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From Add. MSS. 10862., 'The Key of Solomon, translated into Latin from the Hebrew idiom.'

TREASURE Up, O my son Roboam! the wisdom of my words, seeing that I, Solomon, have received it from the Lord.

Then answered Roboam, and said: How have I deserved to follow the example of my father Solomon in such things, who hath been found worthy to receive the knowledge of all living things through (the teaching of) an Angel of God?

And Solomon said: Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and learn the wonders of God. For, on a certain night, when I laid me down to sleep, I called upon that most holy Name of God, IAH, and prayed for the Ineffable Wisdom, and when I was beginning to close mine eyes, the Angel of the Lord, even Homadiel, appeared unto me, spake many things courteously unto me, and said: Listen, O Solomon! thy prayer before the Most High is not in vain, and since thou hast asked neither for long life, nor for much riches, nor for the souls of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself wisdom to perform justice. Thus saith the Lord: According to thy word have I given unto thee a wise and understanding heart, so that before thee was none like unto thee, nor ever shall arise.

And when I comprehended the speech which was made unto me, I understood that in me was the knowledge of all creatures, both things which are in the heavens and things which are beneath the heavens; and I saw that all the writings and wisdom of this present age were vain and futile, and that no man was perfect. And I composed a certain work wherein I rehearsed the secret of secrets, in which I have preserved them hidden, and I have also therein concealed all secrets whatsoever of magical arts of any masters; any secret or experiments, namely, of these sciences which is in any way worth being accomplished. Also I have written them in this Key, so that like as a key openeth a treasure-house, so this (Key) alone may open the knowledge and understanding of magical arts and sciences.

Therefore, O my son! thou mayest see every experiment of mine or

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of others, and let everything be properly prepared for them, as thou shalt see properly set down by me, both day and hour, and all things necessary for without this there will be but falsehood and vanity in this my work; wherein are hidden all secrets and mysteries which can be performed; and that which is (set down) concerning a single divination or a single experiment, that same I think concerning all things which are in the Universe, and which have been, and which shall be in future time.

Therefore, O my son Roboam, I command thee by the blessing which thou expectest from thy father, that thou shall make an Ivory Casket, and therein place, keep, and hide this my Key; and when I shall have passed away unto my fathers, I entreat thee to place the same in my sepulchre beside me, lest at another time it might fall into the hands of the wicked. And as Solomon commanded, so was it done.

And when, therefore (men) had waited for a long time, there came unto the Sepulchre certain Babylonian Philosophers; and when they had assembled they at once took counsel together that a certain number of men should renew the Sepulchre in his (Solomon's) honour; and when the Sepulchre was dug out and repaired the Ivory Casket was discovered, and therein was the Key of Secrets, which they took with joyful mind, and when they had opened it none among them could understand it on account of the obscurity of the words and their occult arrangement, and the hidden character of the sense and knowledge, for they were not worthy to possess this treasure.

Then, therefore, arose one among them, more worthy (than the others), both in the sight of the gods, and by reason of his age, who was called Iohé Grevis, 1 and said unto the others: Unless we shall come and ask the interpretation from the Lord, with tears and entreaties, we shall never arrive at the knowledge of it.

Therefore, when each of them had retired to his bed, Iohé indeed falling upon his face on the earth, began to weep, and striking his breast, said:

What have I deserved (above others), seeing that so many men can neither understand nor interpret this knowledge, even though there were no secret thing in nature which the Lord hath hidden from me! Wherefore are these words so obscure? Wherefore am I so ignorant?

And then on his bended knees, stretching his hands to heaven, he said:

O God, the Creator of all, Thou Who knowest all things, Who gavest so great Wisdom unto Solomon the Son of David the King; grant unto me, I beseech Thee, O Holy Omnipotent and Incffable Father, to receive

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the virtue of that wisdom, so that I may become worthy by Thine aid to attain unto the understanding of this Key of Secrets.

And immediately there appeared unto me, 1 the Angel of the Lord, saying:

Do thou remember if the secrets of Solomon appear hidden and obscure unto thee, that the Lord hath wished it, so that such wisdom may not fall into the hands of wicked men; wherefore do thou promise unto me, that thou art not willing that so great wisdom should ever come to any living creature, and that which thou revealest unto any let them know that they must keep it unto themselves, otherwise the secrets are profaned and no effect can follow?

And Iohé answered: I promise unto thee that to none will I reveal (them), save to the honour of the Lord, and with much discipline, unto penitent, secret, and faithful (persons).

Then answered the Angel: Go and read the Key, and its words which were obscure throughout shall be manifest unto thee.

And after this the Angel ascended into Heaven in a Flame of Fire.

Then Iohé was glad, and labouring with a clear mind, understood that which the Angel of the Lord had said, and he saw that the Key of Solomon was changed, so that it appeared quite clear unto him plainly in all parts. And Iohé understood that this Work might fall into the hands of the ignorant, and he said: I conjure him into whose hands this secret may come, by the Power of the Creator, and His Wisdom, that in all things he may, desire, intend and perform, that this Treasure may come unto no unworthy (person), nor may he manifest it unto any who is unwise, nor unto one who feareth not God. Because if he act otherwise, I pray God that he may never be worthy to attain unto the desired effect.

And so he deposited the Key, which Solomon preserved, in the Ivory Casket. But the Words of the Key are as follows, divided into two books, and shown in order.


3:1 I think this is correct, but the name is very indistinctly written in the MS., which is difficult to decipher. In another copy of the Clavicle it is written Iroe Grecis, but I think this is an error.

4:1 'Mihi' in MS., probably a slip for 'unto him,' 'ei.'

Next: Introduction from Landsdowne MSS. 1203