Apocrypha Arabica: Arabic MS. No. 508 in the Library of the Convent of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai.
THE BOOK OF THE ROLLS.
ONE OF THE BOOKS OF CLEMENT.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, one God, the merciful Lord.
This book is one of the hidden books of Saint Clement the Apostle, disciple of Simon Cepha, which Saint Clement commanded to be kept secret from the laity. Some of them were called “The Book of the Rolls,” and there are the glorious genealogies and mysteries which our God and Saviour Jesus the Christ committed to his disciples Simon and James, and what things will happen at the end of time, and how the second coming of our Lord the Christ from heaven to the world will happen, and what will become of sinners and such like. This is the sixth of Clement’s books, treasured up in the city of Rome since the time of the Apostles.
Saint Clement said, When our God Jesus the Christ went up to heaven and the disciples were scattered in the regions of the world to evangelize, and to call mankind to the faith and to immersion by baptism, they took disciples, whom they chose and selected to be with them, and to travel about to the countries in the faith of the Christ. Wherefore Simon Cepha took me for a disciple to himself; I believed in him, and in Him that sent him, with a true faith; I recognized that he was chief of the Apostles, to whom were given the keys of heaven and earth, on whom was built the Catholic Apostolic Church of God, which the gates of Hell shall not destroy, as our God Jesus the Christ said in the holy Gospel. After a long time he took also my brothers Constans and Constantinus to be his disciples. Twenty years after he had taken me as his disciple, he brought me together with my father and my mother, who was called Metrodora, and committed to me all the mysteries which had been given him by our Lord Jesus the Christ on the Mount of Olives. At that time the rest of the Apostles and all the believers had a struggle with the unbelieving Jews because the Jews were killing every one of the believers whose murder was possible to them. I and my gracious Teacher Simon encompassed some of the countries, and we met with great trouble from the controversy of the Jews, and their questioning about the genealogy of the pure Mary, for their saying about her was that she was not of the children of Judah that they might invalidate by this the coming of our Lord the Christ into the world, and His Incarnation from her. They were increasing [their] bribe of money and other things to the Greeks and the Romans that they might help them in the destruction of the believers and the bringing to nought of their business, and hinder the Apostles from the reading of the Law, lest they should teach out of it about the state of mankind, and how it was in the beginning. When I saw in what misery we were with the Jews, I sought from my gracious Teacher that he would make known to me how mankind were at the beginning, and that he would make me perfect about the reasons, for he had learned everything from the Lord Jesus the Christ, and I was acquainted with the tongue of the Greeks and their books, and was learned in their mysteries, and I had deposited their secrets which had been entrusted to me, [in] my two books called the seventh and the eighth. I informed my Teacher what I conjectured about the envy towards the Lady Mary, and my anxiety at the reproach of the Jews to me that I did not understand the Torah, and their much questioning of me about the creation of our father Adam, and what I had heard with my ears of their insult to the Lady Mary and their p. 3 fiction about her without any resource being possible for me [how] I should refute them in regard to their hateful saying. The Teacher was moved by my excitement, and zeal entered him when I told him about it. He said, “I will put it in order for thee, O my son, as thou hast asked me about it, and will initiate thee in things since the beginning of the creation, and will teach thee the genealogy of the Mother of Mercy, Mary the pure, and its authenticity, and that without doubt she is of the lineage of Judah the son of Jacob and his tribe, and I will relate to thee mysteries, and what reason there was for the fall of the Devil, the prince, from heaven. Know, O my son, that the Lord is the beginning and before the beginning, He who is Infinite, raised above the height, equal with the Highest, there is nothing lower about Him, nothing inward, nothing outward, He is before the beginning, the ancient substance, He who is boundless, whom no intelligence can reach, and no discernment nor quality can comprehend. He was above Being, and with Being, and below Being, the creative Substance, the glorious Light, which darkness reacheth not. Light dwelling in the Light which eyes cannot reach, before creation He was; and He is the Former of forms, whose glory is from Himself and in Himself, and in His Essence. [He is] the Creator of what glorifies Him, that thou mayest learn His divinity and His power, He made the heaven and the earth, He created before harmony the division of things. Angels worship Him, ten homogeneous choirs, I mean by this ten ranks. The highest rank, some of whom are nearest to the throne of the Lord God, pouring out praises in abundance, is the rank of Satanaeel, who was the prince, and praises rose up to God from all the Angels; that was the beginning in the first day which was the holy first day (Sunday), chief of days; early in it God created the upper heaven and the worlds, and the highest rank of Angels, which is the rank of Satanaeel, and the Archangels, and powers, and chiefs, and thrones, and dignities and governors, and cherubim and seraphim, and light, and day and night, and wind and water, and air, and fire and what is like these elements. Verily the Lord formed all this, may His names be sanctified! by the completion of His eternal Word p. 4 without speech, and in the first day in which these things were created, the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters, and in its hovering over them they were blessed and sanctified, and heat was formed in them by which the watery beings are born, and with this were mixed yeasts of the creatures, such as the bird which lays the egg by its wings, and from this is formed the living bird, for by reason of the nature of the heat of flaming fire, it verily reneweth heat in the wings of the bird, and lo! with them it lays an egg in which chickens are formed. Verily the reason why the holy Paraclete hovered over the waters in the form of a bird, was that every winged fowl should be formed in this shape. On the second day God created the lower heaven, which is called the firmament, on which the gaze of men falls, that thou mayest know that the beings of the highest heavens which the heaven of the visible firmament covers are like the nature of the heaven of the firmament, except that the heaven which the eyes reach is separated from the highest heavens. All the heavens are three heavens. The visible firmament, and what is above it; it is called Δίπατον and above it there is flaming fire; and a heaven which is above the fire; and the two heavens are filled with light and fire which created eyes cannot look at. On the second day which is the second of the days (Monday) the Lord, to Whom be praise! separated between the higher water and the lower water. Verily the rising up of the water which was formed in the height that day was like gathered clouds clinging together, and the waters remained resting in the air, none of them inclining to any one district. On the third day (Tuesday) God commanded the waters which were below the firmament that they should be gathered together to one place, that the dry land might be seen. When this happened, the veil was removed which was above the earth and the earth was disclosed. He looked upon it, and it was barren of verdure, [it was] dust and water mixed together. The water was in it and below it and above it, and it was shaken to the blowing of the winds through it. The air went up from the bosom of the earth, and rested in the bosom of its crevices and passages that in these caves might arise heat and cold for the service and consolidation of the earth, because the earth was created like a sponge standing above the water. On this day God commanded the earth to bring forth grass and reeds and trees and seeds and roots and other things. On the fourth day (Wednesday) God formed the sun and the moon and the stars that the heat of the sun might be spread over the earth and it should be strengthened by its mellowness and that the moisture communicated to it by the water high above it should be dried up. On the fifth day God commanded the waters to bring forth animals of various colours and forms, some of which should fly in the bosom of the water, and others should fly above the water, and from them should spring the whales and Leviathan, and Behemoth, so terrible in their appearance, and air-fowl and water-fowl. On the sixth day God created from the earth all the beasts, and animals and insects and creeping reptiles. This day is Friday, and on it God created Adam of dust, and formed Eve from his rib. On the seventh day God had completed all creation, and He called it Sabbath. God had created Adam in the third hour of Friday the sixth day. Iblis had laid claim to Godhead which had entered him in the second hour of that day, and God had hurled him down from heaven to earth. Before God the Lord created Adam, rest fell upon all the powers; and God said, ‘Come, let us create a Man in our likeness and form and image.’ When the Angels heard this saying from the Lord they became frightened and much terrified, and they said to one another, ‘What is this great wonder which we hear, and how is it possible that the form of our God and Creator can appear to us?’ Then all the Angels looked towards the right hand of the Lord, which was stretched out above all creation, and all of it was in His right hand. Then they looked towards the right hand of the Lord, and it took from all the earth a little handful of dust, and from all the waters a drop of water, and from the air a soul and a spirit, and from fire the force of heat, and it became in the grasp of the Lord portions of the four elements, heat and cold, moisture and drought. Verily God, the glorious and strong, created Adam from these four weak elements, which have no power, that all creatures created from them might hear and obey him: dust, that man might obey him; water, that all that is born of it and in it might obey him; air, that it might be possible for him to breathe it and to feel its breezes, and that its birds might obey him; and fire, that the heat of forces created from it should be a powerful helper to his sense. The reason why God, may His holy names be sanctified! created Adam with His holy hand in His form and image was that he should receive wisdom and speech and animal motion, and for the knowledge concerning things. When the glorious and illustrious Angels saw one like Him in Adam, they were affrighted. The wondrous glory upon his face terrified them, his form appeared shining with divine light greater than the light of the sun, and his body was bright and brilliant like the well-known stars in the crystal. When the figure of Adam drew itself up, he leapt standing; he was in the centre of the earth, he stretched out his right hand and his left hand and put his feet in order upon Golgotha, which is the place where was put the wood (cross) of our Saviour Jesus the Christ. He was dressed with a royal robe, he wore upon his head a diadem of glory and praise and honour and dignity, he was crowned with a royal crown, and there he was made king and priest and prophet. God set him upon a throne of honour, and gathered to what was there all the animals and beasts and birds and all that God had created, and made them stand before Adam. They bent their heads and did obeisance to him, and he called each of them by its name. He made all the creatures obey him and they responded to his command. The Angels and the Powers heard the voice of God, may He be glorified and exalted! saying to Adam, ‘O Adam, I have made thee king and priest and prophet and ruler and chief and governor over all creatures that are made. All creation shall obey thee and follow thy voice. Under thy grasp they shall be. To thee alone I have given this power; I have placed thee in possession of all that I have created.’ When the Angels heard this saying from the Lord they redoubled honour and respect to Adam. When the Devil saw the gift that was given to Adam from the Lord, he envied him from that day and the schismatic from God set his mind in cunning towards him to seduce him by his boldness and his curse; and when he denied the grace of the Lord towards him, he became shameless and warlike. God, may His names be sanctified! deprived the Devil of the robe of praise and dignity and called his name Devil, he is a rebel against God, and Satan, because he opposes himself to the ways of the Lord, and Iblis, because He took his dignity from him. While Adam was listening to the speech of his Lord to him, and standing upon the place of Golgotha, all the creatures being gathered together that they might hear the conversation of God with him, lo! a cloud of light carried him and went with him to Paradise and the choirs of Angels sang before him, the cherubim among them blessing and the seraphim crying ‘Holy!’ until Adam came into Paradise. He entered it at the third hour on Friday, and the Lord, to Him be praise! gave him the commandment, and warned him against disobedience to it. Then the Lord, to Him be praise! threw upon Adam a form of sleep, and he slept a sweet sleep in Paradise. And God took a rib from his left side, and from it He created Eve. When he awoke and saw Eve he rejoiced over her and lived with her, and she was in the pleasant garden of Paradise. God clothed them with glory and splendour. They outvied one another in the glory with which they were clothed, and the Lord crowned them for marriage, the Angels congratulated them, and there was joy there such as never has been the like and never will be till the day in which the people at the right hand shall hear the glorious voice from the Lord. Adam and Eve remained in Paradise for three hours. The site of Paradise was high up in the air, its ground was heavenly, raised above all mountains and hills, that were thirty spans high, that is fifteen cubits, according to the cubit of the Holy Ghost. This Paradise stretches round from the east by a wall from the hollow to the southern place of darkness where the cursed Prince was thrown, it is the place of sorrows. Eden is a fountain of God lying eastwards, to a height of eight degrees of the rising of the sun, and this is the mercy of God on which the children of men put their trust, that they shall have a Saviour from thence, because God, may He be exalted and glorified! knew in His foreknowledge what the Devil would do to Adam. Adam lived in the treasury of His mercy, as David the prophet said, ‘Thou hast been a fortress to us, O Lord, throughout all ages; cause us to live in Thy mercy.’ The blessed David said also in his prayer about the salvation of men, ‘Remember, Lord’ (the tree was the Cross which was planted in the middle of the earth), ‘Thy grace which thou hast wrought from all eternity’; I mean by this the mercy which God loved to extend to all men and to our weak race. Eden is the Church of God, and the Paradise in which is the altar of rest, and the length of life which God has prepared for all the saints. Because Adam was king, priest and prophet, God caused him to enter Paradise that he might minister in Eden, the Church of God the holy Lord, as Moses the holy Prophet testifies about this, saying, ‘That thou shouldest minister and declare by noble and glorious service, and keep the commandment by which Adam and Eve were brought into the Church of God.’ Then God planted the tree of life in the middle of Paradise and it was the form of the cross which was stretched upon it, and it was the tree of life and salvation. Satan remained in his envy to Adam and Eve for the favour which the Lord shewed them, and he contrived to enter into the serpent, which was the most beautiful of the animals, and its nature was above the nature of the camel. He carried it till he went with it in the air to the lower parts of Paradise. The reason for Iblis the cursed hiding himself in the serpent was his ugliness, for when he was deprived of his honour he got into the acme of ugliness, till none of the creatures could have borne the sight of him uncovered, and if Eve had seen him unveiled in the serpent, when she spoke to him, she would have run away from him, and neither cunning nor deceit would have availed p. 9 him with her; but he contrived to hide himself in the serpent, the cunning creature, to teach the birds with round tongues the speech of men in Greek and such like. He would bring a broad mirror with much light sending out rays; he would put it between himself and a bird, and speak what he wished that the bird should know, and when the bird heard this speech, it would glance around and look in the mirror, and see the form of a bird like itself and rejoice at it, and not doubting that it was a bird of its species that was speaking to it would listen to it and attend to its language. And it would comprehend it in a moment and talk to it. But the cursed Devil, when he entered the serpent, came towards Eve, when she was alone in Paradise away from Adam, and called her by her name. She turned to him, and looked at her likeness behind a veil, and he talked to her, and she talked to him, and he led her astray by his speech, for woman’s nature is weak, and she trusts in every word, and he lectured her about the forbidden tree in obedience to her desire, and described to her the goodness of its taste, and that when she should eat of it she should become a god; and she longed for what the cursed one made her long for, and she would not hear from the Lord, may His names be sanctified! what He had commanded Adam about the tree. She hastened eagerly towards it, and seized some of its fruit in her mouth. Then she called Adam, and he hastened to her, and she gave him of the fruit, telling him that if he ate of it he would become a god. He listened to her advice because he should become a god as she said. When he and she ate the deadly fruit they were bereft of their glory, and their splendour was taken from them, and they were stripped of the light with which they had been clothed. When they looked at themselves, they were naked of the grace which they had worn, and their shame was manifest to them; they made to themselves aprons of fig-leaves, and covered themselves therewith, and they were in great sadness for three hours. They did not manage to continue in the grace and the power with which the Lord had endued them before their rebellion for three hours, till it was taken from them and they were made to slip and fall down at the time of sunset on that day, and they received the sentence of God in punishment. After the clothing of fig-leaves they put on clothing of skins, and that is the skin of which our bodies are made, being of the family of man, and it is a clothing of pain. The entrance of Adam into Paradise was at the third hour. He and Eve passed through great power in three hours, they were naked for three hours, and in the ninth hour they went out from Paradise, unwillingly, with much grief, great weeping, mourning and sighing. They slept towards the East of it near the altar. When they awoke from their sleep, God spoke to Adam and comforted him, saying to him, blessed be His names! ‘O Adam! do not grieve, for I will restore thee to thine inheritance, out of which thy rebellion has brought thee. Know that because of my love to thee I have cursed the earth, and I will not have pity upon it, on account of thy sin. I have cursed also the serpent by whom thou hast been led astray, and I have made its feet go within its belly. I have made dust its food. I have not cursed thee. I have decreed against Eve that she shall be at thy service. Know certainly that when thou hast accomplished the time that I have decreed for thee to dwell outside, in the accursed land, for thy transgression of my commandment, I will send my dear Son; He will come down to the earth, He will be clothed with a body from a Virgin of thy race, named Mary. I will purify her and choose her, and bring her into power generation after generation until the time that the Son comes down from Heaven. In that time shall be the beginning of thy salvation and restoration to thine inheritance. Command thy sons when thy death approaches which I have decreed for thee that when thou diest they keep thy body in myrrh and cassia, and put it in the cave where thou art dwelling to-day till the time of the exit of thy children from the bosom of paradise and their passage to the dusty land. When that time comes, instruct the one of thy children who lives until then to carry thy body with him and put it in the place where I shall make him halt. This place where he shall put thy body is the centre of the earth; from it and in it salvation shall come to thee and to all thy children.’ God p. 11 disclosed to him all the griefs and pains that should happen to him, and commanded him to have patience about this. When He put Adam and Eve out of Paradise, He shut its gate, and put in charge a fiery Angel. He caused Adam and Eve to dwell in the holy mountain on which is the foundation of Paradise, in the place known as Matarimôn. They lived there in a cave at the top of the hill, hidden in it, and despairing of mercy, and they were then pure virgins. Then Adam thought of the wedding of Eve, and he found in the foundation of Paradise gold and myrrh and incense. He left this together, and consecrated it in the interior of the cave, which he had already made his house of prayer. The gold which he got from the foundation of Paradise was like in quantity to seventy-two images. He paid this with the myrrh and the incense to Eve, saying, ‘This is thy dowry, keep it. This must be all offered together to the Son of God at the time of His coming into the world. The gold is the symbol of His royalty; the incense is to burn before Him; and the myrrh is to anoint His body which He will take from us. This shall be a witness between me and thee with our Saviour that He shall come to the world.’ Adam called this cave the Cave of Treasures. When a hundred years had passed over him after his exit from Paradise, and he and Eve were grieved and weeping, they went down from the holy hill to its foot, and there Adam knew Eve, and she conceived, and her time was fulfilled, and she bare Cain, and Lusia his twin-sister. He knew her again, and she conceived, and her time was fulfilled, and she bare Abel and also his twin-sister Aclima. The boys and the girls grew, and attained to discretion. Adam said to Eve, ‘If God lets these lads and lasses grow up, let Cain marry Aclima the sister of Abel, and let Abel marry Lusia the sister of Cain.’ And they did thus. But Cain said to Eve, ‘O Mother, I have a greater right to my sister who was born with me. Let her be given to me as a wife, and let Abel’s sister who was born with him be given to him as a wife.’ For Lusia was more beautiful than Aclima, being like her mother Eve. Adam heard of his speech, and it made him angry and annoyed him. He said to p. 12 Cain his son, ‘Thy request, O my son, is unlawful, for it is not allowed to thee to marry thy sister who was born with thee.’ From that time Cain envied his brother Abel and thought of killing him. Then Adam said to him and to Abel, ‘Choose some of the fruits of the earth and of the young of the flock and go up this holy hill, and go into the Cave of Treasures, and pray there before the Lord. Offer to Him what you have brought, fruit, and any young animals as an offering. When you have done this, let each of you take his wife.’ And they did so. While they were going up the hill, behold! the Devil entered into Cain, and incited him to the murder of Abel. Then they brought their offerings before the Lord; the Lord accepted the offering of Abel and rejected the offering of Cain, because God, may He be praised and exalted! knew the purpose of Cain, and how he was preparing the murder of his brother. When Cain saw that the Lord, may His name be praised! had accepted the offering of Abel instead of his offering, his envy of Abel increased and his wrath against him. When they came down from the hill, Cain attacked Abel and slew him with a sharp stone. God cursed Cain, and his decree came down against him. He did not cease to be in fear and terror all the days of his life. God led him with his wife from the holy hill, outside to the cursed land, and they lived there. Adam and Eve grieved much about Abel for a hundred years. Then Adam came near to Eve, and she conceived, and her time was fulfilled, and she bare Seth, the handsome man, the complete and perfect giant. In his perfection he was like his father Adam, and God protected him when he grew up, making him the father of the other giants of the earth. The first who was born to Seth was Enos. And Enos begat Cainan, and Cainan begat Mahlaleel; these were born during the life of Adam. Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years, to the time that Mahlaleel was a hundred and thirty-five years old. When the time of his death came, he summoned Seth, and Enos, and Cainan and Mahlaleel; he prayed over them and blessed them, and commanded to his son Seth this Testament.
The Testament of Adam.
Hear, O my son Seth! what I command thee. Keep it, and thou shalt understand it. Command it at thy death to thy son Enos, that Enos may command this to Cainan, and Cainan may command [it] to Mahlaleel, that he may act according to this testament, and that the rest of your generations may learn, generation after generation, and tribe after tribe. This is the first thing that I command thee. When I die, embalm my body with myrrh and cassia, and put it in the Cave of Treasures of the holy hill, that thou mayest tell whosoever of thy posterity is alive at the time when your exit shall take place from this holy Paradise-encircled hill, to carry my body with him, and go with it to the centre of the earth, and put it there, and in that place salvation shall come to me and to all my children. Thou, O my son Seth, shalt after my death be governor of thy people in the fear of God. Remove thyself and all thy children, and keep them apart from the children of the murderer Cain. Understand, O my son, the state of the hours of the night and of the day, and their names, and what praises God in them, wherewith you must call on God at their approach, and at what hour prayer and supplication is due. My Creator has taught me this, and made me understand the names of all the beasts of the earth, and birds of the air; and the Lord has initiated me into the number of the hours of the night and of the day, and the affairs of the Angels and their powers and how they are. Know that in the first hour of the day is the raising of the praise of my children to God. In the second hour there are the prayers of the Angels and their cry. In the third hour the birds give praise. In the fourth hour is the worship of spiritual beings. In the fifth hour is the worship of the other living creatures. In the sixth hour is the entreaty of the cherubim and their supplication. In the seventh hour is the entrance to God and the exit from His presence, for in it the prayers of every living thing rise to the Lord. In p. 14 the eighth hour is the worship of all heavenly beings and fiery creatures. In the ninth hour is the service of the Angels of God who stand before Him, and the throne of His majesty. The tenth hour is for the water, and in it the Holy Ghost hovers and goes up over the other waters and chases the devils from them. Were it not for the Holy Spirit hovering every day over the waters and descending in that hour, when any one drank water, would there not be destruction to him from the corrupting devils in it? If any one took the water in that hour, and one of the priests of God mixed it with holy oil and anointed with it the sick and those in whom were unclean spirits, they were cured of their diseases. In the eleventh hour there is joy and rejoicing to the righteous. In the twelfth hour the supplication and cry of men is accepted before God.
The hours of the night. In the first hour there is the worship of the devils. In this hour, the hour of their worship, they do not hurt any one, and no one fears them until the time of their return from their worship. In the second hour there is the worship of the great fishes and all that is upon the water, and the creeping things that are therein. In the third hour is the worship of the fire which is below the abyss, about this hour it is not possible for any one to speak. In the fourth hour is the consecration of the seraphim. I heard that in this hour during the time of my stay in Paradise, before my rebellion against the commandment. When I transgressed the command, I could no longer hear the voices nor their movement and agitation as I used to hear them, and I could not see anything holy as I used to see it before [my] sin. In the fifth hour there is the worship of the water which is above the heaven. Verily I and the Angels used in that hour to hear voices from the water which is in the height, and a tumult as if of chariots and great wheels and the sounding amongst the waves, and commotion among the echoes in praise to the Lord. In the sixth hour is the supplication of the clouds to God when they are fearful and trembling. In the seventh hour the powers of the earth are led forth, and they sing praise, whilst the waters sleep and are stilled. If a man takes anything from the water in p. 15 that hour and the priest mixes holy oil with it and anoints with it the sick and those who cannot sleep at night, verily the sick are cured and the wakeful sleep. In the eighth hour the grass comes forth from the earth. In the ninth hour is the service of the Angels and the entrance of prayers before God. In the tenth hour the gates of heaven are opened, and the cry of my believing children is heard, and they receive what they have asked from God, may He be exalted and praised! and the seraphim rub their wings, and by the force of their rubbing the cock crows in praise to the Lord. In the eleventh hour there is joy and delight over all the earth, for the Sun enters the Paradise of God, and its light arises in the regions of the earth. All creatures are illumined by the falling of the sun’s rays upon them. In the twelfth hour my children must burn jasmine before the Lord, for by it there is much repose in heaven for all its inhabitants. Know, O my son Seth, and attend to my saying. Be sure that God will come down to the earth as He said to me, and made me understand and know when He comforted me at my exit from Paradise. Praise to His names! He spoke to me, saying [that] at the end of time He will be incarnate of a Virgin girl named Mary and will be veiled in me. He will put on my skin, and will be born like the birth of man by a force and direction that none can understand but Himself and those to whom He reveals it; He will run with the children, boys and girls of that period; He will do wonders and signs openly; He will walk on the waves of the sea as if walking on the dry land; He will rebuke the winds in a manifest way, and they will be led by His command. He will call to the waves of the sea, and they will answer Him obediently. At His command the blind shall see, the lepers shall be cleansed, the deaf shall hear, the dumb shall speak, the deformed shall be straightened, the lame shall spring up, the palsied shall rise and walk. Many rebels shall be led to God, those who have wandered shall be led aright, and devils shall be driven away. When the Lord comforted me with this, He said to me, ‘O Adam, grieve not, for thou art a god, as thou thoughtest to become by thy transgression of my commandment, and I will make p. 16 thee a god, not at this time, but after the lapse of years.’ The Lord said to me also, ‘I have verily brought thee out of the land of Paradise, to the land which brings forth thorns and briers, that thou mayest inhabit it; I will bend thy loins, and make thy knees tremble from age and senility. O thou dust! to death I will deliver thee, and thy body I will make to be food for maggots, and the fodder of the worm. After five days and a half (of my days) I will have pity on thee in my mercy. I will come down to thee, and in thy house will I dwell and with thy body will I be clothed. For thy sake, O Adam, I will become a child; for thy sake, O Adam, I will appear in the market-places; for thy sake, O Adam, I will fast for forty days; for thy sake, O Adam, I will receive baptism; for thy sake, O Adam, I will be lifted up on the cross; for thy sake, O Adam, I will endure lies; for thy sake, O Adam, I will be beaten with the whip; for thy sake, O Adam, I will taste vinegar; for thy sake, O Adam, my hands will be nailed; for thy sake, O Adam, I will be pierced with a spear; for thy sake, O Adam, I will thunder in the height; for thy sake, O Adam, I will darken the sun; for thy sake, O Adam, I will cleave the rocks; for thy sake, O Adam, I will frighten the powers of heaven; for thy sake, O Adam, I will cause heaven to rain on the desert; for thy sake, O Adam, I will open the graves; for thy sake, O Adam, I will cause all creation to tremble; for thy sake, O Adam, I will make a new earth, and after three days, which I have spent in the grave, I will raise up the body which I took from thee, and will make it go up with me without any separation from me, and cause it to sit at the right hand of my Godhead. I will make thee a god as thou hast desired.’ Keep, O my son Seth, the commandments of God, and do not despise my word to thyself, and learn that the Lord must come down to earth, and godless people will take Him, and stretch Him on the wood of the cross, and strip Him of His raiment, and raise Him between wicked thieves. He will go up upon the cross in the substance of His humanity, He will be killed, and the body which He took from us will be buried. Then after three days He will raise it and take it up p. 17 with Him to heaven, and will set it with Him at the right hand of His divinity. To Him be the glory and the dignity and the praise and the greatness and the worship and the reverence and the hallelujah and the song, and to His Son, and to the Holy Ghost from now and always, and throughout all ages and times, Amen.
