winsome, excellent and sweet.
That was the tree of life. He might live for ever in the world
who ate of that fruit, so that old age pressed not heavily upon
him, nor grievous sickness, but he might live his life in
happiness for ever, and have the favour of the King of heaven
here on earth. And glory was ordained for him in heaven, when he
went hence.

(ll. 478-495) The other tree was dark, sunless, and full of
shadows: that was the tree of death. Bitter the fruit it bore!
And every man must know both good and evil; in this world abased
he needs must suffer, in sweat and sorrow, who tasted of the
fruit that grew upon that tree. Old age would rob him of his
strength and joy and honour, and death take hold upon him. A
little time might he enjoy this life, and then seek out the murky
realm of flame, and be subject unto fiends. There of all perils
are the worst for men for ever. And that the evil one knew well,
the wily herald of the fiend who fought with God. He took the
form of a serpent, coiled round the tree of death by devil's
craft, and plucked the fruit, and turned aside again where he
beheld the handiwork of the King of heaven. And the evil one in
lying words began to question him:

(ll. 496-506) "Hast thou any longing, Adam, unto God? His
service brings me hither from afar. Not long since I was sitting
at His side. He sent me forth upon this journey to bid thee eat
this fruit. He said thy strength and power would increase, thy
mind be mightier, more beautiful thy body, and thy form more
fair. He said thou wouldest lack no good thing on the earth when
thou hast won the favour of the King of heaven, served thy Lord
with gladness, and deserved His love.

(ll. 507-521) "In the heavenly light I heard Him speaking of thy
life, praising thy words and works. Needs must thou do His
bidding which His messengers proclaim on earth. Broad-stretching
are the green plains of the world, and from the highest realms of
heaven God ruleth all things here below. The Lord of men will
not Himself endure the hardship to go upon this journey, but
sendeth His ministers to speak with thee. He sendeth tidings
unto thee to teach thee wisdom. Do His will with gladness! Take
this fruit in thy hand; taste and eat. Thy heart shall grow more
roomy and thy form more fair. Almighty God, thy Lord, sendeth
this help from heaven."

(ll. 522-546) And Adam, first of men, answered where he stood on
earth: "When I heard the Lord, my God, speaking with a mighty
voice, He bade me dwell here keeping His commandments, gave me
this woman, this lovely maid, bade me take heed and be not
tempted to the tree of death and utterly beguiled, and said that
he who taketh to his heart one whit of evil shall dwell in
blackest hell. Though thou art come with lies and secret wiles,
I know not that thou art an angel of the Lord from heaven. Lo!
I cannot understand thy precepts, thy words or ways, thy errand
or thy sayings. I know what things our Lord commanded when I
beheld Him nigh at hand. He bade me heed His word, observe it
well, and keep His precepts. Thou art not like to any of His
angels that ever I have seen, nor hast thou showed me any token
that my Lord hath sent of grace and favour. Therefore I cannot
hearken to thy teachings. Get thee hence! I have my faith set
firm upon Almighty God, who with His own hands wrought me. From
His high throne He giveth all good things, and needeth not to
send His ministers."


(ll. 547-550) Then turned the fiend with wrathful heart to where
he saw Eve standing on the plains of earth, a winsome maid. And
unto her he said, the greatest of all ills thereafter would fall
on their descendants in the world:

(ll. 551-558) "I know God's anger will be roused against you,
when from this journey through far-stretching space I come again
to Him, and bring this message, that ye refuse to do His bidding,
as He hath sent commandment hither from the East. He needs must
come to speak with you, forsooth, nor may His minister proclaim
His mission! Truly I know His wrath will be kindled against you
in His heart!

(ll. 559-587) "But if thou, woman, wilt hearken to my words, thou
mayest devise good counsel. Bethink thee in thy heart to turn
away His vengeance from you both, as I shall show thee. Eat of
this fruit! Then shall thine eyes grow keen, and thou shalt see
afar through all the world, yea! unto the throne of God, thy
Lord, and have His favour. Thou mayest rule the heart of Adam,
if thou incline to do it and he doth trust thy words, if thou
wilt tell him truly what law thou hast in mind, to keep God's
precepts and commandments. His heart will cease from bitter
strife and evil answers, as we two tell him for his good. Urge
him earnestly to do thy bidding, lest ye be displeasing to the
Lord your God. If thou fulfill this undertaking, thou best of
women, I will not tell our Lord what evil Adam spake against me,
his wicked words accusing me of falsehood, saying that I am eager
in transgression, a servant of the Fiend and not God's angel.
But I know well the angel race, and the high courts of heaven.
Long ages have I served the Lord my God with loyal heart. I am
not like a devil."

(ll. 588-599) So he urged with lies and luring wiles, tempting
the woman unto sin, until the serpent's counsel worked within her
-- for God had wrought her soul the weaker -- and her heart
inclined according to his teaching. Transgressing God's
commandment, from the fiend she took the fatal fruit of the tree
of death. Never was worse deed wrought for men! Great is the
wonder that Eternal God, the Lord, would let so many of His
thanes be tricked with lies by one who brought such counsel. She
ate the fruit and set at naught the will and word of God.

(ll. 600-610) Then could she see afar by gift of the fiend, whose
lies deceived and artfully ensnared her, so that it came to pass
the heavens appeared to her more radiant, and the earth and all
the world more fair, the great and mighty handiwork of God,
though she beheld it not by human wisdom; but eagerly the fiend
deceived her soul and gave her vision, that she might see afar
across the heavenly kingdom. Then spake the fiend with hostile
purpose -- and nought of profit did he counsel:

(ll. 610-625) "Now mayest thou behold, most worthy Eve, nor need
I tell thee, how fair thy beauty and thy form how changed, since
thou didst trust my words and do my bidding. A radiance shineth
round about thee, gleaming splendour, which I brought forth from
God on high. Thou mayest touch it! Tell Adam what vision thou
hast and power by my coming. And even yet, if he will do my
bidding with humble heart, I will give him of this light
abundantly, as I have given thee, and will not punish his
reviling words, though he deserves no mercy for the grievous ill
he spake against me. So shall his children live hereafter! When
they do evil, they must win God's love, avert His doom, and gain
the favour of their Lord for ever!"

(ll. 626-635) Then the lovely maid, fairest of women that ever
came into this world, went unto Adam. She was the handiwork of
the King of heaven, though tricked with lies and utterly undone,
so that through fiendish craft and devil's fraud she needs must
be displeasing to the Lord, forfeit God's favour, and lose her
glory and her heavenly home. So often evil dwelleth with that
man who doth not shun it when he hath the power.

(ll. 636-646) Of the fatal apples some she carried in her hands
and some lay on her breast, the fruit of the tree of death
whereof the Lord of lords, the Prince of glory, had forbidden her
to eat, saying His servants need not suffer death. The Holy Lord
bestowed a heavenly heritage and ample bliss on every race, if
they would but forgo that fruit alone, that bitter fruit, which
the mortal tree brought forth upon its boughs. That was the tree
of death which the Lord forbade them!

(ll. 647-654) But the fiend, who hated God, and loathed the King
of heaven, deceived with lies Eve's heart and erring wisdom, and
she believed his words and did his bidding, and came at last to
think his counsels were indeed from God, as he so cunningly had
said. He showed to her a token, and gave her promise of good
faith and friendly purpose. Then to her lord she said:

(ll. 655-665) "Adam, my lord! This fruit is sweet and pleasing
to the heart; this radiant messenger is God's good angel! I know
by his attire he is a herald of our Lord, the King of heaven.
Better to win his favour than his wrath! If thou to-day hast
spoken aught of evil, yet will he still forgive thee, if we will
do his will. Of what avail this bitter strife against the herald
of thy Lord? We need his favour. For he may plead our cause
before Almighty God, the King of heaven.

(ll. 666-683) "I can behold where in the south and east He who
shaped the world sits veiled in splendour. I see the angels
circling round His throne, in winged flight, unnumbered myriads,
clothed in beauty. Who could give me such discernment, except it
be sent straight from God, the Lord of heaven? Widely may I hear
and widely see through all the world across the broad creation.
I hear the hymns of rapture from on high. Radiance blazes on my
soul without and within since first I tasted of the fruit. Lo!
my good lord! I bring thee in my hand this fruit, and give thee
freely of it. I do believe that it is come from God, and brought
by His command, as this messenger declared in words of truth. It
is not like aught else on earth except, as this herald saith, it
cometh straight from God."


