Apocalypse of Abraham
John 8:56Wycliffe Abraham, your father, gladded to see my day [Abraham, your father, gladded, or full out joyed, that he should see my day]; and he saw, and joyed.
57 Then the Jews said to him, Thou hast not yet fifty years, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Therefore Jesus said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, before that Abraham should be, I am. [Therefore Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before that Abraham was made, I am.]
57 Then the Jews said to him, Thou hast not yet fifty years, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Therefore Jesus said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, before that Abraham should be, I am. [Therefore Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before that Abraham was made, I am.]
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XIV. The angel said to me: 2 [“Abraham!” And I said: “Here am I, thy servant.” And he said: “Know from henceforth that the Eternal One hath chosen thee, (He) whom thou lovest; be of good courage and use this authority, so far as I bid thee, against him who slandereth truth;3 should I not be able to put him to shame who hath scattered over the earth the secrets of heaven 4 and hath rebelled against the Might y One?] 7 Say to him: ‘Be thou the burning coal of the Furnace of the earth;8 go, Azazel, into the inaccessible parts of the earth;9 [for thy heritage is (to be) over those existing with thee being born with the stars and clouds,10 with the men whose portion thou art, and (who) through thy being exist;11 and thine enmity is justification. On this account by thy perdition disappear from me.”And the angel said to me: “Answer him not; for God hath given him power (lit. will) over those who do answer him.”2 [And the angel spake to me a second time and said: “Now rather, however much he speak to thee, answer him not, that his will may have no free course in thee, because the Eternal and Mighty One hath given him weight and will; answer him not.” I did what was commanded me by the angel;]4 and however much he spake to me, I answered him nothing whatsoever.
G. H. Box M.A. Translation
'Abraham thereby demonstrated that victory does not depend on multitude and the number of hands, but the alacrity and courage of soldiers overcome the most numerous bodies of men, while he got the victory over such great an army with no more than 318 of his servants, and three of his friends : but all those who fled returned home Ingloriously.'
Antiquities of The Jews Josephus Ch 10:1
Antiquities of The Jews Josephus Ch 10:1
1. On the day I was guarding the gods of my father Terah and the gods of my brother Nahor, while I was testing (to find out) which god is in truth the strongest,
2. I (then) Abraham, at the time when my lot came, when I was completing the services, of my father Terah’s sacrifice to his gods of wood, of stone, of gold, of
3. silver, of copper, and of iron, having entered their temple for the service, I found a god named Marumath, carved from stone, fallen at the feet of the iron god
4. Nakhin. And it came to pass, that when I saw it my heart was perplexed and I thought in my mind that I, Abraham, could not put it back in its place alone,
5. because it was heavy, (being made) of a big stone. But I went and told my father,
6. and he came in with me. And when we both lifted it to put it in its place, its head
7. fell off, even while I was holding it by its head. And it came to pass, when my father saw that the head of his god Marumath had fallen, he said to me, "Abraham!:
8. And I said, "Here I am!" And he said to me, "Bring me the axes and chiselsfrom the house. "And I brought them to him
9. from the house. And he cut another Marumath from another stone, without a head, and he smashed the head that had fallen off Marumath and the rest of Marumath.
1. He made five other gods and he gave then to me and ordered me to sell them
2. outside on the town road. I saddled my father’s ass and loaded them on it and
3. went out on the highway to sell them. And behold merchants from Phandana of Syria were coming with camels, on their way to Egypt to buy kokonil from
4. the Nile. I asked them a question and they answered me. And walking along I conversed with them. One of their camels screamed. The ass took fright and ran away and threw off the gods. Three of them were crushed and two remained
5. (intact). And it came to pass that when the Syrians saw that I had gods, they said to me. ""Why did you not tell us that you had gods? We would have bought them
6. before the ass.heard the camel’s voice and you have had no loss. Give us
7. at least the gods that remain and we will give you a suitable price." I considered it in my heart. And they paid both for the smashed gods and the gods which
8. remained. For I had been grieving in my heart how I would bring payment to my
9. father. I threw three broken (gods) into the water of the river Gur, which was in this place. And they sank into the depths of the river Gur and were no more.
1. As I was still walking on the road, my heart was disturbed and my mind
2. distracted. I said in my heart, "What is the inequality of activity which my
3. father is doing? Is it not he rather who is god for his gods, because they come
4. into being from his sculpting, his planning, and his skill? They ought to honor my father because they are his work. What is this food of my father in his works?
5. Behold, Marumath fell and could not stand up in his sanctuary, nor could I myself
6. lift him until my father came and we raised him up. And even so we were not able (to do it) and his head fell off of him. And he put it on another stone of
7. another god, which he had made without a head. And... the other five gods which got smashed (in falling) from the ass, who could not save themselves and injure the ass because it smashed them, nor did their shards come up out of the
8. river. And I said to my heart, "If it is so, how then can my father’s god Marumath, which has the head of another stone and which is made from another stone, save a man, or heart a man’s prayer, or give him any gift?"
1. And thinking thus, I came to my father’s house. And I watered the ass and gave him hay. And I took out the silver and placed it in the hand of my father Terah.
2. And when he saw it, he was glad, and he said, "You are blessed. Abraham, by the god of my gods, since you have brought me the price for the gods, so that my
3. labor was not (in) vain." And answering I said to him, "Listen, father Terah! The gods are blessing in you, because you are a god for them, because you made
4. them, for their blessing is their perdition and their power is vain. They did not
5. help themselves; how then can they help you or bless me? I was good for you in this transaction, for through my good sense I brought you the silver for the
6. smashed (gods)." And when he heard my speech he became furiously angry with me, because I had spoken harsh words against his gods.
1. 1But having pondered my father’s anger, I went out. And afterward when I had
2.(3.) gone out, he called me saying, "Abraham!" And I said, "Here I am!" And he said, "Up, gather wood chips, for I was making gods from fir before you came,
4. and prepare with them food for my midday meal." And it came to pass, when I was choosing the wooden chips, I found among them a small god which would
5.(6.) fit...in my left hand. And on its forehead was written: god Barisat. And it came to pass when I put the chips on the fire in order to prepare the food for my father, and going out to inquire about the food, I put Barisat near the enkindling
7. fire, saying to him threateningly, "Barisat, watch that the fire does not go out
8. before I come back! If the fire goes out, blow on it so it flares up." I went out
9. and I made my counsel. When I returned I found Barisat fallen on his back. His
10. feet enveloped by fire and burning fiercely. And it came to pass when I saw it, I laughed (and) said to myself, "Barisat, truly you know how to light a fire and
11. cook food!" And it came to pass while saying this in my laughter, I saw (that)
12. he burned up slowly from the fire and became ashes. I carried the food to my
13. father to eat. I gave him wine and milk, and he drank and he enjoyed himself
14. and he blessed Marumath his god. And I said to him, "Father Terah, do not bless Marumath your god, do not praise him! Praise rather Barisat, your god, because, as though loving you, he threw himself into the fire in order to cook your food."
15.(16.) And he said to me, "Then where is he now?" And I said, "He has burned in the fierceness of the fire and become dust." And he said, "Great is the power of Barisat! I will make another today, and tomorrow he will prepare my food."
1. When I, Abraham, heard words like this from my father, I laughed in my mind,
2. and I groaned in the bitterness and anger of my soul. I said, "How then is a
figment of a body made by him (Terah) an aid for my father? Or can he have subordinated (his) body to his soul, his soul to a spirit, and the spirit to stupidity
4. and ignorance?" And I said, "It is only proper to endure evil that I may throw
5. my mind to purity and I will expose my thoughts clearly to him." I answered and said, "Father Terah, whichever of these gods you extol, you err in your thought.
6. Behold, the gods of my brother Nahor standing in the holy sanctuary are more
7. venerable than yours. For behold, Zouchaios, my brother Nahor’s god is more venerable than your god Marumath because he is made of gold, valued by man.
8. And if he grows old with time, he will be remolded, whereas Marumath, if h
9. e is changed or broken, will not be renewed, because he is stone. What about Ioav, the god on the other god, who stands with Zouchaios? For he is also more venerable than the god Barisat; he is carved from wood and forged from silver. Because he too is a term of comparison, being valued by man according to external 10,11experience. But Barisat, your god, when he was still not carved, rooted in the
12. earth, being great and wondrous, with branches and flowers; and praise...But
13. you made him with an axe, and by your skill he was made a god. And behold
14. he has already dried up and his fatness has perished. He fell from the height to
15. the earth, he came from greatness to smallness, and the appearance of his face
17. wasted away. And, he himself was burned up by the fire and he became ashes
18. and is no more. And you say, Let me make another and tomorrow he will make
19. my food for me. But in perishing he left himself no strength for his (own) destruction."
1. This I say:
2. Fire is more venerable in formation, for even the unsubdued (things) are subdued in it, and it mocks that which perishes easily by means of its
3. burning. But neither is it venerable, for it is subject to the waters.
4. But rather the waters are more venerable than it (fire), because they overcome fire and sweeten the earth
5. with fruits. But I will not call them god either, for the waters subside under the
6. earth and are subject to it. But I will not call it a goddess either, for it is dried by the sun (and) subordinated to man for his work.
7. More venerable among the gods, I say, is the sun, for with its rays it illuminates the whole universe and the various airs.
8. Nor will I place among the gods the one who obscures his course by means of the moon and the clouds.
9. Nor again shall I call the moon or the stars gods, because they too at times during the night dim their light.
10. Listen, Terah my father, I shall seek before you the God who created all the gods supposed by us (to exist).
11. For who is it, or which one is it who made the heavens crimson and the sun golden, who has given light to the moon and the stars with it, who has dried the earth in the midst of the many waters, who set you yourself among the things and who has sought me out in the perplexity of my thoughts?
12. I (only) God will reveal himself by himself to us!"
1. And it cane to pass as I was thinking things like these with regard to my father Terah in the court of my house, the voice of the Mighty One came down from
2. the heavens in a stream of fire, saying and calling, "Abraham, Abraham!" And
3. I said, "Here I am." And he said, "You are searching of the God of gods, the
4. Creator, in the understanding of your heart. I am he. Go out from Terah, your father, and go out of the house, that you too may not be slain in the sins of your
5. father’s house." And it came to pass as I went out-I was not
6. yet outside the entrance of the court- that the sound of a great thunder came and burned him and his house and everything in his house, down to the ground, forty cubits.
1.(2.) Then a voice came speaking to me twice: "Abraham, Abraham!" And I said,1. Then a voice came to me speaking twice, "Abraham! Abraham!" and I said, "Here I am!" And He said, "Behold it is I, fear not for I am with you, for I AM before the ages, even the Mighty God who created the first light of the world. I am your shield and your helper."
3. "Here I am." And he said, "Behold, it is I, Fear not, for I an Before-the-World
4. and Mighty, the God who created previously, before the light of the age. I am
5. the protector for you and I am your helper.
Go, get me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon,2. "Go, take me a young heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, a turtledove and a pigeon, and bring me a pure sacrifice. And in this sacrifice I will lay before you the ages to come, and make known to you what is reserved, and you shall see great things which you have not hitherto seen:
6. and make me a pure sacrifice. And in this sacrifice I will place the ages. I will announce to you guarded things and you will see great things which you have not
because you desired to search for me, and I called you my beloved. But for forty days abstain from every kind of food cooked by fire, and from drinking3. because you have loved to search me out, and I have named you 'my friend.' But abstain from every form of food that comes forth out of the fire, and from the drinking of wine, and from anointing yourself with oil, for forty days, and then set forth for me the sacrifice which I have commanded you, in a place which I will show you on a high mountain, and there I will show you the ages which have been created and established by my word, and I will make known to you what shall come to pass in them on those who have done evil and righteousness in the generations of men."
8. of wine and from anointing (yourself) with oil. And then you shall set out for me the sacrifice, which I have commanded you, in the place which I will show you
9. on a high mountain. And there I will show you the things which were made by
10. the ages and by my word, and affirmed, created, and renewed. And I will announce to you in them what will come upon those who have done evil and just things in the race of man."
1. And it came to pass when I heard the voice pronouncing such words to me4. And it came to pass when I heard the voice of Him who spoke such words to me, and I looked here and there, I found no breath in me, and my spirit was frightened, and my soul seemed as departed from me, for I fell down as a stone, as a dead man upon the earth, and had no more strength to stand. And while I was thus lying with my face towards the earth, I heard the voice of the Holy One speaking, "Go, Jaoel, and by means of my ineffable Name raise up yonder man and strengthen him , so that he recovers from his trembling.
2. that I looked this way and that. And behold there was no breath of man. And my spirit was amazed, and my soul fled from me. And I became like a stone, and fell face down upon the earth, for there was no longer strength in me to stand up on
3. the earth. And while I was still face down on the ground, I heard the voice speaking, "Go, Iaoel of the same name, through the meditation of my ineffable
4. name, consecrate this man for me and strengthen him against his trembling."
The angel he sent to me in the likeness of a man came, and he took me by my right5. And the angel whom He had sent came to me in the likeness of a man and grasped me by my right hand and set me up upon my feet and said to me, "Stand up Abraham, 0 friend of God who loves you; let not the trembling of man seize you! For lo! I have been sent to you to strengthen you and bless you in the name of God, who loves you, the Creator of the celestial and the terrestrial. Be fearless and hasten to Him. I am called Jaoel by Him who moves those who exist with me on the seventh expanse over the heavens, a power in virtue of the ineffable Name that is dwelling in me. I am the one who has been given to restrain, according to His commandment, the threatening attacks of the Living Ones of the Cherubim against one another, and to teach those who carry Him, the song of the seventh hour of the night of man.
5. hand and stood me on my feet. And he said to me, "Stand up, Abraham, friend
6. of God who has loved you, let human trembling not enfold you! For lo! I am sent to you to strengthen you and to bless you in the name of God, creator of heavenly
7.(8.) and earthly things, who has loved you. Be bold and hasten to him. I am Iaoel and I was called so by him who causes those with me on the seventh expanse, on the firmament, to shake, a power through the medium of his ineffable name in
9. me. I am the one who has been charged according to his commandment, to restrain the threats of the living creatures of the cherubim against one another, and I teach those who carry the song through the medium of man’s night of the seventh hour.
10. I am appointed to hold the Leviathans, because through me is subjugated the6. I am ordered to restrain the Leviathan, for every single attack and menace of every single reptile are subject unto me. I am he who has been commissioned to loosen Hades, and destroy him who stares at the dead. I have been sent to bless you now, and the land which the Eternal One, whom you have invoked, has prepared for you, and for your sake I have wended my way upon earth.
11. attack and menace of every reptile. I am ordered to loosen Hades and to destroy
12. those who wondered at the dead. I am the one who ordered you father’s house
13. to be burned with him, for he honored the dead. I am sent to you now to bless you and the land which he whom you have called the Eternal One has prepared
14.(15.) for you. For your sake I have indicated the way of the land.
Stand up, Abraham, go boldly, be very joyful and rejoice. And I (also rejoice) with you, for a venerable7. Stand up, Abraham! Go without fear; be right glad and rejoice, and I am with you! For age-lasting honour has been prepared for you by the Eternal One. Go, fulfil the sacrifices commanded. For lo! I have been appointed to be with you, and with the generations that will spring from you, and with me Michael blesses you for ever. Be of good cheer and go!"
16. honor has been prepared for you by the Eternal One. Go, complete the sacrifice of the command, Behold, I am assigned (to be) with you and with the generation
17. which is predestined (to be born) from you. And with me Michael blesses you forever. Be bold, go!"
1. And I stood up and saw him who had taken my right hand and set me on my8. And I rose up and saw him who had grasped me by the right hand and set me upon my feet, and the appearance of his body was like sapphire, and the look of his countenance like crysolite, and the hair of his head like snow, and the turban on his head like the appearance of the rainbow, and the clothing of his garments like purple, and a golden sceptre was in his right hand,
2. feet. The appearance of his body was like sapphire, and the aspect of his face
3. was like chrysolite, and the hair of his head like snow. And a kidaris (was) on his head, its look that of a rainbow, and the clothing of his garments (was) purple;
4. and a golden staff (was) in his right hand.
And he said to me, "Abraham," And I said, "Here is your servant!" And he said, "Let my appearance not frighten9. And he said to me, "Abraham!" And I said, "Here I am, your servant." And he said, "Let not my appearance frighten you, nor my speech, that your soul be not troubled. Come with me, and I will be with you, visible, until the sacrifice, but after the sacrifice always invisible. Be of good cheer, and come!"
5. you, nor my speech trouble your soul. Come with me! And I will go with you
6. visible until the sacrifice, but after the sacrifice invisible forever. Be bold and go!"
1.(2.) And we went, the two of us alone together, forty days and nights. And I ate no bread and drank no water, because (my) food was to see the angel who was10. And we went, the two of us together for forty days and nights, and I ate no bread and drank no water, because my food and my drink was to see the angel who was with me, and to hear his speech. And we came to the Mount of God, Mount Horeb, and I said to the angel, "Singer of the Eternal One! I have no sacrifice with me, nor am I aware of the place of an altar on the mountain; how can I bring a sacrifice?" And he said to me, "Look around you." And when I looked around, there following us were all the prescribed animals, the young heifer, the she goat, the ram, the turtle dove and the pigeon.
3. with me, and his discourse with me was my drink. We came to God’s mountain,
4. glorious Horeb. And I said to the angel, "Singer of the Eternal One, behold I have no sacrifice with me, nor do I know a place for an altar on the mountain, so how
5.(6.) shall I make the sacrifice?" And he said, "Look behind you." And I liked behind me. And behold all the prescribed sacrifices were following us: the calf,
7. the she-goat, the ram, the turtledove, and the pigeon.
And the angel said to me;11. And the angel said to me, "Abraham!" And I said, "Here am I." And he said, "Slaughter all these animals, and divide them into halves, the one against the other, but do not sever the birds. And give these to the men whom I will show you, standing by you, for these are the altar upon the Mountain, to offer a sacrifice to the Eternal but the turtle dove and the pigeon give to me, for I will ascend upon the wings of the bird, so that you may be able to see in heaven, and upon earth, and in the sea, and in the abyss, and in the under-world, and in the Garden of Eden, and in its rivers, and in the fullness of the whole world and its circle - you shall gaze into them all."
8. "Abraham." And I said, "Here I am." And he said to me, "Slaughter all these
9. and divide the animals exactly into halves. But do not cut the birds apart. And give them to the men whom I will show you standing beside you, for they are the
10. altar on the mountain, to offer sacrifice to the Eternal One. The turtledove and the pigeon you will give to me for I will ascend on the wings of the bird to show you (what) is in the heavens, on the earth and in the sea, in the abyss, and in the lower depths, in the garden of Eden and in its rivers, in the fullness of the universe. And you will see its circles in all."
