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

Chapter II

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Text Commentary

1While I was talking thus with him, Michael came, and Gabriel, and all the apostles, and said, Hail, faithful man of God. 2,3〈And Esdras said,〉 Up, Lord, and come with me to judgement. 4And God said, Behold, I give you 1 Singular. my covenant, mine and yours, 1 Singular. for your 2 Plural. acceptance. 5,6And Esdras said, Let us plead in thine ear. And God said, Ask Abraham your father how a son should plead with a father, 3 Lit. ‘…your father what sort of son pleads in a father’. (The occurence here of the rare δικάζεσθαι ἐν should be noted, which, if the B text of the LXX at Judg. vi. 32 is any guide, should mean ‘plead against’: in this case the reference could conceivably be to Gen. xxii rather than to Gen. xviii ). and then come and plead with me. 4 MSS ‘us’. 7And Esdras said, As the Lord lives, I will not cease pleading with thee on behalf of the race of Christians. 8Where are thy ancient mercies, Lord? Where is thy patience? 9And God said, As I made night and day, I made the righteous and the sinner, and the sinner should have lived as the righteous. 10And the prophet said, Who made the first-formed Adam, the first man? 11And God said, My unsullied hands. And I set him in Paradise to keep the pasture of the tree of life. 12But he then set his mind on disobedience and transgressed. 13And the prophet said, Was he not guarded by an angel? 14And was he not watched over by the cherubim in this life so that he might come to the world that has no end? 15How then was it that he who was watched over by angels was deceived? Thou didst specifically command him to take heed and to conform to what thou didst say to him. 5 The text in verses 12–15 is very badly preserved. In consequence, the translation offered is highly questionable. 16Yet if thou hadst not given him Eve, the serpent would not have deceived him. 17 As for thee, whom thou willest thou dost save, and whom thou willest thou dost destroy. 18And the prophet said, Let us pass over, my Lord, to a second judgement. 19And God said, I cast fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. 20And the prophet said, Lord, thou dost reward us as we deserve. 6 Lit. ‘worthily dost thou bring it upon us’. 21And God said, Your sins exceed the limits of my tolerance. 7 Lit. ‘exceed my kindness’. 22And the prophet said, Remember the Scriptures, my Father, who didst measure out Jerusalem and set it 23up: have mercy, Lord, on sinners: have mercy on thy creation: have pity on thy works. 24Then God remembered what he had made, and he said to the prophet, How can I have mercy on them? 25They gave me vinegar and gall to drink, and not even then did they repent. 26And the prophet said, Reveal thy cherubim, and let us go 27together to judgement; and show me what the day of judgement is like. 28,29And God said, You are wrong, Esdras; for the day of judgement is like a day on which there is no rain upon the earth: compared with that day 8 Reading ἡμέϱαν for ἑσπέϱαν. it is a merciful judgement. 30,31And the prophet said, I will not cease pleading with thee, unless I see that final day. 9 Lit. ‘the day of the consummation’. 32〈And God said,〉 Count the stars and the sand of the sea; and if you can count them, you can also plead with me.

Notes:

1 Singular.

2 Plural.

3 Lit. ‘…your father what sort of son pleads in a father’. (The occurence here of the rare δικάζεσθαι ἐν should be noted, which, if the B text of the LXX at Judg. vi. 32 is any guide, should mean ‘plead against’: in this case the reference could conceivably be to Gen. xxii rather than to Gen. xviii ).

4 MSS ‘us’.

5 The text in verses 12–15 is very badly preserved. In consequence, the translation offered is highly questionable.

6 Lit. ‘worthily dost thou bring it upon us’.

7 Lit. ‘exceed my kindness’.

8 Reading ἡμέϱαν for ἑσπέϱαν.

9 Lit. ‘the day of the consummation’.

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