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

Chapter CIII

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Text Commentary

1And now I swear to you, the righteous, by his great glory and his honour, and by his magnificent sovereignty 1 by his great … sovereignty: so Eth.II; G ‘by the glory of the One who is great and honoured and mighty in sovereignty’; QTD′ ‘by the glory of the Great One and by his magnificent sovereignty’; other Eth.I MSS differ slightly. Most of verse 1 has not survived in Gk.m. and by his majesty I swear to you that I understand this 2 this: GGaMQ om. mystery. 2And 3 Gk.m ‘for’. I have read the tablets of heaven and seen the writing of the holy ones, 4 (G)Q(T) ‘the holy writing’; D′ corrupt; Gk.m ‘the writing of authority’. and I 3found written and engraved in it 5 GMQTD′ ‘them’. concerning them 6 and I found … them: Gk.m ‘I learned what was written and engraved on them [concerning] you’; D′ also has ‘concerning you’. that all good 7 all good: Gk.m ‘good things’. and joy and honour have been made ready and written down for the spirits of those who 8 GQD′ ‘for your spirits which’; Ga corrupt; Gk.m ‘for the s[ouls] of those who’. have died in righteousness, and that much good will be given to you in recompense for your toil, and that your lot will be more excellent than the lot of the living. 4And the spirits of you 9 MT1D′ ‘of those who’. who have died in righteousness will live, 10 and that much good … will live: Gk.m om. by hmt. and their spirits will rejoice and be glad, 11 and be glad: G(Ga) ‘and be glad and will not be destroyed’; M corrupt; QTD′ Gk.m ‘and will not be destroyed’. and the memory of them will remain 12 GMQT1D′ Gk.m ‘nor will the memory of them be destroyed’. before the Great One for all the generations of eternity. Therefore do not fear their abuse. 5Woe to you, you sinners, 13 GGaMQTD′ ‘Woe to you, you sinners who are dead’; Gk.m ‘And you, you who are dead of the sinners’. when you die in 14 GGaMTD′ add ‘the wealth of’. your sin, and those who are like you say about you, Blessed were the sinners; they saw all their days. 15 Gk.m ‘when you die they will say about you, Blessed were the sinners all the days that they saw’. 6And now they have died in prosperity and wealth; distress and slaughter they did not see 16 And now … not see: Gk.m om. by hmt. during their life, but they died in glory, and judgement was not executed on them during their life. 7Know 17 BCXC′ ‘Do you know’; Gk.m ‘You yourselves know’. that their souls 18 T ‘their spirits’; GQD′ ‘your spirits’; Gk.m ‘your souls’. will be made to go down into Sheol, and they will be wretched, and 19 So D′CC′: other Eth. MSS om. their 8distress will be great; 20 and they … great: Gk.m ‘and there they will be in great distress’. and in darkness and in chains and in burning flames your spirits 21 your spirits: Gk.m ‘and your souls’. will come to the great judgement, and the great judgement will last 22 and the great … last: Gk.m om. for all generations for ever. 23 GGa(M)QTD′ ‘for all (Ga(M) om. ‘all’) the generations of eternity’; Gk.m “in all the generations of eternity’. Woe to you, for you will not have peace. 24 Gk.m ‘Woe to you, there is no joy for you’. 9Do not say to the righteous and good who were alive, 25 Gk.m ‘For do not say, you who were righteous 〈and〉 holy in your life’. In the days of our 26 M Gk.m om.; GGaQT1D′ ‘their’; Ga continues with the third person throughout verses 9–13 and in part in verses 14f. affliction we toiled laboriously and saw every affliction and met many evils; 27 and saw … many evils: Gk.m om. we were spent and became few, and our spirit small. 10We were destroyed, 28 and our spirit … destroyed: Gk.m om. and there was no one who helped us with words or deeds; we were powerless and found nothing. 29 and there was no one … found nothing: G(Ga)MQD′ ‘and did not find anyone to help us even with a word’; Gk.m ‘and we did not find a helper’. 11We were tortured and destroyed, and did not expect to see life from one day to the next. 30 Gk.m ‘and gave up hope of knowing safety again day by day’. We hoped to become the head, but became the tail. We toiled and laboured, but were not masters of the fruits of our toil; 31 Gk.m corrupt, apparently ‘of our wages’. we became food for the sinners, and the lawless made 32 GGaMQTD′ ‘for the sinners and the lawless, and (GaMQTD′ om. ‘and’) they made’. their yoke heavy upon us. 12Those who hated us and those who goaded us 33 and those who goaded us: Q ‘and those who hated us and goaded us’; D′ ‘and those who goaded us and surrounded us’. were masters of us, 34 Those who … masters of us: Gk.m ‘Those who rule us, our enemies, goad us and surround us’. and to those who hated us we bowed our necks, but they did not have mercy on us. 35 and to those … mercy on us: Gk.m om. 13We sought to escape from them that we might flee and be at rest, 36 that we might … rest: Gk.m ‘that we might be refreshed’ (the remainder of verse 13 and beginning of verse 14 has not survived). but we found no place where we might flee and be safe from them. 14We complained about them to the rulers in our distress and cried out against those who devoured us, 37 Gk.m ‘against those who struck us down and inflicted violence on us’. but they took no notice of our cry 38 Gk.m ‘and they did not receive our petitions’. and did not wish to listen to our voice. 15And they helped those who plundered us and devoured us and those who made us few, 39 Gk.m ‘And they did not help us, not finding anything against those who inflicted violence on us and devoured us, but they harden against us them 〈who〉 killed us and made us few’. and they concealed their wrongdoing and did not remove from us the yoke of those who 40 the yoke of those who: so GGaMFOB′C′; other Eth. MSS ‘their yoke, but they’. devoured us and scattered us and killed us; 41 and they concealed their … killed us: Gk.m om. and they concealed our slaughter and did not remember that they had raised their hands against us. 42 and they concealed our … against us: Gk.m ‘and they bring no charge concerning those of us who have been murdered, and concerning 〈the〉 sinners they do not remember their sins’.

