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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. The sixty-third subject is this, that it is necessary to practise strict abstinence from adultery on this account, that through every one who beguiles the wife of another, and commits iniquity with her, that woman becomes, in a moment, unlawful as regards her husband. 2. And, after that, every time her husband comes round about her, it is just as though she had gone near to a strange man. 3. The righteous bestowal 4 of herself on her own husband, in this

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situation, is always worse than his going 1 with women of a different religion, on this account, that, if that wife becomes pregnant, it is just as though one of the good religion had fallen away into a different religion, and 2 thereby that man becomes worthy of death.

4. And it also happens, when that wife becomes pregnant, that she may effect the slaughter of the infant, from fear of a bad reputation. 5. Then, for that person whose child it is, it is just as though he had effected the slaughter of the child with his own hand; therefore, he is worthy of death. 6. If the infant be born, and it remains 3 in the religion, every sin that that child of his commits is, for that person, just as though it were committed by his own hand.

7. And if a woman of those of the good religion commits adultery, she becomes in a condition unlawful as regards her husband; and if an infant be born it is illegitimate. 8. And the sin owing to this will depart at the time when that person goes near to her husband and shall say: 'What is there in me befitting thy wife? 9. A calamity (âk) has occurred, and a crime (‘hatâ) has come into my body; thou knowest if thou wilt exercise forgiveness (’hafû), and if not, when it is not for me, do thou kill me; my blood is lawful (‘halâl) unto thee.' 10. If he shall kill her, her sin will depart owing to this;

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otherwise, this sin will not depart from her in any manner (navaî) 1.

11. And one calls this sin a sin affecting antagonists 2, and, so long as the antagonist does not become satisfied, the sin flows on 3, and they keep his soul back at the head of the Kinvad bridge, till the time that its antagonist shall arrive and himself accomplishes his antagonism, and they give him back a reply 4.


324:4 Lp inserts 'he shall wish.'

325:1 B29 has 'it never becomes a righteous bestowal of herself on her husband, and if, in this situation, he is also.'

325:2 B29 omits 'and.'

325:3 Lp, B29 have 'it does not remain,' but the text seems to be assuming that the illicit origin of the child is unsuspected, in which case it would undoubtedly remain in the religion, as it would probably do in any case.

326:1 B29 omits these eleven words.

326:2 Or accusers (see-Chap. XLII, 1, 2).

326:3 B29 has 'it flows on,' if we read bi-rêzad; but the Gugarâti translator seems to take gunâh-barêzad (Av. berezant) as a technical epithet for the soul, as though he would say 'they keep back the soul of him whose sin is rampant.'

326:4 That is, the investigating angels announce their decision as to the proper fate of the soul they have detained.

Next: Chapter LXIV