The Apocalypse of Abraham.  Translation by Alexander Kulik.  






The translation is based on new readings developed in Alexander Kulik, Retroverting Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004 and Leiden: Brill, 2005). Reviews: Andrei Orlov, Review of Biblical Literature 5 (2005); Jaime Vazquez Allegue, Review of Biblical Literature 5 (2005); Basil Lourié, Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 15.3 (2006); Darrell Hannah, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 28.5 (2006).

      Words added in order to clarify a literal translation are put in square brackets. Although the translation is not accompanied by an apparatus, the elements of the text which do not occur in the version of the Codex Sylvester are enclosed in triangular brackets; this is justified by the significant divergence of this oldest manuscript from other versions. Semitic proper names are presented in their reconstructed original forms: this holds for common biblical names, such as Abraham, Terah, or Michael, as well as for the names which are unique to this document, such as Mar-Umath(a) (CS Marumafa and Marumat, Gk Marumatha or Marumat), Bar-Eshath(a) (CS and Middle Gk Varisat), or rare Azazel (CS and Middle Gk Azazil) and Ya(h)oel (CS and Middle Gk Iaoil). We follow the chapter division established by Bonwetsch and the verse division of the Rubinkiewicz (OTP), with exceptions conditioned by new syntactic divisions.





i. Prehistory: Abraham The Iconoclast (1–8)

i.i. Abraham Tests Idols (1–2)

i.i.i. Fall of Mar-Umath (1)


1:1 On the day when I was destroying the gods of my father Terah and the gods of my brother Nahor, when I was testing which one was the truly strong god, 1:2 at the time when my lot came up, when I had finished the services of my father Terah’s sacrifice to his gods of wood, stone, gold, silver, brass and iron, 1:3 I, Abraham, having entered their temple for the service, found a god named Mar-Umath, carved out of stone, fallen at the feet of an iron god, Nakhon. 1:4 And it came to pass, that when I saw this, my heart was troubled. And I fell to thinking, because I, Abraham, was unable to return him to his place all by myself, since he was heavier than a great stone. 1:5 And I went and told my father. And he entered with me. 1:6 And as we both were moving him [Mar-Umath] to return him in his place, his head fell off of him, while I was still holding him by his head. 1:7 And it came to pass, when my father saw that the head of Mar-Umath had fallen off of him, he said to me, “Abraham!” 1:8 And I said, “Here am I!” And he said to me, “Bring me an axe and a chisel from the house.” 1:9 And I brought [them] to him from the house. And he carved another Mar-Umath, out of another stone, without a head, and [placed on him] the head that had been thrown down from Mar-Umath, and smashed the rest of Mar-Umath.


i.i.ii. Fall of Five Idols (2)


2:1 And he made five other gods, and he gave them to me [and] told me to sell them outside in the street of the town. 2:2 And I saddled my father’s ass and put them on it [and] went out to the main road to sell them. 2:3 And behold, merchants from Paddan Aram came with camels to go to Egypt to buy kokonil from the Nile there. 2:4 And I greeted them and they answered me. And I began to talk with them. One of their camels bellowed. The ass took fright and he ran and threw down the gods. And three of them were smashed and two remained. 2:5 And it came to pass, when the Syrians saw that I had gods, they said to me, “Why did you not tell us that you had gods? We would have bought them before the ass heard the camel’s cry and you would have had no loss. 2:6 Give us at least the remaining gods and we will give you a proper price.” 2:7 And I thought [it over] in my heart. And they gave [also] the price of the smashed gods for the gods that remained. 2:8 Since I had been distressed in my heart [wondering], “How would I let my father know about the matter?!” 2:9 And the debris of the smashed [gods] I cast into the water of the river Gur, which was at that place. And they sank into the depths and were no more.


i.ii. Abraham Reflects on Idolatry (3)


3:1 And while I was still walking on the road, my heart was disturbed and my mind was distracted. And I said in my heart, 3:2 “What is the profit of the labor which my father is doing? 3:3 Is not he rather a god of his gods, since by his sculpting, carving and skill they come into being? 3:4 It would be more fitting for them to worship my father, since they are his work. What gain is there for my father in his own works? 3:5 Behold, Mar-Umath fell and was unable to get up again in his own temple, nor could I lift him on my own, until my father came and we both lifted him. 3:6 And as we were unable, his head fell off of him. And he placed it on another stone of another god, which he had made without a head. 3:7 And [likewise were] the other five gods which were smashed down from the ass, which were able neither to save themselves nor to hurt the ass for it smashed them, nor did their shards come up from the river.” 3:8 And I said to myself, “If it is thus, how then can my father’s god, Mar-Umath, having a head of one stone and [the rest] being made of another stone, save a man, or hear a man’s prayer and reward him?”


i.iii. Abraham Preaches Monotheism (4–8)

i.iii.i. Attempt to Persuade Terah (4)


