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

Chapter XIII

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Text Commentary

1And now, my children, listen to what your father says and to all the commands I give you to-day: live your lives as in the Lord's presence, 1 The passage ‘For a place (xi. 37) … the Lord's presence’ and the phrase ‘you have to do’ are found in U only, and Vaillant regards them both as interpolations. He supposes that the original passed without a break from the words of the Lord to those of Enoch, and that the additions, both in U and in R (i.e. chap. xii) are independent attempts to effect a smooth transition. He further explains ‘whatever is in accordance with the Lord's will’ as a chapter-heading incorporated into the text. and see that whatever you have to do 1 The passage ‘For a place (xi. 37) … the Lord's presence’ and the phrase ‘you have to do’ are found in U only, and Vaillant regards them both as interpolations. He supposes that the original passed without a break from the words of the Lord to those of Enoch, and that the additions, both in U and in R (i.e. chap. xii) are independent attempts to effect a smooth transition. He further explains ‘whatever is in accordance with the Lord's will’ as a chapter-heading incorporated into the text. is in accordance with the Lord's will. 1 The passage ‘For a place (xi. 37) … the Lord's presence’ and the phrase ‘you have to do’ are found in U only, and Vaillant regards them both as interpolations. He supposes that the original passed without a break from the words of the Lord to those of Enoch, and that the additions, both in U and in R (i.e. chap. xii) are independent attempts to effect a smooth transition. He further explains ‘whatever is in accordance with the Lord's will’ as a chapter-heading incorporated into the text. 2For I am sent to you by the Lord's command 2 Lit. ‘from the mouth of the Lord’. to tell you everything that is and everything that will be to the day of judgement. 3And now, my children, it is not from my own mouth that I am speaking to you to-day, but from the Lord's mouth, who has sent me to you. 4For you hear my words from my mouth, from the mouth of a man fashioned just like you; but I have heard the Lord's words from the Lord's fiery mouth (for the Lord's mouth is a fiery furnace and his words a fiery flame that issues forth). 5You, my children, see my face, the face of a man fashioned just like you; but I have seen the Lord's face, like a piece of iron heated in the fire that scatters sparks. 6For you see a man's eyes, the eyes of a man fashioned just like you; but I have seen 3 U ‘spoken’. the Lord's eyes, like the rays of the shining sun that dazzles human eyes. 7You, my children, see my right hand motioning to you, 4 Or, as BR, ‘helping you’. the hand of a man made just like you; but I have seen the Lord's right hand motioning to me 5 Or, as BR, ‘helping me’. and filling the heaven. 8You can see how large my body is, that it is just like yours; but I have seen how great the Lord is, that he is immeasurable, incomparable, and has no end. 9For you hear the words of my mouth; but I have heard the Lord's words, like 6 U ‘as of’. great thunder with unceasing tumult of the clouds. 10And now, my children, listen to someone talking about an earthly king and saying, It is terrifying and perilous to stand before an earthly king, frightening and very perilous, 7 U om. ‘and very perilous’. for the king's will is death and the king's will is life. 11But to stand before the King of kings 8 of kings = B: U om. – who can endure the infinite fear or the great heat? 12But the Lord called one of his angels in charge of Tartarus 9 one of his angels in charge of Tartarus (or ‘the horror’) = BNBa: UR ‘one of his terrible elder angels’. and set him by me; and the appearance of that angel was like snow, and his hands were ice, and he cooled my face (for I could not endure the terror of the fiery heat). 13And so the Lord spoke all his words to me.

