Lesson 8 Gen 13-14, 18-19
Abraham, Melchizedek and Lot
Background: The Flood has caused a restart of the human family. In the days of Peleg, the nations are divided among the divine sons of El Elyon, God Almighty. The greatest group, Israel, is given to Elohim’s son, Jehovah (Yahweh). Beginning with the man, Abram, Yahweh promises him great blessings of land and posterity if Abram is faithful to him. With his faithfulness, Abram proves he is worthy to be a divine son of Yahweh/Jehovah and the Lord gives him a new name, Abraham. The name change, an “H” possibly coming from Yahweh’s own name (YHWH), shows that Abraham is his divine son.
Abraham has spent a cycle of drought in Egypt, where both he and Sarah are tested. He leaves with great riches, and returns to the Promised Land, Canaan. Others also dwell in the land, and Abraham seeks to dwell peacefully among his neighbors.
Established in the land of Canaan
Returning from Egypt with great riches and flocks, Abraham and Lot soon find there is not enough room for the two to remain together. Even though Abraham has already received the promise of the lands he would inherit, he allows Lot to choose which area he would prefer.
Seeing that the low lands were very fertile, Lot chooses to go east to the plain, leaving the dry highlands for Abraham. In the area Lot goes to are several city-states, including Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Gen 13:12). The big city lights tend to be attractive to people, including farmers and shepherds. Shepherding is a difficult job, and we will see that Lot eventually moves into the big city, enjoying the comforts and companionship of those dwelling therein.
Abraham, meanwhile, would build an altar to Jehovah wherever he went. Whether it was between Bethel (House of God) and Ai (Heap of ruins), or near Hebron, Abraham immediately set about building altars and establishing his home as a holy place for God.
Genesis tells us that the plain of Jordan was a very pleasant land until the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The Dead Sea may not have been as dead as it is today, nor the area as dry as we now know it. Still, it was an area fraught with dangers.
Because the area was fertile and prosperous, it became the perfect spot for marauding peoples to invade and plunder. In Genesis 14, the kings of Shinar, Ellasar, Elam and Tidal the king of nations made war with the people around Sodom and Gomorrah. They obtained control of the area for 12 years, turning the local cities into vassal states that paid tribute. Shinar and the other invading kingdoms came from near the land of Babel (modern day Iran/Iraq). After 12 years, the kings of the plains tried to rebel. It seemed to have been an easy win for the foreigners, as both local kings fled from the battle near the Dead Sea, and fell into a slime pit. What is a slime pit? The slime is probably a liquid mix of bitumen, a low-grade petroleum fuel, which during earthquakes tends to bubble up in and around the Dead Sea. When you think of the La Brea Tar Pits in California, you get the idea.
Often when a vassal state would rebel, the sovereign king would order the people carried away into other lands, so that they could no longer pose a threat to the kingdom. That is exactly what the foreign kings did. They carried away treasure and people, including Lot, who by this time dwelt within the city of Sodom.
When Abraham learned of Lot’s capture and fearing he would be carried off as a slave elsewhere, Abram gathered with his neighbors in the plain of Mamre the Amorite. Abram had his own personal, trained army of 318 (Gen 14:14), who pursued the foreign kings into what would later be known as the land of the tribe of Dan in northern Israel. After a night battle that included stratagem, Abram recovered the people and treasures of Sodom, including Lot.
Significance of the number 318
What is significant of the 318 specially trained soldiers that Abraham had? According to the Epistle of pseudo-Barnabus (an early Christian book), Abraham had all 318 circumcised to make them holy. Barnabus then explained
“For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household
eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge
given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first,
and then after an interval three hundred In the eighteen 'I'
stands for ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And
because the cross in the 'T' was to have grace, He saith also three
hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the
remaining one the cross.”
. (Barnabas 9:7, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/barnabas.html).
