[Reminder, text that is in bold is where I have corrected the translation for accuracy and clarity. It is the challenge of translations to find the balance between being accurate to what was meant and understood in ancient times with what “should” be meant and understood in our modern times. At least, what it should say, according to modern theological views of these ancient legends. It is my belief that we should be intellectually honest and read/translate these texts from the world-view of the writers who wrote them, without placing meaning within the text by convenience, when it is not necessarily supported by the text without argument. Also, all asterisked footnotes are my commentary on the text. – Joseph T Farkasdi]
The Alternate Creation of the World (Aaronid priesthood version of how the world began, written near the end of the first kingdom; mostly likely to replace the Judean/Israeli popular creation myth and “pagan” way of life, through the introduction of a non-anthropomorphic god figure, in an attempt to establish a mythologized history that validates the authority and historicity of the cultic priesthood, their civil and ritual laws, and to establish that only through them can mystic knowledge be obtained)
In the beginning, Elohim* created the skies and the land.**
* – The god of the theocratically ambitious Jewish Israeli priests was their national high god Elohim, their version of the Cannanite god, El. This god is an absolutely formless god, having no shape and stands apart from all physical existence. A god that stands in sharp contrast with the storm god, Yahweh, of earlier kingdom monarchy times, which not only in legend had bodily form but walked amongst the humans it had created.
** – This later written, henotheistic period, priestly creation myth was written and circulated in an attempt to usurp the popularity of the more commonly known polytheistic oriented creation story of the Garden of Eden. It was an attempt to re-write “what we believe in,” deliberately re-telling the tale in a way that had no connection to Yahweh and his consort Asherah and the mythical garden creation tale. The priest’s theocratic focused god is a god of no form, a god of priestly laws that must be obeyed at extreme cost, a god that stands separate of its creation and speaks directly to the people only through the priests themselves – to include notable Torah examples, such as Moshe (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron).
The land was without shape and empty*. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and the breath of Elohim was hovering over the surface of the waters.
* – In the later post-kingdom nation era – during our Common Era (C.E./A.D.) – it was devised by Talmudic redaction that the earth is approximately six thousand years of age, by the way these rabbis utilized Torah to standardize a written moon-sun calendar for the Jewish people. It is important to understand that this priestly creation myth itself does not support this dating as a factual reality but, rather, leaves the actual date wide open to explorative interpretation.
Elohim said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.* Elohim saw the light, and saw that it was good. Elohim divided the light from the darkness. Elohim called the light “day”, and the darkness it called “night”. There was evening and there was morning,** the first day.
* – Note, that the creation myth says that prior to even the creation of light itself, by which to see manifestations of existence, the skies and land (usually interpreted as meaning the earth in modern translation) already existed as a physical reality, and the number of years of already existing prior to the work of creating “light” and “darkness” to mark a first recognizable day is not specified at all in this legend.
** – Evening and morning, the creation of light to determine day and night is notably differentiated from the creation of light reflections from the moon and neighboring planets, and by stars much further away (what we know now to be galaxies), which have their own point of revelation later in this version of the creation myth.
Elohim said, “Let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”* Elohim made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. Elohim called the expanse “sky”.** There was evening and there was morning, a second day***.
* – As was explained in the Judean source section, knowing that they would have an understanding of the ancient world view of a land with air above it that is enclosed in a firmament of water, it is understandable that they could perceive of no light coming from stars of galaxies or, even, reflections of light from the moon and planets. For to see these things, the atmosphere must be prepared for this.
** – The creation myth now describes the Creator god forming a specifically defined special space by which to continue this work of creation – the creation of a breathable place, a bubble of air upon the water covered land. Note, that this land and sky is surrounded by a firmament of water, seen by all angles.
*** – Additionally, how long these days lasted in a perspective of time is also totally up to the reader’s speculation, for the creation myth has not posited the existence of humans yet, by which to define and measure time in the ways that we specifically do as a species.
Elohim said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear;” and it was so.* Elohim called the dry ground “land”, and the gathering together of the waters it** called “seas”. God saw that it was good.
* – Now that the creation myth has established the setting for the Creator god’s work, it will now take us through the rest of the days of the Creator god’s creating within this established space of flat land, with air upon it, and water all around it, land and sky.
** – As was explained in the Judean section, it is important to understand that ancient Hebrew, by its inherent grammatical nature, must use a gendered pronoun even with objects or beings that have no specific gender. The use of a gender to speak of things without gender does not imply these things have a gender in the minds of those writing and reading these ancient texts. For example, the priest caste of Jews went to extreme measures to stress that “God” has no form and, thus, no gender, and even honoring the idea of a formed image of “God” – whether not gendered or, especially, if humanly gendered – is nothing but idolatry and is intolerable.
