Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.25
(ll. 1637-1639) Now there was yet one common tongue for all men on the earth.
And a great tribe was born of the stem of Ham and a mighty people spreading far
and wide.
(ll. 1640-1660) And Shem begat a host of free-born sons and daughters, and,
after many winters, went to his last rest. In that tribe men were good! One of the
sons of Shem was Eber, and from him sprang a countless race which all men
dwelling in the earth call Hebrews. They departed out of the east, taking with
them all their substance, their cattle and their goods. That was a dauntless folk!
The heroes sought a roomier land, a wandering folk, in mighty multitudes, and
chose at last a fixed abode wherein to settle. Far and wide in days of old the
leaders of that people, with their well-loved men, possessed the land of Shinar, a
land of green plains and pleasant valleys. And at that time they prospered
greatly, and had abundance of all good things.
(ll. 1661-1678) Then many a man besought his friend, and one stout warrior
urged another, that, before their multitude and the tribes of their people should be
scattered again over the face of the whole earth in search of land, they should
build a city to their glory and rear a tower unto the stars of heaven, to be a sign
that they had sought the land of Shinar, where of old the mighty leaders of the
folk had lived at ease. And they sought out men for this work and deed of sin, in
rash pride showing forth their strength. Greedy for glory, they reared a city with
their hands, and raised a ladder up to heaven, and in their vain strength built a
wall of stone beyond the measure of men.
(ll. 1678-1701) Then came Holy God to look upon the work of the children of
men, the citadel and the tower which the sons of Adam were beginning to rear
unto heaven. Stern of heart, the King reproved their folly, and in His wrath
confounded the tongues of the dwellers of earth, and they might not prosper in
their speech. Then the leaders of the work in pride of strength met together about
the tower in many bands. But no one band could understand another. And they
left off to build the wall of stone, and were wretchedly sundered into tribes divided
by their speech. And every tribe became alien to every other tribe, when the Lord
in His might sundered the speech of men. So the divided sons of men were
scattered on four ways in search of land. And behind them the steadfast tower of
stone, and the high citadel, stood unfinished together in the land of Shinar.
(ll. 1702-1718) Now the tribe of Shem increased and flourished under heaven.
And a certain man of that tribe, of thoughtful heart and given to virtue, had noble
children. Two goodly sons were born to him, and bred in Babylon, great-hearted
princes named Abraham and Haran. And the Lord of angels was their guide and
friend. Now Haran had a noble son, whose name was Lot. And Abraham and Lot