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

Chapter XXII

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Text Commentary

1And it came to pass in the first week in the forty-fourth jubilee, in the second year, 1 Probably ‘…sixth…forty- second…seventh…’ should be read. that is the year in which Abraham died, that Isaac and Ishmael came from the Well of the Oath to celebrate the feast of weeks (that is, the feast of the first-fruits of the harvest) to Abraham, their father; and Abraham rejoiced because his two sons had come. 2For Isaac had many possessions in Beersheba, and Isaac's habit was to go and look to his possessions and then return to his father. 3And in those days Ishmael came to see his father, and they both 2 So Lat. came together; and Isaac sacrificed a whole-offering and offered it on his father's altar that he had made in Hebron. 4And he offered a thank-offering and prepared a joyful feast in his brother Ishmael's presence; and Rebecca made a new cake from the new grain, and she gave it to her son Jacob to take to his father Abraham, from the first fruits of the land, so that he might eat it and bless the creator of all things before he died. 5And Isaac, too, sent Abraham a thank-offering by Jacob's hand, that he might eat and drink. 6And he ate and drank, and he blessed the Most High God, who created heaven and earth, who made all the good things on the earth, and gave them to the sons of men so that they might eat and drink and bless their creator.

7And now, he said, I give thee thanks, my God, because thou hast let me see this day: behold, I am a hundred and seventy-five years old, an old man with a long life-span, and I have prospered all my days. 3 Lit. ‘and all my days have been peace to me’. 8The enemy's sword has never at any time prevailed against me, nor against my children. 9My God, may thy mercy and thy peace be upon thy servant, and upon his descendants, 4 So Lat.: Eth. ‘his sons' descendants’. that they may be to thee a chosen nation and a possession out of all the nations of the earth, now and in every generation on the earth for evermore.

10And he called Jacob and said, Jacob, my son, may the God of all bless you and strengthen you to do rightousness, and to do his will before him; and may he choose you and your seed to be always a people for his own possession according to his will. And now, Jacob my son, come near and kiss me.

11And he came near and kissed him; and he said, May God Most High bless you, Jacob my son, and all your sons for ever: may God give you righteous offspring, and through your sons may he be hallowed in all the earth: 5 Text ‘and from your sons may he hallow in the midst of the whole earth’. may nations serve you, and may all nations bow down before your sons. 6 Lit. ‘seed’. 12Be strong in the presence of men, and have authority among all the sons 6 Lit. ‘seed’. of Seth: then your ways and your sons' ways will be justified, so that they may become a holy nation. 13May the Most High God give you all the blessings with which he has blessed me, and with which he blessed Noah and Adam: may they rest on the hallowed heads of your descendants in every generation for ever. 14And may he cleanse you from all unrighteousness 7 So Lat.: Eth. ‘defilement’. and impurity, so that you may be forgiven all your transgressions and your errors committed in ignorance; and may he strengthen you and bless you, and may you possess the whole earth. 15And may he renew his covenant with you, that you may be to him a nation for his own possession always, and that he may be to you and your descendants a God in truth and righteousness as long as the earth shall last.

16And do you, Jacob my son, remember my words, and observe the commands of your father Abraham. Keep yourself separate from the nations, and do not eat with them; and do not imitate their rites, 8 Lit. ‘and do not according to their works’. nor associate yourself with them; for their rites 9 Lit. ‘works’. are unclean and all their practices 10 Lit. ‘ways’. polluted, an abomination and unclean. 17They offer their sacrifices to the dead and worship demons, and they eat among the graves; yet all their rites 9 Lit. ‘works’. are worthless and to no purpose. 18They have no mind 11 Lit. ‘heart’. to understand, and their eyes do not see what it is they really do, 12 Lit. ‘what their works are’. and how great is their error when they say to a piece of wood, You are my god, and to a stone, You are my lord, and, You are my deliverer. They have no mind 11 Lit. ‘heart’. to understand.