Know, O my son, that there must come a Flood to wash all the earth on account of the children of Cain, the wicked man who slew thy brother for his envy about his sister Lusia. After the Flood through the wickedness of many congregations there shall be the end of the world, the conditions will be fulfilled, things will be perfected, the time will be cut short which I have fixed for the creatures, fire will consume whatever it reaches before the Lord, and the earth shall be consecrated.
Seth wrote this Testament, and sealed it with the seal of his father Adam, which he had from Paradise, and the seal of Eve, and his own seal. And Adam died, and the hosts of the Angels assembled to put him on his bier, for his honour with God, and Seth embalmed him, and swathed him, and he and his sons bare rule. And he put him eastwards of Paradise where he slept at his exit from it, near the town that was built before all building, called Enoch in the inhabited World. When Adam died, the sun was darkened, and the moon for seven days and seven nights, with a gross darkness.
Seth took the scroll in which he wrote the Testament of his father Adam into the Cave of Treasures along with the offerings which Adam had carried with him from the land of Paradise, that is to say, gold, myrrh, and incense, [about] which Adam taught Seth and his children that they should belong to three Magian kings, and that they should travel with these things to the Saviour of the world, to be born in a city called Bethlehem, a territory of Judah.
There was not one of the children born to Adam before his death who did not gather to him; they bade him adieu, he prayed over them and wished them health. Then he died, in the nine hundred and thirtieth year by the reckoning of Abu-Seth. That is the beginning. The exit of our father Adam from this world was at three o’clock in the day, on Friday the sixth of Nisan, fourteen nights after the new moon. On a similar day our Lord the Christ gave up His spirit to His Father’s hand. Adam’s children and children’s children grieved for him a hundred and forty days, for he was the first mortal who died on the earth, and the tribes were divided among the people of Cain the murderer after the death of Adam. Seth took his children and his children’s children and their wives, and made them go up to the glorious and holy hill, the place in which Adam was buried. Cain and his people and his children stayed below the hill, in the place where he killed Abel. Seth became governor of the people of his time in godliness and purity and holiness. My initiation, O my son Clement, into the story of Adam and this his testament was from the Magi who travelled to the Lady Saint Mary with offerings at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ our God the Saviour. Verily we found that they had a scroll with all this in it, and it was put by for safe keeping. I and the other Jews believed in this, and there were many things in it besides what I have shewn to thee, which it is not proper to make known at this time, and I must tell thee about them afterwards. I will disclose to thee all the secrets with which I have been entrusted. The reason of God’s calling the children of Seth Ben-Adam, “the sons of God,” was as the book says what He had revealed to Seth about godliness and purity. The Lord appropriated them to Himself by this name; it is the most famous of names on account of their favour with Him. He appointed them to replace the choir of Angels which had rebelled and fallen from Heaven. He put Seth and his race in the lower parts of Paradise, and around it on the holy hill, they praising the Lord and sanctifying His name in all peace, no thought intruding on them about the affairs of the world, their greatest work being praise and hallelujah with the Angels, for they heard their voices in praise and hallelujah in Paradise, for it was raised thirteen spans above them, by the span of the Holy Ghost. They did not undergo the least labour. The food with which they sustained their bodies was the fruit of trees growing at the summits of the Mount of Paradise. The zephyr of Paradise, which reached these trees, ripened their fruits. This tribe was godly and holy; there was no anger in any one of them nor envy nor quarrelling nor pride nor hatred, and they held no shameless conversations nor falsehood nor slander nor calumny, and they do not swear untruthfully nor in vain. Their oaths were among themselves by the purity of the blood of pure Abel. Their custom was to rise early, all of them, the old and the young, the male and the female; to go up to the top of the hill and to worship there before God and be blessed by the body of their father Adam. Then they would lift up their eyes to Paradise and praising and sanctifying God they would return to their place.
Seth Ben-Adam the godly lived nine hundred and twelve years. Then he fell sick of his disease of which he died. There gathered to him Enos and Cainan and Mahlaleel and Jared and Enoch their wives, their sons and their daughters. He prayed over them, and made vows for them, and blessed them, and said to them, “By the truth of the blood of pure Abel, let not one of you descend from this holy hill! Do not mix with the children of Cain the murderer. You know the enmity between us since the murder of Abel the pure.” Then his son Enos came near him, and he said to him, “Thou art lord of thy people. Behold, I die. Devote thyself to service before the Lord and before the consecrated body of our father Adam.” He made him swear by the blood of Abel the pure that he would govern his people well, and rule them in godliness and purity, and never cease the service before the body of Adam. Seth died lat the age of nine hundred and twelve years, on Tuesday the twenty-fourth night of Ab, the twentieth year of the life of Enoch the righteous. He was embalmed with myrrh and frankincense and cassia, and put in the Cave of Treasures with the body of his father Adam. His people mourned for him forty days.
Enos governed his tribe after the death of his father in purity and godliness; he did to them what his father commanded. When Enos had lived eight hundred and twenty years, Lamech the Blind, of the tribe of Cain the murderer, killed [some one] in the thicket known as Nod. This was the cause of it. Lamech was passing the thicket, leaning upon one of his youthful sons. He heard a movement in the thicket, it was the movement of Cain, for it was not possible for him to stay in one place since he had killed his brother. Lamech thought that this movement was that of some wild beasts. He took up a stone from the ground and threw it towards the moving thing. The stone hit Cain between the eyes and killed him. His son said, “By God, thou hast killed our father Cain with thy shot.” Then Lamech the Blind lifted up his hands to give [him] a blow on the ear out of grief for the death of Cain. He hit the head of his son and killed him. When Enos had reached nine hundred and five years he fell sick of his disease of which he died, and there gathered to him the rest of the fathers; amongst them were Jared, and Enoch, and Methuselah, and Cainan the son of Methuselah, and Mahlaleel, and their wives and their sons and their daughters. He blessed them and made vows for them and prayed over them and confirmed them in the oaths by the blood of Abel—“oh do not mix yourselves with the children of Cain, and oh do not go down from the holy mountain.” He reminded them of the enmity betwixt them on account of the murder of Abel. Then Cainan his son came near him. He said to him, “O my son, be to thy people and family as I have been to them, and govern them after my death.” He commanded his son Mahlaleel about the care of his tribe in godliness and purity, and that he should not cease from the service before the body of our father Adam during his life. And Enos died when he had reached nine hundred and five years, on the sabbath day, when the third night of October had passed, in the fifty-third year of the life of Methuselah. His eldest son Cainan embalmed him, and swathed him, and put him in the Cave of Treasures.
Cainan governed his people in godliness and holiness, and kept the commandments of his father. He lived for nine hundred and twenty years and died on Wednesday, the thirteenth night of June. Mahlaleel looked after his burial, and put him in the Cave of Treasures with his fathers. Mahalaleel lived for eight hundred and ninety-five years. When death came near to him, he commanded his people like the commands of his fathers who had preceded him. He appointed Jared his son over the tribe. His death was on Sunday after two nights of Nisan had passed. Jared looked after him, and put him in the cave with his fathers. When Jared was of the age of five hundred years, some of the sons of Seth disobeyed the commands of their fathers, and threw away their faith behind their backs. One by one they began to go down from the holy hill to the tribes of the children of Cain. This was the reason, that Lamech the Blind was followed by two sons, one being called Tufeel (Jubal) and the other Tubalcain. They made lyres, that is, harps, flutes, drums, and other musical instruments. The Devils awoke harmonious tones in them, and there was not one among the sons of Cain to command good behaviour or to restrain from what was forbidden. Every one of them did according to his lust. They busied themselves with musical instruments, and with eating and drinking, and immorality. * * * * * * The Devil hunted the sons of Seth that he might mingle them with the children of Cain, by means of these musical instruments, for they heard the tones of them; he brought them down from the holy hill to the cursed land, and he removed them from the protection of God and His angels to the protection of the Devils; they chose death rather than life, and renounced the name which God had bestowed on them, because, may His name be sanctified! He called them the sons of the Lord, according to His gracious saying in the prophecy of David, where he says, “Verily, ye are all gods, and ye shall be called the sons of the Most High. When ye do evil and defile your bodies with the idolatrous daughters of Cain, like them ye shall die in sin.” They longed for unclean amusements. * * * They had no shame about this and thought no harm of it. The earth was contaminated; children were confused; no one knew his child from the child of another. The Devil incited them and he goaded them on and appropriated them to every misery. They rejoiced in their works. You could hear from them hateful laughter like the neighing of steeds. Their noise was heard in the holy mountain, and there assembled of the children of Seth a hundred powerful strong giants, for the descent. This came to [the knowledge of] Jared, and he was much troubled. He called them to his presence, and adjured them by the blood of Abel the Pure not to go down; he reminded them of the oaths which their fathers who had gone before had received for them. Enoch the Righteous was there and said to them, “Know, O sons of Seth, that whosoever rejects the commandment of the Father and opposes the oaths by which he has been adjured and puts them behind his back, and goes down from this holy mount, that he shall never come back to it.” But they did not turn at the warning of Jared and at the prohibitions of Enoch, and they went down. When they saw the daughters of Cain and their beauty, and that they uncovered their bodies without shame, they committed fornication with them, and destroyed their souls. When they had done this, they aimed at a return to the hill, but its stones became burning fire, and they could not do it. Another tribe wished for an alliance with them, not knowing about the affair of the stones. They went down to them, and defiled themselves with their defilement.
When Jared reached the age of nine hundred and seventy-two years, Death came near to him. There gathered to him Enoch and Methuselah, and Lamech, and Noah. He prayed over them and made vows for them and said, “But as for you, go not down from this holy mountain; yet your sons and your posterity shall be removed from it, because God will not allow them upon it on account of their transgression of the commandments of the fathers.” Then he said to the rest of their children, “You shall journey to the dusty land which brings forth thorns and briers. Whosoever of you goes out from this holy land, let him take with him the body of our father Adam, and if he can take all the bodies of the fathers, let him do it, and take with him the books of the Testaments, and the gifts of gold and myrrh and frankincense, and put this with the body of our father Adam where God shall command him.” Then said he to Enoch, “But thou, O my son, do not separate thyself from the service and praise before the body of our father Adam and serve before God in godliness and holiness all the days of thy life.” He died in the third hour of Friday when the twelfth night of May had passed, in the 360th year of the life of Methuselah. His son embalmed him and swathed him, and put him in the Cave of Treasures. God rejected the other children of Seth on account of their love of sin. Seventy assembled, and were inclined to descend. When Enoch and Methuselah and Lamech and Noah saw this, they were much grieved. When Enoch had finished his service before the Lord for fifty years, this being the 365th year of his life, he presided over his house with his God. He called for Methuselah and Lamech and Noah, and said, “I know that the Lord will be angry with this people, and will surely judge them without mercy. But you, the rest of the fathers and of the holy races, do not leave off the service before the Lord, and be pure and godly. Know that there shall not be born in this holy mountain after you any man who shall be father and chief to his people.” When Enoch had finished this testament, God took him up to the land of life, and made him dwell round about Paradise in the country where there is no death. Then the children of Seth removed from the holy mountain to the quarters of Cain and his children. None of them remained on the mountain save the three fathers, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. Noah the just kept his virgin soul for 500 years. After that, the merciful God revealed to him about the people who were subject to him, and commanded him to marry a woman named Haikal the daughter of Namousa, the son of Enoch, the brother of Methuselah. God disclosed to him about the Deluge which He was about to send upon the earth, and taught him that this would be after a hundred years, and commanded him to prepare the ark, that is, the ship for his salvation and that of his children, and that he should cut the wood from the holy mountain and make it in the quarters of the sons of Cain. He commanded him to make its length 300 cubits, according to [the length of] his arm; its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits, by [the length of] his arm; and the breadth of its top above should be one cubit, and that he should make three stories to it. The lowest should be for the tame and the wild animals and the cattle, the middle one for the birds and their like, and the highest one for him and his children and his wife and his sons’ wives. And that he should make in it storehouses for water and for food and for fodder. Also that be should prepare a gong of the cedar tree, its length to be three cubits, and its breadth one cubit, and that its hammer should be [made] of the same. “When thou beginnest to make the ship, thou shalt beat three strokes on it every day, one in the morning, the second in the middle of the day, that they may bring the workmen food; and the third at sunset for [their] departure. If they ask thee about thy work, tell them that God is sending a flood of water to cleanse the earth and that thou art making the ship to save thyself and thy children.” Noah received the commandment of the Lord, and married her. In the course of the hundred years she bare him three male children, Shem, Ham and Japhet. They also married some of the daughters of Methuselah. When Noah had finished the building of the ship, and entered it with those whom God commanded should enter it with him, the second thousand of the years of the time of Adam was finished, as the 70 interpreters expound. They said, From Adam till the Deluge was 2000 years.
When Lamech had lived 777 years, Methuselah his father died; this was four years before the Flood. Then Lameth died after him, and his death was on the twenty-first [day] of September, in the 68th year of the life of Shem, the first-born of Noah. His son Noah swathed him, and enbalmed him, and put him in the Cave of Treasures. He mourned for him 40 days and remained with all the holy fathers, Noah and his children. The daughters of Cain conceived by the sons of Seth, and brought forth giant-sons. It was certainly supposed by some that the Book relates and says that the Angels came down to earth and mingled with the children of men, that those who came down and mingled with the children of men were really angels. This was only said on account of the sons of Seth and their union with the daughters of Cain, for God, may His name be glorified! had already out of His love to them, called them, as we said before, Sons of God and Angels of God. So he errs who thinks this; for union, that is, marriage, was not in the substance of spiritual beings, and not in their nature, and if it had been in them as it is in men, the Devils would not have left any one in the world alone without corrupting them, till not a virgin would have been left on the earth, for the foul Devils love corruption and fornication. As they cannot do this, they change their nature on account of it; they recommend it to men and make them love it.
