Several Revelations. Revelation of Moses. Revelation of Esdras. Revelation of Paul.

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Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional introductionary material and notes provided for the American edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.


Revelation of Moses

Account and life of Adam and Eve, the first-created, revealed by God to His servant Moses, when he received from the hand of the Lord the tables of the law of the covenant, instructed by the archangel Michael.

This is the account of Adam and Eve. After they went forth out of paradise, Adam took Eve his wife, and went up into the east. And he remained there eighteen years and two months; and Eve conceived and brought forth two sons, Diaphotus called Cain, and Amilabes [2455] called Abel.

And after this, Adam and Eve were with one another; and when they lay down, Eve said to Adam her lord: My lord, I have seen in a dream this night the blood of my son Amilabes, who is called Abel, thrown into the mouth of Cain his brother, and he drank it without pity. And he entreated him to grant him a little of it, but he did not listen to him, but drank it all up; and it did not remain in his belly, but came forth out of his mouth. And Adam said to Eve: Let us arise, and go and see what has happened to them, lest perchance the enemy should be in any way warring against them.

And having both gone, they found Abel killed by the hand of Cain his brother. And God says to the archangel Michael: Say to Adam, Do not relate the mystery which thou knowest to thy son Cain, for he is a son of wrath. But grieve thyself not; for I will give thee instead of him another son, who shall show thee all things, as many as thou shalt do to him; but do thou tell him nothing. This God said to His angel; and Adam kept the word in his heart, and with him Eve also, having grief about Abel their son.

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And after this, Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and brought forth Seth. And Adam says to Eve: Behold, we have brought forth a son instead of Abel whom Cain slew; let us give glory and sacrifice to God.

And Adam had [2456] thirty sons and thirty daughters. [2457]And he fell into disease, and cried with a loud voice, and said: Let all my sons come to me, that I may see them before I die. And they were all brought together, for the earth was inhabited in three parts; and they all came to the door of the house into which he had entered to pray to God. And his son Seth said: Father Adam, what is thy disease? And he says: My children, great trouble has hold of me. And they say: What is the trouble and disease? And Seth answered and said to him: Is it that thou rememberest the fruits of paradise of which thou didst eat, and grievest thyself because of the desire of them? If it is so, tell me, and I will go and bring thee fruit from paradise. For I will put dung upon my head, and weep and pray, and the Lord will hearken to me, and send his angel; and I shall bring it to thee, [2458] that thy trouble may cease from thee. Adam says to him: No, my son Seth; but I have disease and trouble. Seth says to him: And how have they come upon thee? Adam said to him: When God made us, me and your mother, for whose sake also I die, He gave us every plant in paradise; but about one he commanded us not to eat of it, because on account of it we should die. And the hour was at hand for the angels who guarded your mother to go up and worship the Lord; and the enemy gave to her, and she ate of the tree, knowing that I was not near her, nor the holy angels; then she gave me also to eat. And when we had both eaten, God was angry with us. And the Lord, coming into paradise, set His throne, and called with a dreadful voice, saying, Adam, where art thou? and why art thou hidden from my face? shall the house be hidden from him that built it? And He says, Since thou hast forsaken my covenant, I have brought upon thy body seventy strokes. [2459]The trouble of the first stroke is the injury of the eyes; the trouble of the second stroke, of the hearing; and so in succession, all the strokes shall overtake thee.

And Adam thus speaking to his sons, groaned out loud, and said: What shall I do? I am in great grief. And Eve also wept, saying: My lord Adam, arise, give me the half of thy disease, and let me bear it, because through me this has happened to thee; through me thou art in distresses and troubles. And Adam said to Eve: Arise, and go with our son Seth near paradise, and put earth upon your heads, and weep, beseeching the Lord that He may have compassion upon me, and send His angel to paradise, and give me of the tree in which flows the oil out of it, and that thou mayest bring it to me; and I shall anoint myself, and have rest, and show thee the manner in which we were deceived at first.

And Seth and Eve went into the regions of paradise. And as they were going along, Eve saw her son, and a wild beast fighting with him. And Eye wept, saying: Woe's me, woe's me; for if I come to the day of the resurrection, all who have sinned will curse me, saying, Eve did not keep the commandment of God. And Eve cried out to the wild beast, saying: O thou evil wild beast, wilt thou not be afraid to fight with the image of God? How has thy mouth been opened? how have thy teeth been strengthened? how hast thou not been mindful of thy subjection, that thou wast formerly subject to the image of God? Then the wild beast cried out, saying: O Eve, not against us thy upbraiding nor thy weeping, but against thyself, since the beginning of the wild beasts was from thee. How was thy mouth opened to eat of the tree about which God had commanded thee not to eat of it? For this reason also our nature has been changed. Now, therefore, thou shalt not be able to bear up, if I begin to reproach thee. And Seth says to the wild beast: Shut thy mouth and be silent, and stand off from the image of God till the day of judgment. Then the wild beast says to Seth: Behold, I stand off, Seth, from the image of God. Then the wild beast fled, and left him wounded, and went to his covert.

And Seth went with his mother Eve near paradise: and they wept there, beseeching God to send His angel, to give [2460] them the oil of compassion. And God sent to them the archangel Michael, and he said to them these words: Seth, man of God, do not weary thyself praying in this supplication about the tree in which flows the oil to anoint thy father Adam; for it will not happen to thee now, but at the last times. Then shall arise all flesh from Adam even to that great day, as many as shall be a holy people; then shall be given to them all the delight of paradise, and God shall be in the midst of them; and there shall not any more be sinners before Him, because the wicked heart shall be taken from them, and there shall be given to them a heart made to understand what is good, and to worship God only. Do thou again go to thy father, since the measure of his life has been fulfilled, equal to [2461] three days. And when his soul goes out, thou wilt behold its dreadful passage.

And the angel, having said this, went away from them. And Seth and Eve came to the tent where Adam was lying. And Adam says to Eve: Why didst thou work mischief against us, and bring upon us great wrath, which is death, holding sway over all our race? And he says to her: Call all our children, and our children's children, and relate to them the manner of our transgression.