Early Christians saw the 318 circumcised soldiers of Abraham as a metaphor of Christ. Just as they redeemed Lot and the wicked of Sodom, so would Christ show grace on the cross.
Melchizedek the High Priest of El Elyon/Elohim
After the prisoners of war were rescued, Abraham delivered all things back to the king of Sodom. Except for the food his men had eaten, he refused to take anything else from the booty, because he did not want anyone to think that the wicked in Sodom had made him rich and powerful. Abraham stood by his God, Yahweh.
A feast is called for, where Melchizedek comes forth to bless bread and wine, and to accept the tithes of Abraham. Who is Melchizedek?
The Jewish historian Josephus tells us:
“Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him (Abraham). That name signifies the righteous king; and such he was without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God; however they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. Now this Melchisedec supplied Abram’s army in an hospitable manner, and gave them provisions in abundance; and as they were feasting, he began to praise him (Abram), and to bless God for subduing his enemies under him. And when Abram gave him the tenth part of his prey, he accepted of the gift” (Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews I, ch X, 1-2, pp 33-34).
The name, “Melchizedek” actually means Righteous (Zadok) King (Melchi). It is possible this was not Melchizedek’s original name, but a name/title given him later by either God or the people of Salem (peace). Some Jewish traditions believe that Melchizedek was Shem, the son of Noah. In the Apocalypse of Abraham, mentioned in last week’s lesson, Abraham flees to the home of Noah and Shem for a period of time. If Shem IS Melchizedek, then it may be this was the time when Abraham received the priesthood and when he literally “sought for the blessings of the fathers” (Book of Abraham 1:2).
The Gods El Elyon/Elohim (God Almighty) and Jehovah/Yahweh (the Angel of His Presence)
Melchizedek was the high priest of the Most High God (El Elyon or Elohim). He would have recognized the god of Abraham, Yahweh, as the rightful God-heir of Israel, son of El Elyon. Melchizedek would have approved and blessed Abraham, while Abraham would also recognize El Elyon as the chief of Gods (God Almighty, or Most High God).
In fact, we find this to be the case for Abraham. In Abraham 1:15-16, we read:
15 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 the vision of the
Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah,
and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee
away from thy father's house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land
which thou knowest not of;
In other words, when Abraham needed help, he called upon his God Jehovah. He sees a vision of God Almighty (Elohim/El Elyon) and then is rescued by the “Angel of His Presence,” Jehovah. Margaret Barker, Old Testament scholar and Methodist pastor notes that the Angel of His Presence is the Great Angel who stands in the presence of El Elyon, and that this angel is both Jehovah and Jesus Christ (Margaret Barker, the Great Angel, a Study of Israel’s Second God). So Abraham learns the proper difference between God Almighty and the God of Israel, his Savior.
In fact, Melchizedek favorably compares Abraham and God, blessing both of them (Gen 14:19-20). God is the possessor of heaven and earth, but Abraham has been promised his own promised land and a multitude of descendants.
Melchizedek, the Man
In the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, we read regarding Melchizedek that he was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness. When he was still young, he performed miracles, such as stopping the mouths of lions and calming the violence of fire. These suggest events similar to Daniel and his fellows (Daniel in the lion’s den; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace), as well as the Qumran’s teaching that Abraham was also cast into a furnace at one point.
After God approved Melchizedek’s worthiness, he was ordained a HP after Enoch’s and the Lord’s priesthood order. We find that he became the Prince of Peace/Salem, a title also used by Isaiah to describe Jesus Christ. Melchizedek and his city sought for and found Enoch's city. The book suggests they were translated and taken up to Enoch’s city. He became the king of heaven, a king in Enoch’s City of Zion (JST Gen 14:25-40). This contrasts with Nimrod’s failed attempt to overthrow heaven (possibly the City of Enoch), by building a tower. There is a way to become divine, but it is not by force, but by faith and obedience.
