[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 Original Creation Story – the Creation of Man and Woman (consistently the most mistranslated text, because of what it implies – to Western view of the world and religious eschatology, being Eastern in both its “primitive” world view and origin)
In the day that Yahweh* made the land** and the sky**;
* – Yahweh, YHVH, is the ancient storm god of early polytheistic Judea/Israel, different from the later priestly Elohim, the national high god of henotheistic Judea/Israel. Yahweh had a goddess consort Asherah. That is, in times prior to the Common Era (A.D.) redactors’ influence, and the changes they brought upon the text – their reducing the presence of Asherah, adding Elohim next to Yahweh in the text, and so forth.
** – Religious translators of the “Bible” are regularly changing up the words used for land and sky – where it suits them, translating it as “earth” and “heaven,” even though the text does not support such global world-wide interpretations of these words. Both the archaeology and critical textual analysis of scholars suggest they had a very simple view of the world back then. That of a flat piece of land for an earth, with a body of solid water (beneath) and airy water (above) that surrounds the entire flat piece of land from every angle. To translate land and sky as earth and heavens misleads modern readers into not understanding this ancient perception.
No plant of the field was yet on the land, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh had not caused it to rain on the land. There was not a human* to till the humus*, but a mist went up from the land, and watered the whole surface of the ground.
* – Note the word play, very common in these texts – adam, human (often translated as a “man,” which implies a gender that is not supported yet by the text – and for good reason!) who tills the adamah, soil or humus.
Yahweh* sculpted a human* from the dust of the ground, and breathed into its* nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living breathing-creature**.
* – Both the storm god and the human sculpted from the earth are genderless at this point. Yahweh and the human will continue to remain without gender assigned for a bit of this story. But, further in this story (with the splitting of adam), the human will become two humans with specifically declared genders about them. Note, that ancient Hebrew does not have an “it” category, and regularly applies a grammatical gender to things that have no specific declared gender – in other words, just because “he” is being used here in this part of the story, this does not mean that these “it”s described are male, because of this. Further, it is presumptuous and, maybe, even wrong to translate it this way.
** – Nefesh, breathing-thing or breathing-creature, a living breathing animal of the planet, (often translated as “soul,” which implies special significance to humans that is not supported by the original language text) is used repeatedly throughout the Tanakh to represent all the creatures that breathe. Creatures as diverse as humans, domesticated animals, birds, fish, insects, and so forth are all declared to be “nefesh chayah” in Torah, a living breathing-creature. How convenient that this never shows in modern religious translations of these ancient texts, only the human is translated as such.
Yahweh planted a garden eastward, in Eden*, and there it put the human whom it had formed. Out of the ground Yahweh made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad**.
* – Eyden, literally the land-of-pleasure, a garden representing childlike paradise and innocence.
** – ha’tov and ha’ra, the good and the bad. It is a theological choice to emphasize bad as evil, without also emphasizing good in comparable extremeness. Done, of course, for modern theological and eschatology purposes.
A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became the source of four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon: it flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and onyx stone are also there. The name of the second river is Gihon. It is the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel. This is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Yahweh took the human, and put it into the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. Yahweh commanded the human, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
* – Note, the role of the human according to the original creation legend is that of an intelligent caretaker, someone who cultivates – cares for, protects, thinks on behalf of the welfare of the garden. Creative, intelligent, and capable, but innocently naive, as we shall see soon enough.
Yahweh said, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make it a helper comparable to it.”* Out of the ground Yahweh sculpted every animal of the field**, and every bird of the sky**, and brought them to the human to see what it would call them. Whatever the human called every living creature became its name.
* – A mate? So, all the living creatures of the land were created for adam to find a compatible mate with, to tend the garden with and to, possibly, have offspring with, but none could be found that is compatible with adam? The one who decided on and verbalized the name all living things upon this planet, according to the Judean myth of origins?