4:1 And thinking thus, I came to my father’s house and watered the ass and set out hay for it. I brought out the money and gave it into the hand of my father Terah. 4:2 When he saw it, he was glad, and he said, “Blessed by my gods are you, Abraham, for you gave honor to the gods, so that my labor was not in vain!” 4:3 And I declared and said to him, “Hear, Terah, [my] father! It is the gods who are blessed by you, since you are a god to them, since you have made them; since their blessing is perdition, and their power is vain. 4:4 They could not help themselves, how [then] will they help you or bless me? 4:5 [In fact] I was for you a kind god of this gain, since it was through my cleverness that I brought you the money for the smashed [gods].” 4:6 And when he heard my word, his anger was kindled against me, since I had spoken harsh words against his gods.


i.iii.ii. Fall of Bar-Eshath (5)


5:1 When I saw my father’s anger, I went out. And afterward, when I had gone out, he called me, saying, “Abraham!” 5:2 And I said, “Here am I!” 5:3 And he said, “Gather and take the splinters from the wood out of which I was making wooden gods before you came [and] cook me a meal!” 5:4 And it came to pass, when I was collecting the wooden splinters, I found among them a small god, lying among the pieces of wood on my left. 5:5 And on his forehead was written: “god Bar-Eshath.” 5:6 And it came to pass, when I found him, I held back and did not tell my father that I had found the wooden god Bar-Eshath among the chips. And it came to pass, after I had put the splinters on the fire, in order to cook food for my father, that I went out to ask about the food and I put Bar-Eshath near the hearth of fire, saying to him menacingly, 5:7 “Bar-Eshath, make sure that the fire does not go out before I come back. If the fire does go out, blow on it to make it flare up.” 5:8 [And] I went out, having kindled my fire. 5:9 When I came back again I found Bar-Eshath fallen backwards, his feet enveloped in fire and terribly burned. 5:10 Laughing greatly to myself, I said, “Bar-Eshath, you certainly are able to kindle fire and cook food!” 5:11 And it came to pass, while I was speaking laughingly, that he was gradually burned up by the fire and became ashes. 5:12 And I brought the food to my father, [and] he ate. 5:13 And I gave him wine and milk, and he drank and satiated himself and blessed Mar-Umath, his god. 5:14 And I said to him, “Father Terah, do not bless your god Mar-Umath, do not praise him! Praise rather your god Bar-Eshath because, in his love for you he threw himself into the fire in order to cook your food.” 5:15 And he said to me, “And where is he now?” 5:16 “He has been reduced to ashes in the fury of the fire and become dust.” 5:17 And he said, “Great is the power of Bar-Eshath! I shall make another today, and tomorrow he will make my food!”


i.iii.iii. Hierarchy of Gods (6)


6:1 When I, Abraham, heard such words from my father, I [both] laughed in my mind and [yet] groaned in the bitterness and anger of my soul. 6:2 And I said, “How can a statue made by my father [ever] be his helper? 6:3 Or would he have subordinated his body to his soul, his soul to his spirit, then his spirit—to folly and ignorance?” 6:4 And I said, “Must one put up with evil? Let me risk my life for purity and I shall put forth my own clear thinking before him!” 6:5 I declared and said, “Father Terah, whichever of these gods you praise, you err in your thinking. 6:6 Behold, my brother Nahor’s gods standing in the holy temple are more honored than yours. 6:7 For behold, Zoukh, my brother Nahor’s god, is more honored than your god Mar-Umath, since he is made of gold sold by men. 6:8 And if he becomes worn out with the years, he will be remade, whereas Mar-Umath, if he is changed or broken, will not be remade, since he is of stone. 6:9 [And] what about Yoavon, a god who is in the power of another god, who stands beside Zoukh? Since [even] he is more honored than the god Bar-Eshath who is made of wood, while [Yoavon is] forged of silver. And being better proportioned, he is sold by men in order to show him. 6:10 But Bar-Eshath , your god, before he was made had been rooted in the ground. 6:11 Being great and wondrous, with branches, flowers and [various] beauties. 6:12 And you cut him with an ax, and by your skill the god was made. 6:13 And behold, he has dried up, and his sap is gone. 6:14 He fell from the heights to the ground, and he went from greatness to insignificance, 6:15 and his appearance has faded. 6:16 [Now] he himself has been burned up by the fire, 6:17 and he turned into ashes and is no more. 6:18 Yet you say: “Today I shall make another one, and tomorrow he will make my food.” 6:19 [But] he retained no strength utterly perishing!


i.iii.iv. Hierarchy of Natural Elements and Luminaries (7)


7:1 This I say: 7:2 Fire is the noblest [element] in the image [of the world], since even the things which are [otherwise] unsubdued are subdued in it, and [since] it mocks with its flames the things which perish easily. 7:3 But I would not call it a god either, since it is subjugated to water. 7:4 Water is indeed nobler, since it overcomes fire and soaks the earth. 7:5 But I would not call it a god, since it is subjugated to the earth, running underneath it. 7:6 I would rather call the earth the noblest, since it overcomes the substance and abundance of water. 7:7 But neither would I call it gods, since it is dried up by the sun [and since it is] made for men to plow. 7:8 [So] I would call the sun nobler than the earth, since with its rays it illumines the inhabited world and the various airs. 7:9 But I would not make it into a god either, since its course is obscured [both] at night [and] by the clouds. 7:10 Nor, again, would I call the moon and the stars gods, since they too in their times at night can darken their light.


