Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.35
(ll. 2419-2437) And so these men abode their punishment and woe within their
walls, and their wives with them. Proud in their strength, they repaid God evil for
good until the Lord of spirits, Prince of life and light, could no longer withhold His
wrath. Stern of heart, God sent two mighty messengers among them who came
at even-tide unto the city of Sodom. They came upon a man sitting in the gate of
the city, even the son of Haran, and they appeared as young men before the
eyes of the sage. Then the servant of the Lord arose and went unto the
strangers, and greeted them with kindness; he was mindful of what is right and
fitting among men, and offered them a shelter for the night. And the noble
messengers of God made answer:
(ll. 2438-2440) "We thank thee for the favour thou hast showed us. Yet do we
think to bide here quietly beside this street until the time of the dawn, when God
shall send again the sun."
(ll. 2441-2453) Then Lot fell at their feet, and knelt upon the ground before his
guests, and offered them food and rest, the shelter of his house, and
entertainment. And they accepted the kindness of the prince with thanks, and
went in quickly with him unto his dwelling as the Hebrew earl pointed them the
way. And the lordly hero, wise of heart, gave them fair entertainment in his hall,
until the evening light vanished away. Then night came, hard upon the heels of
day, and clothed the ocean-streams with darkness, and all the glory of the world,
seas and wide-stretching land.
(ll. 2453-2466) Then in great throngs the dwellers of Sodom, young and old,
undear to God, came to demand the strangers, in multitudes encompassed Lot
about, and his guests. They bade him lead the holy heralds out from the lofty hall
into their power. Shamelessly they said that they would know these men. Of
decency they had no heed. Then swiftly Lot arose, deviser of counsel, and went
forth from his dwelling; the son of Haran, mindful of wisdom, spake unto all that
gathering of men:
(ll. 2467-2476) "Within my house two stainless daughters dwell. (Neither of them
yet has known a man.) Do now as I bid you and forsake this sin. Them will I give
you rather than that ye work this shame against your nature, and grievous evil
against the sons of men. Take now the maidens and leave my guests in peace,
for I will defend them against you before God, if so I may."
(ll. 2477-2484) And all that multitude of godless men with one accord made
answer unto him: "This seemeth meet and very right: that thou leave this land! An
exile, from afar thou camest to this country, desolate of friends, and lacking food.
And now wilt thou be judge over us, if so may be, and teach our people?"