Book of Abraham Manuscript and Explanation of Facsimile 1, circa February 1842 [Abraham 1:1–2:18]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

A. Translation of Some anceint Records that have fallen into our hands, from the Catacombs of Egypt, purporting to be the writings of abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham. written by his own hand upon papyrus.
<​P. 1​> THE. BOOK. of A,BR,A,HAM.
In the Land of the Chaldeans, at the Residence of my father, I, Abraham, Saw that it was needful for me To obtain another place of Residenc<​e​>, and Seeing <​finding​> there was greater happiness and peace & Rest for me, I sought for the blessings <​x​> of the fathers & the Right whereunto I should be ordained <​x​> to administer the Same; having be<​e​>n myself a follower of Righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great Knowledge, and to be a greater follower of Righteousness and to possess a greater Knowlegde, [p. [1]]
[verso of p. [1] blank] [p. [1a]]
& to be a father of many nations, a p<​r​>ince of peace; and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the comma[n]dme[n]ts of God, I bec<​a​>me a rightful heir, a highpriest, holding the right b[e]longing to the fathrs, I it was confered upon me from the fathers, it came down from the fathers, from the beginnig of Time, yea, even from the begining, or before the foundations of the Earth, to the presnt time, even the right of the fistt born, on the the first man, who is Adam. or first father thro[u]gh the fathers unto me. <​P. 2d​> I sought for mine appointment <​unto the Presthood​> according to the the appointment <​unto the Priesthood, acording unto the​> of God unto the fathers concerning the seed. My fathers having turnd from their Righteouness & from the Holy comma[n]dm[e]nts which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the [p. 2]
A Fac-Similee from the Book of Abraham—
Explanation of the <​above​> cut.
Fig No <​Fig​> 1. The Angel of the Lord.
" 2. Abraham, fastened upon an altar.
" 3. The Idolatrous Priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice
" 4. The Altar for sacrifise by the Idolatrous Pri[e]sts standings before the Gods of Elkenah &, Libnah &, Mahmackrah, Korash & Pharaoh.
" 5. The Idolatrous God " of Elkenah
" 6 The Idolatrous God " of Libnah
" 7 The " " " Mahmackrah.
" 9 8 The " " " Korash.
" 9. The " " God " of Pharaoh.
" 10. Abraham in Egypt.
" 11 Designed to represent the pillars of heaven as understood by the Egy[p]tians.
" 12 Raukeeyagn <​Raukeeyang​>. Signifying expance or <​the​> firmamant over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to Signify <​Shaumau, to or be highs,​> heaven; or the heavens; answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem.—
[p. [2a]]
<​Raukeeyagn signifyig expance or firmamet IE wh[i]ch the heath[en] cald hevns​>
worshipping, of the Gods of the heathens, utterly refused to hearken to my vocice; for their hearts were set to do evil & were wholly turnd to the God of Elkena<​h​> & the God of Libnah. & the God <​of​> Mahmackrah, & the God of Koash. & the God of Pharoah King of Egypt, therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice. of the heathens in offering up their children unto their dumb Idols & hearkend not unto my voice but endeavord to take away my life by the hand of the priest of Elkenah; the Pri[e]st of Elkenah was also the priesst of Pharaoh. <​P. 3​> Not Now <​Now​> at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh <​the​> King of Egypt to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land. whic of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange Gods, both men women & children. And it came to pass that the priest made an offeri[n]g unto the God of Pharaoh [p. 3]
<​Book of Abraham​>
Part Book of Abraham
1841
<​A.J​>
362 [p. [3a]]
[page [4] (and its verso) missing]
refer you to the representation at the commencement of this Record. It was made after the form of a bedsted, such as was had among the Chaldeans, and it stood before the Gods of Elkenah, Zibnah <​Libnah​>, Mahmackrah, <​Korash​> and also a God like unto that of Pharaoh King of Egypt, That you may have an understanding of these Gods. I have given you the fashion of them in the figures, at the beginning, which manner of the figures is calld by the Chaldeans Rahleenos; <​P. 5​> And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up. & take away my life, behold I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God; & the Lord hearkend & heard, & he filled me with the <​a​> vision of the Almighty & the angel of his presen[c]e stood by my feet <​me​>, & immediately unloosd my bands, & his voice was unto me Abram! Abram! behold, my name [p. 5]
