Die boek Barug
Die boek Barug – Kobus Kok
Ek is op soek na die boek van Barug asb. Hoe kan ek dit in die hande kry?
Prof Kobus Kok antwoord:
Die boek Baruch is ‘n deuterokanonieke boek wat in die King James apokriewe weergawe gelees kan word. Ons kry ook twee en drie Baruch. Die boek kom voor in die Septuaginta en Vulgaat weergawes van die Ou Testament, maar nie in die Hebreuse Ou Testament weergawe nie. Die skrywer is na alle waarskynlikheid Baruch Ben Neriah, die skriba van Jeremia. Die meeste geleerdes is egter van mening dat die boek dateer uit die tyd net na die Makkabeers.
Vir diegene wat in diepte studie wil doen oor Baruch, kan goeie kommentare bestudeer word. Die beste plek om boeke van regoor die wereld te bestel is by www.amazon.com. Die goedkoopste manier is om Kindle op jou rekenaar te installeer en die kindle boek te koop. Dit is soms n kwart van die prys van die hardeband boek. Hier is n skakel na n kommentaar op 2 Baruch http://www.amazon.com/Second-Baruch-Translation-Introduction-Concordances/dp/0567046168/ref=sr_1_47?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325492688&sr=1-47
De volle teks van 1-3 Baruch kan verniet besigtig word by: http://www.textexcavation.com/baruch.html
Hier onder is die teks van 1 en 3 Baruch vir interessantheid:
 These are the words of the book which Baruch the son of Neraiah, son of Mahseiah, son of Zedekiah, son of Hasadiah, son of Hilkiah, wrote in Babylon,
 in the fifth year, on the seventh day of the month, at the time when the Chaldeans took Jerusalem and burned it with fire.
 And Baruch read the words of this book in the hearing of Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and in the hearing of all the people who came to hear the book,
 and in the hearing of the mighty men and the princes, and in the hearing of the elders, and in the hearing of all the people, small and great, all who dwelt in Babylon by the river Sud.
 Then they wept, and fasted, and prayed before the Lord;
 and they collected money, each giving what he could;
 and they sent it to Jerusalem to Jehoiakim the high priest, the son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, and to the priests, and to all the people who were present with him in Jerusalem.
 At the same time, on the tenth day of Sivan, Baruch took the vessels of the house of the Lord, which had been carried away from the temple, to return them to the land of Judah — the silver vessels which Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, had made,
 after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem Jeconiah and the princes and the prisoners and the mighty men and the people of the land, and brought them to Babylon.
 And they said: “Herewith we send you money; so buy with the money burnt offerings and sin offerings and incense, and prepare a cereal offering, and offer them upon the altar of the Lord our God;
 and pray for the life of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and for the life of Belshazzar his son, that their days on earth may be like the days of heaven.
 And the Lord will give us strength, and he will give light to our eyes, and we shall live under the protection of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and under the protection of Belshazzar his son, and we shall serve them many days and find favor in their sight.
 And pray for us to the Lord our God, for we have sinned against the Lord our God, and to this day the anger of the Lord and his wrath have not turned away from us.
 And you shall read this book which we are sending you, to make your confession in the house of the Lord on the days of the feasts and at appointed seasons.
 “And you shall say: `Righteousness belongs to the Lord our God, but confusion of face, as at this day, to us, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
 and to our kings and our princes and our priests and our prophets and our fathers,
 because we have sinned before the Lord,
 and have disobeyed him, and have not heeded the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in the statutes of the Lord which he set before us.
 From the day when the Lord brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt until today, we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, and we have been negligent, in not heeding his voice.
 So to this day there have clung to us the calamities and the curse which the Lord declared through Moses his servant at the time when he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt to give to us a land flowing with milk and honey.
 We did not heed the voice of the Lord our God in all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us, but we each followed the intent of his own wicked heart by serving other gods and doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God.