14So now, my children, I know all things, some from the mouth of the Lord, some my eyes have seen, from the beginning to the end and from the end to the renewal. 15I know everything, and I have written down in the books the extent of the heavens and all that is in them: I have measured their movements and I know their hosts: I have completed the count of 10 BR ‘I have written down’. the stars, a great multitude without number. 16What man can understand their revolutions 11 Lit. ‘the circuits of their changes’. or their movements or their returnings, or those that lead them or those that are led? Not even the angels know their number; but I have written down their names. 17And I have measured the circle of the sun, and I have numbered its rays 12 So BR: U ‘their faces’. and its goings in and its goings out and all its movements: I have written down their names. 18And I have measured the circle of the moon, and its movements every day, the waning 13 the waning = BR: U corrupt. of its light every day and hour; and I have written out its names in the books. 14 Cp. 1 Enoch lxxviii. 2. 19The dwellings of the clouds and their mouths and their wings and their rains and their drops have I explored; and I have written of the rumbling of the thunder and the wonder of the lightning. 20And they showed me their custodians and the passages measured out for them to go up and down 15 Lit. ‘their passages where they go up by measure’. (they go up bound and descend bound, lest with rude violence they tear down the clouds and destroy everything that is on the earth). 21I have written down the treasuries of the snow and the storehouses of the ice and the cold airs: 16 the cold airs: Ba ‘cold air; BN ‘the air and cold’. I have observed how from time to time 17 Lit. ‘how at times’. their custodians fill the clouds, yet the treasuries are not exhausted. 22I have written down the resting-places of the winds: I have looked and seen how their custodians bring their balances and measures: first they put them on the balance, 18 and measures … on the balance = BNBaR: U om. and then in the measure; and they let them out by measure over the whole earth, lest with a rude breath they shake the earth.

23From there I was taken down and came to the place of judgement; and I saw hell open, and I saw there a piece of level ground 19 So B (lit. ‘a certain plain’): U corrupt. like a prison, a judgement-place without measure. 24And I descended and wrote down all the judgements of whose who were judged, and I saw 20 Vaillant emends ‘I understood’. all their questionings; and I sighed and wept for the perdition of the impious, and I said to myself, Happy the man who was never born, or who after birth lived without sin in the Lord's eyes, so as not to come to this place or bear the yoke of this place. 25And I saw the keepers of the keys of hell standing by the massive gates: their faces 21 So BNBaR: U corrupt. were like the faces of great asps, their eyes like candles that had gone out, and their teeth were bared and reached down to their chests. 26And I said to them openly, Would that 22 So Vaillant. The MSS differ and are clearly all corrupt. I had not seen you nor caught sight 22 So Vaillant. The MSS differ and are clearly all corrupt. of what you do: may none of my kinsmen ever come to you.

27And from there I went up into the Paradise of the righteous; and I saw there a blessed place, and every creature is blessed, and all live in joy and gladness, and in measureless light, and in eternal life. 28Then I said, my children (and now 23 and now = NBa: U om. I say it again to you), Happy the man who fears the name of the Lord, who will serve him as though in his presence always, 24 Lit. ‘who will serve before his face for ever’. and make gifts, offerings of life, 25 Or ‘will make gifts by offerings of life’. and who will live his life and die. 29Happy the man who will do what is just and right, 26 Lit. ‘who will make a righteous judgement (to)’. and clothe the naked with a garment and give bread to the hungry. 30Happy the man who will champion 26 Lit. ‘who will make a righteous judgement (to)’. the orphan and widow, and who will help all who have been wronged. 31Happy the man who will refuse 27 BNBaR ‘turn back from’. the unstable way, and who walks in the paths of righteousness. 32Happy, too, the man who sows righteous seed, for he shall reap it sevenfold. 33Happy the man in whom is truth and who speaks the truth to his neighbour. 34Happy the man on whose lips is true pity and gentleness. 35Happy the man who shall understand the works of the Lord and glorify him, and 28 and glorify him, and: so the fragment Mpr: U om. through his works come to know him who made them.

