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

Chapter II

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Text Commentary

1But I walked with the angel of God. I looked in front of me; and I saw gates. Then, when I approached them, I found they were gates of copper. The angel touched them and they opened before him. 2I went in with him. I found myself in what seemed to be the main street of 1 Lit. ‘I found its whole street like that of’. 〈a〉 beautiful city. I walked down the middle of it. Then the angel of the Lord transformed himself beside me there. 3And I looked and I saw 2 Lit. ‘And I looked at them, and I found that they were’. gates of copper with bolts of copper and bars of iron. (A 7) And they closed against me there. I saw in front of me the gates of copper breathing out fire to a distance of about fifty stades. 4Again I turned; 3 Here follows a word (lit. ‘they will walk’) which seems to have no place in the context. and I saw a great sea. And I thought it was a sea of water. I found it was a whole sea of fire, like a marsh, that breathed out fire continually, and its waves burned with sulphur and pitch. 5They began to come near me. I thought therefore that the Lord Almighty had come to visit me. When I saw 〈him〉, 4 So Lacau. I fell on my face before him to worship him. 6I was very much afraid. I implored (A 8) him to save me from this torment. I cried out, saying, Eloi, Lord Adonai Sabaoth, I entreat thee to save me from this torment that has come upon me.

7Then 5 Lit. ‘In that same hour’. I stood up. I saw a great angel in front of me, his hair flying out round his head like the lionesses, his teeth showing outside his mouth like a bear's, his hair flying out like women's, 6 Cp. Apoc. Zeph. 7 (p. 920 above). while his body was like serpents who wanted to swallow me. 8And when I saw him, I was so afraid of him that every limb in my body was paralysed. 9I fell down on my face: I was not able to stand. I prayed before (A 9) the Lord Almighty, I pray thee that thou wilt save me from this torment, thou who didst deliver Israel from Pharaoh, king of Egypt, thou who didst deliver Susanna out of the hand of the unrighteous elders, thou who didst deliver the three saints, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, out of the fiery blazing furnace, I pray thee that thou wilt save me from this torment.

10Then I got up and stood upon my feet. I saw a great angel standing in front of me: his face shone like the rays 7 Text ‘gifts’. of the sun in its glory: his face was like the face of a man filled with its glory; and he had what looked like a golden girdle round his breast, and his feet were like brass (A 10) refined by fire. 11And when I saw him, I rejoiced, for I thought the Lord Almighty had come to visit me. I fell on my face: I worshipped him. 12He said to me, It is God you must pay homage to: 8 Lit. ‘Devote yourself to him’. you must not worship me. I am not the Lord Almighty; but I am the great angel Eremiel, whose place is in the world below, and I have been appointed over the abyss and hell, in which all souls have been imprisoned from the end of the flood, which was upon the earth, until to-day. 9 Cp. 1 Enoch xx. 7 (Gk.a2); 2 Esdras iv. 36. 13Then I asked the angel, What is the place I have come down 10 Text ‘up’. to? 14He said to me, This is hell. I then asked him, Who is this great angel I have seen, who is standing as he is? He said, This is the one who accuses men before the Lord. Then 〈I〉 looked: I saw he had a roll (A 11) in his hand, and he began to unfold it. 15And when he had spread it out, I read it in my own language. I found all the sins I had committed written down by him, from my childhood till to-day, all written on that roll of mine without a mistake anywhere. 16If I had not been to visit 〈a〉 sick person or a widow, I found it ascribed to me as a failure on my roll: an orphan I had not visited I found 11 Text ‘was found’. ascribed to me as a failure on my roll. 17 If there had been a day when I did not fast, when I did not pray at the hour of prayer, I found it ascribed to me as a very bad thing indeed on my roll; (A 12) and if there had been a day when I had not visited the sons of Israel, I found it ascribed to me as a failure on my roll. 18So I fell down on my face and prayed before the Lord Almighty, May thy mercy reach as far as me and wipe my roll clean; for thy mercy is everywhere and fills every place.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘I found its whole street like that of’.

2 Lit. ‘And I looked at them, and I found that they were’.

3 Here follows a word (lit. ‘they will walk’) which seems to have no place in the context.

4 So Lacau.

5 Lit. ‘In that same hour’.

6 Cp. Apoc. Zeph. 7 (p. 920 above).

7 Text ‘gifts’.

8 Lit. ‘Devote yourself to him’.

9 Cp. 1 Enoch xx. 7 (Gk.a2); 2 Esdras iv. 36.

10 Text ‘up’.

11 Text ‘was found’.

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