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

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Text Commentary

1And I heard then the voices and the praises that I had heard in each of the six heavens – that I had heard as I ascended. 2And all the voices and the praises were addressed to that Glorious One, 1 And all … Glorious One: L2 Slav. ‘And all were glorifying him’. whose glory I could not look upon. 3And I heard and saw the praises which were being sung to him. 4And the Lord and the angel of the Spirit were hearing and seeing everything. 2 L2 Slav. om. verses 3 and 4. 5For all the praises which come up from the six heavens are not only heard but seen. 6And I heard the angel, who was accompanying me, speaking to me; and he said, This is the Most High, who sits enthroned above the heavenly hosts, 3 Lit. ‘the Most High of the high ones’. who dwells in the holy world and rests among his holy ones, who will be called by the Holy Spirit through the lips of the righteous the Father of the Lord. 4 L2 Slav. express the details of this verse rather differently: instead of ‘will be called’ they have ‘is praised’, and they omit ‘the Father of the Lord’. 7And I heard the voice of the Most High, the Father of my Lord, saying to my Lord the Christ, who will be 8called Jesus, 5 L2 Slav. ‘the voice of the Eternal saying to the Lord Son’. Go and descend through all the heavens: descend to the vault of heaven and to the world: 6 descend to the vault of heaven and to the world: so A; BC ‘descend to the vault of the heaven of the world’; L2 Slav. ‘and you will be in the world’. descend to the angel in Sheol; but to Haguel you shall not go. 7 but … go: L2 Slav. om. 9And you must transform yourself so as to be like all those who are in the five heavens. 10And you must take care to transform yourself so as to be like the angels of the vault of heaven as well, and the angels also who are in Sheol. 8 who are in the five … Sheol: L2 om. 11And so none of the angels of the world will know that you are Lord with me of the seven heavens and of their angels. 12And they will not know that you are with me until with a loud voice I call to the heavens and their angels and their lights, right up to the sixth heaven, so that you may judge and destroy the princes and the angels and the gods of that world and the world itself over which they exercise dominion. 9 The Eth. MSS differ in this verse and an agreed text is highly uncertain. L2 Slav. have a much shorter and simpler text both in verse 11 and in verse 12. 13For they have denied me and have said, We alone are, and who is there apart from us? 14And afterwards you will ascend from the angels of death to your appointed place; 10 And afterwards … place: AC ‘And afterwards … from the gods of death … place’; B ‘and when you have died and risen you will ascend to your appointed place’; Slav. ‘and when you are raised from the earth’; L2 om. and you will have no need to transform yourself as you go up, 11 Lit. ‘and you shall not transform yourself in each heaven’. for you will ascend in glory to sit on my right hand. 15Then the princes and powers of the world 12 L2 Slav. expand the details here. will worship you. 16And I heard the Great Glory 13 So BC: A ‘him of the great glory’. giving these commands to my Lord.

