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

Chapter LXXXIX

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Text Commentary

1And one of those four went to a white bull 1 a white bull (or ‘that white bull’): so M; Aram. ‘one of the bulls’; other Eth. MSS ‘those white bulls’. and taught him 2 B2NXC′ ‘them’. a mystery, trembling as he was. 3 B2NX ‘trembling as they were’; GQ ‘without him trembling’. He was born a bull, but became a man, and built for himself a large vessel and dwelt on it, and three bulls dwelt with him in that vessel, and they were covered over. 4 and they were covered over: GMQ om. ‘and’; D′ (but with a minor mistake) ‘and this vessel was closed over them’; Aram. ‘and the vessel was closed and covered [over them]’. 2And I again raised my eyes to heaven and saw a high roof, with seven water-channels on it, and those channels discharged much water into an enclosure. 3And I looked again, and behold springs 5 Aram. ‘chambers’; D′ ‘chasms’ (cp. verse 7). opened on the floor of that large enclosure, and water began to bubble up and to rise above the floor; and I looked at that enclosure until 6 and I looked … until: so GT(U); Eth.II ‘and made that enclosure invisible until’; MQD′ corrupt; Aram. ‘[and] I looked until’. its whole floor was covered by water. 4And water and darkness and mist increased on it; and I looked at the height of that water, and that water had risen above that enclosure and was pouring out over the enclosure, and it remained on the earth. 5And all the bulls of that enclosure were gathered together until I saw how they sank and were swallowed up and destroyed in that water. 6And that vessel floated on the water, but all the bulls and elephants and camels and asses sank to the bottom, together with all the animals, so that I could not see them. And they were unable to get out, but were destroyed and sank into the depths. 7And again I looked in the vision until those water-channels were removed from that high roof, and the chasms of the earth were made level, 7 and the chasms … level: Aram. ‘] the chambers were stopped’. and other abysses were opened. 8And the water began to run down into them until the earth became visible, and that vessel settled on the earth; and the darkness departed, and light appeared. 9And that white bull who became a man went out from that vessel, and the three bulls with him. And one of the three bulls was white, like that bull, and one of them was red as blood, and one was black; 8 and one was black: Eth.I om. and that white bull passed away from them. 10And they began to beget wild-animals and birds, so that there arose from them every kind of species: lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, hyenas, wild-boars, foxes, badgers, pigs, falcons, vultures, kites, eagles and ravens. 11But amongst them was born a white bull. And they began to bite one another; but that white bull which was born amongst them begat a wild ass and a white bull with it, and the wild asses 9 Some Eth.II MSS ‘and the wild ass’. increased. 12But that bull which was born from it begat a black wild-boar and a white sheep; and that wild-boar 10 and that wild-boar: MQTD′ ‘and the former’ (lit. ‘and that one’); G defective. begat many boars, and that sheep begat twelve sheep. 13And when those twelve sheep had grown, they handed one of their number over to the asses, and those asses in turn handed that sheep over to the wolves; and that sheep grew up amongst the wolves. 14And the Lord brought the eleven sheep to dwell with it and to pasture with it amongst the wolves, and they increased and became many flocks of sheep. 15And the wolves began to make them afraid, 11 Some Eth. MSS ‘to fear them’. and they oppressed them until they made away with their young, and they threw their young into a river with much water; but those sheep began to cry out because of their young, and to complain to their Lord. 16But a sheep which had been saved from the wolves fled and escaped to the wild asses. And I saw the sheep moaning and crying out, and petitioning their Lord with all their power, until that Lord of the sheep came down at the call of the sheep from a high room, 12 TD′B ‘from the room of the Most High’. and came to them, and looked at them. 13 Or ‘and pastured them”. 17And he called that sheep which had fled from the wolves, and spoke to it about the wolves that it should warn them that they should not touch the sheep. 18And the sheep went to the wolves in accordance with the word of the Lord, and another sheep met that sheep 14 GMQD′ ‘met it’. and went with it; and the two of them together 15 GMQD′ add ‘went and’. entered the assembly of those wolves, and spoke to them, and warned them that from then on they should not touch the sheep. 