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1QapGen, 1Q20, Tales of the Patriarchs, Genesis Apocryphon

This manuscript from the Dead Sea Scrolls is also referred to as 1Q20, Tales of the Patriarchs, Genesis Apocryphon, and less frequently as the Lamech Document. It is fourth out of the first seven manuscripts found in the caves of Qumran. The scroll was written in Aramaic and is a narrative told in the first person by several generations of characters from the book of Genesis. The beginning section of the manuscript is missing but due to the genealogical style in which the remaining portion is told, it is theorized that the missing first pages contained Genesis history starting with the creation of Adam and detailing everything that happened between then and the birth of Noah (which is where 1QapGen picks up.) The scroll is now preserved in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.

Synopsis: Lamech's wife, Bitenosh, gives birth to a child (Noah,) but Lamech doubts that he is the father and starts freaking out. Bitenosh assures Lamech that she has been faithful but Lamech runs to his dad, Methuselah, for advice on what he should believe. Methuselah in turn runs to get advice from his dad, Enoch, who knows a lot, on account of being friends with the angels/'Holy Ones.' It turns out that Lamech really is the baby's father, so all is well. We switch to Noah's narrative, in which he tells of the great flood, his descendants, and the cultivation and division of land between them. We switch narrators again and Abraham tells of how he travels with his wife, Sarah, to Egypt to escape famine. Pharaoh hears of Sarah's beauty and takes her away and makes her his wife, sparing Abraham's life only because Sarah falsely claims that Abraham is her brother and not her husband. Abraham, in his grief, prays to God for some horrible consequence to befall his wife's abductor so that she won't be 'defiled' by her new husband. His prayers are answered and Pharaoh, plus every man in his household, are plagued with some sort of genital dysfunction rendering them impotent and “causing the discharges of pus.” Pharaoh returns Sarah to Abraham in exchange for the restoration of his sexual organs to functional status. Sarah and Abraham move away and live proseperously. Some warring between nations is described in which Abraham's nephew, Lot, is temporarily taken captive. When all the fighting is over, Abraham and his family are quite well off, and God promises Abraham that he will have sons to inherit his fortune.

Translated Text:

Column 3

  1   Then I decided that the conception was at the hands of Watchers, that the seed had been planted by Holy Ones or Nephilim ...
  2   I was in a turmoil because of this infant.
  3   Then I, Lamech hurriedly went in to my wife, Bitenosh, and I said to her,
  4   "I adjure you by ... and by the Most High, by the Lord, the Great One, by the King of all Eternity ... have you conceived
  5   by one of the Sons of Heaven? Tell me every detail truthfully ...
  6   in truth make it known to me, without lies. Was this ...
  7   by the King of Eternity. You are to speak with me in utter truth, without lies ...
  8   Then Bitenosh, my wife, replied to me very passionately, weeping ...
  9   She said, "O, my brother, my lord, remember of my voluptuousness ...
  10   before the time of lovemaking, and my ardent response. I am telling you the whole truth ...
  11   and my mind was then changed, ...
  12   Now when my wife Bitenosh saw that my disposition had changed, ...
  13   Then she restrained her anger, speaking with me and saying, "O, my lord, my brother, remember ...
  14   my pleasure. I swear to you by the Great Holy One, by the King of Heaven ...
  15   that this seed comes from you, this conception was by you, the planting of this fruit is yours ... It was
  16   not by any stranger, neither by any of the Watchers, not yet by any Sons of Heaven, Why has
  17   your expression been so altered, your mood so depressed? ... Surely
  18   I am speaking with you truthfully."
  19   Thereupon I, Lamech, ran to Methuselah my father, and told him everything, so he would go ask Enoch,
  20   his father, and come to understand the whole matter with certainty. For he, Enoch, is beloved and ... with the Holy Ones
  21   his lot has been cast, They reveal everything to him, When Methuselah heard of these matters
  22   he set out for his father Enoch, in order to learn from him the truth of the whole affair ...
  23   his will. Then he went to the highest heaven, to Parvain, and there he found Enoch with the Holy Ones.
  24   He said to Enoch, his father, "O, my father, my lord, O have come to you ... hear
  25   what I say to you, Do not be angry with me that I have come here ...

