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

Chapter X

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Text Commentary

1Then Pentephres and his relations went away to their estate. 2And Aseneth was left alone with the 1 D ‘her’. virgins, and she was listless and wept until sunset: she ate no bread and drank no water; and while all slept she alone was awake. 3And she opened the door and went down to the 1 D ‘her’. gate; and she found the portress asleep with her children. 4And Aseneth quickly took down the leather curtain from the door, and she filled it with ashes and carried it up to the top storey and laid it on the floor. 5And she secured the door and fastened it with the iron bar from the side; and she groaned aloud and wept. 6And the virgin that Aseneth loved most of all the virgins 2 most of … virgins: D om. heard her mistress groaning, and she roused the other virgins 3 and … virgins = EFA: BDGH Slav. om. and came 4 B ‘made haste’. and found the door shut. 7And she listened to Aseneth groaning and weeping and said, Why are you so sorrowful, my lady? 8What is it that is troubling you? Open the door for us, so that we can see you. And Aseneth said to them from inside (shut in as she was), I have a violent headache and am resting on my bed; and I have no strength left to open to you now, 5 BF om. for I am utterly exhausted; 6 Lit. ‘for I am grown weak in all my limbs’. but go each of you to her room. 9And Aseneth got up and opened her door quietly, and went into her second room, where her treasure-chests and the finery for her adornment were, and she opened her wardrobe and took out a black and sombre tunic. 10(And this was her mourning tunic, which she had worn for mourning when her eldest 7 So BDA Slav.: EFG ‘younger’. brother died). 11And Aseneth took off her royal robe and put on the black one, and she untied her golden girdle and tied a rope round her waist instead, and she took her tiara off her head and the diadem, and the bracelets from her hands. 12And she took her best robe, just as it was, 8 Lit. ‘all her chosen robe’. Is the reference to the ‘royal robe’ of verse 11 – as we have assumed? Or ought we to take στολή (‘robe’) here in the more general sense of ‘equipment’ and translate ‘all her choice apparel’? If so, the girdle, the tiara, the diadem, and the bracelets, which Aseneth had just taken off, will also be included (as the editors of the a recension distinctly state), and perhaps some other items as well – though xiv. 15 and xviii. 3 make it clear that Aseneth did not empty her wardrobe completely! and threw it out of the window, for the poor. 13And she took all her innumerable gold and silver gods and broke them up into little pieces, and threw 9 D ‘gave’. them out of the window for the poor and needy. 10 and needy: D om. 14And Aseneth took her royal dinner, even the fatted beasts and the fish and the meat, and all the sacrifices for her gods, and the wine-vessels for their libations; and she threw them all out of the window as food for the dogs. 15And after this she took the ashes and poured them out on the floor. 16And she took sackcloth and wrapped it round her waist, and she removed the fillet from her hair and sprinkled herself with ashes; and she fell down upon the ashes. 17And she beat her breast repeatedly with her two 11 B om. hands and wept bitterly and groaned all night until the morning. 18And in the morning Aseneth got up and looked, and lo, the ashes underneath her were like mud because of her tears. 19And again Aseneth fell down on her face upon the ashes until sunset. 20And so Aseneth did for seven days; and she tasted neither food nor drink. 12 Lit. ‘and she tasted nothing at all’.

Notes:

1 D ‘her’.

2 most of … virgins: D om.

3 and … virgins = EFA: BDGH Slav. om.

4 B ‘made haste’.

5 BF om.

6 Lit. ‘for I am grown weak in all my limbs’.

7 So BDA Slav.: EFG ‘younger’.

8 Lit. ‘all her chosen robe’. Is the reference to the ‘royal robe’ of verse 11 – as we have assumed? Or ought we to take στολή (‘robe’) here in the more general sense of ‘equipment’ and translate ‘all her choice apparel’? If so, the girdle, the tiara, the diadem, and the bracelets, which Aseneth had just taken off, will also be included (as the editors of the a recension distinctly state), and perhaps some other items as well – though xiv. 15 and xviii. 3 make it clear that Aseneth did not empty her wardrobe completely!

9 D ‘gave’.

10 and needy: D om.

11 B om.

12 Lit. ‘and she tasted nothing at all’.

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