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

Chapter XC

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Text Commentary

1And I looked until the time that thirty-seven 1 So all MSS except M (QD′ corruptly), but a mistake for ‘thirty-five’: M om. shepherds had pastured the sheep in the same way, and, each individually, they all completed their time like the first ones; and others received them into their hands to pasture them at their time, each shepherd at his own time. 2And after this I saw in the vision 2 GQT ‘in my vision’; D′ ‘with my eyes’. all the birds of heaven coming: the eagles, and the vultures, and the kites, and the ravens; but the eagles led all the birds; and they began to devour those sheep, and to peck out their eyes, and to devour their flesh. 3And the sheep cried out because their flesh was devoured by the birds, and I cried out 3 GQ ‘and I looked’; M ‘and I saw’. and lamented in my sleep on account of that shepherd who pastured the sheep. 4And I looked until those sheep were devoured by the dogs and by the eagles and by the kites, and they left on them neither flesh nor skin nor sinew until only their bones remained; and their bones fell upon the ground, and the sheep became few. 5And I looked until the time that twenty three shepherds 4 GMQD′ om. had pastured the sheep; and they completed, each in his time, fifty eight times. 6And small lambs 5 GMQTD′ ‘And behold, lambs’. were born from those white sheep, and they began to open their eyes, and to see, and to cry to the sheep. 7But the sheep did not cry to them and 6 D′L2N ‘And the sheep cried to them, but they’; GOB′ ‘But they did not cry to them and’; M ‘But they oppressed them and’; Q ‘And they cried to them, but they’; T ‘But they did not hear them and’. did not listen to what they said to them, 7 what they said to them: GMQTD′N ‘their words’. but were extremely deaf, and their eyes were extremely and excessively blinded. 8 and excessively blinded: so T Eth.II; GMQ ‘blinded and heavy’(?), but the text is of uncertain meaning; D′ corrupt. 8And I saw in the vision how the ravens flew upon those lambs, and took one of those lambs, and dashed the sheep in pieces and devoured them. 9And I looked until horns came up on those lambs, but the ravens cast their horns down; 9 D′ ‘broke their horns’. and I looked until a big horn grew on 10 So GC′: all other MSS om (‘one of those sheep’ will then be in apposition to ‘a big horn’). one of those sheep, and their eyes were opened. 11 GMT add ‘and their eyes saw’. 10And it looked at them, and their eyes were opened, and it 12 GQT ‘they’. cried to the sheep, and the rams saw it, and they all ran to it. 11And besides all this those eagles and vultures and ravens and kites were still continually tearing the sheep in pieces and flying upon them and devouring them; and the sheep were silent, but the rams lamented and cried out. 12And those ravens battled and fought with it, and wished to make away with its horn, but they did not prevail against it. 13And I looked at them until the shepherds and the eagles and those vultures and kites came and cried to the ravens that they should dash the horn of that ram in pieces; and they fought and battled with it, and it fought with them and cried out that its help might come to it. 13 to it: GMQTD′ om. 14And I looked until that man who wrote down the names of the shepherds and brought them up before the Lord of the sheep came, and he helped that ram and showed it everything, namely that its help was coming down. 14 G ‘and he helped it, and saved it, and showed it everything; he had come down for the help of that ram’. 15And I looked until that 15 GTD′ ‘the’; M corrupt. Lord of the sheep came to them in anger, and all those who saw him fled, and they all fell into the 16 So GMD′: other MSS ‘his’. shadow before him. 16All the eagles and vultures and ravens and kites gathered together and brought with them all the wild sheep, 17 Some Eth.II MSS ‘and brought with them all the wild asses’; GQD′ (QD′ in part corruptly) ‘and all the wild sheep came with them’. and they all came together and helped one another in order to dash that horn of the ram in pieces. 17And I looked at that man who wrote the book at the command of the Lord until he opened that book of the destruction which those twelve last shepherds had wrought, and he showed before the Lord of the sheep that they had destroyed even more than those before them. 18And I looked until the Lord of the sheep came to them and took in his hand the staff of his anger and struck the earth; and the earth was split, and all the animals and 18 GMQTD′ add ‘all’. the birds of heaven fell from those sheep and sank in the earth, and it closed over them. 19And I looked until a big sword was given to the sheep, and the sheep went out against all the 19 all the: TX ‘the’; some Eth.II MSS ‘these’. wild animals to kill them, and all the animals and the birds of heaven fled before them. 20And I looked until a throne was set up in the pleasant land, and the Lord of the sheep sat on it; and they took all the sealed books and opened 20 took … opened: the verbs are in the singular (TD′ have the second one in the plural), but I take them to be used impersonally. those books before the Lord of the sheep. 