Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.27
(ll. 1805-1810) And again Abraham builded an altar, calling earnestly on God,
and offered sacrifice unto the Lord of life. And God was gracious, and with
unsparing hand granted him reward upon the altar.
(ll. 1811-1823) And for a time thereafter the prince abode in his dwellings, and
his wife with him, enjoying all good things, until a grievous famine fell upon the
tribes of Canaan, and bitter hunger, grim as death to men within their homes.
Then Abraham, wise of heart, and chosen of the Lord, betook him into Egypt to
seek a place of refuge. The faithful hero fled from that affliction; too bitter was the
woe. And, in the wisdom of his heart, when he beheld the gabled palaces and
high-walled towns of the Egyptians gleaming brightly, Abraham began to speak
unto his wife and counsel her:
(ll. 1824-1843) "Lo! many a proud Egyptian shall behold thy beauty, maiden of
elfin grace! And if one look upon thee with desire, thinking thou art my wife, I fear
lest, in his longing for thy love, some foe may slay me with the sword. Therefore,
Sarah, say thou art my sister and my kin, if any stranger question what the bond
may be between us two of alien race and distant home. Conceal the truth! So
shalt thou save my life if God, our Lord Almighty, who sent us on this journey,
that we might strive for honour and advantage among the Egyptians, will grant
me His protection as of old, and longer life."
(ll. 1844-1872) So Abraham, the dauntless earl, came journeying with all his
substance into Egypt, where men were alien to him and friends unknown. And
many a proud earl, great in glory, found the woman fair; to many a bold thanes of
the king she seemed of royal beauty; and this they told their lord. They little
thought of any fairer maid, but praised the winsome loveliness of Sarah more
highly to their prince, until he bade them bring the lovely woman to his hall. And
the lord of men, dispenser of treasure, bade them show honour upon Abraham.
But the Lord God visited His anger upon Pharaoh because of his love of the
woman; bitterly the prince of men atoned, and all his household. He knew why
the Lord afflicted him with plagues! Then the prince of Egypt called Abraham
before him, who was sore afraid; and he gave him his wife again and his consort,
and bade him seek friends elsewhere, other princes and another folk. And he
bade his thanes and serving men conduct him, uninjured and with honour, out
from among that people, that he might be at peace.
(ll. 1873-1889) So Abraham took his possessions and went out from the land of
Egypt. Brave men conveyed the maiden, the bride with rings adorned, and they
led their flocks and earthly riches unto Bethel to their olden dwellings again, wife
and wealth and worldly treasure. They began to build there, to found a city, and
renew their halls and establish a home. And they builded an altar in the plain
near that which Abraham had built aforetime to his God, when he came out of the