1. And I did everything according to the angel’s command. And I gave the angels who had come to us the divided parts of the animals. And the angel Iaoel took And I did everything according to the command of the angel, and gave the angels who had come to us, the divided animals, but the angel Jaoel took the birds. And I waited until the evening sacrifice. And there flew an unclean bird down upon the carcases, and I drove it away(Gen 15:11). And the unclean bird spoke to me and said, "Abraham, what are you doing upon these holy heights, where no man eats or drinks, nor is there upon them the food of man, but these heavenly beings consume everything with fire, and will burn you up. Forsake the man who is with you and flee, for if you ascend into the heights they will destroy you"
2.(3.) the two birds. And I waited for the evening gift. And an unclean bird flew down
4. on the carcasses, and I drove it away. And the unclean bird spoke to me and said, "What are you doing, Abraham, on the holy heights where no one eats or drinks, nor is there upon them food for men. But these all will be consumed by fire and
5. they will burn you up. Leave the man who is with you and flee! For if you
6. ascend to the height, they will destroy you."
And it came to pass when I saw the bird speaking I said this to the angel: "What is this, my lord?" And he said,13. And it came to pass, when I saw the bird speak, I said to the angel, "What is this, my lord?" And he said, "This is ungodliness; this is Azazel." And he said to it, "Disgrace upon you, Azazel! For Abraham's lot is in heaven, but yours is upon the earth. Because you have chosen and loved this for the dwelling place of your uncleanness. therefore the Eternal Mighty Lord made you to be a dweller upon the earth, and through you every evil spirit of lies, and through you wrath and trials for the generations of ungodly men; for God, the Eternal Mighty One, has not permitted that the bodies of the righteous should be in your hand, in order that thereby the life of the righteous and the destruction of the unclean may be assured. Hear this my friend, and begone with shame from me. For it has not been given to you to play the tempter in regard to all the righteous. Depart from this man! You cannot lead him astray. He is an enemy to you, and to those who follow you and love what you desire. For, behold, the vesture which in heaven was formerly yours has been set aside for him, and the mortality which was his has been transferred to you."
7. "This is disgrace, this is Azazel!" And he said to him, "Shame on you,
8. Azazel! For Abraham’s portion is in heaven, and yours is on the earth, for you have selected here, (and) become enamored of the swelling place of your blemish. Therefore the Eternal Ruler, the Mighty One, has given you a dwelling on earth.
9. Through you the all-evil spirit (is) a liar, and through you (are) wrath and trials
10. on the generations of men who live impiously. For the Eternal, Mighty One did not allow the bodies of the righteous to be in your hand, so through them the
11. righteous life is affirmed and the destruction of ungodliness. Hear, counselor, be
12. shamed by me! You have no permission to tempt all the righteous. Depart from
13. this man! You cannot deceive him, because he is the enemy of you and of those
14. who follow you and who love what you wish. For behold, the garment which is heaven was formerly yours has been set aside for him, and the corruption which was on him has gone over to you."
1. And the angel said to me, "Abraham!" And I said, "Here I am, your14. And the angel said to me, "Know that from henceforth the Eternal One has chosen you. Be of good courage and use this authority so far as I bid you, against him who slanders the truth. Should I not be able to put him to shame who has scattered over the earth the secrets of heaven, and has rebelled against the Mighty One? Say to him, 'Become the burning coal of the furnace of the earth! Go, Azazel, into the inaccessible parts of the earth, for your heritage is to be over those who are with you, the ones brought forth with the stars and clouds, and with the men whose portion you are, even those who exist on account of your being. Justification shall be your enemy. Now depart from me by your perdition!
2. servant." And he said, "Know from this that the Eternal One whom you have
3. loved has chosen you. Be bold and do through your authority whatever I order
4. you against him who reviles justice. Will I not be able to revile him who has scattered about the earth the secrets of heaven and who has taken counsel against
5. the Mighty One? Say to him, ‘May you be the firebrand of the furnace of the
6. earth! Go, Azazel, into the untrodden parts of the earth. For your heritage is over those who are with you, with the stars and with the men born by the clouds,
7. whose portion you are, indeed they exist through your being. Enmity is for you
8. a pious act. Therefore through your own destruction be gone from me!’
And15. And I uttered the words that the angel taught me. And then the angel said to me, "Answer him not! For God has given him power over those who answer him." And the angel spoke to me again saying, "However much he speak to you, answer him not, in order that he may have no free access to you, because the Eternal One has given him 'weight and will' in this respect." And I did that which was commanded me by the angel, and no matter how much he spoke to me, I answered him nothing whatsoever.
9. I said the words as the angel had taught me. And he said, "Abraham." And I
10. said, "Here I am, your servant!" And the angel said to me, "Answer him not!"
11.(12.) And he spoke to me a second time. And the angel said, "Now, whatever he says to you, answer him not, lest his will run up to you. For the Eternal, Mighty
14. One gave him the gravity and the will. Answer him not." And I did what the angel had commanded me. And whatever he said to me about the descent, I answered him not.
1. And it came to pass when the sun was setting, and* behold a smoke like that of a furnace, and the angels who had the divided portions of the sacrifice ascended*. And it came to pass when the sun went down, behold there was the smoke as of a furnace. And the angels who had the portions of the sacrifice ascended from the top of the smoking furnace. And the angel took me with his right hand and set me upon the right wing of the pigeon, and set himself on the left wing of the turtle dove, neither of which birds had been slaughtered, and he bore me to the borders of the flaming fire, and we ascended upon many winds to the heavens which were above the firmament. And I saw in the air on the heights to which we ascended, *a strong light impossible to describe*, and within the light a fiercely burning fire of people, many people, of male appearance, all constantly changing in aspect and form, running and being transformed, and worshipping and crying with a sound of words that I could not recognise.
2. from the top of the furnace of smoke. And the angel took me with his right hand and set me on the right wing of the pigeon and he himself sat on the left wing of
3. the turtledove, (both of) which were as of neither slaughtered nor divided. And
4. he carried me up to the edge of the fiery flames. And we ascended as if (carried)
5. by many winds to the heaven that is fixed on the expanses. And I saw on the air
6. to whose height we had ascended a strong light which can not be described And behold, in this light * a fiery Gehenna was enkindled, and a great crowd in the
7. likeness of men all were changing in aspect and shape, running and changing form and prostrating themselves and crying words I did not know.*
1. And I said to the angel, "Why is it you now brought me here? For now I can17. And I said to the angel, "Why have you now brought me up here, because my eyes cannot now see distinctly, and I am growing weak, and my spirit is departing from me?" And he said to me, "Remain close by me and do not fear, for the One whom you cannot see is now coming towards us with a great voice of holiness, even the Eternal One who loves you. But you yourself cannot see Him. But you must not allow your spirit to grow faint on account of the choirs of those who cry out, for I am with you to strengthen you."
2. no longer see, because I am weakened and my spirit is departing from me." And
3. he said to me, "Remain with me, do not fear. He whom you will see coming directly toward us in a great sound of sanctification is the Eternal One who has
4. loved you. You will not look at him himself. But let your spirit not weaken, for I am with you, strengthening you."
1. And while he was still speaking, behold the fire coming toward us round about, and a voice was in the fire like a voice of many waters, like voice of the18. And while he was thus speaking fire came all about us, and there was a voice within the fire like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the sea in violent motion. And I desired to fall down there and worship, and I saw that the angel who was with me bowed his head and worshipped, but the surface of the high place where I seemed to be standing changed its inclination constantly, rolling as the great waves on the surface of the sea.
2.(3) sea in its uproar. And the angel knelt down with me and worshipped. And I wanted to fall face down on the earth. And the place of highness on which we
4. were standing now stopped on high, now rolled down low.
And he said, "Only19. And the angel said, "Worship, Abraham, and utter the song which I shall now teach you. Utter it without ceasing, that is, without pause, in one continuous strain from beginning to end. And the song which he taught me to sing had words appropriate to that sphere in which we then stood, for each sphere in heaven has its own song of praise, and only those who dwell there know how to utter it, and those upon earth cannot know or utter it except they be taught by the messengers of heaven. And the words of that song were of this import and signification -
5. worship, Abraham, and recite the song which I taught you." Since there was no ground to which I could fall prostrate, I only bowed down, and I recited the song
6.(7.) which he had taught me. And he said, "Recite without ceasing." And I recited, and he himself recited the song
8. Eternal One, Mighty One, Holy El, God autocrat'Eternal, Mighty, Holy El, God only-supreme'
9. Self-originate, incorruptible, immaculate,You who are the Self-originated, the Beginningless One Incorruptible,
spotless, immortal,Spotless, Uncreated, Immaculate, Immortal, Self-complete, Self-illuminating,
10. Self-perfected, self-devised,
Without mother, without father, ungenerated,Without father, without mother, unbegotten,
11. Exalted, fiery,Exalted, Fiery One! Lover of men, Benevolent One, Bountiful One,
12. Just, lover of men, benevolent, compassionate, bountiful,
Jealous over me, Patient one, most merciful,Jealous over me, and very compassionate, Eli, My God,
eternal, mighty one, holy Sabaoth,Eternal, Jehovah Zebaioth, Very Glorious El, El, El, El, Jah El!
Most glorious El, El, El, El, Iaoel,
14. You are he my soul has loved,You are the One whom my soul has loved!
my protector.Eternal Protector, Shining like Fire, Whose voice is like the thunder, Whose look is like the lightning,
15. Eternal, fiery, shining,
light-giving, thunder-voiced, lightning-visioned,
many-eyed,You are the All-seeing One, Who receives the prayers of all such as honour You,
16. receiving the petitions of those who honor you
and turning away from the petitions of those who restrain you
by the restraint of their provocations,
17. redeemer of those who dwell in the midst of the wicked ones,
of those who are dispersed among the just of the world,
in the corruptible age.And turn away the requests of those who embarrass You with their provocations
Who dissolves the confusions of the world
which arise from the ungodly and the righteous mixed up in the confusion of the corruptible age,
18. Showing forth the age of the just, 'And renewing the age of the righteous,
You make the light shine
Before the morning light upon your creation
From your faceShine 0 Lord, shine as a light, even as that light with which you clothed Yourself on the first day of Creation,
Shine as the Light of the Morning on Your creatures
To spend the day on the earth,And let it be Day upon Earth,
19. And in your heavenly dwelling place
(there is) an inexhaustible light of a invincible dawning
from the light of your face.For in these heavenly dwelling places there is no need of any other light
Than the unspeakable splendour from the light of Your Countenance,
20. Accept my prayer and delight in it,O answer my prayer, 0 be well-pleased with it,
And (accept) also the sacrifice which you yourself madeO accept my sacrifice which You have prepared for me to offer,
To yourself through me as I searched for you.
21. Receive me favorably,Accept me favourably, and show me, teach me, all that You have promised!'
Teach me, show me, and make known to your servant
What you have promised me.
1. And as I was still reciting the song, the mouth of the fire which was on the firmament was Rising up on High 2And while I was still reciting the song, the mouth of the fire which was on the surface rose up on high. And I heard a voice like the roaring of the sea, nor did it cease on account of the rich abundance of the fire. And as the fire raised itself up, ascending into the heights, I saw under the fire a throne of fire, and round about it the watchfulness of many eyes, even the all-seeing ones reciting their song, and under the throne four fiery Living Ones singing, and their appearance was one, and each one had four faces. And such was the appearance of their countenance, that each one had the face of a lion, a man, an ox and an eagle, and because of their four heads upon their bodies, they had sixteen faces, and each one had three pairs of wings, from their shoulders, from their sides, and from their loins. And with the wings from the shoulders they covered their faces, and with the wings from their loins they covered their feet, while the two middle wings were spread out for flying straight forward.
2. firmament was rising up on high. And I heard a voice like the roaring of the sea,
3. and it did not cease from the plentitude of the fire. And as the fire rose up, soaring to the highest point, I saw under the fire a throne of fire and the many-eyed ones round about, reciting the song, under the throne four fiery living creatures, singing.
4. ,5And the appearance of each of them was the same, each having four faces, And this (was) the aspect of their faces: of a lion, of a man, of an ox, and of an eagle.
Each one had four heads on its body so that the four living creatures had sixteen
6. faces. And each one had six wings: two on the shoulders, two halfway down, and
7. two at the loins. With the wings which were on their shoulders they covered their faces, with the wings at their loins they clothed their feet, and they would stretch
8. the two middle wings out and fly, erect.
And when they finished singing, they21. And it came to pass that when they had ended their singing they looked at one another and threatened one another.
9. would look at one another and threaten one another.
And it came to pass when the angel who was with me saw that they were threatening each other, he left me22. And it came to pass that when the angel who was with me saw that they were threatening each other, he left me and went running to them and turned the countenance of each one away from the countenance immediately facing him, in order that they might not look upon each other. And he began to teach them the song of peace which has its origin in the Eternal One.
10. and went running to them. And he turned the face of each living creature from the face which was opposite it so that they could not see each other’s faces
11. threatening each other. And he taught them the song of peace which the Eternal
12. One has in himself.
And while I was still standing and watching, I saw behind the living creatures a chariot with fiery wheels. Each wheel was full of eyes round23. And as I stood alone and looked, I saw behind the Living Ones a chariot with fiery wheels, each wheel full of eyes round about, and over the wheels was the throne which I had seen, and which was covered with fire, and the fire encircled it round about, and lo! an indescribable fire contained a mighty fiery host, and I heard its holy voice like the voice of a man.
13. about. And above the wheels was the throne which I had seen. And it was covered with fire and the fire encircled it round about, and an indescribable light surrounded
14. the fiery crowd. And I heard the voice of their sanctification like the voice of a single man.
1. And a voice came to me out of the midst of the fire, saying, "Abraham,24. And a voice came to me out of the midst of the fire, saying, "Abraham! Abraham!" and I answered saying "Here am I!" And he said, "Consider the expanses which are under the firmament on which you are now placed and see how on no single expanse is there any other than the One whom you have sought, even the One who loves you!"
2.(3.) Abraham!" And I said, "Here I am!" And he said, "Look at the expanses which are under the firmament to which you have now been directed and see that on no single expanse is there any other but the one whom you have searched for
4. or who has loved you."
And while he was still speaking, behold, the expanses under me, the heavens, opened and I saw on the seventh firmament upon which I stood a fire spread out and a light and dew and a multitude of angels and a host of the invisible glory, and up above the living creatures I had seen; I saw no one25. And while he was yet speaking, the expanses opened, and there below me were the heavens, and I saw upon the seventh firmament upon which I stood a fire widely extended, and the light which is the treasury of life, and the dew with which God will awaken the dead, and the spirits of the departed righteous, and the spirits of those souls who have yet to be born, and judgment and righteousness, peace and blessing, and an innumerable company of angels, and the Living Ones, and the Power of the Invisible Glory that sat above the Living Ones. -
5. else there,
And I looked from on high, where I was standing, downward to the26. And I looked downwards from the mountain on which I stood to the sixth firmament, and there I saw a multitude of angels of pure spirit, without bodies, whose duty was to carry out the commands of the fiery angels who were upon the seventh firmament, as I was standing suspended over them. And behold, upon this sixth firmament there were no other powers of any form, save only the angels of pure spirit.
6. sixth firmament. And I saw there a multitude of spiritual angels, incorporeal, carrying out the orders of the fiery angels who were on the eighth firmament, as
7. I was standing on its elevation. And lo, neither on this firmament was there
8. in any shape any other host, but only the spiritual angels.
And the host I saw on27. And He commanded that the sixth firmament should be removed from my sight, and I saw there on the fifth firmament the powers of the stars which carry out the commands laid upon them, and the elements of the earth obeyed them.
9. the seventh firmament commanded the sixth firmament and it removed itself. I saw there, on the fifth (firmament), host of stars, and the orders they were commanded to carry out, and the elements of earth obeying them.
1.(2.) And the Eternal, Mighty One said to me, "Abraham, Abraham!" And I said,28. And the Eternal Mighty One said to me, "Abraham! Abraham!" And I said, "Here am I!" And He said to me, "Consider from above the stars which are beneath you, and number them for me, and make known to me their number." And I said, "How can I? For I am but a man of the dust of the earth." And He said to me, "As the number of the stars and their power, so will I make your seed a nation and a people set apart for me as my own inheritance, as distinct from that of Azazel. And yet I include Azazel in my house."
3. "Here I am !" And he said, :Look from on high at the stars which are beneath
4. you and count them for me and tell me their number!" And I said, "When can
5. I? For I am a man." And he said to me, "As the number of the stars and their power so shall I place for your seed the nations and men, set apart for me in my
6. lot with Azazel."
And I said, "Eternal and Mighty One. Let your servant speak29. And I said, "0 Eternal Mighty One! Let your servant speak before You, and let not your anger be kindled against your chosen one! For lo! before I came up hither, Azazel inveighed against me. How then, while he is not now before you, can you constitute yourself with him?"
7. before you and let your fury not rage against your chosen one. Behold, before you led me up, Azazel insulted me. How then, since he is now not before you, did you establish yourself with them?"
1. And he said to me, "Look now beneath your feet at the firmament and understand the creation that was depicted of old on this expanse, (and) the creatures30. And He said to me, "Look now beneath your feet at the firmaments and understand the creation represented and foreshadowed in this expanse, the creatures who exist upon it, and the ages prepared for it."
2. which are in it and the age prepared after it."
And I looked beneath the firmament at my feet and I saw the likeness of heaven and the things that were therein.31. And I saw beneath the surface of my feet, even beneath the sixth heaven and what was therein, and then the earth and its fruits, and what moved upon it and its animate beings, and the power of its men, and the ungodliness of some of its souls and the righteous deeds of other souls, and I saw the lower regions and the perdition therein, the abyss and its torments. And I saw the sea and its islands, its monsters and its fishes, and Leviathan and his dominion, his camping-ground and his caves, and the world which lay above him, his movements and the destructions of the world on his account. And I saw there the streams and the rivers, and the rising of their waters, and their windings in their courses. And I saw there the Garden of Eden and its fruits, the source of the river that issues from it, the trees and their blossoms, and the ones who behaved righteously. And I saw therein their foods and their blessedness. And I saw there a great multitude, men and women and children, half of them on the right side of the vision, and half of them on the left side of the vision.
3. And (I saw) there the earth and its fruit, and its moving things and its things that had souls, and its host of men and the impiety of their souls and their justification, and their pursuit of their works and the abyss and its torments,
4. and its lower depths and (the) perdition in it. And I saw there the sea and its islands, and its cattle and its fish, and Leviathan and his realm and his bed and his lairs, and the world which lay upon him, and his motions and the destruction
5. he caused the world. I saw there the rivers and their upper (reaches) and their circles.
