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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

1And when the angel had said this, he rose from the 1 Lit. ‘his’ (i.e. Isaac's bed). bed on which Isaac was sleeping. 2He went back to the worlds on high while our father Isaac watched him go, astonished at the vision he had seen. 3And he said, I shall not see daylight before I am sent for. 4And while he was thinking this, behold, Jacob got up and came to the door of the room. 5The angel had cast a sleep over him so that he should not hear them; and he got up and ran to where his father slept and said to him, My father, whom have you been talking to? 6Our father Isaac said to him, You have heard, my son: your aged father has been sent for to be taken from you. 7And Jacob put his arms round his father's neck and wept, saying, Ah me! My strength has left me: to-day you have made me an orphan, my father. 8Our father Isaac embraced his son Jacob and wept; and both wept together until they could weep no more. 2 Lit. ‘until they ceased’. 9And Jacob said, Take me with you, father Isaac. 10But Isaac replied, I would not have it so, my son: 3 Boh. adds ‘but thanks be to God that you too are a father, my loved one’. wait until you are sent for, my loved one. 11I remember 4 Lit. ‘I know myself’. on the day when the whole earth was shaken from end to end 5 Lit. ‘when the extremity and the edge of the world was moved’: alternatively ‘when the capital and the pillar of the world was moved’. In Boh. the whole sentence runs ‘I also remember a day when the high and flourishing cypress was moved…’ (cp. T. Abr. iii. 1–2). In either version the argument seems to be that though creation and created matter may be shaken, yet God's ordinances are unshakeable. talking to my lord and father Abraham, and I had no strength to do anything. 12What god has ordained, he has ordained for each one by sure authority: his ordinances are immutable. 13But I know, and I am glad that I am to go to God, and I am strengthened by a guiding 6 Or ‘princely’. spirit; 7 and I am strengthened … spirit: in Boh. Jacob is exhorted to be strong and to stop weeping. for this is a way that no one can escape. 14Listen, my son, Where is the first creation of the hands of God – our father Adam and our mother Eve? 15Where is Abel, 8 Boh. adds a reference to Seth and Enosh. and after him Mahalalel, and Jared, and our father Enoch, and Methuselah, 9 Boh. adds a reference to Lamech. and our father Noah, and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth? 16After these Arpachshad, and Cainan, and Shelah, and Eber, and Reu, and Serug, and Nahor, and Terah, and my blessed father Abraham, and Lot his brother? 17All these experienced death except the perfect one, our father Enoch. 10 Boh. adds an explicit reference to Enoch's translation. 18After these, forty-two generations more 11 Cp. Matt. i. 17 . According to Boh., twelve generations. shall pass until Christ comes, born of a pure virgin called Mary. 12 The rest of this chapter (on Christ's work and the Eucharist), together with v. 1–3a, is lacking in Boh. 19,20He will spend thirty years preaching in the world. At the end of all this, he will choose twelve men and reveal to them his mysteries and teach them about the archetype of his body and his true blood by means of bread and wine; and the bread will become the body of God and the wine will become the blood of God. 21And then he will ascend the tree of the cross and die for the whole creation, and rise on the 13 Lit. ‘his’. third day and despoil hell, and deliver all mankind from the enemy. 22The generations to come will be saved by his body and by his blood until the end of time. 23The sacrifices of Christians will not cease until the end of time, whether offered secretly or openly; and the Antichrist will not appear so long as they offer up their sacrifice. 24Blessed is every man who performs that service and believes in it, because the archetypal service 14 Lit. ‘the archetype, which is done’. is in the heavens; and they shall celebrate with the Son of God in his kingdom.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘his’ (i.e. Isaac's bed).

2 Lit. ‘until they ceased’.

3 Boh. adds ‘but thanks be to God that you too are a father, my loved one’.

4 Lit. ‘I know myself’.

5 Lit. ‘when the extremity and the edge of the world was moved’: alternatively ‘when the capital and the pillar of the world was moved’. In Boh. the whole sentence runs ‘I also remember a day when the high and flourishing cypress was moved…’ (cp. T. Abr. iii. 1–2). In either version the argument seems to be that though creation and created matter may be shaken, yet God's ordinances are unshakeable.

6 Or ‘princely’.

7 and I am strengthened … spirit: in Boh. Jacob is exhorted to be strong and to stop weeping.

8 Boh. adds a reference to Seth and Enosh.

9 Boh. adds a reference to Lamech.

10 Boh. adds an explicit reference to Enoch's translation.

11 Cp. Matt. i. 17 . According to Boh., twelve generations.

12 The rest of this chapter (on Christ's work and the Eucharist), together with v. 1–3a, is lacking in Boh.

13 Lit. ‘his’.

14 Lit. ‘the archetype, which is done’.

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