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  3   for in the days of Jared, my father...

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  3   I, Enoch, ...
  4   not by the Sons of Heaven, but by Lamech, your son ...
  9   And now, I say to you ... and reveal to you that...
  10   Go, say to Lamech your son ...
  24   Now when Methuselah heard these things ...
  25   And spoke ... with Lamech his son ...
  26   Now when I, Lamech, heard these things ...
  27   that he brought forth from me ...

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  2   And all my days I have practiced righteousness ...
  6   I, Noah, a man ...

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  1   You shall have dominion over the earth and all that is upon it, over the seas and all that is within them ...
  7   Then I rejoiced at the words of the Lord of Heaven ...

Column 11

  12   ... the ark came to rest upon one of the mountains of Ararat ...
  13   I atoned for all of the land ...
  15   upon the altar I burned some incense ...

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  17   You shall eat no blood ...

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  1   ... Behold, I have placed My bow in the cloud." And it became a sign for me in the cloud, to be...
  2   the earth ...
  3   many ... it was revealed to me...
  7   in the mountains of Ararat...
  8   ... a vineyard in the mountains of Ararat. Afteward, I descended to the base of this mountain, I and my sons and grandsons...
  9   ... the devastation of the earth was large-scale. Sons and daughters were born to me after the Flood.
  10   To Shem, my oldest son, a son was born first-namely Arpachshad, two years after the Flood. All the children of Shem were
  11   Elam, Ashur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram and five daughters. In addition, the children of Ham were: Cush, Mirzrain, Put, Canaan, and seven
  12   daughters; the children of Japeth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Moshok, Tiras, and four daughters.
  13   Then I began to cultivate the earth together with all my sons. I planted a large vineyard at Mt. Lubar, and in the fourth year it produced wine for me.
  14   ... When the first festival, on the first day of that festival-that of the seventh month- ... I began to enjoy the fruit
  15   of my vineyard; I opened this vessel and began to drink from it on the first day of the fifth year
  16   since the planting of the vineyard ... On this day I invited my sons and grandsons and all our wives and daughters, and we all gathered together and went
  17   to the place of the altar ... and I blessed the Lord of Heaven, the Most High God, the Great Holy One who had saved us from destruction ...
  18   ... and for all ... of his father. They drank and ...
  19   ... and I poured on the altar ... and the wine ...

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  11   ... all the land of the north as far as ...
  12   ... as far as this boundary the waters of the Mediterranean ...
  16   ... the Tina River ...

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  8   ... to the west, to Asshur, as far as the Tigris ...
  9   For Aram, the land of ... as far as the source of ...
  10   ... this Mount of the Ox, and he crossed this portion westward as far as ...
  11   ... and upon the conjunction of the three portions ... For Arpachshad, ...
  16   ... To Gomer, he gave the northeastern portion as far as the Tina River and its circuit. To Magog, he gave ...

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  6   And there I built the altar, and called there upon the name of God ... And I said, "You are indeed
  7   the Eternal God for me, ..." Previously, I had not reached the holy mountain; so I journeyed
  8   to ... and I continued traveling to the south ... until I reached Hebron - though Hebron had yet to be built - and I lived
  9   there for two years ... Now there was a famine in all that land, but I heard that in Egypt there was grain. So I journeyed
  10   to enter the land of Egypt ... and I reached the Carmon River, one of the
  11   branches of the Nile ... Until this point we were still within our own land, but now I crossed the seven branches of this river that ...
  12   ... Now we had crossed our land and entered the land of the children of Ham, the land of Eqypt.
  13   I, Abram, had a dream the night of my entry into the land of Egypt. In my dream, I saw a cedar tree and a
  14   date-palm growing from a single root. Then people came intending to cut down and uproot the cedar, thereby to leave the date-palm by itself.
  15   The date-palm, however, objected, and said, "Do not cut the cedar down, for the two of us grow from but a single root." So the cedar was spared because of the date-palm,
  16   and was not cut down. Then I started from my sleep while it was still night, and said to Sarai, my wife, "I have had a
  17   dream and now am fearful because of it." She replied, "Tell me your dream so I may understand." So I began to explain it to her,
  18   and I also explained its significance. I said, "... men and women will come intending to kill me while sparing you. Notwithstanding, this is the kindness
  19   that you can do for me. In every place where we shall go, say concerning me, 'He is my brother.' Thus I may live because of you and my life spared because of you.
  20   ...they will attempt to separate us and to kill me." Then Sarai wept at my words that night.
  21   ... and the Pharaoh of Zoan ... Sarai no longer wanted to go to Zoan
  22   with me, for she was exceedingly afraid lest any man attached to the Pharaoh of Zoan should see her. Nevertheless, after five years had passed
  23   there came three men, councilors of the Egyptian court and advisors of the Pharaoh of Zoan. They came having heard of my words and my wife, and kept plying me
  24   with many gifts. They asked me for knowledge of goodness, wisdom and righteousness, so I read to them the Book of the Words of Enoch.
  25   ... in the famine that ... the Book of the Words of Enoch ...
  25   ... with much eating and drinking ... wine ...