21And the Lord called those men, 21 Eth.II om. the seven first white ones, and commanded them to bring before him the first star 22 the first star: so GL; all other MSS ‘beginning with the first star’ (lit. ‘from the first star’), and the text has commonly been emended to read ‘beginning with the first star which led the way, all the stars whose…’. which went before those stars whose private parts were like the private parts of horses 23 All MSS add a dittograph ‘and the first star which fell (G ‘went out’) first’. … and they brought them all before him. 24 and they brought … before him: C′ ‘they brought it before him’. 22And he said to that man who wrote before him, who was one of the seven white ones 25 MQTD′ ‘one of those seven white ones’; G ‘from those white ones’. – he said to him, 26 GQD′HOXB′ ‘to them’. Take those seventy shepherds to whom I handed over the sheep, and who, on their own authority, took and killed more than I commanded them. 23And behold I saw them all bound, and they all stood before him. 24And the judgement was held first on the stars, and they were judged and found guilty; and they went to the place of damnation, and were thrown into a deep place, full of fire, burning and full of pillars of fire. 25And those seventy shepherds were judged and found guilty, and they also were thrown into that abyss of fire. 26And I saw at that time how a similar abyss was opened in the middle of the earth which was full of fire, and they brought those blind sheep, and they were all judged and found guilty and thrown into that 27 G ‘this’. abyss of fire, and they burned; and that 28 Some Eth. MSS ‘this’; M corrupt. abyss was on the south 29 Lit. ‘right’. of that house. 27And I saw those sheep burning, and their bones were burning. 28And I stood up to look until he folded up 30 folded up: so NP(Y); D′ ‘changed’; M corrupt; other MSS ‘submerged’. that old house, and they removed all the pillars, and all the beams and ornaments of that house were folded up with it; and they removed it and put it in a place in the south 29 Lit. ‘right’. of the land. 29And I looked until the Lord of the sheep brought a new house, larger and higher than that 31 MQTD′ ‘the’. first one, and he set it up on the site of the first one which had been folded up; and all its pillars were new, 32 TD′B2NX add ‘and its beams were new’. and its ornaments were new and larger than those of the first one, the old one which he had removed. And the Lord of the sheep was in the middle of it. 33 So M and some Eth.II MSS (M om. ‘And’): all other MSS ‘And all the sheep were within it’ (G om. ‘And’). 30And I saw all the sheep which were left, and all the animals on the earth and all the birds of heaven falling down and worshipping those sheep, and entreating them and obeying them 34 and obeying them: GQ om. in every command. 31And after this those three who were dressed in white and had taken hold of me by my hand, the ones who had brought me up at first – they, with the hand of that ram also holding me, took me up and put me down in the middle of those sheep before the judgement was held. 32And those sheep were all white, and their wool thick and pure. 33And all those which had been destroyed and scattered and all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven gathered together in that house, and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced very much because they were all good and had returned to his house. 34And I looked until they had laid down that sword which had been given to the sheep, and they brought it back into his 35 G ‘the’. house, and it was sealed before the Lord; and all the sheep were enclosed in 36 G ‘invited into’. that house, but it did not hold them. 35And the eyes of all of them were opened, and they saw well, and there was not one among them that did not see. 36And I saw that that house was large and broad and exceptionally full. 37And I saw how a white bull was born, and its horns were big, and all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven were afraid of it and entreated it continually. 38And I looked until all their species were transformed, and they all became white bulls; and the first one among them was 37 Or ‘became’. a wild-ox, 38 All Eth. MSS have ‘word’ (nagar): in all probability this derives ultimately from a transliteration of the Aramaic word for ‘wild-ox’. and that wild-ox was 37 Or ‘became’. a large animal and had big black horns on its head. And the Lord of the sheep rejoiced over them and over all the bulls. 39And I was asleep in the middle of them; and I woke up and saw everything. 40And this is the vision which I saw while I was asleep, and I woke up and blessed the Lord of righteousness and ascribed glory to him. 41But after this I wept bitterly, and my tears did not stop until I could not endure it: when I looked, they ran down 39 when I … ran down: G ‘when I looked, for these ran down’; M corrupt; QT1D′ ‘but they ran down’. on account of that which I saw, for everything will come to pass and be fulfilled; and all the deeds of men in their order were shown to me. 42That night I remembered my 40 GMQTD′ ‘the’. first dream, and because of it I wept and was disturbed, because I had seen that vision.

