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

Chapter VII

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Text Commentary

1Sedrach said to him, Thou, Lord, didst fashion man. Thou knowest of what kind his inclinations were, and of what kind our knowledge is, and yet thou dost plead man himself as the excuse for his punishment. 2But cast him out – surely I alone will not be sufficient to fill the heavenly places? 3〈If not,〉 save man also, Lord; for wretched man has sinned, Lord, against thy will. 4〈God said to him,〉 Why do you waste words on me, Sedrach? I fashioned Adam and his wife and the sun 〈and the moon〉, and I said, Look at one another, and see how bright the other 1 Lit. ‘how bright he’ or ‘how bright it’. is (for the sun and Adam had the same stamp upon them 2 Lit. ‘the sun and Adam were one stamp’. ). 5The wife of Adam is more radiant in beauty than the moon; and he gave her life. 3 This passage is more than usually obscure. From the text as it stands it is unclear whether the comparison is between Adam and Eve on the one side and the sun and moon on the other, or between Adam and the sun on the one side and Eve and the moon on the other. However, in either case, not a little must have disappeared from the original text. Perhaps, also, we should emend the final clause to read ‘and I gave her life’. 6Sedrach said, And what does beauty profit if it wastes away in the earth? 7How was it that thou didst say, Lord, Do not repay evil for evil? How is it, Lord? 8The word of thy Godhead never lies: so why dost thou reward man thus? 9Dost thou not will evil for evil? I know that among the animals no one of them is more contrary than the mule. 10,11Yet we force it to go where we want it to with a bridle. Thou hast angels: send them as guardians; 4 Lit. ‘send them to guard them’. and when man takes a step in the direction of sin, let them take hold of one of his feet so that he does not go where he would.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘how bright he’ or ‘how bright it’.

2 Lit. ‘the sun and Adam were one stamp’.

3 This passage is more than usually obscure. From the text as it stands it is unclear whether the comparison is between Adam and Eve on the one side and the sun and moon on the other, or between Adam and the sun on the one side and Eve and the moon on the other. However, in either case, not a little must have disappeared from the original text. Perhaps, also, we should emend the final clause to read ‘and I gave her life’.

4 Lit. ‘send them to guard them’.

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