 “`So the Lord confirmed his word, which he spoke against us, and against our judges who judged Israel, and against our kings and against our princes and against the men of Israel and Judah.
 Under the whole heaven there has not been done the like of what he has done in Jerusalem, in accordance with what is written in the law of Moses,
 that we should eat, one the flesh of his son and another the flesh of his daughter.
 And he gave them into subjection to all the kingdoms around us, to be a reproach and a desolation among all the surrounding peoples, where the Lord has scattered them.
 They were brought low and not raised up, because we sinned against the Lord our God, in not heeding his voice.
 “`Righteousness belongs to the Lord our God, but confusion of face to us and our fathers, as at this day.
 All those calamities with which the Lord threatened us have come upon us.
 Yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord by turning away, each of us, from the thoughts of his wicked heart.
 And the Lord has kept the calamities ready, and the Lord has brought them upon us, for the Lord is righteous in all his works which he has commanded us to do.
 Yet we have not obeyed his voice, to walk in the statutes of the Lord which he set before us.
 “`And now, O Lord God of Israel, who didst bring thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and with signs and wonders and with great power and outstretched arm, and hast made thee a name, as at this day,
 we have sinned, we have been ungodly, we have done wrong, O Lord our God, against all thy ordinances.
 Let thy anger turn away from us, for we are left, few in number, among the nations where thou hast scattered us.
 Hear, O Lord, our prayer and our supplication, and for thy own sake deliver us, and grant us favor in the sight of those who have carried us into exile;
 that all the earth may know that thou art the Lord our God, for Israel and his descendants are called by thy name.
 O Lord, look down from thy holy habitation, and consider us. Incline thy ear, O Lord, and hear;
 open thy eyes, O Lord, and see; for the dead who are in Hades, whose spirit has been taken from their bodies, will not ascribe glory or justice to the Lord,
 but the person that is greatly distressed, that goes about bent over and feeble, and the eyes that are failing, and the person that hungers, will ascribe to thee glory and righteousness, O Lord.
 For it is not because of any righteous deeds of our fathers or our kings that we bring before thee our prayer for mercy, O Lord our God.
 For thou hast sent thy anger and thy wrath upon us, as thou didst declare by thy servants the prophets, saying:
 “Thus says the Lord: Bend your shoulders and serve the king of Babylon, and you will remain in the land which I gave to your fathers.
 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord and will not serve the king of Babylon,
 I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the region about Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, and the whole land will be a desolation without inhabitants.”
 “`But we did not obey thy voice, to serve the king of Babylon; and thou hast confirmed thy words, which thou didst speak by thy servants the prophets, that the bones of our kings and the bones of our fathers would be brought out of their graves;
 and behold, they have been cast out to the heat of day and the frost of night. They perished in great misery, by famine and sword and pestilence.
 And the house which is called by thy name thou hast made as it is today, because of the wickedness of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
 “`Yet thou hast dealt with us, O Lord our God, in all thy kindness and in all thy great compassion,
 as thou didst speak by thy servant Moses on the day when thou didst command him to write thy law in the presence of the people of Israel, saying,
 “If you will not obey my voice, this very great multitude will surely turn into a small number among the nations, where I will scatter them.
 For I know that they will not obey me, for they are a stiff-necked people. But in the land of their exile they will come to themselves,
 and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I will give them a heart that obeys and ears that hear;
 and they will praise me in the land of their exile, and will remember my name,
 and will turn from their stubbornness and their wicked deeds; for they will remember the ways of their fathers, who sinned before the Lord.
 I will bring them again into the land which I swore to give to their fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, and they will rule over it; and I will increase them, and they will not be diminished.
 I will make an everlasting covenant with them to be their God and they shall be my people; and I will never again remove my people Israel from the land which I have given them.”
 “`O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, the soul in anguish and the wearied spirit cry out to thee.
 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned before thee.
 For thou art enthroned for ever, and we are perishing for ever.