Notes:

1 So all MSS except M (QD′ corruptly), but a mistake for ‘thirty-five’: M om.

2 GQT ‘in my vision’; D′ ‘with my eyes’.

3 GQ ‘and I looked’; M ‘and I saw’.

4 GMQD′ om.

5 GMQTD′ ‘And behold, lambs’.

6 D′L2N ‘And the sheep cried to them, but they’; GOB′ ‘But they did not cry to them and’; M ‘But they oppressed them and’; Q ‘And they cried to them, but they’; T ‘But they did not hear them and’.

7 what they said to them: GMQTD′N ‘their words’.

8 and excessively blinded: so T Eth.II; GMQ ‘blinded and heavy’(?), but the text is of uncertain meaning; D′ corrupt.

9 D′ ‘broke their horns’.

10 So GC′: all other MSS om (‘one of those sheep’ will then be in apposition to ‘a big horn’).

11 GMT add ‘and their eyes saw’.

12 GQT ‘they’.

13 to it: GMQTD′ om.

14 G ‘and he helped it, and saved it, and showed it everything; he had come down for the help of that ram’.

15 GTD′ ‘the’; M corrupt.

16 So GMD′: other MSS ‘his’.

17 Some Eth.II MSS ‘and brought with them all the wild asses’; GQD′ (QD′ in part corruptly) ‘and all the wild sheep came with them’.

18 GMQTD′ add ‘all’.

19 all the: TX ‘the’; some Eth.II MSS ‘these’.

20 took … opened: the verbs are in the singular (TD′ have the second one in the plural), but I take them to be used impersonally.

21 Eth.II om.

22 the first star: so GL; all other MSS ‘beginning with the first star’ (lit. ‘from the first star’), and the text has commonly been emended to read ‘beginning with the first star which led the way, all the stars whose…’.

23 All MSS add a dittograph ‘and the first star which fell (G ‘went out’) first’.

24 and they brought … before him: C′ ‘they brought it before him’.

25 MQTD′ ‘one of those seven white ones’; G ‘from those white ones’.

26 GQD′HOXB′ ‘to them’.

27 G ‘this’.

28 Some Eth. MSS ‘this’; M corrupt.

29 Lit. ‘right’.

30 folded up: so NP(Y); D′ ‘changed’; M corrupt; other MSS ‘submerged’.

31 MQTD′ ‘the’.

32 TD′B2NX add ‘and its beams were new’.

33 So M and some Eth.II MSS (M om. ‘And’): all other MSS ‘And all the sheep were within it’ (G om. ‘And’).

34 and obeying them: GQ om.

35 G ‘the’.

36 G ‘invited into’.

37 Or ‘became’.

38 All Eth. MSS have ‘word’ (nagar): in all probability this derives ultimately from a transliteration of the Aramaic word for ‘wild-ox’.

39 when I … ran down: G ‘when I looked, for these ran down’; M corrupt; QT1D′ ‘but they ran down’.

40 GMQTD′ ‘the’.

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