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

Chapter I

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Text Commentary

1And behold, while the temple of the city of Jerusalem was being 2built and the craftsmen were at work on it, the demon Ornias used to come at sunset and take half the pay of the young overseer 1 Gk. πϱωτομαΐστωϱ: the meaning is unknown. and half his rations. And he used to suck the thumb of his right hand every day. And the young man, whom I loved dearly, was wasting away.

3Now I, Solomon, questioned the young man one day and said to him, Did I not think more of you 2 Lit. ‘love you more’. than all the craftsmen that work in the temple of God and grant you double pay and rations? How is it that you are wasting away day by day? 4But the young man said, Let me tell you, O king, what has happened to me. After we are dismissed from work on the temple of God at sunset, while I am resting, an evil demon comes and takes away half my pay and half my rations, and takes hold of my right hand and sucks my thumb. And behold, my soul is in torment and my body is wasting away day by day.

5When I heard this, I, king Solomon, went into the temple of God and prayed him with all my soul, praising him day and night, that the demon might be delivered into my hands and that I might have authority over him. 6And it came to pass, as I was praying to the God of heaven and earth, that a little ring with a seal carved from a precious stone was given me from the Lord Sabaoth by the archangel Michael. 7And he said to me, Take, Solomon, son of David, a gift sent you by the Lord Sabaoth, the Most High God, and you will be able to confine all the demons both female and male, and, through their agency, build Jerusalem while you wear this seal of God.

8And with very great joy I began to praise and glorify the Lord of heaven and earth. And the next day I ordered the young man to 9come to me and gave him the seal and said to him, At whatever hour the demon comes upon you throw this ring at the demon's chest and say to him, Solomon summons you to him; and then come to me quickly, and do not be frightened or alarmed. 3 Lit. ‘taking no thought of what is likely to frighten you.’

10And behold, at the usual hour came Ornias, the cruel demon, like burning fire, to take the young man's wages as was his custom. 11But the lad, according to Solomon's orders, threw the ring at the demon's chest, saying to him, Solomon summons you to him; and he went off in haste to Solomon. 12The demon cried out aloud and said to the young man, Why did you do this? Take the ring and give it to Solomon, and I will give you all the silver and gold there is in the earth; only do not take me away to Solomon. 13And the young man said, As the Lord lives, the God of Israel, I cannot cope with you unless I take you away to Solomon. 14And the young man came and said to Solomon, King Solomon, I have brought you the demon, as you told me to, and behold, he is standing in front of the gates outside, bound, and crying out in a loud voice that he will give me all the silver and gold there is in the earth to prevent me bringing him to you.

Notes:

1 Gk. πϱωτομαΐστωϱ: the meaning is unknown.

2 Lit. ‘love you more’.

3 Lit. ‘taking no thought of what is likely to frighten you.’

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