17And so it was that when he had left the seventh heaven, I saw my Lord in the sixth heaven. 14 L2 Slav. ‘And then the Lord went out from the seventh heaven and descended into the sixth heaven’. 18And the angel who had accompanied me 15 L2 Slav. ‘who was instructing me’, and then om. ‘from this … and he’. from this world was with me, and he said to me, Understand this, Isaiah, and watch, 16 Lit. ‘see’. so that you may see 17 So AC: B ‘so that you may know’; L2 Slav. ‘what is’. the transformation and descent of the Lord. 19And I looked, 18 L2 Slav. om. ‘And I looked’ (and so similarly at the beginning of verse 20). and when the angels saw him, those in the sixth heaven gave him glory and praised him (for he had not been transformed so as to look like the angels there); and they praised him, and I also praised him with them. 20And I saw that when he descended into the fifth heaven and transformed himself in the fifth heaven to look like the angels there, they did not praise him, for his form was like theirs. 21And then he descended into the fourth heaven and transformed himself to look like the angels 22there; and when they saw him, they neither gave him glory nor did they praise him, for his form was like their form. 23 19 L2 Slav. summarize verses 23–28 (‘And he came into the third heaven and into the second and into the first, transforming himself in each of them, so that they neither sang praises to him nor worshipped him, for he looked like them. And he showed the signs to the guardians of the gates as he passed through each of the heavens’). And I saw again that when he descended into the third heaven he transformed himself to look like the angels in the third heaven. 24And those who kept the gate of the third heaven demanded the password, and the Lord gave it to them, so that he might not be recognized; and when they saw him, they neither gave him glory nor did they praise him, for his form was like their form. 25And again I saw 20 So A: BC add ‘him’. that when he descended into the second heaven, there again he gave the password, for those who kept the gate demanded it and the Lord gave it to them. 26And I saw that when he was made like the form of the angels in the second heaven, they saw him and did not praise him, for his form was like their form. 27And I saw him again, when he descended into the first heaven, and there too he gave the password to those who kept the gate; and he made himself like the form of the angels who were on the left of the throne there, and they neither gave him glory nor did they praise him, for his form was like their form. 28But as for me, no one questioned me because of the angel who was accompanying me. 29And again he descended into the vault of heaven where dwells the prince of this world, 21 where … world = Eth. Slav.: L2 om. and he gave the password to those on the left; and his form was like theirs, and they did not praise him there – instead, they were all jealous of one another and were fighting one another (such is the power of evil there and of jealousy about things that do not matter 22 So AC: B om. ‘about … matter’; L2 Slav. om. ‘instead … matter’. ). 30And I saw that when he descended and made himself like the angels of the air, he looked just like one of them. 31And he gave no password, for each one of them was busy cheating and doing violence to his neighbour. 23 So Eth.: Slav. ‘for they did not ask him for one’; L2 ‘and they sang no praises’.

Notes:

1 And all … Glorious One: L2 Slav. ‘And all were glorifying him’.

2 L2 Slav. om. verses 3 and 4.

3 Lit. ‘the Most High of the high ones’.

4 L2 Slav. express the details of this verse rather differently: instead of ‘will be called’ they have ‘is praised’, and they omit ‘the Father of the Lord’.

5 L2 Slav. ‘the voice of the Eternal saying to the Lord Son’.

6 descend to the vault of heaven and to the world: so A; BC ‘descend to the vault of the heaven of the world’; L2 Slav. ‘and you will be in the world’.

7 but … go: L2 Slav. om.

8 who are in the five … Sheol: L2 om.

9 The Eth. MSS differ in this verse and an agreed text is highly uncertain. L2 Slav. have a much shorter and simpler text both in verse 11 and in verse 12.

10 And afterwards … place: AC ‘And afterwards … from the gods of death … place’; B ‘and when you have died and risen you will ascend to your appointed place’; Slav. ‘and when you are raised from the earth’; L2 om.

11 Lit. ‘and you shall not transform yourself in each heaven’.

12 L2 Slav. expand the details here.

13 So BC: A ‘him of the great glory’.

14 L2 Slav. ‘And then the Lord went out from the seventh heaven and descended into the sixth heaven’.

15 L2 Slav. ‘who was instructing me’, and then om. ‘from this … and he’.

16 Lit. ‘see’.

17 So AC: B ‘so that you may know’; L2 Slav. ‘what is’.

18 L2 Slav. om. ‘And I looked’ (and so similarly at the beginning of verse 20).

19 L2 Slav. summarize verses 23–28 (‘And he came into the third heaven and into the second and into the first, transforming himself in each of them, so that they neither sang praises to him nor worshipped him, for he looked like them. And he showed the signs to the guardians of the gates as he passed through each of the heavens’).

20 So A: BC add ‘him’.

21 where … world = Eth. Slav.: L2 om.

22 So AC: B om. ‘about … matter’; L2 Slav. om. ‘instead … matter’.

23 So Eth.: Slav. ‘for they did not ask him for one’; L2 ‘and they sang no praises’.

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