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

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Text Commentary

1And the archangel Michael went down and took Abraham and set him on the cherubim-chariot and lifted him up to the heights 1 Lit. ‘upper air’. of heaven and acted as his guide on the cloud together with sixty angels. 2And Abraham went up on the chariot over the entire earth; and Abraham looked out on the world just as it was that day. 3 He saw some men ploughing, others driving wagons: in one place they were looking after their sheep, elsewhere they were out in the fields, dancing and making merry and playing the kithara: here they were in conflict 2 Lit. ‘they were wrestling’. and going to law with one another, there they were weeping and then burying their dead. 4He saw too the newly-married being escorted home. 5In a word, he saw everything that was happening in the world, both good and evil. 6So, as Abraham journeyed, he saw a group of swordsmen brandishing their sharpened swords in their hands. 7And Abraham asked the Prince, Who are these? 8And the Prince said, These are thieves, whose intention it is to commit murder and steal and kill and destroy. 9And Abraham said, Sir, could you not bid 3 Lit. ‘Sir, sir, hear my voice and bid’. wild beasts come out of the wood and eat them up? 10And immediately, as he spoke, wild beasts come out of the wood and ate them up. 11And in another place he saw a man and a woman in fornication together; and he said, Sir, bid the earth open and swallow them. 12And the earth was split in two at once and swallowed them. 13In another place he saw men breaking into a house and carrying off another man's property; and he said, Sir, bid fire descend from heaven and consume them. 14And immediately, as he spoke, fire descended from heaven and consumed them. 15And there came at once a voice from heaven to the Prince, saying, Prince Michael, bid the chariot stand still and stop Abraham from seeing the whole of the earth. 16For if he sees all those who are engaged in sin, he will destroy every living thing. 17For lo, Abraham has not sinned, and he has no pity for sinners. 18But I have made the world, and I have no wish to destroy any of the men I have created; 4 Lit. ‘to destroy no one of them’. but I put off the sinner's death until he turns again and lives. 19Take Abraham up to the first gate of heaven, so that he may view the judgements and the retributions there, and repent for the sinners' souls he has destroyed.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘upper air’.

2 Lit. ‘they were wrestling’.

3 Lit. ‘Sir, sir, hear my voice and bid’.

4 Lit. ‘to destroy no one of them’.

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