In process of tithe, that is to say, in the tenth generation after the Flood, Abraham appeared, seeking for the God who by the blessing of his ancestor was due and proper to him. And when, urged by the eagerness of his spirit, he went all about the world, searching where God is, and failed to find out; God took pity on him who alone was silently seeking Him; and He appeared unto Abraham, making Himself known by the Word, as by a beam of light. For He spake with him from heaven, and said unto him:
Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house; and come into the land that I will show thee , (Acts vii.3) and there dwell. And he believed the heavenly voice, being then of ripe age, even seventy years old, and having a wife; and together with her he went forth from Mesopotamia, taking with him Lot, the son of his brother who was dead. And when he came into the land which now is called Jud√¶a, in which at that time dwelt seven tribes descended from Ham, God appeared unto him in a vision and said:
To thee will I give this land, and to thy seed after thee, for an everlasting possession, and (He said) that his seed should be a stranger in a land not their own, and should be evil-entreated there, being afflicted and in bondage four hundred years; and in the fourth generation should return unto the place that was promised to Abraham; and that God would judge that race which had brought his seed into bondage. And, that Abraham might know as well the multitude as the glory of his seed, God brought him forth abroad by night, and said:
Look upon the heaven, and behold the stars of the heaven, if thou be able to number them: so shall thy seed be. And when God saw the undoubting and unwavering certainty of his spirit, He bare witness unto him by the Holy Spirit, saying in the Scripture: (Rom. iv.3)
And Abraham believed, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. And he was uncircumcised when this witness was borne; and, that the excellency of his faith should be made known by a sign, He gave him circumcision,
a seal of the righteousness of that faith which he had in uncircumcision. And after this there was born to him a son, Isaac, from Sarah who was barren, according to the promise of God; and him he circumcised, according to that which God had covenanted with him. And of Isaac was Jacob born; and on this wise the original blessing of Shem reached to Abraham, and from Abraham to Isaac, and from Isaac to Jacob, the inheritance of the Spirit being imparted to them: for He was called the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And Jacob begat twelve sons, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel were named.
And when famine had come upon all the earth, it chanced that in Egypt alone there was food; and Jacob with all his seed removed and dwelt in Egypt: and the number of all that migrated was
threescore and fifteen souls
: and in four hundred years, as the oracle had declared beforehand, they became six hundred and sixty thousand. And, because they were grievously afflicted and oppressed through evil bondage, and sighed and groaned unto God, the God of their fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; He brought them out of Egypt by the hand of Moses and Aaron, smiting the Egyptians with ten plagues, and in the last plague sending a destroying angel and slaying their first-born, both of man and of beast wherefrom He saved the children of Israel, revealing in a mystery the sufferings of Christ by the sacrifice of a lamb without spot, and giving its blood to be smeared on the houses of the Hebrews as a sure precaution. And the name of this mystery is Passion, the source of deliverance. And dividing the Red Sea, He brought the children of Israel with all security to the wilderness; and as to the pursuing Egyptians, who followed them and entered into the sea, they were all overwhelmed; this judgment of God coming upon those who had iniquitously oppressed the seed of Abraham.