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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 Abraham said, My lord Prince, who is this wondrous judge, and who are these recording angels? 2And who is the angel like the sun, who holds the scales, and who is the fiery angel who holds the fire? 3And the Prince said, Most holy Abraham, do you see the terrifying man who is sitting on the throne? 4He is the son of the first man 1 Lit. ‘the first-formed’. Adam, and is called Abel, and he was killed by the wicked Cain. 5He sits here to judge every creature, 2 Or ‘all creation’. examining both righteous and sinners, because God has said, It is not I who judge you, but by man shall every man be judged. 6For this reason he has committed judgement to him, to judge the world until his own great and glorious Coming. 7And then, righteous Abraham, will follow the final judgement and retribution, eternal and unchangeable, which no one will be able to dispute. 8For all men have their origin from the first man; 1 Lit. ‘the first-formed’. and so by his son they are first judged here. 9At the second coming they and every spirit and every creature 2 Or ‘all creation’. will be judged by the twelve tribes of Israel. 3 So A: with variation in detail, CDE and the Rumanian read ‘At the second coming they and … will be judged by the twelve apostles’: B combines both readings (‘At the second coming the twelve tribes of Israel and …will be judged by the apostles’). 10At the third stage they will be judged by the Sovereign God of all; and then at last will the whole process reach its end. 4 Lit. ‘and then already the end of that judgement is near’. 11The sentences will strike terror; and there will be no one to rescind them. 12And so through three tribunals the judgement of the world will be accomplished and its retribution. 13(And that is why a matter cannot finally be settled on the evidence of one or two witnesses but ‘on the evidence of three witnesses every fact 5 Lit. ‘word’ or ‘thing’. must be established’.) 14The two angels, one on the right and one on the left, these record the sins and the good deeds. 15The one on the right records the good deeds, the one on the left the sins. 16The angel who is like the sun, who holds the scales in his hand, he is the archangel Dokiel: he preserves an honest balance 6 Lit. ‘(Dokiel), the just weigher’. and weighs the good deeds and the sins with the justice of God. 17The fiery and merciless angel, who holds the fire in his hand, he is the archangel Pyruel, who has power over fire, and he tests men's deeds by fire. 18If the fire burns up a man's deed, the angel of judgement takes him at once and carries him off to the sinners' place – a most disagreeable place of punishment. 19If the fire tests a man's deed and does not touch it, he is accounted righteous and the angel of righteousness takes him and carries him up to be saved among the number of the righteous. 20And so, most righteous Abraham, all things in all men 7 Or ‘in every particular’. are tested by fire and scales.

21This one, who presents the souls is the teacher of heaven and earth, the scribe of righteousness, Enoch. 22For the Lord sent them here that the sins and the good deeds of each might be recorded. 23And Abraham said, But how can Enoch take responsibility for 8 Lit. ‘bear the burden of’. the souls, since he has not himself experienced 9 Lit. ‘seen’. death? How can he pronounce sentence on all the souls? 24And Michael said, If he were to pronounce sentence on them, his sentence would not stand. It is not Enoch's function to sentence: it is the Lord who sentences; and Enoch's only function is to write. 25For Enoch prayed to the Lord, saying, Lord, I have no wish to sentence souls; in case I might be harsh to any of them. 26Then said the Lord to Enoch, I shall bid you write the sins of the soul that makes atonement, and it shall enter into life. 27But if a soul makes no atonement and does not repent, you will find its sins in writing, and that soul will be sent off to punishment.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘the first-formed’.

2 Or ‘all creation’.

3 So A: with variation in detail, CDE and the Rumanian read ‘At the second coming they and … will be judged by the twelve apostles’: B combines both readings (‘At the second coming the twelve tribes of Israel and …will be judged by the apostles’).

4 Lit. ‘and then already the end of that judgement is near’.

5 Lit. ‘word’ or ‘thing’.

6 Lit. ‘(Dokiel), the just weigher’.

7 Or ‘in every particular’.

8 Lit. ‘bear the burden of’.

9 Lit. ‘seen’.

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