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The Book of the Bee 21 - 25






NEITHER the father nor mother of this Melchizedek were written down in the genealogies; not that he had no natural parents, but that they were not written down. The greater number of the doctors say that he was of the seed of Canaan, whom Noah cursed. In the book of Chronography, however, (the author) affirms and says that he was of the seed of Shem the son of Noah. Shem begat Arphaxar, Arphaxar begat Cainan, and Cainan begat Shu>h and Mu>h, Shu>h was written down in the genealogies; but Mu>h was not, because his affairs were not sufficiently important to be written down in the genealogies. When Noah died, he commanded Shem concerning the bones of Adam, for they were with them in the ark, and were removed from the land of Eden to this earth. Then Shem entered the ark, and sealed it with his father's seal, and said to his brethren, 'My father commanded me to go and see the sources of the rivers and the seas and the structure of the earth, and to return.' And he said to Mu>h the father of Melchizedek, and to Y his mother, 'Give me your son that he may be with me, and behold, my wife and my children are with you.' Melchizedek's parents said to him, 'My lord, take thy servant; and may the angel of peace be with thee, and protect thee from wild beasts and desolation of the earth.' Shem went by night into the ark, and took Adam's coffin; and he sealed up the ark, saying to his brethren, 'My father commanded me that no one should go into it.' And he journeyed by night with the angel before him, and Melchizedek with him, until they came and stood upon the spot where our Lord was crucified. When they had laid the coffin down there, the earth was rent in the form of a cross, and swallowed up the coffin, and was again sealed up and returned to its former condition. Shem laid his hand upon Melchizedek's head, and blessed him, and delivered to him the priesthood, and commanded him to dwell there until the end of his life. And he said to him, 'Thou shalt not drink wine nor any intoxicating liquor, neither shall a razor pass over thy head; thou shalt not offer up to God an offering of beasts, but only fine flour and olive oil and wine; thou shalt not build a house for thyself; and may the God of thy fathers be with thee.' And Shem returned to his brethren, and Melchizedek's parents said to him, 'Where is our son?' Shem said, 'He died while he was with me on the way, and I buried him;' and they mourned for him a month of days; but Melchizedek dwelt in that place until he died. When he was old, the kings of the earth heard his fame, and eleven of them gathered together and came to see him; and they entreated him to go with them, but he would not be persuaded. And when he did not conform to their wishes, they built a city for him there, and he called it Jerusalem; and the kings said to one another, 'This is the king of all the earth, and the father of nations.' When Abraham came back from the battle of the kings and the nations, he passed by the mount of Jerusalem; and Melchizedek came forth to meet him, and Abraham made obeisance to Melchizedek, and gave him tithes of all that he had with him. And Melchizedek embraced him and blessed him, and gave him bread and wine from that which he was wont to offer up as an offering.


'And Melchizedek was honoured by them all, and was called "Father of Kings." Because of that which the Apostle spake, "His days had no beginning, and his life no end," simple folk have imagined that he was not a man at all, and in their error have said of him that he was God. Far from it, that his days had no beginning and his life no end. For when Shem the son of Noah took him away from his parents, not a word was said how old he was when he went up from the east, nor in how many years his departure from this world took place; because he was the son of Mh, the son of Arphaxar, the son of Shem, and not the son of one of the patriarchs; for the Apostle has said that no one of his father's family ministered at the altar, and the name of his father is not written down in the genealogies, because Matthew and Luke the Evangelists wrote down the names of the patriarchs only, and hence neither the name of his father nor that of his mother are known. The Apostle then did not say that he had no parents, but only that they were not written down by Matthew and Luke in the genealogies.' Bezold, Die Schatzhle, p. 36; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 26 b, col. 1, line 22 to fol. 27 a, col. 1, line 5. In A, on fol. 39 a, a marginal note says: 'Know, O my brother readers, that in the manuscript belonging to the priest Makbal I have seen that Melchizedek's father was called Harklm, and his mother Shhl (Salathiel).'



The children of Shem. The people of Shem are twenty and seven families. Elam, from whom sprang the Elamites; Asshur, from whom sprang the Assyrians (h; Arphaxar, from whom sprang the Persians; and Lud (L) and Aram, from whom sprang the Arameans, the Damascenes, and the Harranites. Now the father of all the children of Eber was Arphaxar. Shu>h begat Eber (Ab), and to Eber were born two sons; the name of the one of whom was Peleg (P), because in his days the earth was divided. From this it is known that the Syriac language remained with Eber, because, when the languages were confounded and the earth was divided, he was born, and was called Peleg by the Syriac word which existed in his time. After Peleg, Jokt (Yakt) was born, from whom sprang the thirteen nations who dwelt beside one another and kept the Syriac language. And their dwelling was from Menashsh(or Mansh of mount Sepharva, by the side of the land of Canaan, and towards the east, beginning at Aram and Damascus, and coming to Baish (Maish ?) and Elam, and their border (was) Assyria, and the east, and Persia to the south, and the Great Sea. Now the Hebrew has Maish instead of Menashsh(or Mansh, in the verse, 'The children of Jokt dwelt from Maish to Sepharva.'

The children of Ham. The people of Ham are thirty and six families, besides the Philistines and Cappadocians. Cush, from whom sprang the Cushites; Misraim, from whom sprang the Misr(or Egyptians); Phut (or Pu>t), from whom sprang the Pu>t Canaan, from whom sprang the Canaanites; the seven kings whom Joshua the son of Nun destroyed; the children of `, Sheband Hav from whom sprang the Indians, the Amorites, the Samr the Metr and all the dwellers of the south. And of Cush was born Nimrod, who was the first king after the flood. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel (Babylon), which he built, and in which he reigned; and then, after the division of tongues, he built the following cities: h (Erech), which is Orh (Edessa), h (Accad), which is Nisis, and Caly(Calneh), which is Ctesiphon. The land of Babel he called the land of Shinar, because in it were the languages confounded, for 'Shinar' in the Hebrew language is interpreted 'division.' From that land the Assyrian went forth and built Nineveh and the town of Rehh, which is the town of Arb (Irbil). It is said that Belus, the son of Nimrod, was the first to depart from Babel and to come to Assyria; and after Belus, his son Ninus built Nineveh, and called it after his name, and Arb and Cu>h, which is Hetr (Hatr, and Resen, which is Rh-`ain(R`ain). Misraim begat Ludim, from whom sprang the L La`b, from whom sprang the L Lahb, from whom sprang the Tebt Yaphtuh, Pathrus, and Casluh, from whom went forth the Philistines, the Gedr(Gadarenes), and the people of Sodom. Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, from whom sprang the S (Tyrians) and Sidonians, ten nations who dwelt by the side of Israel, from the sea (i.e. the Mediterranean) to the Euphrates; the Kh the Kenr (or K, and the Akdem(or Kadm, who were between the children of Esau and Amnof Ireth. The children of Lot are children of Ham.

The children of Japhet. The people of Japhet are fifteen families. Gomer, from whom sprang the Gth(Gh Goths ?); Magog, from whom sprang the Galatians; M, from whom sprang the Medes; Javan, from whom sprang the Yaun(Greeks); T (Tubal), from whom sprang the Baith(Bithynians); Meshech, from whom sprang the M(Mysians); Tas, from whom sprang the Tharnek(or Thru>k Thracians), the Anshkl(or Askl, and the Achshkl The children of Gomer: Ashkenaz, from whom sprang the Armenians; Danphar, from whom sprang the Cappadocians; Togarmah, from whom sprang the As (Asians) and the aur(Isaurians). The sons of Javan: Elisha, that is Halles (Hellas); Tarshh, Cilicia, Cyprus, Kh (Kitt), Doranim, and the Macedonians; and from these they were divided among the islands of the nations. These are the families of the children of Noah, and from them were the nations divided on the earth after the flood; they are seventy and two families, and according to the families, so are the languages.


See Gen. x. 10. Solomon's ideas as to what is meant by Erech, Accad, and Calneh are, of course, utterly erroneous. Erech is the ruins of Wark on the left bank of the lower Euphrates, S.E. of Babylon; Accad is a name for Upper Babylonia, as opposed to Sumir or Lower Babylonia; Calneh has not yet been identified. See also Schrader, The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament, p. 78.

Some Assyriologists consider the biblical Shinar to be the same as Sumir or Lower Babylonia. See Lenormant, udes Accad. ii. 3, p. 70.

It is certain that the name Babel or Babylon has no connection with the Heb. ָלַל {Hebrew: BaL} or ַלְֵל {Hebrew: BaLaBeL}; in the cuneiform inscriptions b-ilu means 'Gate of God,' and is the Semitic equivalent of the Akkadian ka-dingirra-ki.



SHEM was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxar two years after the flood; the sum of his years was six hundred. Arphaxar was a hundred and thirty-five years old, and begat Kainan. Kainan was a hundred and thirty-nine years old, and begat Shu>h: the sum of his years was four hundred and thirty-eight. Shu>h was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat Eber; the sum of his years was four hundred and thirty-three. Eber was a hundred and thirty-four years old, and begat Peleg; the sum of his years was four hundred and sixty-four. Peleg was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat Reu; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty-nine. In the days of Reu the languages were divided into seventy and two; up to this time there was only one language, which was the parent of them all, namely, Aramean, that is Syriac. Reu was a hundred and thirty-two years old, and begat Serug; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty-nine. Serug was a hundred and thirty years old, and begat Nahor; the sum of his years was a hundred and thirty years. In the days of Serug men worshipped idols and graven images. Nahor was seventy and nine years old, and begat Terah; the sum of his years was one hundred and forty-eight. In the days of Nahor magic began in the world And God opened the storehouse of the winds and whirlwinds, and they uprooted the idols and graven images, and they collected them together and buried them under the earth, and they reared over them these mounds that are in the world. This was called 'the Wind Flood.' Terah was seventy years old, and begat Abraham; the sum of his years was one hundred and five years. So it is two thousand two hundred and forty-two years from Adam to the flood; and one thousand and eighty-one years from the flood to the birth of Abraham; and from Adam to Abraham it is three thousand three hundred and thirteen years. And know, my brother readers, that there is a great difference between the computation of Ptolemy and that of the Hebrews and the Samaritans; for the Jews take away one hundred years from the beginning of the years of each (patriarch), and they add them to the end of the years of each of them, that they may disturb the reckoning and lead men astray and falsify the coming of Christ, and may say, 'The Messiah is to come at the end of the world, and in the last times;' and behold, according to their account, He came in the fourth millenium, for so it comes out by their reckoning.


'From Adam until that time they all spoke this language, that is to say Syriac, which is Aramean; for this language is the king of all languages. The early writers have erred, in that they say that Hebrew was the primitive language; and here have they mingled ignorant error with their writings. For all the tongues that are in the world are taken from Syriac, and all the languages in books are mixed with it.' Bezold, Die Schatzhle, p. 21; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875, fol. 22 a, col. 1.