Methuselah lived for 969 years. When Death came to him, there gathered to him Lamech, and Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japhet and their wives, for none but they were left on the holy hill. Methuselah blessed them, and called to them; he was weeping and sorrowful. He said to them, “There remaineth none but you on this mountain out of all the tribes who once were on it. The Lord God of our fathers who formed our father Adam and our mother Eve and blessed them till the earth was filled with their progeny, may He bless you and multiply you and cause your fruit to grow. May He be to you a keeper and a shepherd. I ask of Him to fill the earth with your progeny, and to help you and strengthen you and save you from the fearful punishment that is coming upon this hill, and that He may give you a share of the gift which He gave to our father Adam, that He may bring blessings into your dwellings, and bestow upon you prophecy, power, and priesthood.” Then he said to Noah, “O thou blessed of the Lord, hear my speech and do my commandment. Know that I go out of this world as the saintly fathers went out of it. Verily the Lord shall send a Deluge to drown the earth for the many sins of men, but thou and thy children shall be saved. When I am dead, embalm my body like as were embalmed the bodies of the fathers who have gone before. Bury me in the Cave of Treasures. Take thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives; go down from this mountain, and bear with thee the body of our father Adam, and the offerings which thou didst bring out with him from Paradise, namely, gold and myrrh and frankincense. Put the body of our father Adam within the Ark which God commanded me to prepare; and the other bodies separately from it, so that the body of Adam may be like a dyke ever in the midst. Put the offerings on his breast. Dwell thou and thy sons in the east of the ark, thy wife and thy sons’ wives in the west, so that the body of our father Adam may be a barrier to hinder the men from sinning with regard to the women, and to hinder them from sinning with regard to the men; let them not gather together for food or drink till ye come out of the Ark. When the water of the Deluge departs from the earth, and ye come out of the Ark, and dwell upon the earth, then gather ye together for food and drink, and cease not the service before the body of our father Adam nor the ministration before God in godliness and holiness within the Ark. When your exit from it takes place, then put the offerings which thou didst bring out from Paradise in the east of the land in which thou dwellest. When Death comes to thee, make thy Testament to thy son Shem. Command him to carry the body of our father Adam, and to bury it in the middle of the earth. Verily (it is) the place in which there shall be salvation to him and to his children. Where he burieth the body, let him appoint a man from among his children to serve before the body and to minister. Let him be pure all the days of his life, and let him command him that he dwell not in any house, that he shed no blood, that he shave not his hair, nor pare his nails, nor bring there any offering of beasts, but let his offering before the Lord be of fine bread, pure and white, and the best drink, pressed from the fruit of the vine, until the time that God shall certainly command him. Verily the Angel of the Lord shall go before the man chosen to officiate as a priest before the body of Adam till he shall put it in the middle of the earth, and where the body ought to be buried. Let this chosen one be commanded that his raiment be of the skins of beasts, and that he be unique as it is unique. Verily he is the priest of the glorious God.” When Methuselah had finished this testament, and tears were coming down from his eyes, on account of the grief that was in his heart, he died. Then nine hundred and sixty-nine years were completed, it was in Adar (March) on a Sunday. Noah and Shem and Japhet and their wives laid him out with weeping and groaning. They held a mourning for him for 40 days; he was swathed and embalmed and laid with the fathers in the Cave of Treasures. They were blessed by the other bodies that were there. Then Noah bore the body of Adam and the bodies of the fathers from the Cave, and put them into holy coffins. Of the offerings Shem carried the gold, Ham carried the myrrh, and Japhet carried the frankincense. They left the Cave of Treasures with weeping and groaning. A noise was raised by them which was heard from Paradise, sorrow and mourning on account of [their] departure from the mountain, when they knew that they were leaving it for good. They lifted up their heads towards Paradise, they sobbed, and wept, and said: “Peace be to thee, O holy Paradise! dwelling-place of our father Adam; we are deprived of thy shelter, which is denied to us then, on our return to the cursed land in which we suffer pains and endure labours. Peace be to thee, O Cave of Treasures! from us and from all the bodies of the fathers. Peace be to thee, O glorious dwelling-place and inheritance of the saintly fathers for ever. Peace be to you, O ye Fathers, beloved friends of God. Pray for us and bless us, and entreat for our salvation, O holy ones of God, who are well-pleasing unto Him. Peace be to Seth, chief of the fathers. Peace be to Enos, governor of his people, and righteous judge amongst them. Peace be to Cainan and Mahlaleel, those who govern their people in purity. Peace be to Methuselah and Jared and Lamech and Enoch, servants of God. We entreat you all to mediate for our salvation lest we be prevented looking for our inheritance from this time forth for evermore.” Then they came down from the mountain, kissing its stones and embracing its trees with weeping and great grief, and they travelled towards the land. When Noah had finished building the ship, he entered it, and p. 28 brought in the body of Adam and put it in the middle of it, with the offerings upon its breast. This was on a Friday, on the 17th day of March, it is also said, of May. Early the next day he brought in the beasts and the cattle, and made them dwell in the lowest deck. In the middle of the day he brought in the birds and all the sentient beings, and made them dwell in the middle deck. At sunset Noah and his sons and his sons’ wives entered, and dwelt in the topmost deck. The Ark was built in the form of a Church, in which the men are prevented from mingling with the women; as there is peace and love betwixt man and woman, and between the elders amongst them and the youths, thus there was love betwixt the rest of the beasts and the birds and the sentient beings in the ship; and as wise men are at peace with their inferiors, thus were the lions and the ewes at peace in the Ark. All that were in it were seven pairs of all the clean beasts, and two pairs of the unclean ones. When Noah and his people had arrived, the Lord shut the Ark. Then the doors of heaven were opened, and the doors of the abyss, and the waters came down in torrents, and the imprisoned sea appeared, which is called Oceanus, which encircles the whole earth. Raging winds were sent out from all directions. When the sons of Seth saw this, they came near to the place of the Ark, and entreated Noah to carry them; but he gave them no answer about it, because the Ark was bolted and sealed by command of the Lord, and the Angel of the Lord was standing directing it. Repentance encompassed them, sorrow came upon them, and they had no refuge from destruction, as they were also hindered from going up to the holy mountain. They were all destroyed by drowning and suffocation, in the thick waters and the raging winds, as David the Prophet sang about their state where he said, “I said, All ye are gods, and children of the Most High ye shall be called; by this great sign ye are marked; but sin hath overthrown you, and ye have rebelled against the commandment; ye have defiled jour bodies with the idolatrous daughters of Cain, and ye shall die the death like them. Ye shall be tormented with the Prince who fell from the heavenly rank.” The Ark was lifted up from the earth to the height of the waters, and all that was on the earth perished in the deluge; the waters rose above the tops of the mountains fifteen cubits, by the holy cubit. The waves bore the ship till they brought it to the lower parts of Paradise. It was blessed from Paradise; the tops of the waves were rolled back, and they did obeisance before it, then returning from it were poured out to the destruction of those who remained on the earth. The ship flew on the wings of the wind above the waters from the east to the west, and from the south to the sea, like the sign of the Cross. It stood above the waters 150 days; the waves were stilled and laid to rest at the end of the seventh month from the beginning of the Deluge. The Ark stood upon the mountains, the Kurdish mountains, and the waters were divided from one another. They all returned to their places, and did not cease diminishing gradually, till the tenth month, which was February. He looked at the tops of the mountains from the Ark. On the tenth of March Noah opened the Ark from the eastern side, and sent the Raven, that at its return he might learn the news of the earth. It did not return to him. He sent the Dove; it circled round, and found no place for its foot. It returned at sunset. After a week Noah sent another Dove. It returned to him with an olive-branch in its mouth. About the Dove there are holy mysteries. The first dove resembles the first covenant, to which there was no rest among the rejected nations; the second dove the second covenant, which found rest with the nations that accepted the mysteries of baptism and preached the Christ at the end of 600 years of the life of righteous Noah. One day of Nisan (April) had passed, and the water was removed from the earth. On this day Noah and his wife and his sons and his sons’ wives went out of the ship. Their entrance to the ship had been in separation, their exit from it was in unity. At their exit came out all the beasts and the cattle and the birds and the creeping things which were in the ship. Noah built a town, and called it Thamânû, which remains to this day. The number of those who were in the ship with Noah was eight p. 30 persons. Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered upon it an offering of the beasts and the clean birds that were slain. God accepted his offering, and gave a covenant that He would not send a deluge of water on the earth to all eternity. May His names be sanctified! He took off wrath from them in regard to the bow in the clouds. By it He put away the bowstring of anger; for before the Deluge men saw in heaven the bowstring of anger and the arrow of wrath. The sons of Noah planted in the town the fruit of the vine, and pressed from it a new drink; they gave their father Noah to drink, and he got drunk, for he was not accustomed to drink. While he was drunk he slept, and his nakedness was uncovered. Ham looked at him, and laughed and mocked at him, and fetched his brothers to mock with him. When Shem and Japhet knew the reason was about the uncovering of their father, they were grieved at it; they took a garment, threw it upon their hands, and went backwards, lest they should see their father uncovered; then they threw the garment upon him. When Noah awoke from his drunken sleep, his wife told him what had happened about his sons, and he was angry with Ham, and said, “Let him and Canaan be cursed, and let him be a slave to his brethren.” But Noah cursed Canaan, who was not guilty, and the guilt was Ham’s; for he knew that when Canaan should arrive at man’s estate, he should renew what had already been blotted out of the works of the children of Cain, the music-halls and such like. When he came to man’s estate, he did all this, and Noah knew it, was concerned about him and grieved at his work, that according to the example of the works of Canaan, the sons of Seth fell into sin, he increased in his curse of Canaan, wherefore his sons became slaves. They are the Copts, the Abyssinians, the Hindoos, the Mysians and other negroes. Ham was a hypocrite, a lover of unclean desire all the days of his life. This was in his mockery of his father. The sleep of Noah in his drunkenness was a type of the crucifixion of the Christ and His slumber in the tomb for three days, as David the prophet says about it, “The Lord awoke from his sleep like a man who recovers from strong drink.” When Noah awoke p. 31 from his drunken sleep, he cursed Canaan and made his posterity slaves. Likewise when the Christ arose from the grave He cursed the Devil and destroyed those who had crucified Him, and scattered them among the nations. The sons of Canaan became slaves for ever, carrying burdens upon their necks. Every proprietor negotiates riding about on his business, but the children of Canaan negotiate about the affairs of their masters, as poor men on foot, and they are called the slaves of slaves.
Noah lived after going out of the ship 350 years. When his death came near, there gathered to him Shem, and Ham, and Japhet, and Arphaxad, and Salah. He made vows for them, and desired the presence of Shem his firstborn, and commanded him secretly, saying to him, “When I die, bury me. Go into the Ark of safety, and take out of it the body of our father Adam secretly, let no one with thee know. Make for it a large chest, and put it within. Prepare for thyself a store of bread and drink, and carry the chest in which is the body of our father. Take with thee Melchizedek, the son of Malih. Verily the Lord hath chosen him from the rest of your sons to minister before our father Adam. When thou reachest the centre of the earth, bury the body there, and set Melchizedek in the place for the service of the body and the praise before it. Verily the Angel of the Lord will go before you to guide you two to the place for the body, which is the centre of the earth. From it shall be seen the power of God. The four pillars of the world are joined together and have become one pillar, and from it shall be salvation to Adam and to all his children.” Thus it was written in the tables which Moses received from the hand of the Lord and broke at the time of his anger against his people. Noah strengthened Shem in receiving the testament, and told him that it was the Testament of Adam to Seth, and of Seth to Enos, and of Enos to Cainan, and of Cainan to Mahlaleel, and of Mahlaleel to Jared, and of Jared to Enoch, of Enoch to Methuselah, and of Methuselah to Lamech, and of Lamech to Noah; he made him swear that no one [else] should attend to what he commanded in regard to the body of Adam. When he had finished his testament, he died, being 950 years old, on a Wednesday. Shem embalmed him, and with him his other children put him on a bier and buried him. They raised a wail over him for forty days. Then Shem went secretly into the ship, and took out the body of Adam. He sealed the ship with his father’s seal. Then he desired the presence of Ham and Japhet and said to them, “Know that Noah my father commanded me to journey after his death to the elevated land and to go round it to the place of the sea, that I may attend to the state of its trees, and fruits and rivers. I have already resolved on this, and have left my wife and children with you; take heed to them till the time of my return.” They said to him, “Take with thee a man since thou hast resolved on this, for the land which thou hast described has wild beasts and hunting lions.” He said to them, “Verily, the Angel of God is with me, he is my Saviour.” His brethren called to him and said, “The Lord be with thee wherever thou dwellest.” Then he said to them, “Verily, our father at his death made me swear not to enter the ship nor allow any one [else] to enter it. I have received his testament, and sealed it with his seal, and beware that ye enter it not! ye, nor any of your children.” They pledged themselves to him concerning this. Then he approached the father and mother of Melchizedek and said to them, “I wish that you would give me Melchizedek that I may journey with him in my way.” They said to him, “He is before thee, as thou wouldest journey, take him with thee.” Then Shem called Melchizedek by night, and bore with him the body of Adam secretly. They went out, the Angel going before them, till he brought them to the place with the utmost speed. He said to them, “Set him down, for this is the centre of the earth.” And they put him down from their hands. When he came to the ground, the earth was cleft for him as a door, and the body was let down into it, and they put him in it. When the body rested in its place, the earth returned and covered it over. The place was called Gumgumah, “of a skull,” because in it was placed the p. 33 skull of the Father of mankind, and Gulgulah, because it was conspicuous in the earth, and was despised by its sons, for in it was the head of the hateful Dragon which seduced Adam. It was called also Otâriâ, which is, being interpreted, “the families of the world,” because to it is the gathering together of mankind. Shem said to Melchizedek son of Malih, “Know that thou art the priest of the Everlasting God, who hath chosen thee from the rest of men to minister before Him before the body of our father Adam. Accept the Lord’s choice of thee, and never leave this place. Do not marry any woman, do not shave thy hair, nor pare thy nails. Shed no blood for thyself, and sacrifice no beast. Do not build a building over this place. Let thine offerings before the Lord be of fine pure bread, and [let the] drink be of the juice of the vine. The Angel of the Lord is with thee for ever.” He wished him peace, and bade him farewell and embraced him, and returned to his dwelling. Then came to him Jozadak and Malih, the parents of Melchizedek. They asked him about him, and he told them that he had died on the road, and that he had looked after him and buried him. His father and his people sorrowed over him with a great sorrow. When Shem the righteous was 700 years old, he died, and his son Arphaxad looked after him, and Salah and Eber, and they buried him. When Arphaxad was thirty years old, he begat Salah his son, and when he was 465 years old, he died, and Salah and Eber looked after him. They buried him in the town that Arphaxad had built, known as Arphaxad (cod. Arbalsarbat). When Salah was thirty years old, he begat Eber, and when he had completed 430 years, he died. Eber and Peleg looked after him; he was buried in the town that Salah had built, known as Salḥadîb. When Eber was thirty years old, he begat Peleg, and when he had completed 434 years, he died; his son Peleg buried him, and Reu and Serug in the town which Eber had built and had called by his name. When Peleg attained 239 years, all the tribes of the sons of Shem, and Ham and Japhet gathered themselves together and journeyed to the elevated land; they found in the place known as Shinar a beautiful plain. They dwelt in it, and their speech was altogether p. 34 Syriac, and it is called Resany, and Chaldaean; it is the tongue and speech of Adam. Verily the Syriac language is the Queen of languages and the most comprehensive; from it all other tongues are derived; Adam is a Syriac name. Whoever asserts that it is Hebrew tells a falsehood. Speakers of Syriac will not stand on the left of the Lord but on His right, for the writing of Syriac runs from right to left, and of others the way of the Persian from left to right. In the days of Peleg the nations built the tower at Babel, upon which their tongues were diversified and confounded and divided; because of their confusion the town was called Babel. Peleg was very much grieved about this when he saw the scattering of the nations in the regions of the earth. He died, and his son Reu, and Serug and Nahor buried him in the town which he had built and had called by his name. The earth became two portions among two chiefs of tribes; they allowed to every tribe and tongue a king and a chief; they appointed in the race of Japhet thirty-seven kings, and in the race of Ham sixteen kings. The kingdom of the sons of Japhet was from the border of the holy mountain and Mount Nod (?), which is in the borders of the East, to the Tigris and the side of Algaut: and from Bactria to the island town (or Gades = Cadix). The kingdom of the sons of Shem was from the land of Persia, that is from the borders of the East to the Hardasalgs sea among the borders of the West. They had authority also in the centre of the earth. When Reu was thirty-two years old, Serug was born to him; the length of his life being 232 years. At the end of 163 years of the life of Reu, Nimrod the giant reigned over the whole earth. The beginning of his kingdom was from Babel. It was he who saw in the sky a piece of black cloth and a crown; he called Sasan the weaver to his presence, and commanded him to make him a crown like it; and he set jewels in it and wore it. He was the first king who wore a crown. For this reason people who knew nothing about it, said that a crown came down to him from heaven. The length of his reign was sixty-nine years. He died in the days of Reu, and the third thousand p. 35 since Adam was completed. In his days the people of Egypt set up a king over them called Firnifs. He reigned over them for sixty-eight years. In his days also a king reigned over the town of Saba and annexed to his kingdom the cities of Ophir and Havilah, his name was Pharaoh. He built Ophir with stones of gold, for the stones of its mountains are pure gold. After him there reigned over Havilah a king called Hayul. He built it and cemented it, and after the death of Pharaoh women reigned over Saba until the time of Solomon son of David. When he (Reu) was 239 years old, he died. Serug his son and Nahor buried him in the town called Oa‘nân, which Reu had built for himself. When Serug was thirty years old, his son Nahor was born to him. In the days of Serug idols were worshipped, and they were adored instead of God, and the people in that day were scattered in the earth; there was not among them a teacher nor a lawgiver, nor a guide to the way of truth, nor even a right way. They wandered and were rebellious and became a sect. Some of them worshipped the Sun and the Moon, some of them worshipped the sky, some of them worshipped images, some of them worshipped the stars, some of them worshipped the earth, some of them worshipped beasts, some of them worshipped trees, and some of them worshipped waters and winds and such like, for the Devil blinded their hearts and left them in darkness without light. No one among them believed in the Last Day and the Resurrection. When one of them died, his people made an image in his likeness, and put it upon his tomb, lest his memory should be cut off. The earth was filled with sins, and idols were multiplied in it, made in the likenesses of males and females.
When Serug was 230 years old he died. His son Nahor, and Terah and Abraham buried him in the town which Serug had built and called it Serug. Terah was born to Nahor when he was twenty-nine years old. In the third year of the life of Nahor, God looked up through His remembrance at His creatures, and they were worshipping idols. He sent upon them earthquakes which destroyed all the idols. Their worshippers did not turn from their error, but persevered in their godlessness. In the twenty-sixth year of the rule of Terah appeared witchcraft. The beginning of it was that a rich man died; his son made a golden image of him and placed it upon his tomb as a mark [to] the people of his age, and appointed a young man to guard it. The Devil entered into the image, and spoke to its guardian from the tongue of the deceased and [with] his voice. The guardian told the son of the deceased about it. After some days robbers entered the dwelling of the deceased, and took all that belonged to his son, and his grief was greater at this, and they bewailed him beside the grave of his father. The Devil called to him from the image with a voice like the voice of his father, and said, “O my son, weep not. Bring me thy little son, to sacrifice him to me, and I will restore to thee all that has been taken from thee.” He brought his son to the tomb and sacrificed him to the Devil. When he had done this, the Devil entered him and taught him witchcraft, unveiled his mysteries, and taught him omens and auguries. Since that time people offer their children to Devils. At the completion of a hundred years of the life of Nahor, God, may His name be exalted! looked on the godlessness of men, and their sacrificing of their children to the Devils, and their adoration of images. God, may His names be sanctified, sent them raging winds which tore away the images and their worshippers, and buried them in the earth and strewed over them great mounds and towering hills, and they are below these unto this day. Some assert on this account that in the time of Terah there was a Deluge of wind. Wise men of India say that these mounds came into existence in the days of the Deluge. That is nonsense, for image-worship was after the Deluge of water, and the Deluge was not sent upon them for the worship of images; verily that was done because there was so much corruption on the earth among the children of Cain, and the musical instruments which they invented. There was no people inhabiting this rough wild land, but when p. 37 our fathers were not found worthy of the neighbourhood of Paradise they were thrust away to it. Then they came out of the ship to this land, and were scattered amongst its regions. He talks nonsense who asserts that these elevated mounds have never ceased in the earth, for they have been formed since the time of the anger of God about idol-worship. They were turned topsy-turvy, and there is no mound on the earth beneath which a Devil with an image appeareth not. In the days of Nimrod the giant, he looked at fire from heaven, and fire came up from the earth. When Nimrod saw it he adored it, and appointed in the place where he saw it people to worship it, and to throw incense into it. Since that time magicians adore fire when they see it coming up from the heaven and from the earth, and they worship it to this day. A chief magician named Sasir found a spring of bountiful water at a place in the country of Atropatene. He erected upon it a white horse. Whoever bathed in that fountain worshipped this horse. The Magi honour the horse, and there is a sect of them who worship it to this day. Nimrod travelled till he arrived at the land of Mariûn. When he entered the city of Altûrâs he found there Bouniter the fourth son of Noah. Nimrod’s army was on a lake, and he went down there one day to bathe in it. When Nimrod saw Bouniter the son of Noah, he did obeisance to him. Bouniter said to him, “O giant king, why do you adore me?” Nimrod said to him, “I did thee homage because thou didst meet me.” Nimrod stayed with him three years that he might teach him wisdom and strategy, then he wandered away from him. He said to Nimrod, “Thou shalt not return a second time.” When Nimrod was passing through the East, he deposited books making known what Bouniter the son of Noah had taught him. The people were astonished at his wisdom. There was among the people entrusted with the worship of fire a man called Ardashir. When Ardashir saw the wisdom of Nimrod and the excellency of his star-gazing (Nimrod had a perfect genius), he envied him for this, and implored a Devil who had appeared to him beside the fire to teach him the wisdom of Nimrod. The Devil said to him, “Thou canst not do this until thou have p. 38 fulfilled the magic rite, and its perfection is the marriage of mothers, daughters and sisters.” Ardashir answered him concerning this, and did what he commanded him about it. Since that time the Magi allow the wedlock of mothers, sisters and daughters. The Devil also taught Ardashir the knowledge of omens and auguries, and physiognomy, and fortune-telling, and divining and witchcraft, which were doctrines of the Devil, and the Chaldæans gave one another this doctrine; these were the Syrians, and some people say that it is the tongue of the Nabataeans. Every one who uses aught of these doctrines, his guilt before God is great. But the knowledge which Nimrod learned from Bounitar, verily Bounitar the son of Noah learned it from God, the great and glorious, for it is the counting of the stars, and the years and the months; the Greeks call this science Astronomy, and the Persians call it Astrology. Nimrod built great towns in the East, namely, Hadâniûn, Ellasar, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Rûhîn, and the towns of Atrapatene, and Telalôn, and others that he chose for himself.
When Terah, father of Abraham, reached two hundred and three years he died. Abraham and Lot buried him in the city of Haran. [God] commanded him that he should travel to the Holy Land. Abraham took with him Sarah his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and journeyed to the land of the Amorites. Abraham the Just was then seventy-five years old. When he reached eighty years, he fought with the nations and put them to flight and delivered Lot from them, and he had no child at that time, for Sarah was barren. When he returned from the war with the nations, God commanded him to journey and pass over to Mount Yâbûs. When he got there he met Melchizedek, priest of God. When Abraham saw him, he did homage to him and was blessed by him. He offered before him fine pure bread and drink. Melchizedek blessed Abraham and made vows for him. Thereupon God commanded Melchizedek to pare his nails. Melchizedek consecrated an offering of fine bread and drink. Abraham offered some of it, and paid to Melchizedek the tenth of his goods. Then God, may His names be sanctified, discoursed with Abraham the second time and said to him, “Thy reward shall be great with Me. Since thou hast received the blessing of Melchizedek and thou art worthy to receive from his hand the gift of bread and wine, I will bless thee, and will multiply thy seed.”
When Abraham reached eighty-six years, Ishmael was born to him of Hagar the Egyptian bond-maid. Pharaoh of Egypt had given her to Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who was his sister by his father but not by his mother, for Terah married two wives; the name of the one was Yuta, she was the mother of Abraham, and she died when she gave birth to him; the name of the other was Nahdeef, and she was the mother of Sarah. Therefore Abraham answered as he said to the king of Egypt when he wished to do violence to Sarah, that “she is my sister.” When Abraham reached ninety-nine years, God came down to his house, and gave to Sarah a son. When he reached a hundred years, Isaac was born to him, the son whom God gave him of barren Sarah. When Isaac reached twelve years, Abraham offered him to God as all offering upon the hill Yâbûs, which is the place in which the Christ was crucified, and which is known as Golgolah. In it Adam was created; in it Abraham looked at the tree which bore the lamb by which Isaac was redeemed from sacrifice, and in it the body of Adam was laid. In it was the altar of Melchizedek, and in it David looked at the Angel of the Lord bearing a sword for the destruction of Jerusalem. Verily Abraham’s carrying up there of Isaac to the altar is a type of the crucifixion of the Christ for the salvation of Adam and his children. The proof of this is the saying of the Christ in the holy Gospel to the children of lsrael, that “your father Abraham did not cease to long to look on my days, and when he saw them, he rejoiced in them.” The lamb which Abraham saw hanging on the tree was a type of the slaying of the Christ in the body, which He had taken from us, and of His crucifixion also, because the lamb was not the child of a ewe and was worthy of being sacrificed. In that place Abraham saw what pertained p. 40 to the salvation of Adam through the crucifixion of the Christ. In the hour that Abraham took up Isaac to the altar, Jerusalem began to be built, and the reason was this. When Melchizedek, priest of God, appeared to men, his fame reached the kings of the nations, and they came to him from every region to be blessed. Among those that came to him were Abimelech king of Gerar, Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Delassar (Ellasar), Kedarlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of men, Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, or Simeon king of the Amorites, and Simair king of Saba, Bislah king of Bela, Hiar king of Damascus, and Yaftar king of the deserts. When these kings, O my son Clement, saw Melchizedek king of Peace and priest of God, and heard his word, they honoured and applauded him and asked him to journey with them to their lands. He told them that he was not allowed to leave his place, in which God had appointed him to an office. Their unanimous counsel was that a city should be built for him at their expense, and that they should rule it. They built for him the Holy City, and delivered it to him, and Melchizedek called it Jerusalem.
Then Maoalon king of Teman journeyed to Melchizedek when his fame reached him, and gave him noble and glorious presents. He honoured him when he saw him and heard his word. All kings and nations honoured him and called him the Father of Kings. Some people think that Melchizedek will not die, and bring as proof the saying of David the Prophet in his psalms, “Thou art a priest for ever after the figure of Melchizedek.” David does not wish (to say) in this his saying that he will not die, and how can this be when he is a man? But God honoured him and made him His priest, and in the Torah there is no mention of a beginning to his days. Therefore David sang as he sang about him. Moses does not make mention of him in his book, for he was only relating the genealogy of the Fathers. But Shem the son of Noah has told us in the books of the Testaments that Melchizedek was the son of Malih, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah; and his mother was Jozedek.