Then Eve says to them: Listen, all my children, and my children's children, and I shall relate to you how our enemy deceived us. It came to pass, while we were keeping paradise, that we kept each the portion allotted to him by God. And I was keeping in my lot the south and west. And the devil went into the lot of Adam where were the male wild beasts; since God parted to us the wild beasts, and had given all the males to your father, and all the females He gave to me, and each of us watched his own. And the devil spoke to the serpent, saying, Arise, come to me, and I shall tell you a thing in which thou mayst be of service. Then the serpent came to him, and the devil says to him, I hear that thou art more sagacious than all the wild beasts, and I have come to make thy acquaintance; [2462] and I have found thee greater than all the wild beasts, and they associate with thee; notwithstanding, thou doest reverence to one far inferior. Why eatest thou of the tares [2463] of Adam and his wife, and not of the fruit of paradise? Arise and come hither, and we shall make him be cast out of paradise through his wife, as we also were cast out through him. The serpent says to him, I am afraid lest the Lord be angry with me. The devil says to him, Be not afraid; only become my instrument, and I will speak through thy mouth a word by which thou shalt be able to deceive him. Then straightway he hung by the walls of paradise about the hour when the angels of God went up to worship. Then Satan came in the form of an angel, and praised God as did the angels; and looking out from the wall, I saw him like an angel. And says he to me, Art thou Eve? And I said to him, I am. And says he to me, What doest thou in paradise? And I said to him, God has set us to keep it, and to eat of it. The devil answered me through the mouth of the serpent, Ye do well, but you do not eat of every plant. And I say to him, Yes, of every plant we eat, but one only which is in the midst of paradise, about which God has commanded us not to eat of it, since you will die the death. Then says the serpent to me, As God liveth, I am grieved for you, because you are like cattle. For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this; but rise, come hither, listen to me, and eat, and perceive the value of the tree, as He told us. But I said to him, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And he says to me, Be not afraid; for as soon as thou eatest, thine eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods in knowing what is good and what is evil. And God, knowing this, that ye shall be like Him, has had a grudge against you, and said, Ye shall not eat of it. But do thou observe the plant, and thou shalt see great glory about it. And I observed the plant, and saw great glory about it. And I said to him, It is beautiful to the eyes to perceive; and I was afraid to take of the fruit. And he says to me, Come, I will give to thee: follow me. And I opened to him, and he came inside into paradise, and went through it before me. And having walked a little, he turned, and says to me, I have changed my mind, and will not give thee to eat. And this he said, wishing at last to entice and destroy me. And he says to me, Swear to me that thou wilt give also to thy husband. And I said to him, I know not by what oath I shall swear to thee; but what I know I say to thee, By the throne of the Lord, and the cherubim, and the tree of life, I will give also to my husband to eat. And when he had taken the oath from me, then he went and ascended upon it. And he put upon the fruit which he gave me to eat the poison of his wickedness, that is, of his desire; for desire is the head [2464] of all sin. And I bent down the branch to the ground, and took of the fruit, and ate. And in that very hour mine eyes were opened. and I knew that I was stripped [2465] of the righteousness with which I had been clothed; and I wept, saying, What is this thou hast done to me, because I have been deprived of the glory with which I was clothed? And I wept too about the oath. And he came down out of the tree, and went out of sight. And I sought leaves in my portion, [2466] that I might cover my shame; and I did not find them from the plants of paradise, since, at the time that I ate, the leaves of all the plants in my portion fell, except of the fig alone. And having taken leaves off it, I made myself a girdle, and it is from those plants of which I ate. And I cried out with a loud voice, saying, Adam, Adam, where art thou? Arise, come to me, and I shall show thee a great mystery. And when your father came, I said to him words of wickedness, which brought us down from great glory. For as soon as he came I opened my mouth, and the devil spoke; and I began to advise him, saying, Come hither, my lord Adam, listen to me, and eat of the fruit of the tree of which God said to us not to eat of it, and thou shalt be as God. And your father answered and said, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And I said to him, Be not afraid, for as soon as thou shalt eat thou shalt know good and evil. And then I quickly persuaded him, and he ate; and his eyes were opened, and he was aware, he also, of his nakedness. And he says to me, O wicked woman, why hast thou wrought mischief in us? Thou hast alienated me from the glory of God. And that same hour we heard the archangel Michael sounding his trumpet, calling the angels, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Come with me to paradise, and hear the word in which I judge Adam. And when we heard the archangel sounding, we said, Behold, God is coming into paradise to judge us. And we were afraid, and hid ourselves. And God came up into paradise, riding upon a chariot of cherubim, and the angels praising Him. When God came into paradise, the plants both of Adam's lot and of my lot bloomed, and all lifted themselves up; and the throne of God was made ready where the tree of life was. And God called Adam, saying, Adam, where art thou hidden, thinking that I shall not find thee? Shall the house be hidden from him that built it? Then your father answered and said, Not, Lord, did we hide ourselves as thinking that we should not be found by Thee; but I am afraid, because I am naked, and stand in awe of Thy power, O Lord. God says to him, Who hath shown thee that thou art naked, unless it be that thou hast forsaken my commandment which I gave thee to keep it? Then Adam remembered the word which I spake to him when I wished to deceive him, I will put thee out of danger from God. And he turned and said to me, Why hast thou done this? And I also remembered the word of the serpent, and said, The serpent deceived me. God says to Adam, Since thou hast disobeyed my commandment, and obeyed thy wife, cursed is the ground in thy labours. For whenever thou labourest it, and it will not give its strength, thorns and thistles shall it raise for thee; and in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread. And thou shalt be in distresses of many kinds. Thou shalt weary thyself, and rest not; thou shalt be afflicted by bitterness, and shall not taste of sweetness; thou shalt be afflicted by heat, and oppressed by cold; and thou shalt toil much, and not grow rich; and thou shalt make haste, [2467] and not attain thine end; and the wild beasts, of which thou wast lord, shall rise up against thee in rebellion, because thou hast not kept my commandment. And having turned to me, the Lord says to me, Since thou hast obeyed the serpent, and disobeyed my commandment, thou shalt be in distresses [2468] and unbearable pains; thou shalt bring forth children with great tremblings; and in one hour shalt thou come to bring them forth, [2469] and lose thy life in consequence of thy great straits and pangs. And thou shalt confess, and say, Lord, Lord, save me; and I shall not return to the sin of the flesh. And on this account in thine own words I shall judge thee, on account of the enmity which the enemy hath put in thee; and thou shalt turn again to thy husband, and he shall be thy lord. [2470]And after speaking thus to me, He spoke to the serpent in great wrath, saying to him, Since thou hast done this, and hast become an ungracious instrument until thou shouldst deceive those that were remiss in heart, cursed art thou of all the beasts. Thou shalt be deprived of the food which thou eatest; and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; upon thy breast and belly shalt thou go, and thou shalt be deprived both of thy hands and feet; there shall not be granted thee ear, nor wing, nor one limb of all which those have whom thou hast enticed by thy wickedness, and hast caused them to be cast out of paradise. And I shall put enmity between thee and between his seed. He shall lie in wait for [2471] thy head, and thou for his heel, until the day of judgment. And having thus said, He commands His angels that we be cast out of paradise. And as we were being driven along, and were lamenting, your father Adam entreated the angels, saying, Allow me a little, that I may entreat God, and that He may have compassion upon me, and pity me, for I only have sinned. And they stopped driving him. And Adam cried out with weeping, saying, Pardon me, Lord, what I have done. Then says the Lord to His angels, Why have you stopped driving Adam out of paradise? It is not that the sin is mine, or that I have judged ill? Then the angels, falling to the ground, worshipped the Lord, saying, Just art Thou, Lord, and judgest what is right. And turning to Adam, the Lord said, I will not permit thee henceforth to be in paradise. And Adam answered and said, Lord, give me of the tree of life, that I may eat before I am cast out. Then the Lord said to Adam, Thou shalt not now take of it, for it has been assigned to the cherubim and the flaming sword, which turneth to guard it on account of thee, that thou mayst not taste of it and be free from death for ever, but that thou mayst have the war which the enemy has set in thee. But when thou art gone out of paradise, if thou shalt keep thyself from all evil, as being destined to die, I will again raise thee up when the resurrection comes, and then there shall be given thee of the tree of life, and thou shalt be free from death for ever. And having thus said, the Lord commanded us to be cast out of paradise. And your father wept before the angels over against paradise. And the angels say to him, What dost thou wish that we should do for thee, Adam? And your father answered and said to the angels, Behold, you cast me out. I beseech you, allow me to take sweet odours out of paradise, in order that, after I go out, I may offer sacrifice to God, that God may listen to me. And the angels, advancing, said to God, Jael, eternal King, order to be given to Adam sacrifices [2472] of sweet odour out of paradise. And God ordered Adam to go, that he might take perfumes of sweet odour out of paradise for his food. And the angels let him go, and he gathered both kinds--saffron and spikenard, and calamus [2473] and cinnamon, and other seeds for his food; and having taken them, he went forth out of paradise. And we came to the earth. [2474]

Now, then, my children, I have shown you the manner in which we were deceived. But do ye watch over yourselves, so as not to forsake what is good.

And when she had thus spoken in the midst of her sons, and Adam was lying in his disease, and he had one other day before going out of the body, Eve says to Adam: Why is it that thou diest, and I live? or how long time have I to spend after thou diest? tell me. Then says Adam to Eve: Do not trouble thyself about matters; for thou wilt not be long after me, but we shall both die alike, and thou wilt be laid into my place. [2475]And when I am dead you will leave [2476] me, and let no one touch me, until the angel of the Lord shall say something about me; for God will not forget me, but will seek His own vessel which He fashioned. Arise, rather, pray to God until I restore my spirit into the hands of Him who has given it; because we know not how we shall meet Him who made us, whether He shall be angry with us, or turn and have mercy upon us. Then arose Eve, and went outside; and falling to the ground, she said: I have sinned, O God; I have sinned, O Father of all; I have sinned to Thee, I have sinned against Thy chosen angels, I have sinned against the cherubim, I have sinned against Thine unshaken throne; I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned much, I have sinned before Thee, and every sin [2477] through me has come upon the creation. And while Eve was still praying, being on her knees, behold, there came to her the angel of humanity, and raised her up, saying: Arise, Eve, from thy repentance; for, behold, Adam thy husband has gone forth from his body; arise and see his spirit carried up to Him that made [2478] it, to meet Him.

And Eve arose, and covered her face with her hand; and the angel says to her: Raise thyself from the things of earth. And Eve gazed up into heaven, and she saw a chariot of light going along under four shining eagles--and it was not possible for any one born of woman [2479] to tell the glory of them, or to see the face of them--and angels going before the chariot. And when they came to the place where your father Adam was lying, the chariot stood still, and the seraphim between your father and the chariot. And I saw golden censers, and three vials; and, behold, all the angels with incense, and the censers, and the vials, came to the altar, and blew them up, and the smoke of the incense covered the firmaments. And the angels fell down and worshipped God, crying out and saying: Holy Jael, forgive; for he is Thine image, and the work of Thine holy hands.

