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

Chapter VIII

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Text Commentary

1And he took me up into the air of the sixth heaven and I beheld a glory I had not seen in the five heavens while I was being taken up, and angels 1 Charles emended ‘… five heavens. For I saw angels…’ on the basis of L2 Slav. resplendent in great glory. 2 Both L2 and Slav. have an additional clause here about the angelic powers. 2,3And the praises there were sublime 3 Lit. ‘holy’. and wonderful. 4 So L2 Slav.: Eth. reads manbar (‘throne’), presumably a corruption of manker. 4And I said to the angel who was accompanying me, What is it that I see, my lord? 5And he said to me, I am not your lord but your companion. 5 So Eth.: probably a rendering of an original σύνδουλος (‘fellow-servant’), from which, through a corruption, L2 Slav. got ‘counsellor’ (σύμβουλος). 6And again I asked him and said to him, Why are there no companions for the angels on the right? 6 L2 Slav. om. this verse. 7And he said, From the sixth heaven and above it there are no more angels on the left, nor is there a throne set in the middle, but 〈they have their direction〉 7 Supplied on the basis of L2 ‘they have their arrangement’ and Slav. ‘they are administered’. from the power of the seventh heaven, where he dwells that cannot be named, and the Elect One, whose name has not been revealed, and whose name none of the heavens can learn. 8 L2 ‘where is the precious Son of God’ and Slav. similarly. 8For it is to his voice alone that all the heavens and the thrones respond; and I have been empowered and sent to 9bring you up here so that you may behold this glory, and so that you may see the Lord of all these heavens and of these thrones, 10transforming himself until he becomes like you in form and in appearance. 9 L2 Slav. om. verse 10. The reference is to the successive transformations described in detail in x. 17ff. 11And I tell you, Isaiah, no man who is to return into a body of that world has ever come up here and seen what you see, what you have seen, and what you will see. 10 The translation of this verse follows Charles's lead in a slight re-arrangement of the details. 12For you have been permitted to come up here because you are to share in the lot of the Lord. 11 Eth. adds first ‘in the lot of the cross’ and then ‘and thence comes the power of the sixth heaven and of the air’. 13And I glorified and praised my Lord, because through sharing in his lot I was to go up there. 14And he said to me, Hear then this again from your companion. 12 Hear … companion: L2 Slav. om. When by the angel of the Spirit you have been taken up there from that alien body of yours, 13 So AC: B ‘when God the Spirit has taken you up in an alien body’; L2 Slav. follow a text which is different. then will you receive the garment 14 L2 ‘your garment’; Slav. ‘a garment’. Both om. the rest of the verse. that you will see, and you will also see other garments numbered and stored up there. 15And then will you become equal to the angels of the seventh 15 L2 ‘sixth’. heaven. 16And he took me up into the sixth heaven, and there were no angels on the left nor was there a throne in the middle, but all the angels looked the same and their praises were equal. 17And I was allowed to sing praises with them too, and also the angel who was accompanying me, 16 Lit. ‘and with that angel’. and our praises were like theirs. 18And they glorified the Father of all, 17 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘And they all named the first (C om.) Father’. and his Beloved, 18 So A: BC ‘the Beloved’; L2 Slav. ‘his beloved Son’ and om. ‘the Christ’. the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, all together. 19 Lit. ‘all with one voice’. 19And the voices of these angels were not like the voices of the 20angels in the five heavens, 20 L2 Slav. ‘the fifth heaven’ and om. ‘nor like their words’. nor like their words; but the voices were different there, and there was much light there. 21And then, when I was in the sixth heaven, I thought the light I had seen in the five heavens 21 L2 Slav. ‘the fifth heaven’. was darkness. 22And I rejoiced and gave praise to him who had bestowed such lights on those who await his promise. 22 L2 Slav. ‘mercy’. 23And I besought the angel who was accompanying me 23 L2 Slav. ‘instructing me’. that I might not have to return from there to the world of the flesh. 24(For truth to tell, Hezekiah and son Josab and Micah, 24 Hezekiah … Micah: L2 Slav. om. there is great darkness here.) 25And the angel who was accompanying me 23 L2 Slav. ‘instructing me’. realized what I was thinking and 25 realized … and: L2 Slav. om. said, If you rejoice in this light, how much more will you rejoice in the seventh heaven when you 26see the lights where are the Lord and his Beloved, 26 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘where sits the heavenly Father and his only-begotten Son’; Eth. then adds ‘whence I have been sent, who is to be called Son in this world. Not yet has he been manifested, he who shall be in the corruptible world’. and also the garments and the thrones and the crowns stored up for the righteous, for those, that is, who believe in that Lord who will descend in your human form (for great and marvellous is the light that is there). 27 for those … there: L2 Slav. om. 27But as for your not returning to your body – the time has not come for your coming here. 28And when I heard this I was much troubled; but he said, Do not be troubled. 28 but … troubled: L2 Slav. om.

Notes:

1 Charles emended ‘… five heavens. For I saw angels…’ on the basis of L2 Slav.

2 Both L2 and Slav. have an additional clause here about the angelic powers.

3 Lit. ‘holy’.

4 So L2 Slav.: Eth. reads manbar (‘throne’), presumably a corruption of manker.

5 So Eth.: probably a rendering of an original σύνδουλος (‘fellow-servant’), from which, through a corruption, L2 Slav. got ‘counsellor’ (σύμβουλος).

6 L2 Slav. om. this verse.

7 Supplied on the basis of L2 ‘they have their arrangement’ and Slav. ‘they are administered’.

8 L2 ‘where is the precious Son of God’ and Slav. similarly.

9 L2 Slav. om. verse 10. The reference is to the successive transformations described in detail in x. 17ff.

10 The translation of this verse follows Charles's lead in a slight re-arrangement of the details.

11 Eth. adds first ‘in the lot of the cross’ and then ‘and thence comes the power of the sixth heaven and of the air’.

12 Hear … companion: L2 Slav. om.

13 So AC: B ‘when God the Spirit has taken you up in an alien body’; L2 Slav. follow a text which is different.

14 L2 ‘your garment’; Slav. ‘a garment’. Both om. the rest of the verse.

15 L2 ‘sixth’.

16 Lit. ‘and with that angel’.

17 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘And they all named the first (C om.) Father’.

18 So A: BC ‘the Beloved’; L2 Slav. ‘his beloved Son’ and om. ‘the Christ’.

19 Lit. ‘all with one voice’.

20 L2 Slav. ‘the fifth heaven’ and om. ‘nor like their words’.

21 L2 Slav. ‘the fifth heaven’.

22 L2 Slav. ‘mercy’.

23 L2 Slav. ‘instructing me’.

24 Hezekiah … Micah: L2 Slav. om.

25 realized … and: L2 Slav. om.

26 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘where sits the heavenly Father and his only-begotten Son’; Eth. then adds ‘whence I have been sent, who is to be called Son in this world. Not yet has he been manifested, he who shall be in the corruptible world’.

27 for those … there: L2 Slav. om.

28 but … troubled: L2 Slav. om.

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