19And after this I saw the wolves, how they acted even more harshly towards the sheep with all their power, and the sheep cried out. 20And their Lord came to the sheep, and began 16 GQTD′ ‘and they began’; M corrupt. to beat those wolves; and the wolves began to moan, but the sheep became silent, and from then on they did not cry out. 21And I looked at the sheep until they escaped from the wolves; but the eyes of the wolves were blinded, and those wolves went out in pursuit of the sheep with all their forces. 22And the Lord of the sheep went with them as he led them, and all his sheep followed him; and his face was glorious, and his appearance terrible and magnificent. 17 and his appearance … magnificent: GMTD′ ‘and magnificent and terrible to see’; Q ‘and terrible to see’. 23But the wolves began to pursue those sheep until they met them by a stretch of water. 24And that stretch of water was divided, and the water stood on one side and on the other before them; and their Lord, as he led them, stood between them and the wolves. 25And while those wolves had not yet seen the sheep, they went 18 D′ (in part corruptly) ‘had not yet seen him, the sheep went’. into the middle of that stretch of water; but the wolves pursued the sheep, and those wolves ran after them into that stretch of water. 26But when they saw the Lord of the sheep, they turned to flee before him; but that stretch of water flowed together again and suddenly resumed its natural form, and the water swelled up and rose until it covered those wolves. 27And I looked until all the wolves which had pursued those sheep were destroyed and drowned. 28But the sheep escaped from that water and went to a desert where there was neither water nor grass; and they began to open their eyes and to see; and I saw the Lord of the sheep pasturing them and giving them water and grass, and that sheep going and leading them. 29And that sheep went up to the summit of a high rock, and the Lord of the sheep sent it to them. 30And after this I saw the Lord of the sheep standing before them, and his appearance was terrible and majestic, 19 terrible and majestic: so Eth.II; Eth.I ‘great and terrible and majestic’; Aram. ‘strong and great and[’. and all those sheep saw him and were afraid of him. 31And all of them were afraid and trembled before him; and they cried out after that sheep with them 20 with them: so G; MQ ‘with them to the other sheep’; D′ ‘which led them and the other sheep’; T Eth.II ‘which was with him to the other sheep’. which was in their midst, 21 D′ adds ‘and said’. We cannot stand before our Lord, nor look at him. 32And that sheep which led them again went up to the summit of that rock; and the sheep began to be blinded and to go astray from the path which it had shown to them, but that sheep did not know. 33And the Lord of the sheep was extremely angry with them, and that sheep knew, and went down from the summit of the rock, and came to the sheep, and found the majority of them with their eyes blinded and going astray from his path. 22 from his path: GMQTD′ om. 34And when they saw it, they were afraid and trembled before it, and wished that they could return to their enclosure. 35And that sheep took some other sheep with it, and went to those sheep which had gone astray, and then began to kill them; 23 and then … kill them: GMQD′ ‘killing them’. and the sheep were afraid of it. And that sheep brought back those sheep which had gone astray, and they returned to their enclosures. 36And I looked there at the vision 24 there at the vision: GMTD′ ‘in this vision’; Q ‘in that vision’. until that sheep became a man, and built a house for the Lord of the sheep, and made all the sheep stand in that house. 37And I looked until that sheep which had met that sheep which led the sheep 25 GMQD′ ‘which led them’. fell asleep; and I looked until all the large sheep were destroyed and small ones rose up in their place, and they came to a pasture, and drew near to a river of water. 38And that sheep which led them, which had become a man, separated from them and fell asleep; and all the sheep sought it and cried out very bitterly over it. 39And I looked until they left off crying for that sheep and crossed that river of water; and there arose all the sheep which led them in place of those which had fallen asleep, and they led them. 40And I looked until the sheep came to a good place and a pleasant and glorious land, and I looked until those sheep were satisfied; and that house was in the middle of them in the pleasant land. 41And sometimes their eyes were opened, and sometimes blinded, until another sheep rose up and led them, and brought them all back, 26 D′ ‘and they all came back’. and their eyes were opened. 