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  2   ... how splendid and beautiful is the aspect of her face, and how ...
  3   And how supple is the hair of her head. How lovely are her eyes; how pleasant her nose and all the radiance of
  4   her face ... How shapely is her breast, how gorgeous all her fairness! Her arms, how comely! Her hands,
  5   how perfect - How lovely is every aspect of her hands! How exquisite are her palms, how long and delicate all her fingers! He feet,
  6   how attractive! How perfect are her thighs! Neither virgins nor brides entering the bridal chamber exceed her charms, Over all
  7   women is her beauty supreme, her loveliness far above them all. Yet with all this comeliness, she possesses great wisdom, and all that she has
  8   is beautiful. When the king heard Hyrcanos' words and those of his companions - for the three of them spoke of one accord - he desired her very much. So he sent
  9   immediately and had her brought to him. He saw her and was amazed at her beauty, Thereupon, he took her as his wife and sought to kill me, but Sarai said
  10   to the king, "He is my brother." Thus she benefited me and I was spared - I, Abram - by her good graces, and not killed. Then I wept copiously - I,
  11   Abram - both I and Lot, my nephew, that night when Sarai was taken from me by force.
  12   That night I prayed, entreating and seeking mercy. In anguish, tears running down my cheeks, I said, "Blessed art You, O God Most High, Eternal
  13   Lord, for You are Lord and Master over all. Over all the kings of the earth You are Lord, to work justice among them. And now,
  14   I seek redress, O Lord, against the Pharaoh of Zoan, king of Egypt, for my wife has been taken from me by force. Render me a verdict against him, and display Your mighty hand
  15   against him and all his house. May he not be empowered this night to defile my wife! Thus they may know You, O my Lord, that You are Lord over all the kings
  16   of the earth." So I wept and spoke to none. That night God Most High sent a baneful spirit to smite him and every man of his household, an evil
  17   spirit that continued to afflict him and every man of his household. Consequently, he was unable to have sexual relations with her; indeed, he did not have intercourse with her even though she was with him
  18   two full years. At the end of two years the plagues and afflictions grew yet more severe against him and every man of his household, so he sent messengers
  19   calling for all the wise men of Egypt, along with all the magicians and healers of Egypt, thinking that perhaps they could cure him and his household of this pestilence.
  20   Yet none of the healers, magicians, and wise men were able to cure him; on the contrary, the spirit afflicted all of them, too,
  21   so that they fled. Then Hyrcanos came to me, asking me to pray for the
  22   king, and to lay hands upon him and cure him - for he had seen me in a dream. But Lot replied, "My uncle, Abram, is unable to pray for
  23   the king while Sarai, his wife, remains with him. Now, go tell the king to send his wife to her husband. Then he will pray for him and he will be cured."
  24   When Hyrcanos heard Lot's words, he went and told the king. "All these smitings and plagues
  25   by which my lord the king has been smitten and afflicted are because of Sarai, the wife of Abram! Let him return Sarai to her Abram, her husband,
  26   and this plague will depart from you, that is, the spirit causing the discharges of pus." So he called me to himself and asked me, "What have you done to me because of your wife Sarai? You told
  27   me, 'She is my sister,' yet she was actually your wife! I took her as my own wife! Here she is; take her, go, depart from
  28   all the provinces of Egypt! But first, pray for me and my house that this evil spirit may be exorcised from us." So I prayed for him, that blasphemer,
  29   and laid my hands upon his head, Thereupon the plague was removed from him, the evil spirit exorcised from him, and he was healed, The king rose and informed
  30   me ... and the king swore to me with an oath that he had not touched her. Then they bought me
  31   Sarai. The king gave her much silver and gold, and great quantities of linen and purple-dyes garments ... he put them before her , and
  32   before Hagar as well. He restored her to me and assigned men to escort me out of Egypt...
  33   So I, Abram, left, with many, many flocks, together with silver and gold, and went up from Egypt. Lot,
  34   my nephew, accompanied me, and he also had acquired many flocks for himself, and had taken a wife from among the daughters of Egypt. I camped with him