 O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel and of the sons of those who sinned before thee, who did not heed the voice of the Lord their God, so that calamities have clung to us.
 Remember not the iniquities of our fathers, but in this crisis remember thy power and thy name.
 For thou art the Lord our God, and thee, O Lord, will we praise.
 For thou hast put the fear of thee in our hearts in order that we should call upon thy name; and we will praise thee in our exile, for we have put away from our hearts all the iniquity of our fathers who sinned before thee.
 Behold, we are today in our exile where thou hast scattered us, to be reproached and cursed and punished for all the iniquities of our fathers who forsook the Lord our God.'”
 Hear the commandments of life, O Israel; give ear, and learn wisdom!
 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies, that you are growing old in a foreign country, that you are defiled with the dead,
 that you are counted among those in Hades?
 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
 If you had walked in the way of God, you would be dwelling in peace for ever.
 Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.
 Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?
 Where are the princes of the nations, and those who rule over the beasts on earth;
 those who have sport with the birds of the air, and who hoard up silver and gold, in which men trust, and there is no end to their getting;
 those who scheme to get silver, and are anxious, whose labors are beyond measure?
 They have vanished and gone down to Hades, and others have arisen in their place.
 Young men have seen the light of day, and have dwelt upon the earth; but they have not learned the way to knowledge, nor understood her paths, nor laid hold of her.
 Their sons have strayed far from her way.
 She has not been heard of in Canaan, nor seen in Teman;
 the sons of Hagar, who seek for understanding on the earth, the merchants of Merran and Teman, the story-tellers and the seekers for understanding, have not learned the way to wisdom, nor given thought to her paths.
 O Israel, how great is the house of God! And how vast the territory that he possesses!
 It is great and has no bounds; it is high and immeasurable.
 The giants were born there, who were famous of old, great in stature, expert in war.
 God did not choose them, nor give them the way to knowledge;
 so they perished because they had no wisdom, they perished through their folly.
 Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds?
 Who has gone over the sea, and found her, and will buy her for pure gold?
 No one knows the way to her, or is concerned about the path to her.
 But he who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures;
 he who sends forth the light, and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear;
 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, and they said, “Here we are!” They shone with gladness for him who made them.
 This is our God; no other can be compared to him!
 He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved.
 Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men.
 She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures for ever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die.
 Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light.
 Do not give your glory to another, or your advantages to an alien people.
 Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God.
 Take courage, my people, O memorial of Israel!
 It was not for destruction that you were sold to the nations, but you were handed over to your enemies because you angered God.
 For you provoked him who made you, by sacrificing to demons and not to God.
 You forgot the everlasting God, who brought you up, and you grieved Jerusalem, who reared you.
 For she saw the wrath that came upon you from God, and she said: “Hearken, you neighbors of Zion, God has brought great sorrow upon me;
 for I have seen the captivity of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them.
 With joy I nurtured them, but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow.
 Let no one rejoice over me, a widow and bereaved of many; I was left desolate because of the sins of my children, because they turned away from the law of God.
 They had no regard for his statutes; they did not walk in the ways of God’s commandments, nor tread the paths of discipline in his righteousness.
 Let the neighbors of Zion come; remember the capture of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them.
 For he brought against them a nation from afar, a shameless nation, of a strange language, who had no respect for an old man, and had no pity for a child.
 They led away the widow’s beloved sons, and bereaved the lonely woman of her daughters.
 “But I, how can I help you?
 For he who brought these calamities upon you will deliver you from the hand of your enemies.
 Go, my children, go; for I have been left desolate.
 I have taken off the robe of peace and put on the sackcloth of my supplication; I will cry to the Everlasting all my days.
 “Take courage, my children, cry to God, and he will deliver you from the power and hand of the enemy.
 For I have put my hope in the Everlasting to save you, and joy has come to me from the Holy One, because of the mercy which soon will come to you from your everlasting Savior.
 For I sent you out with sorrow and weeping, but God will give you back to me with joy and gladness for ever.