Elohim said, “Let the land yield grass, herbs yielding seeds, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with their seeds in it, on the land;” and it was so. The land yielded grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with their seeds in it, after their kind; and Elohim saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs to mark seasons, days, and years;* and let them be for lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the land;” and it was so. Elohim made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. It also made the stars. Elohim set them in the expanse of the sky to give light to the land, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. Elohim saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
* – It is here in this mythic account of creation that the firmament of water above the sky becomes pierced by the light of the sun, the moon, and the starlight of neighboring planets and galaxies much further away. This occurs “four days” after the creation of light to separate day from night, and occurring after the creation of sky above the land, between the firmament of water surrounding land and sky. The priests, being preoccupied with civil and sacred rituals and laws – all events requiring good tracking by a method that works as a calendar, declare the purpose for lights existing and moving in the sky as being for this very purpose.
Elohim said, “Let the waters swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the land in the open expanse of the sky.” Elohim created the large sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. Elohim saw that it was good. Elohim blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the land.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Elohim said, “Let the land produce living creatures after their kind, livestock, creeping things, and wild animals of the land after their kind;” and it was so. Elohim made* the wild animals of the land after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. Elohim saw that it was good.
* – Note, the mysterious way the national high god of the priests, Elohim, “makes” creation; as compared to the storm god of the earlier Judean ancestors, Yahweh (YHVH), who physically sculpts all living creatures into existence. The challenge is deliberate on the priests’ part, to posit in their version of the creation myth that the Creator god is utterly without bodily form, yet still manages to “make” physical things in some intangible non-physically represented way.
Elohim said, “Let’s make humankind in our image, after our likeness.* Let them have dominion** over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the land, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the land.” Elohim created humankind in its own image.
* – “in our image,” an allusion to the pantheon of family and national tribal-nation gods. Never in the whole B.C. Era did any Jewish writer denounce the existence of other gods and goddesses. Rather, the henotheistic response and, thus, the priestly response – as shown here and elsewhere in Torah – was to declare your nation’s god to be the ultimate superior over all the gods and goddesses of all the families and all the nations. The supreme high god of gods and goddesses. Elohim, is posited as such, and this is the closest the Jewish priest caste goes to assigning an anthropomorphic characteristic to their formless national high god, Elohim.
** – Having “dominion” implies having responsibility for all these other “living breathing creatures” – the nefesh chayah, as Torah describes each one of them. Just as Torah expects of us with our human nefesh chayah, “living breathing creatures,” in our learning of the need for self-responsibility, as learned in the Judean creation myth.
In Elohim’s image it created them;* male and female* it created them.
* – Note, that in the priestly version of the creation of the world, a whole lot of humans are created all at once, male and female. This is in stark contrast to the earlier created Judean account of creation – the Garden of Eden. No doubt they were very aware of the problematic issues that arise out of the more popular Judean incestuous explanation for how so many nations of people arose out of the creation of one ambiguous-in-gender human, which was then split into male and female and, from these two individuals and by there children and children’s children, all the land’s populations were born. In our days, we know for a scientific fact the improbability of the Judean’s account for the rise of humans. But, we obviously weren’t the first to figure this out, and take a more evolutionary approach to explaining the birth of human populations. The Jewish priests themselves insisted that all the tribal populations got their start at the same time.
Elohim blessed them. Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the land, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the ground.” Elohim said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the land, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. To every animal of the land, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the ground, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food;” and it was so.
Elohim saw everything that it had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
The skies, the land, and all their vast array were finished. On the seventh day Elohim finished its work which it had done; and it rested on the seventh day from all its work which it had done. Elohim blessed the seventh day, and made it sanctified, because it rested in it from all its work of creation which it had done.
* – The final creative act of the Creator god on the seventh day was to step back and rest, to simply observe and bless what the Creator god had made. Note, this does not mean in any way that the Creator god stopped creating as of this point but, rather, only that the Creator god paused for a day from the creative work of creating things, having now completed this particular space bound skies and land work of creation. This final phrase to the priestly version of creation is deliberate – a justification of the priestly law of Shabbat, the day of taking rest, which at first was a monthly event, but under priestly theocracy became a weekly event.
The Judgment of Humans and the Punishment Flood
(I am working these translations and commentaries as I have time. This means, it will take me awhile to add more and more content to these pages. I have a life, like the rest of us, which requires balancing my focus of attention upon all the different aspects of life. Thank you for your understanding, and check back for more! – Joseph T Farkasdi)
(I’ll begin initial corrective editing of translations below later. You get the idea now of what needs to happen. Just putting the text in order hereafter.)
