• The Papers
  • Revelations and TranslationsInterim Content

Book of Abraham, Early 1842

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 destroy ed 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 descend ant 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 dis covered by a woman, who was the daugh ter 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 Patri archal. Pharaoh, being a righteous man,  established his kingdom and judged his  people wisely and justly all his days,  seeking earnestly to imitate that order es tablished by the fathers in the first gene rations, in the days of the first Patriarchal  reign, even in the reign of Adam, and al so 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, run ning 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 through out all the land of Chaldea, and my fath er 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 crea tion, 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 fam ine to wax sore in the land of Ur, inso much 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, un to a land that I will shew thee. There fore 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 fol lowed 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 con tinued 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 hear ken 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 Jeho [p. 705]
As discussed in the general introduction to the Book of Abraham manuscripts on this website, JS and his scribes Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps, Frederick G. Williams, and Warren Parrish spent considerable time in 1835 engaged in two separate yet related endeavors: a language-study effort that produced a number of Egyptian alphabet and grammar manuscripts; and the translation of the Book of Abraham, which yielded several Abraham manuscripts. However, none of their work related to Abraham appeared in print until 1842. At that time a portion, if not all, of the Abraham material available was published at Nauvoo, Illinois, in three installments of the Times and Seasons, two in March and one in May of that year as the Book of Abraham.
The Times and Seasons text featured here did not divide the material into chapters, but did include thirty-two numbered verses. In contrast, later publication of these Abraham texts, including those in use today, arrange the thirty-two verses of the Times and Seasons version into five chapters containing 136 shorter verses.
The first of the three printed installments, published on 1 March 1842, included the first thirteen verses (what is currently Abraham 1:1–2:18) of JS’s translation, plus facsimile 1. The second installment, published under date of 15 March but actually printed on 19 March (Woodruff, Journal, 19 Mar. 1842), included verses 14–32 (currently Abraham 2:19–5:21), plus facsimile 2. Neither of the first two installments featured hieratic characters in the left margin of the text, as did some earlier manuscripts. The third and final Times and Seasons installment of the Book of Abraham was published on 16 May and featured only facsimile 3.
A document (Willard Richards Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Early 1842–A [Abraham 1:1–2:18]) produced in late 1841 or early 1842 in Willard Richards’s handwriting likely served as a printer’s manuscript for the first installment described above (verses 1–13 and facsimile 1; currently Abraham 1:1–2:18). A second document (Willard Richards Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Early 1842–B [Abraham 3:18–26], also in Richards’s hand, probably served as a printer’s manuscript for the second installment (verses 14–23; currently Abraham 3:18–26). Manuscripts for the contents of both facsimile 3 and the last nine verses in the Times and Seasons version of the Book of Abraham (currently Abraham 4:3–5:21) are not extant.
Evidence from multiple sources suggests that JS may have produced other Abraham material that is no longer extant. However, JS did not subsequently publish any additional Abraham texts. (Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 5–6.)