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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter LXXII

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Text Commentary

1The book of the revolutions of the lights of heaven, each as it is, according to their classes, according to their period of rule and their times, according to their names and their places of origin, and according to their months, which Uriel, the holy angel who was with me and is their leader, showed to me; and he showed me all their regulations exactly as they are, for each year of the world and for ever, until the new creation shall be made which will last for ever. 2And this is the first law of the lights. The light the sun, its rising is in the gates of heaven which are towards the east, and its setting is in the western gates of heaven. 3And I saw six gates from which the sun rises, and six gates in which the sun sets, and the moon also rises and sets in those gates, and the leaders of the stars together with those whom they lead; there are six in the east and six in the west, all exactly in place, one next to the other; and there are many windows to the south and north 1 Lit. ‘to the right and left’. of those gates. 4And first there rises the greater light, named the sun, and its disk is like the disk of heaven, and the whole of it is full of a fire which gives light and warmth. 5The wind blows the chariots on which it ascends, and the sun goes down from heaven and returns through the north in order to reach the east and is led so that it comes to the appropriate gate, and shines again in heaven. 6In this way it rises in the first month in the large gate, namely it rises through the fourth of those six gates which are towards the east. 7And in that fourth gate, from which the sun rises in the first month, there are twelve window-openings 2 Lit. ‘open windows’. from which, whenever they are opened, flames come out. 8When the sun rises in heaven, it goes out through that fourth gate for thirty days, and exactly in the fourth gate in the west of heaven it goes down. 9And in those days the day grows daily longer, and the night grows nightly shorter, until the thirtieth morning. 10And on that day the day becomes longer than the night by a double part, 3 by a double part: i.e. by two parts. GQUD′ add ‘by nine parts’ (QUD′ possibly ‘by a ninth part’). and the day amounts to exactly ten parts, and the night amounts to eight parts. 11And the sun rises from that fourth gate, and sets in the fourth gate, and returns to the fifth gate in the east for thirty mornings; and it rises from it, and sets in the fifth gate. 12And then the day becomes longer by two parts, and the day amounts to eleven parts, and the night becomes shorter and amounts to seven parts. 13And the sun returns to the east, and comes to the sixth gate, and rises and sets in the sixth gate for thirty one mornings 4 GTUD′ ‘thirty mornings’; Q corrupt; M defective. because of its sign. 14And on that day the day becomes longer than the night, and the day becomes double the night; and the day amounts to twelve parts, and the night becomes shorter and amounts to six parts. 15And the sun rises up that the day may grow shorter, and the night longer; and the sun returns to the east, and comes to the sixth gate, and rises from it and sets for thirty mornings. 16And when thirty mornings have been completed, the day becomes shorter by exactly one part; and the day amounts to eleven parts, and the night to seven parts. 17And the sun goes out from the west through that sixth gate, and goes to the east, and rises in the fifth gate for thirty mornings; and it sets in the west again, in the fifth gate in the west. 18On that day the day becomes shorter by two parts, and the day amounts to ten parts, and the night to eight parts. 19And the sun rises from that fifth gate, and sets in the fifth gate in the west, and rises in the fourth gate for thirty one mornings because of its sign, 5 GMQT add ‘in the fourth gate in the east’; U adds ‘in the east’; D′ adds ‘in the fourth gate’. and sets in the west. 20On that day the day becomes equal with the night, and is of equal length; and the night amounts to nine parts, and the day to nine parts. 21And the sun rises from that gate, and sets in the west, and returns to the east, and rises in the third gate for thirty mornings, and sets in the west in the third gate. 22And on that day the night becomes longer than the day, and the night grows nightly longer, 6 and the night grows nightly longer: so GQTUD′; M ‘and on that day the night grows longer’; Eth.II ‘until the thirtieth morning’. and the day grows daily shorter until the thirtieth morning; 7 morning: Q om.; Eth.II (except EFLN) ‘day’. and the night amounts to exactly ten parts, and the day to eight parts. 23And the sun rises from that third gate, and sets in the third gate in the west, and returns to the east; and the sun rises in the second gate in the east for thirty mornings, and likewise it sets in the second gate in the west of heaven. 24And on that day the night amounts to eleven parts, and the day to seven parts. 25And the sun rises on that day from that second gate, and sets in the west in the second gate, and returns to the east, to the first gate, 8 to the first gate: D′ ‘and rises in the first gate’. for thirty one mornings, 9 B2X add ‘because of its sign’. and sets in the west in the first gate. 10 in the west in the first gate: M ‘in the west in the sixth gate’; GQ ‘in it on the first day in the west of heaven’; TUD′ ‘on that day in the west of heaven’. 26And on that day the night becomes longer, and becomes double the day; and the night amounts to exactly twelve parts, and the day to six parts. 27And with this the sun has completed the divisions of its journey, 11 the divisions of its journey: D′ (?) ‘its appearances’. and it turns back again along these 12 Eth.I JP1 ‘those’. divisions of its journey; 13 divisions of its journey: D′(?) ‘appearances’. and it comes through that first gate 14 M ‘those gates’; QTUD′ ‘all the gates’; G ‘all its gates’. for thirty mornings, and sets in the west opposite it. 28And on that day 15 day: U om.; GQD′F ‘night’. the night becomes shorter in length by one part 16 by one part: M om.; GQUD′ ‘by nine parts’ (UD′ possibly ‘by a ninth part’). All MSS add ‘that is one part’, a gloss apparently intended to explain that the word ’ǝd, used here with the meaning ‘part’, is the equivalent of the word kǝfǝl. …, and amounts to eleven parts, and the day to seven parts. 29And the sun returns, and comes to the second gate in the east, and it returns along those divisions of its journey 17 divisions of its journey: D′ (?) ‘appearances’. for thirty mornings, rising and setting. 30And on that day the night becomes shorter in length, and the night amounts to ten parts, and the day to eight parts. 31And on that day the sun rises from that second 18 GMQUD′1 om. gate, and sets in the west, and returns to the east, and rises in the third gate for thirty one mornings, and sets in the west of heaven. 32And on that day the night becomes shorter, and amounts to nine parts, and the day amounts to nine parts, and the night becomes equal with the day. And the year amounts to exactly three hundred and sixty four days. 33And the length of the day and the night, and the shortness of the day and the night – they are different because of the journey of that sun. 34Because of it, 19 i.e. to this end, to bring about the difference in the length of day and night. its journey becomes daily longer, and nightly shorter. 35And this is the law and the journey of the sun, and its return, as often as it returns; sixty times it returns and rises, that is the great eternal light 20 as often as … eternal light: GQTUD′ ‘as often as – sixty times – that great light returns and rises’ (QTUD′ om. ‘sixty times’); M ‘as often as it returns; it returns and rises, that is the great light’. which for ever and ever is named the sun. 36And this which rises is the great light, which is so named after its appearance, 21 D′ ‘And this is the one which rises according to its appearance’. as the Lord commanded. 37And thus it rises and sets; 22 GD′ ‘As it rises, so it sets’; M ‘Thus it rises and sets’; QT ‘Thus it rises and thus it sets’; U ‘And thus it sets’; ANX ‘And thus it sets and rises’. it neither decreases, nor rests, but runs day and night in its chariot. 23 in its chariot: GMQT1UD′ om. And its light is seven times brighter than that of the moon, but in size the two are equal.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘to the right and left’.