(ll. 684-703) Long she pled, and urged him all the day to that
dark deed, to disobey their Lord's command. Close stood the evil
fiend, inflaming with desire, luring with wiles, and boldly
tempting him. The fiend stood near at hand who on that fatal
mission had come a long, long way. He planned to hurl men down
to utter death, mislead them and deceive them, that they might
lose the gift of God, His favour and their heavenly realm. Lo!
well the hell-fiend knew they must endure God's anger and the
pains of hell, suffer grim misery and woe, since they had broken
God's commandment, when with his lying words he tricked the
beauteous maid, fairest of women, unto that deed of folly, so
that she spake according to his will; and aided her in tempting
unto evil the handiwork of God.

(ll. 704-716) Over and over the fairest of women pled with Adam,
until she began to incline his heart so that he trusted the
command the woman laid upon him. All this she did with good
intent, and knew not that so many evils, such grim afflictions,
would come upon mankind, when she was moved to hearken to the
counsels of the evil herald; but she hoped to win God's favour by
her words, showing such token and such pledge of truth unto the
man, that the mind of Adam was changed within his breast, and his
heart began to bend according to her will.

(ll. 717-726) From the woman he took both death and hell,
although it did not bear these names, but bore the name of fruit.
The sleep of death and fiends' seduction; death and hell and
exile and damnation -- these were the fatal fruit whereon they
feasted. And when the apple worked within him and touched his
heart, then laughed aloud the evilhearted fiend, capered about,
and gave thanks to his lord for both:

(ll. 726-749) "Now have I won thy promised favour, and wrought
thy will! For many a day to come is man undone, Adam and Eve!
God's wrath shall be heavy upon them, for they have scorned His
precepts and commandments. Wherefore they may no longer hold
their heavenly kingdom, but they must travel the dark road to
hell. Thou needest not feel sorrow in thy heart, as thou liest
in thy bonds, nor mourn in spirit that men should dwell in heaven
above, while we now suffer misery and pain in realms of darkness,
and through thy pride have lost our high estate in heaven and
goodly dwellings. God's anger was kindled against us because in
heaven we would not bow our heads in service before the Holy
Lord. It pleased us not to serve Him. Then was God moved to
wrath and hard of heart, and drove us into hell; cast a great
host into hell-fire, and with His hands prepared again in heaven
celestial thrones, and gave that kingdom to mankind.

(ll. 750-762) "Blithe be thy heart within thy breast! For here
to-day are two things come to pass: the sons of men shall lose
their heavenly kingdom, and journey unto thee to burn in flame;
also heart-sorrow and affliction are visited on God. Whatever
death we suffer here is now repaid on Adam in the wrath of God
and man's damnation and the pangs of death. Therefore my heart
is healed, my soul untrammelled in my breast. All our injuries
are now avenged, and all the evil that we long have suffered.
Now will I plunge again into the flame, and seek out Satan, where
he lieth in hell's shadows, bound with chains."

(ll. 762-769) Then the foul fiend sank downward to the wide-flung
flames and gates of hell wherein his lord lay bound. But Adam
and Eve were wretched in their hearts; sad were the words that
passed between them. They feared the anger of the Lord their
God; they dreaded the wrath of the King of heaven. They knew
that His command was broken.

(ll. 770-790) The woman mourned and wept in sorrow (she had
forfeited God's grace and broken His commandment) when she beheld
the radiance disappear which he who brought this evil on them had
showed her by a faithless token, that they might suffer pangs of
hell and untold woe. Wherefore heartsorrow burned within their
breasts. Husband and wife they bowed them down in prayer,
beseeching God and calling on the Lord of heaven, and prayed that
they might expiate their sin, since they had broken God's
commandment. They saw that their bodies were naked. In that
land they had as yet no settled home, nor knew they aught of pain
or sorrow; but they might have prospered in the land if they had
done God's will. Many a rueful word they uttered, husband and
wife together. And Adam spake unto Eve and said:

(ll. 791-820) "O Eve! a bitter portion hast thou won us! Dost
thou behold the yawning gulf of hell, sunless, insatiate? Thou
mayest hear the groans that rise therefrom! The heavenly realm
is little like that blaze of fire! Lo! fairest of all lands is
this, which we, by God's grace, might have held hadst thou not
hearkened unto him who urged this evil, so that we set at naught
the word of God, the King of heaven. Now in grief we mourn that
evil mission! For God Himself bade us beware of sin and dire
disaster. Now thirst and hunger press upon my heart whereof we
formerly were ever free. How shall we live or dwell now in this
land if the wind blow from the west or east, south or north, if
mist arise and showers of hail beat on us from the heavens, and
frost cometh, wondrous cold, upon the earth, or, hot in heaven,
shineth the burning sun, and we two stand here naked and
unclothed? We have no shelter from the weather, nor any store of
food. And the Mighty Lord, our God, is angry with us. What
shall become of us? Now I repent me that I prayed the God of
heaven, the Gracious Lord, and of my limbs He wrought thee for my
helpmeet, since thou hast led me unto evil and the anger of my
Lord. Well may I repent to all eternity that ever I beheld thee
with mine eyes!"


(ll. 821-823) Then spake Eve, the lovely maid, fairest of women.
(She was the work of God, though led astray by power of the

(ll. 824-826) "Well mayest thou upbraid me, my dear Adam! But
thou canst not repent one whit more bitterly in thy heart than my
heart repenteth."

(ll. 826-839) And Adam answered her: "If I but knew the will of
God, the penalty I needs must pay, thou couldest not find one
more swift to do it, though the Lord of heaven bade me go forth
and walk upon the sea. The ocean-stream could never be so
wondrous deep or wide that ever my heart would doubt, but I would
go even unto the bottom of the sea, if I might work the will of
God. I have no wish for years of manhood in the world now that I
have forfeited the favour of my Lord, and lost His grace. But we
may not be thus together, naked. Let us go into this grove, and
under the shelter of this wood."

(ll. 840-851) And they turned and went weeping into the green
wood, and sat them down apart from one another to wait the fate
the Lord of heaven should assign them, since they had lost their
former state and portion which Almighty God had given them. And
they covered their bodies with leaves, and clothed them with the
foliage of the wood, for they had no garments. And both together
bowed in prayer; and every morning they besought Almighty God,
the Gracious Lord, that He would not forget them, but would teach
them how to live thenceforward in the light.

(End of Genesis B)

(ll. 852-866) Then came Almighty God, the Glorious Prince,
walking in the garden after the midday, according to His will.
Our Saviour, the Merciful Father, would fain discover what His
children did. He knew their glory was gone which formerly He
gave them. Sadly they stole away into the darkness of the trees,
bereft of glory, and hid themselves in the shadows when they
heard the holy voice of God, and were afraid. Then the Lord of
heaven began to call the warden of the world, and bade His son
come quickly unto Him. And he made answer unto God, and spake of
his nakedness with shame:

(ll. 867-871) "I will clothe my nakedness with a garment, my dear
Lord, and cover my shame with leaves. My heart is troubled and
cast down within me. I dare not come before Thy presence, for I
am naked."


(ll. 872-881) And straightway God made answer unto him: "Tell me,
My son, why stealest thou away into the darkness with shame?
Thou didst not formerly feel shame before Me, but only joy.
Wherefore art thou humbled and abashed, knowing sorrow, covering
thy body with leaves, sad of heart and wretched in thy woe,
saying thou needest clothing, except thou hast eaten of the fruit
of the tree which I forbade thee?"

(ll. 882-886) And Adam again made answer: "My Lord! this woman,
this lovely maid, gave me the fruit into my hand, and I took it
in trespass against Thee. And now I clearly bear the token upon
me and know the more of sorrow."

(ll. 887-895) Then Almighty God questioned Eve: "Of what avail,
My daughter, were My abundant blessings, the new-created Paradise
and pleasant growing things, that thou shouldest stretch thy
hands with yearning unto the tree, and pluck the apples growing
on its boughs, and eat the deadly fruit in trespass against Me,
and give to Adam, when by My word it was forbidden to you both?"

(ll. 895-902) And the lovely woman, put to shame, made answer:
"The serpent, the deadly snake, with fair words tempted me, and
eagerly enticed me to that deed of sin and evil appetite, until I
basely did the deed and wrought the wrong, despoiled the tree
within the wood, as was not right, and ate the fruit."

(ll. 903-905) Then our Saviour, the Almighty Lord, decreed unto
the serpent, the guilty snake, an endless wandering, and said:

(ll. 906-917) "All thy life upon thy belly shalt thou go to and
fro upon the fields of the broad earth, accursed, so long as life
and spirit dwell within thee. Dust shalt thou eat all the days
of thy life for the grievous evil thou hast wrought. The woman
shall loathe and hate thee under heaven. Her foot shall crush
thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel anew. There shall be
strife between your seed for ever, while the world standeth under
heaven. Now thou knowest clearly, thou foul tempter, what thy
life shall be."