 For as the neighbors of Zion have now seen your capture, so they soon will see your salvation by God, which will come to you with great glory and with the splendor of the Everlasting.
 My children, endure with patience the wrath that has come upon you from God. Your enemy has overtaken you, but you will soon see their destruction and will tread upon their necks.
 My tender sons have traveled rough roads; they were taken away like a flock carried off by the enemy.
 “Take courage, my children, and cry to God, for you will be remembered by him who brought this upon you.
 For just as you purposed to go astray from God, return with tenfold zeal to seek him.
 For he who brought these calamities upon you will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.”
 Take courage, O Jerusalem, for he who named you will comfort you.
 Wretched will be those who afflicted you and rejoiced at your fall.
 Wretched will be the cities which your children served as slaves; wretched will be the city which received your sons.
 For just as she rejoiced at your fall and was glad for your ruin, so she will be grieved at her own desolation.
 And I will take away her pride in her great population, and her insolence will be turned to grief.
 For fire will come upon her from the Everlasting for many days, and for a long time she will be inhabited by demons.
 Look toward the east, O Jerusalem, and see the joy that is coming to you from God!
 Behold, your sons are coming, whom you sent away; they are coming, gathered from east and west, at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the glory of God.
 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
 Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.
 For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
 For your name will for ever be called by God, “Peace of righteousness and glory of godliness.”
 Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height and look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east, at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them.
 For they went forth from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
 For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
 The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command.
THE GREEK APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH
1 A narrative and revelation of Baruch, concerning those ineffable things which he saw by command of God. Bless Thou, O Lord.
2 A revelation of Baruch, who stood upon the river Gel weeping over the captivity of 3 Jerusalem, when also Abimelech was preserved by the hand of God, at the farm of Agrippa. And he was sitting thus at the beautiful gates, where the Holy of holies lay.
- 1 Verily I Baruch was weeping in my mind and sorrowing on account of the people, and that 2 Nebuchadnezzar the king was permitted by God to destroy His city, saying: Lord, why didst Thou set on fire Thy vineyard, and lay it waste? Why didst Thou do this? And why, Lord, didst Thou not requite us with another chastisement, but didst deliver us to nations such as these, so that they 3 reproach us and say, Where is their God? And behold as I was weeping and saying such things, I saw an angel of the Lord coming and saying to me: Understand, O man, greatly beloved, and trouble not thyself so greatly concerning the salvation of Jerusalem, for thus saith the Lord God, 4 the Almighty. For He sent me before thee, to make known and to show to thee all (the things) 5, 6 of God. For thy prayer was heard before Him, and entered into the ears of the Lord God. And when he had said these things to me, I was silent. And the angel said to me: Cease to provoke 7 God, and I will show thee other mysteries, greater than these. And I Baruch said, As the Lord God liveth, if thou wilt show me, and I hear a word of thine, I will not continue to speak any longer. 8 God shall add to my judgement in the day of judgement, if I speak hereafter. And the angel of the powers said to me, Come, and I will show thee the mysteries of God.
The First Heaven.
- 2 1 And he took me and led me where the firmament has been set fast, and where there was a river which no one can cross, nor any strange breeze of all those which God created. And he took me and led me to the first heaven, and showed me a door of great size. And he said to me, Let us enter 3 through it, and we entered as though borne on wings, a distance of about thirty days’ journey. And he showed me within the heaven a plain ; and there were men dwelling thereon, with the faces of 4 oxen, and the horns of stags and the feet of goats, and the haunches of lambs. And I Baruch asked the angel, Make known to me, I pray thee, what is the thickness of the heaven in which we journeyed, 5 or what is its extent, or what is the plain, in order that I may also tell the sons of men? And the angel whose name is Phamael said to me: This door which thou seest is the door of heaven, and as great as is the distance from earth to heaven, so great also is its thickness; and again as great as is the distance (from North to South, so great) is the length of the plain which thou didst see. And again the angel of the powers said to me, Come, and I will show thee greater mysteries. But 6, 7 I said, I pray thee show me what are these men. And he said to me, These are they who built the tower of strife against God, and the Lord banished them.
