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

Chapter LVI

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Text Commentary

1And I saw there the hosts of the angels of punishment as they went, and they were holding 1 and they were holding: T1 om.; Q om. ‘and’; MUD′ om. ‘they were holding’. chains of iron and bronze. 2And I asked the angel of peace who went with me, saying, To whom are those who are holding the chains going? 3And he said to me, Each to his own chosen ones and to his own beloved ones, 2 GMQT1UD′ ‘To their chosen and their beloved ones’. that they may be thrown into the chasm in the depths of the valley. 4And then that valley will be filled with their chosen and beloved ones, and the days of their life will be at an end, and the days of their leading astray will no longer be counted. 5And in those days the angels will gather together, 3 GQ ‘will return’. and will throw themselves towards the east upon the Parthians and Medes; they will stir up the kings, so that a disturbing spirit will come upon them, and they 4 DY ‘it’. will drive them from their thrones; and they will come out like lions from their lairs, and like hungry wolves in the middle of their flocks. 6And they will go up and trample upon 5 T1U ‘and cover’. the land of my 6 my: so D′; GQT1 ‘his’; MT2U Eth.II ‘their’. chosen ones, and the land of my 7 my: so D′; GMQT1U and most Eth.II MSS ‘his’; T2CX ‘their’. chosen ones will become before them a tramping-ground and a beaten track. 7But the city of my righteous ones will be a hindrance to their horses, and they will stir up slaughter amongst themselves, and their own right hand will be strong against them; and a man will not admit to knowing his neighbour or 8 his neighbour or: GMQT1UD′ om. his brother, nor a son his father or 9 his father or: MT1UD′ om. his mother, until through their death 10 through their death: G om.; M corrupt; D′ (?) ‘among them’; Q corrupt in entire passage ‘until … in vain’. there are corpses enough, and their punishment – it will not be in vain. 11 GMUD′ ‘and their punishment shall not be in vain’ (D′ om. ‘and’). 8And in those days Sheol will open its mouth, and they will sink into it; and their destruction 12 G adds ‘will cease’, and MQT2U make similar additions. But in no case do the additions provide an entirely satisfactory text. – Sheol will swallow up the sinners before the face of the chosen.

Notes:

1 and they were holding: T1 om.; Q om. ‘and’; MUD′ om. ‘they were holding’.

2 GMQT1UD′ ‘To their chosen and their beloved ones’.

3 GQ ‘will return’.

4 DY ‘it’.

5 T1U ‘and cover’.

6 my: so D′; GQT1 ‘his’; MT2U Eth.II ‘their’.

7 my: so D′; GMQT1U and most Eth.II MSS ‘his’; T2CX ‘their’.

8 his neighbour or: GMQT1UD′ om.

9 his father or: MT1UD′ om.

10 through their death: G om.; M corrupt; D′ (?) ‘among them’; Q corrupt in entire passage ‘until … in vain’.

11 GMUD′ ‘and their punishment shall not be in vain’ (D′ om. ‘and’).

12 G adds ‘will cease’, and MQT2U make similar additions. But in no case do the additions provide an entirely satisfactory text.

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