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NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS

4 Noah, who was found to be faithful through his service, proclaimed a new beginning to the world; and through him the Master saved the living creatures that entered the ark in harmony.23

10

Abraham, who was called “The Friend,”24 was found to be faithful when he became obedient to God’s words. 2 In obedience he left his land, his fam­ ily, and his father’s house, so that by abandoning a paltry land, an insignificant family, and a small house he might in­ herit the promises of God. For God said to him, 3 “Depart from your land, your family, and your father’s house to the land I will show you. And I will form you into a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be blessed. And I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and all the tribes of the earth will be blessed in you.”25 4 And again when Abraham separated from Lot, God said to him, “Lift up your eyes and look out from where you are now to the north, south, east, and west; for I will give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. 5 And I will make your offspring like the sand of the earth. If anyone is able to count the sand of the earth, your off­ spring will also be counted.”26 6 Again it says, “God led Abraham out and said to him, ‘Look up into the sky and count the stars, if you are able to number them. So will your offspring be.’ And Abraham trusted God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness.”27 7 Because of his faith and hospitality, a son was given to him in his old age; and in obedience he offered him up as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains that he showed him.28

11

Because of his hospitality and piety, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the surrounding coun­ tryside was judged by fire and brimstone.29 The Master thus made it clear that he does not abandon those who hope in him, but hands over to punishment and torment those who turn away. 2 Lot’s wife was made a sign of this: for when she left with him but then changed her mind and fell out of har­ mony, she was turned into a pillar of salt until this day—so that everyone may know that those who are of two minds and who doubt the power of God enter into judgment and become a visible sign for all generations.

12

Because of her faith and hos­ pitality Rahab the prostitute was saved from danger.30 2 For when reconnaissance scouts had been sent into Jericho by Joshua, the son of Nun, the king of the land discovered that they had come to scout out their country and sent men to arrest them, so that once detained they could be executed. 3 And so, the hospitable Rahab brought them inside and hid them in the upper room under a pile of thatching straw.g 4 When the king’s men arrived and said, “Those who are scouting out our land came into your house; bring them out, for so the king has ordered,” she replied, “The men you are seeking did come in to see me, but they left right

g

Or: fine linen; or: flax.

23

Gen 6:8; Heb 11:7. 24Cf. Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23. Gen 12:1–3. 26Gen 13:14–16. 27Gen 15:5–6; Rom 4:3. 28Gen 18:21; Genesis 22; Heb 11:17. 29 The following account is drawn from Genesis 19. 30 The following account is drawn from Joshua 2. Cf. Heb 11:31; Jas 2:25. 25

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