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

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Text Commentary

1And after the appointed day is over, the appearance 1 So, by the change of a single diacritical point: text ‘pride’. of those who have been condemned will be changed, as will also be the glory of those who have been justified. 2For the appearance of the evil-doers will go from bad to worse, as they suffer torment. 3Again, the glory of those who have now been justified through 2 Or ‘in’. their obedience to my law, who have had understanding in their life, and who have planted in their heart the root of wisdom – their faces will shine even more brightly and their features will assume a luminous beauty, 3 Lit. ‘their appearance (or ‘splendour’) will be glorified in changes and the form of their face will be turned into the light of their beauty’. so that they may be able to attain and enter the world which does not die, which has been promised to them then. 4For over this, more than over anything else, will the others who come then lament that they rejected my law, and stopped up their ears, so that they might not hear wisdom or receive understanding. 5For they will see those who are now their inferiors in a far better and more glorious state than they are – for these will be transformed so that they look like angels, while they can only contemplate in horror the decaying shadows of their former selves. 4 That the initial punishment of the wicked is not only to witness the transformation of the righteous, but also to appreciate to the full the serious deterioration in their own condition, would seem to be the sense required in this most difficult passage. Charles (perhaps over-literally) rendered ‘they shall yet more waste away in wonder at the visions and in the beholding of the forms’. 6For they will see all this first; and afterwards they will depart to their torment.7

But those who have been saved by their works, Whose hope has been in the law, Who have put their trust in understanding, And their confidence in wisdom, Shall see marvels in their time. 8 For they shall behold the world which is now invisible to them, And realms 5 Lit. ‘the time’. now hidden from them, 9 And time shall no longer age them. 10 For in the heights of that world shall they dwell, And they shall be made like the angels, And be made equal to the stars; And they shall be changed into whatever form they will, From beauty into loveliness, And from light into the splendour of glory.

11For the extent of Paradise will be spread before them, and they will be shown the majestic beauty of the living creatures that are beneath the throne, and all the armies of the angels, who are now kept back by my word lest they should reveal themselves, and are restrained by my command, so that they may keep their places until the moment of their advent comes. 12Then shall the splendour of the righteous exceed even the splendour of the angels. 13For the first shall receive the last, those whom they were expecting, and the last those of whom they had heard that they had passed away. 6 The distinction here seems to be not between the angels and the righteous, but between the righteous who have already died and those who would not join them until after the resurrection: cp. 2 Esdras v. 42; 1 Thess. iv. 15 – also xxx. 1–3 (above). 14

For they will then have been delivered from this world of misery And laid down the burden of sorrow. 15 For what then have men lost their life, And for what have those who were on earth exchanged their soul? 16 For then they chose for themselves this time, Which cannot pass without sorrow: They chose for themselves this time, Whose issues are full of lamentations and evils, And they denied the world which ages not those who come to it, And rejected that time and the glory of it, So that they cannot share in the triumphs about which I have told you.

Notes:

1 So, by the change of a single diacritical point: text ‘pride’.

2 Or ‘in’.

3 Lit. ‘their appearance (or ‘splendour’) will be glorified in changes and the form of their face will be turned into the light of their beauty’.

4 That the initial punishment of the wicked is not only to witness the transformation of the righteous, but also to appreciate to the full the serious deterioration in their own condition, would seem to be the sense required in this most difficult passage. Charles (perhaps over-literally) rendered ‘they shall yet more waste away in wonder at the visions and in the beholding of the forms’.

5 Lit. ‘the time’.

6 The distinction here seems to be not between the angels and the righteous, but between the righteous who have already died and those who would not join them until after the resurrection: cp. 2 Esdras v. 42; 1 Thess. iv. 15 – also xxx. 1–3 (above).

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