Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.32
(ll. 2261-2270) Then was the wife of Abraham hard of heart and hostile-minded,
ruthless, and merciless against her handmaid, and bitterly declared her hate. And
the maiden fled from thraldom and oppression, and would not brook punishment
or retribution for what she wrought against Sarah. But she fled into the
wilderness. And there a thane of glory, an angel of the Lord, found her sad of
heart and questioned her:
(ll. 2271-2272) "Whither art thou hastening, unhappy girl, handmaid of Sarah?"
(ll. 2273-2279) And straightway she answered him: "Devoid of all good things, in
misery, I fled away out of my dwelling, from the hate of my lady, from injury and
wrong. Here in the wilderness with tear-stained face I shall abide my doom, when
from my heart grim hunger or the wolf shall tear my soul and sorrow."
(ll. 2280-2295) And the angel answered her: "Seek not to flee away and leave thy
lord, but return again, deserve honour, be of humble heart, constant in virtue, and
faithful to thy lord. Thou, Hagar, shalt bring forth a son to Abraham. And I say
unto thee that men shall call him Ishmael. He shall be terrible, and swift to war;
his hand shall be against the tribes of men, his kinsmen. Many shall war upon
him bitterly. And from that prince shall spring a race and an unnumbered tribe.
Return again to seek thy lord, and dwell with them that have thee in possession."
(ll. 2296-2305) And she hearkened unto the angel's counsel, and returned again
unto her lord, according as the holy messenger of God commanded in words of
wisdom. And Abraham had lived for six-and-eighty winters in the world when
Ishmael was born. And the boy grew strong and throve according as the angel,
the faithful minister of peace, had told the maid. And after thirteen years the Lord,
Eternal God, said unto Abraham:
(ll. 2306-2325) "Dearest of men, keep well our covenant as I shall show thee, and
I will prosper thee and honour thee in every season. Be swift to work My will. I
will be mindful of the covenant and pledge I gave thee to thy comfort, because
thy soul was sad. Thou shalt sanctify thy household, and set a victor-sign on
every male, if thou wilt have in Me a lord or faithful friend unto thy people. I will
be lord and shepherd of this folk if ye will serve Me in your hearts, and keep My
laws. And each male child that cometh into the world, among this people, shall
be devoted unto Me in seven nights' time, by the victor-token, or else cut off from
all the world with persecution, and exiled from all good.
(ll. 2325-2337) "Do as I bid thee: I will be gracious unto you if ye will use that
token of true faith. Thy wife shall bear a son, and men shall call him Isaac. Thou
shalt not need to shame thee for him, but I will grant him grace divine, by My