First published text of Book of Abraham (Abraham 1:1–2:18), "purporting" to be a translation of the writings of Abraham.

Mar 1, 1842
Scribed Verbatim

Joseph Smith, Jr., trans., "The Book of Abraham," Times and Seasons 3, no. 9 (March 1, 1842): 704–706, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed August 11, 2021

Joseph Smith, Jr., Times and Seasons
Egyptus, Daughters of Onitah, Milcah, Priest of Elkenah, Abraham, Sarai, Joseph Smith, Jr., Pharaoh (Book of Abraham), Terah, Ham, Nehor (Brother of Abraham)
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public


Of some ancient Records that have fallen into our hands, from the Catecombs 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.

The Book of Abraham.

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 residence, and finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been 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 knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace; and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a high priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers, it was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundations of the earth, to the present time, even the right of the first born, on the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers, unto me.

2. I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers, concerning the seed. My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshipping of the Gods of the heathens, utterly refused to hearken to my voice; for their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the God of Elkenah, and the God of Libnah, and the God of Mahmackrah, and the God of Korash, and the God of Pharaoh, King of Egypt; therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto their dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice but endeavored to take away my life by the hand of the priest of Elkenah; the priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.

3. 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 of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange Gods, both men, wo[m]en and children. And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the God of Pharaoh, and also unto the God of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the God of Shagreel was the Sun. Even the thank-offering of a child did the priest of Pharaoh offer upon the altar, which stood by the hill called Potiphar’s Hill, at the head of the plain of Olishem. Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the Royal descent, directly from the loins of Ham. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship Gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.

4. And it come to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me, also, as they did those virgins, upon this altar; and that you might have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record. It was made after the form of a bedstead, such as was had among the Chaldeans, and it stood before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, & 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 called by the Chaldeans Rahleenos, which signifies Hyeroglyphics.

5. And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up, and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God; and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with a vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands, and his voice was unto me. Abram! Abram! Behold, my name is JEHOVAH, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy fathers house, and from all thy kin-folks, into a strange land, which thou knowest not of, and this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship the God of Elkenah, and the God of Libnah, & the God of Mahmackrah, & the God of Korash, and the God of Pharaoh King of Egypt; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abram, my son, to take away thy life: Behold I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the priesthood of thy father: and 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.

6. Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea; and the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the Gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and 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 Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites, by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.

7. The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which, in the Chaldea, signifies Egypt, which signifies, that which is forbidden. When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterwards settled her sons in it: And thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was Patriarchal. Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first Patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

8. Now Pharaoh being of that lineage, by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaoh’s would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry; but I shall endeavor 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 present time.

9. Now, after the priest of Elkenah was smitten, that he died, there came a fulfilment of those things which were said unto me concerning the land of Chaldea, that there should be a famine in the land. Accordingly a famine prevailed throughout all the land of Chaldea, and my father was sorely tormented because of the famine, and he repented of the evil which he had determined against me, to take away my life. But the records of the fathers, even the Patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands, therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.

10. Now the Lord God caused the famine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran, my brother, died, but Terah, my father, yet lived in the land of Ur, of the Chaldee’s. And it came to pass that I, Abraham, took Sarai to wife, and Nehor, my brother, took Milcah to wife, who were the daughters of Haran. Now the Lord had said unto me, Abram, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and I took Lot, my brother’s son, and his wife, and Sarai, my wife, and also my father followed after me, unto the land which we denominated Haran. And the famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there, as there were many flocks in Haran; and my father turned again unto his idolatry, therefore he continued in Haran.

11. But I, Abram, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me, arise, and take Lot with thee, for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister, to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice, for I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in Heaven, the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains depart hence, and behold they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly. My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning, therefore, my hand shall be over thee, and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as unto their father, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee, (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed, (that is thy Priesthood,) for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body,) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

12. Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in mine heart, thy servent has sought thee earnestly, now I have found thee. Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the Gods of Elkenah, and 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, and Lot with me, and I, Abram, was sixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran. And I took Sarai, whom I took to wife when I was in Ur, in Chaldea, and Lot, my brother’s son, and all our substance that we had gathered, and the souls that we had won in Haran, and came forth in the way to the land of Canaan, and dwelt in tents, as we came on our way: therefore, eternity was our covering, and our rock, and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan.

13. Now I, Abram, built an altar in the land of Jershon, and made an offering unto the Lord, and prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father’s house, that they might not perish; and then we passed from Jershon through the land, unto the place of Sechem. It was situated in the plains of Moreh, and we had already came into the borders of the land of the Canaanites, and I offered sacrifice there in the plains of Moreh, and called on the Lord devoutly because we had already come into the land of this idolatrous nation.

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