42And the dogs and the foxes and the wild-boars began to devour those sheep 27 Gk.v ‘And the dogs began to devour the sheep, and the wild-boars and the foxes devoured them’. until the Lord of the sheep raised up a ram 28 until the Lord … a ram: so C′ Gk.v and similarly N; all other Eth. MSS corrupt. from among them 29 Gk.v ‘from the sheep’ and om. ‘which led them’. which led them. 43And that ram began to butt those dogs and foxes and wild-boars, on one side and on the other, until it had destroyed them all. 30 Gk.v ‘to butt and to pursue with its horns, and to hurl itself against the foxes, and after them against the wild-boars; and it destroyed many wild-boars, and after them [it injure]d the dogs’. 44And the eyes of that sheep were opened, and it saw that ram 31 Gk.v ‘And the sheep (plur.) whose eyes were opened looked at the ram’. in the middle of the sheep, how it renounced its glory 32 how … its glory: Gk.v ‘until it left its way’. and began to butt those sheep, and how it trampled on them and behaved unbecomingly. 33 and began … unbecomingly: Gk.v ‘and began to walk off the way’. 45And the Lord of the sheep sent the sheep to another sheep 34 the sheep to another sheep: Gk.v ‘this lamb to another lamb’. and raised it up to be a ram, and to lead the sheep 35 and raised … the sheep: Gk.v ‘to appoint it as the ram in command of the sheep’. in place of that sheep 36 D ‘that ram’ (lit. ‘that male sheep’). which had renounced its glory. 37 Gk.v ‘in place of the ram which had left its way’. In notes 32, 33, and 37 a small fragment of Aram. appears to support the originality of Gk.v ‘way’. 46And it went to it, and spoke with it 38 Gk.v adds ‘secretly’. alone, and raised up that ram, and made it the prince and leader of the sheep; 39 and raised up … the sheep: Gk.v ‘and raised it up to be the ram and leader and prince of the sheep’; GMQD′ corrupt. and during all this those 40 GMQTD′ Gk.v ‘the’. dogs oppressed the sheep. 47And the first ram pursued that 41 Gk.v ‘the’. second ram, and that second ram rose and fled 42 and that second … fled: Gk.v ‘and it fled’. before it. And I looked until those dogs made the first ram fall. 43 Gk.v ‘Then I looked at the first ram until it fell before the dogs’. 48And that second ram rose up and led the small 44 small: Gk.v om. sheep, and that ram begat many sheep and fell asleep; and a small sheep became ram in place of it, and became the prince and leader of those sheep. 45 and that ram … those sheep: Gk.v om. 49And those 41 Gk.v ‘the’. sheep grew and increased; but all the 46 So some Eth.II MSS Gk.v: other Eth. MSS ‘those’. dogs and foxes and wild-boars 47 and wild-boars: Gk.v om. were afraid and fled from it, 48 were afraid … from it: Gk.v ‘fled from it and feared it’ (Gk.v ends here). and that ram butted and killed all the animals, and those animals did not again prevail amongst the sheep and did not seize anything further from them. 50And that house became large and broad, and for those sheep a high tower was built on that house 49 and for … house: so many Eth.II MSS; all other MSS (except GQU) have two versions of this. Later this double reading was shortened, in Eth.II probably deliberately, in GQU probably by accident. for the Lord of the sheep; and that house was low, but the tower was raised up and high; and the Lord of the sheep stood on that tower, and they spread a full table before him. 51And I saw those sheep again, how 50 GMT most Eth.II MSS add ‘again’. they went astray, and walked in many ways, and left that house of theirs; and the Lord of the sheep called some of the sheep and sent them to the sheep, but the sheep began to kill them. 52But one of them was saved and was not killed, and it sprang away and cried out against the sheep, and they wished to kill it; but the Lord of the sheep saved it from the hands of 51 the hands of: GMD′ om. the sheep, and brought it up to me, and made it remain there. 53And he sent many other sheep to those sheep to testify to them and to lament over them. 54And after this I saw how when they left the house of the Lord of the sheep 52 of the sheep: GMQTD′ om. and his tower, they went astray in everything, and their eyes were blinded; and I saw how the Lord of the sheep wrought much slaughter among them in their pastures until those sheep themselves invited that slaughter and betrayed his place. 55And he gave them into the hands of the lions and the tigers and the wolves and the hyenas, and into the hands of the foxes, and to all the animals; and those wild animals began to tear those sheep in pieces. 56And I saw how he left that house of theirs and their tower and gave them all into the hands of the lions, that they might tear them in pieces and devour them, into the hands of all the animals. 57And I began to cry out with all my power, and to call the Lord of the sheep, 53 GMQD′ ‘of the lions’. and to represent to him with regard to the sheep that they were being devoured by all the wild animals. 