** – It is presumptuous to assume that just because the text does not literally say it, then this means that only humans had the breath of life breathed into them, thus making us special from out of all the animals created upon the land. But, assuming this were indeed the intended view of the legend writers, that only humans were breathed life into, then this would be the only significant difference in our species creation as compared to all other species. Ancient Hebrew uses two words to signify “breath” or animated life or “spirit,” and they are both physical in manifestation – like the word nefesh, breathing-thing, which is used in Torah to speak of living and dead animals. These two words that signify “to breathe” or “spirit” are ru’ach and neshamah.
The human gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for the human there was not found a helper comparable to it. Yahweh caused the human to fall into a deep sleep. As the human slept, it took one of its limb-bones*, and closed up the flesh in its place.
* – Note, this can be translated with equal accuracy as “sides,” as in a half-side of a “rib-cage.” But, translating this way does not explain the sewing up part, which would leave a noticeable scar for a human to observe and wonder about. On males their is such a seam in the flesh, but it is not on the side of the body. When looking upon this word in this way, as a “side” or as a jutting outward “bone,” and its use here, the intent is to represent the splitting of adam, the human, into two humans. This is symbolically achieved in two ways: splitting the ribcage into two halves or in removing an appendage bone and, as will happen next, having the male adam declare himself as male in comparison to his female adam helpmate. There is a valid debate occurring these days among scholars as to whether tsela originally meant a “rib” (rib-set of a ribcage) or a “baculum” (penis bone). The latter better fits the etiological nature of the myth and strongly so (also provides explanation as to why human males, out of all the land mammals, do not have a baculum), the former better fits the extant of literature that precedes the Judean myth wherein rib is understood to be meant. Either way, one thing is plainly and obviously clear in the use of this word – whether in human anatomy or in structural inanimate anatomy (buildings, for example), this word is meant to refer to an appendage or structural support that extends outward and forms a “side” to something. The common mis-belief that it refers to a single rib inside the body is just not supported by the Hebrew language and this word’s use throughout it.
Yahweh made a woman from the limb-bone which it had taken from the human, and brought her to the human. The human said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman,’* because she was taken out of ‘man’*.” Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his woman**, and they will be one flesh***. The man and his woman were both naked, and they were not ashamed.
* – It is here that we learn of ish and isha, man and woman, with the splitting of the originally asexual human into the two distinctly fitting genders of woman and man. This further answers the mystery question of their days, days before modern science, of why we are bi-gendered as a species, needing a woman and a man to procreate, like other bi-gendered species, rather than asexual procreating as could be observable in some creatures in their world. … Oh, but it gets deeper than this, with the discovery of sex and shame by our naively innocent garden dwellers!
** – Note, it is way too early to start translating isha as wife within these legends. This is again the influence of modern religion’s agenda upon the text. An honest translation, one without theological bias, can only translate isha as woman, until the origin legends themselves introduce the concept of civil marriage occurring between women and men in newly formed human society. There is a place later, in the stories of the patriarchs, were this occurs, and when it becomes appropriate to translate this word as “wife.”
*** – They will be “one flesh” – a hearkening back in natural leaning and desire to return to the primordial human state prior to the separation of human into two distinct sexual genders. Also, note that it is the “man” that, literally in the Hebrew, “clings” to “woman” in this passage; again that clear indication of understanding that man only exists through joining with woman. He cannot exist on his own!
The Original Creation Story, Part II – the Temptation for Knowledge and Fall from Innocence (banishment from the land-of-pleasure, a mythical expression on growing from childlike naivety about the world into adolescent awareness and the discovery of sex and, ultimately, into adulthood)
Now the serpent* was more subtle than any wild animal of the field which Yahweh had made. He said to the woman, “Have the gods** really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. The gods have said, ‘You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.’ ” The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t really die, for the gods know that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like the gods, knowing good and bad.”