6. And I saw there the garden of Eden and its fruits, and the source and the river flowing from it, and its trees and their flowering, making fruits, and I saw men doing justice in it, their food and their rest.
7. And I saw there a great crowd of men and women and children, half of them on the right side of the portrayal, and half of them on the left side of the portrayal.
1.(2.) And I said, "Eternal, Mighty One! What is this picture of creation?" And he said to me, "This is my will with regard to what is in the light and it was good before my face. And then, afterward, I gave them a command by my word and they came into existence. Whatever I had decreed was to exist had already been outlined in this and all the previously created (things) you have seen stood before32. And I said, "0 Eternal, Mighty One! What is this vision and picture of the creatures?" And He said to me, "This is my will for those who exist in the divine world-counsel, for thus it seemed well-pleasing in my sight, and so afterwards I gave commandment to them through my word. And so it came to pass that whatever I had determined to be, was already planned beforehand in this picture-vision before you, and it has stood before me before it was created, as you have seen."
And I said, "O sovereign, mighty and eternal! Why are the people in this picture on this side and on that?" And he said to me, "These who are on the left side are a multitude of tribes who existed previously...and after you some (who have been) prepared for judgment and order, others for revenge and perdition33. And I said, "0 Lord, Mighty and Eternal! Who are the people in this picture on this side and that?" And He said to me, "Those who are on the left side are all those, born before your day and afterwards, some destined for judgment and restoration, and others for vengeance and cutting off at the end of the age. But those on the right side of the picture, they are the. people who have been set apart for me, and whom I have ordained to be born of your line and called my people, even some of those who derive from Azazel.
5. at the end of the age. Those on the right side of the picture are the people set apart for me of the people with Azazel; these are the ones I have prepared to be born of you and to be called my people.
1. "Look again at the picture: Who is the one who seduced Eve, and what is the fruit of the tree and you will know what will be and how much will be for your seed in the last days. 34. Now look again in the picture, and see who it is who seduced Eve, and what is the fruit of the Tree, and you will know what is to be, and how it shall be with your seed among the people at the end of the days of the age, and all that you cannot understand I will make known to you for you are well-pleasing in my sight, and I will tell you of those things which are kept in my heart.
2. the fruit of the tree? And you will know what will be and how much will be for
3. your seed in the last days. And what you cannot understand, I will make known to you because you have been pleasing before my face and I will tell you what
4. I have kept in my heart."
And I looked into the picture, and my eyes ran to the side of the Garden of Eden, and I saw there a man of imposing height and mighty in stature, incomparable in aspect, and he was embracing a woman, who likewise approximated to the aspect of his size and stature. And they were standing under a tree of the Garden of Eden, and the fruit of this tree was like a bunch of grapes of the vine. And standing behind the tree was one who had the aspect of a Serpent(Dragon)R.Rubinkiewicz Translation... having hands and feet like those of a man, and wings on its shoulders, six pairs of wings, so that there were six wings on the right and six on the left. And as I continued looking, I saw the man and the woman eating the fruit from the tree.
5. side of the garden of Eden. And I saw there a man very great in height and terrible in breadth, incomparable in aspect, entwined with a woman who was also equal
6. to the man in aspect and size. And they were standing under a tree of Eden, and
7. the fruit of the tree was like the appearance of a bunch of grapes of the vine. And behind the tree was standing (something) like a dragon in form, but having hands
8. and feet like a man’s, on his back six wings on the right and six on the left. And he was holding the grapes of the tree and feeding them to the two I saw entwined
9. with each other.
And I said, "Who are these two entwined with each other, or who is this between them, and what is the fruit which they are eating, Mighty One, Eternal And I said, "Who are these who are embracing, and who is the one between them who is behind the tree, and what is the fruit that they are eating?" And He said, "This is the council of the world, this one is Adam, and this one, who is their desire upon the .earth, is Eve. But he who is between them represents ungodliness and their beginnings on the way to perdition, even Azazel."
10. One, Eternal?" And he said. "This is the world of men, this is Adam and this
11. is their thought on earth, this is Eve. And he who is between them is the impiety
12. of their behavior unto perdition, Azazel himself."
And I said. "Eternal Mighty One, why then did you adjudge him such dominion that through his works37. And I said, "0 Eternal Mighty One! Why have you given such as him the power to destroy the generations of men in their works upon the earth?" And He said to me, "Those who will to do evil over them I gave him power, even to be beloved of them."
13. he could ruin humankind on earth?" And he said to me, "Hear, Abraham! Those who desire evil, and all whom I have hated as they commit them- over them
14. did I give him dominion, and he was to be beloved of them."
And I answered and said. "Eternal, Mighty One! Why did it please you to bring it about that evil should be desired in the heart of man, because you are angered at what was chosen by you...him who does useless things in your light(?)"38. And I answered and said, "0 Eternal Mighty One! Wherefore is it your will that evil should be desired in the hearts of men, since you are indeed enangered over that which you see? It is your will, and you are angry with him who is doing what is unprofitable in your counsel?"
1. And he said to me thus, "Close to the nations...for your sake and for the sake of those set apart after you, the people of your tribe, as you will see in the picture what is burdened on them and i will explkain everthing that will happen in the last days.39. And He said to me, "I am angered by mankind on your account, and on account of those who shall be of your family hereafter, for as you can see in the picture, the burden of destiny is placed upon them, and I shall tell you what shall be, and how much shall be in the last days. Look now at everything in the picture."
2. picture, what is burdened on them. And I will explain to you what will be, and
3. everything that will be in the last days. Look now at everything in the picture."
4. And I looked and saw there the creatures that had come into being before me.40. And I looked and saw what was before me in creation; I saw Adam and Eve with him, and I saw the cunning adversary, and Cain who acted lawlessly through the promptings of the adversary, and I saw the slaughtered Abel, and the destruction brought about and caused upon him through the lawless one. And I saw Impurity and those who lust after it, and its pollution and their jealousies, and the fire of their corruption in the lowest parts of the earth.
5. And I saw, as it were, Adam and Eve who was with him, and with them the crafty adversary and Cain, who had been led by the adversary to break the law, and (I saw) the murdered Abel (and) the perdition brought on him and given
6. through the lawless one. And I saw there fornication and those who desired it, and its defilement and their zeal; and the fire of the corruption in the lower depths
7. of the earth.
And I saw there theft and those who hasten after it, and the system41. And I saw Theft, and those who hasten after it, and the arrangement of their retribution, at the judgment of the Great Assize. And I saw there naked men with their foreheads against each other, and their disgrace, and the passions which they had for each other, and their retribution. And I saw Desire, and in her hand the head of every kind of lawlessness, and her scorn and contempt and waste assigned to perdition.
8. of their retribution, the judgment of the great court. I saw there naked men, forehead to forehead, and their shame and the harm (they wrought) against their
9. friends and the retribution. And I saw there desire, and in her hand (was) the head of every kind of lawlessness, and her torment and her dispersal destined to destruction.
1. I saw there the likeness of the idol of jealousy, like a carpenter’s figure such as my father used to make, and its body was of glittering copper, and before it42. And I saw there the likeness of the idol of jealousy, carved in woodwork such as my father was wont to make, and its body was of glittering bronze which covered the wood. And before it I saw a man who was worshipping the idol, and in front of him there was an altar, and upon the altar a boy slain in the presence of the idol.
2. a man, and he was worshipping it. And (there was) an altar opposite it and boys
3. being slaughtered on it in the face of the idol.
And I said to him, "What is this idol, or what is the altar, or who are those being sacrificed, or who is the sacrificer, or what is the handsome temple which I see, the art and beauty of your glory that43. And I said to Him, "What is this idol and this altar, and who is he who is sacrificed? And what is this great building which I see, beautiful in art and design, even with a beauty like that which lies beneath Your throne?"
4. lies beneath your throne?"
And he said, "Hear, Abraham! This temple which you have seen, the altar and the works of art, this is my idea of the priesthood of the name of my glory, where every petition of man will enter and dwell; the ascent of kings and prophets and whatever sacrifice I decree to be made for me44. And He said, "Hear Abraham, for that which you see is the Temple, a copy of that which is in the heavens, glorious in its aspect and beauty, even as I shall give it to the sons of men to ordain a priesthood for my glorious name, and in which the prayers of man shall be uttered, and sacrifices offered as I ordain to your people, even those who shall arise out of your generation. But the idol which you saw is the image of jealousy, set up by some of those who shall come forth from your own loins in later days. And the man who sacrifices in murder is he who pollutes my Temple and such are witnesses to the final judgment, and their lot has been set from the beginning of creation."
5. among my coming people, even of your tribe. And the body you saw is my anger, because the people who will come to me out of you will make me angry.
6. And the man you saw slaughtering is he who angers me, and the sacrifice is a killing of those who are for me a testimony of the judgment of the completion at the beginning of creation."
1. And I said, "Eternal, Mighty One! Why did you establish it to be so and to45. And I said, 0 Eternal Mighty One! Why have you established that it should be so, and then proclaimed the knowledge thereof?" And He said to me, "Hear Abraham, and understand what I say to you, and answer my question. Why did your father Terah not listen to your voice, and why did he not cease from his idolatrous practices, together with his whole house?"
2. call on the testimonies of this one?" And he said to me, "Hear, Abraham, and
3. understand what I will explain to you, and answer whatever I ask you. Why did your father Terah not obey your voice and abandon the demonic worship of idols
4. until he perished, and all his house with him?"
And I said, "Eternal Mighty One, surely because it did not please him to obey me, nor did I follow his works."46. And I said, "0 Eternal One! It was entirely because he did not choose to listen to my voice, and likewise I did not choose to listen to his counsel." And He said to me, "The will of your father is within him, and your own will is within you, and so also the counsel of my own will is within me, and is ready for the coming days, even before you have any knowledge of them or can see with your eyes what is the future of them. Now look again into the picture, and see how it will be with your seed."
5. And he said to me. "Hear. Abraham. As the counsel of your father is in him, as
6. your counsel is in you, so also the counsel of my will is ready. In days to come you will not know them in advance, nor the future (men) you will see with your own eyes that they are of your seed. Look at the picture!
1. And I looked and I saw, and behold the picture swayed. And from its lift side a crowd of heathens ran out and they captured the men, women, and children who47. And I looked and saw, and behold the picture swayed and from it emerged, on the left side an ungodly people and they pillaged those who were on the right side, men, women, and children, and some they murdered, and others they kept as slaves. And I saw them run towards them through four 'entrances' and they burned the Temple with fire, and the holy things that were therein were all plundered.
2. were on its right side. And some they slaughtered and others they kept with
3. them. Behold I saw (them) running to them by way of four ascents and they burned the Temple with fire, and they plundered the holy things that were in it.
4. And I said, "Eternal One, the people you received from me are being robbed by48. And I said, "0 Eternal One! Behold, the people who shall spring from me, and whom you have accepted, are plundered by these ungodly men, and some are killed, whilst others they hold captives as slaves, and the Temple they have burned with fire, and the beautiful things therein they have robbed and destroyed. If this to be, why have you so torn my heart?"
5. the hordes of the heathen. They are killing some and holding others as aliens, and they burned the Temple with fire and they are stealing and destroying the beautiful
6. things which are in it. Eternal, Mighty One! If this is so, why now have you
7. afflicted my heart and why will it be so?"
And he said to me, "Listen, Abraham, all that you have seen will happen on account of your seed who will (continually) provoke me because of the body which you saw and the murder in what was49. And He said to me, "What you have seen shall happen on account of your seed, even those who anger me by reason of the idol statue which you saw, and on account of the human sacrifice in the picture, through their evil zeal and schemes in the Temple, and as you saw it, so shall it be."
8. depicted in the Temple of jealousy, and everything you saw will be so."
And I said. "Eternal, Mighty One! Let the evil works (done) in iniquity now pass by;50. And I said, "0 Eternal, Mighty One! May these works of evil wrought in ungodliness now pass by, and rather show me those who fulfilled the commandments, even the works of righteousness. For of a truth you can do this."
9. but make commandments in them more than his just works. For you can do
And he said to me, "Again the time of justice will come upon them, at51. And He said to me, "The days of the righteous are seen in type by the lives of those righteous rulers who shall arise, and whom I have created to rule at the times appointed, but know this, that out of them shall arise others who care only for their own interests, even of the type that I have already shown you.
11. first through the holiness of kings. And I will judge with justice those whom I
12. created earlier, to rule from them in them. And from these same ones will come men who will have regard for them. As I announced to you and you saw."
1. And I answered and said, "Mighty, Eternal One, you who are sanctified by your power, be merciful in my petition, since for this you informed me and52. And I answered and said, "0 Mighty One! hallowed be your power! Be favourable to my petition and show me, because for this reason you have brought me up here, whether what I saw shall happen to them for a long time?"
2. showed me. Since you have brought me up on to your height, therefore inform me, your beloved, about whatever I ask: Will what I saw be their lot for long?"
3.(4.) And he showed me a multitude of his people. And he said to me, "For this reason (it is) through the four ascents you say (that) my anger will be because53. And He showed me a multitude of His people and said to me, "On their account, through four 'entrances' as you saw, I shall be provoked by them, and in these shall my retribution for their deeds be accomplished. But in the fourth descent of one hundred years, even one hour of the age, the same is a hundred years, there shall be misfortune among the nations, but also for one hour there shall be mercy and honour among those nations.
5. of them, and in them will be retribution for their works. And in the fourth ascent is one hundred years. And one hour of the age will also be one hundred years in evil among the heathen and an hour in their mercy, even with reproaches as among the heathen."
1. And I said, "Eternal, Mighty One! How long a time is an hour of the age?"54. And I said, "0 Eternal One! How long are the hours of the age?" And He said, "Twelve hours have I ordained for this present age of ungodliness to rule among the nations and within your seed, and until the end of the times it shall be even as you saw. And now reckon and understand and look again into the picture.
2. And he said, "I decreed to keep twelve periods of the impious age among the heathens and among your seed, and what you have seen will be until the end of
3.(4.) time. Count (it) up, and you will understand. Look down at the picture."
And I looked and saw a man going out from the left, the heathen side. From the side of the heathen went outmen and women and children, a great crowd, and they55. And I looked and saw a Man going out from the left side of the nations and there went out men and women and children, from the side of nations, many hosts, and worshipped Him. And while I still looked, there came many from the right side, and some of these insulted Him, and some of them even struck Him, but others however worshipped Him. And as I watched, I saw Azazel approach Him and he kissed Him on the face and then stood behind Him.
5. worshipped him. And while I was still looking, those on the right side came out,
6. and some insulted this man, and some struck him and others worshiped him. And I saw that as they worshiped him Azazel ran and worshiped and, kissing his face,
7. he turned and stood behind him.
And I said, "Eternal, Mighty One! Who is this56. And I said, "0 Eternal One! Who is the Man insulted and beaten, who is worshipped by the nations and kissed by Azazel?" And He answered and said, "Hear Abraham! The Man you saw insulted and beaten and yet worshipped by many, He is the 'Relief' granted by the nations to the people who proceed from you, in the last days, in the twelfth hour of the age of ungodliness. But in the twelfth hour of my final age will I set up this Man from your generation, whom you saw issue from among my people, and all who follow will become like this Man, and such as are called by me will join the others, even those who will to change within themselves. And as for those who emerge from the left side of the picture, the meaning is this - there shall be many from the nations who shall set their hopes upon Him, but as for those whom you saw from your seed on the right of the picture who insulted Him and struck Him, many shall be offended in Him, but some shall worship Him. And He shall test those of your seed who have worshipped Him in the twelfth hour at the end, with a view to shortening the age of ungodliness.
8. man insulted and beaten by the heathen, with Azazel worshiped?" And he answered and said, "Hear, Abraham, the man whom you say insulted and beaten and again worshiped is the liberation from the heathen for the people who will
9. be (born) from you. In the last days, in this twelfth period of the age of my fulfillment, I will set up this man from your tribe, the one
10. whom you have seen from my people. All will imitate him,,,(you) consider
11. him as one called by me...(they) are changed in their counsels. And those you saw coming out from the left side of the picture and worshipping him, this
12. (means that) many of the heathen will trust in him. And those of your seed you saw on the right side, some insulting him, some beating him, and others worshiping
13. him, many of them shall be offended because of him. It is he who will test those of your seed who have worshiped him in the fulfillment of the twelfth hour, in the
14. curtailing of the age of impiety.
Before the age of justice starts to grow, my judgment will come upon the heathen who have acted wickedly through the people57. Before the age of the righteous begins to grow, my judgment shall come upon the lawless peoples through the-people of your seed who have been separated unto me. And in those -days I will bring upon all creatures of the earth ten plagues, through misfortune and disease and the sighing of their grief. And this shall be brought upon the generations of men on account of the provocation and the corruption of mankind, whereby they provoke me. And then shall righteous men of your seed survive in the number which is kept secret by me, and will hasten the coming of the glory of My Name to that place prepared beforehand for them, which you saw devastated in the picture. And they shall live and be established by sacrifices of righteousness in the age of the righteous, and they shall rejoice in me continually, and receive those who return to me in repentance, for great shall be the inner torment of those who have despitefully used them in this world, as they observe the honour placed upon my own in the day of glory.
15. of your seed who have been set apart for me. In those days I will bring upon all earthly creation ten plagues through evil and disease and the groaning of the
16. bitterness of their souls. Such will I bring upon the generations of those who are on it, out of anger and corruption of their creations with which they provoke me.
17. And then from your seed will be left the righteous men in their number, protected by me, who strive in the glory of my name toward the place prepared beforehand
18. for them which you saw deserted in the picture. And they will live, being affirmed
19. by the sacrifices and the gifts of justice and truth in the age of justice. And they will rejoice forever in me, and they will destroy those who have destroyed them, they will rebuke those who have rebuked them through their mockery, and they
20. will spit in their faces. Those rebuked by me when they are to see me rejoicing
21. with my people for those who rejoice and receive and truly return to me."
See, Abraham, what you have seen, hear what you have heard, know what you have known,. Go to your inheritance! And behold I an with you forever."58. See, Abraham, what you have seen and hear what you have heard, and take knowledge of all that you have come to know. Go to your heritage, and behold, I am with you unto the age."
1. And while he was still speaking, I found myself on the earth, and I said, "Eternal, Mighty One, I am no longer in the glory in which I was above, and all59. But while He was still speaking to me, I found myself once again upon the earth, and I said, "0 Eternal One! I am no longer in the glory which is on high, and there is one matter which my soul longed to know and understand which has not been revealed to me.
2. that my soul desired to understand in my heart I do not understand."
