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

Chapter XIV

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Text Commentary

1And Abraham said to the Prince, My lord Prince, the soul that the angel was holding in his hand, how is it that it was condemned to be set in the middle? 2And the Prince said, Listen, righteous Abraham: it was because the judge found its sins and its good deeds equal. 3So he consigned it neither to judgement nor to salvation, until the Judge of all shall come. 4Abraham said to the Prince, What more does the soul require to be saved? 5The Prince answered, If it can come by one good deed more than its sins, it attains salvation. 6And Abraham said to the Prince, Come, Prince Michael and let us make intercession on this soul's behalf, and let us see whether God will hear us. 7And the Prince said, Amen: so let it be! 8And they made supplication and intercession on the soul's behalf, and God heard them; and when they got up from their prayer, they did not see the soul standing there. 9And Abraham said to the angel, Where is the soul you were keeping in the middle? 10And the angel said, It has been saved by your righteous intercession; and lo, the brilliant 1 Lit. ‘light-bearing’. Cp. vii. 5; xii. 7; xvi. 16. angel has taken it and carried it up into Paradise. 11And Abraham said, I will glorify the name of God Most High and his mercy that is without measure. 12And Abraham said to the Prince, I beg you, archangel, grant me my request, and let us beseech the Lord once more and throw ourselves on his compassion. 13And let us entreat his mercy for the souls of the sinners I once cursed in malice and sent to their destruction – those that the earth swallowed up, and the wild beasts tore to pieces, and the fire consumed, because of what I said. 14Now I realize that I sinned before the Lord our God. 15Come, Michael, Prince of the powers on high: come, let us with tears beseech God to forgive me my sin and grant them to me. 16And the Prince listened to him, and they made supplication before God. 17When they had been praying for a long time, there came a voice from heaven, saying, Abraham, Abraham, I have heard your voice and your supplication; and I forgive you your sin. 18And those, whom you imagine I destroyed, I have recalled and in my mercy 2 Lit. ‘through my extreme goodness’. brought them back to life; because for a time I have requited them in 3 Lit. ‘into’. judgement. 19But those whom I destroy while they are alive on earth, I will not requite in death. 4 The text is very uncertain at this point. A omits the last clause in verse 18 altogether and also has variants in verse 19: B reads almost completely differently throughout.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘light-bearing’. Cp. vii. 5; xii. 7; xvi. 16.

2 Lit. ‘through my extreme goodness’.

3 Lit. ‘into’.

4 The text is very uncertain at this point. A omits the last clause in verse 18 altogether and also has variants in verse 19: B reads almost completely differently throughout.

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