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  1   in each of my former encampments until I reached Bethel, here I had once erected an altar. Now I rebuilt it
  2   and offered up burnt offerings and a cereal offering to God Most High. There I called upon the name if the Eternal Lord and praised the name of God, I blessed
  3   God and gave thanks to Him there for all the flocks and goods He had given me, and for the good that He had done me, and because He had returned me
  4   to this land safely.
  5   After this day Lot separated from me because of the actions of our shepherds. He went to live in the valley of the Jordan, taking all his flocks
  6   with him. I also added greatly to what he had, He pastured his flocks and kept on the move until he reached Sodom, where he bought himself a house
  7   and settled down to live. I myself continued living on the mountain of Bethel, and thought it unwise that my nephew Lot and separated from me.
  8   Thereafter God appeared to me in a vision of the night and told me, "Go up to Ramath-Hazor, which is on the north of
  9   Bethel were you now live, and lift up your eyes. Look to the east, west, south, and north.
  10   Survey all this land that I am about to give to you and your descendants forever." So I went up the next day to Ramath-Hazor and surveyed the land from
  11   that height, from the River of Egypt to Lebanon and Senir, and from the Mediterranean to the Hauran, and all the land of Gebbal as far as Kadesh, and all the
  12   Great Desert to the east of the Hauran and Senir as far as the Euphrates. And He said to me, "I will give all this land to your descendants ; they will inherit it forever
  13   Moreover, I will multiply your descendents like the dust of the earth that none can count. Your descendants shall be numberless. Arise, walk about, go
  14   see how long and how wide it is, for I will give it to you and to your descendants after you, forever."
  15   Then I went - I, Abram - traveling in a circuit to survey the land. I began the circuit at the Gihon River, traveling along the Mediterranean until
  16   I reached the Mount of the Ox. I circled from the coast of this great saltwater sea, skirting the Mount of the Ox, and continued eastward though the breadth of the land
  17   until I came to the Euphrates River. I journeyed along the Euphrates until I reached
  18   the Red Sea in the east, whence I followed the coast of the Red Sea until I came to the tongue of the Reed Sea, jutting out from the Red Sea. From there I completed the circuit, moving southward to arrive at the Gihon
  19   River. Afterwards I returned home safely and found all my men well. Shortly thereafter I went to dwell at the Oaks of Mamre that are in Hebron,
  20   actually somewhat to the northeast of Hebron. There I built an altar and offered up a burnt offering and a cereal offering to God Most High. I ate and drank there,
  21   I and all the men of my household, and invited Mamre, Arnem, and Eshkol, three Amorite brothers and my friends, They ate and drank together
  22   with me.
  23   Prior to those days Cherdorlaomer, the king of Elam, Amraphel, the king of Babylon, Arioch, the king of Cappadocia, and Tidal, the king of Goiim, which
  24   lies between the two rivers had come. They had waged war on Bera, Admah,
  25   Shemiabad, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. All these gathered themselves together to battle in the Valley of Siddim. Now, the king of
  26   Elam and the kings with him proved stronger than the king of Sodom and all his allies. Thus they imposed tribute upon them. For twelve years they continued
  27   to pay their tribute to the king of Elam, but in the thirteenth they rebelled against him. Consequently, in the fourteenth year the king of Elam sallied forth with all
  28   his allies, and they ascended by way of the desert. They smote and plundered beginning from the Euphrates. They kept smiting - smiting the Rephaim who were in the Asteroth -
  29   Kernaim, the Zumzammin who were in Amman, the Emim who were in Shaveh-Hakerioth, and the Horites, who were in the mountains of Gebal - until they reached El -
  30   Paran, in the desert. Then they turned back and struck En-mishpat and the people who were in Hazazon-Tamar.
  31   Thereupon the king of Sodom went out to confront them, along with the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela. They waged war
  32   in the Valley of Siddim with the Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, and the kings who were his allies. The king of Sodom was put to flight, while the king of Gomorrah
  33   fell into pieces of tar ... The king of Elam plundered all the flocks of Sodom and
  34   Gomorrah ... And Lot, Abram's nephew who had been living in Sodom, was taken captive