The Second Heaven.
- 3 1 And the angel of the Lord took me and led me to a second heaven. And he showed me there 2 also a door like the first and said, Let us enter through it. And we entered, being borne on wings 3 a distance of about sixty days’ journey. And he showed me there also a plain, and it was full of 4 men, whose appearance was like that of dogs, and whose feet were like those of stags. And I asked 5 the angel: I pray thee, Lord, say to me who are these. And he said, These are they who gave counsel to build the tower, for they whom thou seest drove forth multitudes of both men and women, to make bricks; among whom, a woman making bricks was not allowed to be released in the hour of child-birth, but brought forth while she was making bricks, and carried her child in her apron, and 6 continued to make bricks. And the Lord appeared to them and confused their speech, when they 7 had built the tower to the height of four hundred and sixty-three cubits. And they took a gimlet, and sought to pierce the heaven, saying, Let us see (whether) the heaven is made of clay, or of 8 brass, or of iron. When God saw this He did not permit them, but smote them with blindness and confusion of speech, and rendered them as thou seest.
The Third Heaven.
- 4 1 And I Baruch said, Behold, Lord, Thou didst show me great and wonderful things; and now 2 show me all things for the sake of the Lord. And the angel said to me, Come, let us proceed. (And I proceeded) with the angel from that place about one hundred and eighty-five days’ 3 journey. And he showed me a plain and a serpent, which appeared to be two hundred plethra in length. 4 And he showed me Hades, and its appearance was dark and abominable. And I said, 5 Who is this dragon, and who is this monster around him? And the angel said, The dragon is he 6 who eats the bodies of those who spend their life wickedly, and he is nourished by them. And this is Hades, which itself also closely resembles him, in that it also drinks about a cubit from 7 the sea, which does not sink at all. Baruch said, And how (does this happen)? And the angel said, Hearken, the Lord God made three hundred and sixty rivers, of which the chief of 8 all are Alphias, Abyrus, and the Gericus; and because of these the sea does not sink. And I said, I pray thee show me which is the tree which led Adam astray. And the angel said to me, It is the vine, which the angel Sammael planted, whereat the Lord God was angry, and He cursed him and his plant, while also on this account He did not permit Adam to touch it, and therefore 9 the devil being envious deceived him through his vine. [And I Baruch said, Since also the vine has been the cause of such great evil, and is under judgment of the curse of God, and was the 10 destruction of the first created, how is it now so useful? And the angel said, Thou askest aright. When God caused the deluge upon earth, and destroyed all flesh, and four hundred and nine thousand giants, and the water rose fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, then the water entered into paradise and destroyed every flower; but it removed wholly without the bounds the shoot 11 of the vine and cast it outside. And when the earth appeared out of the water, and Noah came out 12 of the ark, he began to plant of the plants which he found. But he found also the shoot of the vine; and he took it, and was reasoning in himself, What then is it? And I came and spake to 13him the things concerning it. And he said, Shall I plant it, or what shall I do? Since Adam was destroyed because of it, let me not also meet with the anger of God because of it. And saying 14 these things he prayed that God would reveal to him what he should do concerning it. And when he had completed the prayer which lasted forty days, and having besought many things and wept, 15 he said: Lord, I entreat thee to reveal to me what I shall do concerning this plant. But God sent his angel Sarasael, and said to him, Arise, Noah, and plant the shoot of the vine, for thus saith the Lord : Its bitterness shall be changed into sweetness, and its curse shall become a blessing, and that which is produced from it shall become the blood of God; and as through it the human race obtained condemnation, so again through Jesus Christ the Immanuel will they receive in Him the 16 upward calling, and the entry into paradise]. Know therefore, 0 Baruch, that as Adam through this very tree obtained condemnation, and was divested of the glory of God, so also the men who now drink insatiably the wine which is begotten of it, transgress worse than Adam, and are far from the 17 glory of God, and are surrendering themselves to the eternal fire. For (no) good comes through it. For those who drink it to surfeit do these things: neither does a brother pity his brother, nor a father his son, nor children their parents, but from the drinking of wine come all evils, such as murders, adulteries, fornications, perjuries, thefts, and such like. And nothing good is established by it.