* – In many ancient cultures, including Judah and Israel of the B.C. Era, the “serpent” is a phallic symbol, a mythic representation of the penis – a symbol of fertility. It is important to understand this connection when reading the story of how mythic Adam and Chavah (Chavah is translated as Eve in Latin languages) got themselves expelled from Eden, the Land-of-Pleasure. The name Chavah itself, besides its proper meaning as “life-giver,” also connotes through its root the meaning of serpent. It’s a massive word play going on here in this myth, sharing with us two views of sex, male and female, understood roles that each gender assumes, and the purpose and reality of life outside of the garden of childlike innocence and protection.
** – Pay very close attention here. “elohim” can either mean the high god “El” or it can mean the “gods.” It is always presented in the plural in Torah, sometimes referring to gods in general, sometimes to the priest’s high god, and sometimes to magistrates and other human dignitary figures. The Judean text is pre-henotheistic, meaning it is of the polytheistic Jewish time period. When it uses the word “elohim,” it is referring to the “gods” of the Jewish pantheon, the family gods and national god and consort. This is the same pantheon the later henotheistic priests refer to in their later written version of the creation myth, “make humankind in our image.” It would not be until the monotheistic time period, beginning just before the Common Era (A.D.) period of human history, that these parts of Torah would be understood as referring only to a single deity, that of the god of the now monotheistic rabbinical Jewish people. To ensure this understanding, the redactors inserted “elohim” directly after every mentioning of the name Yahweh in the Judean and Israeli source texts, which completely changes how modern readers perceive this ancient text.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate. Then she gave some to her man who was with her, and he ate it, too. Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked.* They sewed fig leaves together, and made coverings for themselves.
* – yada, literally “to know,” and commonly used as a euphemism in ancient Hebrew for sexual encounters, sexual “knowing” when nakedness, eyrom, is being referred to. Yada has many other uses, as well, from literal to figurative to observational (“to see”) to inferentially.
They heard Yahweh’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his woman hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh among the trees of the garden. Yahweh called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked*; so I hid myself.” Yahweh said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Yahweh said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me,** and I ate.”
* – in other words, “I just had sex with the woman, so now I know about the sexual nakedness of my naturally naked body.”
** – “the serpent deceived me,” the phallus symbol, and she was drawn to the sexual encounter, “and I ate,” the fruit representing the loss of childlike innocence, “virginity,” once one’s biological purpose has been discovered. There is and incredible amount of psychological and emotional vulnerability that goes into the act of sharing one’s body with another, for most people. Hence, why we also call it intimacy.
Yahweh said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every wild animal of the field. You shall go on your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”* To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. You will bear children in pain. Your desire will be for your man, and he will dominate you.”
* – Thus, begins the introduction into the imperfect and sometimes animous world we all experience. A world these garden children will get to know all about shortly. From a mythical point of view, at well, now we know all about the reason for snake bites, according to mythic explanation.
To the man it said, “Because you have listened to your woman’s voice, and ate from the tree, about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ the ground is cursed for your sake. You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life.* It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your face until you return to the ground, for you were taken out of it. For you are dust, and you shall return to dust.”
* – “the ground is cursed,” and there goes paradise for having had sex. Rudely intrudes the adult life of having to raise children, work for a living, and ultimately dying and dissolving back into dust. Paradise of childhood is lost, and the reasons we have to grow up, that childbirth is painful, that daddy is always working and sweating in the field, and so forth is explained.
The man called his woman “life-giver”* because she would be the mother of all the living. Yahweh made garments of animal skins for the man and for his woman, and clothed them. Yahweh said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live for time beyond seeing**” Therefore Yahweh sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed cherubim*** at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
* – Chavah, “life-giver,” known as Eve in English translations
** – olam, “for time beyond seeing,” most commonly translated in modern times as “forever,” implying no end to the universe or to time. This poor translation, though modernly understandable and perceivable, fails to understand that the ancient world-view had no such concept. The perception of time was measured visually – “into the distance and beyond visual sight,” for example – and in terms of beginnings and endings, meaning they did not have the concept of eternal life, for all life eventually comes to an end – just sometimes it’s so distant we can’t perceive it yet. This understanding is a theme that is persistent throughout the polytheistic and henotheistic Jewish writings.