And he said to me, "I will explain to you the things you desired in your heart, for you have sought to know the ten plagues which I prepared against the heathen, and I60. And He said to me, "What your heart desired I will tell you, because you have sought to see the ten plagues which I have prepared for the godless nations, and which have been pre-determined at the passing over of the twelfth hour of the age of the earth. Hear therefore what I divulge, and so shall it come to pass. The first is the distressing pain of sickness; the second, conflagration of many cities; the third, the destruction and pestilence of animals; the fourth, hunger of the whole world and its people; the fifth, by destruction among its rulers, by earthquake and the sword; the sixth, the multiplication of hail and snow; the seventh, wild bests will be their grave; the eighth, hunger and pestilence will alternate with destruction; the ninth, punishment by the sword and flight in distress; the tenth, thunder and voices and destructive earthquake.
3. prepared them beforehand in the passing of the twelve hours on earth. Hear what
4. I tell you, it will be thus. The first: sorrow from much need. The second: fiery
5. conflagrations for the cities. The third: destruction by pestilence among the cattle.
6. The fourth: famine of the world, of their generation. The fifth: among the rulers, destruction by earthquake and the sword. The sixth: increase of hail and snow.
7. The seventh: wild beasts will be their grave. The eighth: pestilence and hunger
8. will change their destruction. The ninth: execution by the sword and flight in distress. The tenth: thunder, voices, and destroying earthquakes.
1. "And then I will sound the trumpet out of the air, and I will send my chosen one, having in him one measure of all my power, and he will summon my people,61. And then I will sound the trumpet out of the air, and will send my Elect One, having in Him all my power in one measure, and He shall summon my despised people from all nations, and I will send fire upon those who have insulted them and who have ruled over them in this age. And I will give those who have covered me with mockery to the scorn of the coming age, and I have prepared them to be food for the fires of Hades, and perpetual flight through the air in the underworld, for they shall see the righteousness of the Creator, and those whom He now honours, and they shall he ashamed, for I had hoped that they would come to me in repentance, rather than loving strange gods, but they forsook the Mighty Lord, and went the way that they willed to go.
2. humiliated by the heathen. And I will burn with fire those who mocked them and ruled over them in this age and I will deliver those who have covered me with
3. mockery over to the scorn of the coming age. Because I have prepared them (to be) food for the fire of Hades, and (to be) ceaseless soaring in the air of the underworld (regions) of the uttermost depths, (to be) the contents of a wormy
4. belly. For the makers will see in them justice, (the makers) who have chosen my desire and manifestly kept my commandments, and they will rejoice with merrymaking over the downfall of the men who remain and who followed after the
5. idols and after their murders. For they shall putrefy in the belly of the crafty
6. worm Azazel, and be burned by the fire of Azazel’s tongue. For I waited so they
7. might come to me, and they did not deign to. And they glorified an alien (god).
8. And they joined one to whom they had not been allotted, and they abandoned the Lord who gave them strength.
1. "Therefore, hear Abraham, and see, behold your seventh generation shall62. Hear therefore, Abraham, and see, for behold, in the seventh generation from you shall they leave the land of their slavery, after they have been ill-treated as it were for an hour of the age of ungodliness, and the nation whom they shall serve I will judge."
2.(3.) go with you. And they will go out into an alien land. And they will enslave them and oppress
4. them as for one hour of the impious age. But of the nation
5. whom they shall serve I am the judge." And the Lord said this too, "Have you heard, Abraham, what I told you, what your tribe will encounter in the last days?"
6. Abraham, having heard, accepted the words of God in his heart.
TRANSLATIONS OF EARLY DOCUMENTS SERIES I PALES TINIAN JEWISH TEXTS (PRE-RABBINIC) THE APOCALYPSE OF ABRAHAM THE APOCALYPSE OF ABRAHAM EDITED, WITH A TRANSLATION FROM THE SLAVONIC TEXT AND NOTES BY G. H. BOX, M.A. LECTURER IN RABBINIC HEBREW, KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON; H O N . C A N ON O F ST . A L B A N S WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF J. I. LANDSMAN SO CIETY FOR PRO MO TING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE L O N D O N : 68, H A Y M A R K E T, S.W. I. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1919 First Edition 1918. Second Impression 1919. CONTENTS Editors’ Preface Introduction Bibliography Short Titles, Abbreviations, and Brackets used in this Edition PART I PART II Additional Notes I Additional Notes II Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III EDITORS’ PREFACE T HE object of this series of translations is primarily to furnish students with short, cheap, and handy text-books, which, it is hoped, will facilitate the study of the particular texts in class under competent teachers. But it is also hoped that the volumes will be acceptable to the general reader who may be interested in the subjects with which they deal. It has been thought advisable, as a general rule, to restrict the notes and comments to a small compass; more especially as, in most cases, excellent works of a more elaborate character are available. Indeed, it is much to be desired that these translations may have the effect of inducing readers to study the larger works. Our principal aim, in a word, is to make some difficult texts, important for the study of Christian origins, more generally accessible in faithful and scholarly translations. In most cases these texts are not available in a cheap and handy form. In one or two cases texts have been included of books which are available in the official Apocrypha; but in every such case reasons exist for putting forth these texts in a new translation, with an Introduction, in this series. * * * * * An edition of The Apocalypse of Abraham is included in the present volume. The explanatory notes, in this case, given in the commentary on the text, are rather longer and fuller than usual. This was rendered necessary by the fact that the Book is made accessible here to English readers for the first time; and the difficulties and obscurities in the text are not inconsiderable. W. O. E. OESTERLEY. G. H. BOX. INTRODUCTION SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE BOOK The Apocalypse of Abraham, which has been preserved in old Slavonic literature, falls into two distinct parts (cf. the somewhat similar case of The Ascension of Isaiah). The first part, contained in chaps. i.-viii., consists of a Midrashic narrative based upon the legend of Abraham’s conversion from idolatry, which has several peculiar features.1 The second part (chaps. ix.-xxxii.) is purely apocalyptic in character, and contains a revelation made to Abraham about the future of his race, after his (temporary) ascent into the heavenly regions, under the guidance of the archangel Jaoel, who here seems to play the part of Metatron- Michael. It is based upon the account of Abraham’s trance-vision described in Genesis xv.—a favourite theme for apocalyptic speculation. In the Book, as it lies before us, the two parts are organically connected. Thus in chap. x. the archangel says: I am the one who was commissioned to set on fire thy father’s house together with him, because he displayed reverence for dead (idols)—an allusion to the narrative of chap. viii.; and the general plan of the whole work seems to be based upon the idea that Abraham’s dissatisfaction with the idol-worship by which he was surrounded, which found vent in his strong protest to his father Terah (chaps. i.-viii.), appealed so much to the divine favour, that the archangel Jaoel was specially sent by God to instruct him and initiate him into the knowledge of heavenly mysteries. Whether the apocalyptic portion ever existed in a shorter and independent form will be discussed below. The Book opens with a description of Abraham’s activities as a maker and seller of idols, his father Terah being a manufacturer of idols. His doubts as to the justifiable character of the idol-worship are roused especially by an accident that befell the stone image called Merumath, and by a similar accident that happened to “five other gods,” by which they were broken in pieces (chaps. i.-ii.). Reflecting on this, he is led to protest to his father against the unreality of asking a blessing from such helpless images, thereby rousing Terah’s anger (chaps. iii.-iv.). He is led to test further the powers of the idols by placing a wooden god Barisat before the fire, and telling the idol to see that the fire must not be allowed to die down during his absence. On returning he finds Barisat fallen backwards and “horribly burnt” (chap. v.). He again protests to his father against the futility of such worship, sarcastically contrasting the relative merits of gold, silver and wooden idols (chap. vi.). He then proceeds to show that the elements of fire, water, earth, and the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, and stars) are more worthy of honour than the idols, and yet, as each is subjected to some superior force, they can none of them claim to be God (chap. vii.). While he was yet speaking to his father a voice came from heaven bidding him leave his father’s house. He had scarcely left the house when fire descended and consumed all within it. The apocalyptic part opens with a divine command to Abraham to prepare a sacrifice with a view to receiving a divine revelation concerning the future (chap. ix.). Abraham, 1 See Appendix I, esp. p. 60. terrified at the experience, is confronted by the angel Jaoel, who encourages him, and explains his commission to be with Abraham, and act as his celestial guide. Under the direction of the angel he proceeds to Horeb, the Mount of God, a journey of forty days (chaps. x.-xii.), and there, with the help of Jaoel, accomplishes the sacrifice. At this point Azazel, the fallen archangel and seducer of mankind, intervenes and attempts to dissuade Abraham from his purpose. In the form of an unclean bird he flies down “upon the carcasses” (cf. Gen. xv. II), and tries to induce Abraham to leave the holy place, but in v ain. Jaoel denounces the evil spirit, bidding him depart, and telling him that the heavenly garment which was formerly his has been set aside for Abraham (chaps. xiii.-xiv.). After this Abraham and the angel ascend on the wings of the unslaughtered birds (of the sacrifice) to heaven, which is described at length. It is filled with “a strong light” of power inexpressible, and there they see the angels who are born and disappear daily, after singing their hymn of praise (chaps. xv.-xvi.). At this point Abraham, hearing the divin e voice, falls prostrate, and, taught by the angel, utters the celestial song of praise, and prays for enlighten- ment (chap. xvii.). He sees the divine throne with the Cherubim and the holy Creatures (hayyoth), of whom a description is given, and particularly of their rivalry which is mitigated by the activity of Jaoel (chap. xviii.). God now speaks and discloses to Abraham the powers of heaven in the various firmaments below (chap. xix.). God promises him a seed numerous as the stars (chap. xx.). In answer to a question by Abraham about Azazel, God shows him a vision of the world, its fruits and creatures, the sea and its monsters (including Leviathan), the Garden of Eden, its fruits, streams, and blessedn ess. He sees also a multitude of human beings “half of them on the right side of the picture, and half of them on the left” (chap. xxi.). The fall of man is explained to him, being traced to the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden, a vision of which appears in the picture and also of its results upon the destinies of mankind, who are divided into the people on the right side of the picture, representing the Jewish world, and the people on the left representing the heathen world. In particular the sin of idolatry resulting in impurity and murder is sketched and made manifest (chaps. xxii.-xxv.). The question, why sin is permitted, is answered by God (chap. xxvi.), and this is followed by a vision of judgement in which the destruction of the Temple is pourtrayed. In answer to Abraham’s anguished question it is explained to him that this is due to the sin of idolatry on the part of his seed. At the same time a hint is given him of coming salvation (chap. xxvii.). In answer to the question, how long shall the judgement last? a description is given of the troubles preceding the Messianic Age, and the dawn of the latter (chaps. xxviii.-xxix.; the latter chapter contains a long Christian interpolation). At this point Abraham finds himself “upon the earth,” but receives a further disclosure regarding the punishment of the heathen and the ingathering of Israel (chaps. xxx.-xxxi.). A short paragraph repeating the promise of the chosen people’s deliverance from oppression closes the Book (chap. xxxii.). The ch aracter of the Book, as a whole, is thoroughly Jewish. Its original language was probably Hebrew or Aramaic, from which a Greek version (underlying the Slavonic) was made; and the date of the original composition may be placed at the end of the first or the beginning of the second century A.D. THE SLAVONIC TEXT AND MSS1 The Slavonic version, or rather translation, of The Apocalypse of Abraham (Ap. Abr.) has been preserved in a number of MSS. The oldest and most valuable of these is the famous Codex Sylvester,2 which now belongs to the Library of the Printing-department of the Holy Synod in Moscow. The MS., which dates from the first half of the fourteenth century, is written on parchment, with two columns on each page, and contains 216 leaves in all, our Apocalypse occupying leaves 164-182.3 It contains a collection of lives of different saints, and The Apocalypse of Abraham stands in it as a work complete in itself, without any connexion with the works which precede and follow it. The text of our Apocalypse according to Codex Sylvester (cited as S) has been edited by Professor N. Tikhonravov in his Memorials of Russian Apocryphal Literature (Pamyatniki otrechennoi russkoi literatury), Moscow, 1863, Vol. I. pp. 32-53; and also Professor J. Sreznevsky in his Ancient Monuments of Russian Writing and Language (Drevnie Pam’yatniki russkovo pis’ma i yazyka), Petrograd, 1863, I. pp. 247b-256a , with readings from the Uvaroff MS., which apparently is a mere copy of S. Tikhonravov has supp lied h is edition with corrections of the numerous clerical mistakes which abound in S, thereby earning the gratitude of students, while Sreznevsky has satisfied himself with producing a mere copy of the text, with all its mistakes. Apart from these editions there has also been published by the Imperial Society of Bibliophiles a facsimile edition of the text of our Apocalypse, according to S (Petrograd, 1890), thus affording students the means of consulting the MS. itself. Apart from S the text of Ap. Abr. is also contained in man y P alæas. 4 The Palæa, as its name indicates (º B"8"4V sc. *4"2Z60), deals with the Old Testament, especially with the historical part of it, beginning with creation and ending with David or Solomon, the biblical narratives being enlarged and embellished with apocryphal and pseudepigraphical matter. The origin of the Slavonic Palæa must be sought in some Greek prototype,5 which by way of Bulgaria and Serbia had, at an early date, found an entrance into Russia, where for centuries it enjoyed great popularity—at least so long as a translation of the whole Bible had not been made accessible to both clergy and people, that is up till the sixteenth century. 1 The substance of th is section of the Introduction has been contributed by Mr. J. I. Landsman. 2 Sylvester, after wh om the MS. is n am ed, was a prominent priest in the early years of the reign of Ivan the Terrible, upon whom he for some years exerci sed a s alutary influence. He was an author and lover of books, and the Codex was one of a collection of MSS. which rem ain ed after his death in the Kirillo monastery, wh ither he was banished: see Sreznevsky, Narr ativ es about the Saints Boris and G leb (Skazan ia o sv’yatykh Borisë i Gl b), Petrograd, 1 860, Pt. I., and The Orthodox Encyclopædia (Pravoslavnaya Bogoslovshaya E.) iv. 1195 (s.v. Domostroi). 3 A full description of S is given by Sreznevsky, op. cit., pp. i-viii. 4 On the subject of the Palæa see the works of N. S. Tikhonravov (Sochinenia), M o s c o w , 1 8 9 8 , Vol. I. pp. 156-170, an d t h e valuable notes at the end of th e volume; cf. also the article Palæa in th e Russian Encyclopædia published by Brockhaus—Efron. 5 A MS. of a Greek Palæa is known to exist in the Vienna Library, and has been edited by A. V. Vasil’eff in Anecdota græco-byzantina, I. pp. 188-192 (Moscow, 1892). There are two kinds of Palæas, the historical and the expository, the former being also known as the “eyes” of the Palæa, because it contains the text upon which the expository Palæa comments. The expositions are of a polemical character, the polemic being invariably directed against the Jews (Zhidovin), to whom it is demonstrated that all the prophecies and the manifold types had found their true fulfilment in Christ. The Palæa draws richly upon the Jewish Midrashic Literature, and then uses the material as an argument against the Jews from whom it was borrowed. Originally our Apocalypse had no place in the Palæa, as may be seen from the oldest Palæa MS., which dates from the fourteenth century, and is preserved in the Alexander-Nevsky Monastery (Petrograd). Later, it was inserted, but still retained its original character of an independent work (as is the case in the Uvaroff Palæ); but later still (from the sixteenth century and onwards) the text of Ap. Abr. loses its original character of an independent work, the material being worked into the life of Abraham. The title of the Book is dropped, and the first person in which Abraham speaks in S is altered into the third, that is, it is changed into a narrative about Abraham, though the scribe often forgets himself and retains the first person of the original. The apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings must have been introduced into Russia at a very early date. Large parties of devout Russians, conducted by some learned monk, made frequent pilgrimages to Constantinople and the Holy Land. It was on such pilgrimages that the people were, for the first time, made acquainted with th ese writings, and the learned monk wo uld, on the spot, translate the book, which had enriched his knowledge concerning the Patriarchs or the Apostles, into Slavonic, and then bring it back, as a most precious treasure to his own country, to the great delight of his fellow-monks in the monastery. It may, therefore, be taken for granted that the Greek original of our Apocalypse had never been brought to Russia, and that there never existed more than one translation of it into Slavonic, for S and the Palæa do not represent different translations, but only different types or recensions of one and the same version. The differences between the Palæa and S are very slight, the former only modernising here and there the style and the orthography. The Palæa is, therefore, of great value for the reconstruction of the original text, especially as it has preserved, in many cases, a more correct copy than is the case with S. The Palæa version is, however, disfigured by the many interpolations made by subsequent scribes which are all absent from S, and which are easily discernible as being interpolations.1 The Palæa version of our Apocalypse has been edited by Tikhonravov2 from a MS. which once belonged to the Joseph-Monastery in Volokolamsk, whence it has been transferred to the Library of the Moscow Academy of Divinity,3 the MS. dating from the fifteenth century. Then I. Porfir’ev edited it in his Apocryphal Narratives about Old Testament Persons and Events (Apokrificheskia skazania o vetkhozavetnykh litsakh i sobytiakh), Petrograd, 1877, 1 Matter wh ich is not found in S is, i n t h e t r an s l ation prin ted below, enclosed in square brackets, and printed in smaller type. 2 Op. Cit., pp. 54-77. 