Old Testament Legends eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Old Testament Legends.

Then Death let fall from him all his beauty, and Abraham saw him as he was.  And where there had been a shining angel, he saw a cloud of darkness, and in it the shapes of horrible wild beasts and all unclean creatures; and he saw the heads of fiery dragons, and flames of consuming fire darting out; and he seemed to see a dreadful precipice before him, and then a rushing river, and flashes of lightning, and crackling of thunder, and thereafter a tempestuous raging sea; and again weapons brandished, and venomous basilisks and serpents, and bowls of poison; and there came a horrible odour, so that all the servants of Abraham that were in the chamber fainted and died, and Abraham himself swooned and his senses left him.

When he came to himself, Death had hidden his terrible aspect and put on his beautiful form again.  And Abraham saw his servants lying dead, and said to Death, “How is it that thou hast slain these?” And Death said, “They died at the sight of my countenance, and in truth it is a marvel that thou also didst not die with them.”  “Yea,” said Abraham, “now I know how it was that I came by this faintness of spirit that is upon me; but I pray thee, Death, inasmuch as these have been cut off before their time, let us entreat God that he would raise them up again.”  So Abraham and Death prayed together; and the spirit of life returned into the servants that had been killed, and they rose up again.  After that Abraham conversed with Death.

Then Sarah and Isaac came in and talked with Abraham as he lay on his bed.  And Abraham said to Death, “I beseech thee, depart from me for a little, for since I looked upon thee weakness is come upon me, and my breath labours and my heart is troubled.”  Then said Death, “Kiss my right hand and thy strength will return to thee, and thou wilt be filled with joy.”  So Abraham kissed the hand of Death, and the soul of Abraham clave to the hand of Death and left his body; and straightway Michael was there and a multitude of angels with him, and they accompanied the holy soul of Abraham and brought it into the heavens into the presence of the Most High, there to abide everlastingly in gladness and brightness in the place from which all sorrow and sighing are fled away.

THE STORY OF ASENETH, JOSEPH’S WIFE

I

There was once a great man named Potipherah, who was high priest of the city of On in Egypt; and he and his wife had no children.  One day he went into the temple to offer sacrifice, as was his custom.  He went alone, and when he entered the great courtyard of the temple, in the middle of which stood the altar, he was astonished to see a little child lying upon the altar.  Without waiting to offer his sacrifice, he hurried back to his wife.  “What is the matter,” said she, “that you come back so hastily?” “I have seen a wonderful thing,” he said; “the gods have given us

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Old Testament Legends from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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