Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster , at sacred-texts.com
XXXIII. (1) As this is simply to be taken as a legend, we do not care to reconcile it with the other, which makes Abraham live in the time of Nimrod the Wicked. According to the latter we find that Nimrod acted as judge over him, since it is related that the whole household of Abraham's father were idol-worshippers, moreover they made idols and sold them in the streets. But when a man approached Abraham to sell him an idol, he would ask him, 'How much is this image?' 'Three manas,' he would reply. 'How old art thou?' Abraham would add. 'Thirty years.' 'Thou art thirty years of age, and yet worshippest this idol which we made but to-day!' The man would depart and go his way. Again, another would come to Abraham, and ask, 'How much is this idol?' 'Five manas,' he would say. 'How old art thou?' would Abraham continue. 'Fifty years.' 'And dost thou, who art fifty years of age, bow down to this idol which we made but to-day?' With this the man would depart and go his way.
(2) When Nimrod heard of Abraham's utterances, he ordered him to be brought before him, and said, 'Thou son of Terah, make me a beautiful god.' Abraham then entered his father's house, and said, 'Make a beautiful image for me.' They accordingly made it, finished it, and painted it with many colours. He went and brought it to Nimrod. [Here probably a lacuna in MS.] (3) And on that day Abraham's righteousness shone forth. It was a cloudy day, and rain fell. Therefore, when they were about to thrust him into the burning furnace, Nimrod sat down, and all the people of the dispersion did likewise. Abraham then entered, and standing in the centre, he pleaded his cause. After which Nimrod asked, 'If not the gods, whom shall I serve?' Abraham replied, 'The God of gods and Lord of lords, whose kingdom is everlasting in heaven and on earth, and in the heavens of the high heavens.' 'I shall worship,' said Nimrod, 'the god of fire; and, behold, I shall cast thee therein. Let, then, the God to whom thou testifiest deliver thee from the burning furnace.' (4) They then immediately bound him strongly and tightly, and placed him on the ground. They then surrounded him with wood on the four sides, 500 cubits thickness to the north, 500 cubits to the south, 500 to the west, and 500 to the east. They then set the pile on fire. (5) The whole house of Terah were worshippers of idols, and until that moment had not recognised their Creator. Their neighbours and fellow-citizens assembled, and, beating their heads, said to Terah, 'O shame—great shame! thy son, of whom thou didst say that he will inherit this world and the world to come has Nimrod burnt in the fire.' (G) Immediately then God's mercy was moved, so that He descended from the habitation of His glory, His greatness, His majesty, and the holiness of His great name, and delivered Abraham, our ancestor, from that shame, from that reproach, and from the burning furnace, as it is said, 'I am the Lord who brought thee out of the fire of the Chaldeans'; and since a miracle was wrought for our forefather Abraham, he and Torah were able to refute the generation of the
[paragraph continues] Dispersion, as it is said, 'Be wise, O my son, and let my heart rejoice, and then I shall be able to answer those who reproach me.'