6.9 Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with Elohim. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The land (the continent) was corrupt before Elohim, and the land was filled with violence. 12 Elohim saw the land, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the land.
13 Elohim said to Noah, “I will bring an end to all flesh, for the land is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them and the land. 14 Make a ship of gopher wood. You shall make rooms in the ship, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it. The length of the ship shall be three hundred cubits,† its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
16 You shall make a roof in the ship, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ship in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels. 17 I, even I, will bring the flood of waters on this land (this continent), to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the land will die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
19 Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort will come to you, to keep them alive. 21 Take with you some of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did. He did all that Elohim commanded him.
7.8 Clean animals, unclean animals,* birds, and everything that creeps on the ground 9 went by pairs to Noah into the ship, male and female, as Elohim commanded Noah. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the sky’s windows opened.**
*- Clean and unclean, meaning those animals that are ritually pure to touch and eat and those animals that are not ritually pure to touch and eat.
**- This later priestly version of the Judean flood story (which is taken directly from earlier Sumerian culture) again stresses the ancient mythic perception and focus upon “this land,” this land being the land of the story’s focus and it being surrounded in entirety by the waters beneath and around and the water above the breathable sky and habitable land. In no way does this ancient B.C.E. origins myth suggest an understanding that the world is round like a sphere and contains more than one continent, and it is intellectually dishonest to translate it this way (using “earth”, rather than “land” or “continent”) – if authenticity to their ancient perspective and intent with the origins myths is truly wanted.
13 In the same day Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth—the sons of Noah—and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ship— 14 they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the land after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 Pairs from all flesh with the breath of life in them went into the ship to Noah. 16 Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as Elohim commanded him.
21 All flesh died that moved on the land (the continent), including birds, livestock, animals, every creeping thing that creeps on the land, and every man. 24 The waters flooded the land one hundred fifty days.
8.1 Elohim remembered Noah, all the animals, and all the livestock that were with him in the ship; and Elohim made a wind to pass over the land. The waters subsided. 2 The deep’s fountains and the sky’s windows were also stopped. 3 After the end of one hundred fifty days the waters receded.
4 The ship rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on Ararat’s mountains. 5 The waters receded continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were visible. 7 And he (Noah) sent out a raven. It went back and forth, until the waters were dried up from the land.
13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the land. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the land was dry. 15 Elohim spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ship, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh, including birds, livestock, and every creeping thing that creeps on the land, that they may breed abundantly in the land, and be fruitful, and multiply on the land.”
18 Noah went out, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, whatever moves on the land, after their families, went out of the ship.
9.1 Elohim blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the land. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the land, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that moves along the ground, and all the fish of the sea, are delivered into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As I gave you the green herb, I have given everything to you. 4 But flesh with its life, that is, its blood, you shall not eat.
5 I will surely require accounting for your life’s blood. At the hand of every animal I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, I will require the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for Elohim made man in his own image. 7 Be fruitful and multiply. Increase abundantly in the land, and multiply in it.”
8 Elohim spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 9 “As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the land with you, of all that go out of the ship, even every animal of the land. 11 I will establish my covenant with you: All flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood. There will never again be a flood to destroy the land (the continent).”
12 Elohim said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be a sign of a covenant between me and the land. 14 When I bring a cloud over the land, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud, 15 I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between Elohim and every living creature of all flesh that is on the land.”
17 Elohim said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the land.”
*- Note that in the henotheistic Priestly versions of the origins myths, their re-telling of these myths, there are no animal sacrifices conducted by the mythic characters, until the Tabernacle is built and the animal sacrifices are conducted by the now ruling theocratic priests of Jewish Israel. Note, as well, the preoccupation with number dates and measurements, and how they are considerable exaggerated when comparable to number accounts with the earlier polytheistic Judean/Israeli versions of these origin myths.
10.1 Sons were born to them after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 Of these were the islands of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.
6 The sons of Ham were: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were: Sheba and Dedan. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations. 22 The sons of Shem were: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
31 These are the sons of Shem, by their families, according to their languages, lands, and nations. 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, by their generations, according to their nations. The nations divided from these in the land (the continent) after the flood.
11.27 Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees, while his father Terah was still alive. 29 Abram and Nahor married wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, who was also the father of Iscah. 30 Sarai was barren. She had no child. 31 Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife. They went from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan.
12.4 Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from (Ur of the Chaldees)*. 5 Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother’s son, all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in (Ur of the Chaldees)*, and they went to go into the land of Canaan. They entered into the land of Canaan.