(ll. 918-924) And unto Eve God spake in wrath: "Turn thee from
joy! Thou shalt live under man's dominion, sore smitten with
fear before him. With bitter sorrow shalt thou expiate thy sin,
waiting for death, bringing forth sons and daughters in the world
with grief and tears and lamentation."

(ll. 925-938) And on Adam the Eternal God, Author of life,
pronounced an evil doom: "Thou shalt seek another home, a joyless
dwelling. Naked and needy shalt thou suffer exile, shorn of thy
glory. Thy soul and body shall be cleft asunder. Lo! thou hast
sinned a grievous sin. Therefore shalt thou labour, winning thy
portion on the earth by toil, eating thy bread in the sweat of
thy brow while thou dwellest here, until that grim disease, which
first thou tasted in the apple, shall grip hard at thy heart. So
shalt thou die."

(ll. 939-951) Lo! now we know how our afflictions came upon us,
and mortal misery! Then the Lord of glory, our Creator, clothed
them with garments, and bade them cover their shame with their
first raiment. He drove them forth from Paradise into a narrower
life. By God's command a holy angel, with a sword of fire,
closed fast that pleasant home of peace and joy behind them. No
wicked, sinful man may walk therein, but the warden has strength
and power, dear unto God in virtue, who guards that life of

(ll. 952-964) Yet the Almighty Father would not take away from
Adam and from Eve, at once, all goodly things, though He withdrew
His favour from them. But for their comfort He left the sky
above them adorned with shining stars, gave them wide-stretching
fields, and bade the earth and sea and all their teeming
multitudes to bring forth fruits to serve man's earthly need.
After their sin they dwelt in a realm more sorrowful, a home and
native land less rich in all good things than was their first
abode, wherefrom He drove them out after their sin.

(ll. 965-987) Then, according to the word of God, Adam and Eve
begat children, as God had bidden. To them were born two goodly
sons, Abel and Cain: the books tell us how these brothers, first
of toilers, gained wealth and goods and store of food. One, the
first-born, tilled the fields; the other aided with his father's
cattle; and after many days they both brought offerings to God.
The Prince of angels, Lord of every creature, lifted up His eyes
on Abel's offering and would not look upon the gift of Cain. And
the heart of Cain was bitter; wrath shook his soul, and envy
burned within him. Then with his hands Cain wrought a deed of
shame, struck down his brother Abel, and poured his blood upon
the ground. The earth drank in his blood poured out in murder.

(ll. 987-1001) After that mortal blow came woe and tribulation.
From that shoot grew more and more a deadly bitter fruit, and the
boughs of sin stretched far and wide among the nations;
grievously the twigs of evil touched the sons of men (and do so
yet), and from them grew broad blades of wickedness. With
lamentation must we tell that tale of evil fate, not without
cause. Grievous the ruin the lovely woman wrought us by that
first of sins that ever men on earth had sinned against their
Maker since Adam first was filled with breath from the mouth of


(ll. 1002-1005) Then the Lord of glory spake unto Cain, and asked
where Abel was. Quickly the cursed fashioner of death made
answer unto Him:

(ll. 1006-1008) "I know not the coming or going of Abel, my
kinsman, his lot or portion; I was not my brother's keeper."

(ll. 1008-1021) And the Gracious Spirit, Lord of angels, made
answer unto him: "Why hast thou slain that faithful man thy
brother in thy wrath, and his blood calleth and crieth unto Me?
Accursed for ever, driven into exile, thou shalt be punished for
this deed of death! The earth shall not yield thee of her
pleasant fruits for thy daily need, but by thy hands her soil is
stained with holy blood. Therefore the green earth shall
withhold from thee her beauty and her delights. In sadness and
dishonour shalt thou depart from thy home, because thou hast
slain thy brother, Abel. Loathed of thy kinsmen, an exile and a
fugitive, shalt thou wander on the face of the earth."

(ll. 1022-1035) And Cain made answer unto Him: ...."I need not
look for pity in this world, High King of heaven, for I have lost
Thy love and favour and goodwill. Weary the ways my feet must
wander, in dread of woe, whenever one shall meet me in my guilt,
near or far, and by his hate remind me of my brother's death. I
shed his blood and poured his life-blood on the ground. From
this day hast Thou cut me off from good! Thou scourgest me from
home! Some cruel foe shall slay me. And I must needs go forth,
accursed, from Thy sight, O Lord!"

(ll. 1036-1043) And the Lord of victory said unto him: "Thou
needest not yet dread death, nor the pangs of death, though thou
shalt wander, far from kinsmen, with thy doom upon thee. If any
man shall slay thee with his hands, on him shall fall a
seven-fold vengeance, and torment for that deed of sin."

(ll. 1043-1054) And God, the Lord of glory, set a mark upon him
and a token, lest any foe from far or near should dare to lift
his hand against him; and He bade him go forth in his guilt from
mother and kinsmen and from all his tribe. Then with despairing
heart, a friendless exile, Cain departed out of the sight of God,
and chose a home and dwelling in the eastern lands, far from his
father's house; and there a comely maiden bare him children after
his kind.

(ll. 1055-1073) Enoch was first-born of the sons of Cain. He
built a city with his kinsmen, the first of all those strongholds
under heaven which sword-girt men established; and in the city
sons were born to him. Irad was first-born of the sons of Enoch;
and he begat children, and all the tribe and race of Cain
increased. And after Irad Mahalaleel was warden of the treasure,
in his father's stead, until he died. Then Methusael dispensed
the treasure to his brothers and his kinsmen, man for man, till,
full of many years, he died.

(ll. 1073-1081) And at his father's death Lamech succeeded to the
treasure and the household goods. Two wives bare children to him
in his home, Adah and Zillah. Now one of the sons of Lamech was
called Jabal; and he was first of all men by his skill to stir
the harp to music and its strings to song.


(ll. 1082-1089) And there was also in that tribe another son of
Lamech, called Tubal Cain, a smith skilled in his craft. He was
the first of all men on the earth to fashion tools of husbandry;
and far and wide the city-dwelling sons of men made use of bronze
and iron.

(ll. 1090-1103) Then to his two beloved wives, Adah and Zillah,
Lamech rehearsed a tale of shame: "I have struck down a kinsman
unto death! I have defiled my hands with the blood of Cain! I
smote down Enoch's father, slayer of Abel, and poured his blood
upon the ground. Full well I know that for that mortal deed
shall come God's seven-fold vengeance. With fearful torment
shall my deed of death and murder be requited, when I go hence."

(ll. 1104-1111) Then another son was born to Adam in Abel's
stead; and his name was Seth. He was a righteous son and
blessed, a solace to his parents, his father and mother, Adam and
Eve. And he filled the place of Abel in the world. Then Adam
spake, the first of men:

(ll. 1111-1116) "The eternal God of victory, the Lord of life,
hath vouchsafed me another son in place of my beloved whom Cain
slew. So our Lord hath stilled the sorrow of my heart. To Him
be thanks!"

(ll. 1117-1127) Now, when Adam begat another son to be his heir,
that sturdy man had lived an hundred and thirty winters of this
life in the world. The writings tell us that Adam increased his
tribe on earth, begetting sons and daughters eight hundred years.
And all the years of Adam were nine hundred and thirty winters,
and he died.

(ll. 1128-1142) And Seth succeeded Adam: at his father's death
the well-loved son possessed the treasure, and took himself a
wife. And Seth lived an hundred and five winters in the world
and increased his tribe, begetting sons and daughters. Enos was
first-born of the sons of Seth; and he was first of all the sons
of men to call upon the name of God since Adam, first a living
spirit, set foot on the green earth. Seth prospered, eight
hundred and seven winters begetting sons and daughters. And all
the years of Seth were nine hundred and twelve winters, and he

(ll. 1143-1154) And after he went hence, and the earth received
the body of seed-bearing Seth, Enos was warden of the heritage.
Dear was he unto God! He lived for ninety winters in the world,
and begat children. And Cainan was first-born of the sons of
Enos. Eight hundred and fifteen winters the man of wisdom lived,
at peace with God, begetting sons and daughters. And all the
years of Enos were nine hundred and five winters, and he died.