58But he remained still, although he saw it, and rejoiced that they were devoured and swallowed up and carried off, and he gave them into the hands of all the animals for food. 59And he called seventy 54 GMQ ‘seven’. shepherds and cast off those sheep 55 GQD′ add ‘to them’. that they might pasture them; and he said to the shepherds and to their companions, Each one of you from now on is to pasture the sheep, and do whatever I command you. 60And I will hand them over to you duly numbered and will tell you which of them are to be destroyed, and destroy them. And he handed those sheep over to them. 61And he called another and said to him, Observe and see everything that the shepherds do against these sheep, for they will destroy from among them more than I have commanded them. 62And write down all the excess and destruction which is wrought by the shepherds, how many they destroy at my command, and how many they destroy of their own volition; write down against each shepherd individually all that he destroys. 63And read out before me exactly how many they destroy of their own volition, 56 of their own volition: GMQTD′ and many Eth.II MSS om. and how many are handed over to them for destruction, 57 Or ‘and how many they hand over for destruction’. that this may be a testimony for me against them, that I may know all the deeds of the shepherds, in order to hand them over for destruction, and may see what they do, whether they abide by 58 D′ ‘act according to’. my command which I have commanded them, or not. 64But they must not know this, and you must not show this to them, nor reprove them, but only write down against each individual in his time all that the shepherds destroy and bring it all up to me. 65And I looked until those shepherds pastured at their time, and they began to kill and to destroy more than they were commanded, and they gave those sheep into the hands of the lions. 66And the lions and the tigers devoured and swallowed up the majority of those sheep, and the wild-boars devoured with them; and they burnt down that tower and demolished that house. 67And I was extremely sad about the tower, because that house of the sheep had been demolished; and after that I was unable to see whether those sheep went into that house. 68And the shepherds and their companions handed those sheep over to all the animals that they might devour them; each one of them at his time received an exact number, and of each one of them after the other there was written in a book how many of them he destroyed 59 and of each … he destroyed: so Eth.II, although the text is a little awkward and perhaps should be emended to read ‘and of each one of them the other (cp. verse 61) wrote in a book…’; Eth.I MSS offer litle sense. All MSS (except U) repeat some words at the end of the verse by mistake. 69And each one killed and destroyed more than was prescribed, and I began to weep and to moan very much 60 very much: GMQTD′ om. because of those sheep. 70And likewise in the 61 D′ ‘my’. vision I saw that one who wrote, how every day he wrote down each one which was destroyed by those shepherds, and how he brought up and presented and showed the whole book to the Lord of the sheep, everything that they had done, and all that each one of them had made away with, and all that they had handed over to destruction. 71And the book was read out before the Lord of the sheep, and he took the book in 62 GMTD′ ‘from’; Q corrupt. his hand, and read it, and sealed it, and put it down. 72And after this I saw how the shepherds pastured for twelve hours, and behold, three of those sheep returned and arrived and came and began to build up all that had fallen down from that house; but the wild-boars hindered them so that they could not. 73And they began again to build, as before, and they raised up that tower, and it was called the high tower; and they began again to place a table before the tower, but all the bread on it was unclean and was not pure. 74And besides all this the eyes of these sheep were blinded so that they could not see, and their shepherds likewise; and they handed yet more of them over to their shepherds for destruction, and they trampled upon the sheep with their feet and devoured them. 75But the Lord of the sheep remained still until all the sheep were scattered abroad and had mixed with them, 63 i.e., apparently, with the animals. and they did not save them from the hand of the animals. 76And that one 64 GMQT ‘this one’; D′ ‘the one’. who wrote the book brought it up, and showed it, and read it out in the dwelling of the Lord 65 and read … the Lord: so MQT2(?) Eth.II; G ‘and read it out before the Lord’; T1 ‘and read out the great things to the Lord’; D′ ‘and read out the great things of the Lord’. of the sheep; and he entreated him on behalf of them, and petitioned him as he showed him all the deeds of their 66 GMQD′ ‘the’. shepherds, and testified before him against all the shepherds. 77And he took the book, and put it down by him, 67 D′ adds ‘in the same way’. and went out.