[verso of p. 5 blank] [p. [5a]]
is Jehovah, & I have heard thee; & have come down to deliver thee & to take thee away from thy fathers house & from all thy kinsfolks into a strange land, which thou knowest not of, & this bcause they have turnd their hearts away from me to worship the God of Elkenah, & the God of Zibnah <​Libnah​>, and <​the God​> of Mahmackrah, & <​& the God of Korash​> the God of Pharaoh King of Egypt; therefore I have come down to visit them, & to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand againt thee, Abram, my son, to take away thy life: Behold I <​will​> lead thee by my hand, & I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Preisthood of thy father: & my power shall be over thee; as it was <​with​> Noah so shall it be with thee; that through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God. [p. 6]
[verso of p. 6 blank] [p. [6a]]
<​P. 5​> Behold Potiphars Hill was in the Land of Ur, of Chaldea; and the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, & of the Gods of the Land, and utterly destroyed them. & smote the Priest that he died, & there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh Signifies King by Royal blood, Now this King of Egypt was a descendant. from the Loins of adam Ham, & was a partaker of the blood of the canaanites by birth, From this descent Sprang all the Egyptians, & thus the blood of the canaanites was prerevd <​preserved​> in the land. <​P. 6​> The land of Egypt being fir[s]t discoverd by a woman, who was th[e] daughter of Ham, & the Daughter of Zep-tah Egeptah Egeptaus, <​Egyptus​> which, in the chaldea, signifies Egypt., which signifies, that which is forbidden. When this woman discoverd the Land it was under water, [p. 7]
[verso of p. 7 blank] [p. [7a]]
who after<​wards​> Settld her sons in it. & thus, from Adam <​Ham​> sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. Now the first governmet of Egypt <​was​> establishd by Pharaoh. the Eldest son of Egeptah’s Egyptes Egyptus, the daugther of Ham, & it was after the manar of the Governmet of Ham, which was Patriarchal. Pharaoh, being a Rightious man, establishd his kingdom & judged his people wisely & justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order establishd by the fathers in the fir[s]t generation<​s​>, in the days of the first Patriarchal Reign, even in the reign of adam, & also Noah his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth. & <​with​> the blessings of wisdom,— but cursed him as pertainig to the Priesthood, <​P. 7​> Now Pharaoh being of that lineage, by which he could not have the right of Priessthood, notwithstadig the Pharaoh’s would fain claim it from Noah, [p. 8]
[verso of p. 8 blank] [p. [8a]]
through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry; but I shall endeavr hereafter to delineate the chronology, running back from myself to the beginning of <​the​> creation, for the Records have come into my hands which I hold unto this presnt time. <​P. 8​> Now after the Prie[s]t of Elkenah was smitten, that he died, there came a fulfillment of those things which were spoken <​were said​> utno me concer[ni]ng the Land of Chaldea, that there should be a famine in the land. Accordingly a famine prevaild thorughot all the land of Chaldea, & my father was sorely tormenteed because of the famine, & he repentd of the eviel which he had determind against me, to take away my life: but the records of the fathers, even the Patriarhs, concering the right of Pristhood. the Lord my God preserved in my mine own hands, therefore a knowledge [p. 9]
[verso of p. 9 blank] [p. [9a]]