3 Cited below as A. pp. 111-130,1 from a MS. dating from the seventeenth century, originally the property of the Library of the Solovetzk-Monastery, whence it was transferred to the Library of the Kasan Academy of Divinity.2 A and K are closely related to each other, and represent a type of text common to them both. Thus the same mistakes are found in both, and also the same additional matter, not extant in S.3 Another Palæa-text, containing part of the text of our Apocalypse, viz. the legendary narrative in chaps. i.-viii. only, has been edited by A. Pypin in Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha of Russian Antiquity (Ložnyja i otrechennyja knigi russkoi stariny) in the third volume of Kuselev-Bezborodko, Memorial s of Old Russian Literature (Pam’yatniki starinnoj russkoi literatury), Petrograd, 1882, pp. 24-26. This is from the Palæa of the Rumjancov Museum, dating from the year 1494.4 In S the end of the Book is missing, but is, fortunately, extant both in A and K. K also has at the end a short paragraph not found in A, which forms an appropriate conclusion to the whole Book. The reader will find it given in the notes on the concluding passage. See further Appendixes II. and III.5 DATE OF COMPOSITION AND ORIGINAL LANGUAGE OF THE BOOK The Slavonic text, it is obvious, was made from a Greek version which, no doubt, was current in Constantinople. It is probable, however, that the Greek text underlying the Slavonic was itself a translation of a Semitic original. A number of indications suggest this. The simple co-ordination of the sentences, the naïve repetitions, and the frequency of the phrase “Here am I” (= Hebrew hinnënî), which characterise all parts of the Book, point in this direction. Then, too, the sarcastic names given to the idols in the first part (chaps. i.-viii.)—the stone idol Merumath (= ’eben Mrãm~, “stone of deceit”), the wooden idol Barisat (= bar ’isht~ “son of the fire,” Aramaic)—presuppose a knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, or both, on the part of the original readers which would hardly be likely in a purely Greek composition. The fact, too, that Abraham is supposed to be the speaker through out may lend some weight to the argument for a Hebrew original. The cumulative effect of these considerations taken in conjunction with the intensely Jewish character of the Book as a whole makes a Semitic original highly probable. Perhaps the Book was composed in Hebrew, with a slight admixture of Aramaic, such as occurs in the early Palestinian Midrashim. The date of the composition of the Book can be determined, within narrow limits, with some probability. Clearly the terminus a quo is the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. which is bewailed by Abraham in the apocalyptic part of the Book. The fact, too, that it forms the central point of the picture, that the revelation leads up to it as a sort 1 Form in g part of Vol. XVII, published by th e Department of the Russian L an guage and Literature of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. 2 Cited below as K. 3 F o r some examples of identical errors in the text which appear in both A and K see Bonwetsch, p. 8. 4 Cited as R below. 5 See further, Bonwetsch, pp. I-II. of climax, and that the apocalyptist is so deeply moved at the disclosure, suggests that the event is fairly recent. Ginzberg (J.E., i. 92) thinks “the last decades of the first century” are probably the period to which the composition of the Book should be assigned, at any rate in its earliest form. In any case the terminus ad quem can hardly be later than the first decades of the second century. The fact that the Book won acceptance in Christian circles, and was adapted by slight interpolation to Christian purposes—though its intensely Jewish character is manifest on every page—strongly supports the early date. Such a Book would have appealed to Jewish- Christians in Palestine, when Jewish-Christianity was still in close touch with a non-Christian Jewish community in the Holy Land—and it may be assumed, in view of the Semitic character of its original language, that the Book was of Palestinian origin. It must, therefore, have been produced at a time when early apocalyptic literature was still being written in Hebrew or Aramaic, i. e. not later than the early decades of the second century.1 The questio n as to the existence of the Book at first in a shorter and much simpler form is discussed below. EARLY ATTESTATION OF THE BOOK That the Book must have enjoyed some considerable vogue and popularity in certain Christian circles is proved by its survival, in more than one form, in old Slavonic literature. And this must be equally true of the Greek form of the Book from which the Slavonic was derived. There is, as we should expect, some early evidence of the Book’s existence, though some of it is vague and uncertain. What seems to be the clearest and most explicit piece of evidence of this kind is found in the Clementine Recognitions, I. 32, which carries us back to at least the early part of the fourth century, and which, not improbably, through the sources of the Clementine Literature, may go back to an earlier period, still, perhaps another century.2 The section in the Recognitions deals with Abraham, and the part which specially concerns us runs as follows: From the first this same man [Abraham], being an astrologer, was able, from the account and order of the stars, to recognise the Creator, while all others were in error, and understood that all things are regulated by His providence. Whence also an angel, standing by him in a vision, instructed him more fully concerni ng those things which he was beginning to perceive. He shewed him also what belonged to his race and posterity, and promised them that those districts should be restored rather than given to them. Here the first sentence clearly refers to some form of the legend of Abraham’s conversion from idolatry; but it agrees rather w ith Philo’s account in de Abrahamo, § 15 (see Appendix I.) than with that embodied in the first part of our Book, wh ich depicts Abraham in his early days as a maker and seller of idols rather than as an astrologer. But the second sentence forms a good description of the second or apocalyptic part of our Book, and may be taken as a reference to it. That in fact a book known as “the Apocalypse of Abraham” existed in his time is explicitly stated by Epiphan ius (Hær. xxxix. 5) where, in speaking of the Gnostic sect called 1 See E.A., p. lviii ff. 2 Cf. Hort, Clementine Recognitions, pp. 80 ff. “the Sethians,” he says they possessed a number of books “written in the name of great men,” seven in the name of Seth, and among others one “in the name of Abraham which they also declare to be an apocalypse,” and which is “full of all wickedness” (BVF0H 6"6\"H ¨:B8gT<). Schürer thinks that this heretical book cannot be identified with our Apocalypse. Dr. M. R. James, however,1 is inclined to believe “that Epiphanius on his authority is here going too far, and is fathering on the Sethians a book, which they may well have used, but which they did not manufacture.” It is quite possible, and not improbable that this Gnostic sect made use of our Book in an interpolated form. As we shall see, there are Gnostic features in it in the form in wh ich it has reached us, and Ginzberg is inclined to regard these as interpolations from a Gnostic book bearing the same name. A heretical Book (or Apocalypse) of Abraham may also possibly be referred to in a passage in the Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 16 (compiled in its present form probably in the second half of the fourth century), which runs as follows: And among the Ancients also some have written apocryphal books of Moses, and Enoch, and Adam, and Isaiah, and David, and Elijah, and of the three patriarchs, pernicious and repugnant to the truth (N2@D@B@4 6"Â JH 802g\"H ¦P2DV). It will be noticed that this is a list of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, most of the items of which are easily recognisable. By “the three patriarchs” can only be meant Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus the passage attests the existence, at the time when the compiler wrote, of an apocryphal Book of Abraham, which may well be identical with our Apocalypse.2 Lastly there is the evidence of the lists of books (containing the bare names) included in the Synopsis of Pseudo-Athanasius) compiled probably about 500 A.D.) and the Stichometry of Nicephorus (drawn up in Jerusalem perhaps about 850 A.D.). The latter is identical with the former, except that it attaches to the name of each book the number of stichoi or lines contained in it. The first six names on these lists are as follow s: (1) Enoch; (2) Patriarchs; (3) Prayer of Joseph; (4) Testament of Moses; (5) Assumption of Moses; (6) Abraham. The second list adds to the sixth name “stichometry 300,” thus giving us “a book [of Abraham] rather shorter than the Greek Esther, which has 350 FJ\P@4.” Dr. M. R. James3 is of opinion that the word B@6V8LR4H is to be supplied before U$D"V: here, and this view we may safely accept. We have thus another piece of evidence of the existence of a Book called “the Apocalypse of Abraham,” which was of sufficient importance to be included in a list of books of Old Testament apocrypha containing such well-known names as the Book of Enoch, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Assumption of Moses. From a survey of this evidence it may be concluded that an apocryphal book (or books) under the name of Abraham was current in the early Christian centuries: and that our Apocalypse is one product or form of this literature. The so-called Testament of Abraham is, no doubt, another. The possibility remains to be considered that our Apocalypse may have assumed different forms (by enlargement or curtailment) and have been adapted at different times for different purposes. 1 The Testament of Abraham (Cambridge “Texts and Studies”), p. 14. 2 It might, of course, refer to som e o t h e r ap o c r yphal Book of Abraham; Dr. M. R. James thinks the reference may be to The Testament of Abraham. 3 Op. cit., p. 9. The synopsis embraces eleven items. GNOSTIC ELEMENTS IN THE TEXT Among the Gnostic features in the text of our Book may be reckoned the significant emphasis laid upon “right” and “left” in the apocalyptic representation (cf. xxii. (end), xxiii.), the “right” side being the source of purity and light, the “left” that of impurity and darkness. This idea is ancient, 1 depending upon the dualism which insists upon the category of light and darkness, and can be traced back to ancient Zoroastrianism. But it was developed in the early Gnostic systems (see Irenæus, adv. Hær. I., xi. 2: II. xxiv. 6), and in the Jewish Kabbalah, where “right side” and “left side” (sitr~ yêmîn~ w-sitr~ ’ah~r~) become technical terms. In the Emanistic system of the Zohar, the whole world is divided between “right” and “left,” where pure and impure powers respectively operate—on the right side the Holy One and His powers, on the left the serpent Sammael and his powers (cf. Zohar, Bereshith, 47b, 53f, 169b and following, 174b). When, therefore, we find our Book dividing mankind into tw o h osts, one on the right side (= the Jews) and one on the left (= the heathen), the presence of Gnostic influence seems clear. At the same time, it may well be an original feature of the Book, as the idea had already been assimilated by the an cient Jewish mystical tradition (Kabbalah), and if our Apocalypse was of Essene origin there would be nothing surprising in the presence of such an element. The opposition between light and darkness seems also to be present in an obscure passage in chap. xiv., which is absent from S. It runs as follows (Azazel is being addressed): For thy heritage is (to be) over those existing with thee being born with the stars and clouds, with the men whose portion thou art, and (who) through thy being exist; and thine enmity is justification. Perhaps by those “being born with the stars and clouds” is meant those who by birth and creation belong to the sphere of night and darkness, as opposed to the righteous who belong to the sphere of light. This again accords with the ancient dualistic conception referred to above, and may very well be an original feature. The absence of the clause from S may be due to excision. It can hardly be an interpolation from Slavonic sources. On the other hand, there are two passages where the original text may have been modified under Christian Gnostic influence (apart from the obvious interpolation indicated by italic type in chap. xxix.). In chap. xx. God, addressing Abraham, says: “As the number of the stars and their power, (so will) I make thy seed a nation, and a people set apart for me in my heritage with Azazel.” And again in chap. xxii.: “But those which are on the right side of the picture—they are the people set apart for me of the peoples with Azazel.” Here God is represented as sharin g His heritage (= the Jewish people) with the evil spirit Azazel. “This,” says Ginzberg (J.E., i. 92), “is no doubt the Gnostic doctrine of the God of the Jews as kakodaimon,” i. e. that the God of the Old Testament is an inferior deity, whose work was fused with evil elements. Still, these Gnostic elements in our Book are not very pronounced; there are no clear and explicit allusions to any of the full-blown doctrines of the Ophites or kindred Gnostic sects. The phenomena suggest that the Book is an essentially Jewish one, which may have been used and read by Gnostic Christians, and adapted by slight revision to make it acceptable to such readers. 1 Cf. Matt. xxv. GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE BOOK AND INTEGRITY OF ITS TEXT The Book is essentially Jewish, and there are features in it wh ich suggest Essene origin; such are its strong predestinarian doctrine, its dualistic conceptions, and its ascetic tendencies. It may well have passed from Essene to Ebionite circles—the interpolation in chap . xxix. certainly looks like the work of a Jewish-Christian—and thence, in some form, have found its way into Gnostic circles. Is the Book as it lies before us—apart from the interpolation in chap. xxix.—substantially in its original shape? To this question an affirmative answer may, with some probability, be given. Ginzberg, it is true, suggests a different view. He says (J.E., i. 92): It is quite probable that certain parts of th e heretical Apocalypse of Abraham, which was in circulation among the Gno s t i cs (Epiphanius, xxxix. 5), were incorporated in the present text [of our Apocalypse]. Sub t ract i n g, then, the first part [i. e. chaps. i.-viii., containing the “Legend” ], which does not belong to the Apocalypse, and the Gnostic and Christian i n t erpolations, only about three hundred lines rem ai n , and this number would exactly correspond with the number which, according to the stichom etry of Nicephorus, the Apocalypse of Abraham contain ed. There are considerable difficulties attaching to this theory. It is difficult to suppose that the Book in its original form was without the opening chapters (i.-viii.) narrating Abrah am’s conversion from idolatry. T here are several allusions in the later chapters to this opening narrative, which come in quite naturally. The chapters form a good introduction to what follows, and, as such, were probably put into their present shape by the original author of the Book. The material of the legend was, of course, much older; but it is to be noticed that our author has handled this material in a very free way, and this fact also suggests that these chapters were no mere addition to the Book, borrow ed from one of the current forms of the legend. It seems more probable that the shorter “Apocalypse of Abraham” implied by the Stichometry of Nicephorus was a shortened recension of the original book, probably adapted for orthodox Christian purposes. It is by no means impossible that a shorter recension may have existed side by side with the fuller original form at a later date. The latter may have survived and have been read in certain circles by preference, and thence have passed over into the old Slavonic Church literature. Whether the heretical “Apocalypse of Abraham” referred to by Epiphanius which, according to him was “full of all wickedness” was another and independent recension, it is impossible to say. On the whole it seems more likely that the older form of the Book—especially if it had grown up in Ebionite (Jewish-Christian) circles—was the form in which it was read by the Sethian Gnostics. The mere fact that it was read in such circles would make it suspicious in the eyes of a later orthodoxy, which may have endeavoured to suppress it by issuing a shorter recension of the text. But the older form was too popular to be eliminated in this w ay entirely—though it has almost disappeared from Christian literature, and in its Greek and Semitic forms has, in fact, disappeared, only surviving in its old Slavonic dress. That such a Jewish-Christian Book would have been acceptable to Sethian Gnostic readers is not surprising. This Gnostic sect held the doctrine that the Sophia “found means to preserve through every age, in the midst of the Demiurge’s world, a race bearing within them the spiritual seed which was related to her own nature” . . . they “regarded Cain as a representative of the Hylic; Abel, of the Psychical; and Seth, who was finally to reappear in the person of the Messiah, of the Pneumatic principle.”1 The emphasis laid in our Book (chap. xxiv.) upon the lawlessness of Cain, “who acted lawlessly through the Adversary,” and its evil consequence in the slaughter of Abel would appeal to such Gnostic readers no less than the division of mankind into “right” and “left,” and the assignment of the latter to the dominion of the “lawless Adversary” Azazel. Abraham, too, the hero of the Book, was in the line of Seth, and it is from him that the Messiah springs (chap. xxix.). All this would be read by such Gnostic readers in the light of their own presuppositions. We conclude, then, that the Book, substantially as it lies before us, is a Jewish and Essene production, like the related Testament of Abraham. It depicts the initiation of Abraham into the heavenly mysteries associated with the Divine “Chariot” (cf. Ezek. i.). Its angelology is in line with Essene speculation, and in chap. xvii. Abraham is taught by the archangel, in the form of the celestial hymn, the mystery of the Divine Name. We have reached the stage when Enoch has fallen into the background, and Abraham, like Moses, has become the centre of mystic lore, that is “when the seal of circumcision had become the pledge of life.”2 It is noteworthy that the Kabbalistic book Sefer Yesîr~ (? second century A.D.) was attributed to Abraham. It may occur to some readers as an objection to this view that the prominence assigned to Abraham’s sacrifice in the Book, and to the destruction of the Temple, regarded as the supreme calamity, is inconsistent with Essene authorship, since the Essenes rejected animal sacrifices. But, as Kohler has shewn,3 the Essenes, who accepted the Mosaic Law, were not opposed to such sacrifices on principle. What they opposed was the priesthood in the Temple “out of mistrust as to their state of holiness and purity, rather than out of aversion to sacrifice.” To Abraham, the Essene saint, acting under direct divine command, n o such objection would apply. It should be added th at the Sla v o n i c M S S . y i eld a text which is markedly shorter than the texts of the Palæan MSS. Some of the omitted p as s ag es are perhaps cases of deliberate excision, and others of accidental omission. But there r em ain a substantial number where the shorter text is probably original, and the presence of glosses o r later amplifications is to be suspected. All such passages are indicated in the text of the translation given below. THEOLOGY OF THE BOOK The apocalyptic part of the Book is based upon the story of Abraham’s sacrifice and trance, as described in Gen. xv. This experience is interpreted to mean that Abraham received a divine disclo sure as to the destinies of his descendants, which is also the view of the Rabbinical Midrash (cf. Bereshith rabba, xliv. 15 f.). This scheme provides the framework in which our apocalypse is set. Abrah am, after completing the prescribed sacrifice, ascends to heaven, under the guidance of the angel, and from thence sees below him the drama of the world’s future, and also the various pow ers and forces that operate in the celestial sphere. In 1 Neander, Church History, ii. 154. 