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

Chapter XI

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Text Commentary

1And he began to say with tears and lamentation,

O head, so marvellous and adorned like heaven, Bright as the sun that lights the heaven and earth! 2 Your hairs are wiser guides than Teman, Your eyes than Bozrah, Your ears than thunder, Your tongue than a trumpet. 1 Lit. ‘Those who know are your hairs from Teman, your eyes from Bozrah, your ears from thunder, your tongue from a trumpet’. (For Edom as the traditional home of wisdom cp. Jer. xlix. 7–22 , where both Teman and Bozrah are specifically mentioned.) 3 And your brain is but a tiny creature; Yet the head controls the whole body's movement. O fairest and most beloved of all my members, 4 Now must you 2 Text ‘it’. sink into the earth and be forgotten.

5

O hands, so gentle, docile, and hard-working, Through which the body 3 Lit. ‘the vessel’. receives its food! 6 O hands, so well adapted to provide domestic needs. 4 Lit. ‘O hands, most apt of all, which heaping up, you equipped the houses’. 7 O fingers embellished and adorned with gold and silver! Great works are wrought by the fingers. 8 The three joints unite the palms And enhance their beauty. And now you must become strangers to this world. 9 O feet that walk so well, that run of your own accord, Most agile, that cannot be restrained! 5 Lit. ‘Most swift, exceedingly invincible’. 10 O knees, so joined that without you the body 3 Lit. ‘the vessel’. does not move! 11 The feet run by the light of sun and moon, By night and by day: They provide everything to eat and drink, And give the body 3 Lit. ‘the vessel’. food. 12 O feet most swift 6 Reading ὠκύτατοι for ἀνθύτατοι. and nimble, that stir up the dust of the earth, To stock houses with every good thing! 13 O feet that carry the whole body, That run to the holy places to do penance 7 Or ‘… holy places in penitence’. and entreat the saints! Now must you stay motionless.

14

O head and hands and feet, Now no longer may I keep you. 8 Lit. ‘until now have I kept you’.

15

O soul, what sent you into my lowly and wretched body? 16 Now must you be separated from it And go up where the Lord calls you, And the wretched body go away to judgement.

17

O body beautified: hair flowing like the stars: Head embellished and adorned like heaven! 18 O face, fragrant with ointment: Eyes that give light: 19 Voice like the sound of a trumpet: tongue most gentle: Beard most handsome: hair like stars: Head reaching up towards the sky: Body most beautifully adorned, light-giving, elegant, 9 Reading γλαφυϱόν for γλεύφοϱον. all-knowing! Now must you sink into the earth, And beneath the earth 10 Reading ὑπὸ γη̂ς for ὓπαγε. your beauty disappear.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘Those who know are your hairs from Teman, your eyes from Bozrah, your ears from thunder, your tongue from a trumpet’. (For Edom as the traditional home of wisdom cp. Jer. xlix. 7–22 , where both Teman and Bozrah are specifically mentioned.)

2 Text ‘it’.

3 Lit. ‘the vessel’.

4 Lit. ‘O hands, most apt of all, which heaping up, you equipped the houses’.

5 Lit. ‘Most swift, exceedingly invincible’.

6 Reading ὠκύτατοι for ἀνθύτατοι.

7 Or ‘… holy places in penitence’.

8 Lit. ‘until now have I kept you’.

9 Reading γλαφυϱόν for γλεύφοϱον.

10 Reading ὑπὸ γη̂ς for ὓπαγε.

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