(ll. 1155-1166) And after Enos Cainan ruled the tribe as lord and
leader. He lived seventy winters, and begat a son. An heir was
born unto his house, and his name was Mahalaleel. Eight hundred
and forty winters Cainan lived, and increased his tribe. And all
the years of the son of Enos were nine hundred and ten winters,
and he died, and his appointed days beneath the heavens were


(ll. 1167-1180) And after Cainan Mahalaleel possessed the land
and treasure many a year. The prince lived five-and-sixty
winters, and begat a son. An heir was born unto his house, and
his kinsmen called him Jared, as I have heard. Mahalaleel lived
long, enjoying bliss on earth, the joys of men, and worldly
treasure. And all the years of Mahalaleel were eight hundred
five-and-ninety winters, and he died, and gave the land and rule
unto his son.

(ll. 1180-1196) A long time Jared dealt out gold to men. He was
a righteous prince, a noble earl, dear to his kinsmen He lived
an hundred five-and-sixty winters in the world, and, when her
time was come, his wife brought forth her first-born, a goodly
son. And his name was Enoch. Eight hundred years his father
lived, and increased his tribe. And all the years of Jared were
nine hundred five-and-sixty winters, and he died, and gave the
land and rule unto his son, the wise and well-loved prince.

(ll. 1197-1217) And Enoch ruled the folk, led them in ways of
peace, and no wise let his sway and power lessen, while he was
lord over his kinsmen. Now Enoch prospered and increased his
tribe three hundred years. And God, the Lord of heaven, was
gracious unto him! In his natural body he entered into heavenly
joy and the glory of God, dying no mortal death as men do here,
the young and old, what time God taketh from them wealth and
substance and earthly treasure and their life; but with the King
of angels he departed still alive out of this fleeting life, in
the same vestments which his soul received before his mother bare
him. He left the people to his eldest son. And all the years of
Enoch were three hundred five-and-sixty winters, and he died.

(ll. 1217-1224) Then Methuselah held sway among his kinsmen, and
longest of all men enjoyed the pleasures of this world. He begat
a multitude of sons and daughters before his death. And all the
years of Methuselah were nine hundred and seventy winters, and he

(ll. 1224-1236) And Lamech, his son, succeeded him and kept the
treasure. Long time he ruled the land. He lived an hundred and
two winters, and begat children. And the lord and leader of the
folk lived five hundred five-and-ninety years, enjoying many
winters under heaven, ruling the folk with wisdom. And Lamech
increased his tribe, begetting sons and daughters. He called the
name of the first-born Noah; and Noah ruled the land after the
death of Lamech.

(ll. 1237-1247) Now Noah, the lord of men, lived five hundred
winters, as the books say, and begat children. The first-born
son of Noah was Shem, and the second Ham, and the third Japheth.
And the folk grew in number under heaven, and the multitude of
the race of men increased throughout the earth. The tribe of
Seth, the well-loved prince, was still exceeding dear to God, and
blessed in His love!


(ll. 1248-1254) Then the sons of God began to take them wives
from the tribe of Cain, a cursed folk, and the sons of men chose
them wives from among that people, the fair and winsome daughters
of that sinful race, against the will of God. Then the Lord of
heaven lifted up His voice in wrath against mankind, and said:

(ll. 1255-1262) "Lo! I have not been unmindful of the sons of
men, but the tribe of Cain hath sorely angered Me. The sons of
Seth have stirred My wrath against them; they have taken them
wives from among the daughters of My foes. Woman's beauty and
woman's grace and the eternal fiend have taken hold upon this
people who dwelt of old in peace."

(ll. 1263-1284) An hundred and twenty numbered winters in the
world that fated folk were busied in evil. Then the Lord
resolved to punish those faithless spirits, and slay the sinful
giant sons, undear to God, those huge, unholy scathers, loathsome
to the Lord. The King of victory beheld how great was the
wickedness of men on earth, and saw that they were bold in sin
and full of wiles. He resolved to bring destruction on the
tribes of men, and smite mankind with heavy hand. It repented
Him exceedingly that He had made man, and the first of men, when
He created Adam. He said that for the sins of men He would lay
waste the earth, and all that was upon the earth, destroying
every living thing that breathed the breath of life. All this
would the Lord destroy in the days that were coming on the sons
of men.

(ll. 1285-1295) But Noah, the son of Lamech, was good and dear to
God, exceeding blessed, just and meek. And the Lord knew that
virtue flourished in the heart of Noah. Wherefore God, the Holy
Lord of every creature, spake unto Noah, declaring His wrath and
vengeance on the sons of men. For He saw that the earth was full
of wickedness, and its broad and fertile meadows filled with sin
and defiled with uncleanness. And the Lord our God spake unto
Noah, and said:

(ll. 1296-1313) "I will destroy this people with a flood, man and
every living thing that the air and the seas bring forth and
nourish, birds of the air and beasts of the field. But thou, and
thy sons with thee, shall have mercy when the black waters, the
dark, destroying floods, shall overwhelm the hosts of sinful men.
Begin to build thee a ship, a mighty seahouse, and in it make
abiding-room for many, and set a rightful place for every tribe
of earth. Build floors within the ark, dividing it in stories.
And thou shalt build it three hundred cubits long and fifty
cubits wide and thirty cubits high, and fasten it firmly against
the might of the waves. And thou shalt take within the ark the
seed of every living thing, and the offspring of all flesh upon
the earth. And the ark must hold them all."

(ll. 1314-1319) And Noah did according as God commanded him. He
hearkened unto the Holy King of heaven, and began straightway to
build the ark, a mighty sea-chest. And unto his kinsmen he
proclaimed destruction coming upon men, and bitter vengeance.
And they heeded him not.

(ll. 1320-1326) Then after many winters the Faithful Lord beheld
the greatest of ocean-houses, Noah's vessel, towering up, made
tight with the best of pitch within and without against the
floods. And it was best of all its kind, growing more hard the
more the rough waves and the black sea-streams beat up against


(l. 1327) Then our Lord said unto Noah:

(ll. 1328-1355) "I give thee My pledge, dearest of men, that thou
mayest go thy way, thou and the seed of every living thing which
thou shalt ferry through the deep water for many a day in the
bosom of the ship. Lead on board the ark, as I bid thee, thy
household, thy wife and thy three sons, and thy sons' wives with
thee. And take within that sea-home seven of every kind of
living thing that serve as food for men, and two of every other
kind. Likewise of all the fruits of the earth take food for the
company upon thy ship, who with thee shall be saved from the
flood! Care well for every creature until I shall cause food to
grow again beneath the heavens for the survivors of the ocean
floods. Depart now with thy household and thy host of guests,
embarking on the ship. I know that thou art good, and of a
steadfast mind. Thou art worthy of grace and mercy, thou and thy
children. Lo! for seven nights I shall let the rains descend
upon the face of the broad earth. Forty days will I visit My
wrath upon men, with a deluge destroying the riches of the world
and the tribes of men, save what shall be upon the ark when the
black floods begin to rise."

(ll. 1356-1371) And Noah departed, as the Lord commanded,
embarking his household upon the ark, leading up his sons into
the ship, and their wives with them. All that Almighty God would
have for seed went in under the roof of the ark unto their
food-giver, even according as the Mighty Lord of hosts gave
bidding by His word. And the Warden of that heavenly kingdom,
the God of victories, locked the door of the ocean-house behind
him with His hands, and our Lord blessed all within the ark with
His blessing. Now Noah, the son of Lamech, had lived six hundred
winters, wise and full of years, when he went up with the young
men, his beloved sons, into the ark, as God gave bidding.

(ll. 1371-1399) Then the Lord sent the rains from heaven, and
caused the black sea-streams to roar, and the fountains of the
deep to overflow the world. The seas surged up over the barriers
of the shore. Mighty in His wrath was He who rules the waters!
And He overwhelmed and covered the mortal sons of sin with a
black deluge, laying waste the native land and homes of men. God
visited their offences upon them. Forty days and forty nights
the sea laid hold on that doomed folk. Dire was that disaster
and deadly unto men. The stormy surges of the King of glory
quenched the life from out the bodies of that sinful host. The
flood, raging beneath the heavens, covered over all high hills
throughout the spacious earth, and lifted up the ark from the
earth upon the bosom of the waters, and all within the ark, whom
the Lord our God had blessed when He locked the door of the ship.
Then far and wide that best of ocean-houses and its burden
floated beneath the heavens over the compass of the sea. The
raging terrors of the deep might not lay hold on ship or
mariners, but Holy God ferried them upon the sea and shielded
them. Fifteen cubits deep upon the hills the deluge lay. That
was a grievous fate!