2 Cf. Kohler in J.Q.R., vii. 594 (July 1895), 3 In J.E., v. 230 (s.v. Essenes). exactly the same way the Midrash (Bereshith rabba, xliv. 14) interprets Abraham’s experience as an ascension. According to a saying of R. Jehuda, citing the authority of R. Johanan, God caused him [Abraham] to ascend above the vault of the firmament, and said to him: “Look now toward heaven”: “looking” [here] means nought else but from [the height] above to [what is] below. This is a continuation of a comment on the sentence: And He brought him forth outside (Gen. xv. 5) interpreted to mean: “And He (God) brought him (Abraham) forth outside the world.” The angel who conducts Abraham on his celestial journey is the archangel Jaoel, who plays an all-important rôle. As is pointed out in the notes, he fulfils the functions elsewhere assigned to Michael and Metatron. Just as Metatron bears the tetragrammaton (cf. Ex. xxiii. 21, “My Name is in h im),” so Jaoel here (chap. x.) is possessed of the power of the Ineffable Name. The name Jaoel itself is evidently a substitute for the tetragrammaton, which was too sacred to be written out in full. This angelic being is thus God’s vicegerent, second only to God Himself. Yet he may not be worshipped, but rather himself sets Abraham the example of worshipping God. He is thus the supreme figure in Jewish angelology. Like Enoch, who was also transformed into Metatron, Jaoel acts as celestial guide. Jaoel is also the heavenly choir-master (chap. xii. “Singer of the Eternal”; cf. also chap. xv ii.), a function assigned elsewhere to Michael; like Michael he is the guardian of the chosen race (chap. x., end), and is potent to subdue “the attack and menace of every single reptile” (ibid.). It is this supreme angelic being who in one line of apocalyptic tradition becomes the heavenly Son of Man—a conception that exercised an important influence on Christological development. 1 Over against Jaoel stands Azazel, who here appears as the arch-fiend,2 and as active upon the earth (chap. xiii.), though his real domain is in Hades, where he reigns as lord (chap. xxxi.). In fact, according to the peculiar representation of our Apocalypse, Azazel is himself the fire of Hell (cf. chap. xiv. “Be thou the burning coal of the furnace of the earth,” and xxxi., “burnt with the fire of Azazel’s tongue”). He is the source of all wickedness and uncleanness (chap. xiii.), and the godless are his heritage (ibid.). He is denounced as the slanderer of truth and the seducer of mankind, having “scattered over the earth the secrets of heaven, ” and “rebelled against the Mighty One” (chap. xiv.). The radical dualism of the Book comes out not only in the sharp division of mankind into two hosts, which stand for Jewry and heathendom respectively, but also in the clearly defined contradistinction of two ages, the present Age of ungodliness and the future Age of righteousness (cf. chap. xxix. and ix.). The present Age—called “this æon” (chap. xxxi)—is “corruptible” (chap. xvii.), “the Age of ungodliness” (chap. xxix., xxxii.), during which the heathen have the dominion over the Jews (chap. xxxi.); it is to last “twelve” years or “hours” (chap. xxix.). Over against it stands “the coming Age” (chap. xxxi.), or “Age of the righteous” (chap. xvii., xxix.). The origin of sin is traced to the Fall, which is described in chap. xxiii. The agent is, of course, the serpent, who is merely the instrument of Azazel. Indeed, the twelve wings of the latter are given in the 1 Cf. E.A., p. 284. The name Jaoel (Yahoel) occurs as the name of a p r i ncipal angel (over fire) in the Kabbalistic Book Berith Men uha 5 7 a, and below him are seven others, including Gabriel: see Lucken, Michael, p. 54. 2 So in one form of the tradition in 1 Enoch, Azazel stands at the head of the fallen angels. description to the serpent. The evil spirit, who is described as being “between” the human pair in the Garden, “representeth ungodliness, their beginning (on the way) to perdition, even Azaz el,” and the seer proceeds to ask why God has given “power to such to destroy th e generation of men in their works upon the earth.” In some sense, then, according to the representation of our Apocalypse, the sin of Adam affects the destinies of all his descendants. The moral poison of sensuality (Heb. zôh|m~) with w hich the serpent infected Eve (T. B., Yb~môth, 103 b) passed on to all generations (cf. Wisdom ii. 24, 4 Ezra. iii. 21).1 This has an important bearing on the Pauline doctrine of original sin. At the same time, our Apocalypse, in spite of its strong expression of predestinarian views elsewhere, insists with marked emphasis upon the freedom of man’s will (cf. chap. xxvi.). The Book apparently knows nothing of a resurrection. The righteo us dead, it would seem, proceed straight to the heavenly Paradise (“the Garden of Eden”), where they enjoy heavenly “fruits and blessedness” (chap. xxi.), while the wicked dead go immediately to the underworld and Azazel. Nothing is said of an intermediate state. The more usual view is that the heavenly Paradise is reserved for the righteous dead, who will enter it after the final judgement (except for a few privileged saints like Enoch, who are allowed to enter it beforehand). The nearest parallel to the idea of our Book, seems to occur in 1 Enoch lx. 8, 23, lxi. 12, lxx. 4, where the elect righteous already dwell in the garden of life. “A judgement” is spoken of “at the end of the world,” but it is a judgment upon the heathen nations effected by Israel at the end of the present age of ungodliness2 (cf. chap. xxii., xxix.). A detailed eschatological description of the end of the present age of ungodliness and the coming in of the age of righteousness is given in chap. xxix.-xxxi. In chap. xxix. it is stated that before the beginning of the new Age God’s judgement will be effected on the ruthless heathen nations by God’s people1; ten plagues come upon all creatures of the earth on account of sin; those who are of Abrah am’s seed survive according to a pre-determined number, hasten to Jerusalem, wreak vengeance on their foes, and rejoice before God, to whom they return (chap. xxix.). In the following chapter (xxx.) a detailed description is given of the ten plagues which visit the heathen “at the twelfth hour of the present Age.” Chap. xxxi. describes the trumpet- blast which announces the mission of God’s Elect One (the Messiah), who gathers together the dispersed of Israel, and the annihilation and horrible doom of the godless foes of Israel and of God’s enemies both within and without Israel (the former renegade Jews), and the joy which the downfall of these wicked people and the signal manifestation of God’s righteousness cause. As has been poin ted out above, our Apocalypse, like the companion one of The Ascension of Isaiah, and other examples in the apocalyptic literature, expresses the mystical tradition and experience associated with the mysteries of the Divine Chariot or Throne. The speculation which gave rise to this tradition starts from Ez ekiel’ s Chariot-Vision (Ezek. i.), and is embodied in a fairly extensive literature especially in i. and ii. Enoch in the 1 In T.B . A boda zara 22b R. Johanan refers to this as follows: At the moment when the serpent came upon Eve he infected her with sensu a li t y (zôh|m ~). Was th is also the case with Israel (generally)? When the Israelites stood upon Mount Sinai their infection (impulse to sensuality, zôh|m ~th~n) ceased; the aliens (h eathen) who did n ot stand upon Mount Sinai—their infection (of sensuality) did not cease. The Covenant on Mount Sinai annulled the effects of the Fall. earlier Apocalyptic, and in the n eo-Hebraic “Hekalot” literature (eighth to tenth centuries A.D.). The material of which it is composed, and which is co nstantly re-shaped, consists mainly of descriptions of the seven heavens “with their hosts of angels, and the various store- houses of the world, and of the divine throne above the highest heaven.”1 Heaven is pictured as filled with light of inexpressible brilliance, and the Divine Chariot is surrounded by fiery angels of warlike aspect. The mystic who is allowed to enter the celestial sphere usually receives divine disclosures about the future or the spiritual world. In order to enjoy this experience the mystic has to prepare himself to enter the ecstatic state which is brought about especially by ablutions and fasting, but also sometimes by fervent invocations and by other means. He is rewarded by “the vision of the Merkabah” or “Divine Chariot” (sfiyyath hamerk~b~). Those who thus imagined themselves entering the Heavenly Chariot and floating through the air were called Yôrdê Merk~b~, i. e. “those who go down (embark) into the ship-like chariot” (Jellinek). “In this chariot they are supposed to ascend to the heaven s, where in the dazzling light surrounding them they behold the inner-most secrets of all persons and things otherwise impenetrable and invisible.”2 The heavenly charioteer is Metatron (according to Kohler suggested by Mithra), the angel next the Throne, whose name is like God’s, and who possesses all knowledge, and imparts it to man. Metatro n, as we have seen, is Enoch transformed. In our Boo k he seems to appear under the name Jaoel. It is interesting to note that according to the late Jewish “Hekalot” the initiated one who is admitted to the heavenly regions, in order to be allowed to step before the Divine Throne must recite certain prayers until God Himself addresses him, if he be worthy; cf. with this the Hymn-Prayer which Abraham is taught to recite in chap. xvii. of our Book. According to Kohler3 the Merkabah mysteries “remained the exclusive property of the initiated ones, the Senû’îm or Hashsh~’îm,” whom he identifies with the Essenes. [The emphasis that is laid throughout all parts of the Book upon the sin of idolatry is noteworthy, and especially that the Temple-sacrifices had been polluted by idolatrous rites (cf. chap. xxiv.). Perhaps this is intended to suggest a reason why the sanctuary was destroyed.] 1 The “judgemen t of th e Great Assize” m entioned in ch ap. xxiv. occurs in a clause wh i c h i s ab s ent from S, and may be an interpolation. It will be no ti ced that chaps. xxx. and xxxi. duplicate to some extent th e contents of chap. xxix. They r ead like an appendix. Moreover, the figure of the Messiah first emerges here, and his rôle is a som ewhat limited one. The last w o r d s o f ch a p . x x i x. (“And lo! I am with you for ever”) may well have formed the conclusion of the Apocalypse. It should be noted also that in the Christian a dd i t i on in chap. xxix. no emphasis is laid upon Christ’s divinity. The description reads like an Ebionitic one. In this connexion it may be noted that the identification of the fruit of the forbidden tree in ch ap . xxii i . w it h th e grape may reflect th e ascetic tendency, which grew up in Jewish (and Jewish-C hristian ) circles after th e destruction of Jerusalem, to abstain from wine as a mark of mournin g. This feelin g may have stimulated the view that wine was the source o f w o e to mankind (see note on passage). Apparently the Essenes regarded Jonadab, the founder of the sect of “water-drinkers” (Rechabites), as a prototype of the Essene order (see J.E., v. 230b). 2 According to chapter xxii. these peoples are desti n e d “ s o m e f o r judgement and restoration, and others for vengeance and destruction at the end of the world.” 3 Cf. J.E., viii. 499b. LITERARY AFFINITIES AND SPECIAL IMPORTANCE OF THE BOOK Our Apocalypse has affinities, as has already been pointed out, with such books as The Ascension of Isaiah, which like it deals with the mysteries of the heavens1 and is set in a similar mystical framework. But th e latter work has a pronouncedly Christian element, and is a production of Jewish-Christian origin in its present form, whereas in our Book the Christian element is confined to a short interpolated passage in chap. xxix. With the Testament of Abraham, there is a certain affinity, and this work, like our Apocalypse, may be of Essene origin. But the two books are quite distinct, and their historical setting is different. The Testament, though it contains an apocalyptic element in the parts which describe Abraham’s “ride” through the heavenly regions when he sees the fate of departed souls, is based upon the idea of Abraham’ s death; moreover, the chief angelic figure in the Testament is Michael, and the eschatology is different. Possibly the eschatology of the two Books may be regarded as complementary, the Apocalypse giving the national, and the Testament the individual aspects of it from the Essene standpoint. There is, too, a certain affinity with the Clementine literature (Homilies and Recognitions), which is highly important for the history of Gnostic Judæo-Christianity. Thus in the Clementine Homilies the doctrine of contrasts is much elaborated. The ruler of this world is Satan, the ruler of the future world is the Messiah. The divinity of Christ is not recognised, no stress is laid upon the doctrine of the atonement, and strict asceticism is enjoined. Our Book is important as illustrating the Jewish ideas that lie behind the doctrine of original sin in connexion with the story of the Fall, and in its angelology and demonology. In the angelic figure of Jaoel (= Michael = Metatron), God’s vicegerent and the imparter of divine revelation to man (in the person of Abraham) we have one more illustration of the range of conceptions on the Jewish side wh ich influenced the Logos-idea and Christological development. The pessimistic estimate of the world as it is—“the æon of ungodliness—which to a large extent is under the dominion of Azazel, illustrates such phrases as “the god of this world” (2 Cor. iv. 4), “the ruler of this world” (John xii. 31) which are applied to Satan. These probably reflect popular Jewish feeling. The earth is the Lord’s, as St. Paul himself in sists (1 Cor. x. 26), but has fallen under the dominion of the evil one, and can only be redeemed therefrom by God’s Messiah. Our Book is specially importan t as one more interesting example of the apocalyptic ideas of late Judaism, and, more particularly, as throwing a welcome light on the ideas specially congenial to early Jewish-Christianity when it h ad already become, to some extent, detached from the common stream of Church life. 1 The seven heavens are referred to, and par t l y described in our A pocalypse in chap. xix. Another p oi n t of contact is the reference to the “heavenly garment” in chap. xiii., end. For a discussion of th e th eological affinities of t h e se ideas with the New Testament writin gs cf. Introduction to The Ascension of Isaiah, pp. xxi-xxiv. BIBLIOGRAPHY For the editions of the Slavonic text see the second section of this Introduction. A valuable German translation of th e Slavon ic text, with critical notes and Introduction, has been published in th e series Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und Kirche: it is edited by P r o f. G. Nathanael Bonwetsch (Leipzig, 1897). Articles by Ginzberg in J.E., i . 91f.; Lagrange in Revue Biblique, 1905, pp. 511-514; see also Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes, iii. pp. 336-338. SHORT TITLES, ABBREVIATIONS, AND BRACKETS USED IN THIS EDITION 1 Enoch = The Ethiopic Book of Enoch. 2 Enoch = The Slavonic Book of Enoch. Ap. Bar. = The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch. The Greek Apocalypse of Baruch = The Apocalypse edited under this title (and based upon a Greek and also a Slavonic text) by Dr. H. Maldwyn Hughes in the Oxford Corpus of The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, ii. pp. 527-541. Asc. Is. = The Ascension of Isaiah. Pirke de R. Eliezer is cited according to the edition (English translation and notes) of G . Fried lander (London, 1916). Beer = Leben Abraham’s nach Aufjassung der jüdischen Sage, von Dr. B. Beer (Leipzig, 1859). Bonwetsch = Die Apocalypse Abrahams . . . herausgegeben von G. Nathanael Bonwetsch (Leipzig, 1897, in th e series Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und der Kirche). V o l z = Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, dangesvellt von Paul Volz (Tübingen und Leipzi g, 1903). Weber = Jüdische Theologie auf Grund des Talmud un d ver wan dter Schriften: von Dr. Ferdinand W eber (Leipzig,1897). S = Codex Sylvester (first half of fourtee n t h c en t u r y): Facsimile Edition, Petrograd, 1890 (edited also by Tikhonravov). P = Palæa (Old Testament narratives and expositions in Slavonic). A = a Palæa-text of Ap. Abr, edited by Tikhonravov from a MS. of the fifteenth See furth er century. the second K = a Palæa-text of Ap. Abr., edited by section of the I. Porfir’ev from a MS. of the seventeenth Introduction century. R = a Palæa-text of Ap. Abr., i.-viii., edited by A. Pypin from a MS. dated 1494. Lueken = Michael: eine Darstellung und Vergleichung der jüdis chen und der morgenl~indisch-christlichen Tradition vom Erzengel Michael: von Wilhelm Luecken (Göttingen, 1898). E.A. = The Ezra-Apocalypse, edited by G. H. Box (1912). J.Q.R. = Jewish Quarterly Review. D.B. = Dictionary of the Bible. J.E. = Jewish Encyclopædia. M.T. = Masoretic Text. [ ] Square brackets enclosing words in smaller type indicate additional, and in most cases presum ably interpolated, matter, which is absent from S. ( ) Round brackets enclosing words in italic type indicate glosses or editorial additions. ( ) Round brackets enclosing words in ordinary type indicate additions to the text of the translation made for the sake of clearness. For the works cited under the following names— Tikhonravov, see pp. xi, xiv. Srcznevsky, sec p. xi. Pypin, see p. xiv. Porfir’ev, see p. xiv. [The translation that follows has been prepared with the assistance of Mr. J. I. Landsman, who has consulted for this purpose the Facsimile Edition of Codex S, and the various printed editions referred to above. For the form of the translation here given Mr. Landsman takes full responsibility. No previous translation or edition of the Book has been published in English so far as the Editor i s aware.] THE APOCALYPSE OF ABRAHAM PART I THE LEGEND (Chapters I.-VIIL) Title1 The Book of the Revelation of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Roog (Reu2), the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared (Arad). Abraham’s Conversion from Idolatry (Chapters I.—VIII.). I. On the day when I planed the gods of my father3 Terah and the gods of Nahor his brother,4 when I was searching as to who the Mighty God in truth is—I, Abraham, at the time when it fell to my lot, when I fulfilled the services (the sacrifices5) of my father Terah to his gods of wood and stone, gold and silver, brass and iron;6 having entered into their temple for service, I found the god whose name was Merumath 7 (which was) hewn out of stone, fallen forward at the feet of the iron god Nahon. 8 And it came to pass, when I saw it, my heart was perplexed, and9 I considered in my mind that I should not be able to bring him back to his place, I, Abraham, alone,10 because he was heavy, being of a large stone,11 and I went forth and made it known to my father. And he entered with me, and when both of us moved him (the god) forward, so that we might bring him back12 to his place, his head fell from 1 The whole of th e title occurs only in S. 2 Some links in th e genealogical ch ain are om itted: Reu son of P eleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah , son of Arphaxad (Gen. xi. 10-16); Abraham was thus “the tenth from Noah” (Josephus, Ant., i. 6, 5). 3 Abraham is represented as having followed t h e o ccupation of his father, that of an idol-maker; cf. Bereshith rabba on Gen. xi. 28 (see Appendix, p. 58). 4 his (i. e. Abraham’s) brother; prob abl y a g loss (the structure of the narrative demands “my”); A omits. 5 Probably a gloss (so Tikh onravov); or read of the altar for sacrifices (Bonwetsch). 6 Cf. Dan. v. 4. 7 The stone idol Merumath (= H eb . ’eben mrûm ~, “stone of deceit”) was the chief object of Abraham’s worship at this period. 8 So A; S has Naritson; K, by name Nahin. 9 and omitted by S. 10 I Abraham alone: K omits; S. + and lo! 11 being of a large stone: R omits. 