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Abram seeks to convert Terah from Idolatry; the Family of Terah (cf. Gen. xi. 27-30). Abram burns the Idols. Death of Haran (cf. Gen. xi. 28) (xii. 1-14).

XII. And it came to pass in the
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sixth week, in the seventh year thereof, that Abram said to Terah his father, saying, "Father!" And he said, "Behold, here am I, my son." 2. And he said,

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"What help and profit have we from those idols which thou dost worship,
And before which thou dost bow thyself? 1

3. For there is no spirit in them, 2
For they are dumb forms, and a misleading of the heart.
Worship them not:

4. Worship the God of heaven,
Who causeth the rain and the dew to descend on the earth, 3
And doeth everything upon the earth,

And hath created everything by His word, 4
And all life is from before His face.

5. Why do ye worship things that have no spirit in them?
For they are the work of (men's) hands, 5

And on your shoulders do ye bear them, 6
And ye have no help from them,

But they are a great cause of shame to those who make them,
And a misleading of the heart to those who worship them:
Worship them not."

6. And his father said unto him, "I also know it, my son, but what shall I do with a people who have made me to serve before them? 7. And if I tell them the truth, they will slay me; for their soul cleaveth

p. 89

to them to worship them and honour them. Keep silent, 1 my son, lest they slay thee." 8. And these words he spake to his two brothers, and they were angry with him and he kept silent. 9. And in the fortieth jubilee, in the second week, in the seventh year
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thereof, Abram took to himself a wife, and her name was Sarai, the daughter of his father, and she became his wife. 2 10. And Haran, his brother, took to himself a wife in the third year of the third week, and she bare him a son in the seventh year of this
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week and he called his name Lot. 11. And Nahor, his brother, took to himself a wife. 3 12. And in the sixtieth year of the life of Abram, that is, in the fourth
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week, in the fourth year thereof, Abram arose by night, and burned the house of the idols, and he burned all that was in the house, and no man knew it. 13. And they arose in the night and sought to save their gods from the midst of the fire. 14. And Haran hasted to save them, but the fire flamed over him, and he was burnt in the fire, and he died in Ur of the Chaldees before Terah his father, and they buried him in Ur of the Chaldees. 4


88:1 In 1-14 we have an early form of the legend of Abram's protest against idolatry. This section has remarkable parallels, both in thought and expression, with chaps. i.-viii. of the Apocalypse of Abraham. In the later (Rabbinic) forms of the legend Abram's birth excites the alarm of Nimrod, who endeavours to destroy him in a furnace of fire.

88:2 Cf. Ps. cxxxv. 17.

88:3 Cf. XX. 9; Jer. xiv. 22.

88:4 Cf. Ps. xxxiii. 6: Heb. xi. 3; 2 Pet. iii. 5; 4 Ezra vi. 38.

88:5 Cf. Jer. x. 3, 9.

88:6 Cf. Isa. xlvi. 7; Jer. x. 5; Assumpt. Moses, viii. 4.

89:1 In Ap. Abraham Terah is indignant with Abraham for deriding the idols.

89:2 Cf. Gen. xx. 12, according to which Sarah was Abraham's half-sister. According to Rabbinic tradition marriage with half-sisters on the father's side was permitted to the descendants of Noah. In Lev. xviii. 9, 11, xx. 17, marriage with a sister or half-sister is strictly forbidden.

89:3 According to Gen. xi. 29, Milcah.

89:4 In Ap. Abraham, viii. the fire descends from heaven and burns the house and all in it (including Terah). Only Abraham, escapes.

Next: The Family of Terah in Haran; Abram's Experiences there; his Journey to Canaan (xii. 15-31)