(ll. 1400-1406) But no harm came nigh unto the ark, save that it
was lifted up to heaven, when the flood destroyed all creatures
on the earth; but Holy God, the Eternal King, the Lord of heaven,
stern of heart, preserved the ark when He unleashed the ocean
currents and their changing streams.


(ll. 1407-1412) And God, the Lord of victory, was mindful of
those mariners, of the son of Lamech, and all the living things
which the Author of life and light had locked within the bosom of
the ship against the waters' might. The Lord of hosts guided the
warriors by His word across the world.

(ll. 1412-1421) Then the welling floods began to lessen and the
black tides ebbed beneath the heavens. The Just God turned the
waters again from His children and stilled the downpour of the
rains. Foamy-necked the ship fared on an hundred and fifty
nights beneath the heavens, after the flood had lifted up that
best of vessels with its well-nailed sides -- until at last the
appointed number of the days of wrath were passed away.

(ll. 1421-1430) And the ark of Noah, the greatest of seahomes,
with its burden, rested high upon the hills which are called
Armenia. There the holy son of Lamech waited many days for God's
faithful covenant to be fulfilled, when the Warden of life, the
Lord Almighty, would give him respite from the perils he had
suffered while the black waves bore him far and wide upon the
waters over the spacious earth.

(ll. 1431-1448) The floods receded, and those sea-tossed men,
together with their wives, longed for the hour when they might
leave their narrow home, and step across the well-nailed sides
upon the shore, and from their prison lead out their possessions.
And Noah, the helmsman of the ark, made trial whether the
seafloods yet were ebbing under heaven. After many days, while
the high hills yet harboured the seed and treasure of the tribes
of earth, the son of Lamech let a dusky raven fly forth from the
ark over the deep flood. And Noah was sure that in its need, if
so be it should find no land upon this journey, the raven would
return to him again within the ark across the wide water. But
Noah's hope failed him! Exulting the raven perched upon the
floating bodies of the dead; the black-winged bird would not

(ll. 1449-1463) And seven days after the dusky raven he let a
grey dove fly forth from the ark across the deep water, making
trial whether the high and foaming floods had yet receded from
any region of the green earth. Widely she sought her heart's
desire, circling afar, but nowhere finding rest. Because of the
floods she might not set foot upon the land, nor settle on the
branch of any tree because of the ocean-streams. The high hills
were covered by the deep. And so at evening over the dusky wave
the wild bird sought the ark, settling hungry and weary into the
hands of that holy man.

(ll. 1464-1476) And again after seven days a second dove was sent
forth from the ark. The wild bird circled widely till she found
a refuge and a pleasant resting-place, and settled in a tree.
Blithe of heart, she rejoiced that in her weariness she might
find rest upon its pleasant branches. She shook her feathers and
flew back with a gift, bearing as she flew a branch of an olive
tree with its green blades. And the prince of shipmen knew that
comfort was at hand, and a requital of their toilsome voyage.

(ll. 1476-1482) And again after seven days the blessed man sent
forth a third wild dove. And she flew not back unto the ark, but
came to land and the green forests. Her heart was glad; never
again would she appear under the black roof of the ark. Nor was
there need!


(ll. 1483-1484) Then our Lord, the Warden of the heavenly
kingdom, with holy word spake unto Noah:

(ll. 1485-1492) "For thee again on earth a fair abiding-place is
founded, blessings upon the land, and rest from far
sea-wandering. Depart in peace out of the ark; go forth upon the
bosom of the earth. And from the high ship lead thy household,
and all the living things which graciously I shielded against the
flood, so long as the sea held sway and covered thy third home."

(ll. 1493-1511) And Noah hearkened unto God with great rejoicing,
and did according as the Voice commanded. And he went out upon
the shore, and led forth from the ark all who had survived that
time of woe. Then Noah, wise of counsel, began to offer
sacrifice to God. And for an offering he took a part of all his
goods which God had given him to enjoy, and, great in wisdom and
in glory, made sacrifice to God, the King of angels. And
straightway our Lord made known that He had blessed Noah, and
Noah's children, because he had offered that thank-offering, and
in his youth by good deeds had deserved the bounteous mercies
which Almighty God in majesty bestowed upon him. And God, the
Lord of glory, spake unto Noah and said:

(ll. 1512-1531) "Be fruitful and multiply, enjoying honour,
delighting in peace. Fill all the earth with your increase. To
you is given the home of your fathers, dominion over the fish of
the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field,
over all the green earth and its teeming herds. Never shall ye
eat in blood your shameful feasts through sin defiled with blood.
For most he injureth himself and his soul's honour whoso shall
slay another with the sword. Verily! in no wise shall his heart
have joy in his reward! For many times more heavily will I
avenge man's life upon his murderer, because his sword hath
prospered in violence and blood, and his hands in death. Man was
first fashioned in the image of God. Each hath the form of God
and of the angels, whoso will keep My holy laws.

(ll. 1532-1542) "Be fruitful and multiply, enjoying grace on
earth and every pleasant thing. Fill all the regions of the
earth with your increase, your issue, and your seed. And unto
you I give My covenant that never again will I bring the waters
upon the earth or a flood on the wide-stretching land. Oft shall
ye behold the token of My promise in the heavens, when I show
forth My rainbow, that I will keep this covenant with men while
the world standeth."

(ll. 1543-1554) And the wise son of Lamech, the warden of wealth,
came forth from the ship as the flood receded, and his three sons
with him. And their four wives were called Percoba, and Olla,
and Olliva, and Ollivani. The Faithful Lord had saved them to
survive the flood. And Noah's stout-hearted sons were Shem and
Ham, and the third was Japheth. From them sprang many peoples,
and all the earth was filled with the sons of men.

(ll. 1555-1561) Then a second time Noah began to establish a home
with his kinsmen, and to till the earth for food. He toiled and
wrought and planted a vineyard and sowed seed, and laboured that
the green earth might bring forth her shining harvests, her
gleaming crops, in every season.

(ll. 1562-1576) And it came to pass upon a time that the blessed
man lay drunk with wine in his dwelling, and slumbered heavy with
feasting, and cast off his robe from his body, as was not seemly,
and lay there naked of limb. Little did he know what evil plight
was his in his dwelling, while drunkenness had hold upon his
heart within him in its holy house. But his soul was fast bound
in slumber, so that in his stupor he might not cover himself with
a garment, nor hide his shame, as was decreed for man and woman
what time the thane of glory with a sword of fire behind our
first great parents locked the gates of life.

(ll. 1577-1588) Then Ham, the son of Noah, went in where his lord
lay sleeping, and would not look with reverence upon his father,
nor cover his shame. But he laughed, and told his brothers how
their lord lay sleeping in his home. And straightway, covering
their faces with their cloaks, they went in unto the well-beloved
to bring him succour. For both were good of heart, both Shem and

(ll. 1588-1603) Then the son of Lamech awoke from his slumber,
and learned that Ham had failed to show him reverence or love
when he had greatest need. And the holy man was grieved in his
heart, and set a curse upon his son, saying that Ham should be an
outcast under heaven and servant to his kinsmen on the earth.
And the curse lay heavy upon him and on all his tribe. And Noah
and his sons as freemen ruled a wide-stretching realm for three
hundred and fifty winters of this life, after the flood. Then he
went hence. And his sons possessed his wealth, and begat
children and prospered.

(ll. 1603-1616) Children were born unto Japheth, a glad
hearth-band of sons and daughters. He was a godly man, enjoying
bliss and blessing with his children, until his soul within his
breast, ready to depart, must needs go forth unto the glory of
God. And Gormer, Japheth's son, dispensed his father's treasure
among his friends and kinsmen, near and dear. And no little
portion of the earth was filled with their increase.

(ll. 1616-1628) Likewise sons were born unto Ham. The names of
the eldest were called Cush and Ham, two goodly youths, his
first-born sons. And Cush was ruler of his tribe, dispensing joy
and worldly wealth and treasure unto his brothers in his father's
stead, after Ham died, and his soul departed from this earthly
body. He ruled his tribe and gave them laws until his days were
run. Then he gave over earthly riches and sought another life
and his Father's bosom.

(ll. 1628-1636) And the first-born son of Cush, a far-famed man,
held his ancestral seat. The writings tell us that of all men
then alive his strength and power were greatest. He was lord of
the kingdom of Babylon, and first of princes to exalt her glory.
He enlarged her borders and brought her fame.


(ll. 1637-1639) Now there was yet one common tongue for all men
on the earth. And a great tribe was born of the stem of Ham and
a mighty people spreading far and wide.

