Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Genesis XL

The boy grew and prospered, as was natural to his pre-eminence
from his elders. Abraham had one hundred winters when his wife
thankfully bore him a son. For some time he waited since first
the Lord announced to him the joyful day through his own word.
Then it happened that that woman saw Ishmael playing
before Abraham, where the two of them sat at a feast, holy in his heart,
with their entire household, drinking and making merry. (2772-82a)

Then the noble woman spoke, wife to her husband: “Forgive me,
warden of rings, my own dear lord: order Hagar to journey
elsewhere and lead Ishmael with her! By my desire, we will not
dwell long together, if I be allowed to rule matters. Never will Ishmael
share your heritage with Isaac my own child after your tracks,
when you send life out from your body.” (2782b-91a)

Then was Abraham pained in his mind that he should drive
his own son into exile, when the true Measurer came to him,
strong in his assistance, he knew the spirit of the man was gripped by cares.
The King of Angels spoke to Abraham, the Eternal Lord:
“Let sorrow slip away from your breast, the turbulence of your mind,
and listen to that woman your wife! Order them both to depart away,
Hagar and Ishmael, the child of your home! I will make his kin
broad and powerful, the children of his stock, powerful of offspring,
as I have promised you in words.” (2791b-2803)

Then the man obeyed his Wielder: dreary-minded he drove
those two from his camps, the woman and his own son. (2804-6)

[A leaf is missing here, cutting out material from Genesis 21:15-21. We return to the words of Abimelech to Abraham.]

“It is patent and obvious that the true Lord is your companion,
the King of the Skies, who has given you victory by force
of his wisdom and strengthened your heart with godly grace.
Therefore you have succeeded up to now, with friend or foe,
you have accomplished both your words and deeds.
The Sovereign has advanced your desires with his own hands,
the Lord on the forth-ways. That is widely known
among the city-dwellers. I ask you now, kinsman of the Hebrews,
with my words, that you good-minded give your troth,
your pledge that you will be faithful to me, a friend of my benefit,
as recompense of that which I have made you from my plenty,
since you came here from afar, destitute into this people,
on the track of the exile. (2807-23)

“Yield to me with grace, that I have not been stingy to you
neither in land nor in delightful things. Be merciful now
to my people and my family, if the All-Ruler ordains it,
our Lord, who holds our destiny, so that you may abundantly
distribute ornaments to my shield-warriors, the treasure to the proud,
and extend the borders of this folk-land.” Then Abraham
gave his pledge to Abimelech that he wished to do so. (2824-33)


1 section to go!

No comments: