Apocalypse of Abraham 9:6


1 Then came a voice saying to me twice, “Abraham, Abraham!” 2 And I said “Here am I!” 3 And he said, “Behold, it is I! Fear not, for I am the primordial and mighty God, who initially created the two luminaries of the world. 4 I protect you and I am your helper. 5 Go, take for me a heifer in her third year, and a she-goat in her third year, and ram in his third year, and a turtledove, and a pigeon, and set out for me a pure sacrifice. And in this sacrifice I shall set before you the ages 6 and make you know secrets, and you will see great things which you have not seen, since you loved to search for me, and I called you ‘my friend.’

Genesis Rabbah 44:21


AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT, WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN, AND THERE WAS THICK DARKNESS (xv, 17): there was intense darkness.” BEHOLD A SMOKING FURNACE AND A FLAMING TORCH. Simeon b. Abba said in R. Johanan’s name: He [God] showed him four things, viz. Gehenna, the [foreign] kingdoms,’ Revelation, and the Temple, with the promise: As long as thy children occupy themselves with the latter two, they will be saved from the former two; if they neglect the latter two they will be punished by the former two. Wouldst thou rather that thy children descend into Gehenna or into the power of the [foreign] kingdoms? He asked him. R. Hinena b. Papa said: Abraham himself chose [subjection to foreign] powers.

 Notes and References

"... interpreters came to a further conclusion: what was particularly trying about this incident was the fact that God had actually shown Abraham far more than the period of slavery in Egypt to be endured by his descendants. To begin with, if God had shown Abraham four hundred years of future history, it seemed logical to interpreters that He would have shown him the rest as well, including the punishment to be meted out to the later "nation[s] which they serve." Such a notion could only be supported by the text's mention of the "dread and great darkness falling" on Abraham (Genesis 15:12)—for certainly such dread ought not to have been caused merely by the sight of his descendants' sojourn in, and exodus from, Egypt. Interpreters therefore came to view this incident as a fully prophetic apocalypse in which Abraham was afforded a view of all of human history, of heaven and hell, and other things normally hidden from the sight of mere mortals ..."

Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (p. 169) Harvard University Press, 1998

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