In the hundredth year of Abraham there reigned in the East p. 41 a king called Karmos, he who built Shamshat, and Claudia, and Careem, and Leouza. He had a son called Cârân and three daughters; the name of the one being Shamshout, and the other Harzea, and the other Leouza, and he called these cities by their names. When Peleg had reached fifty years, Nimrod journeyed to the province of Mesopotamia, and built Nisibis, and Raha (Edessa), and Haran; to every city he put a wall, and he called the wall of Haran by the name of Harteeb, the wife of Sem, priest of the beautiful mountains. The people of Haran made an image in the form of this Sem, and worshipped it. Ba‘alsameen fell in love with Nalkeez wife of Nimroda, and Nimroda fled before Ba‘alsameen; on account of this the children of Israel wept over Nimroda and burnt the city of Haran in anger about him. When Sarah died, Abraham the famous (or the Friend, i.e. of God) married a woman named Kentoura, daughter of Yaftour king of the deserts. When Isaac, son of Abraham, reached forty years, Eleazar his servant journeyed in search of her who was named Rebecca for Isaac. When Abraham reached one hundred and seventy years he died; his sons Ishmael and Isaac buried him by the side of Sarah his wife. When Isaac reached sixty years, Rebecca his wife conceived Jacob and Esau. When the birth-pangs took hold of her, she went to Melchizedek; he blessed her and prayed over her. He said to her, “God has already formed two men in thy womb, who shall be chiefs of two great nations. The elder of them shall be beneath the younger. Each of them shall hate his brother, and the elder shall serve a man of the race of the other. I am servant of that man, whose name shall be called ‘the living God,’ and he shall come up upon a branch of cursing because of those who rebel against him.”
When sixty years of Isaac’s life had passed, he built a city which he called Ail, and in his sixty-fourth year Jericho was built by the hand of seven kings, the king of the Hittites, the king of the Amorites, the king of the Jebusites, the king of the Canaanites, the king of the Girgashites, the king of the Hivites and the king of the [Perizzites?], and every one of them built a wall to it. But the town which was called Masr (Egypt), the king of the Copts had built. Ishmael was the first to work with a hand-mill, and it was called the mill of the kingdom. After one hundred and thirty years of the life of Isaac; that is in the seventy-seventh year of Jacob, God blessed Jacob, and he received the blessings of Isaac, and the blessing of Esau his brother by deceit. He journeyed to the land of the East. While he was on his journey, behold, a deep sleep came upon him. He prepared below his head seven stones and slept upon them. In his sleep he saw a ladder of fire whose top was in heaven, and its bottom on the earth. On it Angels were descending from it and ascending, and he saw the Lord sitting on the top. When he awoke he said, “Doubtless this place is the house of God.” He took the stones which were beneath his head and built them into an altar and anointed it with oil, and vowed there that he would give to God the tenth of all his goods as an offering. The power of this vision, O my son Clernent, is not difficult to those who know, for it is a prophecy of the coming of our Lord the Christ. Verily the ladder which Jacob saw was a sign of the Crucifixion, and the Angers coming down from Heaven [were] for the Gospel to Zacharia, and Mary, and the Magi and the shepherds. The place of the Lord’s seat at the top of the ladder was like the descent of our God the Christ from Heaven for our salvation, and the place where Jacob saw it was a type of the Church, which is being interpreted, the House of God. The stones are a type of the altar, and their being anointed with oil [a type] of the union of Godhead with Manhood. The vow which he made of a tenth of his goods is a type of the Eucharist. Jacob journeyed from the place of the vision till he came to the town of his uncle Laban. He saw a well of water, at which three flocks of sheep were lying down; over the mouth of the well was a great stone. Rachel, the daughter of Jacob’s uncle, was standing there with the sheep. Jacob came near to the well, removed the stone from its mouth, and watered the sheep that were with Rachel. Then he approached Rachel and kissed her. Jacob’s uncovering of the well was a type of Baptism, which was veiled from of old, and p. 43 uncovered in the latter [days]. That which the priest gives to those whom he baptizes in the water is in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Know, O my son, that Jacob did not come forward to kiss Rachel until he had uncovered the well and watered her sheep from it. Likewise, I say that it is not permitted in the law of the Christ for any one to enter the Church till after baptism, for if he is baptized, he has become one of Christ’s sheep. The prophet Moses said in his book that Jacob wrought with his uncle Laban seven years for Rachel, whom he loved of Laban’s daughters, for she was at the height of beauty, but he gave him his ugly daughter. Like this was the story of Moses with the Jews whom God saved from the bondage of Pharaoh. On account of them he did not give the young girl, but he gave her who was old and faded. Verily the first girl whom he gave to Jacob had ugly eyes, and the second one was perfect in face and had beautiful eyes. The face of the first one was covered lest the children of Israel should look at its beauty; the second one had her face uncovered, and had a bright, and shining and beautiful personality. The girl with ugly eyes who was spouse of Jacob was the type of the people of his day whom he ruled; in his time there were prophets, and saints and pure ones, and there was little sin in them. The faded old woman whom Moses describes, she is the people of the children of Israel which went astray in the worship of idols, and left the worship of God; and the girl whose face was covered so that it was not possible for the children of Israel to look at her was the tribe that was established on the holy mount, which did not mingle with the children of Israel, and did not look at them, and if they had looked at it (the tribe), verily they would have imitated its good works. The better and brighter girl is the tribe which received the Lord of the world, the Christ, and worshipped Him in His Godhead. He enlightened our hearts by His holiness.
When Jacob had reached sixty-nine years, Reuben was born to him, then followed him his brethren whom God brought out of the loins of Jacob; these were Simeon and Levi, Judah the ancestor of Mary, Issachar and Zebulun; Joseph and Benjamin p. 44 the sons of the beautiful Rachel; Gad and Asher, sons of Zilpah; Dan and Naphtali, sons of Bilhah the maid of Rachel. Two years after the emigration of Jacob, he returned to Isaac his father. He lived after that fully thirty-one years of Levi’s life. When he reached one hundred and twenty years his father Isaac died. Twenty-three years afterwards he journeyed from Haran to the elevated land; Joseph was sold during the lifetime of Isaac, and he was a companion to Jacob in his sorrow. After the sale of Joseph, Isaac died; his sons Jacob and Esau buried him beside the grave of his father Abraham. After nine years Rebecca died, and was buried near the grave of Abraham. Judah married Hoshâ‘ the Canaanitess; Jacob was grieved at that because she was not of the children of Israel, and said to him, “By the God of Abraham and Isaac, do not mingle the seed of Canaan with us,” and he did not accept it from him. He begat from her Er and Onan and Shelah. Judah wedded his son Er with Tamar the daughter of Kedar, son of Levi. Er wrought the deed of the people of Sodom, and God punished him for his deed. God killed him in answer to the prayer of Jacob, and the seed of Canaan was not mingled with his seed. Then this Tamar disguised herself, and sat in the middle of the way; Judah came together with her, not knowing that she was his daughter-in-law; she conceived by him, and bare Pharez and Zarah. At this time Jacob and his children journeyed to Egypt, and stayed with Joseph for seventeen years. When he had completed [a hundred] and forty-seven years of life he died, Joseph that day being fifty-six years old. The wise physicians of Pharaoh embalmed him. After this Joseph removed his body and placed it beside the bodies of his father and of his grandfather Abraham. Pharez the son of Judah begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Aram, and Aram begat Aminadab, and Aminadab begat Nahson, who was the most cunning of the sons of Judah. And Aminadab wedded Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to a girl, and from her he begat Phinehas the priest, who by his prayer took away death from the people, and whose was the deed with the javelin. Know that the priesthood was from Aminadab among the people of Israel, and from Nahson the kinghood came among them. Look, p. 45 O my son Clement, how from Judah came the priesthood and the kinghood among the children of Israel. Nahson begat a son, who is Salmon; Salmon begat Boaz. When Boaz was old, he married Ruth the Moabitess; in her was kinghood, for she was of the race of kings. She was of the children of Lot. God did not make Lot unclean for his cohabiting with his daughters, and did not attach blame to him, and did not depreciate his good deed in his support of his uncle Abraham in his exile, and his reception of the Angels in faith, but He put the kinghood into Ruth who was of his race, so that the Incarnation of our Lord the Christ was of the race of Abraham. Also [into] her, the wife of Solomon, son of David, by whom he begat. Solomon verily had six hundred free women and four hundred concubines, and he obtained no child from any of them, because God, may His name be praised! wished that the seed of Canaan should not mingle with the seed of the chosen people from whom Jesus the Christ took flesh. The rest of the wives of Solomon were of the children of Canaan. Nevertheless Moses the Prophet of God related, for the responsible books, the chronicles of the children of Israel relate that Levi, when he entered Egypt with his father Jacob, begat there his son Amram the father of Moses. When Moses was born he was thrown out by his mother into the Egyptian Nile, and Sapphira the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, saved him from drowning and brought him up in her father’s palace. When he grew up and had finished forty years, he killed Casoum the Egyptian, chief of the swordsmen of Pharaoh. He fled to Reuel to the priest of Midian for fear of Pharaoh, and that because Sapphira had died before this, and if she had been still there, why should Moses have been afraid of Pharaoh? Moses married Zipporah daughter of Jethro, priest of Midian. She bare him two sons, these were Gershon and Eleazar, at the time of the birth of Joshua the son of Nun, and Moses’ age was fifty-two years. When he had completed eighty years, God spake to him from the thorn bush, and his tongue stammered out of fear for God, and he said, “O Lord, at the time when thou spakest to thy servant, his tongue stammered.” All his years were 120. He spent forty in Egypt, and forty in Midian, and he governed the children of Israel forty years in the wilderness. When he died, Joshua the son of Nun governed them thirty-one years. Then Chushan the Atheist governed them after him eight years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz the brother of Caleb, for forty years. Then the Moabites enslaved the children of Israel for eighteen years. Then [God] prepared their deliverance from their hand. Their government was presided over by Ehud the son of Gera for eighty years. In the twenty-sixth year of the reign of this Ehud, the fourth thousand [year] from the beginning was finished. Then after him the famous Jabin presided over their government for an interval of twenty years, then Deborah and Barak looked after it for forty years. Then the Midianites conquered them, and enslaved them for seven years, then God saved them by the hand of Gideon. He presided over their government for forty years; then his son Abimelech for three years. Then Jufa (Tola) the son of Puah for twenty years, then a daughter of the Gileadite twenty-two years. Then the children of Ammon conquered the children of Israel and enslaved them for eighteen years, then God saved them by the hands of Jephthah, he who offered his daughter as a sacrifice before God. And Ibzan governed them for six years, then after him Elon son of Zebulon for ten years. Then Abdon for eight years. Then the Philistines fought with the children of Israel and subdued them and enslaved them for forty years, and God saved them by the hands of Samson. He governed them for twenty years, and after him they remained for twelve years without a leader. Then there arose to rule them Eli the priest, and he governed them for forty years, then Samuel for twenty-two years. In his time the children of Israel rebelled against God, and set up Saul as king over them; he was the first king among the children of Israel, and he governed them for forty years. In the days of Saul appeared the giant Goliath; he drove out the children of Israel and killed their young men. Then God sent against him David the Prophet, and he killed him; against Saul [He sent] the Philistines, and they killed him, because Saul left p. 47 off seeking help from God, and sought help from devils. David the son of Jesse reigned over the children of Israel for forty years. Then after his Solomon reigned over them and did many wonderful things; amogst them his sending to the city of Ophir, and bringing out the gold from its mountains, and ships continued for thirty-six months carrying gold from its mountains. Also he built the city of Tadmor in the interior of the wilderness, and wrought in it many extraordinary things. When Solomon passed by Sabad, a building built by Kourhi and Abu Nigaf (they whom Nimrod had sent to Bila‘am the priest when he heard of his occupation with the stars, and he built there this altar to the Sun and a stone fort), Solomon built there also a city called the City of the Sun. Then Aradus, which is in the middle of the sea, was built at Solomon’s command and they praised him yet more for his wisdom. There journeyed to him the Queen of Sheba and she was obedient to his religious worship. There came up to him at his command Hiram king of Tyre, and had a real love for him; he had already been a friend to David before him. His reign was before the reign of David, and he remained to the last of King Zedekiah. Solomon took one thousand wives, as we said above about him; and they deteriorated his mind when he exceeded in his love to them, and they got the power to mock at him, and it caused him to slide away from the worship of God; he sacrificed to idols and worshipped them instead of the Lord. He died, after reigning for forty years, an idolator and an infidel. Then Hiram king of Tyre was seduced and forgot his humanity and disbelieved in God, and claimed divinity, and he said, “I sit in the heart of the seas like the sitting of a God”; and news of him came to Nebuchadnezzar, and he journeyed to him till he killed him. In the chronicles of the Hebrews, O my son Clement, [we learn] that in the days of this Hiram appeared the purple dye, and this [was that] a shepherd and his sheep were on the sea-shore, and he saw a dog of his gnawing with its mouth something that came out of the sea, and its mouth was filled with its blood. He looked at the blood, and had never seen the like of it. He took some p. 48 clean wool and wiped this blood with it; with that he made a crown and put it upon his head. It had a brightness like the brightness of the sun or rays of fire. The news of it came to Hiram; he sent for him and wondered greatly at the beauty of his dye. He assembled the dyers of his kingdom and gave them a commission for its like, and they were amazed at this, until some of the wise men of his time possessed themselves of the purple shell-fish. He made garments for himself with its blood, and he rejoiced over this with a great joy. Thou, O my son, and all the Greeks, disagree with the Hebrews in this narrative. After Solomon, Rehoboam his son reigned, and defiled the land by the worship of idols, by much whoredom in the city of Jerusalem, and by sacrificing to devils. In his day the kingdom of the house of David was divided, and became two parts. In his fifth year journeyed Shishak king of Egypt to Jerusalem, and took possession of all that was in the treasuries of the Lord’s house and the treasuries of David and Solomon, the vessels of gold and silver, and he was strengthened by this in his power. He said to the Jews, “This is none of your earning; it is some of what your fathers