Then Abraham in haste laid his cheek on the earth, and with scorn turned over these words in his mind, the thoughts of his heart: at that period of time he himself 2340 did not believe that Sarra, his grey-haired bride, could bring a son into the world to him; he knew well that his wife had already numbered at least one hundred winters, by actual reckoning. So then, wise in years, he spoke 2345 thus to the Lord:
“May Ismael live according to Thy commandments, Lord, and give thee thanks with wise and steady mind and stout heart, doing Thy will day and night in word 2350 and deed!”
Then the Almighty King and Everlasting Lord an-swered him fairly:
“Though much worn in years, Sarra shall bring a son into the world to thee; the future shall truly proceed in 2355 accordance with these words here pronounced. I will now bless with my grace Ismael, as thou art petitioner, for thy first born, so that he may dwell many days in the kingdom of this world with spreading progeny; be thou 2360 sure of that! But Isaac thy son, the young child who has not yet come into the world, I will distinguish ex-ceedingly with abundance of joys and every kind of riches, in his days, and certainly leave in his heart my 2365 pledge and holy faith, and be kind to him.”
Abraham did as the Eternal bade him, set the sign of peace on his son, by the Lord’s command, and bade 2370 every one of his household of the male sex bear that high sign,—wise in heart, and mindful of the pledge which God had given him as assurance of good faith,— and then himself received the exalted sign. The Lord 2375 and Just King continually advanced his glory in the kingdom of this world, with blessings: He wrought this for him as soon as he might first perform the will of his Master in [every] expedition....
Then the woman laughed at the Lord of Mankind not 2380 at all mirthfully, but full of years she laid away this promise in her mind with much scorn: she did not believe it true that the fulfilment of this promise was to follow. But when the Ruler of Heaven heard that the 2385 wife of Abraham had given way to hopeless laughter, in her bower, then the Holy God said:
“Sarra will not believe in the truth of my word: nevertheless this decree shall be fulfilled, as I promised 2390 thee at first. I tell thee truth, at this very season a son shall be born of thy wife: when I return to this same dwelling another time, then shall my promise of increase be fulfilled: thou shalt look upon a son, thine own child, 2395 dear Abraham!”
Then at once, after this speech, they departed with speed, eager to be gone; from the place of the confer-ence, the holy spirits made their way (the power of 2400 light itself was in their midst!) until they could look upon Sodom, the lofty city: they saw palaces tower up above treasures, halls above red gold. Then the right-eous Ruler of the skies began to speak with Abraham, 2405 gave him no little information.