*** – Ancient “angelic” animal-like creatures, derived from the polytheistic days, that stand as sentinels to sacred places. Archaeology has found many statues and scholars of ancient writings of all the nations of the B.C.E Middle East show cherubim to be very popular used symbols in both written work and actual ritual life.
The Story of Cain and Abel (the first legendary fighting siblings of this land and a punishment given for the first human immoral behavior)
The man had sexual knowing with Chavah his woman*. She conceived, and gave birth to Kayin, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.” Again she gave birth, to Kayin’s brother Havel. Havel was a keeper of sheep, but Kayin was a tiller of the ground.**
* – Again, modern translators continue to translate isha as “wife,” though no context exists for this translation yet within the origin myths, and this is done for modern theological reasons to place upon the ancient text positions of C.E. theological thought not necessarily intended by the ancient Jewish and Israeli tribes sharing this story with one another. As well, it is important to remember that polygamy, not monogamy, whether polygyny or polyandry, was the norm of that time period in world history in which this origins story was being shared, and in no way should it be construed that monogamy (or marriage, even, at this point of the story) was considered ideal or even intended in the writing of this text. The origin myth at this point is simply positing the reality that men and women have sex and women bare children as a result of this and, thus, through Adam and Chavah having sex, the first family of the land has now come about.
** – Note, the occupational choices here between the brothers, Kayin (Cain) and Havel (Abel), of this first family of the land. Kayin is the firstborn, the first to arrive upon the land and is a tiller of the ground, and Havel is the second born, the second to arrive upon the land and is a keeper of livestock. They are symbolic to the differences between the Canaanite/Egyptian “agricultural based” land cultivating way of life and the Judean/Israeli more nomadic herding “animal husbandry” way of life. The creators of this origin myth are making a deliberate mythic distinction, and its purpose will be revealed very clearly in the next few lines of this story.
As time passed, Kayin brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground. Havel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh respected Havel and his offering, but he did not respect Kayin and his offering.* Kayin was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. Yahweh said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, misbehavior** crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”
* – Why did the Jewish/Israeli storm-god, YHVH, reject Cain’s offering – finding it, specifically, an unacceptable smell to him, but readily accept Abel’s offering – finding it greatly pleasing in smell? This myth is alluding to the difference that exists between the agricultural cultures and the herding cultures. The favoring of the animal herding second born now upon the land, Abel, over the first to be born upon the land, wheat tilling Cain, is the Judean/Israeli Semitic positioning of their tribal-nation god being in favor of their nomadic herding way of life, over that of their neighbor’s established agricultural city-nations way of life. The Jews/Israelis are the second born of this story, because they are of the second wave of Semitic immigrants to settle in this land.
** – chet – a social misbehavior or an immoral behavior, this word will later in the Torah take on the meaning of an “offense” – literally a “crime” – with the introduction of the Priestly civil-ritual law codes for Hebrew society. Note, most translations translate this word and two other “misdemeanor/crime” indicating words as simply “sin,” a generic all purpose religion connotating word that automatically carries with it the simple meaning of “evil/immorality done towards ‘God,’ other humans, and/or oneself.” Thus, in doing so, we lose the simpler down to earth meaning of these words, the meanings that were intended during the time of its written use.
Kayin said to Havel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” While they were in the field, Kayin rose up against Havel, his brother, and killed him. Yahweh said to Kayin, “Where is Havel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yahweh said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s bloods* cries to me from the ground. Now you are cursed because of the ground,** which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s bloods from your hand. From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the land.”
