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

Chapter IX

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Text Commentary

1And he took me up into the air of the seventh heaven, and again 1 L2 Slav. om. ‘again’. I heard a voice: it said, How far may anyone go up who lives among aliens? 2 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘who wills to live in the flesh’. 2And I was afraid and trembled. And 3 Eth. adds ‘he said to me’. as I trembled, behold there came a second voice which said, The holy Isaiah is permitted to come up here, for here is his garment. 4 L2 Slav. vary in the details of this verse. 3And I asked the angel who was with me and said, Who was it who forbade me to go up, and who was it who permitted 5 Eth. ‘turned to’: L2 Slav. ‘commanded’. The emendation is derived from ὁ ἐπιτϱέπων μοι in Gk.L ii. 24. me? 4And he said to me, He who forbade you is he who is over 6 Eth. ‘on whom is’: L2 Slav. read the verse ‘… is the angel who is over the angels (Slav. om. ‘the angels’) of the sixth heaven who sing praises’. the praises of the sixth heaven. 5And he who permitted 5 Eth. ‘turned to’: L2 Slav. ‘commanded’. The emendation is derived from ὁ ἐπιτϱέπων μοι in Gk.L ii. 24. you is your Lord, 7 So AB: C ‘is our Lord’; L2 Slav. ‘is the Son of God’. the Lord of the world, the Lord Christ, who will in the world be called Jesus; 8 L2 Slav. om. ‘the Lord of the world … Jesus’. but his name you cannot hear until you have left your body.