And again, I Eve saw two great and awful mysteries standing before God. And I wept for fear, and cried out to my son Seth, saying: Arise, Seth, from the body of thy father Adam, and come to me, that thou mayst see what the eye of no one hath ever seen; and they are praying for thy father Adam. [2480]

Then Seth arose and went to his mother, and said to her: What has befallen thee? and why weepest thou? She says to him: Look up with thine eyes, and see the seven firmaments opened, and see with thine eyes how the body of thy father lies upon its face, and all the holy angels with him, praying for him, and saying: Pardon him, O Father of the universe; for he is Thine image. What then, my child Seth, will this be? and when will he be delivered into the hands of our invisible Father and God? And who are the two dark-faced ones who stand by at the prayer of thy father? And Seth says to his mother: These are the sun and the moon, and they are falling down and praying for my father Adam. Eve says to him: And where is their light, and why have they become black-looking? And Seth says to her: They cannot shine in the presence of the Light of the universe, [2481] and for this reason the light from them has been hidden.

And while Seth was speaking to his mother, the angels lying upon their faces sounded their trumpets, and cried out with an awful voice, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord upon what He has made, for He has had compassion upon Adam, the work of His hands. When the angels had sounded this forth, there came one of the six-winged seraphim, and hurried Adam to the Acherusian lake, and washed him in presence of God. And he spent three hours [2482] lying, and thus the Lord of the universe, sitting upon His holy throne, stretched forth His hands, and raised Adam, and delivered him to the archangel Michael, saying to him: Raise him into paradise, even to the third heaven, and let him be there until that great and dreadful day which I am to bring upon the world. And the archangel Michael, having taken Adam, led him away, and anointed him, as God said to him at the pardoning of Adam.

After all these things, therefore, the archangel asked about the funeral rites of the remains; and God commanded that all the angels should come together into His presence, each according to his rank. And all the angels were assembled, some with censers, some with trumpets. And the Lord of Hosts went up, [2483] and the winds drew Him, and cherubim riding upon the winds, and the angels of heaven went before Him; and they came to where the body of Adam was, and took it. And they came to paradise, and all the trees of paradise were moved so that all begotten from Adam hung their heads in sleep at the sweet smell, except Seth, because he had been begotten according to the appointment of God.

The body of Adam, then, was lying on the ground in paradise, and Seth was grieved exceedingly about him. And the Lord God says: Adam, why hast thou done this? If thou hadst kept my commandment, those that brought thee down to this place would not have rejoiced. Nevertheless I say unto thee, that I will turn their joy into grief, but I will turn thy grief into joy; and having turned, I will set thee in thy kingdom, on the throne of him that deceived thee; and he shall be cast into this place, that thou mayst sit upon him. Then shall be condemned, he and those who hear him; and they shall be much grieved, and shall weep, seeing thee sitting upon his glorious throne.

And then He said to the archangel Michael: Go into paradise, into the third heaven, and bring me three cloths of fine linen and silk. And God said to Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael: [2484]Cover Adam's body with the cloths, and bring olive oil of sweet odour, and pour upon him. And having thus done, they prepared his body for burial. And the Lord said: Let also the body of Abel be brought. And having brought other cloths, they prepared it also for burial, since it had not been prepared for burial since the day on which his brother Cain slew him. For the wicked Cain, having taken great pains to hide it, had not been able; for the earth did not receive it, saying: I will not receive a body into companionship [2485] until that dust which was taken up and fashioned upon me come to me. And then the angels took it up, and laid it on the rock until his father died. And both were buried, according to the commandment of God, in the regions of paradise, in the place in which God found the dust. [2486]And God sent seven angels into paradise, and they brought many sweet-smelling herbs, and laid them in the earth; and thus they took the two bodies, and buried them in the place which they had dug and built.

And God called Adam, and said: Adam, Adam. And the body answered out of the ground, and said: Here am I, Lord. And the Lord says to him: I said to thee, Dust [2487] thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Again I promise thee the resurrection. I will raise thee up in the last day in the resurrection, with every man who is of thy seed.

And after these words God made a three-cornered seal, and sealed the tomb, that no one should do anything to him in the six days, until his rib should return to him. And the beneficent God and the holy angels having laid him in his place, after the six days Eve also died. And while she lived she wept about her falling asleep, because she knew not where her body was to be laid. For when the Lord was present in paradise when they buried Adam, both she and her children fell asleep, except Seth, as I said. And Eve, in the hour of her death, besought that she might be buried where Adam her husband was, saying thus: My Lord, Lord and God of all virtue, do not separate me, Thy servant, from the body of Adam, for of his members Thou madest me; but grant to me, even me, the unworthy and the sinner, to be buried by his body. And as I was along with him in paradise, and not separated from him after the transgression, so also let no one separate us. After having prayed, therefore, she looked up into heaven, and stood up, and said, beating her breast: God of all, receive my spirit. And straightway she gave up her spirit to God.

And when she was dead, the archangel Michael stood beside her; and there came three angels, and took her body, and buried it where the body of Abel was. And the archangel Michael said to Seth: Thus bury every man that dies, until the day of the resurrection. And after having given this law, he said to him: Do not mourn beyond six days. And on the seventh day, rest, and rejoice in it, because in it God and we the angels rejoice in the righteous soul that has departed from earth. Having thus spoken, the archangel Michael went up into heaven, glorifying, and saying the Alleluia: [2488]Holy, holy, holy Lord, to the glory of God the Father, because to Him is due glory, honour, and adoration, with His unbeginning and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.


[2455] There is great variety as to these names in the mss. The true reading was probably diaphutor or diaphuteutes, a planter, and melatas or melobotes, a keeper of sheep. [2456] Lit., made. [2457] One ms. adds: And Adam lived 930 years; and when he came to his end he cried, etc. [2458] One ms. has: and he will bring to me of the tree in which compassion flows, and thy trouble shall cease from thee. [2459] Or, plagues. [2460] Lit., and he will give. [2461] Perhaps for ison we should read eiso, within. Another reading is: for the days of his life have been fulfilled, and he will live from today three days, and he will die. [2462] C has: I take counsel with thee. [C is a Vienna manuscript of the twelfth century; see p. 358, and Tischendorf, Apocalypses Apocryphæ, pp. xi., xii.--R.] [2463] It seems to be settled that the zizania of the Greeks, the zawân of the Arabs, was darnel; but, from the associations connected with the word, it is better to keep the common translation. [2464] C has, root and origin. [2465] Lit, naked. [2466] i.e., of the garden. [2467] I have read tachunthesei for pachunthesei, thou shalt grow fat. [2468] The text has mataiois, vain; the true reading is probably kamatois or mochthois. [2469] Inserted fromms. C. [2470] ms. B. inserts: And Eve was twelve years old when the demon deceived her, and gave her evil desires. For night and day he ceased not to bear hatred against them, because he himself was formerly in paradise; and therefore he supplanted them, because he could not bear to see them in paradise. [B is a Viennams. of the thirteenth or fourteenth century; see Tischendorf, Apocal. Apocr., p. xi.--R.] [2471] This is after the version of the LXX., and it is also the interpretation of Gesenius of the Hebrew shph, Gen. iii. 15. [2472] Or, incense. [2473] This is the "sweet cane" of Isa. xliii. 24; Jer. vi. 20. See also Ex. xxx. 23; Cant. iv. 14; Ezek. xxvii. 19. [2474] Or, and we were upon the earth. [2475] Perhaps taphon, tomb, would be better than topon. [2476] Or, anoint. [2477] Or, all sin. [2478] The text has ponesanta, a misprint for poiesanta . [2479] Lit., of a womb. [2480] The last clause is not in C. [2481] ms. A here ends thus: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen. [A is the Venice ms. "of about the thirteenth century;" Tischendorf, Apocal. Apocr., p. xi.--R.] [2482] The mss. originally had days, and hours is substituted in another hand. [2483] i.e., mounted His chariot. [2484] According to a Jewish tradition, these were the four angels who stood round the throne of God. [2485] Probably the reading should be heteron, another, and not hetairon. Or it may mean: I will not receive a friendly body, i.e., one upon which I have no claims. [2486] i.e., of which Adam was made. [2487] Lit., earth. [2488] ms. D ends here with: To whom be glory and strength to ages of ages. Amen. [D is the Milan manuscript which Tischendorf assigns to "About the eleventh century," Apocalypses Apocryphæ, p. xi.--R.]