2 Lit. ‘open windows’.

3 by a double part: i.e. by two parts. GQUD′ add ‘by nine parts’ (QUD′ possibly ‘by a ninth part’).

4 GTUD′ ‘thirty mornings’; Q corrupt; M defective.

5 GMQT add ‘in the fourth gate in the east’; U adds ‘in the east’; D′ adds ‘in the fourth gate’.

6 and the night grows nightly longer: so GQTUD′; M ‘and on that day the night grows longer’; Eth.II ‘until the thirtieth morning’.

7 morning: Q om.; Eth.II (except EFLN) ‘day’.

8 to the first gate: D′ ‘and rises in the first gate’.

9 B2X add ‘because of its sign’.

10 in the west in the first gate: M ‘in the west in the sixth gate’; GQ ‘in it on the first day in the west of heaven’; TUD′ ‘on that day in the west of heaven’.

11 the divisions of its journey: D′ (?) ‘its appearances’.

12 Eth.I JP1 ‘those’.

13 divisions of its journey: D′(?) ‘appearances’.

14 M ‘those gates’; QTUD′ ‘all the gates’; G ‘all its gates’.

15 day: U om.; GQD′F ‘night’.

16 by one part: M om.; GQUD′ ‘by nine parts’ (UD′ possibly ‘by a ninth part’). All MSS add ‘that is one part’, a gloss apparently intended to explain that the word ’ǝd, used here with the meaning ‘part’, is the equivalent of the word kǝfǝl.

17 divisions of its journey: D′ (?) ‘appearances’.

18 GMQUD′1 om.

19 i.e. to this end, to bring about the difference in the length of day and night.

20 as often as … eternal light: GQTUD′ ‘as often as – sixty times – that great light returns and rises’ (QTUD′ om. ‘sixty times’); M ‘as often as it returns; it returns and rises, that is the great light’.

21 D′ ‘And this is the one which rises according to its appearance’.

22 GD′ ‘As it rises, so it sets’; M ‘Thus it rises and sets’; QT ‘Thus it rises and thus it sets’; U ‘And thus it sets’; ANX ‘And thus it sets and rises’.

23 in its chariot: GMQT1UD′ om.

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