*- The 2nd century B.C.E. redactor of this passage changed “Ur of the Chaldees” to “Haran” in an (only partially successful) attempt to resolve the geographical differences between the Judean’s mythic account of Avram’s land of origin and the Priestly’s mythic account of Avram’s land of birth. In the polytheistic period Judean narrative, Avram’s land of birthright is Haran. In the later henotheistic theocratic Priestly period, the myth is that Avram’s land of birthright is Ur of the Chaldees.”
13.6 The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together; for their possessions were so great that they couldn’t live together. 11 And they separated themselves from one other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
16.3 Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. 15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
17.1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El-Shadai*. Walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
*- El-Shaddai, god almighty, the high-god of the commonly accepted pantheon of gods and goddesses. It is a very rare occurrence for the Priestly myths to mention the earlier polytheistic high-god, Yahweh – and, in this case, smoothly transitions this as Avraham knew him as El-Shaddai (rather than Yahweh). Then reason for this is that the Priestly myths recognize Elohim as the high-god of Jewish Israel and addressed the older national high-god name of earlier polytheistic Judea as the secret name of the Priest’s high-god Elohim. In essence, the Priestly legends literally write the previous mythic accounts of origins, in an attempt to supplant them with a version that boosts the civil-ritual political authority of the Priests. Remember that “God,” in the Priestly view, is formless and can only be knowable through the Priests and observance of the Priestly legal codes.
3 Abram fell on his face. Elohim talked with him, saying, 4 “As for me, behold, my covenant is with you. You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 Your name will no more be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you. 7 I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be Elohim to you (to be your national god) and to your offspring after you. 8 I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their Elohim.”
9 Elohim said to Abraham, “As for you, you will keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old will be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. 13 He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money, must be circumcised. My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”*
*- Note, and pay very close attention here, that in the Judean myth, we do not read of a circumcision ritual – much less, that is mandatory and must be performed as part of a covenant. The reason for this is that the ritual of circumcision is a priestly ritual that became theocratic-ally imposed upon Jewish Israel within the 2nd Kingdom of Israel period. This ritual of circumcision started with the myths that justify these civil-ritual laws and, then, became a commonly accepted and recognized sign of Jewish citizenship. This ritual of circumcision derives directly from Egyptian circumcision rites, and are only slightly modified from them. To understand this better, it is necessary to understand that the only – only – migration of Jewish people from Egypt in the B.C.E. period were the migration of the Priestly families to Judea and Israel that would eventually found the Tabernacle rites and the civil-ritual theocratic laws of Jewish Israel.
15 Elohim said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she will be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?” 18 Abraham said to Elohim, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!”
19 Elohim said, “No, but Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You shall call his name Isaac.* I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 When he finished talking with him, Elohim went up from Abraham.
23 Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money: every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day, as Elohim had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 In the same day both Abraham and Ishmael, his son, were circumcised. 27 All the men of his house, those born in the house, and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
19.29 When Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, Elohim remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the middle of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.*
*- Yes, this is as much attention as the Priestly version of the origin myths, which were meant to replace the early Judean/Israeli versions, gives to Sedom and Amorah (Soddom and Gemorrah). A bad place full of disrespect for strangers, so they were destroyed. In the Judean version of this myth, the only reason for the destruction of these twin cities was that the entire male populace (straight, gay, young, and old) came to lot’s home to “rape” the visiting angels (or, more accurately translated, messengers) that had come to the town. This level of disrespect for others, according to the Judean world view, is worthy of only complete and utter destruction.
21.1 And Yahweh did to Sarah as he had spoken, 2 at the set time of which Elohim had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as Elohim had commanded him. 5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him.
23.1 Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years. This was the length of Sarah’s life. 2 Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (also called Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 3 Abraham rose up from before his dead and spoke to the children of Heth, saying, 4 “I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”
5 The children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6 “Hear us, my lord. You are a prince of Elohim among us. Bury your dead in the best of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb. Bury your dead.” 7 Abraham rose up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, to the children of Heth. 8 He talked with them, saying, “If you agree that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, 9 that he may sell me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him sell it to me among you as a possession for a burial place.”
10 Now Ephron was sitting in the middle of the children of Heth. Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11 “No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the children of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” 12 Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land. 13 He spoke to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, “But if you will, please hear me. I will give the price of the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there.”
14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15 “My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver* between me and you? Therefore bury your dead.” 16 Abraham listened to Ephron. Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants’ standard.
17 So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded 18 to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan. 20 The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham by the children of Heth as a possession for a burial place.