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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

IV. (1) The following seven planets God created and placed in order in the firmament for the benefit of the world; for by means of them people calculate the signs,

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seasons, and astronomical computations; the time of summer, the number of the hours, days and months, periods and festivals (appointed times), as it is said, 'They shall be for signs, for seasons, for days and for years.' (2) The seven days of the week are called after the seven planets, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. On the first day Sol, i.e. the sun, rules, and this day is called Zondakh. On the second day the moon serves; it is called Luna, therefore the second day is called Lunedi, i.e., Mondakh. On the third day Mars serves; it is called Marṣ, hence Marṣdi, i.e., Diensdakh. On the fourth day Mercury, or Marcurios, serves, therefore it is called Markusdi, i.e., Godansdakh. On the fifth day Jupiter serves; it is called Iovis, hence Iovisdi, i.e., Donnersdakh. On the sixth day Venus, i.e., Veneri, serves, therefore the day is called Vindredi, that is Vredakh. On the seventh day Saturnus serves, therefore the day is called Sabbatdi, i.e., Satuldakh. (3) In what order are they placed in heaven? They are distributed there as sun and moon and the five planets. The firmament is divided into seven degrees, one above the other. There are seven distinct places for these seven planets; and this is their order: (4) The first degree is near the earth, and this lowest degree is the habitation of the moon, in which the moon makes a circuit round the firmament. The second degree is the habitation of Mercury, in which it describes its circuit in the firmament. The third degree is the habitation of Venus, in which it also describes its circuit in the firmament. The fourth degree is the middle of them, viz., the habitation of the sun, which completes its circuit of the heaven in twelve months. The fifth degree is the habitation of Mars, which makes its circuit in the firmament. 1 The seventh degree is the highest of all, viz., the habitation of Saturn, which completes its circuit in three years. (5) This is the order of their work: Saturn is appointed over the poor and needy women, over faintness and sickness, diseases of the body, and over death. His appearance is like that of an

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old man with a sickle in his hand. (6) Mars is appointed over war (bloodshed) and the sword, over the wicked, over slander, over strife, battle, hatred, jealousy, quarrels, over warriors, wounds, injuries, bruises, over fire, water, and destruction. His appearance is like that of an armed warrior with a sword in his right hand, and he appears like a man of wrath and a stirrer up of strife. Wherever he turns wickedness ensues; he looks terrible in his coat of mail, and with the spear which he bears in his left hand. (7) Jupiter is appointed over life, peace and good, over prosperity, tranquillity, joy, pleasant conversation, rejoicings, riches, greatness, sovereignty and majesty. His appearance is like that of a valiant and noble-looking man, and his head is that of a ram. (8) Venus is appointed over kindness, favour, love, lust, passion, desire, marriage, the birth of man and animals, the fruits of the earth and the fruits of the tree. Its form is that of a young girl beautifully adorned, and swaying a branch of a tree in her hand. Mercury is appointed over wisdom, discretion, understanding, knowledge, and the active intellect enabling one to unravel mysteries, to devise plans in every branch of work, and in the writings of any language. Its form is that of an old man with thin lips; he possesses wings, and the lower part of the body is like a dragon. (9) The sun is appointed over light, to separate light from darkness, and through it to enable us to calculate the days, months and years, and to do every kind of work, to make any cunning work, to walk any distance, and to migrate from city to city and from town to town. The moon holds the key of heaven and earth, and is appointed over morning and evening. She is set over all creatures, to lead them in the right or wrong way, although she has no power in herself either to do good or evil. But everything is done by order and command. Everything was created by means of the word of God. (10) Hence the Rabbis have said that the orbit of the sun and the circuit of the moon, the order of the stars, the arrangement of the planets, the calculation of the circuits,

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the lengths of the days and the division of the hours, which are at first long and then become gradually shorter, are all the work of God.


12:1 The sixth degree is missing in the MṢ.

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