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

Chapter LIV

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Text Commentary

1And I besought the Mighty One and said,

Thou alone, O Lord, knowest beforehand the secrets 1 Lit. ‘the heights’ (i.e. the inaccessible things). of the world, And what happens in its time thou dost bring about by thy word; And in the light of what is done by 2 Lit. ‘And against (or ‘according to’) the works of’. those on earth Thou wilt speed up the beginnings of the times, And the end of the ages thou alone knowest. 2 For thee nothing is too hard, Thou doest everything easily by a nod. 3 To thee the depths come as the heights, And the beginnings 3 Or ‘princes’ (i.e. angels). of the ages are obedient to thy word. 4 Thou revealest to those who fear thee what is prepared for them, And so dost thou comfort them. 5 Thou showest wonders to the ignorant: Thou dost break down the dividing wall for those who do not know; And thou dost light up what is dark And reveal what is hidden to the pure, Who in faith have submitted to thee and to thy law. 6 Thou hast shown thy servant this vision: Reveal to me also its interpretation. 7 For I know that when I have besought thee, thou hast answered me, And when I have made request, thou hast made response to me. Thou didst reveal to me with what language 4 Lit. ‘voice’. I should praise thee, And with which of my members I should offer my praises and hallelujahs to thee. 8 For if all my members were mouths, and the hairs of my head voices, Even then I could not praise or magnify thee as I should, Nor could I recount thy praise nor tell the glory of thy beauty. 9 For what am I among men, And why am I reckoned among those of far more worth than I, That I should have heard all these marvellous things from the Most High, And numberless promises from him who created me? 10 Happy my mother among those that bear children, And worthy of praise among women is she who gave me birth! 11 For I will not cease to praise the Mighty One, And with a thankful voice I will recount his wonders. 12 For who can do wonders like thine, O God, Or who can understand thy purpose in creation? 5 Lit. ‘thy deep thought of life’. 13 For with thy counsel thou dost govern all the creatures Which thy right hand has created, And thou hast established every source of light beside thee, And the treasuries of wisdom thou hast prepared beneath thy throne. 14 Justly do they perish who have not loved thy law: The torment of judgement awaits those who have not submitted to thy power.

15For though Adam first sinned and brought untimely death upon all men, yet each one of those who were born from him has either prepared for his own soul its future torment or chosen for himself 16the glories that are to be (for without doubt he who believes will receive his reward). 17But now, as for you, you wicked that now are, prepare to meet 6 Lit. ‘turn to’. destruction: your punishment will come quickly, because you have rejected the understanding of the Most High. 18For what he has done has not taught you, nor has the craftsmanship revealed perpetually in his creation persuaded you. 7 See n.9 to chap. xlviii. 19Thus Adam was responsible for himself only: 8 Lit. ‘Thus Adam is not the cause, but of his own soul only’. each one of us is his own Adam. 20But do thou, O Lord, explain to me the things thou hast revealed to me, and give me an answer to the questions that I asked. 21For at the consummation retribution will fall on those who have done evil for 9 Lit. ‘according to’. the evil they have done, and thou wilt make glorious the faithful for 9 Lit. ‘according to’. their faithfulness. 22For those who are among thine own thou rulest, and those who sin thou dost root out from among thine own.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘the heights’ (i.e. the inaccessible things).

2 Lit. ‘And against (or ‘according to’) the works of’.

3 Or ‘princes’ (i.e. angels).

4 Lit. ‘voice’.

5 Lit. ‘thy deep thought of life’.

6 Lit. ‘turn to’.

7 See n.9 to chap. xlviii.

8 Lit. ‘Thus Adam is not the cause, but of his own soul only’.

9 Lit. ‘according to’.

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