6And he took me up into the seventh heaven, and I saw there a marvellous light and angels innumerable. 7 9 L2 Slav. om. ‘And I saw certain of the righteous’. And I saw there all the righteous from the time of Adam. 8And I saw there the holy Abel and all the righteous. 9And I saw there Enoch and all who were with him, 10 L2 Slav. om. ‘like angels’. stripped of the garments of the flesh; and I saw them in their garments of the world above, and they were like angels, 11 L2 Slav. om. ‘like angels’. standing there in great glory. 10But they were not seated on their thrones, and their crowns of glory were not upon them. 11And I asked the angel who was with me, 12 who was with me: L2 Slav. ‘and I said’. Why have they received the garments, but not the thrones and crowns? 12And he said to me, They will not receive either their crowns or their thrones of glory (although they see and know now which of them will have the thrones and which the crowns) until the Beloved descends in the form in which you will see him descend. 13He will indeed descend into the world in the last days – the Lord who will be called Christ after he has descended and become like you in form; 13 like you in form: B ‘as you will see’. and they will think he is flesh and a man. 14 Eth. L2 and Slav. differ widely in verses 12 and 13, and all three are difficult. Charles suspected a displacement in Eth. and would transfer the clause within brackets in verse 12 to follow ‘Christ’ in verse 13 (‘… called Christ, although they see … crowns after he has descended…’). 14And the prince 15 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘god’. of that world will stretch out his hand against the Son, 16 Eth. ‘by the hand of his Son’; L2 ‘his hand against the Son of God (cp. Slav. ‘… on account of his Son will stretch out his hands against him’). and they will hang him on a tree and will kill him, 17 (the Son) and they … kill him: Eth. ‘and they will lay their hands upon him and will hang him on a tree’; L2 ‘and he will kill him and will hang him on a tree and will kill him’; Slav. ‘and they will hang him on a tree and he will kill him’. not knowing who he is. 15And his descent, as you will see, will be hidden even from the heavens, so that it will not be known who he is. 16And when he has plundered the angel of death, he will ascend on the third day (and he will have been in the world for five hundred and forty-five days). 18 Charles was persuaded that this clause was not part of the original, though he thought that the Eth. translator found it in his Gk. text since the idea is Gnostic. Both L2 and Slav., however, omit it, although they have a much fuller text of verses 15 and 16 containing a clear reference to the Descent into Hell. 17Then will many of the righteous ascend with him, whose souls do not receive their garments until the Lord Christ ascends and they ascend with him. 19 whose … with him: L2 Slav. ‘and he will send out his preachers into all the world and will ascend into the heavens’. 18Then will they receive their [garments and their] 20 L2 Slav. om. ‘garments and their’. thrones and their crowns, when he has ascended into the seventh heaven. 19And I asked him what I had already asked him in the third 21 L2 Slav. ‘first’ (but see vii. 27). heaven. 20And he said to me, Everything that happens in that world is known here. 21And while I was still talking to him, one of the angels that stood nearby, who was even more glorious than the angel who had brought me 22up from earth, showed me a book 22 Eth. ‘books’ (and plurals similarly throughout this verse). and opened it, and the book had writing in it, 23 Lit. ‘the book was written’. but not like the writing in the books of this world. And he gave it to me, and I read it; and behold, the deeds of the sons of Israel 24 the sons of Israel: L2 Slav. ‘Jerusalem’. were written in it, and also the deeds of others whom you do 〈not〉 know, 25 Eth. ‘whom you know’; Slav. ‘whom I do not know’; L2 ‘concerning which I also was’. my son Josab. 26 L2 Slav. om. ‘my son Josab’. 23And I said, There is indeed nothing that happens in this world that is hidden in the seventh heaven. 27 L2 Slav. have an additional question at this point about the identity of the ‘more glorious’ angel, who is named in the answer as Michael (cp. verses 29 and 42). 24And I saw there many garments stored up, and many thrones and many crowns. 25And I said to the angel, Whose are these garments, and thrones, and crowns? 26And he said to me, These are the garments which many from the world will receive, 28 So Eth.: L2 ‘lose’; Slav. ‘be robbed of’. Both L2 and Slav. require that ‘the one’ later in the verse be taken as a reference to the Antichrist. who believe in the words of the One who is to be named, 29 L2 Slav. om. ‘who is to be named’. as I told you; and they will observe these things 30 So AC: B ‘observe his commandments’. and will believe in them, 31 So A: BC ‘him’. and they will believe in his cross – for them are these garments stored up. 32 AC ‘but for them are stored up’; B ‘which for them are stored up’. L2 Slav. om. ‘and they will observe … stored up’. 27And I saw One standing, whose glory surpassed that of all the others, and his glory was great and wonderful. 28And when I saw him, 33 And I saw One … I saw him: L2 Slav. ‘And being turned I saw the Lord in great glory, and I feared exceedingly. And’. all the righteous I had seen, and the angels also I had seen, approached him, and Adam and Abel and Seth and all the righteous came near him and worshipped him and praised him with one voice; and I too sang praises with them, and my praises were as theirs. 29And then all the angels came near and 34 L2 Slav. ‘And then Michael came near and worshipped and with him all the angels’ (cp. verses 23 and 42). worshipped and sang praises. 30And I 35 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘he’. was transformed again 36 So L2 Slav.: Eth. om. ‘again’. and became like an angel. 31Then the angel who was accompanying me said, Worship him; and I worshipped and sang praises. 32And the angel said to me, This is the Lord of all the splendours you have seen. 33And while he 37 So Slav.: Eth. ‘I’ (L2 om. ‘while … speaking’). was still speaking I saw another glorious One like him, and the righteous came near him and worshipped and sang praises, and I 38 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘he’. sang praises with them; but my 39 Eth. ‘his’, supported by L2 Slav. ‘and he transformed not himself’. glory was not transformed so that I looked like them. 40 Lit. ‘transformed after the manner of their appearance’. 34Then the angels came near and worshipped him. 35And I saw the Lord and a second angel, and they were standing. 36But the second that I saw was on my Lord's left. And I asked, Who is this? And the angel who was accompanying me said to me, Worship him, for this is the angel of the Holy Spirit, who is upon you, and who has spoken also in the other righteous. 41 L2 Slav. ‘… Holy Spirit, who speaks in you and in all the righteous’. 37And the eyes of my spirit were open, and I saw the Great Glory; but I could not then look upon him, nor could the angel who was with me, nor any of the angels I had seen worshipping my Lord. 38Yet I saw the righteous gazing intently upon the Glory. 42 So L2: Eth. ‘upon that One's glory’; Slav. ‘upon his glory’. 39And my Lord (and the angel of the Spirit too) came near me and said, Privileged indeed you are to have been allowed to see God, and privileged also, because of you, is the angel who is with you. 43 Lit. ‘See how it is given to you to see God, and because of you power (B adds ‘of coming here’) is given to the angel who is with you’. 40And I saw how my Lord worshipped, and the angel of the Holy 44 BC om. ‘Holy’. Spirit too, and both together gave praise to God. 45 39came near…to God: L2 Slav. ‘came near (Slav. + ‘to them’) and they worshipped (L2 + ‘him’) and sang praises both together’. 41And then all the righteous came 42near and worshipped, and the angels came near and worshipped; and all the angels sang praises. 46 There are a number of minor variations in verses 41 and 42. L2 Slav. again have a reference to Michael (cp. verses 23 and 29).