Revelation of Esdras

Word and Revelation of Esdras, the Holy Prophet and Beloved of God.

It came to pass in the thirtieth year, on the twenty-second of the month, I was in my house. And I cried out and said to the Most High: Lord, give the glory, [2489] in order that I may see Thy mysteries. And when it was night, there came an angel, Michael the archangel, and says to me: O Prophet Esdras, refrain from bread for seventy weeks. [2490]And I fasted as he told me. And there came Raphael the commander of the host, and gave me a storax rod. And I fasted twice sixty [2491] weeks. And I saw the mysteries of God and His angels. And I said to them: I wish to plead before God about the race of the Christians. It is good for a man not to be born rather than to come into the world. I was therefore taken up into heaven, and I saw in the first heaven a great army of angels; and they took me to the judgments. And I heard a voice saying to me: Have mercy on us, O thou chosen of God, Esdras. Then began I to say: Woe to sinners when they see one who is just more than the angels, and they themselves are in the Gehenna of fire! And Esdras said: Have mercy on the works of Thine hands, Thou who art compassionate, and of great mercy. Judge me rather than the souls of the sinners; for it is better that one soul should be punished, and that the whole world should not come to destruction. And God said: I will give rest in paradise to the righteous, and I have become [2492] merciful. And Esdras said: Lord, why dost Thou confer benefits on the righteous? for just as one who has been hired out, and has served out his time, goes and again works as a slave when he come to his masters, so also the righteous has received his reward in the heavens. But have mercy on the sinners, for we know that Thou art merciful. And God said: I do not see how I can have mercy upon them. And Esdras said: They cannot endure Thy wrath. And God said: This is the fate of such. And God said: I wish to have thee like Paul and John, as thou hast given me uncorrupted the treasure that cannot be stolen, the treasure of virginity, the bulwark [2493] of men. And Esdras said: It is good for a man not to be born. It is good not to be in life. The irrational creatures are better than man, because they have no punishment; but Thou hast taken us, and given us up to judgment. Woe to the sinners in the world to come! because their judgment is endless, and the flame unquenchable. And while I was thus speaking to him, there came Michael and Gabriel, and all the apostles; and they said: Rejoice, O faithful man of God! And Esdras said: [2494] Arise, and come hither with me, O Lord, to judgment. And the Lord said: Behold, I give thee my covenant between me and thee, that you may receive it. And Esdras said: Let us plead in Thy hearing. [2495] And God said: Ask Abraham your father how a son pleads with his father, [2496] and come plead with us. And Esdras said: As the Lord liveth, I will not cease pleading with Thee in behalf of the race of the Christians. Where are Thine ancient compassions, O Lord? Where is Thy long-suffering? And God said: As I have made night and day, I have made the righteous and the sinner; and he should have lived like the righteous. And the prophet said: Who made Adam the first-formed? And God said: My undefiled hands. And I put him in paradise to guard the food of the tree of life; and thereafter he became disobedient, and did this in transgression. And the prophet said: Was he not protected by an angel? and was not his life guarded by the cherubim to endless ages? and how was he deceived who was guarded by angels? for Thou didst command all to be present, and to attend to what was said by Thee. [2497]But if Thou hadst not given him Eve, the serpent would not have deceived her; [2498] but whom Thou wilt Thou savest, and whom Thou wilt Thou destroyest. [2499]And the prophet said: Let us come, my Lord, to a second judgment. And God said: I cast fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou dealest with us according to our deserts. And God said: Your sins transcend my clemency. And the prophet said: Call to mind the Scriptures, my Father, who hast measured out Jerusalem, and set her up again. Have mercy, O Lord, upon sinners; have mercy upon Thine own creatures; [2500] have pity upon Thy works. Then God remembered those whom He had made, and said to the prophet: How can I have mercy upon them? Vinegar and gall did they give me to drink, [2501] and not even then did they repent. And the prophet said: Reveal Thy cherubim, and let us go together to judgment; and show me the day of judgment, what like it is. And God said: Thou hast been deceived, Esdras; for such is the day of judgment as that in which there is no rain upon the earth; for it is a merciful tribunal as compared with that day. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead with Thee, unless I see the day of the consummation. And God said: [2502] Number the stars and the sand of the sea; and if thou shalt be able to number this, thou art also able to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou knowest that I wear human flesh; and how can I count the stars of the heaven, and the sand of the sea? And God said: My chosen prophet, no man will know that great day and the appearing [2503] that comes to judge the world. For thy sake, my prophet, I have told thee the day; but the hour have I not told thee. And the prophet said: Lord, tell me also the years. And God said: If I see the righteousness of the world, that it has abounded, I will have patience with them; but if not, I will stretch forth my hand, and lay hold of the world by the four quarters, and bring them all together into the valley of Jehoshaphat, [2504] and I will wipe out the race of men, so that the world shall be no more. And the prophet said: And how can Thy right hand be glorified? And God said: I shall be glorified by my angels. And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou hast resolved to do this, why didst Thou make man? Thou didst say to our father Abraham, [2505] Multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea-shore; [2506] and where is Thy promise? And God said: First will I make an earthquake for the fall of four-footed beasts and of men; and when you see that brother gives up brother to death, and that children shall rise up against their parents, and that a woman forsakes her own husband, and when nation shall rise up against nation in war, then will you know that the end is near. [2507]

For then neither brother pities brother, nor man wife, nor children parents, nor friends friends, nor a slave his master; for he who is the adversary of men shall come up from Tartarus, and shall show men many things. What shall I make of thee, Esdras? and wilt thou yet plead with me? And the prophet said: Lord, I shall not cease to plead with Thee. And God said: Number the flowers of the earth. If thou shalt be able to number them, thou art able also to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, I cannot number them. I wear human flesh; but I shall not cease to plead with Thee. I wish, Lord, to see also the under parts of Tartarus. And God said: Come down and see. And He gave me Michael, and Gabriel, and other thirty-four angels; and I went down eighty-five steps, and they brought me down five hundred steps, and I saw a fiery throne, and an old man sitting upon it; and his judgment was merciless. And I said to the angels: Who is this? and what is his sin? And they said to me: This is Herod, who for a time was a king, and ordered to put to death the children from two years old and under. [2508]And I said: Woe to his soul! And again they took me down thirty steps, and I there saw boilings up of fire, and in them there was a multitude of sinners; and I heard their voice, but saw not their forms. And they took me down lower many steps, which I could not measure. And I there saw old men, and fiery pivots turning in their ears. And I said: Who are these? and what is their sin? And they said to me: These are they who would not listen. [2509]And they took me down again other five hundred steps, and I there saw the worm that sleeps not, and fire burning up the sinners. And they took me down to the lowest part of destruction, and I saw there the twelve plagues of the abyss. And they took me away to the south, and I saw there a man hanging by the eyelids; and the angels kept scourging him. And I asked: Who is this? and what is his sin? And Michael the commander said to me: This is one who lay with his mother; for having put into practice a small wish, he has been ordered to be hanged. And they took me away to the north, and I saw there a man bound with iron chains. And I asked: Who is this? And he said to me: This is he who said, I am the Son of God, that made stones bread, and water wine. And the prophet said: My lord, let me know what is his form, and I shall tell the race of men, that they may not believe in him. And he said to me: The form of his countenance is like that of a wild beast; his right eye like the star that rises in the morning, and the other without motion; his mouth one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the track of his feet of two spans; and in his face an inscription, Antichrist. He has been exalted to heaven; he shall go down to Hades. [2510]At one time he shall become a child; at another, an old man. And the prophet said: Lord, and how dost Thou permit him, and he deceives the race of men? And God said: Listen, my prophet. He becomes both child and old man, and no one believes him that he is my beloved Son. And after this a trumpet, and the tombs shall be opened, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. [2511]Then the adversary, hearing the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden in outer darkness. Then the heaven, and the earth, and the sea shall be destroyed. Then shall I burn the heaven eighty cubits, and the earth eight hundred cubits. And the prophet said: And how has the heaven sinned? And God said: Since [2512] ...there is evil. And the prophet said: Lord, and the earth, how has it sinned? And God said: Since the adversary, having heard the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden, even on account of this will I melt the earth, and with it the opponent of the race of men. And the prophet said: Have mercy, Lord, upon the race of the Christians. And I saw a woman hanging, and four wild beasts sucking her breasts. And the angels said to me: She grudged to give her milk, but even threw her infants into the rivers. And I saw a dreadful darkness, and a night that had no stars nor moon; nor is there there young or old, nor brother with brother, nor mother with child, nor wife with husband. And I wept, and said: O Lord God, have mercy upon the sinners. And as I said this, there came a cloud and snatched me up, and carried me away again into the heavens. And I saw there many judgments; and I wept bitterly, and said: It is good for a man not to have come out of his mother's womb. And those who were in torment cried out, saying: Since thou hast come hither, O holy one of God, we have found a little remission. And the prophet said: Blessed are they that weep for their sins. And God said: Hear, O beloved Esdras. As a husbandman casts the seed of the corn into the ground, so also the man casts his seed into the parts of the woman. The first month it is all together; the second it increases in size; the third it gets hair; the fourth it gets nails; the fifth it is turned into milk; [2513] and the sixth it is made ready, and receives life; [2514] the seventh it is completely furnished; the ninth the barriers of the gate of the woman are opened; and it is born safe and sound into the earth. And the prophet said: Lord, it is good for man not to have been born. Woe to the human race then, when Thou shalt come to judgment! And I said to the Lord: Lord, why hast Thou created man, and delivered him up to judgment? And God said, with a lofty proclamation: I will not by any means have mercy on those who transgress my covenant. And the prophet said: Lord, where is Thy goodness? And God said: I have prepared all things for man's sake, and man does not keep my commandments. And the prophet said: Lord, reveal to me the judgments and paradise. And the angels took me away towards the east, and I saw the tree of life. And I saw there Enoch, and Elias, and Moses, and Peter, and Paul, and Luke, and Matthias, and all the righteous, and the patriarchs. And I saw there the keeping of the air within bounds, and the blowing of the winds, and the storehouses of the ice, and the eternal judgments. And I saw there a man hanging by the skull. And they said to me: This man removed landmarks. And I saw there great judgments. [2515]And I said to the Lord: O Lord God, and what man, then, who has been born has not sinned? And they took me lower down into Tartarus, and I saw all the sinners lamenting and weeping and mourning bitterly. And I also wept, seeing the race of men thus tormented. Then God says to me: Knowest thou, Esdras, the names of the angels at the end of the world? Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, Zebuleon.

