By Michael E. Stone
This quantity introduces a cycle of news approximately Abraham as preserved in fifteen unpublished, overdue medieval manuscripts in Armenian, released right here in English for the 1st time with commentaries, annotations, and demanding equipment. The texts current embroidered Abraham tales facing his adolescence, his lifestyles in Egypt, the binding of Isaac, the tale of Melchizedek, and different stories. Embedding Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and different historic traditions, those texts show mutual borrowing and impact over centuries.
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7 աստղագէտ էր. ծագեաց լոյս ի սիրտն Աբրահամու. եւ ի ﬕտս իւր եկեալ ծանեաւ զմոլորութիւն. 4. եկաց ի վերայ ծնկաց. զբազուկս տարածեաց յաղօթս. եւ ասաց. անծանօթ եւ արարիչ աﬔնայնի. / fol. 83v / եւ ստեղծիչ. այս թռչնոցս դու տուր հրաման. զի հեռասցին. եւ նոյնժամայն ի չիք դարձան. ուրախացաւ Աբրահամ. զի եգիտ զճշմարիտն Աստուած. եւ եկեալ պատﬔաց հօրն. եւ ասաց թէ շատ աղաչեցի զպաշտելիս ձեր. եւ ոչ եղեւ լսելի. եւ ապա ծանեա զճշմարիտն Աստուած. եւ նորա հրամանօքն հալածեցան թռչունքն. 4. See Ēganyan, Zeyt‘unyan, and Ant‘abyan 1965, cols.
The types of transmission of Armenian apocryphal traditions are discussed in Stone 1996b. 9. On the wives of the patriarchs, see Lipscomb 1978, Stone 1996a. I am indebted to O. Ableman, who prepared the tables below. 10. Total years from creation, based on VanderKam 1989. The patriarch’s age is indicated in brackets. 11. This is based on the date given for Moses. 1. LISTS AND CHRONOLOGY 31 Table 2: Text 2 (M2679 156v-157r) Item/Event Genealogy (M2769) MT LXX Jubilees Rahab begot Serug 132 32 132 1687 Rahab’s lifetime 132+207= 339 32+207= 239 132+207=339 Serug begot Nahor 130 30 130 Serug’s lifetime 130+200= 320 30+200= 230 130+200= 320 Nahor begot Terah 80 29 79 Nahor’s lifetime 80+122= 202 29+119= 148 79+129= 208 Terah begot Abraham 70 70 70 Terah’s lifetime 70+35= 105 205 205 Abraham begot Isaac 100 100 100 ALD 1744 1806 1876 ~1987 Abraham’s lifetime 100+75= 175 175 175 (175) Isaac begot Jacob 60 60 60 2046 Isaac’s lifetime 60+120= 180 180 180 Jacob begot Levi 83 — — Jacob’s lifetime 83+62= 145 Levi begot Kohath 45 — — 34 Levi’s lifetime 45+80= 125 — — 137 Kohath begot Amram 64 — — Kohath’s lifetime — — — Amram begot Moses 75 — — Amram’s lifetime 75+62= 137 — — 2127 2330 Table 3: List of Wives’ Names in M2679 Patriarch Wife M2679 Wives of the Forefathers Rahab (Reu) Ura Soria Serug Milchah Melk‘ea (Milchah) Nahor Edna Yesk‘a Terah Arna Yedna Abraham Sarah Sarah Isaac Rebecca Rebecca Jacob Leah Rachel and Leah Levi Kaxat‘am Milka III (Milchah) (ALD) Kohath — Amram Jochebed Jochebed (ALD) 32 ARMENIAN APOCRYPHA: RELATING TO ABRAHAM It will readily be observed that in tables 1 and 2 the life spans in M2769 resemble those of the Septuagint (and the Armenian Bible), while in table 3 the names are basically the same as those in the Septuagint, though there are differences is spelling and in the names of the wives of Nahor and Terah.
However, the notorious confusion of numbers in the Venice collection may be to blame for this lack of clarity. 3. Folios 13r ff. contain a work on Adam and Eve, titled in the catalogue, Story Concerning Adam and Eve. -36- 2. STORY OF FATHER ABRAHAM 37 • Sodom and Gomorrah and the flight of Lot 17-21 • Colophon 22 Folios 53v–55r of manuscript M4618 contain another copy of the Story of Father Abraham (text no. 2) in a form very close to that in M8351, on which manuscript the text published above is based.