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

Chapter VI

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Text Commentary

1Now when it became generally known that the man of God had regained his sight, 1 Lit. ‘the man of God saw clearly’. people gathered to him from everywhere, listening to his words 2 Lit. ‘teachings’. of life; for they realized that a holy spirit of God was speaking in him. 2The great ones who came said to him. You can now see clearly enough: how comes it that after your sight had failed you have now regained it? 3The God-loving old man smiled and said to them, My sons and brothers, the God of my father Abraham has brought this about to comfort me in my old age. 4But the priest of God said to him, Tell me what I ought to do, 3 Lit. ‘Tell me a word’. my father Isaac. 5Our father Isaac said to him, Keep your body holy, for the temple of God is set in it. 4 In Boh. the allusion to 1 Cor. iii. 16 is clearer and an exhortation to keep the flesh pure and holy is added. 6Do not engage in controversy with other men in case an angry word escapes your mouth. 7Be on your guard against evil-speaking, against vainglory, 5 Boh. adds the warning not to speak alone with a woman. and against uttering any thoughtless word; 6 Boh. ‘idle word’. and see that your hands do not reach out after what is not yours. 8Do not offer a sacrifice with a blemish in it; 7 Boh. ‘when there is a blemish in you’. and wash yourself with water when you approach the altar. 9Do not mix the thoughts of the world with the thoughts of God when you stand before him. 10Do your utmost to be at peace with everyone. 11When you stand before God 8 Lit. ‘him’. and offer your sacrifice, 9 Boh. takes the equivalent of this clause with the preceding verse, which seems preferable. when you come to offer it on the altar, you should recite privately 10 Lit. ‘by yourself’. a hundred prayers to God and make this confession to God saying,

12O God, the incomprehensible, the unfathomable, the unattainable, the pure treasure, purify me in love; for I am flesh and blood, and I run defiled to thee, that thou mayest purify me. 13I come burdened, and I ask that thou mayest lighten my burden: a fire will burn wood, 11 Or ‘matter’. In Boh., which elaborates this passage, the reference is unquestionably to created matter. and thy mercy will take away mine iniquities. 14Forgive me, me that am a sinner: I forgive 12 Boh. ‘do thou forgive’ (imperative). the whole creation that thou hast made. 15I have no complaint against anyone: I am at peace with all that is made in thine image: I am unmoved by all the evil reasonings that have been brought before me. 16I am thy servant and the son of thy maidservant: I am the one who sins, thou art the one who forgives: forgive me and enable me to stand in thy holy place. 17Let my sacrifice be acceptable before thee: do not reject me because of my sins; but receive me unto thee, in spite of 13 Lit. ‘because of’. my many sins, like a sheep that has gone astray. 18O God, who hast been with our father Adam, and Abel, and Noah, and our father Abraham, and his son Isaac, who hast been with Jacob, be thou with me also, and receive my sacrifice from my hand.

19As you recite all this, take your sacrifice and offer it; and strive heavenwards because of the sacrifice of God, so that you do not displease him. 20For the work of the priest is no small thing.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘the man of God saw clearly’.

2 Lit. ‘teachings’.

3 Lit. ‘Tell me a word’.

4 In Boh. the allusion to 1 Cor. iii. 16 is clearer and an exhortation to keep the flesh pure and holy is added.

5 Boh. adds the warning not to speak alone with a woman.

6 Boh. ‘idle word’.

7 Boh. ‘when there is a blemish in you’.

8 Lit. ‘him’.

9 Boh. takes the equivalent of this clause with the preceding verse, which seems preferable.

10 Lit. ‘by yourself’.

11 Or ‘matter’. In Boh., which elaborates this passage, the reference is unquestionably to created matter.

12 Boh. ‘do thou forgive’ (imperative).

13 Lit. ‘because of’.

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