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

Chapter XLVIII

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Text Commentary

1And in the sixth year of the third week of the forty-ninth jubilee you went and lived in the land of Midian; 1 Eth. om. ‘in the land of Midian’. and you stayed there for five weeks and a year. And you returned to Egypt in the second week, in the second year, in the fiftieth jubilee. 2And you yourself know what the Lord said to you on Mount Sinai, and what the prince Mastema tried to do with you when you were returning to Egypt, on the way when you met him at the lodging-place. 2 So Lat.: Eth. corrupt (though it might mean ‘on the way, at Elath, in the lodging-place’). 3Did he not try his very best to kill you and deliver the Egyptians from you, when he saw that you were sent to execute judgement and vengeance on the Egyptians? 4And I delivered you from him; and you performed the signs and portents which you were sent to perform in Egypt against Pharaoh, and against his whole household, and against his servants, and against his people.

5And the Lord took a fearful vengeance on them for Israel's sake. And he plagued them 3 Lit. ‘he struck them’: Eth. adds ‘and killed them’. with blood and frogs, lice and dog-flies, and with festering boils: their cattle died: he destroyed with hail-stones everything they had that grew, and locusts ate what the hail had left: he plagued them with darkness and 〈the death〉 4 Omitted by both Eth. and Lat. of their first-born, of men and of animals; and on all their gods 5 So Eth.: Lat. ‘all the gods of the Egyptians’. the Lord took vengeance and burned them with fire. 6And everything was arranged through you, 6 Lit. ‘was sent through your hand’. that you should declare 7 Text ‘do’. these things before they were done; and you spoke with the king of Egypt in the presence of all his servants and in the presence of his people. 7And everything happened just as you had said: ten great and terrible judgements came on the land of Egypt to execute vengeance on it for Israel. 8And the Lord did everything for Israel's sake, and in accordance with his covenant that he had made with Abraham, that he would take vengeance on them because they had enslaved them.

9And the prince Mastema set himself against you and tried to get you into Pharaoh's clutches; and he helped the Egyptian sorcerers, and they set themselves up against you and did the best they could. 8 Lit. ‘and wrought before you’. 10(For, although we let them do the evils, we did not allow them to effect their cure.) 11And the Lord struck them with the boils, and they were not able to stand against you (for we destroyed them so that they could not perform a single sign).

12Yet in spite of all these signs and marvels the prince Mastema was not put to shame because 9 Text ‘until’. he encouraged the Egyptians 10 Lit. ‘he took courage and cried to the Egyptians’. to pursue you with all the might of Egypt, with their chariots and with their horses and with all the forces of the people of Egypt. 13And I stood between the Egyptians and Israel; and we delivered Israel from him and from his people, and the Lord brought them through the middle of the sea, as if it were dry land. 14And all the people he had brought in pursuit of Israel, the Lord our God threw them into the sea – into the depths of the abyss beneath the Israelites, just as the people of Egypt had thrown their children into the river. He took vengeance on a million of them; and a thousand strong and active men were destroyed for each babe in arms from among your people that they had thrown into the river. 15(On the fourteenth day, and on the fifteenth, and on the sixteenth, and on the seventeenth, and on the eighteenth, the prince Mastema had been kept bound and in chains 11 Lit. ‘locked up’. behind the Israelites, so that he could not harass 12 Or ‘accuse’. them. 16And on the nineteenth we let them 13 i.e. Mastema and his minions. loose so that they could help the Egyptians and encourage them to pursue the Israelites. 17And he made them obstinate and stubborn – the plan was devised by the Lord our God so that he could strike the Egyptians down and throw them into the sea. 18And we bound him on the fourteenth day 14 The MSS vary between ‘fourteenth’, ‘fifteenth’, and ‘seventeenth’. so that he could not harass 12 Or ‘accuse’. the Israelites on the day they asked the Egyptians for ornaments 15 Or ‘articles’, ‘objects’. and clothing – ornaments 15 Or ‘articles’, ‘objects’. of silver and gold and bronze, in order to despoil the Egyptians in return for the slavery they had forced upon them. 19And so we did not bring the Israelites out of Egypt empty-handed.)

Notes:

1 Eth. om. ‘in the land of Midian’.

2 So Lat.: Eth. corrupt (though it might mean ‘on the way, at Elath, in the lodging-place’).

3 Lit. ‘he struck them’: Eth. adds ‘and killed them’.

4 Omitted by both Eth. and Lat.

5 So Eth.: Lat. ‘all the gods of the Egyptians’.

6 Lit. ‘was sent through your hand’.

7 Text ‘do’.

8 Lit. ‘and wrought before you’.

9 Text ‘until’.

10 Lit. ‘he took courage and cried to the Egyptians’.

11 Lit. ‘locked up’.

12 Or ‘accuse’.

13 i.e. Mastema and his minions.

14 The MSS vary between ‘fourteenth’, ‘fifteenth’, and ‘seventeenth’.

15 Or ‘articles’, ‘objects’.

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