36And behold, my children, after I had examined the things that have been ordained 29 So Vaillant: U ‘leaving the countries (or ‘limits’)’. on earth, I wrote them down. 37I compared all the years, and of the year I measured the months, and of the month I counted the days, and of the day I counted the hours. 38I measured the hours and wrote them out: I distinguished between the different kinds of men 30 Lit. ‘I distinguished every seed on earth’. The sequel in verses 40 and 41 below, as Vaillant points out, makes it clear that ‘seed’ is a metaphor as in Ecclus. x. 19 . on earth; and I measured and proved every measure and every honest balance, as 31 the Lord … another hour = Mpr, supported by some MSS: U corrupt. the Lord commanded me. 39And I found a difference in these things: one year is more notable than another year, one day than another day, one hour than another hour. 31 the Lord … another hour = Mpr, supported by some MSS: U corrupt. 40So also one man is more notable than another man, one because of his great possessions, another because of his wisdom, another because of his intelligence, his skill, and his ability to keep quiet. 32 Lit. ‘and the silence of his mouth’. 41But there is none greater than the man who fears the Lord; for those who fear the Lord will be honoured 33 Or ‘glorious’. for ever.

42The Lord created man with his own hands, and in the likeness of his own face: small and great the Lord made them. 42He who reviles the face of man, reviles the face of the Lord: he who detests the face of man, detests the face of the Lord: he who despises the face of man despises the face of the Lord: wrath and great judgement are appointed for those who spit in the face of man. 44 But happy the man who turns his heart 34 his heart = Mpr etc.: U om. towards every man, to help the man on trial, 35 Lit. ‘him who is judged’. to raise up the fallen, 36 Or ‘the bruised’. and to give to the needy; for in the day of 37 in the day of = Mpr etc.: U om. the great judgement all men's deeds will be recalled by the record. 38 Lit. ‘the writing’. 45Happy the man whose measure is honest and his weight honest and his balance honest; for in the day of the great judgement every measure and every weight and every balance will be on show, as if in the market, and each man will know the truth about his measure and receive his reward accordingly. 46The man who makes 39 B ‘He who hastens’; R ‘He who hastens and makes’. an offering before the Lord, the Lord will make his affairs to prosper: 40 Lit. ‘will direct (R, supported by B, ‘hasten’) his acquisitions’. the man who fills the lamp before the Lord with oil, the Lord will fill his barns with wheat. 41 Lit. ‘the man who increases the lamp before the Lord, the Lord will increase his barns’. 47Does the Lord need bread or candles or sheep or cattle? Not at all; but in this way the Lord tests the heart of man. 48For then the Lord will send his great light, and in that 42 So BR Mpr: U ‘in the darkness’. will the judgement be; and who, if there, can be hidden?

49Now, my children, bear all this in mind, and pay attention to what your father is saying – to everything I am telling you as the Lord instructed me. 43 Lit. ‘I am telling you from the Lord's mouth’. 50Take these books, the books written by your father's hand, and read them, and learn from them the Lord's 51works, that there is none but the Lord alone, who has set the foundations on the unknown, stretched out the heavens above the invisible, set the earth on the waters and founded it on the unstable, who alone made the countless things in his creation (for who has counted the dust of the earth or the sand of the sea, or the drops of 52the clouds?), who has bound together the earth and the sea with indissoluble bonds, who has struck out from the fire the incomprehensible beauty of the stars 44 of the stars = B, supported by R: U om. and has adorned the heaven, who has created all things so that what was invisible became visible, 45 Lit. ‘… all things from the invisible into the visible (so B; R ‘into appearance’; U corrupt). being himself invisible. 53And pass these books on to your children, and see that your children pass them on to their children, and to all your kin and all your generations, 46 Or ‘nations’. to 47 So Vaillant: U reads ‘… generations: those who have wisdom … Lord will receive …’ those who have wisdom and fear the Lord; and 47 So Vaillant: U reads ‘… generations: those who have wisdom … Lord will receive …’ they will receive them and take more delight in them than in any choice food, and they will read them and hold fast 48 hold fast = BR: U corrupt. to them. 54But the foolish and those who do not know the Lord will not receive them, but will repudiate them; for their yoke will weigh them down. 55Happy the man who will bear their yoke and hold fast to it, for he will find his recompense 49 The probable sense: U reads ‘he will find it’. in the day of the great judgement.