Then there came a voice to me: Come hither and die, Esdras, my beloved; give that which hath been entrusted to thee. [2516]And the prophet said: And whence can you bring forth my soul? And the angels said: We can put it forth through the mouth. And the prophet said: Mouth to mouth have I spoken with God, [2517] and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: Let us bring it out through thy nostrils. And the prophet said: My nostrils have smelled the sweet savour of the glory of God. And the angels said: We can bring it out through thine eyes. And the prophet said: Mine eyes have seen the back parts of God. [2518]And the angels said: We can bring it out through the crown of thy head. And the prophet said: I walked about with Moses also on the mountain, and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: We can put it forth through the points of thy nails. And the prophet said: My feet also have walked about on the altar. And the angels went away without having done anything, saying: Lord, we cannot get his soul. Then He says to His only begotten Son: Go down, my beloved Son, with a great host of angels, and take the soul of my beloved Esdras. For the Lord, having taken a great host of angels, says to the prophet: Give me the trust which I entrusted to thee; the crown has been prepared for thee. [2519]And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou take my soul from me, who will be left to plead with Thee for the race of men? And God said: As thou art mortal, and of the earth, do not plead with me. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead. And God said: Give up just now the trust; the crown has been prepared for thee. Come and die, that thou mayst obtain it. Then the prophet began to say with tears: O Lord, what good have I done pleading with Thee, and I am going to fall down into the earth? Woe's me, woe's me, that I am going to be eaten up by worms! Weep, all ye saints and ye righteous, for me, who have pleaded much, and who am delivered up to death. Weep for me, all ye saints and ye righteous, because I have gone to the pit of Hades. And God said to him: Hear, Esdras, my beloved. I, who am immortal, endured a cross; I tasted vinegar and gall; I was laid in a tomb, and I raised up my chosen ones; I called Adam up out of Hades, that I might save [2520] the race of men. Do not therefore be afraid of death: for that which is from me--that is to say, the soul--goes to heaven; and that which is from the earth--that is to say, the body--goes to the earth, from which it was taken. [2521]And the prophet said: Woe's me! woe's me! what shall I set about? what shall I do? I know not. And then the blessed Esdras began to say: O eternal God, the Maker of the whole creation, who hast measured the heaven with a span, and who holdest the earth as a handful, [2522] who ridest upon the cherubim, who didst take the prophet Elias to the heavens in a chariot of fire, [2523] who givest food to all flesh, whom all things dread and tremble at from the face of Thy power,--listen to me, who have pleaded much, and give to all who transcribe this book, and have it, and remember my name, and honour my memory, give them a blessing from heaven; and bless him [2524] in all things, as Thou didst bless Joseph at last, and remember not his former wickedness in the day of his judgment. And as many as have not believed this book shall be burnt up like Sodom and Gomorrah. And there came to him a voice, saying: Esdras, my beloved, all things whatever thou hast asked will I give to each one. And immediately he gave up his precious soul with much honour, in the month of October, on the twenty-eighth. And they prepared him for burial with incense and psalms; and his precious and sacred body dispenses strength of soul and body perpetually to those who have recourse to him from a longing desire. To whom is due glory, strength, honour, and adoration,--to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.


[2489] i.e., reveal. [2490] Supplied by Tischendorf. Perhaps it should be days. [2491] Perhaps this should be five--e instead of x--which would make seventy days, as above. [2492] Or, I am. [2493] Lit., wall. [2494] Tischendorf supplies this clause from conjecture, and adds that some more seems to have fallen out. [2495] Lit., to Thine ear. [2496] This seems to be the meaning of the text, which is somewhat corrupt. It obviously refers to Abraham pleading for Sodom. [2497] This passage is very corrupt in the text; but a few emendations bring out the meaning above. [2498] Better, him. [2499] Comp. Ex. xxxiii. 19; Rom. ix. 18. [2500] Lit., framing, or fashioning. [2501] Matt. xxvii. 34. [2502] This is inserted by Tischendorf. [2503] Comp. 2 Tim. iv. 1, 8; Tit. ii. 13. [2504] Joel iii. 2, 12. [2505] Gen. xxii. 17. [2506] Lit., the lip of the sea. [2507] Comp. Matt. xxiv. [2508] Matt. ii. 16. [2509] Or, who heard wrong. [2510] Comp. Matt. xi. 23. [2511] 1 Cor. xv. 52. [2512] There is something wanting here in the text. [2513] So in the text. [2514] Or, the soul. [2515] Or, tribunals. [2516] Or, thy trust, or pledge. Comp. 1 Tim. vi. 20; 2 Tim. i. 14, in Textus Receptus. [2517] Comp. Deut. xxxiv. 10. [2518] Comp. Ex. xxxiii. 23. [2519] Comp. 2 Tim. iv. 8. [2520] The word is wanting in the ms. [2521] Eccles. xii. 7. [2522] Or, in a measure. Draken in the text should be draka. Comp. Isa. xl. 12 in the LXX. [2523] Comp. 1 Kings ii. 11; Ecclus. xlviii. 9. [2524] So the ms. Perhaps them would be better. .

Revelation of Paul

Revelation of the holy Apostle Paul: the things which were revealed to him when he went up even to the third heaven, and was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words. [2525]

There dwelt a certain nobleman in the city of Tarsus, in the house of St. Paul the apostle, in the government of Theodosius the worshipful king, and of the most illustrious Gratianus; [2526] and there was revealed to him an angel of the Lord, saying: Upturn the foundation of this house, and lift up what thou shalt find. But he thought that he had had a dream. And the angel having persisted even to a third vision, the nobleman was compelled to upturn the foundation; and having dug, he found a marble [2527] box containing this revelation; and having taken it, he showed it to the ruler of the city. And the ruler, seeing it sealed up with lead, sent it to the King Theodosius, thinking that it was something else. [2528]And the king having received it, and transcribed it, sent the original writing to Jerusalem. And there was written in it thus:--