- 5 1 And I Baruch said to the angel, 2 Let me ask thee one thing, Lord. Since thou didst say to me 3 that the dragon drinks one cubit out of the sea, say to me also, how great is his belly? And the angel said, His belly is Hades; and as far as a plummet is thrown (by) three hundred men, so great is his belly. Come, then, that I may show thee also greater works than these.
- 6 1 And he took me and led me where the sun goes forth; 2 and he showed me a chariot and four, under which burnt a fire, and in the chariot was sitting a man, wearing a crown of fire, (and) the chariot (was) drawn by forty angels. And behold a bird circling before the sun, about nine 3 cubits away. And I said to the angel, What is this bird? And he said to me, This is the 4, 5 guardian of the earth. And I said, Lord, how is he the guardian of the earth? Teach me. And the angel said to me, This bird flies alongside of the sun, and expanding his wings receives its fiery 6 rays. For if he were not receiving them, the human race would not be preserved, nor any other 7 living creature. But God appointed this bird thereto. And he expanded his wings, and I saw on his right wing very large letters, as large as the space of a threshing-floor, the size of about four 8 thousand modii; and the letters were of gold. And the angel said to me, Read them. And I read 9 and they ran thus: Neither earth nor heaven bring me forth, but wings of fire bring me forth. And I said, Lord, what is this bird, and what is his name? And the angel said to me, His name is called 11 Phoenix. (And I said), And what does he eat? And he said to me, The manna of heaven and 12 the dew of earth. And I said, Does the bird excrete? And he said to me, He excretes a worm, and the excrement of the worm is cinnamon, which kings and princes use. But wait and thou shalt 13 see the glory of God. And while he was conversing with me, there was as a thunder-clap, and the place was shaken on which we were standing. And I asked the angel, My Lord, what is this sound? And the angel said to me, Even now the angels are opening the three hundred and sixty-five gates 14 of heaven, and the light is being separated from the darkness. And a voice came which said, Light 15 giver, give to the world radiance. And when I heard the noise of the bird, I said, Lord, what is this 16 noise? And he said, This is the bird who awakens from slumber the cocks upon earth. For as men do through the mouth, so also does the cock signify to those in the world, in his own speech. For the sun is made ready by the angels, and the cock crows.
- 7 1 And I said, And where does the sun begin its labors, after the cock crows? 2 And the angel said to me, Listen, Baruch: All things whatsoever I showed thee are in the first and second heaven, and in the third heaven the sun passes through and gives light to the world. But wait, and thou 3 shalt see the glory of God. And while I was conversing with him, I saw the bird, and he appeared 4 in front, and grew less and less, andat length returned to his full size. And behind him I saw the shining sun, and the angels which draw it, and a crown upon its bead, the sight of which we were 5 not able to gaze Upon, and behold. And as soon as the sun shone, the Phoenix also stretched out his wings. But I, when I beheld such great glory, was brought low with great fear, and I fled and 6 hid in the wings of the angel. And the angel said to me, Fear not, Baruch, but wait and thou shalt also see their setting.
