2 Abraham 23
Abram crosses into Zoan. Sarai's beauty causes a sensation in the court of Pharaoh. He seizes her and takes her as wife. Elohim curses all the Egyptians with impotence. Pharaoh asks Abram to heal him.
1. The next day we moved across the seven branches of the river and proceeded toward Zoan where Pharaoh dwelt. But I kept Sarai hidden until we reached Zoan, for it was in the home of Pharaoh that Yahweh purposed to use her great beauty to open the heart of Pharaoh unto the Word of Elohim.
2. When we reached the City of Zoan, three of Pharaoh's officers met us and I brought Sarai forth to sit at my right hand while I gave them audience.
3. And according to the Word of Yahweh, while I attempted to explain unto them our having come there because of the famine in the land of Canaan, and that we had means wherewith to support ourselves while we sojourned among them, they kept bestowing compliments upon Sarai for her great beauty and wisdom and the lustre of her countenance.
4. When the men departed from me, they went directly into the presence of Pharaoh. And when they had eaten with him, he had good wine brought forth. While they drank together, they began to speak unto him of what had transpired, but all they could speak of were the beauties of Sarai.
5. How beautiful is the woman Sarai, they said, who sitteth at Abram's right hand. How comely is the shape of her face; how delicate and finespun her tresses. How beautiful her eyes. How delicate is her nose and the whole lustre of her countenance. How fair are her breasts and how comely withal is her complexion. How comely too are her arms and how perfect her hands. How pleasing are her hands to behold; how lovely her palms; how long and slender her fingers. How comely are her feet. How well-rounded her thighs.
6. None of the maidens and none of the brides that enter the bridal chamber are fairer than she. Her beauty is greater than all other women's and she excells them all. Moreover, along with this beauty she hath great wisdom. And the workmanship of her hands is fair indeed. When he heard these words Pharaoh lusted after Sarai and sent his servants to fetch her to him.
7. Knowing it to be the will of Yahweh, I let her go, although my heart was grieved within me.
8. When Pharaoh saw her, his lust grew within him, for he was overcome by her beauty. And he took her into his household as his wife and sent men to slay me that I might not rise up to claim her. But Sarai, seeing these things, said unto Pharaoh: He is but my kinsman; wherefore Pharaoh called back his men and my life was spared.
9. But Lot and I and all our household spent that night in prayer before Yahweh for Sarai, that she might accomplish her mission, and that she might not be defiled contrary to the covenant of marriage.
10. And I stood with my arms stretched out toward Heaven and I said: Blessed art thou, O Yah, El Elyon, Lord of all the worlds, and Lord and Ruler over all things. I know that thou dost rule over all the kings of the earth, executing judgment upon them in righteousness, even as thou didst save me from the evil designs of the mighty king Nimrod.
11. Now I do complain before Thee concerning Pharaoh of Zoan, king of Egypt, who hath violently abducted my wife Sarai from me. Wreck justice upon him in my behalf, and let me behold Thy hand wax mightily against him and against all his household. And let him not be able this night to defile my wife contrary to her covenants.
12. Let them come to know, O lord. that Thou art Yahweh of all the kings of the earth and the Ruler of all men, for for this cause did I suffer Sarai to go among them according to Thy counsel.
13. And Elohim hearkened unto my prayer and withheld His Spirit from among the Egyptians that none of them were able to come at their wives that night. In the morning consternation reigned throughout the land of Egypt, for no man had been able to lie with his wife that night.
14. Pharaoh was also greatly perplexed for although his lust toward Sarai had grown throughout the night, he had been unable to satisfy his lust because of the curse of Elohim which rested upon him. Therefore he summoned all of his wise men and the physicians of the household, but none could heal him, and all had suffered the same affliction.
15. Then the Spirit of Yahweh fell upon Sarai and she said: My lord, it is indeed a sad matter that this affliction should be upon thee. My kinsman Abram is a man full of wisdom and of the Spirit of Elohim. Send for him, therefore, and he shall tell thee how to be delivered from these bonds.
16. Now this she said at the direction of Yahweh our Elohim. And Yahweh softened Pharaoh's heart that he hearkened unto her words, and he sent one of his chief ministers, unto my camp.
17. When he arrived in camp, he was, according to my directions, led to the tent of Lot. And when he had entered the tent, he bowed before Lot and said: My lord Pharaoh and all the males of the land of Egypt have been cursed that they are unable to come at their wives.
18. But it hath been told Pharaoh by his handmaiden Sarai that her kinsman Abram is a man full of wisdom and of the Spirit of your Elohim. Let him therefore come and lay his minister to my lord Pharaoh and pray for him that he may be healed and live.
19. But Lot said unto him: As long as his wife Sarai remains with the king, my uncle Abram will not be able to pray for him. Be off thou and tell the king to release the woman to her husband. Then he will pray for him and he will be healed.
20. When the chief minister heard these words, he was amazed, and went straightway to the king. My lord king, he said, this curse hath come on account of Sarai the wife of Abram. Let Sarai be but restored to her husband Abram and this curse will be lifted from off all the males of Egypt.
21. Upon hearing these words, the king asked Sarai, saying: Is this thing so? Whereupon Sarai said: Yea, my lord, and it is done that thou mightest behold the power of Elohim. For when thy heart lusted after me, thou shouldst have asked and not taken me by force. But this is done that the glory of Elohim might be revealed, that thou shouldst turn from the worship of dumb idols to the worship of the true and living Elohim.
Authors: JB, LThE, SBSK et al
First created in 1990
Updated on 6 June 2016
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