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

Chapter I

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Text Commentary

1And behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, whose top reached to heaven; and the top of the ladder was in form like a man, hewn out of fire. 2It had twelve steps to the top of the ladder, and on each step, up to the top, were two human forms, one on the right and one on the left: there were twenty-four 1 Emended in the light of verse 3 below: the MS reads ‘four’. Cp. also the reading of K at i. 2 in the ‘long recension’ (p. 460 below). forms on the ladder, visible as far as their breasts. 3But the central form, which I saw, was of fire as far as the shoulders and arms and much more terrifying than those twenty-four forms. 4And while I was looking, behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it; and the Lord had taken his stand upon it.

5 2 Obviously an interpretative Christian gloss. For so it is to be understood, as when a man leans on his staff. Of 6the angels we understand: those who were ascending are a figure of this – when the tree of the Cross was fixed in the earth at the Lord's passion, as the ladder was fixed in Jacob's sight, and the Lord received the heathen who were baptized, and they ascended into heaven; but those who were descending – they are the disobedient, perverse ones. 7For Moses prefigured this, and said to them, Deceitful and perverse generation! Is this your thanksgiving to the Lord? 8In this, then, we see the heathen ascending, but the Jews descending … 2 Obviously an interpretative Christian gloss.

3 Lacuna in the MS. on the highest form. 9And from there he called to me, saying, Jacob, Jacob. 10,11And I said, Here am I, Lord! And he said to me, The land on which you are sleeping, to you will I give it, and to your descendants after you; and I will multiply your race as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the sea. 12Through your descendants will the whole land be blessed, and those who live in it, until the last times, even the years of the end: my blessing, with which I have blessed you, shall go forth from you to the last generation. 13And the East and West shall all be filled with your race.

Notes:

1 Emended in the light of verse 3 below: the MS reads ‘four’. Cp. also the reading of K at i. 2 in the ‘long recension’ (p. 460 below).

2–2 Obviously an interpretative Christian gloss.

3 Lacuna in the MS.

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