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The 12 Books of Abraham

    The 12 Books of Abraham

    3 Abraham
    Also Known as the Book of Judith
    Chapter 57

    3 ABRAHAM 57
    or Judith 49

    The enlarged family of Abram return to the Holy City. The painful farewell. The Lamentation of Judith. The Holy City is taken from the earth. The Lake of Salem. Abram builds an altar.

    1. Therefore we went up unto the City of Salem and travelled for many days.

    2. And when we saw the Holy City with our eyes, our souls leaped for joy.

    3. And it was as beautiful and magnificent as the day we had left it.

    4. After we had left those not of the Chavurat Bekorot outside the city in their tents, the Thirteen and our children, and our lord and husband Abram drew up unto the West Gate.

    5. And we heard the gentle humming sound of the city, and we beheld the great light within.

    6. And as the doors thereof opened, and we walked in upon our naked feet (for the ground was holy), I entered, as it were, a dream.

    7. And we were all transported into the Twelfth Heaven in our spirits, for we were enraptured.

    8. Yea, and our hearts burned within us, and our tongues whispered words of praise, for the Spirit had so engulfed us.

    9. And behold, Sarai, Kehah, Darash, Dea, Sabea and Kannah had all fallen prostrate upon the ground -- and they were as if they were dead -- for never before had they known such great holiness.

    10. And we heard the sound of voices in our spirits, and they were the voices of Sarai, Kehah, Darash, Dea, Sabea and Kannah, for they had lifted their hearts up in a song of praise, being envelloped in a vision of numerous concourses of angels and heavenly choirs.

    11. And it came to pass that we Seven saw and heard all these things.

    12. And we knew that we were ready to cross the last veil.

    13. Now the Six who were upon the ground were not afflicted with blindness as was Abram when he first entered the Holy City, for they had all closed their eyes and prostrated themselves upon their faces.

    14. Having thus entered the Holy City and partaken somewhat of its glory, our lord Abram took us into the Temple and we stood before father Noah.

    15. And behold, great was the joy of father Noah when he saw how our lord Abram had multiplied.

    16. Therefore was his joy full.

    17. Now Noah blessed us all and bade us be true and faithful unto El Elyon, for upon the morrow the Holy City would be taken from off the earth, never to be seen by us again, nor by the world until Messiah cometh to establish His Kingdom forever.

    18. Therefore after we had feasted with fathers Noah and Shem, and with a great many from the Holy City;

    19. And after we had all embraced one another, and bade a tearful farewell unto our daughters and grandchildren, we departed out of the city and returned to our encamp- ment.

    20. And as we left we wept, for the pain of the imminent separation grew and grew.

    21. And behold, we tried to comfort ourselves, but we could not.

    22. Neither could we sleep.

    23. Therefore the whole night we remained awake, watching the glowing towers of the City of Salem.

    24. And as I gazed upon the city, I began to sing a lamentation:

    25. "O Salem, thou fairest, thou purest;

    26. "Mother and father of all goodness.

    27. "Thou brought us into the world, and now thou must depart.

    28. "O Salem, Salem, beautiful city, our home, our glory, we weep for thee.

    29. "Depart not from us for long, but let us be received into thy brightness again."

    30. And as I, Judith, finished singing my lamentation, behold, a great pillar of light descended out of the heavens over the Holy City;

    31. And so great was its brightness that the mountains and the desert began to shine as before a thousand suns.

    32. And behold, as the pillar rested upon the Holy City, the earth began to heave and groan.

    33. There was a mighty trembling in the mountains, and great rocks fell from the heights and descended into the valleys.

    34. And behold, that great and wonderful City began to ascend into the sky, and much of the land round about it also.

    35. And great rocks fell upon the ground from beneath it;

    36. And the earth quaked, and there was a great sound of roaring.

    37. And the City ascended in the pillar, slowly at first, but with ever quickening speed as it ascended into the highest heavens.

    38. And behold, in moments it was gone, and there was a great darkness round about.

    39. And there was a great stillness.

    40. No longer did our natural eyes behold the soothing glow of the towers of Salem;

    41. No longer could we behold the fair gates of the Holy City.

    42. And behold, we were left in utter darkness, for we had not thought to light a camp fire.

    43. Therefore we lit a fire and gathered around it to warm ourselves and dispell the darkness of the night.

    44. And we sat silently, wondering about our daughters, and our grandchildren, and our loved ones who were with us no more.

    45. Therefore we gazed into the fire and spake not a word.

    46. Now it was not long before the sun arose and we were obliged to return to the cares of our family.

    47. Therefore we did not dwell on our great loss but diligently went about the labours of the day.

    48. And once the sun had fully risen we ventured forward to behold the place where the Holy City had stood.

    49. And behold, where the city had stood was a great hole, and from the springs of Salem gushed forth many waters.

    50. And a great lake was born from the place where the City of Salem had stood.

    51. And the place was renamed the Lake of Salem.

    52. And to this day a great lake abideth in the place of the Holy City;

    53. And its waters are a blessing unto travellers.

    54. Now my lord Abram erected an altar by the place;

    55. And he gathered twelve unhewn rocks, and made an altar unto El Elyon.

    56. And after he had made an altar we departed from the place, never more to return.

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