12 so that we might bring him back: R omits. him1 while I was still holding him by the head. And it came to pass,2 when my father saw that the head of Merumath3 had fallen from him, he said to me: “Abraham!” And I said: “Here am I.” And he said to me: “Bring me an axe, of the small ones,4 from the house.” And I brought it to h im. 5 And he hewed aright another Merumath out of another stone, without head, and the head which had been thrown down from Merumath he placed upon it, and the rest of Merumath he shattered.5 II. And he made five other gods, and gave them to me [and]6 commanded me to sell them outside in the street of the town. And I saddled my father’s7 ass, and placed them upon it, and went towards the inn to sell them. And lo! merchants from Fandana8 in Syria were travelling with camels going to Egypt,9 to trade.10 And I spoke with them. And one of their camels uttered a groan, and the ass took fright and sprang away and upset the gods; and three of them were smashed, and two were preserved. And it came to pass, when the Syrians saw that I had gods, they said to me: “Why didst thou not tell us [ that thou hadst gods? Th en we wo ul d have bough t them ]11 before the ass heard the sound of the camel, and they would not have been lost. Give us, at any rate, the gods that remain, and we will give thee the proper price12 for the broken gods, also for the gods that have been preserved.”1 2 For I was concerned in my heart as to how I could bring to my father the purchase-price;13 and the three broken ones I cast into the water of the river Gur, which was at that place, and they sank into the depth s,14 and there was nothing more of them. III. When I was still going on the way, my heart was perplexed within me, and my mind was distracted. And I said in my heart: [“What evil deed is this that my father is doing? Is no t h e, rath er , the god o f h i s go ds , s in ce th ey come in to existence th rough his chisels and lathes, and his wisdom, and is it not rather fitting that they should worship my father, since they are his work? What is this delusion of my father i n h i s w o r k s ? ] 1 5 Behold, Merumath fell and could not rise in his own temple, nor could I, by myself, move him until my father came, and the two of us moved him; and as we were thus too weak, his head fell from him, and he (i.e. my father) set it upon another stone of 1 R omits. 2 R omits. 3 + his god, K. 4 of the small ones: K omits. 5 K reads: And he cut off the head of another god of stone and fastened it upon the god Merumath which fell before, and the head which fell down from him and the rest of the other god he shattered. 6 and: S K omit. 7 father’s: A omits. 8 Fandana probably = Paddan-A ram (Gen. xxv. 20). 9 Cf. Gen. xxxvii. 25. 10 K r eads: in order to buy from thence papyrus from the Nile. And I questioned them, and they inform ed me. 11 S omits. 12 A K omit; they read instead: And I deliberated in my heart, and they gave me the value. 13 K reads: and he took the pieces of the broken gods and cas t t he m in the Dead Sea, from which it could never emerge. 14 A K, + of the river Gur. 15 This passage is given by A K, but is absent from S; apparently it is a later interpolation. another god,1 which he had made without head. And the other five gods were broken in pieces down from the ass, which were able-neither to help themselves,2 nor to hurt the ass, because3 it had broken them to pieces; nor did their broken fragments come up out of the river.”4 And I said in my heart: “If this be so, how can Merumath, my father’s god, having the head of another stone, 5 and himself being made of another stone,5 rescue a man, or hear a man’s prayer and reward him?”6 IV. And while I cogitated thus, I reached my father’s house; and having watered the ass, and set out hay for it, I brought the silver and gave it into the han d of my father Terah. When he saw it he was glad, [and]7 he said: “Blessed art thou, Abraham, of my gods,8 because thou hast brought the price of the gods, so that my work was not in vain.” And I answered and said to him: “Hear, O my father, Terah! Blessed are the gods9 of thee, for thou art their god, since9 thou hast made them; for their blessing is ruination, and their power10 is vain;11 they who did not help themselves,12 how shall they, then, help thee or bless me13? I have been kind to thee in this affair,14 because by (using) my intelligence, I have brought thee the money for the broken gods.” And when he heard my15 word, he became furiously angry with me, because I had spoken hard words against his gods. V. I, however, having thought over my father’s anger, went out; [and after I had gone out ]16 my father17 cried, saying: “Abraham!” An d I said: “Here am I.” And he said: “Take and collect the splinters of the wood out of which I made gods of pine-wood before thou camest; and make ready for me the food of the mid-day meal.”18 And it came to pass, when I collected the splinters of wood, I found under them a little god which had been lying among the brush-wood on my left, and on his forehead was written: GOD BARISAT.19 And20 I did not 1 Cf. Wisdom xiii. 10 (“a useless stone, the work o f an an ci en t hand”); K reads: and set upon him the stone head of another god. 2 Cf. Wisdom xiii. 16 (“knowing th at it is unable to help itself”). 3 =? although (Heb. ’aph kî; Rabbinic ’aph ‘al pi). 4 According to the Mish n a ‘Abôd ~ z~n ~ iii. 3 it was the duty of Jews to destroy an idol by sinking it in the waters of the Dead Sea, from which it could n ever emerge. 5 Omitted by K. 6 Cf. Wisdom xiii. 17 f. (th e whole chapter should be compared in th is context). 7 S omits. 8 Lit. to my gods: read? of (by) my god (Bonwetsch). 9 Text of S here corrupt. 10 A, help. 11 K, powerless. 12 Cf. note2 in previous chapter. 13 For the thought cf. Heb. vii. 7. 14 Lit. transaction. 15 K, this. 16 S omits. 17 S, he. 18 Cf. Is. xliv. 15, Wisdom xiii. 12 f. 19 Barisat = probably bar ’isht~, “son of the fire.” 20 A K, + it came to pass, when I found him, I kept him and. inform my father that I had found the wooden god Barisat under the chips. And it came to pass, when I had laid the splinters in the fire, in order that I might make ready food for my father—on going out to ask a question regarding the food, I placed Barisat before the kindled fire,1 saying threateningly to him: “Pay careful attention, Barisat, [that]2 the fire do not die down until I come; if, however, it dieth down, blow on it that it may burn up again.” And I went out and accomplished my purpose.3 And on returning I found Barisat fallen backwards, and4 his feet surrounded by fire and horribly burnt.5 I burst into a fit of laughter, and I said to myself: “Truly, O Barisat, thou canst kindle the fire and cook food!” And it came to p ass, while I spake (thus) in my laughter6 he (i.e. Barisat) was gradually burnt up by the fire and reduced7 to ashes. And I brought the food to my father, and he did eat. And I gave him wine and milk,8 and he was gladdened and blessed his god Merumath. And I said to him: “O father Terah, bless not thy god Merumath, and praise him not, but rather praise thy god Barisat because, loving thee more, he hath cast himself into the fire to cook thy food!” An d he said to me: “And where is he now?” [ And I said: ]9 “He is burnt to ashes in the violence of the fire and is reduced to dust.” And he said: “Great is the power of Barisat! I (will) make another to-day, and to-morrow he will prepare10 my food.” VI. When I, Abraham, however, heard such words from my father, I laughed in my mind and sighed in the grief and in the anger of my soul, and said:11 “How then can that which is made by him—manufactured statues—be a helper of my father? Or shall the body then be subject to its soul, and the soul to the spirit, and the spirit to folly and ignorance!”12 And I said:11 “It is fitting once to endure evil. So I will direct my mind to what is pure and lay my thoughts open before him.” [And]13 I answered and said: “O father Terah, whichever of these thou praisest as a god, thou art foolish in thy mind. Behold the gods of thy brother Ora,14 which stand in the holy temple, are more worthy of honour than [these of]15 thine. For behold Zucheus, the god of thy brother Oron,16 is more worthy of honour than thy god 1 Lit. kindling of the fire. 2 S omits. 3 Lit. did my counsel: a Hebrew phrase, ‘~s ~ ‘s ~, “execute a plan” (Is. xxx. 1). 4 S, + before. 5 A; + And it came to pass when I saw it. 6 A, mind; K, in my mind and laughed. 7 Lit. became. 8 Wine was sometimes mixed not only with water , b ut with milk, in Palestine; cf. Cant. V. 1 (I have drunk my wine with my milk): cf. also Is. lv. 1. 9 S A omit. 10 Lit. make. 11 i.e. thought (“said in my heart”). The sentence that follows (“It is fitting once to endure evil”) means: “It is well to suffer in this way for a good cause.” 12 In th is sentence the text o f S i s n ot in order, and has been corrected by Tikhonravov in accordance with A and K. 13 Omitted by S. 14 i.e. Haran (so S); A has thy father Nahor, K my brother Nahor. 15 Omitted by S. 16 Another form of Haran (so S); A and K read as indicated in the previous note. Merumath, because he is made of gold which is highly valued by people, and when he groweth old in years he will be re-modelled; but if your god Merumath is changed or broken, he will not be renewed, because he is a stone; the which is also the case with the god Joavon 1 2 [ who standeth with Zucheus over the other gods—how 3 much more worthy of honour is he than t he god Barisat, who is made of wood, while he is forged of silver! How3 is he made, by adaptatio n o f man, v a lu ab l e t o o utward appearance! But thy god Barisat, while he was sti ll, before h e had been prepared, rooted up (?) 4 upon the earth and was great and wonderful with the glory of branches and blossom,5 thou didst hew out with the axe, and by m ean s of th y art he hath been made into a god. And lo! his fatness is already withered and perished, he is fallen from th e h ei ght to the ground, he hath come from great estate to littleness, and the appearance of his countenance hath vanished, and h e ] Barisat himself is burnt up by fire and reduced to ashes and is n o more; and thou sayest: “To-day I will make another which6 to-morrow shall make ready my food!”7 “He hath perished to utter destruction!”7 VII. 8“Behold, the fire is more worthy of honour than 9all things formed because even that which is not subjected is subjected unto it, and things easily perishable are mocked by its flames. 9 10But even more worthy of hon our is the water, 10 because it conquereth the fire and 11 satisfieth the earth.11 But even it I do not call God, because 12it is subjected to the earth under which the water inclineth.12 But I call the earth much more worthy of honour, because it overpowereth the nature (and the fulness)13 of the water. Even it (viz. the earth), how ever, I do not call god, [because]14 it, too, is dried up by the sun, [and] 14 is apportioned to man to be tilled.15[I call the sun more worthy of honour than the earth,]16 because it with its rays illumineth the whole world 17and the different atmospheres.17 [But]14 even it I do not call god, because at night 18and by clouds its course is obscured.18 Nor, again, do I call the moon or the stars 1 So S; A, Joauv; K, Joav; R, Jav. 2 The lon g passage in bracke t s w h i c h h e r e f o llows is extant in A and K, but is wanting in S. It consists of a long comparison between the gods Joauv (Joavon) and Barisat, and is very obscure. It is probably a later interpolation. 3 4 Lit. that. ? read rooted. 5 i.e. while it was growing as a tree. 6 Lit. and he. 7 Hath he not abandoned this (once for all) by perishing to utter destruction? A (K). 8 A K i n sert at the beginning of this chapter: Having thought thus, Abraham came to his father, sa yi n g: “Father Terah,” forgetting that A braham was already speaking to him. The sen tence is wan ting in S. 9 So S; for this A K have thy honoured gods of gold, silver, stone, and wood, because it bur n eth up thy gods; yea, thy gods are burnt up in subjection to the fire, while the fire mocked them, devouring thy gods. 10 A K r e a d : B u t that (viz. the fire) I do not call god, because it hath been subjected to the water, while the water is more worthy of honour than it (i. e. the fire). 11 A K, maketh the fruits of the earth sweet. 12 A K, the water inclineth under the earth. 13 14 So S; but A K omit—it is probably a gloss. S omits. 15 Lit. for work (= Heb. la‘ |bÇd). 16 Omitted by S; but it must have belonged to the original text. It is attested by A K. 17 So S; A K omit: atmospheres (? lower and upper) = ’XDgH; cf. 4 Ezra vi. 4, altitudines aerum. 18 A K, it is obscured by the darkness. god, because they also in their season obscure [their] 1 light at night. 2 [But]1 hear [this],1 Terah my father; for 3I will make known to thee3 the God who hath made everything, not these we consider as gods. Who then is He? or what is He? Who hath crimsoned the heavens, and made the sun golden, And the moon lustrous, and with it the stars; And hath made the earth dry in the midst of many waters, And set thee in4 . . . . 5[and tested me in the confusion of my thoughts ]5 “Yet may God reveal Himself to us through Himself!” VIII. And it came to pass while I spake6 thus to my father Terah in the court of my7 house, there cometh down8 the voice of a Mighty One9 from heaven in a fiery cloud-burst,10 saying and crying: “Abraham, Abraham!” And I said: “Here am I.” And He said: 11“Thou art seeking in the understanding of thine heart the G od o f Gods and the Creator;11 12I am He:12 Go out from thy father Terah, and get thee out from the13 house, that thou also be not slain in the sins of thy father’s house.” And I went out. And it came to pass when I went out, that before I succeeded in getting out in front of the door of the court, there came a sound of a [great] 1 4 thunder15 and burnt 1 6 him and16 his house,16 and everything whatsoever in his house, down to the ground, forty cubits. 17 1 S omits. 2 Or by (through) night. 3 Lit. I will investiga t e ( o r examine) before thee concerning. Th e question that follows, Who then is He? etc., gives the subject of the investigation. 4 Something has to be supplied h ere. 5 So A K; S omits. 6 S K, reflected. 7 A K, his (i. e. Terah’s), rightly. At this point th ere follows in A K (R) an insertion which contains, among other thin gs, a version of the well-known legen d about A braham’s burnin g of th e idol-temple, and with it his brother Haran; cf. A ppendix I. 8 Lit. falleth (S); K, fell (A omits). 9 = LXX. Ò ÆFPLD`H (frequent as a rendering of Heb. h ~’l, “God”); cf. 4 Ezra ix. 45, etc. 10 K, flame. 11 The text of S is n ot i n or der; Sreznevsky reads: Cogu Coisya, God thou dost fear, and the Creator thou art seeking. 12 A omits. 13 K, his. 14 S omits. 15 K, + and there fell fire from heaven. 16 A (K R) omit. 16 K, + and the dwellers therein, both men and beasts. 17 Here R ends. The Midrashic story about the burning of Te r ah ’ s h o u s e i s really based upon an interpretation of the Biblical “Ur of the Chaldees” (Gen. xi. 31, xv. 7). Here “Ur” is inter pr et ed as = “fire”; Abraham was brought out of “Ur” (“fire”) by the Lord. PART II THE APOCALYPSE (Chapters IX.-XXXII.). Abraham receives a Divine Command to offer Sacrifice after Forty Days as a Preparation for a Divine Revelation (Chapter IX.; cf. Gen. xv.). IX. Then a voice came to me speaking twice: “Abraham, Abraham!” And I said: “Here am I!” And He said: “Behold, 1it is I1; fear not,2 for I am before the worlds, 3 and a mighty God who hath created 4the light of the world.4 I am a shield over thee,2 and I am thy helper. Go, take me a young heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove and a pigeon,5 and bring me a pure sacrifice. And in this sacrifice I will lay before thee the ages (to come), and make known to thee what is reserved, and thou shalt see great things which thou hast not seen (hitherto);6 because thou hast loved to search me out, and I have named thee my Friend.7 But abstain 8 from every form of food that proceedeth out of the fire, and from the drinking of wine, and from anointing (thyself) with oil, forty days,”9 and then set forth for me the sacrifice which I have commanded thee, in the place which I will shew thee, on a high mountain,10 and there I will shew thee the ages which have been created and established, 11made and renewed,11 by my Word,12 and13 I will make known to thee what 1 2 K, I am with thee. Cf. Gen. xv. 1. 3 Or ages (“æons”). 4 A, the first light: K, in the beginning heaven and earth and the n t he f ir s t l uminary of light and of the world (cf. Gen. i. 1 f.). The reference is apparently to the created (not the uncreated) light. For the latter cf. note on chap. xvii. 5 Cf. Gen. xv. 9. 6 The r ev el at i on m ade to Abraham which is described in Gen. xv. 9 f. early became a favourite theme for apocalyptic speculation, and an intimation was discovered in the p as s age of Israel’s later captivity and subjection to the four oppressive w o rld-powers of the Book of Daniel (see the Targums ad loc.). This apocalypti c e x p e r i e n c e o f Abraham is referred to in 4 Ezra iii. 14 (and unto him [Abraham] only didst thou reveal the end of the times s e cr et ly b y n ight). Accordin g to the Ap. Bar. iv. 4 the heavenly Jerusalem was shown to Abraham “by nigh t among the portions of the victims.” 7 O r “ lo v er .” Abraham, as God’s chosen friend (or “lover of God,” cf. 2 Chron. xx. 7, Is. xli. 8, E p . James ii. 23) can receive special revelation; for the juxtaposition of the two ideas cf. 4 Ezra iii. 14. 8 Or refrain thyself. By every form of food that proceedeth out of the fire, flesh-meat is no doubt m eant. 9 Fasting as a preparat i on for the reception of a divine revelation was much practised by the apocalyptists. In 4 Ez r a f o u r f as t s o f seven days followed in each case by a divine revelation are referred to. Here, it is to be noted, the period is one of forty days. For th e ter m s h er e used cf. 4 Ezra ix. 24. Anointing the body (especially the face) with oil was a mark of joy used in connexi on wit h feasting (cf. Eccles. ix. 8, Ps. xxiii. 5, Amos vi. 6), and omitted in mourn in g as a sign of grief (cf. 2 Sam. xiv. 2, Dan. x. 3). 10 Cf. Gen. xxii. 2. 11 A omits. 12 The “Word” of God here has a quasi-person a l significance; cf. 4 Ezra vi. 38 (“and thy Word, O Lord, perfected the work”), 43, etc. 13 and omitted by A. shall come to pass in them on those who have done evil and (practised) righteousness in the generation of men. Abraham, under the Direction of the Angel Jaoel, proceeds to Mount Horeb, a Journey of Forty Days, to offer the Sacrifice (Chapters X.-XII.). X. And it came to pass, when I heard the voice of Him who spake such words to me, (and)1 I looked hither and thither and lo! there was no breath of a man,2 3and my spirit was affrighted, and my soul fled from me, and I became like a stone, and fell down upon the earth, for3 I had no more strength to stand on the earth.4 5And while I was still lying with my face upon the earth,5 I heard the voice o f the Holy One speaking: “Go, Jaoel,6 and by means of my ineffable Name raise me yonder man, and strengthen him (so that he recover) from his trembling.” And the angel came, whom He had sent to me, in the likeness of a man, and7 grasped me by my right hand, and set me up upon my feet, and said to me:8 “9Stand up,9 [Abraham,]10 Friend of God who loveth thee; let not11 the trembling of man seize thee! For, lo! I have been sent to thee to strengthen thee and bless thee in the name of God—who loveth thee—the Creator of the celestial and terrestrial. Be fearless and hasten to Him. I am called Jaoel 1 2 by Him who moveth that which existeth with me on the seventh13 expanse upon14 the firmament,15 a power in virtue of the ineffable Name that is dwelling in me.16 I am 1 Omit (a Hebraism? marks apodosis). 2 Cf. 4 Ezra vii. 29 (“omnes qui spiramentum habent h omin is”). 3 K reads: and he was affrighted in his spirit, and his soul perished in him, and he became like a dead man, and fell down like a stone upon the earth, and. 4 Cf. Ezek. i. 28; Dan. viii. 17, x. 8 f.; 1 Enoch xiv. 14, 24; 4 Ezra x. 29 f. 5 K omits. 6 Th e n ame of th e archangel Joel (Jaoel) is differently spelt in th e various texts (cf. the Slav on i c version of The Book of Adam, ed. by Jagi, in Denkschriften des Kaiserlichen Akademie der W i s s e n schaften in Wien, philol.-histor. Classe, Vol. XLII.): S, Naoil, Ilo il ; A , Aol, K, Jaol, Book of Adam, Joil = Joel. Jaoel (= Heb. Yahoel) is represented in our Apocalypse as a being possessed of th e power of the ineffable name, a function assigned in the Rabbi n i c al writings to Metatron, “whose name is like unto that of God Himself” (T.B. Sanh. 38b). The name Yahoel (Jaoel) is evidently a substitute for the ineffable name Yahweh, the writing out of wh ich in full was forbidden. In chap. x v i i . b elow God Himself is addresseas Jaoel. For Jaoel as the heavenly choirmaster cf. note on chap. xvii. 7 A omits. 