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

Chapter XIV

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Text Commentary

1And Sedrach said to the archangel Michael, Hear me, powerful advocate, and help me, and act as my ambassador, and plead that God have mercy on the world. 2And falling down on their faces together they prayed to God and said, Lord, teach us how man is to be saved. What kind of penitence is necessary, and what in particular must he do? 3〈God said,〉 Man is saved by acts of penitence, by intercessions, by services in church, by floods of tears, and by fervent lamentations. 4Do you not know that my prophet David was saved by tears? And the rest too–do you not know that they were saved, each of them, at one critical moment? 5Do you not know, Sedrach, that there are Gentiles who, though they have not the law, 〈yet〉 fulfil 〈the requirements〉 of the law? 1 Lit. ‘〈yet〉 do 〈the things〉 of the law’. 6For 〈even though〉 they are unbaptised, yet my divine spirit has entered into them, and they are converted to my baptism, and I receive them with my righteous ones in Abraham's bosom. 7And there are some, who have been baptized with my baptism and have been anointed with my holy 2 Lit. ‘divine’. oil, who yet turn their backs on it altogether and show no sign of a change of mind. 8But with deep compassion and an unfailing wealth of mercy I wait for their repentance, although they do what my Godhead hates and pay no attention to the wise man's saying, No sinner is ever acquitted. 3 Lit. ‘In no wise do we justify a sinner’. 9Do you really not know that Scripture says, And those who repent shall not see punishment? 10And 〈they pay no attention either to the〉 apostles, nor to my word in the gospels; and they make my angels sad. 11And more, in my assemblies and services they do not respect my messenger. 4 Meaning obscure (Gk. οὐ πϱοσεύχουσιν τὸν ἄγγελόν μου). The occurrence of πϱοσεύχειν in the active is unusual, to say the least. Furthermore, who is the ἄγγελος – Christ, or the angel presumed to be in attendance at the service, or the Christian minister in charge? 12Neither do they keep quiet 5 Reading καθίστανται for ἵστανται though the corruption is probably more deep-seated. It is possible that the details here have been suggested by the parable in Luke xviii. 9–14 . (I owe this last observation to Dr. A. M. Allchin, who has kindly assisted me over some of the other liturgical passages in this document. Ed.) in my holy churches, but instead of falling on their knees in fear and trembling, they stand up and make fine speeches, which I do not accept myself, neither do my angels.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘〈yet〉 do 〈the things〉 of the law’.

2 Lit. ‘divine’.

3 Lit. ‘In no wise do we justify a sinner’.

4 Meaning obscure (Gk. οὐ πϱοσεύχουσιν τὸν ἄγγελόν μου). The occurrence of πϱοσεύχειν in the active is unusual, to say the least. Furthermore, who is the ἄγγελος – Christ, or the angel presumed to be in attendance at the service, or the Christian minister in charge?

5 Reading καθίστανται for ἵστανται though the corruption is probably more deep-seated. It is possible that the details here have been suggested by the parable in Luke xviii. 9–14 . (I owe this last observation to Dr. A. M. Allchin, who has kindly assisted me over some of the other liturgical passages in this document. Ed.)

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