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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

1 Then he said to me, The ladder which you have seen, having twelve steps, and each step having two human forms on it, changing 2their shape – the ladder is this age, and the twelve steps are the 3times of this age; but the twenty-four forms are the kings of the heathen tribes of this age. 4Under those kings … 1 Lacuna in the MS: cp. the text of K in the ‘long recension’ at iv. 3. of your sons. They will rise against the heathenness of your children's children; and he will lay waste this place through four generations 2 Lit. ‘ends’, ‘descents’. of the sins of your children's children. 5And from the wealth of their forefathers will be built a sacristy in the temple to the name of your God and the God of your fathers. 6And because of the provocation of your children it will lie waste until the fourth generation 3 Lit. ‘end’, ‘descent’. of this age, for you have seen four forms. 7The first – him whom you saw stumbling upon the step (the angels ascending and descending, and the forms 8in the midst of the steps) – that is, the Most High will raise up a king from the descendants 4 Lit. ‘children's children’. of your brother Esau, and they will receive all the rulers of the races of the earth, who have done evil to your descendants 5 Lit. ‘seed’. . 9And they will be given into his hand; and they will suffer him unwillingly. 10He will hold them by force and rule them; and they will not be able to resist him until the day he decides 6 Lit. ‘until the day when his intention goes out over them’. that they should serve idols 7 Lacuna in the MS. The words in italics are taken from the Palaea interpretation, where they are quoted as coming from the text. and sacrifice to dead things. 11And he will command that all the people in his kingdom be forced to do this. 12And of those who will be guilty of such an offence, some will serve the greatest 8 R is here corrupt: the restoration is from S and K. of your race, and some Falkonagargail. 9 Porfir'ev suggests this is a corruption of Greek χαλκός (a bronze statue) and Hebrew Nergal (the Mesopotamian idol mentioned at 2 Kings xvii. 30 ).

Notes:

1 Lacuna in the MS: cp. the text of K in the ‘long recension’ at iv. 3.

2 Lit. ‘ends’, ‘descents’.

3 Lit. ‘end’, ‘descent’.

4 Lit. ‘children's children’.

5 Lit. ‘seed’.

6 Lit. ‘until the day when his intention goes out over them’.

7 Lacuna in the MS. The words in italics are taken from the Palaea interpretation, where they are quoted as coming from the text.

8 R is here corrupt: the restoration is from S and K.

9 Porfir'ev suggests this is a corruption of Greek χαλκός (a bronze statue) and Hebrew Nergal (the Mesopotamian idol mentioned at 2 Kings xvii. 30 ).

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