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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

1〈The Testament of Moses – the instructions he gave in the one 2hundred and twentieth year of his life,〉 1 Three lines are wanting at the beginning of the MS. The translation is of Charles's restoration, based on the model of The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. that is the two thousand 3five hundredth year from the creation of the world (or according to oriental reckoning 〈the two thousand seven hundredth), and the 4four hundredth〉 after the departure from Phoenicia, when the people had gone out after the Exodus, 2 Lit. ‘after the departure’. under the leadership of 5Moses, to Amman beyond the Jordan [, in the prophecy that was made by Moses in the book Deuteronomy]. 6Moses 3 Lit. ‘who’. called to him 7Joshua the son of Nun, a man approved by the Lord to be the minister 4 Lit. ‘successor’. The Lat. successor, which occurs again at x. 15, is in all probability a rendering of an underlying Gk. διάδοχος, used in several passages in the Gk. Bible, and elsewhere, in the sense of ‘minister’ (cp. especially Ecclus. xlvi. l ). of the people and of the Tabernacle of the Testimony 8with all its holy things, and to bring the people into the land given 9 to their fathers, so that it might be given them in accordance with the covenant and the oath, by which he had declared in the Tabernacle that he would give it them by Joshua. 10And Moses said to Joshua, 5 Lit. ‘(…give it them by Joshua), saying to Joshua this word’. Promise 6 Text ‘And promise’. A verb seems to have fallen out: Charles conjectured ‘〈Be strong〉 and of a good courage’ on the basis of Deut. xxxi. 7 . to do with all diligence everything you have been commanded, so that you may be blameless before God. 11So says the Lord of the world. 12For he created the world for his people's sake. 13But he did not reveal this purpose in creation at the world's foundation, so that the Gentiles might thereby be convicted, and might by their arguments with one another, to their own humiliation, convict themselves. 14Accordingly, he chose and appointed me, 7 Lit. ‘he thought out and invented me’. and prepared me from the foundation of the world, to be the mediator 8 Lat. arbiter (and so also at iii. 12). of his covenant. 15And now I warn you that my span of life is near its end and that I am about to pass on to sleep with my fathers, even in the presence of all the people. 16So study this writing carefully, so that you may know how to preserve the books that I entrust you with. 17Set them in order and anoint them with cedar-oil and store them away in jars of earthenware in the place the Lord intended 9 Lit. ‘in the place he made’. from the beginning of the creation of the world as the place 18where men should invoke his name till the Day of Repentance, when he will look on them with favour at the final consummation. 10 Lit. ‘…in the respect with which the Lord will respect them in the consummation of the end of the days’.

Notes:

1 Three lines are wanting at the beginning of the MS. The translation is of Charles's restoration, based on the model of The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.

2 Lit. ‘after the departure’.

3 Lit. ‘who’.

4 Lit. ‘successor’. The Lat. successor, which occurs again at x. 15, is in all probability a rendering of an underlying Gk. διάδοχος, used in several passages in the Gk. Bible, and elsewhere, in the sense of ‘minister’ (cp. especially Ecclus. xlvi. l ).

5 Lit. ‘(…give it them by Joshua), saying to Joshua this word’.

6 Text ‘And promise’. A verb seems to have fallen out: Charles conjectured ‘〈Be strong〉 and of a good courage’ on the basis of Deut. xxxi. 7 .

7 Lit. ‘he thought out and invented me’.

8 Lat. arbiter (and so also at iii. 12).

9 Lit. ‘in the place he made’.

10 Lit. ‘…in the respect with which the Lord will respect them in the consummation of the end of the days’.

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