* – Note that the word blood, dam – which also means bloodshed, is in the plural here and not the singular
** – We now have the punishment inflicted by the herding tribe’s national god upon the agricultural tribes-people, establishing a clear superiority of who is most favored in the land. The view alluded here and taught by this myth is that the Canaanite/Egyptian way of life leads to rejection and bloody misbehaviors as a result, and echos a longing for the continuance of the older nomadic ways of tribal life, which found itself increasingly threatened by the progress of expanding agricultural city-states.
Kayin said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the land. Whoever finds me will kill me.” Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Kayin, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a mark for Kayin, so that anyone finding him would not strike him. Kayin left Yahweh’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
(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)
The Beginning of Civilization Upon This Land (and the continuance of social misbehavior between humans)
17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and named the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 Irad was born to Enoch. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives: the name of the first one was Adah, and the name of the second one was Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe. 22 Zillah also gave birth to Tubal Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of bronze and iron. Tubal Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me. 24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times.” 26 At that time men began to invoke Yahweh’s name.
6.1 When humans began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of the gods (bene elohim) saw that the human’s daughters were beautiful, and they took any that they wanted for themselves as wives. 3 Yahweh said, “My breath will not strive with humans forever, because they are also flesh; so their days will be one hundred twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim* were on the land in those days, and also after that, when the sons of the gods came into the human’s daughters and had children with them. Those were the heros of old, people of renown.
5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of humans was great on the land, and that every imagination of the thoughts of human’s heart was continually only bad all day. 6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made humans on the land, and it grieved him in his heart. 7 Yahweh said, “I will destroy the humans whom I have created from the surface of the ground—humankind, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky—for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh’s eyes.
(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.)
7.1 Yahweh said to Noah, “Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation. 2 You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female. 3 Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the land*. 4 In seven days, I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. I will destroy every living thing that I have made from the surface of the ground.” 5 Noah did everything that Yahweh commanded him.
*- It is simply incorrect to translate this as “earth,” as in the whole spherical earth we are familiar with! For no where in these ancient myths is there a suggestion that the writers meant anything more than the “land” or “continent” in which these people of the land resided.
7 Noah went into the ship with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, because of the floodwaters. 10 After the seven days, the floodwaters came on the land. 12 It rained on the land forty days and forty nights. 16 And Yahweh shut him in. 17 The flood was forty days on the land. The waters increased, and lifted up the ship, and it was lifted up above the land. 18 The waters rose, and increased greatly on the land; and the ship floated on the surface of the waters. 19 The waters rose very high on the land. All the high mountains that were under the whole sky were covered. 20 The waters rose fifteen cubits* higher, and the mountains were covered. 22 All on the dry land, in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 23 Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the land. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ship.
*- Note, in this Judean version of the Flood, it is Yahweh that provides an ark (whether by building it himself or just having it handy, is not made clear). In the later written Priestly version of this myth, it is Elohim speaking and he has Noah build an ark according to very specific instructions. Originally, this is a borrowed myth from Sumerian legends and, in many ways, it is near identical to its originals culture’s telling of this tale.
8.2 And the rain from the sky was restrained. 3 The waters continually receded from the land (continent). 6 At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window of the ship which he had made. 8 He himself sent out a dove to see if the waters were abated from the surface of the ground, 9 but the dove found no place to rest her foot, and she returned into the ship to him, for the waters were on the surface of all the land. He put out his hand, and took her, and brought her to him into the ship. 10 He waited yet another seven days; and again he sent the dove out of the ship. 11 The dove came back to him at evening and, behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters were abated from the land. 12 He waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; and she didn’t return to him any more. 13 Noah removed the covering of the ship, and looked. He saw that the surface of the ground was dry.
20 Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 Yahweh smelled the pleasant aroma. Yahweh said in his heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. I will never again strike every living thing, as I have done. 22 While the land remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”
9.18 The sons of Noah who went out from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these all the land (the continent these people reside on) was populated. 20 Noah began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness. 24 Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 He said, “Canaan is cursed. He will be a servant of servants to his brothers.” 26 He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.”