Notes:

1 by his great … sovereignty: so Eth.II; G ‘by the glory of the One who is great and honoured and mighty in sovereignty’; QTD′ ‘by the glory of the Great One and by his magnificent sovereignty’; other Eth.I MSS differ slightly. Most of verse 1 has not survived in Gk.m.

2 this: GGaMQ om.

3 Gk.m ‘for’.

4 (G)Q(T) ‘the holy writing’; D′ corrupt; Gk.m ‘the writing of authority’.

5 GMQTD′ ‘them’.

6 and I found … them: Gk.m ‘I learned what was written and engraved on them [concerning] you’; D′ also has ‘concerning you’.

7 all good: Gk.m ‘good things’.

8 GQD′ ‘for your spirits which’; Ga corrupt; Gk.m ‘for the s[ouls] of those who’.

9 MT1D′ ‘of those who’.

10 and that much good … will live: Gk.m om. by hmt.

11 and be glad: G(Ga) ‘and be glad and will not be destroyed’; M corrupt; QTD′ Gk.m ‘and will not be destroyed’.

12 GMQT1D′ Gk.m ‘nor will the memory of them be destroyed’.

13 GGaMQTD′ ‘Woe to you, you sinners who are dead’; Gk.m ‘And you, you who are dead of the sinners’.

14 GGaMTD′ add ‘the wealth of’.

15 Gk.m ‘when you die they will say about you, Blessed were the sinners all the days that they saw’.

16 And now … not see: Gk.m om. by hmt.

17 BCXC′ ‘Do you know’; Gk.m ‘You yourselves know’.

18 T ‘their spirits’; GQD′ ‘your spirits’; Gk.m ‘your souls’.

19 So D′CC′: other Eth. MSS om.

20 and they … great: Gk.m ‘and there they will be in great distress’.

21 your spirits: Gk.m ‘and your souls’.

22 and the great … last: Gk.m om.

23 GGa(M)QTD′ ‘for all (Ga(M) om. ‘all’) the generations of eternity’; Gk.m “in all the generations of eternity’.

24 Gk.m ‘Woe to you, there is no joy for you’.

25 Gk.m ‘For do not say, you who were righteous 〈and〉 holy in your life’.

26 M Gk.m om.; GGaQT1D′ ‘their’; Ga continues with the third person throughout verses 9–13 and in part in verses 14f.

27 and saw … many evils: Gk.m om.

28 and our spirit … destroyed: Gk.m om.

29 and there was no one … found nothing: G(Ga)MQD′ ‘and did not find anyone to help us even with a word’; Gk.m ‘and we did not find a helper’.

30 Gk.m ‘and gave up hope of knowing safety again day by day’.

31 Gk.m corrupt, apparently ‘of our wages’.

32 GGaMQTD′ ‘for the sinners and the lawless, and (GaMQTD′ om. ‘and’) they made’.

33 and those who goaded us: Q ‘and those who hated us and goaded us’; D′ ‘and those who goaded us and surrounded us’.

34 Those who … masters of us: Gk.m ‘Those who rule us, our enemies, goad us and surround us’.

35 and to those … mercy on us: Gk.m om.

36 that we might … rest: Gk.m ‘that we might be refreshed’ (the remainder of verse 13 and beginning of verse 14 has not survived).

37 Gk.m ‘against those who struck us down and inflicted violence on us’.

38 Gk.m ‘and they did not receive our petitions’.

39 Gk.m ‘And they did not help us, not finding anything against those who inflicted violence on us and devoured us, but they harden against us them 〈who〉 killed us and made us few’.

40 the yoke of those who: so GGaMFOB′C′; other Eth. MSS ‘their yoke, but they’.

41 and they concealed their … killed us: Gk.m om.

42 and they concealed our … against us: Gk.m ‘and they bring no charge concerning those of us who have been murdered, and concerning 〈the〉 sinners they do not remember their sins’.

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