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

Chapter XXIII

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Text Commentary

1

Joy belongs to the saints, And who will put it on but they alone? 2 Grace belongs to the elect, And who will receive it but those who have trusted in it from the beginning? 3 Love belongs to the elect, And who will put it on but those who have possessed it from the beginning? 4 Walk in the knowledge of the Most High, 1 So H: B ‘of the Lord’. And you will know the grace of the Lord 2 ‘And you will know … Lord’: om. H. without grudging, 3 Or ‘who is without envy’. His exultation and the perfection of his knowledge. 5 And his thought was like a letter, His 4 So H: B ‘And his’. will came down from on high; 6 And it was sent like an arrow from a bow, That is shot with force; 7 And many hands rushed upon the letter, To snatch it and take it and read it; 8 And it fled from their fingers; And they were afraid of it and of the seal which was upon it, 9 Because they were not allowed to loose his 5 So H: B ‘its’. seal, For the power that was upon the seal was greater than they. 10 But those who saw it went after the letter, That they might know where it would stop, And who would read it, And who would hear it.

11

But a wheel received it, And it came upon it; 12 And with it was a sign Of kingship and of government. 13 And everything that was moving the wheel It mowed and cut down; 14 And it gathered a multitude of adversaries; And it covered up rivers; 15 And it crossed over and uprooted many woods, 6 So H: B ‘peoples’. And made a broad path. 16 The head came down to the feet, Because as far as the feet 7 So B: H ‘foot’. ran the wheel, And what was coming 8 So H: B ‘had come’. If the word were differently pointed the line might be translated ‘And that which was the sign upon it’. on it. 17 The letter was one of command, 9 So H: B ‘It was a letter and a command’. Because 10 So H: B ‘And because’. all places were gathered together. 18 And on his 5 So H: B ‘its’. head appeared the head that was revealed, And the Son of truth from the Most High Father. 19 And he took possession of everything and received it; And the thoughts of many came to nothing. 20 And all who led astray escaped 11 Text ‘were bold’. and fled, And those who persecuted were extinguished and blotted out. 12 So B: H ‘irritated’. 21 But the letter became a great tablet, Which was written completely by the finger of God; 22 And the name of the Father was upon it, And of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, To reign for ever and ever. Hallelujah.

Notes:

1 So H: B ‘of the Lord’.

2 ‘And you will know … Lord’: om. H.

3 Or ‘who is without envy’.

4 So H: B ‘And his’.

5 So H: B ‘its’.

6 So H: B ‘peoples’.

7 So B: H ‘foot’.

8 So H: B ‘had come’. If the word were differently pointed the line might be translated ‘And that which was the sign upon it’.

9 So H: B ‘It was a letter and a command’.

10 So H: B ‘And because’.

11 Text ‘were bold’.

12 So B: H ‘irritated’.

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