(Keep fixing this mentally on your own now, until I can get to all the necessary corrections to this translation that will afford us the opportunity to read and experience these myths the way it was understood in the time of their writing.)
10.8 Cush became the father of Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Yahweh”. 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and the great city Calah. 13 Mizraim became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (which the Philistines descended from), and Caphtorim.
15 Canaan became the father of Sidon (his firstborn), Heth, 16 the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were spread abroad. 19 The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon—as you go toward Gerar—to Gaza—as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim—to Lasha.
21 Children were also born to Shem (the elder brother of Japheth), the father of all the
children of Eber. 24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided. His brother’s name was Joktan. 26 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.
11.1 The whole land (the whole continent, land mass*) was of one language and of one speech. 2 As they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of all the land.”
*- Oy! It is frustrating to see this mistranslated! But, get original extracted and in order first!
5 Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. 6 Yahweh said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. 7 Come, let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the land (the continent). They stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel (Babylon), because there Yahweh confused (babbled) the language of all the land. From there, Yahweh scattered them abroad on the surface of all the land*.
*- The purpose of this myth is to explain why there are so many nations and languages on this one land mass. For example, Egyptian, Phoenician, Hebrew, and so forth, and add to this the various languages and dialects of travelers and conquerors to the area.
(All the myths found within Torah are about the writers’ land, their specific continent on which they experience reality, and the peoples and nations of this land. This was the frame of world view reference under which these writer’s wrote, an ancient B.C.E. frame of reference. It was all about their land, their gods or god, and the relationships between the people of this land. To do as is done in modern translations and take what is a reference to a basically flat land with mountains and turn this into a spherical global reference – including all known land masses, aka continents – is to do Torah a serious perspective injustice. This leads to misunderstanding of what the writers meant and were referring to in their origin myths.)
12.1 Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Leave your country, and your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who treats you with contempt. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as Yahweh had told him. Lot went with him.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites were in the land. 7 Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your offspring.” * He built an altar there to Yahweh, who had appeared to him. 8 He left from there to go to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh and called on Yahweh’s name. 9 Abram traveled, still going on toward the South.
10 There was a famine in the land. Abram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he had come near to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look at. 12 It will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me, but they will save you alive. 13 Please say that you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that my soul may live because of you.”
14 When Abram had come into Egypt, Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 Yahweh afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
18 Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, see your wife, take her, and go your way.” 20 Pharaoh commanded men concerning him, and they escorted him away with his wife and all that he had.
13.1 Abram went up out of Egypt—he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him—into the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 He went on his journeys from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on Yahweh’s name. 5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, herds, and tents.
7 There was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land at that time. 8 Abram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen; for we are relatives. 9 Isn’t the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
10 Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well-watered everywhere, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. 11 So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, 12 and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against Yahweh.
14 Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, “Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for I will give all the land which you see to you and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring may also be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its width; for I will give it to you.” 18 Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh.
15.1 After these things Yahweh’s word came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” 2 Abram said, “My Lord* Yahweh, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram said, “Behold, you have given no children to me: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”
*- My lord, adonai, used as a honorary title for a human who is in charge of something, especially property. The expression being used here gives this connotation, even though the lord in this case is the national god Yahweh. And this would make sense, seeing how in polytheistic Jewish times the gods and goddesses of the pantheon were seen as having the same physical attributes as humans. It wouldn’t be until the later priestly theocratic times that the national god would now be formless and have a different name, Elohim.
4 Behold, Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” 5 Yahweh brought him outside, and said, “Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So your offspring will be.” 6 He believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness. 7 He said to Abram, “I am Yahweh who brought you out of (Haran), to give you this land to inherit it.”
8 He said, “My Lord Yahweh, how will I know that I will inherit it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him. 17. And it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 In that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
16.1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my servant. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my servant into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, she despised me. May Yahweh judge between me and you.” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
7 Yahweh’s angel found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where did you come from? Where are you going?”
