Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria
Page: 21In the evening Adna brought him forth out of his den, and conducted him to a meadow where herds of cattle were feeding. This was a sight entirely new to the young Abram, who was inquisitive to learn their nature, and was informed by his mother of their names, uses, and qualities. Abram continued his inquiries and desired to know who[Pg 55] produced the animals. Adna told him that all things had their Lord and Creator. "Who, then," said he, "brought me into the world?" "I," replied Adna. "And who is your Lord?" asked Abram. She answered, "Azar." "Who is Azar's Lord?" She told him, Nimrod. He showed an inclination to carry his inquiries farther, but she checked him, telling him that it was not convenient to search into other matters because of danger. At last he came to the city, the inhabitants of which he perceived deeply engaged in superstition and idolatry. After this he returned to his grotto.
One evening, as he was going to Babylon, he saw the stars shining, and among others Venus, which was adored by many. He said within himself—"Perhaps this is the God and Creator of the world;" but observing some time after that this star was set, he said—"This certainly cannot be the Maker of the universe, for it is not possible he should be subject to such a change." Soon after he noticed the moon at full, and thought that this might possibly be the Author of all things; but when he perceived this planet also sink beneath the horizon his opinion of it was the same as in the case of Venus. At length, near the city he saw a multitude adoring the rising sun, and he was tempted to follow their example, but having seen this luminary decline like the rest, he concluded that it was not his Creator, his Lord, and his God. Azar presented his son Abram to Nimrod, who was seated on a lofty throne, with a number of beautiful slaves of both sexes in attendance. Abram asked his father who was the person so much exalted above the rest. Azar answered—"The King Nimrod, whom these people acknowledge as their God." "It is[Pg 56] impossible," replied Abram, "that he should be their God, since he is not so beautiful, and consequently not so perfect, as the generality of those about him."
Abram now took an opportunity of conversing with his father about the unity of God, which afterwards drew him into great contests with the principal men of Nimrod's court, who would by no means acquiesce in the truths he declared. Nimrod, informed of these disputes, commanded him, as we have already mentioned, to be thrown into a burning furnace, out of which he came without receiving the least hurt.