56For I swear to you, my children, that before man existed, a place of judgement was prepared for him; and a measure and a weight, by which man will be tested, has been prepared there beforehand. 57And I shall set down every man's deeds in writing, and no one will be able to escape. 58So then, my children, live out your span of life in patience and gentleness, so that you may inherit the eternal age that is to come. 59And every blow and every wound and scorching heat and every evil word, if it comes upon you 50 upon you = BNBa: U om. for the Lord's sake, endure it; and though you may be able to retaliate, do not retaliate upon your neighbour, for retaliation is the Lord's, and he will be your avenger in the day of the great judgement. 60Suffer the loss of your gold and silver for your brother's sake, so that you may receive heavenly 51 heavenly: corrupt in all MSS: U ‘which is of the flesh’; R ‘which is full’; NBa Mpr ‘not scanty’. treasure in the day of judgement. 61And stretch out your hands to the orphan and the widow, and help the poor to the utmost of your power; and they will be a protection 52 B ‘and you will find protection’. in the time of trial. 62Every hard and heavy yoke, 53 So BR Mpr: U corrupt. if it comes upon you for the Lord's sake, endure it, 54 So B: U ‘loosen it’; R ‘endure all and loosen them’. and thus you will find your reward in the day of judgement. 63In the morning and at noon and in the evening of the day 55 of the day = BNBaR: U ‘and to-day’. it is good to go into the house of the Lord to glorify the creator of all things.

64Happy the man who opens his heart to praises, and who praises the Lord: a curse upon him who opens his heart to reviling and to slandering his neighbour.

65Happy the man who opens his mouth to bless and glorify the Lord: a curse on him who opens his mouth to curse and blaspheme in the Lord's presence.

66Happy the man who honours all the Lord's works: a curse upon him who reviles the Lord's creation.

67Happy the man who regards 56 So BNBaR: U ‘compares’. the labours of his own hands to establish them: 57 Lit. ‘to raise them up’. a curse upon him who looks for an occasion to destroy the labours of others.

68Happy the man who maintains the foundations of the fathers of old: 58 of old = BR Mpr: U corrupt. a curse upon him who destroys his fathers' laws and boundaries.

69Happy the man who sows peace: a curse upon him who destroys those who are at peace.

70Happy the man who speaks peace, 59 and peace … not speak peace = B, supported by NBaR: U om. and peace is with him: a curse upon him who does not speak peace 59 and peace … not speak peace = B, supported by NBaR: U om. and there is no peace in his heart.

71All this will be revealed in the measure and in the books in the day of the great judgement. 60 So B etc.: U ‘the judgement of the proud one’.

72So, my children, keep your hearts from all wickedness: †according to the balance of light, be heirs† 61 The MSS are in confusion here. Vaillant translates ‘in the balance inherit the light’. The idea seems to be that after Enoch's sons (or their hearts) had been weighed in the balance and approved they should inherit eternal light (cp. the illustrations in the Egyptian Papyrus of Ani of the weighing of Ani's heart in a balance and his subsequent introduction into the presence of Osiris). for ever. 73You must not say, my children, our father is with the Lord and in answer to his prayers we shall be forgiven our sin. 62 Lit. ‘and he will pray us out of our sin’. 74You see that I record all the deeds of every man; and no one can destroy what my hand has written, for the Lord sees everything. 75So now, my children, listen to all your father's words, all that I am saying to you, so that they may be an inheritance of peace for you. 76And the books that I have given you, do not hide them: 63 So NBaR: U ‘do not cast them aside’. explain them to all who desire to look into them, for they 64 So NBa: U ‘you’. may, perhaps, recognize the works of the Lord. 77For behold, my children, the day of the time appointed is drawing near, and the time appointed leaves me no choice: the angels who are to go with me are standing before me; and tomorrow I shall go up to the highest heaven, to my eternal inheritance. 78This is why I command you, my children, to do the Lord's will in all things.

Notes:

1 The passage ‘For a place (xi. 37) … the Lord's presence’ and the phrase ‘you have to do’ are found in U only, and Vaillant regards them both as interpolations. He supposes that the original passed without a break from the words of the Lord to those of Enoch, and that the additions, both in U and in R (i.e. chap. xii) are independent attempts to effect a smooth transition. He further explains ‘whatever is in accordance with the Lord's will’ as a chapter-heading incorporated into the text.