- 8 1 And he took me and led me towards the west; and when the time of the, setting came, I saw again the bird coming before it, and as soon as lie came I saw the angels, and they lifted the crown 2, 3 from its head. But the bird stood exhausted and with wings contracted. And beholding these things, I said, Lord, wherefore did they lift the crown from the head of the sun, and wherefore is 4 the bird so exhausted? And the angel said to me, The crown of the sun, when it has run through the day-four angels take it, and bear it up to heaven, and renew it, because it and its rays have been defiled upon earth; moreover it is so renewed each day. And I Baruch said, Lord, and wherefore 5 are its beams defiled upon earth? And the angel said to me, Because it beholds the lawlessness and unrighteousness of men, namely fornications, adulteries, thefts, extortions, idolatries, drunkenness, murders, strife, jealousies, evil-speakings, murmurings, whisperings, divinations, and such like, which are not well-pleasing to God. On account of these things is it defiled, and therefore is it renewed. 6 But thou askest concerning the bird, how it is exhausted. Because by restraining the rays of the sun through the fire and burning heat of the whole day, it is exhausted thereby. For, as we said before, unless his wings were screening the rays of the sun, no living creature would be preserved.
- 9 1 And they having retired, the night also fell, and at the same time came the chariot of the moon, along with the stars. 2 And I Baruch said, Lord, show me it also, I beseech of thee, how 3 it goes forth, where it departs, and in what form it moves along. And the angel said, Wait’ and thou shalt see it also shortly. And on the morrow I also saw it in the form of a woman, and sitting on a wheeled chariot. And there were before it oxen and lambs in the chariot, and a multitude of 4 angels in like manner. And I said, Lord, what are the oxen and the lambs? And he said to me, 5 They also are angels. And again I asked, Why is it that it at one time increases, but at another 6 time decreases? And (he said to me), Listen, 0 Baruch: This which thou seest had been written 7 by God beautiful as no other. And at the transgression of the first Adam, it was near to Sammael when he took the serpent as a garment. And it did not hide itself but increased, and God was 8 angry with it, and afflicted it, and shortened its days. And I said, And how does it not also shine always, but only in the night? And the angel said, Listen: as in the presence of a king, the courtiers cannot speak freely, so the moon and the stars cannot shine in the presence of the sun; for the stars are always suspended, but they are screened by the sun, and the moon, although it is uninjured, is consumed by the heat of the sun.
The Fourth Heaven.
- 10 1 And when I had learnt all these things from the archangel, he took and led me into a fourth 2 3 heaven. And I saw a monotonous plain, and in the middle of it a pool of water. And there were in it multitudes of birds of all kinds, but not like those here on earth. But I saw a crane as great as 4 great oxen; and all the birds were great beyond those in the world. And I asked the angel, What 5 is the plain, and what the pool, and what the multitudes of birds around it? And the angel said, Listen, Baruch : The plain which contains in it the pool and other wonders is the placewhere the 6 souls of the righteous come, when they hold converse, living together in choirs. But the water is 7 that which the clouds receive, and rain upon the earth, and the fruits increase. And I said again to the angel of the Lord, But (what) are these birds? And he said to me, They are those which 8 continually sing praise to the Lord. And I said, Lord, and how do men say that the water which 9 descends in rain is from the sea? And the angel said, The water which descends in rain-this also is from the sea, and from the waters upon earth; but that which stimulates the fruits is (only) from 10 the latter source. Know therefore henceforth that from this source is what is called the dew of heaven.
The Fifth Heaven.
- 11 1 And the angel took me and led me thence to a fifth heaven. And the gate was closed. And I said, Lord, is not this gate-way open that we may enter? And the angel said to me, We cannot enter until Michael comes, who holds the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; but wait and thou shalt see 3 the glory of God. And there was a great sound, as thunder. And I said, Lord, what is this sound? 4 And he said to me, Even now Michael, the commander of the angels, comes down to receive the 5 prayers of men. And behold a voice came, Let the gates be opened. And they opened them,and 6 there was a roar as of thunder. And Michael came, and the angel who was with me came face to 7 face with him and said, Hail, my commander, and that of all our order. And the commander Michael said, Hail thou also, our brother, and the interpreter of the revelations to those who pass through life 8 virtuously. And having saluted one another thus, they stood still. And I saw the commander Michael said, Hail thou also, our brother, and the interpreter of the revelations to those who pass through life 8 virtuously. And having saluted one another thus, they stood still. And I saw the commander Michael, holding an exceedingly great vessel; its depth was as great as the distance from heaven to 9 earth, and its breadth as great as the distance from north to south. And I said, Lord, what is that which Michael the archangel is holding? And he said to me, This is where the merits of the righteous enter, and such good works as they do, which are escorted before the heavenly God.
