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

Chapter LXXVI

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Text Commentary

1And at the ends of the earth I saw twelve gates open to all the winds, 1 Or ‘to all directions’ (in both Ethiopic and Aramaic the word for ‘wind’ can also have the meaning ‘quarter, direction’). from which the winds come out and blow over the earth. 2Three of them are open in the front of heaven, and three in the west, and three on the right of heaven, and three on the left. 3And the three first are those which are towards the east, and three are towards the north, and the three after these 2 after these: so GM; T Eth.II ‘opposite (lit. ‘at the back of’) those’; QUD′ differ slightly. on the left are towards the south, and three are in the west. 4Through four of them come winds of blessing and peace, and from those eight come winds of punishment; when they are sent, they bring devastation to the whole earth, and to the water which is on it, and to all those who dwell upon it, and to everything which is in 3 EFHP2 ‘on’. the water and on the dry ground. 5And the first wind from those gates, called the east wind, comes out through the first gate which is towards the east, the one which inclines to the south; from it comes devastation, drought, and heat, 4 QFJNA′ ‘death’; D′ ‘punishment’. and destruction. 5 U ‘force’. 6And through the second gate in the middle comes what is right, and from it come rain, 6 And through … rain: so all MSS (with minor variations) except GUD′J; GJ ‘And through the second gate in the middle, from it come rain’ (omission by hmt.); D′ ‘And through the second gate exactly in the middle, from it come rain’; U corrupt. ‘What is right’ is awkward, and D′, although itself possibly defective, gives better sense. and fruitfulness, and prosperity and dew; and through the third gate, which is towards the north, come cold and drought. 7And after these the winds towards the south come out through three gates. First, 7 So GMT Eth.II and Aram.: QUD′ om. through the first of the gates, the one which inclines towards the east, comes a hot wind. 8 MTU ‘hot winds’; A′B′ ‘a wind of death’; GD′ corrupt. 8And through the middle gate, which is next to it, come pleasant fragrances, and dew, and rain, and prosperity and life. 9And through the third gate, which is towards the west, come dew, and rain, and locusts and devastation. 10And after these the winds towards the north 9 All Eth. MSS add a gloss ‘named the sea’ (for a Palestinian the sea is the west, not the north). … From the seventh gate, 10 From the seventh gate: so I correct Eth. which in all its various forms appears corrupt. GQTUD′ ‘and which came out (D′ ‘come out’) from the seventh gate’; M ‘and which came out from the great seventh gate’; Eth.II ‘From three, the seventh gate’ or ‘From, thirdly, the seventh gate’. which is towards the east, 11 All Eth. MSS add here a gloss – thus Q adds ‘the south’, GTUD′ add ‘towards the south’, M Eth.II add ‘which inclines towards the south’. … come dew and rain, locusts and devastation. 11And through the middle gate exactly come rain, and dew, and life 12 rain … life: Eth.I ‘life, and rain, and dew’. and prosperity. 13 and prosperity: GD′ om. And through the third gate, which is towards the west, 14 All Eth. MSS add here by mistake ‘which inclines towards the north’. … come mist, and hoar-frost, and snow, and rain, and dew and locusts. 12And after these 15 All Eth. MSS add here a gloss ‘fourthly’. … the winds towards the west. Through the first gate, which inclines towards the north, come dew, and rain, 16 and rain: Eth.I om. and hoar-frost, and cold, and snow and frost. 13And from the middle gate come dew and rain, prosperity and blessing. And through the last gate, which is towards the south, come drought and devastation, burning and destruction. 14And thus the twelve gates of the four quarters 17 So Aram.: Eth. by mistake repeats ‘gates’. of heaven are complete. And all their laws, and all 18 QU om. their punishments and all their benefits 19 and all their benefits: Q and many Eth.II MSS om. ‘all’; D′ ‘and their benefits and everything’. I have shown to you, my son Methuselah.

Notes:

1 Or ‘to all directions’ (in both Ethiopic and Aramaic the word for ‘wind’ can also have the meaning ‘quarter, direction’).

2 after these: so GM; T Eth.II ‘opposite (lit. ‘at the back of’) those’; QUD′ differ slightly.

3 EFHP2 ‘on’.

4 QFJNA′ ‘death’; D′ ‘punishment’.

5 U ‘force’.

6 And through … rain: so all MSS (with minor variations) except GUD′J; GJ ‘And through the second gate in the middle, from it come rain’ (omission by hmt.); D′ ‘And through the second gate exactly in the middle, from it come rain’; U corrupt. ‘What is right’ is awkward, and D′, although itself possibly defective, gives better sense.

7 So GMT Eth.II and Aram.: QUD′ om.

8 MTU ‘hot winds’; A′B′ ‘a wind of death’; GD′ corrupt.

9 All Eth. MSS add a gloss ‘named the sea’ (for a Palestinian the sea is the west, not the north).

10 From the seventh gate: so I correct Eth. which in all its various forms appears corrupt. GQTUD′ ‘and which came out (D′ ‘come out’) from the seventh gate’; M ‘and which came out from the great seventh gate’; Eth.II ‘From three, the seventh gate’ or ‘From, thirdly, the seventh gate’.

11 All Eth. MSS add here a gloss – thus Q adds ‘the south’, GTUD′ add ‘towards the south’, M Eth.II add ‘which inclines towards the south’.

12 rain … life: Eth.I ‘life, and rain, and dew’.

13 and prosperity: GD′ om.

14 All Eth. MSS add here by mistake ‘which inclines towards the north’.

15 All Eth. MSS add here a gloss ‘fourthly’.

16 and rain: Eth.I om.

17 So Aram.: Eth. by mistake repeats ‘gates’.

18 QU om.

19 and all their benefits: Q and many Eth.II MSS om. ‘all’; D′ ‘and their benefits and everything’.

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