i.iii.iv. Monotheistic Conclusion (7:11–12)


7:11 Listen, Terah, my father, I shall seek in your presence the God who created all the gods which we consider! 7:12 For who is it, or which one is it who colored heaven and made the sun golden, who has given light to the moon and the stars with it, who has dried the earth in the midst of many waters, who set you yourself among the elements, and who now has chosen me in the distraction of my mind?— Will he reveal himself by himself to us?— [He is] the God!” Punishment of Terah (8)

8:1 And as I was thinking about these things, here is what happened to my father Terah in the courtyard of his house: The voice of the Mighty One came down from heaven in a stream of fire, saying and calling, “Abraham, Abraham!” 8:2 And I said, “Here am I!” 8:3 And he said, “In the wisdom of your heart you are searching for the God of gods and the Creator. I am he! 8:4 Leave Terah your father, and leave the house, so that you too are not slain for the sins of your father’s house!” 8:5 And I went out. And it came to pass as I was going out, that I had not even gotten as far as going beyond the doors of the courtyard, 8:6 when the sound of thunder came forth and burned him and his house and everything in the house, down to the ground [to a distance of] forty cubits.


ii. Revelation (9–32)

ii.i. Sacrifice (9–14)

ii.i.i. Command on Sacrifice (9)


9:1 Then came a voice saying to me twice, “Abraham, Abraham!” 9:2 And I said “Here am I!” 9:3 And he said, “Behold, it is I! Fear not, for I am the primordial and mighty God, who initially created the two luminaries of the world. 9:4 I protect you and I am your helper. 9:5 Go, take for me a heifer in her third year, and a she-goat in her third year, and ram in his third year, and a turtledove, and a pigeon, and set out for me a pure sacrifice. And in this sacrifice I shall set before you the ages 9:6 and make you know secrets, and you will see great things which you have not seen, since you loved to search for me, and I called you ‘my friend.’ 9:7 But for forty days abstain from every food which issues from fire, and from the drinking of wine, and from anointing [yourself] with oil. 9:8 And then you shall set out for me the sacrifice which I have commanded you, in the place which I shall show you on a high mountain. 9:9 And there shall I show you the ages: things built and firmed, made and renewed by my word. 9:10 And I shall make you know what will come to pass in them on those who have done evil and [those who have done] just things among the race of men.”



ii.i.ii. Angel Yahoel (10–11)


10:1 And it came to pass, when I heard the voice announcing such words to me, and I looked hither and thither. 10:2 And behold, there was no breath of man, and my spirit was affrighted, and my soul fled from me, and I became like a stone, and fell down upon the earth, for there was no longer strength in me to stand up on the earth. 10:3 And when I was still face down on the earth, I heard the voice of the Holy One, saying, “Go, Yahoel, the namesake of the mediation of my ineffable name, sanctify this man and strengthen him from his trembling!” 10:4 And the angel whom he sent to me in the likeness of a man came, and he took me by my right hand and stood me on my feet. 10:5 And he said to me,  “Stand up, Abraham, the friend of God who has loved you, let human trembling not enfold you. 10:6 For behold, I am sent to you to strengthen you and to bless you in the name of God, the creator of heavenly and earthly things, who has loved you. 10:7 Be bold and hasten to him. 10:8 I am Yahoel named by him who shakes those which are with me on the seventh vault, on the firmament. I am a power in the midst of the Ineffable who put together his names in me. 10:9 I am appointed according to his commandment to reconcile the rivalries of the Living Creatures of the Cherubim against one another, and teach those who bear him [to sing] the Song in the middle of man’s night, at the seventh hour. 10:10 I am made in order to rule over the Leviathans, since the attack and the threat of every reptile are subjugated to me. 10:11 I am ordered to unlock Hades and to destroy those who worship the dead things. 10:12 I am ordered to burn your father’s house with him, for he honored the dead things. 10:13 I am sent to you now to bless you and the land which the Eternal One, called by you, has prepared for you. 10:14 And for your sake I have indicated the way of earth. 10:15 Stand up, Abraham, go boldly, be very joyful and rejoice! And I am with you, since an honorable portion has been prepared for you by the Eternal One. 10:16 Go, fulfill your sacrifice of the command! For behold, I am appointed to be with you and with the progeny which is due to be born from you. 10:17 And Michael is with me in order to bless you forever. Be bold, go!” 11:1 And I stood and saw him who had taken my right hand and set me on my feet. 11:2 The appearance of the griffin’s body was like sapphire, and the likeness of his face like chrysolite, and the hair of his head like snow, 11:3 and a turban on his head like the appearance of the bow in the clouds, and the closing of his garments [like] purple, and a golden staff [was] in his right hand. 11:4 And he said to me “Abraham!” and I said, “Here is your servant!” And he said,  “Let my appearance not frighten you, nor my speech trouble your soul! 11:5 Come with me and I shall go with you, visible until the sacrifice, but after the sacrifice invisible forever. 11:6 Be bold and go!”