The Priesthood Order of Melchizedek
The apostle Paul explained that Jesus was able to perform the works of a high priest because he was after the order of Melchizedek, and not of Aaron/Levi. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, even though Melchizedek was not a Hebrew. According to Paul, this shows that Jesus’ priesthood was greater than the priesthood of Aaron. Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchizedek forever (Hebrews 4-7). In the Joseph Smith Translation, we read that those ordained to this priesthood, become “like the son of God” (JST Hebrew 7:1-3). While Paul states that Melchizedek was with neither father nor mother and was timeless, modern LDS scriptures note that it is the priesthood of Melchizedek which is timeless.
Melchizedek becomes the archetypal high priest, and the priesthood becomes synonymous with his name. D&C 107 teaches that it is actually the “Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God”, and was known as the Priesthood of Enoch in a previous generation. We call the priesthood after Melchizedek to refrain from the overuse of the Lord’s title of “Son of God”. However, as we shall see, Melchizedek also becomes a title for the Lord.
There are those who claim Jesus is the only person ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. However, early Christians did not view it as such. In his book “Restoring the Ancient Church”, Barry R. Bickmore states that besides Christ,
“Were there other high priests after this order? It seems obvious that Melchizedek was one, at least, and it is called an ‘order’ after all. Theophilus of Antioch taught that Melchizedek was the first of many priests of his order: ‘and at that time there was a righteous king called Melchizedek, in the city of Salem, which now is Jerusalem. This was the first priest of all priests of the Most High God; and from him the above-named city Hierosolyma was called Jerusalem. And from his time priests were found in all the earth. (Theophilus, To Autolycus 2:31, in Ancient Nicene Fathers 2:107).” (Bickmore, ch 5. Restoring the Ancient Church, Table of Contents).
Margaret Barker noted:
“In all probability, Melchizedek represented the priesthood of El Elyon as distinguished from that of Yahweh….Melchizedek was associated with the royal house….the Elyon cult was practiced in Jerusalem at that time’ and if it were a composition from the time of the Maccabees who adopted the title priests of El Elyon, it would testify to the survival of the cult of El Elyon at least until the second century and to its association with the royal house” (the Great Angel, A Study of Israel’s Second God, Margaret Barker, pp 88-89).
So the Melchizedek priesthood probably continued through the Maccabbees, and was then brought about again by Jesus Christ, who as the mortal Jehovah/Yahweh, would promote the ideas of El Elyon/Elohim, his Father.
Melchizedek as a Title for God
In the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient Gnostic/Coptic Christian writings of the Nag Hammadi, we find more writings regarding Melchizedek and his ties to the Messiah/Jehovah.
In the Nag Hammadi is found the Apocalypse of Melchizedek.. Translator Birger A Pearson notes concerning this book that it is a series of revelations wherein the "Readers are implicitly invited to see themselves as sharing in these special revelations, as members of these privileged few." We are invited to join Melchizedek in his spiritual journey, his apocalypse.
According to Pearson, there are three main points discussed in the book:
1. Melchizedek sees Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection.
2. Melchizedek performs priestly rites: he offers a thanksgiving prayer, receives baptism, receives a new priestly name, gives spiritual offerings to God, and provides invocations to other divine beings.
3. Visions take Melchizedek to Jesus Christ’s resurrection again, where he is told the "spiritual triumph of Christ over his enemies will be that of Melchizedek himself!" ... “Melchizedek’s appearance in the end time is tied to the career of Jesus Christ: his incarnation, death, and resurrection. In other words, Jesus Christ is Melchizedek!"
The Apocalypse of Melchizedek tells us of a "race of the High priest." And the prophet proclaims,
"For I have a name. I am Melchizedek, the Priest of God Most High; I know that it is I who am truly the image of the true High-priest of God Most High" "And according to the perfect laws I shall pronounce my name as I receive baptism now and forever."
"Be strong, O Melchizedek, great High-priest of God Most High, for the archons, who are your enemies, made war; you have prevailed over them, ...and you endured, and you destroyed your enemies...." (Nag Hammadi, Apocalypse of Melchizedek, pp438-444).
