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

Chapter XV

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Text Commentary

1Listen, my children. In the days of your 1 So UBaR: BN Mpr ‘our’. father Adam, the Lord came down to earth to visit it and all his creatures 2 Lit. ‘his creation’. that he himself had made. 2 And the Lord summoned all the cattle on the earth and all the reptiles on the earth and all the birds with wings, and he brought them to your 3 BNBaR Mpr ‘our’. father Adam, so that he might give names to everything on earth. 3And the Lord left them with him; 4 R ‘And the Lord set him as king over all things’. and he subjected everything to him as his inferior, and moreover 5 Lit. ‘secondly’. made it dumb; 6 U ‘deaf’: R ‘dumb and deaf’. that it should be submissive 7 that it should be submissive = B etc.: U corrupt. and obedient to man. 4For the Lord created man and set him over 8 Mpr ‘For he created man lord over …’. all his possessions: there will therefore be no judgement for all living souls, but for man only. 5There is one place in the great age for all the souls of the cattle, and one fold and one pasture; for the soul of an animal which the Lord has made will not perish 9 Lit. ‘will not be shut off’ in the sense of ‘abandoned to death’ (for the metaphor see Ps. lxxviii. 50 in the LXX – καὶ τὰ κτήνη αὐτω̂ν εἰς θάνατον συνέκλεισεν). until the judgement, but all souls will accuse man. 10 man = Mpr etc.: U corrupt. 6The man who feeds the soul of a beast 11 the soul of a beast = BNBa: U ‘his own’. badly, transgresses against his own soul; but the man who offers a sacrifice of an animal without blemish – it is healing (he heals his own soul). 7 12 And the man who offers … his own soul = B supported by R: U om. And the man who offers a sacrifice of birds without blemish – it is healing (he heals his own soul). 8And all you have for food, bind it by the four legs – it is healing (he heals his own soul). 12 And the man who offers … his own soul = B supported by R: U om. 9The man who kills any beast without binding it – it is an evil custom 13 Lit. ‘law’. (he transgresses against his own soul). 10The man who does injury to a beast secretly – it is an evil custom 13 Lit. ‘law’. (he transgresses against his own soul). 11The man who does injury to another man's soul injures his own soul; and there is no healing for him for ever. 12 14 The man who commits … for ever = B Mpr: U om. The man who commits murder kills his own soul; and there is no healing for him for ever. 14 The man who commits … for ever = B Mpr: U om. 13The man who pushes another man into a trap will be caught in it himself, and there is no healing for him for ever; and the man who drags another man into court, 15 Lit. ‘pushes another man into judgement’. his own judgement will not cease for ever.

14Now, therefore, my children, keep your hearts from all unrighteousness which the Lord hates, and above all from every living soul which the Lord made. 15Just as a man asks for his own soul from the Lord, so shall he do to every living soul; for in the great age there are many dwelling-places 16 The normal word for ‘barn’ or ‘refuge’. Vaillant translates ‘retraites’ and Morfill ‘mansions’ (though this is not the word used in the Slavonic at John xiv. 2 ). prepared for man, some very good houses, and others, evil houses without number. 16Happy the man who goes into the blessed houses, for in the evil ones there is no possibility of conversion. 17 Or ‘getting out of them’. The primary meaning of the word is ‘asylum’, but the secondary meaning ‘conversion’ is supported by BBaR ‘return’, ‘turning back’. 17And if a man resolves in his heart to offer a gift to the Lord, and his hands do not do it, then the Lord will bring the labour of his hands to nothing, so that there is no profit from it. 18If his hands do it, and his heart dissents, 18 Lit. ‘murmurs’. even though the doubt in his heart persists, 19 Lit. ‘and the pain of his heart does not cease’. it will do him no harm. 20 Reading with B (‘the murmuring profits nothing’): the other MSS diverge. 19Happy the man who in his patience offers a gift to the Lord, for he will find his recompense. 20And when a man promises that at a set time he will offer a gift to the Lord, and does it, then he will find his recompense; but if the time he has set goes by, yet he fulfils his promise afterwards, it is indeed repentance, though he will not be blessed, 21 So U: the other MSS differ. Vaillant proposes ‘… his promise, his repentance will not be acceptable’. for every delay is a cause of offence. 21And if a man clothes the naked and gives bread to the hungry, he will find his recompense; but if his heart dissents, 18 Lit. ‘murmurs’. he will be a loser and gain nothing. 22 And when the poor man is satisfied, if his 22 i.e. the heart of the giver. heart is arrogant, 23 So Vaillant. U, supported by NBaR, reads ‘And the poor man, when his heart is satisfied, and he (i.e. the poor man) is arrogant’. then he will lose all his well-doing and get no gain; for the Lord detests an arrogant man.

Notes:

1 So UBaR: BN Mpr ‘our’.

2 Lit. ‘his creation’.

3 BNBaR Mpr ‘our’.

4 R ‘And the Lord set him as king over all things’.

5 Lit. ‘secondly’.

6 U ‘deaf’: R ‘dumb and deaf’.

7 that it should be submissive = B etc.: U corrupt.

8 Mpr ‘For he created man lord over …’.

9 Lit. ‘will not be shut off’ in the sense of ‘abandoned to death’ (for the metaphor see Ps. lxxviii. 50 in the LXX – καὶ τὰ κτήνη αὐτω̂ν εἰς θάνατον συνέκλεισεν).

10 man = Mpr etc.: U corrupt.

11 the soul of a beast = BNBa: U ‘his own’.

12 And the man who offers … his own soul = B supported by R: U om.

13 Lit. ‘law’.

14 The man who commits … for ever = B Mpr: U om.

15 Lit. ‘pushes another man into judgement’.

16 The normal word for ‘barn’ or ‘refuge’. Vaillant translates ‘retraites’ and Morfill ‘mansions’ (though this is not the word used in the Slavonic at John xiv. 2 ).

17 Or ‘getting out of them’. The primary meaning of the word is ‘asylum’, but the secondary meaning ‘conversion’ is supported by BBaR ‘return’, ‘turning back’.

18 Lit. ‘murmurs’.

19 Lit. ‘and the pain of his heart does not cease’.

20 Reading with B (‘the murmuring profits nothing’): the other MSS diverge.

21 So U: the other MSS differ. Vaillant proposes ‘… his promise, his repentance will not be acceptable’.

22 i.e. the heart of the giver.

23 So Vaillant. U, supported by NBaR, reads ‘And the poor man, when his heart is satisfied, and he (i.e. the poor man) is arrogant’.

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