19And as for you, Jacob my son, may the Most High God help you and the God of heaven bless you and keep you from their uncleanness and all their error. 20On no account, Jacob my son, take as a wife a woman descended from Canaan; for all his descendants are to be uprooted from the earth. 21For through Ham's transgression Canaan also went astray, and all his descendants will be destroyed from the earth: there will be no survivors; 13 Lit. ‘and all the residue of them’. and none of them will be saved on the day of judgement. 22And as for all those who make idols their gods, and the profane, 14 The MSS vary here between ‘the hated ones’ and ‘the perverse’. there shall be no hope for them in the land of the living; for they shall descend into Sheol, and into the place of punishment shall they go, and there shall be no memory of them on the earth. As the sons of Sodom were taken away from the earth, so will all those be taken away who make idols their gods.

23Have no fear, Jacob my son, and do not be dismayed, you son of Abraham: may the Most High God keep you from destruction, and may he preserve you from all erroneous paths. 24This house have I built for myself that I might put my name on it on the earth: it is given to you and your descendants for ever; and it shall be called the house of Abraham. It is given to you and your descendants for ever; for you shall build my house and establish my name before God for ever. Your descendants and your name shall endure through all the generations of the earth.

25,26And he finished his charge and his blessing of him. And the two were lying together on one bed, and Jacob was asleep in his grandfather Abraham's lap; and he kissed him seven times, and his heart and soul 15 Lit. ‘his affection and his heart’ – and similarly in verse 28. rejoiced over him. 27And he blessed him with all his heart and said, The Most High God, the God of all and creator of all, who brought me out of Ur of the Chaldees, that he might give me this land as a possession for ever, and that I might establish a holy race, 6 Lit. ‘seed’. so that the Most High may be blessed for ever, and so that Jacob may bless him… 16 So, following the majority of MSS, and with a slight emendation. In any case, something has gone radically wrong in this passage, and the probability is that some words have fallen out of the text, not only here, but also later on in the middle of verse 28. Charles, well aware that as things stand there is no main verb, solved the difficulty here by offering an admittedly inexact translation (‘…and that I might establish a holy seed – blessed be the Most High for ever.28 And he blessed Jacob and said, My son…’) and suggesting that verse 27 is an interpolation: he made no comment, however, on the seemingly very abrupt change of address in the middle of verse 28. 28My son, over whom I rejoice with all my heart and soul…may thy grace and thy mercy be on him and on his descendants always. 29And do not forsake him or abandon him from now until eternity; and may thine eyes be on him and on his descendants, that thou mayest preserve him, and bless him, and hallow him as a nation for thine own possession. 30And bless him with all thy blessings from now until eternity; and renew thy covenant and thy grace with him and with his descendants in accordance with thy chosen purpose in every generation on the earth.

Notes:

1 Probably ‘…sixth…forty- second…seventh…’ should be read.

2 So Lat.

3 Lit. ‘and all my days have been peace to me’.

4 So Lat.: Eth. ‘his sons' descendants’.

5 Text ‘and from your sons may he hallow in the midst of the whole earth’.

6 Lit. ‘seed’.

7 So Lat.: Eth. ‘defilement’.

8 Lit. ‘and do not according to their works’.

9 Lit. ‘works’.

10 Lit. ‘ways’.

11 Lit. ‘heart’.

12 Lit. ‘what their works are’.

13 Lit. ‘and all the residue of them’.

14 The MSS vary here between ‘the hated ones’ and ‘the perverse’.

15 Lit. ‘his affection and his heart’ – and similarly in verse 28.

16 So, following the majority of MSS, and with a slight emendation. In any case, something has gone radically wrong in this passage, and the probability is that some words have fallen out of the text, not only here, but also later on in the middle of verse 28. Charles, well aware that as things stand there is no main verb, solved the difficulty here by offering an admittedly inexact translation (‘…and that I might establish a holy seed – blessed be the Most High for ever.28 And he blessed Jacob and said, My son…’) and suggesting that verse 27 is an interpolation: he made no comment, however, on the seemingly very abrupt change of address in the middle of verse 28.

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