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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter VI

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Text Commentary

1But when I, Abraham, heard words like this from my father, I laughed in my mind, yet groaned in the grief and anger of my soul. 2And I said, How can my father be served by what has been made by him – by idols made with his own hands? 3Will he subject his body to his soul, and then the soul of the spiritual spirit to folly and ignorance? 1 The obscurity here is probably due to dislocation in the text. JK read ‘Will he have subjected his body to his soul, and the soul to the spirit, and the spirit to folly and ignorance?’ 4And I said, It is only right to suffer evil once: I will set my mind on what is pure, and I will tell him plainly what I think. 5And 2 S om. I answered and said, Father Tera, whichever of these gods you praise, you are deluded in your mind. 6See, the gods of your brother Nachor, 3 RK ‘my brother Nachor’; J ‘your father Nachor’. which stand in the holy temple, are more honourable than yours. 7See too, Zuch, your brother Aron's god, is more honourable than Marumath your god, for he is made of gold, which is highly prized by men. 8And if he ages with the years, he can be remade; but Marumath, if he is smashed 4 Lit. ‘changed’. or broken, cannot be restored, because he is of stone. 9And it is the same with the god Avon who stands alongside Zuch. 10Barisat himself is burnt up in the fire, 5 And it is the same … fire: RJK ‘As for the god Joauv (R ‘Jav’), who stands alongside Zuch above the other gods – he is more worshipful than your god Barisat, who is made of wood, for he is forged of silver: as there is adaptation for him also(?), he is highly prized by men because of the brilliance (lit. ‘show’) of his appearance. But Barisat, your god, when he was still not made, was rooted in the earth, great and wonderful, with branches and blossoms and praises; and then you cut him with an axe, and he was made into a god by your skill. And behold, now he is withered, and his richness has perished (for this clause R reads ‘and here is the stump’), and from the height he is fallen to the ground, and from greatness has he come to littleness, and his outward form has disappeared, and he is burnt up in the fire’. and is reduced to ashes, and is no more. 11And yet you say, Today I will make another, and tomorrow he shall make my food. 12He has perished utterly. 6 Lit. ‘to destruction’.

Notes:

1 The obscurity here is probably due to dislocation in the text. JK read ‘Will he have subjected his body to his soul, and the soul to the spirit, and the spirit to folly and ignorance?’

2 S om.

3 RK ‘my brother Nachor’; J ‘your father Nachor’.

4 Lit. ‘changed’.

5 And it is the same … fire: RJK ‘As for the god Joauv (R ‘Jav’), who stands alongside Zuch above the other gods – he is more worshipful than your god Barisat, who is made of wood, for he is forged of silver: as there is adaptation for him also(?), he is highly prized by men because of the brilliance (lit. ‘show’) of his appearance. But Barisat, your god, when he was still not made, was rooted in the earth, great and wonderful, with branches and blossoms and praises; and then you cut him with an axe, and he was made into a god by your skill. And behold, now he is withered, and his richness has perished (for this clause R reads ‘and here is the stump’), and from the height he is fallen to the ground, and from greatness has he come to littleness, and his outward form has disappeared, and he is burnt up in the fire’.

6 Lit. ‘to destruction’.

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