ii.i.iii. Journey to Horeb (12)


12:1 And we went, the two of us alone together, forty days and nights. 12:2 And I ate no bread and drank no water, because [my] food was to see the angel who was with me, and his speech with me was my drink. 12:3 And we came to the glorious God’s mountains—Horeb. 12:4 And I said to the angel, “Singer of the Eternal One, behold, I have no sacrifice with me, nor do I know a place for an altar on the mountain, so how shall I make the sacrifice?” 12:5 And he said, “Look behind you.” 12:6 And I looked behind me. And behold, all the prescribed sacrifices were following us: the calf, the she-goat, the ram, the turtledove, and the pigeon. 12:7 And the angel said to me, “Abraham!” And I said, “Here am I!” 12:8 And he said to me, “Slaughter and cut all this, putting together the two halves, one against the other. But do not cut the birds. 12:9 And give them [halves] to the two men whom I shall show you standing beside you, since they are the altar on the mountain, to offer sacrifice to the Eternal One. 12:10 The turtledove and the pigeon you will give me, and I shall ascend in order to show to you [the inhabited world] on the wings of two birds, in heaven and on the earth: the sea, and the abysses, and the depths, and the garden of Eden, and its rivers and the fullness of the inhabited world and round about it you will see everything.”


ii.i.iv. Azazel (13–14)


13:1 And I did everything according to the angel’s command. And I gave to the angels who had come to us the divided parts of the animals. And the angel took the two birds. 13:2 And I waited for [the time of] the evening offering. 13:3 And an impure bird flew down on the carcasses, and I drove it away. 13:4 And the impure bird spoke to me and said, “What are you doing, Abraham, on the holy heights, where no one eats or drinks, nor is there upon them food of men. But these will all be consumed by fire and they will burn you up. 13:5 Leave the man who is with you and flee! Since if you ascend to the height, they will destroy you.” 13:6 And it came to pass when I saw the bird speaking I said to the angel, “What is this, my lord?” And he said, “This is iniquity, this is Azazel!” 13:7 And he said to him,  “Reproach is on you, Azazel! Since Abraham’s portion is in heaven, and yours is on earth, 13:8 Since you have chosen it and desired it to be the dwelling place of your impurity. Therefore the Eternal Lord, the Mighty One, has made you a dweller on earth. 13:9 And because of you [there is] the wholly-evil spirit of the lie, and because of you [there are] wrath and trials on the generations of impious men. 13:10 Since the Eternal Mighty God did not send the righteous, in their bodies, to be in your hand, in order to affirm through them the righteous life and the destruction of impiety. 13:11 Hear, adviser! Be shamed by me, since you have been appointed to tempt not to all the righteous! 13:12 Depart from this man! 13:13 You cannot deceive him, because he is the enemy of you and of those who follow you and who love what you desire. 13:14 For behold, the garment which in heaven was formerly yours has been set aside for him, and the corruption which was on him has gone over to you.” 14:1 And the angel said to me, “Abraham!” And I said, “Here am I, your servant.” 14:2 And he said, “Know by this that the Eternal One whom you have loved has chosen you. 14:3 Be bold and have power, as I order you, over him who reviles justice, 14:4 or else I shall not be able to revile him who scattered about the earth the secrets of heaven and who conspired against the Mighty One. 14:5 Say to him,  ‘May you be the fire brand of the furnace of the earth! Go, Azazel, into the untrodden parts of the earth. 14:6 Since your inheritance are those who are with you, with men born with the stars and clouds. And their portion is you, and they come into being through your being. 14:7 And justice is your enmity. Therefore through your own destruction vanish from before me!’” 14:8 And I said the words as the angel had taught me. 14:9 And he said, “Abraham!” And I said, “Here am I, your servant!” 14:10 And the angel said to me, “Answer him not!” 14:11 And he spoke to me a second time. 14:12 And the angel said, “Now, whatever he says to you, answer him not, lest his will affect you. 14:13 Since God gave him the gravity and the will against those who answer him. Answer him not.” 14:14 And I did what the angel had commanded me. And whatever he said to me about the descent, I answered him not.


ii.ii. On Heaven (15–31)

ii.ii.i. Ascension (15–16)