- 12 1, And as I was conversing with them, behold angels came bearing baskets full of flowers. And 2 they gave them to Michael. And I asked the angel, Lord, who are these, and what are the things 3 brought hither from beside them? And he said to me, These are angels (who) are over the 4, 5 righteous. And the archangel took the baskets, and cast them into the vessel. And the angel 6 said to me, These flowers are the merits of the righteous. And I saw other angels bearing baskets which were (neither) empty-nor full. And they began to lament, and did not venture to draw near, 7 because they had not the prizes complete. And Michael cried and said, Come hither, also, ye 8 angels, bring what ye have brought. And Michael was exceedingly grieved, and the angel who was with me, because they did not fill the vessel.
- 13 1 And then came in like manner other angels weeping and bewailing, and saying with fear, Behold how we are overclouded, 0 Lord, for we were delivered to evil men, and we wish to depart from 2 them. And Michael said, Ye cannot depart from them, in order that the enemy may not prevail to 3 the end; but say to me what ye ask. And they said, We pray thee, Michael our commander, transfer us from them, for we cannot abide with wicked and foolish men, for there is nothing good 4 in them, but every kind of unrighteousness and greed. For we do not behold them entering [into Church at all, nor among spiritual fathers, nor] into any good work. But where there is murder, there also are they in the midst, and where are fornications, adulteries, thefts, slanders, perjuries, jealousies, drunkenness, strife, envy, murmurings, whispering, idolatry, divination, and such like, 5 then are they workers of such works, and of others worse. Wherefore we entreat that we may depart from them. And Michael said to the angels, Wait till I learn from the Lord what shall come to pass.
- 14 14 1 And in that very hour Michael departed, and the doors were closed. And there was a sound as 2 thunder. And I asked the angel, What is the sound? And he said to me, Michael is even now presenting the merits of men to God.
- 15 1 And in that very hour Michael descended, and the gate was opened; and he brought oil. 2 And as for the angels which brought the basketswhich were full, he filled them with oil, saying, Take it away, reward our friends an hundredfold, and those who have laboriously wrought good works. 3 For those who sowed virtuously, also reap virtuously. And he said also to those bringing the half-empty baskets, Come hither ye also; take away the reward according as ye brought, and 4 deliver it to the sons of men. [Then he said also to those who brought the full and to those who brought the half-empty baskets: Go and bless our friends, and say to them that thus saith the Lord, Ye are faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things; enter into the joy of your Lord.]
1 And turning he said also to those who brought nothing: Thus saith the Lord, Be not sad of 2 countenance, and weep not, nor let the sons of men alone. But since they angered me in their works, go and make them envious and angry and provoked against a people that is no people, a 3 people that has no understanding. Further, besides these, send forth the caterpillar and the unwinged locust, and the mildew, and the common locust (and) hail with lightnings and anger, and 4 punish them severely with the sword and with death, and their children with demons. For they did not hearken to my voice, nor did they observe my commandments, nor do them, but were despisers of my commandments, and insolent towards the priests who proclaimed my words to them.
17 1 And while he yet spake, the door was closed, and we withdrew. 2 And the angel took me and 3 restored me to the p/ace where I was at the beginning. And having come to myself, I gave glory 4 to God, who counted me worthy of such honor. Wherefore do ye also, brethren, who obtained such a revelation, yourselves also glorify God, so that He also may glorify you, now and ever, and to all eternity. Amen.
Skrywer: Prof Kobus Kok