of the beginn[in]g of the creation, & also of the Planets, & of the Stars as they were made known unto the fathers, have I keept even unto this day, & I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this Record, for the benefit of my posterity that Shall come after me. <​P. 9​> Now the Lord God caused the fami[n]e to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran my brother died, but Terah, my father, yet liveed in the land of Ur, of the Chaldees. And it came to pass that I, Abram, took Sarai to wife, <​and Nahor my Brother took Milcah to wife​> who was were the daughter of Haran. Now the Lord had said unto me, Abram, get thee out of thy count[r]y, & from thy Kindr[e]d. & from thy fathers house, unto a land that I will shew thee; Therefore If left the land of Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of canaan; & I took Lot my fathers <​Brothers​> son; & his wife, & Sarai my wife, & also my father followd after me. unto the Land which we denominated Haran. And the famine [p. 10]
[verso of p. 10 blank] [p. [10a]]
abated, & my father tarried in Haran & dwelt there as there were many flocks in Haran, & my father turnd again u[n]to his Idolatry. therefore he continud in Haran: <​P. 10​> But I, Abraham Abram, & Lot my Brothers Son, prayed unto the Lord, & the Lord appeard unto me, & said u[n]to me, arise, & take Lot with thee. for I have purposd to take thee away out of Haran, & to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land; which I will give u[n]to thy seed after thee for an everlasti[n]g possession, when they harken to my voice. for I am the Lord thy God, I dwell in heaven, the earth is my footstool, I streatch my hand over the Sea & it obeys my voice, I cause the wind & the fire to be my chariot, I say to the mountains depart hance <​hence,​> & behold they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant suddenly.— My name is Jehovah, [p. 11]
[verso of p. 11 blank] [p. [11a]]
& I know the end from the beginn[in]g, therefore my ha[n]d shall be over thee, & I will make of thee a great nation, & I will bless thee above measure & make thy name great among all nations, & thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee that In their hands they shall bear this ministry & Preesthood unto all nations, & I will bless them through thy name, for as ma[n]y as recivee this gospel. shall be calld after thy mame, & shall be accounted thy seed, & shall rise up and bless thee, as unto their father, <​&​> I I will bless them that bless the thee <​& curse them that curse thee​> & in thee thee; (that is in thy Priesthood) & in thy seed, (that is thy Pri[e]sthood), for I give unto thee a promisse that this right shall continu in thee & in thy seed after thee (I <​that​> is to say the literal seed. or the seed of thy body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed ev[e]n with the blessings of the [p. 12]
[verso of p. 12 blank] [p. [12a]]
gospel, which are the blessings of salvation even of life eternal. <​P 11​> Now after the Lord had withdrawn from speaki[n]g with <​to​> me, & withdrawn his face fr[o]m me, I said in mine heart they [thy] Servant has sought thee earnestly, now I have fou[n]d thee, Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me fom the God<​s​> of Elkenah, & I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace. So I, Abram, departed as the Lord had said unto me, & Lot with me, <​&​> I Abr[a]m was 62 <​&​> years old when I departed out of Haran. And I took Sarai, whom I took to wife when I was in Ur, In in Chaldea. & Lot my brothers son, & all our substanc that we had gatherd, & the souls that we had won in Haran, & came forth in the way to the land of canaan, & dwelt in tents [p. 13]
[verso of p. 13 blank] [p. [13a]]
as we came on our way: therefore Eternity was our covering, & our rock & our salvati[o]n as we joirney<​ed​> f[r]om Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan. <​P. 12​> Now I, Abram, built an altar unto the Lord in the land of Jershon, & made an offering unto the Lord, & prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father’s home house, that they might not perish; & then we passed from Jershon th[r]ough the Land unto the place of Sechem. It was situated in the plains of Moreh, & we had already come into the bordees of the land of the Canaanites, & I offered sacrifice there in the plains of Moreh, & calld on the Lord devoetly [devoutly] because we had already come into the Land of this Idolatrous nation [p. 14]
[verso of p. 14 blank] [p. [14a]]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    TEXT: This insertion and many similar insertions throughout this document correspond to the paragraph numbering in the published version in the Times and Seasons.  