She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.” 9 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.”
10 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, that they will not be counted for multitude.” 11 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. 12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposed to all of his brothers.”
13 She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
*- Note that Avram’s and Sarai’s names will suddenly change from here on to Avraham and Sarah, without any explanation within this Judean Kingdom’s version of the ancient origin myths as to the reason for this name change. Now, the explanation for this is found much later in non-mythic actual history. The reason for the sudden unexplained change of names is that the names did not change in the Judean Kingdom version. Rather, it was the 2nd century B.C.E. Redactor, who blended these myths with the Israeli Kingdom and later-arriving Priestly theocracy versions of these ancient stories, who outright changed the names within all the source documents to match, from this point out, the Priestly account of a name change to these mythic characters. So, when you see the names Avraham and Sarah, hence forth, in this Judean version of the ancient myths (and in the Israeli account, too), you can be confident the names are actually Avram and Sarai throughout both older versions of these origins myths.
18.1 Yahweh appeared to him (Avram/Abram) by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant. 4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 I will get a piece of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.” They said, “Very well, do as you have said.”
6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three seahs* of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.” 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it. 8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate. 9 They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?” He said, “There, in the tent.”
10 He said, “I will certainly return to you at about this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
13 Yahweh said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.
He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Yahweh said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.”
20 Yahweh said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, 21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.” 22 The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Yahweh.
23 Abraham came near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 May it be far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 Yahweh said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes. 28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?” He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?” He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.” 30 He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?” He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”
32 He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.” 33 Yahweh went his way, as soon as he had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
19.1 The two angels came to Sodom at evening. Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them. He bowed himself with his face to the earth, 2 and he said, “See now, my lords, please come into your servant’s house, stay all night, wash your feet, and you can rise up early, and go on your way.” They said, “No, but we will stay in the street all night.”
3 He urged them greatly, and they came in with him, and entered into his house. He made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5 They called to Lot, and said to him, “Where are the men who came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may have sex with them.”
6 Lot went out to them through the door, and shut the door after himself. 7 He said, “Please, my brothers, don’t act so wickedly. 8 See now, I have two virgin daughters. Please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them what seems good to you. Only don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9 They said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one fellow came in to live as a foreigner, and he appoints himself a judge. Now we will deal worse with you than with them!” They pressed hard on the man Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 The men said to Lot, “Do you have anybody else here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place: 13 for we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown so great before Yahweh that Yahweh has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up! Get out of this place, for Yahweh will destroy the city!”
But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be joking. 15 When the morning came, then the angels hurried Lot, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” 16 But he lingered; and the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and his two daughters’ hands, Yahweh being merciful to him; and they took him out, and set him outside of the city.
17 It came to pass, when they had taken them out, that he said, “Escape for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed!”
18 Lot said to them, “Oh, not so, my lord. 19 See now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your loving kindness, which you have shown to me in saving my life. I can’t escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die. 20 See now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape there (isn’t it a little one?), and my soul will live.”
21 He said to him, “Behold, I have granted your request concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I can’t do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.*
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Yahweh out of the sky. 25 He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Abraham went up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Yahweh. 28 He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and saw that the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace.
30 Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to live in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in to us in the way of all the earth. 32 Come, let’s make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.”
33 They made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34 It came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight. You go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.”
35 They made their father drink wine that night also. The younger went and lay with him. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she got up. 36 Thus both of Lot’s daughters were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben Ammi. He is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.