Notes:

1 a white bull (or ‘that white bull’): so M; Aram. ‘one of the bulls’; other Eth. MSS ‘those white bulls’.

2 B2NXC′ ‘them’.

3 B2NX ‘trembling as they were’; GQ ‘without him trembling’.

4 and they were covered over: GMQ om. ‘and’; D′ (but with a minor mistake) ‘and this vessel was closed over them’; Aram. ‘and the vessel was closed and covered [over them]’.

5 Aram. ‘chambers’; D′ ‘chasms’ (cp. verse 7).

6 and I looked … until: so GT(U); Eth.II ‘and made that enclosure invisible until’; MQD′ corrupt; Aram. ‘[and] I looked until’.

7 and the chasms … level: Aram. ‘] the chambers were stopped’.

8 and one was black: Eth.I om.

9 Some Eth.II MSS ‘and the wild ass’.

10 and that wild-boar: MQTD′ ‘and the former’ (lit. ‘and that one’); G defective.

11 Some Eth. MSS ‘to fear them’.

12 TD′B ‘from the room of the Most High’.

13 Or ‘and pastured them”.

14 GMQD′ ‘met it’.

15 GMQD′ add ‘went and’.

16 GQTD′ ‘and they began’; M corrupt.

17 and his appearance … magnificent: GMTD′ ‘and magnificent and terrible to see’; Q ‘and terrible to see’.

18 D′ (in part corruptly) ‘had not yet seen him, the sheep went’.

19 terrible and majestic: so Eth.II; Eth.I ‘great and terrible and majestic’; Aram. ‘strong and great and[’.

20 with them: so G; MQ ‘with them to the other sheep’; D′ ‘which led them and the other sheep’; T Eth.II ‘which was with him to the other sheep’.

21 D′ adds ‘and said’.

22 from his path: GMQTD′ om.

23 and then … kill them: GMQD′ ‘killing them’.

24 there at the vision: GMTD′ ‘in this vision’; Q ‘in that vision’.

25 GMQD′ ‘which led them’.

26 D′ ‘and they all came back’.

27 Gk.v ‘And the dogs began to devour the sheep, and the wild-boars and the foxes devoured them’.

28 until the Lord … a ram: so C′ Gk.v and similarly N; all other Eth. MSS corrupt.

29 Gk.v ‘from the sheep’ and om. ‘which led them’.

30 Gk.v ‘to butt and to pursue with its horns, and to hurl itself against the foxes, and after them against the wild-boars; and it destroyed many wild-boars, and after them [it injure]d the dogs’.

31 Gk.v ‘And the sheep (plur.) whose eyes were opened looked at the ram’.

32 how … its glory: Gk.v ‘until it left its way’.

33 and began … unbecomingly: Gk.v ‘and began to walk off the way’.

34 the sheep to another sheep: Gk.v ‘this lamb to another lamb’.

35 and raised … the sheep: Gk.v ‘to appoint it as the ram in command of the sheep’.

36 D ‘that ram’ (lit. ‘that male sheep’).

37 Gk.v ‘in place of the ram which had left its way’. In notes 32, 33, and 37 a small fragment of Aram. appears to support the originality of Gk.v ‘way’.

38 Gk.v adds ‘secretly’.

39 and raised up … the sheep: Gk.v ‘and raised it up to be the ram and leader and prince of the sheep’; GMQD′ corrupt.

40 GMQTD′ Gk.v ‘the’.

41 Gk.v ‘the’.

42 and that second … fled: Gk.v ‘and it fled’.

43 Gk.v ‘Then I looked at the first ram until it fell before the dogs’.

44 small: Gk.v om.

45 and that ram … those sheep: Gk.v om.

46 So some Eth.II MSS Gk.v: other Eth. MSS ‘those’.

47 and wild-boars: Gk.v om.

48 were afraid … from it: Gk.v ‘fled from it and feared it’ (Gk.v ends here).

49 and for … house: so many Eth.II MSS; all other MSS (except GQU) have two versions of this. Later this double reading was shortened, in Eth.II probably deliberately, in GQU probably by accident.

50 GMT most Eth.II MSS add ‘again’.

51 the hands of: GMD′ om.

52 of the sheep: GMQTD′ om.

53 GMQD′ ‘of the lions’.

54 GMQ ‘seven’.

55 GQD′ add ‘to them’.

56 of their own volition: GMQTD′ and many Eth.II MSS om.

57 Or ‘and how many they hand over for destruction’.

58 D′ ‘act according to’.

59 and of each … he destroyed: so Eth.II, although the text is a little awkward and perhaps should be emended to read ‘and of each one of them the other (cp. verse 61) wrote in a book…’; Eth.I MSS offer litle sense. All MSS (except U) repeat some words at the end of the verse by mistake.

60 very much: GMQTD′ om.

61 D′ ‘my’.

62 GMTD′ ‘from’; Q corrupt.

63 i.e., apparently, with the animals.

64 GMQT ‘this one’; D′ ‘the one’.

65 and read … the Lord: so MQT2(?) Eth.II; G ‘and read it out before the Lord’; T1 ‘and read out the great things to the Lord’; D′ ‘and read out the great things of the Lord’.

66 GMQD′ ‘the’.

67 D′ adds ‘in the same way’.

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