15:1 And it came to pass that when the sun was setting, and behold, a smoke like that of a furnace, and the angels who had the divided parts of the sacrifice ascended from the top of the furnace of smoke. 15:2 And the angel took me with his right hand and set me on the right wing of the pigeon and he himself sat on the left wing of the turtledove, since they both were neither slaughtered nor divided. 15:3 And he carried me up to the edge of the fiery flame. 15:4 And we ascended like great winds to the heaven which was fixed on the expanses. 15:5 And I saw on the sky, on the height we had ascended, a strong light which cannot be described. 15:6 And behold, in this light a fire was kindled [and there was] of a crowd of many people in male likeness. 15:7 They were all changing in appearance and likeness, running and being transformed and bowing and shouting in a language the words of which I did not know. 16:1 And I said to the angel, “Where, thus, have you brought me now? For now I can no longer see, because I am weakened and my spirit is departing from me.” 16:2 And he said to me, “Remain with me, do not fear! 16:3 He whom you will see going before both of us in a great sound of qedushah is the Eternal One who had loved you, whom himself you will not see. 16:4 Let your spirit not weaken from the shouting, since I am with you, strengthening you.”


ii.ii.ii. Song of Abraham (17)


17:1 And while he was still speaking, behold, a fire was coming toward us round about, and a sound was in the fire like a sound of many waters, like a sound of the sea in its uproar. 17:2 And the angel bowed with me and worshiped. 17:3 And I wanted to fall face down to the earth. And the place of elevation on which we both stood sometimes was on high, sometimes rolled down. 17:4 And he said, “Only worship, Abraham, and recite the song which I taught you.” 17:5 Since there was no earth to fall to, I only bowed down and recited the song which he had taught me. 17:6 And he said, “Recite without ceasing.” 17:7 And I recited, and he himself recited the song: 17:8 “O, Eternal, Mighty, Holy El, God Autocrat, 17:9 Self-Begotten, Incorruptible, Immaculate, Unbegotten, Spotless, Immortal, 17:10 Self-Created, Self-Illuminated, Without Mother, Without Father, Without Genealogy, 17:11 High, Fiery, 17:12 Wise, Lover Of Men, Favorable, Generous, Bountiful, Jealous Over Me, Patient, Most Merciful, 17:13 Eli {that is, my God,} Eternal, Mighty, Holy Sabaoth, Most Glorious El, El, El, El, Yahoel. 17:14 You are he whom my soul has loved, the Guardian, Eternal, Fiery, Shining, Light-Formed, Thunder-Voiced, Lightning-Looking, Many-Eyed, 17:16 receiving the entreaties of those who honor you and turning away from the entreaties of those who besiege you by the siege of their provocation, 17:17 releases those who are in the midst of the impious, those who are confused among the unrighteous of the inhabited world in the corruptible life, renewing the life of the righteous. 17:18 You make the light shine before the morning light upon your creation from your face in order to bring the day on the earth. 17:19 And in your heavenly dwellings there is an inexhaustible other light of an inexpressible splendor from the lights of your face. 17:20 Accept my prayer, and let it be sweet to you, and also the sacrifice which you yourself made to yourself through me who searched for you. 17:21 Receive me favorably and show to me, and teach me, and make known to your servant as you have promised me.”


ii.ii.iii. Throne of Glory (18)


18:1 And while I was still reciting the song, the edge of the fire which was on the expanse rose up on high. 18:2 And I heard a voice like the roaring of the sea, and it did not cease because of the fire. 18:3 And as the fire rose up, soaring higher, I saw under the fire a throne [made] of fire and the many-eyed Wheels, and they are reciting the song. And under the throne [I saw] four singing fiery Living Creatures. 18:4 And their appearance was the same, each one of them had four faces. 18:5 And this was the aspect of their faces: of a lion, of a man, of an ox, of an eagle. Four heads were on their bodies, so that the four Living Creatures had sixteen faces, 18:6 and each one had six wings: from their shoulders, and from their sides, and from their loins. 18:7 With the wings which were from their shoulders they covered their faces, and with the wings from their loins they clothed their feet, and with their middle wings they stretch out straight flying. 18:8 And as they were finishing singing, they looked at one another and threatened one another. 18:9 And it came to pass when the angel who was with me saw that they were threatening each other, he left me and went running to them. 18:10 And he turned the face of each Living Creature from the face which was opposite to it so that they could not see each other’s threatening faces. 18:11 And he taught them the song of peace [saying] that everything belonged to the Eternal One. 18:12 While I was still standing and watching, I saw behind the Living Creatures a chariot with fiery Wheels. Each Wheel was full of eyes round about. 18:13 And above the Wheels there was the throne which I had seen. And it was covered with fire and the fire encircled it round about, and an indescribable light surrounded the fiery people. 18:14 And I heard the sound of their qedusha like the voice of a single man.


ii.ii.iv. Celestial Powers (19)