8 Cf. 4 Ezra x. 30. 9 A omits. 10 S omits. 11 A K, if. 12 S, Eloel; A, Aol; K, Ioal. 13 A, middle. 14 i.e.? “over.” 15 The angel sent to Isaiah to conduct him through the various “heavens” had “ come from the seventh [i. e. the high est] heaven”; cf. Asc. Is. vi. 13, vii. 27. 16 Cf. Ex. xxiii. 21 (“my name is in him,” i. e. the angel of Jahveh); here Jaoel s ee m s t o play th e rôle of Mich ael (see Introduction, p. xxv). the one who hath been given to restrain, according to His commandment, the threatening attack of the living creatures of the Cherubim against one another,1 and teach those who carry Him2 the song of the seventh hour of the night of man.3 I am ordained to restrain the Leviathan, for unto me are subject the attack and menace of every single reptile. 4 [ I am h e who h a t h been co mmissioned to loosen Hades, to destroy him who stareth at the dead.]5 I am the one who was commissioned to set on fire thy father’s house together with him, because he displayed 1 By “the living creatures of the Cherubi m ” a re m ean t t he “h oly hayyoth” of Ezek. i. who are expressly identified with the [heavenly] Cherubim in Ezek. x. 20. T h e y a r e f our in number (each with four faces), and are the bearers of the divine thron e (see next note). Apparently they are here represented as of t h reatening aspect and in danger of menacing attack upon one another, so that a restraining influen ce was nec e s s ar y . According to the Midrash (Exodus rabba v.) envy and mistrust are absent from the angelic world, though the angels envied Israel the possession of the Law; but cf. Asc. Is. 9. 2 i.e. “th e holy hayyoth [‘living creatures’] who carry the throne of glory” (Sifra on Lev. i. 1). 3 According to T.B. Abôd~ z~r ~ 3b, “God sits [at night] and l i stens to the song of the living creatures [hayyoth], as it is said (Ps. xlii. 8): By day the Lord commandeth His loving-kindness [i. e. judges and sustains the world, and occupies Himself in the study of the Law], and in the night H is s on g is wit h m e.” In T.B. Hag. 12b it is said that the companies of ministering angels in th e fifth heaven “utter His song i n the night, and are silent in the day for the sake of the glory of Israel.” In Pirke de R. Eliezer iv. Michael is r e p r esented as the head of the first of four bands of mini stering angels who utter praise before the Holy One; cf. also Mekilta to Ex. xv. 1; and in th e New Testament Luke ii. 13 (the angelic song at n ight). 4 M i chael is represented in Kabbali stic literature as the angel-prince who is set over the ele m en t o f water (cf. Lueken, Michael, p. 54); this conception is probably old, for on it rest s t h e haggadic story that when Solomon married Ph araoh ’s daug h t er , M i chael drove into the bed of the sea a stick, around which slime gathered, and on which Rome was ulti mat ely b ui lt (Midrash rabba on C ant. i. 6, in the name of R. Levi, end of third century A.D.). Michael is also the prince of sno w, which belongs to the element of water (Deut. rabba v. 12). Leviathan as the sea-monster par excellen ce wo uld be subject to him, with all reptiles, though the task of slaying the monster is assigned, by Jewish legend, to Gabriel; but Michael and Gabriel are often confused in th ese connexions. [For the “spirit of the sea” that restrai n s i t c f . 1 Enoch lx. 16.] The re pr es en t ation here is parallel in a sense with that which depicts Michael as the enemy and c o n q ue r o r of Satan (cf. Rev. xii. 7 ff.) and in later Christian tradition as the vanquisher of the dragon (cf. Lucken, op. cit., pp. 1 06 ff.). It should be noted that according to the Kabbalistic book Raziel fol. 4a the name of Mich ael is a powerful ch arm again st th e reptiles (cf. Lueken, p. 28). 5 The bracketed clause is omitted by S. One of M i c h ae l ’s functions (with Gabriel) is to open the gates of Hell and release the sin ners therein; see Y alqut Shim. on Is. xxvi. 2, and cf. Lueken, op. cit., p. 52. What is mean t b y “ des t ro yi n g” him who stareth at the dead is not clear. It might conceivably refer to the duty of b ur ying th e dead. To allow a corpse—even an enemy’s—to remain unburied was considered an impiety (cf. Ps. lxxix. 2 f.; Tobit i. 17, ii. 7; Josephus, Apion, ii. 29), a n d i t i s n o t able that, according to The Life of Adam and Eve, xlviii. 4 f.; (cf. C h arles, Corpus ii. 151), Michael and Uriel bury the bodies of Adam and Abel in Paradise. But the language of the phrase here hardly suits this. In view of the next clause, where “dead” = dead idols, the reference may perhaps be to idol-worship. In a Byzantine text the story of Michael’s c on t e st w i t h the devil about the body of Moses is given a somewhat similar motive. The devil is represented as seeking to bri n g down Moses’ dead body to the Israelites in order that they may worship it—and this m ay depend originally upon a Jewish source whic h i n t h i s way protested against th e Christian worship of saints and relics (cf. Lueken, op. cit., p. 121 f.). But perhaps stareth at should be altered to terrifieth, and the reference is to Death personified; cf. Add. Note, p. 55 f. reverence for dead (idols).1 I have been sent to bless thee now, and the land2 which the Eternal One, whom thou hast invoked, hath prepared for thee, and for thy sake have I wended my way upon the earth.3 Stand up, Abraham! Go without fear; be right glad and rejoice; and I am with thee! For eternal honour hath been prepared for thee by the Eternal One. Go, fulfil the sacrifices commanded. For lo! I hav e been appointed to be with thee and with the generation prepared (to spring) from thee; and with me Michael4 blesseth thee for ever. Be of good cheer, go!” XI. And I rose up and saw him who had grasped me by my right hand and set me up upon my feet: and the appearance of his body5 was like sapphire, and the look of his countenance like chrysolite, and the hair of his head like snow, and the turban upon his head6 like the appearance of the rainbow, and the clothing of his garments like purple; and a golden sceptre was in his right hand.7 And he said to me: “Abraham!” And I said: “Here am I, thy servant.” And he said: “Let not my look affright thee, nor my speech, that thy soul be not perturbed).8 Come with me and I will go with thee, until the sacrifice, visible, but after the sacrifice,9 invisible for ever. Be of good cheer, and come!” XII. And we went, the two of us together, forty days and nights, 1 0 and I ate no bread, and drank no water, because my food11 was to see the angel who was with me, and his 1 In the Rabbinical form of th e legend (see Appendix) A braham is rescued fro m th e fiery oven into which he had been cast by Nimrod by Michael, according to the opinion of Eliezer b. Jacob (Genesis rabba xliv. 16). Michael, according to the Rabbis, was the defender o f t h e P atriarchs. Strictly it is Gabriel who is the prince of fire. 2 i.e. the land of Palestine. In Mohammedan tradition Mich ael is the good angel who brings peace and plenty. 3 It was Michael who, according to Rabbinic tradition, at various times appeared t o Abraham, e. g. h e to ld A br ah am that Lot had escaped, protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech (Pirke de R. Eliezer xxvi.), announced to Sarah that she should have a son (Gen. xviii. 10), rescued Lot from Sodom (T.B. Baba mesia, 86b), and prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by substituting a ram. In The Tes t. o f Abraham (i.) it is Michael who comes down and visits Abraham in order to take his soul. 4 Here Michael is associated with the speaker, the archangel Jaoel. This rather s uggests that the latter is really fulfilling the rôl e of Met atron (Michael and Metatron are companions, Zohar i. 149b). But Jaoel really combines the functions of both. The writer wishes to make it clear that Ja o el i s closely associated with Michael. 5 K, + his feet (a gloss? suggested by Rev. i. 15). 6 Cf. Rev. xix. 12 (“upon his head many diadems”). 7 Cf. Rev. i. 16 (“and he had in his right hand seven star s ” ). T here is a general resemblance here to the description of the exalt ed C h rist in Rev. i. 14-16, but the details are different except that both have the characteristic descriptive phrase, derived from Dan. vii. 9 (“the hair of his head like pure wool,” here “like snow,” cf. Rev. i. 14); cf. also 2 Enoch i. 5 (the description of th e two angels who visit Enoch). The figure desc r i b ed i s r egal (notice the purple garments and the sceptre), and is invested with the divine glory; cf. Ezek. 26 f. 8 Or “troubled”; cf. 2 Enoch i. 8, and often in apocalyptic writings. 9 K, + I will be. The angel appears in visible form for the time being. So Michael ap pear s t o A br ah am “like a very comely warrior” (Test. Abrah. i.). 10 Cf. 1 Kings xix. 8. 11 S, + and my drink. speech—that was my drink.1 And we came to the Mount of God, the glorious Horeb. And I said to the angel: “Singer of the Eternal O ne! Lo! I have no sacrifice with me,2 nor am I aware of a place of an altar on the mountain: how can I bring a sacrifice?” And he said to me: “Look round!”3 4And I looked round, 4 and lo! there were following us all the prescribed sacrificial (animals)—the young heifer, and the she-goat, and the ram, and the turtle-dove, and the pigeon.5 And the angel said to me: “Abraham!” I said: “Here am I.” And he said to me: “All these slaughter, and divide the animals into halves, one against the other, but the birds do not sever;6 and (“but”) give to the men, whom I will shew thee, standing by thee, for these are the altar7 upon the Mountain, to offer a sacrifice to the Eternal; but the turtledove and the pigeon give to me, for I will ascend upon the wings of the bird,8 in order to shew thee in heaven, and on the earth, and in the sea, and in the abyss, and in the under-world, and in the Garden of Eden, and in its rivers and in the fulness of the who le w orld and its circle—thou shalt gaze in (them) all.”9 Abraham accomplishes the Sacrifice, under the Guidance of the Angel, and refuses to be diverted from his Purpose by Azazel (Chapters XIII.-XIV.). XIII. And I did everything according to the commandment of the angel, and gave the angels, who had come to us, the divided animals, but the angel10 took the birds. And I waited for the evening sacrifice. And there flew an unclean bird down upon the carcasses,11 and I drove it away. And the unclean bird spake to me, and said: “What doest thou, Abraham, upon the holy Heights, where no man eateth or drinketh,12 neither is there upon them (any) food of 1 Cf. John iv. 31-34. Elijah ate and drank before starting on h is journey t o H o r eb , and “went in the strength of that meat f o r t y d a y s and forty nigh ts” (1 Kings xix. 8): cf. Ex. xxiv. 18. There is a close parallel to our text in Philo, Life of Moses, Bk. III. 1, where it is said of Moses in the Mount: “he neglected all meat and d r i n k f o r forty days together, evidently because he had more excellent food than that in those contemplations with wh ich he was inspired from above from heaven.” 2 Cf. Gen. xxii. 7. 3 A, behind. 4 A K omit. 5 Cf. Gen. xv. 9. 6 Cf. Gen. xv. 10. 7 Living m en (or rather angels) take the place of the material altar; cf. th e m e t aphorical use of “t emp le” as applied to the body (cf. John ii. 21; 1 Cor. iii. 16, vi. 19). But such a use of the term “altar” does not appear to have becom e current in Jewish literature. 8 The ascent to heaven is accomplished on the wings of a dove. Th e dov e is ap propriate in this connexion because of its swiftness (cf. Ps. lv. (6) 7, “Oh that I had wings like a dove,” etc.; cf. also Virgil, Æn. vi. 190 ff.), and its purity. For the symbolism of th e dove app li ed t o Isr ael, and also to the Holy Spirit (Matt. iii. 16), cf. I. Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, pp. 47 ff. 9 The revelations here promised to Abraham correspon d to th e earlier models given in 1 and 2 E n och. 10 K, + Jaoel. 11 Cf. Gen. xv. 11. 12 i. e. they are in th e domain of the spiritual sphere, where there is no eating and drin k in g; cf. Test. Abrah. (A) iv., “all the heavenly spirits are incorporeal, and n either eat nor drink.” man, but these1 consume everything with fire, and (will) burn thee up. 2Forsake the man, who is with thee, and flee; for if thou ascendest to the Heights they will make an end of thee.2 And it came to pass, when I saw the bird speak, I said to the angel: “What is this, my lord?” And he said: “This is ungodliness,3 this is Azazel.”4 And he said to it: “Disgrace upon thee, Azazel! For Abraham’s lot is in heaven, but thine upon the earth. Because thou hast chosen and loved this for the dwelling-(place) of thine uncleanness, therefore the eternal mighty Lord made thee a dweller upon the earth5 and through thee every evil spirit of lies,6 and through thee wrath and trials for the generations of ungodly men;7 for God, the Eternal, Mighty One, hath not permitted that the bodies of the righteous should be in thy hand, 8 in order that thereby the life of the righteous and the destruction of the unclean may be assured.9 Hear, friend,10 begone with shame from me. For it hath not been given to thee to play the tempter in regard to all the righteous. Depart from this man! Thou canst not lead him astray, because he is an enemy to thee, and of those who follow thee and love what thou willest. For, behold, the vesture which in heaven was formerly thine hath been set aside for him, 11 and the mortality 1 2 3 i. e. the heavenly beings. Omitted by A K. Cf. Zech. v. 8. 4 Azazel is the fallen ar ch angel, the seducer of mankind, who here, as in the Book of Enoch, fills the rôle of Satan o r Sammael. He is essen tially th e spirit of uncleanness, and, in this character, is depicted in our text as descending in th e form of an unclean bird. It is interestin g to note th at the Palestin ian Targum on Gen. xv. 11 interprets the unclean birds figuratively of id o l at r o u s p eo p les (“And there came down idolatrous peoples which are like to unclean birds, to steal away the sa c r i f i c e s o f Israel; but the righteousness of A bram was a sh ield over them”). 5 A zazel, wh o is here clearly a fallen archangel like the later Satan (cf. Bousset, Relig. d. Judentums 2, 386), has been expelled from heaven by God. According to 2 Enoc h x x i x . 5 Satan’s domain, after his expulsion, was t h e ai r (cf . E ph . ii. 2), but here Azazel is a “dweller upon the earth,” where he controls the evil powers (cf. John xii. 31, “prince of this world,” Matt. iv. 8 f.). In The Tes taments of the Twelve Patriarchs (cf. also Asc. Is .) Beliar is the arch-fiend, the head of the evil spirits, and the source of impurity and lying. But Azazel, like all celestial beings, can fly through the air (Gen. rabba x i x.) and assume any form, such as that of a bird (T. B. Sanh., 107a). 6 Azazel’s expulsion carried with it t h at of his hosts, of which he was the leader. [Note that in chap. xxxi. of our Book A zazel is depicted as the lord of hell.] 7 For the sin and misery brought upon the earth by the fallen angel s cf. 1 Enoch viii. 2, ix. 6, 8, x. 7 f., etc. 8 According to T.B. Baba bathra, 17a the “evil i m p u l se” (yeser h~-ra‘) had no power over the three righteous men, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In The Test. Abrah. Abraham is represented as sinless. 9 Notice the strong dualism. The activity o f t h e ev i l p o wers makes perdition certain for their victims, wh il e, on the oth er hand, by its very failure in the case of the righteous it makes their felicity more certai n in the end. 10 [Lit. “counsellor,” an idiomatic expression still found in Russian dialects (cf. Dalj’ s Dictionary of the Russian Language, s.v. sovetnik) meaning “friend,” used in a good-humoured way.—J. I. L.] 11 The “ heavenly garments” are here referred to “which are now stored up on high in the seventh heav en ” according to Asc. Is. iv. 16. The idea, originally a realistic one, was gradually spiritualised, and came to mean the spiritual bodies in which the righteous wil l b e clothed in heaven; cf. 1 Enoch lxii. 15 f. (“garments of glory,” “garments of l i fe” ); cf. also 2 Enoch xxii. 8 f., where Michael is bidden by God to “take from Enoch his earthly robe . . . and clothe him with the garment of my glory.” In The Ascension of Isaiah the seer is unable to ascend t o t he highest heaven until his “garment” has been brought to him (A s c. Is. ix. 1-2). There he sees the crowns and garments which are reserved for the righteous (ibid. i x . 13 ff.); cf. also Asc. Is. viii. 14; Rev. iii. 4, 5, 18, vi. 11, vii. 9; 2 Cor. v. 3 ff. which was his hath been transferred to thee.”1 XIV. The angel said to me: 2[“A braham!” A nd I said: “Here am I, thy servant.” And h e said: “Know from henceforth that the Eternal One hath chosen thee, (He) whom thou lovest; be of good courage and use this authority, so far as I bid thee, against him who slandereth truth; 3 should I not b e ab l e to put him to shame who hath s cat t ered over the earth the secrets of heaven 4 and h ath rebelled 5 against t h e M i g h t y One?6]7 Say to him: ‘Be thou the burning coal of the Furnace of the earth;8 go, Azazel, into the inaccessible parts of the earth;9[for thy heritage is ( t o be) over those existing with t hee being born with th e stars and clouds,10 with the men whose portion thou art, and (w h o ) t h r o ug h t hy b ei n g exist;11 and thine enmity is justification. On this account by thy perdition disappear from m e.” A n d 1 Azazel has thus lost his “garment of life,” o r robe of immortality, and become mortal, while A braham gains it. 2 S, Abraham. 3 Cf. John viii. 44 (“h e [th e Dev il] is a liar and the father thereof”). Satan—here Azazel—is par excellence “the slanderer” (Ò *4V$@8@H), “he who slandereth truth.” 4 The fallen ang el s ( 1 E noch vii., lxix. 6 ff.), and especially Azazel (1 Enoch viii. 1), are represented as having brought moral ruin upon the earth by teaching men t h e use of m agic, astrology, and science (including the use of warlike weapons). A close parallel to ou r t ext exists in 1 Enoch ix. 6: “See what Azazel hath done, how h e hath taught all unrigh teousness on earth and revealed th e s ecret things of the world which were wrought in the heavens.” 5 So Samm ael, “th e great prin ce in heaven,” is reproach e d b y the Torah for rebellion against God (Pirke de R. Eliezer xiii.: “Th e T or ah b egan to cry aloud saying: Why, O Sammael! now that the world is created, is it the time to rebel against the Omnipresent? Is it like a time when thou shouldest lift up thyself on high (Job xxxix. 18)?”). Thus the two chief sins of Azazel consist in “scattering the secrets of heaven upon the earth,” and in devising rebellion against the Most High. 6 = probably LXX. Ò ÊFPLD`H (Heb. h~ ’l); see chap. viii. note1. Kohler suggests Heb. ’abâr, “Mighty One” (of Jacob), Gen. xlix. 24 (LXX, Ò *L
And it cane to pass as I was thinking things like these with regard to my father Terah in the court of my house, the voice of the Mighty One came down from
2. the heavens in a stream of fire, saying and calling, "Abraham, Abraham!" And
3. I said, "Here I am." And he said, "You are searching of the God of gods, the
4. Creator, in the understanding of your heart. I am he. Go out from Terah, your father, and go out of the house, that you too may not be slain in the sins of your
5. father’s house." And it came to pass as I went out-I was not
6. yet outside the entrance of the court- that the sound of a great thunder came and burned him and his house and everything in his house, down to the ground, forty c
2. the heavens in a stream of fire, saying and calling, "Abraham, Abraham!" And
3. I said, "Here I am." And he said, "You are searching of the God of gods, the
4. Creator, in the understanding of your heart. I am he. Go out from Terah, your father, and go out of the house, that you too may not be slain in the sins of your
5. father’s house." And it came to pass as I went out-I was not
6. yet outside the entrance of the court- that the sound of a great thunder came and burned him and his house and everything in his house, down to the ground, forty c
we ascended, *a strong light impossible to describe*, and within the light a fiercely burning fire of people, many people, of male appearance, all constantly changing in aspect and form, running and being transformed, and worshipping and crying with a sound of words that I could not recognise.