(ll. 1640-1660) And Shem begat a host of free-born sons and
daughters, and, after many winters, went to his last rest. In
that tribe men were good! One of the sons of Shem was Eber, and
from him sprang a countless race which all men dwelling in the
earth call Hebrews. They departed out of the east, taking with
them all their substance, their cattle and their goods. That was
a dauntless folk! The heroes sought a roomier land, a wandering
folk, in mighty multitudes, and chose at last a fixed abode
wherein to settle. Far and wide in days of old the leaders of
that people, with their well-loved men, possessed the land of
Shinar, a land of green plains and pleasant valleys. And at that
time they prospered greatly, and had abundance of all good

(ll. 1661-1678) Then many a man besought his friend, and one
stout warrior urged another, that, before their multitude and the
tribes of their people should be scattered again over the face of
the whole earth in search of land, they should build a city to
their glory and rear a tower unto the stars of heaven, to be a
sign that they had sought the land of Shinar, where of old the
mighty leaders of the folk had lived at ease. And they sought
out men for this work and deed of sin, in rash pride showing
forth their strength. Greedy for glory, they reared a city with
their hands, and raised a ladder up to heaven, and in their vain
strength built a wall of stone beyond the measure of men.

(ll. 1678-1701) Then came Holy God to look upon the work of the
children of men, the citadel and the tower which the sons of Adam
were beginning to rear unto heaven. Stern of heart, the King
reproved their folly, and in His wrath confounded the tongues of
the dwellers of earth, and they might not prosper in their
speech. Then the leaders of the work in pride of strength met
together about the tower in many bands. But no one band could
understand another. And they left off to build the wall of
stone, and were wretchedly sundered into tribes divided by their
speech. And every tribe became alien to every other tribe, when
the Lord in His might sundered the speech of men. So the divided
sons of men were scattered on four ways in search of land. And
behind them the steadfast tower of stone, and the high citadel,
stood unfinished together in the land of Shinar.

(ll. 1702-1718) Now the tribe of Shem increased and flourished
under heaven. And a certain man of that tribe, of thoughtful
heart and given to virtue, had noble children. Two goodly sons
were born to him, and bred in Babylon, great-hearted princes
named Abraham and Haran. And the Lord of angels was their guide
and friend. Now Haran had a noble son, whose name was Lot. And
Abraham and Lot throve excellently before the Lord as was their
nature from their elders. Wherefore men proclaim their virtues
far and wide upon the earth.


(ll. 1719-1729) Then was the time fulfilled, and Abraham brought
a wife unto his home, a fair and comely woman to his dwelling.
And her name was Sarah, as the writings tell us. Many a winter
they enjoyed the world, prospering in peace for many a year. But
it was not given unto Abraham that his comely wife should bear
him children, or an heir unto his house.

(ll. 1730-1743) And Abraham's father went out with his household,
and with all their substance, journeying through the realm of the
Chaldeans. Fain would the wise lord with his kinsfolk seek the
land of Canaan. And Abraham and Lot, his kinsmen, dear to God,
departed with him out of that country. The noble sons of men
chose them a dwelling in the land of Haran, and their wives with
them. And Abraham's father, the faithful, died in that land.
And all his years were two hundred and five winters, and he
departed, full of years, to see God.

(ll. 1744-1766) Then the Holy Warden of the heavenly kingdom,
Eternal God, said unto Abraham: "Go forth from this place, and
lead thy household and thy cattle with thee. Get thee out of the
land of Haran, and from thy father's home. Journey as I bid
thee, dearest of men; hearken to My teachings, and seek the land
of green, wide-stretching plains, which I shall show thee.
Blessed shalt thou live in My protection. If any of the dwellers
of earth greet thee with evil, him will I curse for thy sake; and
I will set My anger upon him and My enduring wrath. But unto
them that honour thee will I be gracious and give them all their
heart's desire. Through thee all nations dwelling in the earth
shall have My peace and friendship, My bliss and blessing in the
world. The number of thy tribe, thy sons and daughters, shall be
increased beneath the heavens, until the earth and many a land
shall be filled with thy seed."

(ll. 1767-1786) And Abraham, great in virtue and blessed with
gold and silver, departed with much substance out of the land of
Haran, leading his herds and his possessions, even unto the
borders of the Egyptians, according as our God, the Lord of
victory, commanded by His word, and sought a dwelling in the land
of Canaan. Beloved of God, he came with gladness to that land,
and his wife with him, the dear companion of his bed, and the
wife of his brother's son. And his years were five-and-seventy
winters when he went out from the land of Haran, and from his
kinsmen. And Abraham was mindful of the words of the Almighty
Father, and journeyed through all the borders of that people, at
his Lord's behest, to view the land afar, and came at last in
safety, with undaunted heart, to Sichem and the Canaanites. And
the Just Lord, the King of angels, revealed Himself to Abraham
and said:

(ll. 1787-1790) "This is the roomy land, the beautiful, green
realm, adorned with increase, which I will give thy seed to

(ll. 1790-1804) And there the prince builded an altar to the
Lord, and offered up a sacrifice to God, the Lord of life,
Protector of all souls. And Abraham departed again out of the
east to view with his eyes this best of lands (and he was mindful
of the gracious promise which the Heavenly Warden, the Lord of
victory, had given by His holy word) until they came with their
multitudes unto a village called Bethel. Out of the east their
leader, blithe of heart, and his brother's son, Godfearing men,
journeyed with all their substance through far-famed lands, and
over high, steep hills, and chose a dwelling where the fields
seemed wondrous fair.


(ll. 1805-1810) And again Abraham builded an altar, calling
earnestly on God, and offered sacrifice unto the Lord of life.
And God was gracious, and with unsparing hand granted him reward
upon the altar.

(ll. 1811-1823) And for a time thereafter the prince abode in his
dwellings, and his wife with him, enjoying all good things, until
a grievous famine fell upon the tribes of Canaan, and bitter
hunger, grim as death to men within their homes. Then Abraham,
wise of heart, and chosen of the Lord, betook him into Egypt to
seek a place of refuge. The faithful hero fled from that
affliction; too bitter was the woe. And, in the wisdom of his
heart, when he beheld the gabled palaces and high-walled towns of
the Egyptians gleaming brightly, Abraham began to speak unto his
wife and counsel her:

(ll. 1824-1843) "Lo! many a proud Egyptian shall behold thy
beauty, maiden of elfin grace! And if one look upon thee with
desire, thinking thou art my wife, I fear lest, in his longing
for thy love, some foe may slay me with the sword. Therefore,
Sarah, say thou art my sister and my kin, if any stranger
question what the bond may be between us two of alien race and
distant home. Conceal the truth! So shalt thou save my life if
God, our Lord Almighty, who sent us on this journey, that we
might strive for honour and advantage among the Egyptians, will
grant me His protection as of old, and longer life."

(ll. 1844-1872) So Abraham, the dauntless earl, came journeying
with all his substance into Egypt, where men were alien to him
and friends unknown. And many a proud earl, great in glory,
found the woman fair; to many a bold thanes of the king she
seemed of royal beauty; and this they told their lord. They
little thought of any fairer maid, but praised the winsome
loveliness of Sarah more highly to their prince, until he bade
them bring the lovely woman to his hall. And the lord of men,
dispenser of treasure, bade them show honour upon Abraham. But
the Lord God visited His anger upon Pharaoh because of his love
of the woman; bitterly the prince of men atoned, and all his
household. He knew why the Lord afflicted him with plagues!
Then the prince of Egypt called Abraham before him, who was sore
afraid; and he gave him his wife again and his consort, and bade
him seek friends elsewhere, other princes and another folk. And
he bade his thanes and serving men conduct him, uninjured and
with honour, out from among that people, that he might be at

(ll. 1873-1889) So Abraham took his possessions and went out from
the land of Egypt. Brave men conveyed the maiden, the bride with
rings adorned, and they led their flocks and earthly riches unto
Bethel to their olden dwellings again, wife and wealth and
worldly treasure. They began to build there, to found a city,
and renew their halls and establish a home. And they builded an
altar in the plain near that which Abraham had built aforetime to
his God, when he came out of the west. And there the blessed man
of noble heart gave praise anew unto the name of the Eternal
Lord, offering sacrifice unto the Prince of angels, and giving
thanks abundantly unto the Lord of life for all His grace and

(ll. 1890-1900) Then Abraham and Lot abode in that place, having
the fullness of their desires, enjoying bliss, until no longer
could they prosper in that land together, with their possessions,
but those righteous men must needs seek elsewhere some roomier
dwelling-place. For often quarrels rose between the followers of
these faithful men, and strife among their shepherds. Then holy
Abraham, mindful of honour, spake fairly unto Lot:

(ll. 1900-1919) "I am thy father's brother in blood kinship, and
thou my brother's son. No strife shall rise, no feud grow up,
between us two. God will not suffer that. We two are kinsmen;
naught else shall there be between us save goodness and enduring
love. Now, Lot, take thought how strong men dwell about our
borders, mighty tribes with thanes and allies, men of valour, the
tribe of the Canaanites and the tribe of the Perizzites. They
will not give us of their land! Therefore let us go forth from
this place, and seek out roomier fields. I give good counsel,
son of Haran, for us both, and speak the truth. I give thee
choice, my son! Take thought, and ponder in thy heart on which
hand thou wilt bend thy course, thou and thy cattle. The choice
is thine!"