brought out of Egypt at the time of their flight.” And Rehoboam the son of Solomon died an infidel, after he had reigned for seventeen years. Abia his son reigned after him, being twenty years old. He enslaved Jerusalem and destroyed it, and his mother Ma‘ka, the daughter of Abishalom, commended his deeds. He died after three years, and Asa reigned. He did right, and abolished the worship of the stars and the images, and whoredom from Jerusalem. He drove away his mother from his kingdom, because she committed adultery and built an altar to the idols. There came to him Azârâh king of Hind, and Asa put him to flight, and reigned for forty years, then he died. After him his son Jehoshaphat reigned, and he went in the way of his father in righteousness, but he loved the household of Ahab, and kept company with them. He built ships, and sent by them to the land of Ophir to bring gold from its mountains. God sunk his ships, and was angry with him and his mother p. 49 Sem daughter of Uriah daughter of Shalom. When he had died, his son Joram reigned, being thirty-two years of age. He was disobedient, and sacrificed to devils, on account of his wife Aliah (Athaliah) daughter of Amsir (Omri) son of the sister of Ahab. He died an infidel. After him Ahaziah reigned, being twenty years of age. He was a shameless infidel. The Lord delivered him over to his enemies, and they killed him after one year of his reign. His mother took the kingdom to herself, and killed the kings’ sons, that thereby she might destroy the kingdom of the family of David. None were saved from her except Joash, for Jehosheba the daughter of Joram son of Jehoshaphat hid him. She increased adultery and infidelity in Jerusalem. She died after seven years, and the people of Jerusalem thought about who should reign over them, Jehoiada knew about that, and their choice fell upon none but Joash whom Jehoiada had hidden. He sent and brought [him] out to the house of the Lord; the warriors completely armed surrounded him and Jehoiada the priest seated him upon the throne of the family of David his father, he being seven years of age. His mother’s name was Zibiah of the family of Sheba. Jehoiada the priest covenanted with him that he should do righteousness before the Lord. When Jehoiada the priest died, Joash forgot his covenants, and did not know rightly what was administered from the throne of the family of David, nor the shedding of innocent blood. He died after he had reigned for forty years. After him his son reigned, and his mother’s name was Jehoaddan. He killed every one who had killed any one of his household, but spared their sons, for in this he followed the law of the Lord. He died after he had reigned for twenty-nine years, and his son Azariah reigned after him, being twenty years old. His mother’s name was Jecholiah. He did right before the Lord, save that he was bold about the priesthood, for which reason he became a leper, and God weakened the power of Isaiah the prophet from prophecy until this Azariah died, because he did not reprove him for his boldness about the priesthood. The duration of his reign was fifty-two p. 50 years, and Jotham his son reigned after him, being twenty-five years of age, and his mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Dafma (Zadok). He did right, and the duration of his reign was sixteen years. After him his son Ahaz reigned, being twenty years of age; his mother’s name was Jahkebez the daughter of Levi. He did wickedly, and sacrificed to devils and idols. God was angry with him, and Tiglath son of Cardak, king of Assyria, came against him, and besieged him. Ahaz wrote himself down his vassal, and delivered Jerusalem up to the Assyrians, and he carried all the gold and silver that was in the temple of God to Assyria the regions of Tiglath. In his time the children of Israel were led captive, and went down to Babylon. The king of Assyria sent instead Babylonians to the land of Judah to dwell in it; and they complained of what befel them to the king of Assyria, and he sent to them Urijah one of the priests of the children of Israel that he might teach them the law of the Lord. When they knew it, the lions ceased from them, and went to the land of Babylon and to Samaria. When he (Ahaz) had completed sixteen years he died, and his son Hezekiah reigned after him, being twenty-five years old, and his mother’s name was Ahi (Abi) the daughter of Zechariah. He did right and broke the idols, and caused the sacrifices to cease, and cut up the serpent that Moses had made in the wilderness of the wandering (Tih), because the children of Israel were seduced in their worship of it. In the fourth year of his reign, Shalmanezer king of Assyria came to Jerusalem, and took captive the Israelites who were in it, and drove them away to a place beyond Babylon named Media. In the twenty-sixth year journeyed Sennacherib king of the province to the cities of Judah, and took captive those whom he found in them and their villages excepting Jerusalem. Verily it was saved by the prayer and cries of king Hezekiah. When Hezekiah was ill with his death-sickness, he grieved and wept because he had no son to reign after him; he prayed before the Lord, and said, “Lord, have mercy on Thy servant, and do not let him die without offspring; let not the kingdom fail from the house of David, nor the blessings cease which have come on the tribes in my days.” The Lord answered him, and told him that p. 51 He had added to his life fifteen years; he recovered; a son was born to him, and he called him Manasseh. When twenty-six years of his reign were finished, and he was rejoicing in his son, he died. His son reigned after him, being twelve years old; his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did wickedly, and his infidelity surpassed all the infidel kings that were before him in evil-doing. He built an altar to idols, and sacrificed to them; he defiled Jerusalem with corruption, and the worship of idols. He took Isaiah the prophet, and they sawed him with a wooden saw from the middle of his head to between his feet, because he had reproved him for his wicked deeds. Isaiah’s age that day was one hundred and twenty years, he began to prophesy when he was ninety years old. Then Manasseh repented about that, and turned to his Lord; he put on sackcloth, and imposed a fast upon himself [all] the days of his life. God accepted his repentance and he died. His son Amon reigned after him, being that day twenty-two years of age; his mother’s name was Musalmath the daughter of Hasoun. He did wicked deeds before the Lord, and burned his children in the fire. He reigned twelve years and he died. After him his son Josiah reigned, being sixty-eight years of age; his mother’s name was Arnea, daughter of Azariah son of Tarfeeb. He kept righteously the feast of the Passover, a feast such as the children of Israel had never kept since the time of the Prophet Moses; he abolished the sacrifices to the images, broke the idols, sawed them with saws, killed their worshippers, and burnt in the fire the bones of the prophets of the Honoured One. He cleansed Jerusalem from defilements. None like him reigned over the Jews before him nor after him. He remained there for thirty years, but Pharaoh king of Egypt killed him. After him his son Jehoahaz reigned, being twenty-two years of age; his mother’s name was Hamtoul the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. Not more than three months of his reign had passed when Pharaoh the lame bound him, made him fast with chains, and carried him to Egypt, and he died there. After him his brother Jehoiakim reigned, being twenty-five years of age; his mother’s name was Zobeed, daughter of Yerkuiah of the town of Al-Ramah. In the third year of his p. 52 reign Nebuchadnezzar approached Jerusalem, reigned over it, and made him his vassal for three years. He rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, and death overtook him. His son Jehoiachin reigned after him, being eighteen years of age; his mother’s name was Tahseeb the daughter of Lutanan of the people of Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar journeyed a second time to Jerusalem, bound him after three months of his reign, and carried him and his officers and the armies of his soldiers to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar in his first attack had bound the wife of Jehoiakim and other wives of the grandees and nobles of Jerusalem, and carried them to Babylon. The wife of Jehoiakim was pregnant that day, and in the way she gave birth to Daniel. In the Captivity were also Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, sons of Johanan. The reason of this Captivity was that Jehoiachin had made a truce with Nebuchadnezzar, then they betrayed one another. When Johanan died, Zedekiah the uncle of Jehoiakim reigned after him, being twenty-one years of age; the seat of all the kings of the children of Israel was Jerusalem; the name of Zedekiah’s mother was Hamtoul; he was the last of the kings of the children of Israel. After eleven years of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar journeyed for the third time to the West, to pacify its cities, and the cities of the Euphrates, and of the Great Sea. He made his way through the islands of the sea, and took captive their people, he laid Tyre waste, and smote it with fire. He killed Hiram its king as we have already said. He entered Egypt to seek those of the children of Israel who had fled, and killed its Pharaoh. He returned by sea to Jerusalem, and was victorious there a second time. He bound Zedekiah, killed his sons Jerbala and Rahmut, and carried him blind and fettered with chains to Babylon. This was a punishment from God to him for his deed that he did to the prophet Jeremiah when he threw him into a miry well. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jozadan (Nebuzaradan) the captain of his prison in Jerusalem until he had laid waste its wall, and burned the temple of the Lord which Solomon had built in it. He demolished the rest of the dwellings of Jerusalem, carried all the tools that he found of iron and brass, and the raiment which belonged to the house p. 53 of the Lord to Babylon. Between Simeon the High Priest of Jerusalem and Jozadan captain of the prison to Nebuchadnezzar there was love and friendship. He asked if he would give him the old writings; he and Simeon carried them with him, being among the crowd of the Captivity. He saw a well in his way among the borders of the West; be laid the writings in it, and put with them a bronze vase, filled with glowing coals, and in it sweet smelling incense; he covered up this well, and went to Babylon. The devastation of Jerusalem was completed, and it became a waste. There was not one person in it, nor even a building save the tomb of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah in his lifetime had dwelt in a place called Samaria; he commanded a man named Uriah that he should be buried in Jerusalem, and he did it. It was not known that this place was the grave of Jeremiah except at the devastation of Jerusalem.
Now for the genealogies. The Syrians say that no one looked after them after the last devastation of Jerusalem, except among the tribe of the Philistines, and no one looked after the genealogy of the people among whom the children of Israel married, nor from whence was the beginning of the priesthood. Jehoiachin did not cease to be bound in the land of Babylon, and shut up in prison for thirty-seven years. Meanwhile there was born to Mardul a son named Mardahi, and the king let Jehoiachin out of the prison, and married him to Helmuth the daughter of Eliakim. By him she gave birth in the land of Babylon to a son, who was called Salathiel. Then he married another who was called Melkat the daughter of Ezra the teacher, and had no child by her in Babylon. At that time Cyrus reigned in Babylon. He married Masabet the sister of Zerubabel a nobleman of the Jews, according to the custom of Persia; he let her rule his affairs; she begged him to restore the children of Israel to Jerusalem, and he did this to its place where it had been before him. He commanded a herald to proclaim, that there should not remain one of the children of Israel, who should not present himself to Zerubabel his brother-in-law. When they were gathered together, he commanded him to take them to Jerusalem and that they should build it. The children of Israel returned to Jerusalem in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the Persian. At that time was completed the fifth thousand from the beginning. The children of Israel after their return to Jerusalem remained without a teacher to teach them the law of the Lord or any writings of the prophets. When Ezra saw this, he went to the well in which the Law had been put, uncovered it, and found the vase full of fire and incense, and he found the writings faded, there was no means to get them. God revealed to him that he should receive of them from His hands; he succeeded, and threw it on his mouth once, and twice and thrice, and God put into it the power of the spirit of prophecy; he kept all the writings, and that fire which was in the vase in the well was from the fire of Paradise which was in the house of the Lord. Zerubabel journeyed to Jerusalem as king over it. By Joshua son of Jozadak the High Priest and by Ezra, the writing of the Law and the Books of the Prophets were completed. After their return, the children of Israel kept the feast of the Passover, and all the feasts that they celebrated were three. The first was the feast of Moses in Egypt, the second the feast of Josiah, and the third after their return from Babylon in the days of Cyrus the Persian. The number of the years of the Captivity which Jeremiah the prophet mentions are seventy years. The children of Israel built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, and its building was finished by the hands of Zerubabel and Joshua the son of Jozadak the priest, and Ezra the scribe of the Law, in six and forty years. When the books of the genealogies were destroyed, the fathers were in despair about genealogy, and there was despair about it after them, until their accuracy was guaranteed by the secret books of the Hebrews. I relate this to thee, my son Clement, that when Zerubabel journeyed to Jerusalem, he married Malka the daughter of Ezra the teacher, and by her he begat a son called Abiud. She had already been the wife of Jehoiachin before him. When Abiud grew up, he married Ragib, daughter of Joshua the son of Jozadak the priest. By he he begat a son called Jehoiachim. Jehoiachim married a wife, and begat a son by her. When he grew up, he married p. 55 Alfeet, daughter of Hesron, and by her he begat Zadok. Zadok married Felbin the daughter of Rahab, and by her he begat Atin. Atin married Hesheeb, daughter of Jula, and by he he begat Tur (Eliud). Tur (Eliud) married Salsin, daughter of Hasoul, and by her he begat Eleazar. Eleazar married Habeeth, daughter of Malih, and by her he begat Manar (Matthan). Manar (Matthan) married Seerâb, daughter of Phinehas, and by her he begat two sons in [one] womb. One of them was Jacob, who was called by two names, Joachim son of Yartâh. Jacob maried Had the daughter of Eleazar, and by her he begat Joseph. Joachim married Hannah, daughter of Ka‘rdal, and by her he begat Mary, by whom our Lord the Christ was incarnate. On account of our knowledge, O my son Clement, about the genealogy of the Lady Mary, and the genealogies of her ancestors, the Jews begin by assertions about us that we do not understand the genealogies, and we do not know them; and they venture to mock the mother of Light, the Lady Mary, the Virgin, and they attribute he genealogy to fornication, because they do not know that it was the Holy Ghost who came down on us, a company of twelve in the upper room of Zion, who taught us all that we need to know about the genealogies and the rest of the mysteries, as He had taught Azariah (Ezra) the teacher all the Law, so that he kept it and renewed it. Let the mouths of the cursed Jews now be stopped, and let them know assuredly that Mary the pure was of the race of Judah, also of the race of David, also of the race of Abraham; that they have nothing against the genealogies which the Holy Ghost taught us, and there is not a book left in their hands from which they can make a stand against genealogy, since their books have been burnt three times; the first time in the days of Antiochus, who defiled the temple of the Lord, and commanded sacrifices to idlos; the second by Herod at the time of the devastation of Jerusalem; and the third, hear, O blessed son, what the Holy Ghost has revealed to me, about the sixty-three fathers, whose names are registered, and how the pedigree came about to the tribe from which was incarnate our God the Christ.