  2. 2

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has a different heading: “Translation of the Book of Abraham written by his own hand upon papyrus and found in the CataCombs of Egypt.”  

  3. 3

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “fathers”.  

  4. 4

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C only has “seeing”.  

  5. 5

    TEXT: The purpose of this and the “x” two lines below is unknown.  

  6. 6

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “Having been a”.  

  7. 7

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “desiring one to be one”.  

  8. 8

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “great Knowledge; a greater follower”.  

  9. 9

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “righteousness; <​a possessor of greater Knowledge;​>”.  

  10. 10

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “a father of many nations; a prince of peace; one who keeps the commandments of God; a righful heir;”.  

  11. 11

    TEXT: From “I it was” to this point in the transcript, Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has no corresponding text.  

  12. 12

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C does not have “yea”.  

  13. 13

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “foundation”.  

  14. 14

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “down to”.  

  15. 15

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “or”.  

  16. 16

    TEXT: At this point, Book of Abraham Manuscript–A and –B begin.  

  17. 17

    TEXT: This god’s name is found several times in all three Kirtland-era manuscript copies of the Book of Abraham. All three manuscripts spell the god’s name “Elkkener” or “Elk=keenah”, with minor variation. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  18. 18

    TEXT: This god’s name is found several times in all three Kirtland-era manuscript copies of the Book of Abraham. All three manuscripts spell the god’s name “Zibnah”, with minor variation. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  19. 19

    TEXT: This god’s name is found several times in all three Kirtland-era manuscript copies of the Book of Abraham. All three manuscripts spell the god’s name “Mahmachrah” or “Mah-Mach-rah”. Book of Abraham Manuscript–A and –C also spell it “Mahmackrah”, with minor variations. (See, for example, Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  20. 20

    TEXT: The “of” was likely meant to be written over the quotation mark.  

  21. 21

    TEXT: Multispectral imaging of this page enabled the transcription of these two lines. The insertion, in graphite, appears to capture the basic premise of the definition of “Raukeeyagn” in the explanations of Facsimile 1 on page 2 of this manuscript. (See Note on Photographic Facsimiles.)  

  22. 22

    TEXT: The final “l” was subsequently overwritten a second time, and the “l” in the first layer was crossed out.  

  23. 23

    TEXT: While the initial letter appears to be an “R”, the list of gods on the previous page make clear that “K” was intended (see “King” five lines from the bottom of this same page). Only Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “and the god of Koash”. Book of Abraham Manuscript–A and –B do not have this phrase. This manuscript has four instances of this god’s name spelled “Korash”.  

  24. 24

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “these”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  25. 25

    TEXT: Or “there [their]”.  

  26. new scribe logo

    This line and the inserted “A.J” below are in the handwriting of Andrew Jenson.  

  27. new scribe logo

    This line and the next are in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

  28. 26

    TEXT: Ink with flourish.  

  29. new scribe logo

    Stamped in blue ink.  

  30. 27

    TEXT: The missing leaf likely would have contained the remainder of paragraph 3 and the first part of paragraph 4, as published in the Times and Seasons.  

  31. 28

    TEXT: None of the Kirtland-era manuscripts have “Korash”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  32. 29

    TEXT: Or “there”; possibly “their”.  

  33. 30

    TEXT: None of the Kirtland-era manuscripts have “the”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  34. 31

    TEXT: The Kirtland-era manuscripts have a version of “Kahleenos”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  35. 32

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “my feet”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  36. 33

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “loosed”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  37. 34

    TEXT: “<​the God​>” is written in blue ink and possibly in a different hand.  

  38. 35

    TEXT: “& the God of Korash” is not in any Kirtland-era manuscript. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  39. 36

    TEXT: “<​will​>” possibly in a different hand.  

  40. 37

    TEXT: “<​with​>” possibly in a different hand.  

  41. 38

    TEXT: “P.5” corresponds to paragraph 6 in the published version of the Book of Abraham in the Times and Seasons. Subsequent numbers are also off by one.  

  42. 39

    TEXT: No version of the Kirtland-era manuscripts has “adam”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  43. 40

    TEXT: Originally, “Egeptah” was written with “us” above the word to change it to “Egeptaus”.  

  44. 41

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have a form of “Zeptah”. (See pp. 199, 211, and 227 herein.)  

  45. 42

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts only have “after”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  46. 43

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “Ham”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  47. 44

    TEXT: The revision of the spelling of this name may hint that the name was spelled aloud to scribe Willard Richards.  

  48. 45

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “spoken”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  49. 46

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “and” after “land”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  50. 47

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “of creation”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  51. 48

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “it was”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  52. 49

    TEXT: All three Kirtland-era manuscripts have “was”. (See Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. July–ca. Nov. 1835–A, –B, and –C.)  

  53. 50

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–B ends here.  

  54. 51

    TEXT: The text of Book of Abraham Manuscript–A has “brothers” the first time this line was copied and “bro” the second time; Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “brothers”.  

  55. 52

    TEXT: The text of Book of Abraham Manuscript–A ends here.  

  56. 53

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “thy”.  

  57. 54

    TEXT: For this and the following “withdrawn”, Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “withdrew”.  

  58. 55

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “to”.  

  59. 56

    TEXT: Book of Abraham Manuscript–C has “my”