(ll. 1920-1944) Then Lot departed to view the green earth and the
land that lies by Jordan. And it was watered with rivers, and
covered with pleasant fruits, bright with running streams, and
like the Paradise of God before our Lord gave over Sodom and
Gomorrah unto fire and black flame, because of the sins of men.
And there the son of Haran chose him a dwelling and a settlement
in the city of Sodom. And thither he took from Bethel all his
substance, rings and household treasure and riches and twisted
gold. And he abode by Jordan many a year. The place was fair,
but those that dwelt therein were impious and hateful unto God.
The race of Sodomites were bold in sin, in deeds perverse,
working eternal folly. Lot would not adopt the customs of that
people, but turned him from their practices, their sin and shame,
though he must needs dwell in the land. He kept him pure and
spotless and of patient heart among that people, mindful of God's
commands, most like as if he knew not what that nation did.

(ll. 1945-1959) And Abraham abode thenceforth in the dwellings of
the Canaanites. And the Lord of men, the King of angels, was his
defender, granting him his heart's desires and worldly wealth and
love and favour. Wherefore the tribes of men, the children of
baptism, exalt his praise full widely under heaven. He served
the Lord with gladness while he lived on earth, holy and wise of
heart. Never need any man lack shelter or defence, nor be afraid
and fearful before God, whoso, in return for His protection, with
discerning heart, with wit and word and understanding, in thought
and deed will serve Him till his death!


(ll. 1960-1972) Then, as I have heard, Chedorlaomer, king of the
Elamires, a bold folk-captain, marshalled an army, and Amraphel
of Shinar and a mighty host were joined with him. Four kings
with a great multitude departed into the south against Sodom and
Gomorrah. And all the land about Jordan was overrun with armed
men and hostile bands. Many a trembling maiden, pale with fear,
must needs endure a foe's embrace. Many a warrior perished, sick
with wounds, guarding their wives and treasure.

(ll. 1973-1989) Against them from the south five kings went forth
to war with battle-hosts and marching squadrons. Fain would they
guard the city of Sodom against the foe. Twelve winters long
that folk had given toll and tribute to the Northmen, and would
no more enrich the lord of Elam with their treasure, but they
rebelled against him. Onward the hosts advanced, intent on
death. (Loud sang the javelins.) Amid the spears the blackbird,
dewy-feathered, croaked in hope of carrion. In multitudes, with
steadfast hearts, the warriors hastened till the hosts were
gathered from afar, from south and north, helmeted men.

(ll. 1989-2003) Then was hard hand-play; crashing of weapons,
storming of death-darts, tumult of battle. From out the sheaths
men snatched their ring-decked, keen-edged swords. There might
an earl have his fill of fighting, whoso was not yet sated with
war. The Northmen smote the people of the south. In the shock
of shields the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, dispensers of gold,
lost many a well-loved comrade. And they fled away from the
place of battle and saved their lives. Behind them, slain with
spears and smitten with the swordedge, their well-loved comrades,
sons of princes, fell in death.

(ll. 2003-2017) And the lord of Elam had the victory, and held
the place of battle; and those who escaped the sword fled away to
seek a stronghold. The foemen took their gold and sacked their
splendid treasure-cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Women were torn
from their sheltering homes, widow and maid, bereft of friends.
And the foe led Abraham's kinsman captive out of the city of
Sodom, with all his substance. But truly may we tell these war
wolves' fate after the battle, boasting their victory, leading
Lot captive away, and with him the goods of the people and gold
of the Southmen.


(ll. 2018-2038) For a certain man who survived the battle and the
sword came running unto Abraham, the Hebrew prince, and told him
the disaster, the fate of Lot, and how the men of Sodom, and
their strength, were sorely smitten. And Abraham told these
tidings to his friends; the faithful man besought his well-loved
comrades, Aner and Mamre and Eshcol, to bear him aid, saying that
it was grievous to his heart and greatest of all sorrows, that
his brother's son should suffer thraldom. He bade those valiant
men devise a plan to free his kinsman, and his wife with him.
And quickly the three brothers spake, and healed the sorrow of
his heart with manful words, and pledged their faith to Abraham
to aid him, and avenge his wrath upon his foes, or fall in death.

(ll. 2039-2059) Then the holy man bade his hearth-retainers take
their weapons. Three hundred and eighteen wielders of the ashen
spear he gathered, loyal-hearted men, of whom he knew that each
would stoutly bear his linden shield to battle. And Abraham went
out, and the three earls who had pledged their faith, together
with a great company of their people. He would fain redeem his
kinsman, Lot, from his distress. Brave were the warriors,
stoutly bearing their bucklers upon the march. And when these
war-wolves had journeyed nigh unto the camp, the son of Terah,
wise of heart, bespake his captains (great was his need that they
should wage grim war on either flank, and hard hand-play against
the foe) and said that easily the Holy, Everlasting Lord could
speed their fortunes in the spear-strife.

(ll. 2060-2083) Then, in the shades of night, as I have heard,
the warriors dared the battle. In the camp rose din of shields
and spears, death of bowmen, crash of battle arrows. Bitterly
the sharp spears pierced the hearts of men. In throngs their
foemen, warriors and comrades, fell in death, where laughing they
had borne away the spoil. And victory and glory of war forsook
the strife of the Northmen. No twisted gold did Abraham offer in
ransom for his brother's son, but battle; he smote and slew the
foe in war. And the Lord of heaven smote in his behalf. Four
armies fled, the kings and captains of the folk. Behind them lay
the goodly host of hearth-retainers, cold in death, and in their
track lay those who sacked the homes of Sodom and Gomorrah, and
bore away the young men and the gold. Lot's uncle gave them grim
requital! And the lords of the army of Elam, shorn of their
glory, continued in flight until they came nigh unto Damascus.

(ll. 2083-2095) Then Abraham betook him to the track of their
retreat, and beheld the flight of the foe. Lot was redeemed, and
his possessions; the women returned with joy. Far and wide upon
the field of slaughter the birds were tearing at the bodies of
those foemen of the free. And Abraham brought the treasure of
the Southmen, their wives and children, unto their homes again,
and maidens to their kinsmen. Never did any man of living men
with tiny band go forth more worthily to battle than those who
rushed against that mighty host.


(ll. 2096-2106) Southward the tidings of battle were borne to the
people of Sodom: news of their fierce foes' flight. The lord of
the folk, bereft of earls and desolate of friends, went out unto
Abraham, to meet him. And with him journeyed Salem's
treasure-warden, Melchizedek the mighty, the bishop of the folk.
He came with gifts, gave Abraham fair greeting, the lord of armed
men, and blessed him with God's blessing, and said:

(ll. 2107-2120) "Well hast thou borne thee among men, before His
eyes who gave thee glory in the battle -- that is, God the Lord,
who brake the power of thy foes, and let thee hew thy way to
safety with the sword, regain the spoil, and fell thine enemies.
They perished in the track of their retreat. The marching host
throve not in battle, but God put them to flight. With His hands
He shielded thee against the force of greater numbers in the
battle because of the holy covenant which thou dost keep with the
Lord of heaven."