The beginning of genealogies.
Adam begat Seth. Seth married Aclima, sister of Abel, and by her begat Enos. Enos married a woman called Hita, daughter of Mahmouma of the sons of Har son of Seth, and by her begat Cainan. Cainan married Karith, daughter of Kersham son of Maheâl, and by her begat Mahlaleel. Mahlaleel married Teshabfatir, daughter of Enos, and by her begat Jared. Jared married Zebeeda, daughter of Kargilan son of Cainan, and by her begat Enoch. Enoch married Jardakin, daughter of Terbah son of Mahlaleel, and by her begat Methuselah. Methuselah married Rahoub, daughter of Serkeen son of Enoch, and by her begat Lamech. Lamech married Kifar, daughter of Jutab son of Methuselah, and by her begat Noah. Noah married Haikal, daughter of Mashamos son of Enoch, and by her begat Sem. Sem married Leah, daughter of Nasih, and by her begat Arphaxad. Arphaxad married Fardou, daughter of Salweh son of Japhet, and by her begat Salah. Salah married Muldath, daughter of Kahin son of Sem, and by her begat Obed (Eber). Obed (Eber) married Rasdah sister of Melchisedek, daughter of Malih son of Arphaxad, and by her begat Peleg. Peleg married Hadeeb, daughter of Hamlâh, and by her begat Jareu (Reu). Jareu (Reu) married Tanaa‘b, daughter of Obed (Eber), and by her begat Serug. Serug married Feel, and by her begat Nahor. Nahor married a wife, A‘âkris daughter of Reu, and by her begat Tarah. Tarah married two wives, one of them Juta, and the other Salmat, by Juta he begat Abraham and by Salmat Sarah. Abraham married Sarah, daughter of this Salmat his father’s wife, and by her begat Isaac. Isaac married a wife called Rebecca, daughter of Fathâel, and by her begat Jacob. Jacob married Leah, daughter of Laban, and by her begat Judah. Judah begat Pharez by Tamar. Pharez son of Judah married Afdeeb, daughter of Levi, and by her begat Hesron. Hesron married Farteeb, daughter of Zebulon, and by her begat Aram. Aram married Safuza, daughter of Judah, and by her begat Aminadab. Aminadab married Baruma, daughter of Hesron, and by her begat Nahshon. Nahshon married Aram, daughter p. 57 of Adam, and by her begat Salmon. Salmon married Saleeb (Rahab), daughter of Aminadab, and by her begat Boaz. Boaz married Aroof (Ruth), daughter of Lot, and by her begat Obed. Obed married Nefut, daughter of Shela, and by her begat Asse (Jesse). Asse (Jesse) married Amrat, daughter of Othan, and by her begat David. David married Balseba‘ (Bathsheba), daughter of Joutân son of Shela, and by her begat Solomon. Solomon married Naama, daughter of Maheel, and by her begat Rehoboam: who had none like him. Rehoboam married Naheer, daughter of Al, and by her begat Abia. Abia married Maachah the daughter of Abishalom, and by her bcgat Asa. Asa married Auzbah the daughter of Shalih, and by her begat Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat married Na‘mna the daughter of Amon, and by her begat Joram. Joram married Tala‘ia, daughter of Amoi, and by her begat Ahaz. Ahaz married Suma the daughter of Balhi, and by her begat Amaziah. Amaziah married Kama, daughter of Caram, and by her begat Uzziah. Uzziah married Jerousa, daughter of Zadok, and by her begat Jeream (Jotham). Jeream (Jotham) married Jahfat, daughter of Hani, and by her begat Ahaz. Ahaz married Ahir, daughter of Zachariah, and by her begat Hezekiah. Hezekiah married Hephzibah, daughter of Jarmoun, and by her begat Manasseh. Manasseh married Artida, daughter of Azuriah, and by her begat Aman. Aman married Tarib, daughter of Murka, and by her begat Josiah. Josiah married Hamtoul, daughter of Armeed (Jeremiah), and by her begat Jehoahaz. Jehoahaz married a woman and had no sons by her. Jehoiakim reigned after the death of his brother, and married a woman called Carteem, daughter of Haluta, and by her begat Salaeel (Salathiel). Salaeel (Salathiel) married Hamtat, daughter of Eliakim, and by her begat Zerubabel. Zerubabel married Malkut, daughter of Ezra, and by her begat Armeed (Abiud). Armeed (Abiud) married Awarkeeth, daughter of Zadok, and by her begat Jachim. Jachim married Hali, daughter of Zurniem, and by her begat A‘zor. A‘zor married Afi, daughter of Hasor, and by her begat Sadoc. Sadoc married Faltir, daughter of Dorteeb, and by her begat Asham Joteed. Joteed Asham married Hasgab, daughter of Jula, and by her p. 58 begat Liud (Eliud). Liud (Eliud) married Shabshetin, daughter of Hubaballia, and by her begat Eleazar. Eleazar married Hanbeth, daughter of Jula, and by her begat Mathan. Mathan married Seerab, daughter of Phinehas, and by her begat Jacob. Jacob married Harteeb, daughter of Eleazar, and by her begat Joachim, known as Jonahir. Joachim married Hannah, and returned to the house of Eleazar. And after sixty years of his marriage to her, he begat by her Mary the Virgin, her by whom the Christ became incarnate. Joseph the Carpenter was the son of her [paternal] uncle Laha, and therefore his vote did not fall against her when Ram, priest of the children of Israel, delivered her to a man who should be surety for her. It was in the hidden work of God (may He be glorious and exalted!) and in the mystery of His knowledge that there was no escape from the Jews reproaching Mary the pure on account of her bearing the Christ. To our Master and our God and our Lord Jesus the Christ be praise and power and greatness and dignity and worship with the Father and the Holy Ghost from now unto all time and throughout all ages. Amen.
IN the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the one God, we begin to transcribe the story of Aphikia wife of Jesus the son of Sirach, vizier of King Solomon, the son of David, King of the children of Israel.
It is said: Solomon the wise heard about Aphikia wife of Jesus the son of Sirach, his treasurer and vizier, that there was not among the women of the children of Israel nor in all Jerusalem one like her, so perfect in body and wise in mind. So he wished to see her and talk with her that he might know the utmost of her wisdom. So he sent to her the eunuch his chancellor, saying to her, “I long to meet with thee and talk with thee.” When the eunuch went to her and told her the saying of the King, her heart was pained and she sobbed, and said to the Chief, “Say to my lord the King, ‘Thy wisdom has filled the whole world, and how has it given place to this idea, that it should come into thy heart, thou whose teaching turneth the fool into a wise man. Yet if it be thy will, I will acquiesce in this unworthy idea; but let it not be carried out while my husband is in this city, lest there be any scandal.’ ” When the eunuch related this saying in the ears of the King, he wondered the more; and begged earnestly to meet with her. He talked with Jesus her husband, saying, “O my son, we have urgent business with the King of Mosul, and I do not see a man suitable to meet with him like thyself.” And Jesus said, “May my lord the King live! according to what he says so be it.” And he wrote the letters for him, and made him ride with honour like the son of kings. He sent with him troops and p. 60 gifts, and he took his journey. Then King Solomon commanded the eunuch, saying to him, “Go to Aphikia wife of Jesus the son of Sirach, and say to her, ‘Be ready for my Sovereign’s reception in thy dwelling.’ ” The eunuch went to her with the saying of the King. And Aphikia said to the Chief, “Tell my lord the King, saying, ‘Is a humble handmaid worthy of this great honour that her Sovereign should walk and come to her? I beg him not to taste any food until he comes and eats in the abode of his servant.’ ” And the eunuch went away from her to the King and told him of this saying. But Aphikia, when the eunuch had gone, called her cook and said to him, “Ask for all thou requirest, fowls, fish and mutton. Cook me from them forty kinds with one taste and let them be different and various in kind.” When the time came, she spread for the King in the chamber of her husband Jesus the son of Sirach, according to the honour of the king. The evening had come, even the end of a part of the night; King Solomon came to her abode, and people went before him with lanterns, and they brought him in to the chamber in which they had spread for him. He was amazed at what he saw. Then Aphikia came up, she and her maidens, and they bowed themselves down to the earth before the King, and they sat behind the door of the chamber in which it had been spread for the King. Then she commanded that the table should be brought up, and upon it were all kinds of bread. Then she commanded that they should present the kinds on the top. The King ate with gusto on account of the purity of the meats of which he was eating, and taking account. He remained contemplating the kinds and wondered at their variety from one another in resemblance. When he had tasted these kinds which were put there, he found that they had all one taste. He ate, and was satisfied, and raised his hand. Then they brought forward many kinds more, and put them before him. He merely tasted them without eating of them. He knew certainly that this was a parable of wisdom. Then he said, “Thy favours are acceptable, O God of Israel! I would know, O Aphikia! the meaning of what thou commandest me by thy foods.” And Aphikia said, p. 61 “O my lord the King! thy wisdom is sufficient for thee and for the whole world. Of what worth is the light of a candle placed before the sun? And what is the measure of thy handmaid that she should speak before the lord the King? The soul from God moves in her body. To-day she hides her corruption and her fetidness, and to-morrow she will be thrown into a grave beyond the place of the fields in which she appears, and she will be a naked soul, with a soul that never dies.” Then said Solomon, “Blessed be the day when they gave thee birth into the world since thou hast filled it with wisdom.” Then he arose, wondering at what he had seen and heard from this chaste woman. When he was outside the door of the room, behold, a ruby got detached from his crown between the lintels of the door, without any one seeing it till the return of Jesus from the journey. He saw it lying, and he took it and examined it in his hand and he recognized it. He knew for certain that the King had entered into his chamber, and he was grieved in his heart and did not speak, nor did he return to his wife another time in conjugal intercourse till the end of two years, nor inquire of her, that she might appease him. She also did not wish to say to him, “Why art thou estranged from me?” saying in her heart that her husband must not say in his heart, “This one is longing for reunion.” And after two years her mother gazed in her face, and saw it, and behold, it was altered and changed. She looked at her limbs, and saw in them great weakness. And she said, “O my beloved daughter, what gives thee pain? for thou art very weak.” She took her by the hand, and went with her to a quiet place in the house, and told her all that had happened, and that she was grieved in her heart on account of her husband more than [on account of] the weakness that had come on her body. Her mother arose at once and went to Solomon, and met with him in a palace alone in a retired spot, for she was in much honour with him. She said, “O my lord the King, live for ever! I had a pleasant vineyard, where I could enjoy life, by God! in the first place, and be comforted by it; I gave it over to a vine-dresser to cultivate it. He waited to give me fruit for a time, then also to himself. p. 62 I trusted in regard to my vineyard to this vine-dresser that he should not neglect to improve my vineyard. I did not visit it for two years. I walked to-day till I reached it, and I found it waste, going to ruin. I implore thee, O my lord the King, to judge between me and this vine-dresser, for he has spoiled a noble vineyard.”
The King said to her, “What has happened to thee about my neglect of thy vineyard until this day?” for he knew the object of her speaking and the meaning of her wisdom. And he commanded them to call Jesus up to his presence, and made him sit by his side with his mother-in-law. And he said to her, “All that thou hast said, repeat it to us once again according to what thou didst tell me,” and she was silent. Then Solomon said, “What sayest thou?” And he said, “All that she said is true, except that I did not weary of doing my best for the cultivation of this vineyard until the day that my lord the King sent me to Damascus. But on my return, O King, to my vineyard, as I went up to the interior of the vineyard looking [about], behold, there was a trace of the steps of a great lion within the threshold. And l feared, and turned back, lest the lion should destroy me.”
Then King Solomon said to him, “Listen to me, that I may speak unto thee, By the truth of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Moses and Aaron, the great and high God who has appeared to us, He who hears us when we swear by Him, because that lion did not aim at doing anything beyond conversation in speech suitable to wisdom, a gain to all souls who should hear it, now, O my son! rise with joy and a pure heart; enter into thy vineyard and cultivate it in honour, for its honour is great before the Lord of Hosts.” Then Jesus rose at once, and his mother-in-law, and entered his abode and sat with Aphikia his wife and inquired of her, and she informed him of what had happened, and he glorified the Lord God of the name of Israel.
By the help of God, the story of Aphikia wife of Jesus the son of Sirach, vizier of Solomon the son of David, is finished and completed.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, one true God. To Him be glory, and on us His mercies for ever.
It was Alfarag who copied the book of Jesus the son of Sirach, and the story of his wife Aphikia, on Friday at the sixth hour, the fifth Friday of the holy fast, twenty-six days having passed of the month of Adar, the blessed, the second day of the feast of the Gospel, in the year 1885 of the Greeks, and this by the hand of the poor hoarse preacher, rich in sins, poor in good things, unlucky in works pleasing to God, by name a priest, by deed a robbing wolf, entitled by two names, Nekoula son of David of the village of Kafr Houra, in the district of Tarablus. This is by command of the Priest, Joseph the Syrian, the Jacobite, of Damascus, surnamed “Golden,” God be gracious to him for it! and guide him in the work of exposition and of its meanings, and give him the reward of his labour with us, as He prescribed by His holy mouth, one thirty-fold, sixty-fold and a hundred-fold, and cause him to dwell eternally in the pleasant gardens, in the bosoms of the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the saints. Amen. Amen. Amen.
It was written in the fortress Damascus, in the house of the [above] mentioned father, the priest Joseph.
YESHAUA THE JESUS