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  1   along with them, he and all his flocks. One of the herdsmen of the
  2   flock that Abram had given Lot escaped from the captives and came to Abram - at the time Abram
  3   dwelled in Hebron. The herdsman informed him that his nephew Lot and all his flocks had been taken into captivity, but that Lot had not been killed. He also told him that
  4   the kings were matching along the trail of the Great Valley toward their own territory, taking captives and plunder, smiting and killing, heading
  5   for the city of Damascus. Abram wept over his nephew Lot, but then gathered his strength and arose
  6   to select from among his servants elite warriors, thee hundred and eighteen of them. Arnem,
  7   Eshcol, and Mamreh set out with him. He pursued the kings as far as Dan, where he found them
  8   encamped in the Valley of Dan. He attacked by night from four directons, killing
  9   some of them that night. Some he slaughtered, others he pursued; they fled before him
  10   until they reached Helbon, located to the north of Damascus. This Abram recovered from them everyone they had taken captive
  11   and everything they had taken as soils, and despoiled their own property as well. He further saves his nephew Lot and all his flocks. All
  12   those who had been captured he brought back. The king of Sodom heard that Abram had recovered all the captives
  13   and plunder, so he went up to meet him. The came to Salem, that is, Jerusalem, whereas Abram was encamped in the Valley
  14   of Shaveh, that is the Valley of the King, the Valley of Beth and Hakerem. Now Melchizedek, the king of Salem, provided
  15   food and drink for Abram and all the men with him. He himself was a priest of God Most High, and he blessed
  16   Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the Lord of heaven and earth, Blessed be God Most High
  17   who has closed your grasp about your enemies," Then Abram gave him a tithe of all the flocks that had belonged to the king of Elam and his allies.
  18   At that point the king of Sodom drew near and said to Abram, "My lord Abram,
  19   give me my men, the captives with you, whom you have rescued from the king of Elam; as for the plunder,
  20   let it all pass to you." Abram replied to the king of Sodom, "I lift my hand and swear this day by God Most High, the Lord of heaven and
  21   earth: I shall not take even a thread or sandal strap
  22   from all that is yours, lest you go on to say 'All Abram's wealth derives from plunder of what
  23   once was mine.' I exempt from this oath what my men have already eaten, and the portion belonging to the three men who
  24   marched with me. They are sovereign over their own portion, and can restore it to you or not." So Abram returned all the plunder and
  25   captives, giving them to the king of Sodom. As for all the captives accompanying him who were natives of this land, these he freed
  26   and sent on their way.
  27   After these events God appeared to Abram in a vision and said to him. "Consider, ten full years
  28   have passed since the day you left Haran. Two you spent here, seven in Egypt, and one
  29   has passed since you returned from Egypt. Now, take an accounting of all that you possess; note how you possessions have doubled and more, compared to
  30   what you took with you the day you left Haran. So fear not, I am with you. I shall be your
  31   support, your strength. I myself shall be your shield and buckler against any foe mightier than you. Your wealth and flocks
  32   shall multiply exceedingly. Abram replied, "My Lord God, my wealth and flocks are already vast. But what good are
  33   all these things to me, inasmuch when I die, I go childless, having no sons? In fact, one of my household staff will inherit what I have.
  34   Eliezer, a member of my household staff, that... young man is set to be my heir." God said to him, "No, this man shall not be your heir, but rather one who shall be your own issue ..."

This translation is from The Dead Sea Scrolls, A New Translation by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr. and Edward Cook.

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