19:1 And a voice came to me out of the midst of the fire, saying, “Abraham, Abraham!” 19:2 And I said, “Here am I!” 19:3 And he said, “Look at the levels which are under the expanse on which you are brought and see that on no single level is there any other but the one whom you have searched for or who has loved you.” 19:4 And while he was still speaking, and behold, the levels opened, and there are the heavens under me. And I saw on the seventh firmament upon which I stood a fire spread out and light, and dew, and a multitude of angels, and a power of the invisible glory from the Living Creatures which I had seen above. But I saw no one else there. 19:5 And I looked from the altitude of my standing to the sixth expanse. 19:6 And I saw there a multitude of incorporeal spiritual angels, carrying out the orders of the fiery angels who were on the eighth firmament, as I was standing on its suspensions. 19:7 And behold, neither on this expanse was there any other power of other form, but only the spiritual angels, and they are the power which I had seen on the seventh firmament. 19:8 And he commanded the sixth expanse to remove itself. 19:9 And I saw there, on the fifth [level], hosts of stars, and the orders they were commanded to carry out, and the elements of earth obeying them.”


ii.ii.v. Promise of Seed (20:1–6)


20:1 And the Eternal Mighty One said to me, “Abraham, Abraham!” 20:2 And I said, “Here am I!” 20:3 And he said, “Look from on high at the stars which are beneath you and count them for me and tell me their number!” 20:4 And I said, “Would I be able? For I am [but] a man.” 20:5 And he said to me, “As the number of the stars and their host, so shall I make your seed into a company of nations, set apart for me in my lot with Azazel.” Evil in the World (20:6–23:13) Question (20:6–7)


20:6 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! Let your servant speak before you and let your fury not rage against your chosen one. 20:7 Behold, before you led me up, Azazel abused me. Why then, while he is now not before you, have you set yourself with him?” Answer (21:1–23:13) Creation; Chosen People and Peoples of Azazel; Righteous and Sinners (21–22)


21:1 And he said to me, “Look now beneath your feet at the expanse and contemplate the creation which was previously covered over. On this level there is the creation and those who inhabit it and the age that has been prepared to follow it.” 21:2 And I looked beneath the expanse at my feet and I saw the likeness of heaven and what was therein. 21:3 And [I saw] there the earth and its fruits, and its moving ones, and its spiritual ones, and its host of men and their spiritual impieties, and their justifications, and the pursuits of their works, and the abyss and its torment, and its lower depths, and the perdition which is in it. 21:4 And I saw there the sea and its islands, and its animals and its fishes, and Leviathan and his spouse, and his lair, and his dens, and the world which lies upon him, and his motions and the destruction of the world because of him. 21:5 I saw there the rivers and their overflows, and their circles. 21:6 And I saw there the tree of Eden and its fruits, and the spring, the river flowing from it, and its trees and their flowering, and I saw those who act righteously. And I saw in it their food and rest. 21:7 And I saw there a great crowd of men, and women, and children, and half of them on the right side of the portrayal, and half of them on the left side of the portrayal. 22:1 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! What is this picture of creation?” 22:2 And he said to me, “This is my will for existence in design, and it was pleasing to me. And then, afterward, I gave them a command by my word and they came into being. And whatever I had determined to be had already been previously depicted and stood before me in this, as you have seen, before they were created. 22:3 And I said, “O Lord! Mighty and Eternal! Who are the people in the picture on this side and on that?” 22:4 And he said to me, “These who are on the left side are a multitude of tribes who were before and who are destined to be after you: some for judgment and justice, and others for revenge and perdition at the end of the age. 22:5 Those on the right side of the picture are the people set apart for me of the people [that are] with Azazel. These are the ones I have destined to be born of you and to be called my people.” Fall of Man (23:1–13)


23:1 “Look again at the picture, who is the one who seduced Eve, and what is the fruit of the tree. 23:2 And you will know what will happen, and how, to your seed among people in the last days of the age. 23:3 And what you cannot understand, I shall make known to you what was pleasing to me and I shall tell you the things kept in my heart.” 23:4 And I looked at the picture, and my eyes ran to the side of the garden of Eden. 23:5 And I saw there a man very great in height and terrible in breadth, incomparable in aspect, entwined with a woman who was also equal to the man in aspect and size. 23:6 And they were standing under a tree of Eden, and the fruit of the tree was like the appearance of a bunch of grapes of vine. 23:7 And behind the tree was standing, as it were, a serpent in form, but having hands and feet like a man, and wings on its shoulders: six on the right side and six on the left. 23:8 And he was holding in his hands the grapes of the tree and feeding the two whom I saw entwined with each other. 23:9 And I said, “Who are these two entwined with each other, or who is this between them, or what is the fruit which they are eating, Mighty Eternal One?” 23:10 And he said, “This is the reason of men, this is Adam, and this is their desire on earth, this is Eve. 23:11 And he who is between them is the Impiety of their pursuits for destruction, Azazel himself.” 23:12 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! Why then did you adjudge to this one such power to destroy humankind by his works on earth?” 23:13 And he said to me, “Hear, Abraham! Those who desire evil and whom I have hated as they are doing these [works], over them I gave him power, and [he is] to be loved by them.”


ii.ii.vii. Evil in Man (21:13–26)

ii.ii.vii.i. Question (23:1)