(ll. 2121-2125) And the prince laid his hand upon him and blessed
him, and Abraham gave a tenth part of all the booty unto the
bishop of God. Then unto Abraham spake the battle-king, the
prince of Sodom, bereft of his warriors (he had need of favour):

(ll. 2126-2135) "Restore me now the maidens of my people whom
thou hast rescued with thy host from evil bondage. Keep thou the
twisted gold that was my people's, the wealth and treasure. But
let me lead again in freedom to their native land and wasted
dwellings the children of my people, the women and lads and
widows in their affliction. Our sons are dead and all our
nobles, save a few only who must guard with me the marches of our

(ll. 2136-2138) And straightway, crowned with valour and victory
and glory, Abraham made answer before the earls. Right nobly
spake he:

(ll. 2139-2160) "I say to thee, O prince of men, before the Holy
Lord of earth and heaven, there is no worldly treasure I will
take, nor scot nor shilling of what I have redeemed for thee
among the bowmen, great prince and lord of men, lest that thou
afterward shouldest say that I grew rich with the riches of Sodom
and its olden treasure. But thou mayest take hence with thee all
that booty which I won for thee in battle, save only the portion
of these lordly men, of Aner, and of Mamre, and of Eshcol. I
will not willingly deprive these warriors of their right, for
they upheld me in the shock of battle and fought to thine
advantage. Depart now, taking home the well-wrought gold, and
lovely maidens, the daughters of thy people. Thou needest not to
dread the onrush of thy foes, or war of the Northmen, but the
blood-stained birds of prey are resting on the mountain slopes,
gorged with the slain of their armies."

(ll. 2161-2167) Then the king departed to his home with the booty
which the holy Hebrew prince, mindful of honour, had given him.
And the Lord of heaven appeared again unto Abraham, comforting
the noble man of heart with holy speech, and said:

(ll. 2168-2172) "Great shall be thy reward! Let not thy heart be
shaken, doing My will. Thou needest have no whit of dread if
thou wilt keep My precepts, but I will shield thee with My hands,
and shelter thee from every evil, so long as thy life endureth.
Be not afraid."


(ll. 2173-2186) And Abraham, full of years and noble deeds, made
answer to his Lord and asked: "What comfort canst Thou give me,
Lord of spirits, who am thus desolate? No need have I to heap up
treasure for any child of mine, but after me my kinsmen shall
enjoy my wealth. Thou grantest me no son, and therefore sorrow
presseth on my heart. I can devise no counsel. My steward goeth
to and fro rejoicing in his children, and firmly thinketh in his
heart that after me his sons shall be my heirs. He seeth that no
child is born to me."

(ll. 2187-2215) And straightway God made answer unto him: "Never
shall son of thy steward inherit thy goods; but thine own son
shall have thy treasure when thy flesh lieth cold. Behold the
heavens! Number their jewels, the shining stars, that shed their
wondrous beauty far and wide, and blaze so brightly over the
spacious sea. So shall thy tribe be and thy seed for number.
Let not thy heart be troubled. Yet shall thy wife conceive and
bear a son, great in goodness, to be warden of thy wealth, when
thou art gone. Be not cast down. I am the Lord who, many a year
ago, brought thee forth from out the land of the Chaldeans, with
but a few, and gave thee this wide realm to rule. I give thee
now My promise, prince of Hebrews, thy seed shall settle many a
spacious kingdom, the regions of the world from the Egyptian
borders even unto Euphrates, and where the Nile hems in a mighty
land and the sea limits it. All this shall thy sons inhabit;
each tract and tribal realm and lofty stone-built city,
whatsoever those three waters and their foaming floods encircle
with their streams."

(ll. 2216-2219) Now Sarah's heart was heavy that she bare no
goodly son to gladden Abraham; with bitter grief she spake unto
her husband:

(ll. 2220-2233) "The Lord of heaven hath denied me to increase
thy tribe, or bear thee children under heaven. I have no hope
that we shall have a son to stay our house. My heart is sad. My
lord, do now according as I bid thee. Here is a virgin subject
unto thee, a comely maid, a daughter of the Egyptian people. Bid
her go quickly to thy bed and thou shalt prove if by this woman
the Lord will send an heir unto thy house."

(ll. 2234-2246) And the blessed man gave ear unto the woman's
counsels, and bade his handmaid go unto his bed, according as his
wife had counselled him. And the maiden conceived by Abraham,
and her heart grew arrogant. She stubbornly began to vex her
mistress, was insolent, insulting, evil-hearted, and would not
willingly be subject to her, but straightway entered into strife
with Sarah. Then, as I have heard, the woman told her sorrow to
her lord, speaking with bitter grief:

(ll. 2247-2255) "Thou hast not done me right or justice! Since
first my handmaid, Hagar, knew thy bed, according as I counselled
thee, thou sufferest her to vex me day by day in word and deed.
But her atonement shall be bitter if I may still rule over my own
maid, dear Abraham. And may Almighty God, the Lord of lords, be
judge between us."

(ll. 2256-2260) And straightway Abraham, wise of heart, made
answer: "Never will I let thee be dishonoured while we two live.
But thou shalt deal with thine handmaid even according as it
pleaseth thee."


(ll. 2261-2270) Then was the wife of Abraham hard of heart and
hostile-minded, ruthless, and merciless against her handmaid, and
bitterly declared her hate. And the maiden fled from thraldom
and oppression, and would not brook punishment or retribution for
what she wrought against Sarah. But she fled into the
wilderness. And there a thane of glory, an angel of the Lord,
found her sad of heart and questioned her:

(ll. 2271-2272) "Whither art thou hastening, unhappy girl,
handmaid of Sarah?"

(ll. 2273-2279) And straightway she answered him: "Devoid of all
good things, in misery, I fled away out of my dwelling, from the
hate of my lady, from injury and wrong. Here in the wilderness
with tear-stained face I shall abide my doom, when from my heart
grim hunger or the wolf shall tear my soul and sorrow."

(ll. 2280-2295) And the angel answered her: "Seek not to flee
away and leave thy lord, but return again, deserve honour, be of
humble heart, constant in virtue, and faithful to thy lord.
Thou, Hagar, shalt bring forth a son to Abraham. And I say unto
thee that men shall call him Ishmael. He shall be terrible, and
swift to war; his hand shall be against the tribes of men, his
kinsmen. Many shall war upon him bitterly. And from that prince
shall spring a race and an unnumbered tribe. Return again to
seek thy lord, and dwell with them that have thee in possession."

(ll. 2296-2305) And she hearkened unto the angel's counsel, and
returned again unto her lord, according as the holy messenger of
God commanded in words of wisdom. And Abraham had lived for
six-and-eighty winters in the world when Ishmael was born. And
the boy grew strong and throve according as the angel, the
faithful minister of peace, had told the maid. And after
thirteen years the Lord, Eternal God, said unto Abraham:

(ll. 2306-2325) "Dearest of men, keep well our covenant as I
shall show thee, and I will prosper thee and honour thee in every
season. Be swift to work My will. I will be mindful of the
covenant and pledge I gave thee to thy comfort, because thy soul
was sad. Thou shalt sanctify thy household, and set a
victor-sign on every male, if thou wilt have in Me a lord or
faithful friend unto thy people. I will be lord and shepherd of
this folk if ye will serve Me in your hearts, and keep My laws.
And each male child that cometh into the world, among this
people, shall be devoted unto Me in seven nights' time, by the
victor-token, or else cut off from all the world with
persecution, and exiled from all good.

(ll. 2325-2337) "Do as I bid thee: I will be gracious unto you if
ye will use that token of true faith. Thy wife shall bear a son,
and men shall call him Isaac. Thou shalt not need to shame thee
for him, but I will grant him grace divine, by My great might,
and many a friend. He shall receive My blessing and My bliss, My
love and favour. From him shall spring a mighty people and many
a valiant leader, rulers of kingdoms, lords of the world,
renowned afar."


(ll. 2338-2347) Then Abraham laid his face upon the ground and
pondered these sayings in his heart with scorn. For he deemed
that never the day would come when Sarah, his greyhaired wife,
would bear a son. Full well he knew that she had lived an
hundred winters in the world. And full of years he spake unto
the Lord:

(ll. 2348-2352) "May Ishmael live according to Thy laws, O Lord,
and render Thee a thankful and a steadfast spirit, an earnest
heart to do Thy will, by night and day, in word and deed."

(ll. 2353-2354) And graciously Eternal God, Almighty Lord, made

(ll. 2355-2369) "Yet shall Sarah bear a son, though old in
winters, and fate shall be fulfilled according to My word. I
will bless Ishmael, thy firstborn, with My blessing as thou dost
ask, that his days may be long in the land, and his race may
multiply. This will I grant thee. So also will I prosper Isaac,
thy younger son, who is not yet born, with every good and
pleasant thing all the days of his life. And I will surely keep
My covenant with him and holy faith, and show him favour."

(ll. 2370-2381) And Abraham did even as Eternal God commanded,
and, in accordance with his Lord's behest, he set the sign of the
covenant upon his son, and bade his bondmen also bear that holy
token. He was wise of heart, and mindful of the covenant and
pledge which God had given him, and he himself received the
glorious sign. God, the Mighty King, increased his glory in the
world. And he strove in all his ways to work the will of his

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