Here we see certain key points brought out. First, there is priesthood other than that of Levi. Next, prophets prior to Jesus Christ received and performed rites, such as baptism. Finally, through the priesthood ordination, Jesus Christ becomes the fulfillment of Melchizedek, just as Melchizedek is the symbol of Jesus Christ. Also, all those who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, become a symbol of Christ. These priests, including Jesus, have dual role as warrior-priest. As a priest, they are to perform the ordinances necessary for salvation. As a warrior, they are to overcome the wicked of this world, both physical and spiritual. Just as Melchizedek overcame the violence of fire and stopped the mouths of lions, while perfecting the city of Salem, so too did Jesus overcome the violence of hellfire, and stopped the mouths of devouring demons from dragging us down.
The concept of Melchizedek as a "prophet warrior" also is found in Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholar Geza Vermes discussing the battle between the sons of Darkness and the sons of Light notes, "The hosts of the sons of Light, commanded by the 'Prince of the Congregation', were to be supported by the angelic armies led by the 'Prince of Light', also known in the Scrolls as the archangel Michael or Melchizedek."(Geza Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English, p53).
In the scroll 11QMelch, The Heavenly Prince Melchizedek, we read of the final days when liberty is proclaimed to the captives (Is 41:1). The Day of Atonement is a day of Jubilee "when all the Sons of Light and the men of the lot of Melchizedek will be atoned for." It foretells a "Year of Grace for Melchizedek." Melchizedek judges the "holy ones of God" as predicted in Psalms 82:1 "ELOHIM has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgement." “Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God....And all the gods of justice will come to his aid to attend to the destruction of Satan." "And (i)your(/i) ELOHIM is Melchizedek, who will save them from the hand of Satan."
Here we see that the “holy ones of God” or the divine sons/council of God are judged by Melchizedek, or through his priesthood power. Elohim takes his place at the head of the divine council. He and the other gods judge through the power of the Melchizedek priesthood. Elohim IS Melchizedek! In other words, this is the priesthood power of God Almighty, which the mortal Melchizedek symbolizes in his role as Prince of Peace and king of Salem/heaven.
But we find that Melchizedek is not only Elohim, but also Jehovah/Yahweh.
Margaret Barker, Methodist pastor and Old Testament scholar tells us,
“The Great Angel was also Melchizedek. There were some groups in the early (Christian) church who regarded Melchizedek as an angel. Origen, for example, regarded him thus, although later writers such as Jerome rejected the idea….Two things only are said about Melchizedek in the Old Testament. First, he was the priest of El Elyon (Elohim) in Jerusalem, who met Abraham and blessed him…. In all probability, Melchizedek represented the priesthood of El Elyon as distinguished from that of Yahweh. Second, Melchizedek was associated with the royal house….”
Then she compares the Old Testament’s view of Melchizedek with that in the 11QMelchizedek scroll.
“The texts link various attributes and functions of Old Testament ‘figures’ which were also linked and applied to Jesus. If the 11QMelch associations were traditional, then the Christian use of these texts would not have been original, not creative theologizing on their part, but rather the fulfillment of an existing pattern of expectations derived from the Old Testament.” In other words, from such ancient texts, it was natural to establish that the Great Angel of God’s Presence went by the names of holy prophets and angels of old, including Michael, Metatron (Enoch), and Melchizedek. She shows in her book how the Great Angel was Yahweh/Jehovah of the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ in the New Testament. (the Great Angel, A Study of Israel’s Second God, Margaret Barker, pp 88-89)
Later, she writes about the priesthood in Hebrews,
“It is the role of the high priest which is most fully explored in Hebrews, and since the writer (Paul) is clearly relating the work of Jesus to an existing pattern of belief, we must assume that this was what was believed of the high priests. Like Philos’ Logos, the true high priest had to take material form: ‘Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people’ (Heb 2:17). It was the temple veil which was his flesh (10:20). The true high priest passed through the heavens and was the Son of God (4:14). Jesus had become that high priest, in the manner of Melchizedek (6:20), and would continue as high priest for ever (7:24). He was a priest in the heavenly sanctuary (8:1), the mediator of the new covenant. It had been promised that the Lord would establish a new covenant (8:8-12) and this he had done with his own blood.