23:14 And I answered and said,  “Eternal Mighty One! Why did you will to do so that evil is desired in the heart of man? Since you are angry at what was willed by you, who does a bad thing according to your design.”


ii.ii.vii.ii. Answer (24–26)

ii.ii.vii.ii.i. Sins of Heathens (24)


24:1 And he said to me, “Such is the near future of the nations of peoples which are set apart for you after you from your progeny, as you will see in the picture, what is destined to be with them. 24:2 And I shall tell you what and how it will be in the last days. 24:3 Look now at everything in the picture.” 24:4 And I looked and saw there what had been in the world before. 24:5 And I saw, as it were, Adam, and Eve with him, and with them the Evil Adversary and Cain, who acted lawlessly because of the Adversary, and the murdered Abel, the perdition brought and given to him through the Lawless One. 24:6 And I saw there fornication and those who desired it, and its defilement and their jealousy; and the fire of their corruption in the lower depths of the earth. 24:7 And I saw there theft and those who hasten after it, and their judgment of retribution {that is—of the great court}. 24:8 I saw there two bare-headed men against me and their shame and the harm against their fellows and their retribution. 24:9 I saw there desire, [and] in its hand the head of every kind of lawlessness and its torment and its dispersal committed to perdition.


ii.ii.vii.ii.ii. Sins of Israel (25)


25:1 I saw there the likeness of the idol of jealousy, as a likeness of a craftsman’s [work] such as my father made, and its statue was of shining copper, and a man before it, and he was worshiping it; 25:2 and [there was] an altar opposite it and youths were slaughtered on it before the idol. 25:3 And I said to him, “What is this idol, and what is the altar, and who are those being sacrificed, and who is the sacrificer, and what is the beautiful temple which I see, art and beauty of your glory that lies beneath your throne?” 25:4 And he said,  “Hear, Abraham! This temple and altar and the beautiful things which you have seen are my image of the sanctification of the name of my glory, where every prayer of men will dwell, and the gathering of kings and prophets, and the sacrifice which I shall establish to be made for me among my people coming from your progeny. 25:5 And the statue you saw is my anger, because the people who will come to me out of you will make me angry. 25:6 And the man you saw slaughtering is he who angers me. And the sacrifice is the murder of those who are for me a testimony of the close of the judgment in the end of the creation.”


ii.ii.vii.ii.iii. Free Will and Predetermination (26)


26:1 And I said, “Eternal, Mighty One! Why did you ordain it to be so? Take back these testimonies!” 26:2 And he said to me, “Hear, Abraham, and understand what I tell you, and answer whatever I ask you. 26:3 Why did your father Terah not listen to your voice and abandon the demonic idolatry until he perished, and all his house with him?” 26:4 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! Evidently because he did not will to listen to me, nor did I follow his deeds.” 26:5 And he said to me,  “Hear, Abraham! As the will of your father is in him, as your will is in you, so also the will desired by me is inevitable in coming days which you will not know in advance, nor the things which are in them. 26:6 You will see with your own eyes what will be with your seed. 26:7 Look at the picture!”


ii.ii.viii. Destiny of Israel (27–32)

ii.ii.viii.i. Destruction of the Temple (27)


27:1 And I looked and saw, and behold, the picture swayed, and a heathen people went out from its left side and they captured those who were on the right side: the men, women, and children. 27:2 And some they slaughtered and others they held with them. 27:3 And behold, I saw four hosts coming to them. And they burned the temple with fire, and they carried away the holy things that were in it. 27:4 And I said, “Eternal One! The people you have received from me are brought away by the multitudes of peoples. 27:5 And some they are killing and others they are holding as sojourners. And they burned the temple with fire, and they are capturing and destroying the beautiful things which are in it. 27:6 Eternal One! If this is so, why have you afflicted my heart and why will it be so?” 27:7 And he said to me, “Listen, Abraham, all that you have seen will happen because of your seed who will provoke me, because of the idol and the murder which you saw in the picture in the temple of jealousy. 27:8 And it will be as you have seen. 27:9 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! Let the evil works of impiety now pass by, but make commandments in them! Since you can do more than the just works of this [?] !” 27:10 And he said to me,  “Rather the time of justice will come first with the righteousness of kings. 27:11 And I shall adjudge to them with justice those whom I earlier created in order to rule thence over them. 27:12 And from those [kings] will come men who will trouble them, as I made known to you and you saw.”


ii.ii.viii.ii. Exile (28–29:3)


28:1 And I answered and said, “Mighty Eternal One, you who are sanctified in your power, be charitable to my request! As for this reason you made known to me and showed me [divine secrets] when you have brought me up onto your height, 28:2 so for the same reason make it known to me, your beloved, what I ask: whether what I saw will happen to them for long?” 28:3 And he showed me a multitude of his people 28:4 and said to me, “For this reason, my anger at them will come through the four hosts which you saw, and through them will come retribution from me for their works. 28:5 And in the fourth host there are one hundred years and also one hour of the age. And for one hundred years it will be in evil [circumstances] among the heathen and an hour in their mercy and agreement as among the heathen. 29:1 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! How long a time is an hour of the age?” 29:2 And he said, “I set twelve periods for this impious age to rule over the heathens and over your seed, and what you have seen will be until the end of time. 29:3 And reckon and you will know. Look into the picture!”


