Sunday, August 28, 2011

Genesis XXVI

Then was the mark of appointed time passed by so that Abraham
brought a woman to him, a wife to the homestead, where he
possessed a camp, fair and beautiful. The lady was called Sarah,
of whom the books speak to us. Then they enjoyed many winters
this world. They held peace and treasure together for many years.
An heir was not yet granted unto Abraham, nor to this point
had the beauty-bright woman brought into the world
sons or daughters, Sarah for Abraham.
He departed then with his family through the Chaldeans’ land,
faring with their food, the father of Abraham. The wise man
wished to seek with his relations the land of Canaan.
The kinsmen journeyed with him, chosen by the Measurer,
from that native ground, Abraham and Lot. The excellent sons of noblemen
seized land in Harran, men with their wives. In this place
the father of Abraham gave up his spirit, the faithful warrior.
He had two hundred winters, told by count, and five more,
when he fared forth to see his destiny, wise of years. (1719-43)

Then the Holy One spoke, the Warden of Heaven’s Realm,
to Abraham, the Eternal Lord: “Turn towards a departure now
and lead away your chattels, your breeding cows. Leave Harran,
the native seat of your father. Travel, as I have ordered you,
dearest of men, and heed my instruction well, and seek that
all-greening land which I wish to show you, the broad earth.
You shall be blessed to dwell in my protection.
If any earth-dweller greet you with malice, I will set my curse
upon him and my heart’s hatred, my enduring abhorrence.
I give them joy, the fruits of delight to those who worthy you. (1744-58)

“Through you all the earth-dwellers shall accept the favor
of the Child of Men and my friendship, my bliss and my blessing
in the realm of this world. Your tribe, the count of your men,
shall be increasing, strongly under the sky, to your sons and daughters,
until the earth shall be filled by your progeny, many inhabited lands.” (1759-66)

Then Abraham departed, leading his possessions from the borders
of Egypt, excellent in manly virtues, well-endowed and blessed
with gold and silver, as the Guard of Victories had commanded him
by his word, our Sovereign, leading his cattle from Harran and seeking
the land and country of Canaan. Then came the man dear to God
onto that desired native-soil, leading his woman, his own bed-spouse
and the wife of his nephew. He had seventy-five winters when
he must travel leaving Harran and his near-kinsmen. (1767-78)

Father Abraham departed traveling then, mindful of the Almighty’s
teachings showing him the wide land beyond that people
by the command of the Lord, until the courage-bold came to Sychem
of the kin of the Canaanites, successful in his journey.
Then the King of the Angels revealed to Abraham himself,
and the Righteous Lord of Hosts spoke: “This is that all-greening
and splendid land which I wish to bestow upon your stock to rule,
a roomy realm, rich with blossoms.” (1779-90a)

Then the warrior built an altar unto God and offered a sacrifice
to the Wielder, the Light-Start of Life, the Helm of Souls.
Once again Abraham departed for the east, with bright eyes
upon the choicest of land—mindful of delight, the promise
of Heaven’s Warden, when through his holy word
the King of Victories himself revealed the truth to him—
until the chieftains of the multitude traveled to where
the village which is called Bethel. The blithe-minded man
and his brother’s son traveled forth across the nation-famous land
east with their possessions, law-fast men to the wall-steep slopes,
and then they chose a camp for themselves where the fields
seemed to be most beauty-bright. (1790b-1804)

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