“The true high priest was also the heavenly judge, as can be seen from the Qumran Melchizedek text, in which history culminates on the great Day of Atonement at the end of the tenth jubilee. Melchizedek is the God who takes his place in the heavenly council to preside at the great judgment. He is the God of whom Isaiah said to Zion: ‘Your God reigns’ (Isa 52:7). But he was also Melchizedek the high priest. Melchizedek must have been one of the titles or manifestations of the second God. The heavenly priest/judge in Hebrews is the Lord, and those who spurn the Son of God and the blood of his covenant incur his wrath.” (ibid, p224).
Melchizedek truly is the archetypal symbol of the King of Heaven, representing both God Almighty and his Son, Jesus Christ, the Great Angel of His Presence.
In Genesis 18, we find that Abraham receives visitors. One of these is described as the Lord, or the Angel of God’s Presence. Abraham immediately goes to work caring for his visitors: a fine meal made from a tender calf, good wine, the best food he has available. Some early writings suggest he washed their feet, which was a symbol of great honor. A man’s feet touched the dirt, and was thought to be a source of disease. To wash another’s feet showed Abraham set himself below the lowest body part of his visitors. The men leave, and again, the great host insists on walking with them most of the way, to ensure they arrive safely.
Here, the Lord stops on an overpass with Abraham, as the two angels continue towards Sodom. The Lord reveals to Abraham his plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Abraham, now a friend of Yahweh’s and knowing the Lord respects him, pleads for the righteous in the city, knowing full well that his nephew resides there. He begins to plead if there are 50 good people the Lord should spare the town. The Lord agrees. Abraham continues begging, reducing the number, until he gets the Lord agreeing to spare the city if there are ten righteous. Abraham is content. He has done all he can do as a host and neighbor.
Lot and the people of Sodom
In Genesis 19, Lot sits in the front gate of Sodom, where the people often gathered to share news with travelers entering the city. Lot recognizes the two angels as men of God, and bids them stay with him. While Lot shows hospitality to the angels, he has not been privileged with the opportunity to entertain the Lord, as did Abraham.
Why does God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? While the cities were very wicked, the scholar Harold Bloom explained that the final straw for God was their inhospitable actions against visitors and their own people. The angels destroy Sodom because the “cry of them is waxen great” depicts not just a sinful people, but a people intent on imposing their own desires upon all within their gates. The men of Sodom come at night and demand Lot give up the men for their own pleasure. It isn’t that the men of Sodom are homosexuals that the town is being destroyed, but that the town of Sodom is imposing their sexual depravity upon all others. As Satan sought to force his ways upon his fellows, so the men of Sodom sought to deprive everyone of their right of safety and morality. There were no safe places left in Sodom. Only a miracle that blinded the men of the city protected Lot and those with him.
Lot was unable to find 10 righteous people. His sons-in-law and their wives (his daughters) refused to believe him. He was only able to convince his wife and two youngest daughters to flee. Lot was resistant, and had to be pushed to leave. The angels were patient with him, first telling him to flee to the mountains, but then agreeing to allow him to settle in Zoar, a little city.
Lot’s wife dies in the destruction. Instead of obeying the angels and fleeing with all haste, she tarried. In turning to watch the destruction behind her, she was turned into a pillar of salt. At least, that’s what the story tells us. According to an article in Biblical Archaeological Review, the area around the Dead Sea contains many caves. Some of these caverns are completely enclosed by the salty rock of the area. Occasionally, especially during earthquakes, some of these caverns collapse, often leaving pillars of salt remaining from the collapsed cavern. It is possible that rather than her literally turning into a pillar of salt, the ground around her collapsed in the destruction, leaving a pillar/portion of the cavern wall remaining near where she once stood.