According to the 'Cave of Treasures,' the origin of magic was this: 'In the days of Terah, in his ninetieth year, magic appeared on the earth in the city of Ur, which Horon the son of Eber had built. Now there was in it a certain man who was very rich, and he died about that time. His son made for him an image of gold, and set it up on his grave; and he put a youth to watch it. Then Satan went and dwelt in that image, and he used to speak to the young man in the form of his father. But thieves went in and stole everything which the young man possessed; and he went to his father's grave weeping. And Satan spake with him, saying, "Weep not before me, but go, bring thy little son, and sacrifice him to me as a sacrifice; and everything which thou hast lost shall be restored to thee immediately." So he straightway did as Satan commanded him; and he slew his son, and bathed in his blood. Then Satan went forth from the image immediately, and entered into the young man, and taught him magic, incantation, divinations, chaldeeism, destinies, haps, and fates. And behold, from that time men began to sacrifice their children to demons and to worship idols, for the demons went in and dwelt in all the images. In the one hundredth year of Nahor, when God saw that men sacrificed their children to devils, and bowed down to idols, He opened the storehouses of the wind.' Bezold, Die Schatzhe, p. 32; Brit. Mus. Add. 25,875 fol. 23 b, col. 1, line 19 to fol. 24 a, col. 1 line 2.



WHEN Reu was born in the days of Peleg, the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, together with Arphaxar and their children, were gathered together in Shinar. And they took counsel together, saying, 'Come, let us build for ourselves a high tower, the top of which shall be in the heavens, lest a flood come again upon us, and destroy us from off the face of the earth.' And they began to make bricks and to build, until (the tower) was reared a great height from the ground. Then they determined to build seventy-two other towers around it, and to set up a chief over each tower to govern those who were under his authority. God saw the weariness of their oppression and the hardness of their toil, and in His mercy had compassion upon them; for the higher they went, the more severe became their labour, and their pain went on increasing, by reason of the violence of the winds and storms and the heat of the luminaries and the necessity of carrying up everything they needed. And God said, 'Come, let us go down and divide the tongues there.' The expression 'Come, let us,' resembles 'Come, let us make man in our image and in our likeness,' and refers to the persons of the adorable Trinity. While they were tormenting themselves with that vain labour, their language was suddenly confounded so as to become seventy-two languages, and they understood not each other's speech, and were scattered throughout the whole world, and built cities, every man with his fellow who spoke the same language. From Adam to the building of the tower, there was only one language, and that was Syriac. Some have said that it was Hebrew; but the Hebrews were not called by this name until after Abraham had crossed the river Euphrates and dwelt in Harr; and from his crossing they were called Hebrews. It was grievous to Peleg that the tongues were confounded (or, that God had confounded the tongues of mankind) in his days, and he died; and his sons Serug and Nahor buried him in the town of Pg, which he built after his name.



TERAH the father of Abraham took two wives; the one called Y by whom he begat Abraham; the other called Shelmath, by whom he begat Sarah. M Theodore says that Sarah was the daughter of Abraham's uncle, and puts the uncle in the place of the father. When Abraham was seventy-five years old, God commanded him to cross the river Euphrates and to dwell in Harr. And he took Sarah his wife and Lot his nephew, and crossed the river Euphrates and dwelt in Harr. In his eighty-sixth year his son Ishmael was born to him of Hagar the Egyptian woman, the handmaid of Sarah, whom Pharaoh the king gave to her when he restored her to Abraham; and God was revealed to him under the oak of Mamre. Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac, the son of promise, was born to him; and on the eighth day he circumcised himself, his son, and every one born in his house. When God commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac upon the altar, He sent him for sacrifice to the special place where, according to the tradition of those worthy of belief, our Lord was crucified. After the death of Sarah, Abraham took to wife Kentah (Keturah), the daughter of Yakt, the king of the Turks. When Isaac was forty years old, Eliezer the Damascene, the servant of Abraham, went down to the town of Arh (Erech), and betrothed Raphk(Rebecca), the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean, to Isaac his lord's son. And Abraham died at the age of one hundred and seventy-five years, and was laid by the side of Sarah his wife in the 'double cave,' which he bought from Ephron the Hittite; When Isaac was sixty years old, there were born unto him twin sons, Jacob and Esau: At that time Arb was built; some say that the king who built it was called Arb. In Isaac's sixty-sixth year Jericho was built. Esau begat Reuel; Reuel begat Zerah; Zerah begat Jobab, that is Job.


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