2 Lit. ‘from the mouth of the Lord’.

3 U ‘spoken’.

4 Or, as BR, ‘helping you’.

5 Or, as BR, ‘helping me’.

6 U ‘as of’.

7 U om. ‘and very perilous’.

8 of kings = B: U om.

9 one of his angels in charge of Tartarus (or ‘the horror’) = BNBa: UR ‘one of his terrible elder angels’.

10 BR ‘I have written down’.

11 Lit. ‘the circuits of their changes’.

12 So BR: U ‘their faces’.

13 the waning = BR: U corrupt.

14 Cp. 1 Enoch lxxviii. 2.

15 Lit. ‘their passages where they go up by measure’.

16 the cold airs: Ba ‘cold air; BN ‘the air and cold’.

17 Lit. ‘how at times’.

18 and measures … on the balance = BNBaR: U om.

19 So B (lit. ‘a certain plain’): U corrupt.

20 Vaillant emends ‘I understood’.

21 So BNBaR: U corrupt.

22 So Vaillant. The MSS differ and are clearly all corrupt.

23 and now = NBa: U om.

24 Lit. ‘who will serve before his face for ever’.

25 Or ‘will make gifts by offerings of life’.

26 Lit. ‘who will make a righteous judgement (to)’.

27 BNBaR ‘turn back from’.

28 and glorify him, and: so the fragment Mpr: U om.

29 So Vaillant: U ‘leaving the countries (or ‘limits’)’.

30 Lit. ‘I distinguished every seed on earth’. The sequel in verses 40 and 41 below, as Vaillant points out, makes it clear that ‘seed’ is a metaphor as in Ecclus. x. 19 .

31 the Lord … another hour = Mpr, supported by some MSS: U corrupt.

32 Lit. ‘and the silence of his mouth’.

33 Or ‘glorious’.

34 his heart = Mpr etc.: U om.

35 Lit. ‘him who is judged’.

36 Or ‘the bruised’.

37 in the day of = Mpr etc.: U om.

38 Lit. ‘the writing’.

39 B ‘He who hastens’; R ‘He who hastens and makes’.

40 Lit. ‘will direct (R, supported by B, ‘hasten’) his acquisitions’.

41 Lit. ‘the man who increases the lamp before the Lord, the Lord will increase his barns’.

42 So BR Mpr: U ‘in the darkness’.

43 Lit. ‘I am telling you from the Lord's mouth’.

44 of the stars = B, supported by R: U om.

45 Lit. ‘… all things from the invisible into the visible (so B; R ‘into appearance’; U corrupt).

46 Or ‘nations’.

47 So Vaillant: U reads ‘… generations: those who have wisdom … Lord will receive …’

48 hold fast = BR: U corrupt.

49 The probable sense: U reads ‘he will find it’.

50 upon you = BNBa: U om.

51 heavenly: corrupt in all MSS: U ‘which is of the flesh’; R ‘which is full’; NBa Mpr ‘not scanty’.

52 B ‘and you will find protection’.

53 So BR Mpr: U corrupt.

54 So B: U ‘loosen it’; R ‘endure all and loosen them’.

55 of the day = BNBaR: U ‘and to-day’.

56 So BNBaR: U ‘compares’.

57 Lit. ‘to raise them up’.

58 of old = BR Mpr: U corrupt.

59 and peace … not speak peace = B, supported by NBaR: U om.

60 So B etc.: U ‘the judgement of the proud one’.

61 The MSS are in confusion here. Vaillant translates ‘in the balance inherit the light’. The idea seems to be that after Enoch's sons (or their hearts) had been weighed in the balance and approved they should inherit eternal light (cp. the illustrations in the Egyptian Papyrus of Ani of the weighing of Ani's heart in a balance and his subsequent introduction into the presence of Osiris).

62 Lit. ‘and he will pray us out of our sin’.

63 So NBaR: U ‘do not cast them aside’.

64 So NBa: U ‘you’.

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