Sunday, September 25, 2011


Then the brother of Haran departed with his wife, leading
his chattels with his household under the rule of Abimelech.
Abraham wordfully said to those men that Sarah was his sister,
thus saving his life, since he readily knew he had few kinsmen
or friends among these people. Then their lord send his thanes,
ordering them to bring her to him. Then was the alien wife
of Abraham led another time from her husband into a stranger’s embrace.
Then the Eternal Lord aided him there, as he often did, our Savior.
He came himself by night, where the ruler lay drunk with wine. (2621-35)

Then the Truth-King began to speak through a dream
to that nobleman and threatened him angrily: “ You have seized
the woman of Abraham, a wife at the side of her husband—
I shall draw forth death and your soul from your breast for this deed!” (2636-41a)

The feast-weary dispenser of sins spoke through his sleep:
“What? Will you ever allow him to be cut off from life, King of Angels,
through your wrath, one who lives in righteous custom,
whose mind-thoughts are fixed in his counsel, and who seeks
mercy for himself in you? She herself earlier said to me
unquestioning that she was Abraham’s sister wordfully. I have
not sinned against her, nor yet worked any crime.” (2641b-52)

Then at once the Eternal Lord, the Truth-Fast Measurer spoke to him
again through that dream: “Give to Abraham his own woman,
his wife into his power, if you care for life longer in this world,
helm of noblemen. He is good and wise; he can speak to God himself,
and see the Sky-King. You shall die with your money and goods,
if you hold his wife from this first-spear. He is able to pray to me,
if he, virtuous and patient, quickly chooses to announce this message
so that I shall allow you, still living, to brook the pleasure and plenty
of your treasures unharmed in the days to come.” (2653-66a)

Then fear forced the warden of people from sleep. He ordered
his own counselors be fetched and with speed Abimelech said
to those earls, stricken with terror, the Wielder’s words.
Those men were filled with fear for the deeds of the Lord’s hand,
the stroke after the sleeping. Then the king himself ordered
Abraham to come to him with the greatest hurry. (2666b-73)

Then pronounced the prince of the realm: “Kin of the Hebrews,
I wish to wordfully speak to you of something. How have I treated you,
since you led your aught under us, Abraham, in this country’s land,
so that you thus practice such cunning towards me? You a stranger
wished to deceive us criminally within these borders, to smite us
with sins, when you spoke the words that Sarah was your sister,
the kin of your body, hatefully you wished to lay blame on me
for a crime through your wife, an immeasurable evil.
We fed you honorably and granted you a camp among our people
in friendship, land as a delight to you. Now you requite
us this way—unfriendly you show us thanks for our gifts!” (2674-90)

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