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

Chapter V

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Text Commentary

1And I ordered another demon to be brought to me. And he brought me Asmodeus, 1 Cp., Tobit iii. 8, 17 . In Hebrew (e.g. T. B. Giṭṭin 68a–b) he is Ashmedai. the evil demon, bound. 2I asked him, Who are you? 3And he, with a threatening look, said, And who are you? I said to him, Under punishment, as you are, do you dare answer me like this? And he fixed me with the same look and said, How should I answer you? You are a man's son, and I an angel's (though born 2 Lit. ‘and I was born’. of a man's daughter), so that no word from a member of the heavenly race to an earthborn is overbearing. 4My star lurks in heaven and men call me the Waggon, 3 Another name of the Great Bear. others Snakefooted. For this reason smaller stars too take their position along with my star, for my father's dignity and throne is in heaven to this day. 5Do not ask me many questions, Solomon, for your kingdom also in due time will be torn in pieces: this glory of yours is transient, you have but a short time to torment us; and then we shall again have free range over mankind, that they may worship us as gods (for they do not know the names of the angels that are appointed over us). 6When I, Solomon, heard this, I bound him with greater precaution, and I ordered him to be flogged and to confess what he was called and what was his function. 7The demon said, I am called renowned Asmodeus. I increase men's evil-doing throughout the world. I plot against the newly-wed: I mar the beauty of maidens and estrange their hearts. 8I said to him, Is this your only function? He replied, Through the stars I spread madness among women, and then it spreads itself in great waves; and I have killed up to seven. 9And so I adjured him by the name of the Lord Sabaoth, Fear God, Asmodeus; and tell me what angel you are inhibited by. The demon said, Raphael, who stands in the presence of God: I am also driven away by the liver of a fish along with its gall smoked over saffron ashes. 10I questioned him again, saying, Do not hide anything from me, because I am Solomon the son of David, and tell me the name of the fish you reverence. And he said, The name is called sheat-fish: it is found in the rivers of Assyria, for there only is it produced, because I too am found in those parts. 11And I said to him, Nothing else from you, Asmodeus? And he said to me, The power of God, who through his seal bound me with unbreakable bonds, knows that what I told you is true. But I beg you, king Solomon, do not condemn me to water. 12But I smiling said, As the Lord lives, the God of my fathers, you shall have iron to wear, and you shall make clay for the construction of the temple. And I ordered that there should be ten water-pots and that they should be heaped upon him. And with a terrible groan the demon began to carry out his orders. Asmodeus did this because he had fore-knowledge also. 13And I, Solomon, glorified God, who had given me this authority. The liver of the fish and the gall along with a piece of white storax I burnt over Asmodeus, because of his strength; and his voice was inhibited and his tooth full of sharpness.

Notes:

1 Cp., Tobit iii. 8, 17 . In Hebrew (e.g. T. B. Giṭṭin 68a–b) he is Ashmedai.

2 Lit. ‘and I was born’.

3 Another name of the Great Bear.

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