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

Chapter IV

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Text Commentary

1Then Abraham said to his son Isaac, Go, my beloved son, to the dining-room and make it festive. 2Make up two couches for us there, one for me and one for this man, who is our guest to-day; and see that there is there a seat for two, a lamp-stand, and a table full of good things. 3Make the room festive, my son: lay out the napkins and the purple cloths and the silk. 4Burn every kind of costly and precious incense; and bring in sweet-smelling plants from the garden and fill our house with them. 5Light seven oil lamps, so that we may make merry, because this guest of ours to-day deserves more honour than kings and governors: his very appearance is superior to that of all other men. 6So Isaac set everything in excellent order. 7And Abraham took the Prince Michael and went up to the dining-room. 8Both of them took their seats on the couches, and Isaac 1 Lit. ‘he’. brought forward the table full of good things and put it between them. 9Then the Prince got up and went outside, as if wanting to relieve himself; and he went up to heaven in the twinkling of an eye. 10He stood before God and said to him, Sovereign Lord, thy Majesty must know that I cannot make mention of his death to that righteous man. 11For I have never seen upon earth a man like him – merciful, hospitable, righteous, trusty, religious, and incapable of doing anything that is evil. 2 Lit. ‘abstaining from every evil deed’. 12So now thou knowest, Lord, that I cannot make mention of his death. 13But the Lord replied, Go down, Prince Michael, to my friend Abraham; and whatever he tells you, do it. 14Whatever he eats, eat it also with him. 15I will send forth my Holy Spirit upon his son Isaac, and I will put into Isaac's mind the thought 3 Lit. ‘mention’ Cp. v. 6; vii. 22. of his death, so that he sees his father's death in a dream. 16Isaac will recount what he has seen and you shall interpret it. 17And then Abraham himself will recognize that his end is near. 18The Prince said, Lord, all heavenly spirits are without bodies and neither eat nor drink, but this man has laid a table for me with an abundance of every kind of earthly and perishable dainty. 19What now, Lord, am I to do? How am I to see he does not notice when I am sitting at the same table with him? 20The Lord said, Go down to him, and have no anxiety on this score. 21For while you are sitting with him I will send upon you an all-devouring spirit, and it will consume from your hands and through your mouth everything that is on the table; and make merry with him in every way. 22Only you must interpret properly the meaning of the vision, so that Abraham can recognize Death's reaping-hook and life's uncertain end, and so make a settlement of all his goods. 23For I have blessed him above the sand of the sea and as the stars of heaven.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘he’.

2 Lit. ‘abstaining from every evil deed’.

3 Lit. ‘mention’ Cp. v. 6; vii. 22.

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