XXVI. And when Cenez had taken all these words and written them in a book and read them before the Lord, God said to him: Take the men
and that which was found with them and all their goods and put them in the bed of the river Phison, and burn them with fire that mine anger may cease from them. 2. And Cenez said: Shall we burn these precious stones also with fire, or sanctify them unto thee, for among us there are none like unto them? And God said to him: If God should receive in his own name any of the accursed thing, what should man do? Therefore now take these precious stones and all that was found, both books and men: and when thou dealest so with the men, set apart these stones with the books, for fire will not avail to burn them, and afterwards I will shew thee how thou must destroy them. But the men and all that was found thou shalt burn with fire. And thou shalt assemble all the people, and say to them: Thus shall it be done unto every man whose heart turneth away from his God. 3. And when the fire hath consumed those men, then the books and the precious stones which cannot be burned with fire, neither cut with iron, nor blotted out with water, lay them upon the top of the mount beside the new altar; and I will command a cloud, and it shall go and take up dew and shed it upon the books, and shall blot out that which is written therein, for they cannot be blotted out with any other water than such as hath never served men. And thereafter I will send my lightning, and it shall burn up the books themselves.
4. But as concerning the precious stones, I will command mine angel and he shall take them and go and cast them into the depths of the sea, and I will charge the deep and it shall swallow them up, for they may not continue in the world because they have been polluted by the idols of the Amorites, And I will command another angel, and he
shall take for me twelve stones out of the place whence these seven were taken; and thou, when thou findest them in the top of the mount where he shall lay them, take and put them on the shoulder-piece over against the twelve stones which Moses set therein in the wilderness, and sanctify them in the breastplate (lit. oracle) according to the twelve tribes: and say not, How shall I know which stone I shall set for which tribe? Lo, I will tell thee the name of the tribe answering unto the name of the stone, and thou shall find both one and other graven. 5. And Cenez went and took all that had been found and the men with it, and assembled all the people again, and said to them: Behold, ye have seen all the wonders which God hath shewed us unto this day, and lo, when we sought out all that had subtilly devised evil against the Lord and against Israel, God hath revealed them according to their works, and now cursed be every man that deviseth to do the like among you, brethren. And all the people answered Amen, Amen. And when he had so said, he burned all the men with fire, and all that was found with them, saving the precious stones.
6. And after that Cenez desired to prove whether the stones could be burned with fire, and cast them into the fire. And it was so, that when they fell therein, forthwith the fire was quenched. And Cenez took iron to break them, and when the sword touched them the iron thereof was melted; and thereafter he would at the least blot out the books with water; but it came to pass that the water when it fell upon them was congealed. And when he saw that, he said: Blessed be God who hath done so great wonders for the children of men, and made Adam the first-created and shewed him all things; that when Adam had
sinned thereby, then he should deny him all these things, lest if he shewed them unto the race of men they should have the mastery over them.
7. And when he had so said, he took the books and the stones and laid them on the top of the mount 1 by the new altar as the Lord had commanded him, and took a peace-offering and burnt-offerings, and offered upon the new altar 2000, offering them all for a burnt sacrifice. And on that day they kept a great feast, he and all the people together. 8. And God did that night as he spake unto Cenez, for he commanded a cloud, and it went and took dew from the ice of paradise and shed it upon the books and blotted them out. And after that an angel came and burned them up, and another angel took the precious stones and cast them into the heart of the sea, and he charged the depth of the sea, and it swallowed them up. And another angel went and brought twelve stones and laid them hard by the place whence he had taken those seven. And he graved thereon the names of the twelve tribes.
