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

Chapter XI

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Text Commentary

1

My heart was circumcised, 2 Or ‘cut’. and its flowers appeared, And grace sprouted up in it; And it bore fruit to the Lord. 3 Gk. ‘God’. 2 For the Most High circumcised 2 Or ‘cut’. me with his Holy Spirit, And laid bare my kidneys towards himself; And filled me with his love. 3 And his circumcision 4 Or ‘incision’. became my deliverance; And I ran in the way in his peace, In the way of truth: 4 From the beginning to the end I received his knowledge. 5 Or ‘knowledge of him’. 5 And I was firmly established on the rock of truth, 6 Gk. ‘a firm rock’. Where he set me; 6 And speaking waters touched my lips From the Lord's spring 7 Gk. adds ‘of life’. without grudging; 8 Or ‘From the spring of the Lord who is without envy’. 7 And I drank, and was intoxicated By the living, 9 Gk. om. ‘living’. immortal, waters; 8 And my intoxication was not without knowledge, But I 10 Gk. ‘I turned from vanities’. abandoned vanities, 9 And turned 10 Gk. ‘I turned from vanities’. towards the Most High, my God, And became rich through his gift; 10 And I abandoned folly, which is cast over the earth, 11 Or ‘folly lying on the ground’ – so Gk. And I stripped it off and cast it from me; 11 And the Lord renewed me with his clothing, And possessed me 12 Gk. ‘revived me’, or ‘regained me for himself’. with his light, 12 And gave me incorruptible refreshment from above, 13 Gk. ‘And brought me to life again with his incorruption’. And I became like the ground which sprouts and rejoices in its fruits. 13 And the Lord is like the sun Upon the face of the ground: 14 He enlightened my eyes, 14 Or ‘my eyes shone’ – so Gk. And my face received 15 Gk. ‘was besprinkled with’. the dew; 15 And my breath took pleasure In the pleasant fragrance 16 Gk. ‘the fragrance of the kindness’. of the Lord; 16 And he brought me to his paradise, Where are the riches of the pleasure of the Lord. 17 Gk. adds, ‘I beheld trees, beautiful and bearing fruit, And their crown was a natural growth; Their branches sprouted, and their fruits laughed; Their shoots came up from an immortal land. And the river of joy watered them, And flowed round their land of eternal life.’ (The word translated ‘shoots’ usually means ‘roots’.) 17 And I worshipped the Lord because of his glory: 18 And I said, Blessed, O Lord, Are those who have been planted in thy ground, And those who have a place in thy paradise, 19 And grow up in the growth of thy trees, And have moved from darkness to light. 20 Behold, all thy labourers are excellent, 18 Gk. ‘They make good transformations From wickedness to kindness; The bitterness of the plants is changed in thy land.’ Who perform good works, 21 And turn from wickedness to thy pleasantness, And have turned the bitterness of the trees away from them, When they were planted in thy ground. 18 Gk. ‘They make good transformations From wickedness to kindness; The bitterness of the plants is changed in thy land.’ 22 And everything has become like a relic of thee, 19 Gk. ‘becomes like thy will’. It then adds ‘Blessed are the ministers of thy waters’. And an eternal remembrance of thy faithful servants. 23 For there is much room in thy paradise, And there is nothing that is unprofitable; But everything is full of 20 Gk. ‘bears’. fruits. 24 Praise be to thee, O God, 21 Gk. ‘in the paradise of eternal delight’. the pleasure that is in the eternal paradise. 21 Gk. ‘in the paradise of eternal delight’. Hallelujah.

Notes:

1 Ode xi is extant in Greek as well as in Syriac, and all but minor ways in which the former differs from the latter are recorded in the notes. Some obvious errors in the Greek are ignored.

2 Or ‘cut’.

3 Gk. ‘God’.

4 Or ‘incision’.

5 Or ‘knowledge of him’.

6 Gk. ‘a firm rock’.

7 Gk. adds ‘of life’.

8 Or ‘From the spring of the Lord who is without envy’.

9 Gk. om. ‘living’.

10–10 Gk. ‘I turned from vanities’.

11 Or ‘folly lying on the ground’ – so Gk.

12 Gk. ‘revived me’, or ‘regained me for himself’.

13 Gk. ‘And brought me to life again with his incorruption’.

14 Or ‘my eyes shone’ – so Gk.

15 Gk. ‘was besprinkled with’.

16 Gk. ‘the fragrance of the kindness’.

17 Gk. adds,

‘I beheld trees, beautiful and bearing fruit, And their crown was a natural growth; Their branches sprouted, and their fruits laughed; Their shoots came up from an immortal land. And the river of joy watered them, And flowed round their land of eternal life.’

(The word translated ‘shoots’ usually means ‘roots’.)

18–18 Gk.

‘They make good transformations From wickedness to kindness; The bitterness of the plants is changed in thy land.’

19 Gk. ‘becomes like thy will’. It then adds ‘Blessed are the ministers of thy waters’.

20 Gk. ‘bears’.

21–21 Gk. ‘in the paradise of eternal delight’.

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