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Say to this people, Till when do you sin, and add to your sin, and provoke to anger the God who made you, saying that you are children to Abraham, [2529] but doing the works of Satan, going on in speaking against God, boasting only in your addressing of God, but poor on account of the substance of sin? Know, ye sons of men, that the whole creation has been made subject to God; but the human race alone, by sinning, provokes God to anger. For often the great light, the sun, has come before God, saying against men: Lord God Almighty, how long dost Thou endure all the sin of men? Command me, and I will burn them up. And there came a voice to him: My long-suffering endures them all, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And often also the moon and the stars have come before God, saying: Lord God Almighty, Thou hast given us the dominion of the night, and we no longer cover the thefts, and adulteries, and blood-sheddings of men; command us, and we shall do marvels against them. And there came a voice: My long-suffering bears with them, that they may turn to me; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And in like manner also the sea cried out, saying: Lord God Almighty, the sons of men have profaned Thy holy name; command me, and I shall rise up and cover the earth, and wipe out from it [2530] the sons of men. And there came a voice, saying: My long-suffering bears with them, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. You see, ye sons of men, that the whole creation has been made subject to God, but the human race alone sins before God. On account of all these things, bless God without ceasing, and yet more when the sun is setting. For at this hour all the angels come to God to adore Him, and they bring before Him the works of men, of each what he has done from morning even to evening, whether good or evil. And one angel goes rejoicing on account of man when he behaves well, and another goes with a sad countenance. All the angels at the appointed hour meet for the worship of God, to bring each day's works of men. But do ye men bless God without ceasing. Whenever, therefore, at the appointed hour the angels of pious men come, rejoicing and singing psalms, they meet for the worship of the Lord; and, behold, the Spirit of God says to them: Whence do ye come rejoicing? And they answered and said: We are here from the pious men, who in all piety spend their life, fearing the name of God. Command them, Lord, to abide even to the end in Thy righteousness. And there came to them a voice: I have both kept and will keep them void of offence in my kingdom. And when it came to pass that they went away, there came other angels with a cheerful countenance, shining like the sun. And behold a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have held themselves aloof from the world and the things in the world for Thy holy name's sake, who in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the dens of the earth, in beds on the ground, and in fastings, spend their life. [2531]Command us to be with them. And there came a voice: Go with them in peace, guarding them. Moreover, when they went away, behold, there came other angels to worship before God, mourning and weeping. And the Spirit went forth to meet them, and there came a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have been called by Thy name, and are slaves to the matter of sin. [2532]Why, then, is it necessary to minister unto them? And there came a voice to them: Do not cease to minister unto them; perhaps they will turn; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. Know, sons of men, that all that is done by you day by day, the angels write in the heavens. Do you therefore cease not to bless God.

And I was in the Holy Spirit, and an angel says to me: Come, follow me, that I may show thee the place of the just, where they go after their end. And I went along with the angel, and he brought me up into the heavens under the firmament; and I perceived and saw powers great and dreadful, full of wrath, and through the mouth of them a flame of fire coming out, and clothed in garments of fire. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who are sent away to the souls of the sinners in the hour of necessity; for they have not believed that there is judgment and retribution. And I looked up into the heaven, and saw angels, whose faces shone like the sun, girded with golden girdles, having in their hands prizes, on which the name of the Lord was inscribed, full of all meekness and compassion. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he answered and said to me: These are they who are sent forth in the day of the resurrection to bring the souls of the righteous, [2533] who intrepidly walk according to God. [2534]And I said to the angel: I wish to see the souls of the righteous and of the sinners, how they go out of the world. And the angel said to me: Look to the earth. And I looked, and saw the whole world as nothing disappearing before me. And I said to the angel: Is this the greatness of men? And he said to me: Yes; for thus every unjust man disappears. And I looked, and saw a cloud of fire wrapped over all the world; and I said: What is this, my lord? And he said to me: This is the unrighteousness mingled with the destruction of the sinners. And I wept, and said to the angel: I wished to see the departures of the righteous and of the sinners, in what manner they go out of the world. And the angel says to me: Paul, look down, and see what thou hast asked. And I looked, and saw one of the sons of men falling near death. And the angel says to me: This is a righteous man, and, behold, all his works stand beside him in the hour of his necessity. [2535]And there were beside him good angels, and along with them also evil angels. And the evil angels indeed found no place in him, but the good took possession of [2536] the soul of the righteous man, and said to it: Take note of the body whence thou art coming out; for it is necessary for thee again to return to it in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive what God hath promised to the righteous. And the good angels who had received the soul of the righteous man, saluted it, as being well known to them. And it went with them; and the Spirit came forth to meet them, saying: Come, soul, enter into the place of the resurrection, which God hath prepared for His righteous ones. And the angel said to me: Look down to the earth, and behold the soul of the impious, how it goes forth from its tabernacle, which has provoked God to anger, saying, Let us eat and drink; [2537] for who is it that has gone down to Hades, and come up and announced that there is judgment and retribution? And take heed, and see all his works which he has done standing before him. And the evil angels came and the good. The good therefore found no place of rest in it, but the evil took possession of it, saying: O wretched soul, pay heed to thy flesh; take note of that whence thou art coming forth, for thou must return into thy flesh in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive the recompense of thy sins. And when it had gone forth from its tabernacle, the angel who had lived along with it ran up to it, saying to it: O wretched soul, whither goest thou? I am he who each day wrote down thy sins. Thou hast destroyed the time of repentance; be exceedingly ashamed. And when it came, all the angels saw it, and cried out with one voice, saying: Woe to thee, wretched soul! what excuse hast thou come to give to God? And the angel of that soul said: Weep for it, all of you, along with me. And the angel came up, and worshipped the Lord, saying: Lord, behold the soul which has dwelt in wickedness in its time, and in its temporary life; do to it according to Thy decision. And there came a voice to that soul, saying: Where is the fruit of thy righteousness? And it was silent, [2538] not being able to give an answer. And again there came a voice to it: He who has shown mercy will have mercy shown to him; [2539] he who has not shown mercy will not have mercy shown to him. Let this soul be delivered to the merciless angel Temeluch, and let it be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And there was a voice as of tens of thousands, saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous is Thy judgment. [2540]And moreover I saw, and, behold, another soul was led by an angel; and it wept, saying: Have mercy upon me, O righteous Judge, and deliver me from the hand of this angel, because he is dreadful and merciless. And a voice came to it, saying: Thou wast altogether merciless, and for this reason thou hast been delivered up to such an angel. Confess thy sins which thou hast done in the world. And that soul said: I have not sinned, O righteous Judge. And the Lord said to that soul: Verily thou seemest as if thou wert in the world, and wert hiding thy deeds from men. Knowest thou not that whensoever any one dies, his deeds run before him, whether they are good or evil? And when it heard this, it was silent. And I heard the Judge saying: Let the angel come, having in his hands the record of thy sins. And the Judge says to the angel: I say to thee the angel, Disclose all. Say what he has done five years before his death. By myself I swear to thee, that in the first period of his life there was forgetfulness of all his former sins. And the angel answered and said: Lord, command the souls to stand beside their angels; and that same hour they stood beside them. And the lord of that soul said: Take note of these souls, and whether thou hast in any way sinned against them. And it answered and said: Lord, a year has not been completed since I killed the one and lived with the other. And not only this, but I also wronged it. And the Lord said to it: Knowest thou not that he who wrongs any one in the world is kept, as soon as he dies, in the place until he whom he has wronged come, and both shall be judged before me, and each receive according to his works? And I heard a voice saying: Let this soul be delivered to the angel Tartaruch, and guarded till the great day of judgment. And I heard a voice as of tens of thousands saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous Thy judgment.