9. And Cenez arose on the morrow and found those twelve stones on the top of the mount where himself had laid those seven. And the graving
|Cf. Zech. 39|
10. 2 And the first stone, whereon was written
|See Ex. 28:17 sqq.|
stone. The second stone was graven with a tooth (or ivory), and therein was graven the name of the tribe of Simeon, and the likeness of a topaz was seen in it; and on the third stone was graven the name of the tribe of Levi, and it was like unto an emerald. But the fourth stone was called a crystal, wherein was graven the name of the tribe of Juda, and it was likened to a carbuncle. The fifth stone was green, and upon it was graven the name of the tribe of Isachar, and the colour of a sapphire stone was therein. And of the sixth stone the graving was as if it had been inscribed, (or as a chrysoprase) speckled with diverse markings, and thereon was written the tribe of Zabulon, And the jasper stone was likened unto it.
11. Of the seventh stone the graving shone and shewed within itself, as it were, enclosed the water of the deep, and therein was written the name of the tribe of Dan, which stone was like a ligure. But the eighth stone was cut out with adamant, and therein was written the name of the tribe of Neptalim, and it was like an amethyst. And of the ninth stone 1 the graving was pierced, and it was from Mount Ophir, and therein was written the tribe of Gad, and an agate stone was likened unto it. And of the tenth stone the graving was hollowed, and gave the likeness of a stone of Theman, and there was written the tribe of Aser, and a chrysolite was likened unto it. And the eleventh stone was an elect stone from Libanus, and thereon was written the name of the tribe of Joseph, and a beryl was. likened to it. And the
twelfth stone was cut out of the height of Sion 1 (or the quarry), and upon it was written the tribe of Benjamin; and the onyx stone was likened unto it.
12. And God said to Cenez: Take these stones and put them in the ark of the covenant of the Lord with the tables of the covenant which I gave unto Moses in Oreb, and they shall be there with them until Jahel arise 2 to build an house in my name, and then he shall set them before me upon the two cherubim, and they shall be in my sight for a memorial of the house of Israel. 13. And it shall be when the sins of my people are filled up, and their enemies have the mastery over their house, that I will take these stones and the former together with the tables, and lay them up in the place whence they were brought forth in the beginning, and they shall be there until I remember the world, and visit the dwellers upon earth. And then will I take them and many other better than they, from that place which eye hath not seen 3 nor ear heard neither hath it come up into
|Isa. 64:4, etc.|
|Isa. 60:19, 60:20|
155:1 XXVI. 7. superponens (ea in holocaustum). This is the word used in the old Latin of Lev. iv., etc, in the Würzburg palimpsest. The Lyons Pentateuch has inponens.
155:2 10. seq. The order of the stones agrees with that of Exod. 28:17 sqq., except that agate and amethyst are here transposed, and in the Hebrew carbuncle precedes emerald. The principle of the list seems to be that each of the new stones is "likened to" (should we render "placed opposite p. 156 to" or "corresponds to"?) a stone already in the breastplate; but the new stones, being supernatural, have as a rule no names of their own.
156:1 11. (The 9th stone) pierced. I read terebrata, with R, for tenebrata.
157:1 11. (The 12th stone) cut out of the height of Sion. Again I prefer R's reading, de excelso Syon, to de excisione of AP.
157:2 12. until Jahel (Jabel R) shall arise. J substitutes Solomon in its paraphrase of the passage, and no doubt Solomon is meant; but I cannot find any other instance of this name being applied to him, or any reason for it. The Jael of judges iv. means a gazelle: Jael is also found as a name of God (Jah El) in the Greek Apoc. of Moses: neither helps us here. It can hardly be a corruption of Ἰεδδεδί, the Greek form of Jedidiah (2 Sam. 12:25).
157:3 13. from that place which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it come up into the heart of man. This is a combination of phrases from Isa. 64:4; 65:16, 65:17. It is quoted in this form by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 2:9. Mr. Thackeray, in St. Paul and Contemporary Jewish Thought, p. 240 seq., discusses the source in the light of this passage, and concludes, I believe rightly, that the combination was already p. 158 current in Jewish circles when Paul wrote. The early commentators on the Epistle assigned to the Secreta Eliae (Origen), Apocalypse of Elias, or Ascension of Isaiah.
158:1 15. there they are unto this day. See p. 63.