Notes:

1 L2 Slav. om. ‘again’.

2 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘who wills to live in the flesh’.

3 Eth. adds ‘he said to me’.

4 L2 Slav. vary in the details of this verse.

5 Eth. ‘turned to’: L2 Slav. ‘commanded’. The emendation is derived from ὁ ἐπιτϱέπων μοι in Gk.L ii. 24.

6 Eth. ‘on whom is’: L2 Slav. read the verse ‘… is the angel who is over the angels (Slav. om. ‘the angels’) of the sixth heaven who sing praises’.

7 So AB: C ‘is our Lord’; L2 Slav. ‘is the Son of God’.

8 L2 Slav. om. ‘the Lord of the world … Jesus’.

9–10 L2 Slav. om. ‘And I saw certain of the righteous’.

11 L2 Slav. om. ‘like angels’.

12 who was with me: L2 Slav. ‘and I said’.

13 like you in form: B ‘as you will see’.

14 Eth. L2 and Slav. differ widely in verses 12 and 13, and all three are difficult. Charles suspected a displacement in Eth. and would transfer the clause within brackets in verse 12 to follow ‘Christ’ in verse 13 (‘… called Christ, although they see … crowns after he has descended…’).

15 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘god’.

16 Eth. ‘by the hand of his Son’; L2 ‘his hand against the Son of God (cp. Slav. ‘… on account of his Son will stretch out his hands against him’).

17 (the Son) and they … kill him: Eth. ‘and they will lay their hands upon him and will hang him on a tree’; L2 ‘and he will kill him and will hang him on a tree and will kill him’; Slav. ‘and they will hang him on a tree and he will kill him’.

18 Charles was persuaded that this clause was not part of the original, though he thought that the Eth. translator found it in his Gk. text since the idea is Gnostic. Both L2 and Slav., however, omit it, although they have a much fuller text of verses 15 and 16 containing a clear reference to the Descent into Hell.

19 whose … with him: L2 Slav. ‘and he will send out his preachers into all the world and will ascend into the heavens’.

20 L2 Slav. om. ‘garments and their’.

21 L2 Slav. ‘first’ (but see vii. 27).

22 Eth. ‘books’ (and plurals similarly throughout this verse).

23 Lit. ‘the book was written’.

24 the sons of Israel: L2 Slav. ‘Jerusalem’.

25 Eth. ‘whom you know’; Slav. ‘whom I do not know’; L2 ‘concerning which I also was’.

26 L2 Slav. om. ‘my son Josab’.

27 L2 Slav. have an additional question at this point about the identity of the ‘more glorious’ angel, who is named in the answer as Michael (cp. verses 29 and 42).

28 So Eth.: L2 ‘lose’; Slav. ‘be robbed of’. Both L2 and Slav. require that ‘the one’ later in the verse be taken as a reference to the Antichrist.

29 L2 Slav. om. ‘who is to be named’.

30 So AC: B ‘observe his commandments’.

31 So A: BC ‘him’.

32 AC ‘but for them are stored up’; B ‘which for them are stored up’. L2 Slav. om. ‘and they will observe … stored up’.

33 And I saw One … I saw him: L2 Slav. ‘And being turned I saw the Lord in great glory, and I feared exceedingly. And’.

34 L2 Slav. ‘And then Michael came near and worshipped and with him all the angels’ (cp. verses 23 and 42).

35 So L2 Slav.: Eth. ‘he’.

36 So L2 Slav.: Eth. om. ‘again’.

37 So Slav.: Eth. ‘I’ (L2 om. ‘while … speaking’).

38 So Eth.: L2 Slav. ‘he’.

39 Eth. ‘his’, supported by L2 Slav. ‘and he transformed not himself’.

40 Lit. ‘transformed after the manner of their appearance’.

41 L2 Slav. ‘… Holy Spirit, who speaks in you and in all the righteous’.

42 So L2: Eth. ‘upon that One's glory’; Slav. ‘upon his glory’.

43 Lit. ‘See how it is given to you to see God, and because of you power (B adds ‘of coming here’) is given to the angel who is with you’.

44 BC om. ‘Holy’.

45 39came near…to God: L2 Slav. ‘came near (Slav. + ‘to them’) and they worshipped (L2 + ‘him’) and sang praises both together’.

46 There are a number of minor variations in verses 41 and 42. L2 Slav. again have a reference to Michael (cp. verses 23 and 29).

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