And the angel says to me: Hast thou seen all these things? And I answered: Yes my lord. And again he said to me: Come, follow me, and I shall show thee the place of the righteous. And I followed him, and he set me before the doors of the city. And I saw a golden gate, and two golden pillars before it, and two golden plates upon it full of inscriptions. And the angel said to me: Blessed is he who shall enter into these doors; because not every one goeth in, but only those who have single-mindedness, and guiltlessness, and a pure heart. [2541]And I asked the angel: For what purpose have the inscriptions been graven on these plates? And he said to me: These are the names of the righteous, and of those who serve God. And I said to him: Is it so that their names have been inscribed in heaven itself while they are yet alive? And the angel said to me:... [2542] of the angels, such as serve Him well are acknowledged by God. And straightway the gate was opened, and there came forth a hoary-headed man to meet us; and he said to me: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! and, with a joyful countenance, he kissed me with tears. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou? And he said to me: Because God hath prepared many good things for men, and they do not His will in order that they may enjoy them. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Enoch, the witness of the last day. [2543]And the angel says to me: See that whatever I show thee in this place thou do not announce, except what I tell thee. And he set me upon [2544] the river whose source springs up in the circle of heaven; and it is this river which encircleth the whole earth. And he says to me: This river is Ocean. And there was then a great light. And I said: My lord, what is this? And he said to me: This is the land of the meek. Knowest thou not that it is written, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth? [2545]The souls of the righteous, therefore, are kept in this place. And I said to the angel: When, then, will they be made manifest? And he said to me: When the Judge shall come in the day of the resurrection, and sit down. Then, accordingly, shall he command, and shall reveal the earth, and it shall be lighted up; and the saints shall appear in it, and shall delight themselves in the good [2546] that have been reserved from the foundation of the world. And there were by the bank of the river, trees planted, full of different fruits. And I looked towards the rising of the sun, and I saw there trees of great size full of fruits; and that land was more brilliant than silver and gold; and there were vines growing on those date-palms, and myriads of shoots, and myriads of clusters on each branch. And I said to the archangel: What is this, my lord? And he says to me: This is the Acherusian lake, and within it the city of God. All are not permitted to enter into it, except whosoever shall repent of his sins; and as soon as he shall repent, and alter his life, he is delivered to Michael, and they cast him into the Acherusian lake, and then he brings him in the city of God, near the righteous. And I wondered and blessed God at all that I saw. And the angel said to me: Follow me, that I may bring thee into the city of God, and into its light. And its light was greater than the light of the world, and greater than gold, and walls encircled it. And the length and the breadth of it were a hundred stadia. And I saw twelve gates, exceedingly ornamented, leading into the city; and four rivers encircled it, flowing with milk, and honey, and oil, and wine. And I said to the angel: My lord, what are these rivers? And he said to me: These are the righteous who, when in the world, did not make use of these things, but humbled themselves for the sake of God; and here they receive a recompense ten thousand fold.

And I, going into the city, saw a very lofty tree before the doors of the city, having no fruit, and a few men under it; and they wept exceedingly, and the trees bent down to them. And I, seeing them, wept, and asked the angel: Who are these, that they have not turned to go into the city? And he said to me: Yes, the root of all evils is vainglory. And I said: And these trees, why have they thus humbled themselves? And the angel answered and said to me: For this reason the trees are not fruit-bearing, because they have not withheld themselves from vaunting. And I asked the angel: My lord, for what reason have they been put aside before the doors of the city? And he answered and said to me: On account of the great goodness of God, since by this way Christ is going to come into the city, and that those who go along with Him may plead for these men, and that they may be brought in along with them. And I was going along, guided by the angel, and he set me upon the river. And I saw there all the prophets; and they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God. And I said to the angel: My lord, who are these? And he said to me: These are all the prophets, and these are the songs of all the prophecies, [2547] and of whoever hath grieved his soul, not doing its will, for God's sake. Having departed, then, he comes here, and the prophets salute him. And the angel brought me to the south of the city, where the river of milk is. And I saw there all the infants that King Herod slew for the Lord's name's sake. And the angel took me again to the east of the city, and I saw there Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. And I asked the angel: My lord, what place is this? And he said to me: Every one who is hospitable to men comes hither when he comes out of the world, and they salute him as a friend of God on account of his love to strangers. And again he took me away to another place, and I saw there a river like oil on the north of the city, and I saw people there rejoicing and singing praises. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who have given themselves up to God; for they are brought into this city. And I looked, and saw in the midst of the city an altar, great and very lofty; and there was one standing near the altar, whose face shone like the sun, and he had in his hands a psaltery and a harp, and he sung the Alleluia delightfully, and his voice filled all the city. And all with one consent accompanied him, so that the city was shaken by their shouting. And I asked the angel: Who is this that singeth delightfully, whom all accompany? And he said to me: This is the prophet David; this is the heavenly Jerusalem. When, therefore, Christ shall come in His second appearing, David himself goes forth with all the saints. For as it is in the heavens, so also upon earth: for it is not permitted without David to offer sacrifice even in the day of the sacrifice of the precious body and blood of Christ; but it is necessary for David to sing the Alleluia. And I asked the angel: My lord, what is the meaning of Alleluia? It is called in Hebrew, thebel, marematha--speech to God who founded all things: let us glorify Him in the same. So that every one who sings the Alleluia glorifies God.

When these things, therefore, had been thus said to me by the angel, he led me outside of the city, and the Acherusian lake, and the good land, and set me upon the river of the ocean that supports the firmament of the heaven, and said to me: Knowest thou where I am going? And I said: No, my lord. And he said to me: Follow me, that I may show thee where the souls of the impious and the sinners are. And he took me to the setting of the sun, and where the beginning of the heaven had been founded upon the river of the ocean. And I saw beyond the river, and there was no light there, but darkness, and grief, and groaning; and I saw a bubbling river, and a great multitude both of men and women who had been cast into it, some up to the knees, others up to the navel, and many even up to the crown of the head. And I asked: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who lived unrepenting in fornications and adulteries. And I saw at the south-west of the river another river, where there flowed a river of fire, and there was there a multitude of many souls. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are the thieves, and slanderers, and flatterers, who did not set up God as their help, but hoped in the vanity of their riches. And I said to him: What is the depth of this river? And he said to me: Its depth has no measure, but it is immeasurable. And I groaned and wept because of mankind. And the angel said to me: Why weepest thou? Art thou more merciful than God? for, being holy, God, repenting over men, waits for their conversion and repentance; but they, deceived by their own will, come here, and are eternally punished. And I looked into the fiery river, and saw an old man dragged along by two, and they pulled him in up to the knee. And the angel Temeluch coming, laid hold of an iron with his hand, and with it drew up the entrails of that old man through his mouth. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this that suffers this punishment? And he said to me: This old man whom thou seest was a presbyter; and when he had eaten and drunk, then he performed the service of God. And I saw there another old man carried in haste by four angels; and they threw him into the fiery river up to the girdle, and he was frightfully burnt by the lightnings. And I said to the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a bishop, and that name indeed he was well pleased to have; but in the goodness of God he did not walk, righteous judgment he did not judge, the widow and the orphan he did not pity, he was neither affectionate nor hospitable; [2548] but now he has been recompensed according to his works. And I looked, and saw in the middle of the river another man up to the navel, having his hands all bloody, and worms were coming up through his mouth. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a deacon, who ate and drank, and ministered to God. And I looked to another place where there was a brazen wall in flames, and within it men and women eating up their own tongues, dreadfully judged. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who in the church speak against their neighbours, and do not attend to the word of God. And I looked, and saw a bloody pit. And I said: What is this pit? And he said to me: This is the place where are cast the wizards, and sorcerers, and the whoremongers, and the adulterers, and those that oppress widows and orphans. And I saw in another place women wearing black, and led away into a dark place. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who did not listen to their parents, but before their marriage defiled their virginity. And I saw women wearing white robes, being blind, and standing upon obelisks of fire; and an angel was mercilessly beating them, saying: Now you know where you are; you did not attend when the Scriptures were read to you. And the angel said to me: These are they who corrupted themselves and killed their infants. Their infants therefore came crying out: Avenge us of our mothers. And they were given to an angel to be carried away into a spacious place, but their parents into everlasting fire.

And the angel took me up from these torments, and set me above a well, which had seven seals upon its mouth. And the angel who was with me said to the angel at the well of that place: Open the well, that Paul the beloved of God may see, because there has been given to him authority to see the torments. And the angel of the place said to me: Stand afar off, until I open the seals. And when he had opened them, there came forth a stench which it was impossible to bear. And having come near the place, I saw that well filled with darkness and gloom, and great narrowness of space in it. And the angel who was with me said to me: This place of the well which thou seest is cast off from the glory of God, and none of the angels is importunate in behalf of them; and as many as have professed that the holy Mary is not the mother of God, and that the Lord did not become man out of her, and that the bread of the thanksgiving and the cup of blessing are not His flesh and blood, [2549] are cast into this well: and as I said before no angel is importunate in their behalf. And I saw towards the setting of the sun, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, many men and women there tormented. And I said to the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who say that there is no resurrection of the dead; and to them mercy never comes.