ii.ii.viii.iii. False and True Messiahs (29:4–13)


29:4 And I looked and saw a man going out from the left side of the heathen. Men and women and children, great crowds, went out from the side of the heathen and they worshiped him. 29:5 And while I was still looking, those on the right side went out, and some shamed this man, and some struck him, and some worshiped him. 29:6 And I saw that as they worshiped him, Azazel ran and worshiped, and having kissed his face he turned and stood behind him. 29:7 And I said, “Eternal Mighty One! Who is this shamed and struck man, worshiped by the heathen with Azazel?” 29:8 And he answered and said, “Hear, Abraham, the man whom you saw shamed and struck and again worshiped is the laxity of the heathen for the people who will come from you in the last days, in this twelfth hour of the age of impiety. 29:9 And in the [same] twelfth period of the close of my age I shall set up the man from your seed which you saw. 29:10 Everyone from my people will [finally] admit him, while the sayings of him who was as if called by me will be neglected in their minds. 29:11 And that you saw going out from the left side of the picture and those worshiping him, this [means that] many of the heathen will hope in him. 29:12 And those of your seed you saw on the right side, some shaming and striking him, and some worshiping him, many of them will be misled on his account. 29:13 And he will tempt those of your seed who have worshiped him.


ii.ii.viii.iv. Judgment and Salvation (29:14–21)


29:14 In the close of the twelfth hour, in the ceasing of the age of impiety, before the age of justice will start to grow, my judgment will come upon the heathen who have acted wickedly through the people of your seed who have been set apart for me. 29:15 In those days I shall bring upon all earthly creation ten plagues through evil and disease and the groaning of the bitterness of their soul, 29:16 as I shall bring upon the generations of men who are on it [= earth], because of the anger and the corruption of their deeds with which they provoke me. 29:17 And then from your seed will the righteous men be left, kept by me by number, hastening in the glory of my name to the place prepared beforehand for them, which you saw deserted in the picture. 29:18 And they will live, being sustained by the sacrifices and the offerings of justice and truth in the age of justice. 29:19 And they will rejoice over me forever, and they will destroy those who have destroyed them, and they will rebuke those who have rebuked them by mockery, and those who spit in their faces will be rebuked by me, 29:20 when they will see me joyfully rejoicing with my people and receiving those who return to me in repentance. 29:21 See, Abraham, what you have seen, and hear what you have heard, and know what you have known. Go to your lot! And behold, I am with you forever.”


ii.ii.viii.v. Punishment of Heathens and Gathering of Israel (30–31)


30:1 And while he was still speaking, I found myself on the earth, and I said, “Eternal, Mighty One, I am no longer in the glory in which I was above, but what my soul desired to understand I do not understand in my heart.” 30:2 And he said to me, “Abraham, I shall tell [you] what your heart desired, for you have sought to know the ten plagues which I prepared against the heathen, and I prepared them beforehand after the passing of the twelve hours on earth. 30:3 Hear what I tell you, it will be thus. 30:4 The first—distress from much violence; the second—the fiery burning of cities; 30:5 the third—destruction of the cattle by pestilence; the fourth—famine in their native land, 30:6 the fifth—destruction in their domains through the ravage of earthquake and sword; the sixth—hail and increase of snow; 30:7 the seventh—wild beasts will be their grave; the eighth—famine and pestilence will take turns in their destruction; 30:8 the ninth—punishment by the sword and flight in distress; the tenth—thunder and voices, and ravaging earthquakes. 31:1 Then I shall sound the trumpet from the sky, and I shall send my chosen one, having in him one measure of all my power, and he will summon my people blamed among the heathen. 31:2 And I shall burn with fire those who mocked them ruling over them in this age and I shall commit those who have covered me with mockery to the reproach of the coming age. 31:3 Since I have destined them to be food for the fire of hell, and ceaseless soaring in the air of the underground depths, the contents of a worm’s belly. 31:4 For those who do justice, who have chosen my will and clearly kept my commandments, will see them. And they will rejoice with joy at the destruction of the abandoned. 31:5 And those who followed after the idols and after their murders will rot in the womb of the Evil One—the belly of Azazel, and they will be burned by the fire of Azazel’s tongue. 31:6 Since I waited until they came to me, and they did not want it. 31:7 And they glorified an alien. 31:8 And they joined one to whom they had not been allotted, and they abandoned the prevailing Lord. 31:9 Therefore, hear, Abraham, and see! Behold, your seventh generation will go with you. 31:10 And they will go out into an alien land. 31:11 And they will be enslaved and distressed for about one hour of the impious age. 31:12 And of the people whom they will serve—I am the judge.”