A collapsed cavern leaving a pillar behind may explain the death of Lot’s wife
Lot did not make choices like Abraham. He made choices out of comfort and fear. He chose the plains of Jordan because of the beauty and fertility of the area. He pitched his tent near Sodom, and later moved into the city for the ease of life. He dwelt among a violent and evil people, but did nothing about it. His choices made him a prisoner of war, yet he returned to Sodom. Then, his choices made him a refugee and a widower. Still, with the protection of angels and a promise that he would be safe, Lot fears too much to trust God. He initially feared fleeing to the mountains, and begged to be able to stay in Zoar. The angels allowed it. Yet, Lot also fled the small town, fearing it would end badly for him. He fled into the mountains, without finding mates for his daughters, possibly fearing any repercussions.
We often discuss the wickedness of Lot’s daughters for sleeping with their drunken father. However, wrong their logic, I believe Lot’s choices were worse. They felt they had to leave a remnant, a seed to their father. Yet, he did not give them the opportunity to find husbands. He feared to allow them to leave the mountain. They felt their options limited. Also, did Lot not realize, even in his drunken state, what he was doing? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. It was because Lot feared and was not as obedient to God that such travesties fell upon him and his family.
In these stories, we find that Abraham represents the Celestial man. He stands in the Lord’s presence. He does not fear, but faithfully follows Jehovah, regardless of the command. While he lives in the world, his first step wherever he settles is to build an altar to God. He has made his home a Beth-El (House of God).
Lot represents the Terrestrial man. He abides in the presence of angels and is hospitable to them. Yet, while he is an honorable man, he is not valiant in his testimony. He still fears, and it keeps him from the full blessings. He does not reach the promised land, as does Abraham.
Sodom represents the Telestial man. They despise righteousness. They are not hospitable, charitable, nor kind towards any others. They mock the prophets, and seek to harm them. They refuse to repent, loving to sin. These are the ones headed toward destruction.
Melchizedek and Abraham
We find a pattern that is common between Melchizedek and Abraham. Both are dedicated and valiant believers in God. Both have sought out God and Jesus, and found them. Melchizedek may have ordained Abraham to the Holy Priesthood. Not only is there a mortal Prince of Peace and King of Heaven, but there is a Heavenly Prince of Peace and King of Heaven. Melchizedek is a special name/title for one who holds the priesthood, which includes Almighty God and Jesus Christ.
In receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood today, we are explained the oath and covenant of the priesthood:
33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I
have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit
unto the renewing of their bodies.
34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and
the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore
all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the
priesthood. (D&C 84)
We become the literal seed of Abraham in receiving the priesthood. And we become the literal seed of God, children of God and members of his divine council. In receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood, we become types of Christ and God Almighty.
Epistle of Barnabas: Epistle of Barnabas
Josephus, Antiquity of the Jews: http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-1.htm
Barry R. Bickmore, Restoring the Ancient Church: Restoring the Ancient Church, Table of Contents
Margaret Barker, The Great Angel, a Study of Israel’s Second God: Margaret Barker
Nag Hammadi, Melchizedek (Translated by Søren Giversen and Birger A. Pearson): Melchizedek -- The Nag Hammadi Library
Geza Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English: Amazon.com: Complete Dead Sea Scrolls (9780140278071): Geza Vermes: Books
Dead Sea Scrolls, 11QMelchizedek scroll: 11QMelchizedek
Biblical Archaeological Review, How Lot’s Wife Became a Pillar of Salt, May/Jun 2009: How Lot’s Wife Became a Pillar of Salt | Biblical Archaeology Review | Bible History Articles
Harold Bloom, Book of J, pp 299-300: Read at Google Books