21.1 Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, 2 Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age. 7 She said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”
22.20* After these things, Abraham was told, “Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
*- Note that the Judean Kingdom source does not contain the myth of human sacrifice (found in verses 1-10,16-19), Avraham (Abram/Abraham) sacrificing his son Yitzchak (Isaac) on an alter to the national god Elohim. This ancient myth makes its way into Torah through the Israeli Kingdom source. In the Israeli source, the human sacrifice is actually carried out in full. There is no interruption of the child sacrifice by an angel or, more accurately translated, messenger of Yahweh. This angel of Yahweh passage, that effectively stops Avraham from carrying out the instructed act, was inserted into this B.C.E human sacrifice myth just prior to the Common Era (C.E./A.D.) period, to make the myth a little more morally palatable for more modern readers to read and to make it somehow consistent with the Judean source narrative that later follows. Still, even with this editor’s addition to the myth, Yitzchak is not spoken of again as a living character in these Israeli Kingdom source myths.
24.1 Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. 3 I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. 4 But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?” 6 Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. 7 Yahweh, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”
9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10 The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12 He said, “Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”
18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking.” 20 She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
21 The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not. 22 As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel* weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, 23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay?”
24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 She said moreover to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.” 26 The man bowed his head, and worshiped Yahweh. 27 He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28 The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words. 29 Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. 30 When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 He said, “Come in, you blessed of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”
32 The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”
Laban said, “Speak on.”
34 He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. Yahweh has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him. 37 My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39 I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40 He said to me, ‘Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house. 41 Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’ 42 I came today to the spring, and said, ‘Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go— 43 behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44 then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,”—let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for my master’s son.’ 45 Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46 She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. 47 I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. 48 I bowed my head, and worshiped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. 49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from Yahweh. We can’t speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Yahweh has spoken.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Yahweh. 53 The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54 They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go.” 56 He said to them, “Don’t hinder me, since Yahweh has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.” 58 They called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”
59 They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them.” 61 Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62 Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South.
63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming. 64 Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel. 65 She said to the servant, “Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.” She took her veil, and covered herself. 66 The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
(Jumping ahead here for a moment, because I did this one for this Pesach festival. It’ll fall in correct order when I finish adding all the B’reishit Judean source passages. Then, this editor’s note will be removed.)
*- Note, that in real historical perspective, unlike this legendary perspective, only a portion of the People of Israel entered Egypt and became enslaved. The rest of the People of Israel by-passed Egypt entirely and went straight into non-city state areas of Canaan, residing there through the Egyptian Israelis experiences in Egypt, only to have their Egyptian brothers and sisters join them in the land of Canaan after they fled Egypt. It was from this point forward that the monarchy period of Judea and of Israel (1st Kingdom) began.
Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation. Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife. The woman conceived and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her servant to get it. She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” The young woman went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” The woman took the child, and nursed it. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” In those days, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow?” He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?” Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.” Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and lived in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, “How is it that you have returned so early today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter. She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land.” In the course of those many days, the king of Egypt died.
Yahweh’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” And Yahweh saw that he came over to see. He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is ground set apart (consecrated).” Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Yahweh said to Moses in Midian, “Go, now, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. On the way, at a lodging place, Yahweh met Moses and wanted to kill him. Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet (circumcision is an Egyptian custom, originally); and she said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” So he let him alone. Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood for circumcisions.”
Afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said to Pharaoh, “This is what Yahweh, the high-god of Israel, says, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’ ” Pharaoh said, “Who is Yahweh, that I should listen to his voice to let Israel go? I don’t know Yahweh, and moreover I will not let Israel go.”
*- Note, the story suddenly changes here, to the Israelites living in Egypt fleeing. Basically saying,Pharoah said no and they left anyways! And Pharoah is upset mightly by this disobedience to his authority!
Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled. He prepared his chariot, and took his army with him. And the Egyptians pursued them.
The children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today; for you will never again see the Egyptians whom you have seen today. Yahweh will fight for you, and you shall be quiet!” And the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them. There was the cloud and the darkness (for the Egyptians), while it gave light by night (for the Israelites). One didn’t come near the other all night. And Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry ground.
In the morning watch, Yahweh looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from the face of Israel, for Yahweh is fighting for them against the Egyptians!” And the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled toward it. And Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea.
Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great hand that Yahweh used against Egyptians, and the people feared Yahweh; and they trusted in Yahweh and in his servant Moses.