Having heard this, I wept bitterly; and looking up into the firmament, I saw the heaven opened, and the archangel Gabriel coming down with hosts of angels, who were going round about all the torments. And they who were judged in the torments seeing them, all cried out with one loud voice: Have mercy upon us, Gabriel, who standest in the presence of God; for we heard that there was a judgment: behold, we know it. And the archangel Gabriel answered and said: As the Lord liveth, beside whom I stand, night and day without ceasing I plead in behalf of the race of men; but they did not do any good when in life, but spent the period of their life in vanity. And now I shall weep, even I, along with the beloved Paul; perhaps the good Lord may have compassion, and grant you remission. And they assented with one voice: Have mercy upon us, O Lord. And they fell down before God, and supplicated, saying: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the sons of men whom Thou hast made after Thine image. And the heaven was shaken like a leaf, and I saw the four and twenty elders lying on their face; and I saw the altar, and the throne, and the veil; and all of them entreated the glory of God; [2550] and I saw the Son of God with glory and great power coming down to the earth. [2551]And when the sound of the trumpet took place, all who were in the torments cried out, saying: Have mercy upon us Son of God; for to Thee has been given power over things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth. And there came a voice saying: What good work have you done, that you are asking for rest? For you have done as you wished, and have not repented, but you have spent your life in profligacy. But now for the sake of Gabriel, the angel of my righteousness and for the sake of Paul my beloved, I give you a night and the day of the holy Lord's day, on which I rose from the dead, for rest. And all who were in the torments cried out, saying: We bless Thee, O Son of the living God; better for us is such rest than the life which we lived when spending our time in the world.

And after these things the angel says to me: Behold, thou hast seen all the torments: come, follow me, that I may lead thee away to paradise, and that thou mayst change thy soul by the sight of the righteous; for many desire to salute thee. And he took me by an impulse of the Spirit, and brought me into paradise. And he says to me: This is paradise, where Adam and Eve transgressed. And I saw there a beautiful tree of great size, on which the Holy Spirit rested; and from the root of it there came forth all manner of most sweet-smelling water, parting into four channels. And I said to the angel: My lord, what is this tree, that there comes forth from it a great abundance of this water, and where does it go? And he answered and said to me: Before the heaven and the earth existed, He divided them into four kingdoms and heads, of which the names are Phison, Gehon, Tigris, Euphrates. And having again taken hold of me by the hand, he led me near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And he says to me: This is the tree by means of which death came into the world, and Adam took of the fruit of it from his wife, and ate; and thereafter they were cast out hence. And he showed me another, the tree of life, and said to me: This the cherubim and the flaming sword guard. And when I was closely observing the tree, and wondering, I saw a woman coming from afar off, and a multitude of angels singing praises to her. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord, who is in so great honour and beauty? And the angel says to me: This is the holy Mary, the mother of the Lord. And she came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, and angels, and men; thou hast proclaimed the word of God in the world, and established churches, and all bear testimony to thee who have been saved by means of thee: for, having been delivered from the deception of idols through thy teaching, they come here.

While they were yet speaking to me, I gazed, and saw other three men coming. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the righteous forefathers. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God....God did not grieve us. But we know thee in the flesh, before thou camest forth out of the world. And in succession they told me their names from Abraham to Manasseh. And one of them, Joseph who was sold in Egypt, says to me: Hear me, Paul, friend of God: I did not requite my brethren who cursed me. For blessed is he who is able to endure trial, because the Lord will give him in requital sevenfold reward in the world to come. [2552]And while he was yet speaking with me, I saw another coming afar off, and the appearance of him was as the appearance of an angel. And I asked the angel, saying: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Moses the lawgiver, by whom God led forth the children of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt. And when he came near me, he saluted me weeping. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou, being righteous and meek? [2553]And he answered and said to me: I must weep for every man, because I brought trouble upon a people that does not understand, and they have not borne fruit; and I see the sheep of which I was shepherd scattered, and the toil which I toiled for the children of Israel has been counted for nothing; and they saw powers [2554] and hosts in the midst of them, and they did not understand; and I see the Gentiles worshipping, and believing through thy word, and being converted, and coming here, and out of my people that was so great not one has understood. For, when the Jews hanged the Son of God upon the cross, all the angels and archangels, and the righteous, and the whole creation of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, lamented and mourned with a great lamentation, but the impious and insensate Jews did not understand; wherefore there has been prepared for them the fire everlasting, and the worm that dies not.

While he was yet speaking, there came other three, and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, the boast of the churches, and model of angels. And I asked: Who are you? And the first said: I am Isaiah, whom Manasseh sawed with a wood saw. [2555]And the second said: I am Jeremiah, whom the Jews stoned, but they remained burnt up with everlasting fire. And the third said: I am Ezekiel, whom the slayers of the Messiah pierced; all these things have we endured, and we have not been able to turn the stony heart of the Jews. And I threw myself on my face, entreating the goodness of God, because He had had mercy upon me, and had delivered me from the race of the Hebrews. And there came a voice saying: Blessed art thou, Paul, beloved of God; and blessed are those who through thee have believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, because for them has been prepared everlasting life.

While this voice was yet speaking, there came another, crying: Blessed art thou, Paul. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This is Noah, who lived in the time of the deluge. And when we had saluted each other, I asked him: Who art thou? And he said to me: I am Noah, who in a hundred years built the ark, and without putting off the coat which I wore, or shaving my head; moreover, I practised continence, and did not come near my wife; and in the hundred years my coat was not dirtied, and the hair of my head was not diminished. And I ceased not to proclaim to men, Repent, for, behold, a deluge is coming. And no one paid heed; but all derided me, not refraining from their lawless deeds, until the water of the deluge came and destroyed them all.

And looking away, I saw other two from afar off. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Enoch and Elias. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! And I said to them: Who are you? And Elias the prophet answered and said to me: I am Elias the prophet, who prayed to God, and He caused that no rain should come down upon the earth for three years and six months, on account of the unrighteousness of the sons of men. For often, of a truth, even the angel besought God on account of the rain; and I heard, Be patient until Elias my beloved shall pray, and I send rain upon the earth. [2556]


[2525] 2 Cor. xii. 4. [2526] The mss. have Kontianus. [2527] Or, according to the primary meaning of the word, shining, sparkling. The translation of the Syriac version has, "a box of white glass." [2528] Syr., Thinking that there was something of gold within it. [2529] Syr., of the living God. [2530] Or, sweep off it. [2531] Comp. Heb. xi. 38. [2532] i.e., to sinful matter--hule--the source of the soma in the Gnostic doctrine. [2533] Comp. Matt. xiii. 41. [2534] Or, come to God. [2535] Comp. Rev. xiv. 13. [2536] Or, bare rule over. [2537] Isa. xxii. 13; 1 Cor. xv. 32. [2538] Lit., shut up. [2539] Matt. v. 7. [2540] Ps. cxix. 137. [2541] Comp. Ps. xxiv. 3. [2542] The hiatus is thus filled up in the Syriac: Yes, not only are their names written, but their works from day to day: the angel their minister brings tidings of their works every day from morning to morning; they are known to God by their hearts and their works. And after they are recorded, if there happen to them a matter of sin or deficiency, it is purified by chastisement according to their sin, that there be not unto them any defect in their strivings. [2543] Rev. xi. 3-12. Enoch and Elijah were supposed to be the two witnesses there mentioned. [2544] Or, above. [2545] Matt. v. 5. [2546] Or, the good things. [2547] Syr., This is the place of the prophets. A very slight change in the Greek text would give this reading. [2548] Comp. 1 Tim. iii. 1-4. [2549] The Syriac has: Those who do not confess Jesus Christ, nor His resurrection, nor His humanity, but consider Him as all mortal, and who say that the sacrament of the body of our Lord is bread. The word theotokos in the text was the occasion of the three years' struggle between Nestorius and Cyril of Alexandria, which ended by the condemnation of the former by the Council of Ephesus, a.d. 431. The view of the Eucharist in the text is not inconsistent with an early date, though it must be remembered that the idea of a substantial presence became the orthodox doctrine only after the Second Council of Nicæa in a.d. 787. [2550] Rev. iv. 4. [2551] Matt. xxiv. 30. [2552] Comp. Matt. xix. 29. [2553] Num. xii. 3. [2554] Or, miracles. [2555] For this tradition, see the Bible Dictionaries under Manasseh. Comp. Heb. xi. 37. [2556] Here the [Greek]ms. abruptly ends. The Syriac thus continues:--And He gave not until I called upon Him again; then He gave unto them. But blessed art thou, O Paul, that thy generation and those thou teachest are the sons of the kingdom. And know thou, O Paul, that every man who believes through thee hath a great blessing, and a blessing is reserved for him. Then he departed from me. And the angel who was with me led me forth, and said unto me: Lo, unto thee is given this mystery and revelation. As thou pleasest, make it known unto the sons of men.--And then follow details of the depositing of the revelation under the foundation of the house in Tarsus,--details which Tischendorf says the translator of the Syriac did not find in his original. [The close of the English translation of the Syriac version is given in full by Tischendorf (pp. 68, 69). It varies greatly from the above paragraph in the text, besides the addition of the details which Tischendorf regards as spurious.--R.]
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