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


1. The twenty-fifth subject is this, that any agreement and promise (qaûl) they make with any one it is necessary so far to perform and bring to pass. 2. Although many things may go 6 to harm by means (sabab) of it, it is not desirable to perform that agreement with duplicity.

3. Because, in our religion, they call this a Mihir-drug ('breach of promise'), and in revelation it decrees, as to any one who commits a Mihir-drug, that the way to heaven becomes closed for him, and that person himself goes discomforted out of this world, so that a warning (’halâmat) becomes quite manifest unto him.

4. And a Mihir-drug is attached 7 in such a manner that, if fortune (tâli’h) may have befallen any one 8

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happily, or an insufficient quantity of his life (’humr) may have remained, the Mihir-drug extends to his children without opposition (‘hilâf). 5. And every household that becomes extinct, or race whose issue fails, or any of the great misfortunes that happen to mankind—from which misfortune one obtains release with difficulty—may all be owing to the fact that they have committed a Mihir-drug.

6. If committed by oneself, it is declared, in one place in revelation, that the glorified Zaratust, the Spitamân, enquired of Hôrmazd, the good and propitious, thus: 'Of any of the sins that mankind commit which is the worst?' 7. Hôrmazd, the good and propitious, decreed thus: 'No sin whatever is worse than this, that two persons make a covenant with one another in such a manner that no one whatever is between them, except me who am Hôrmazd; and, afterwards one of those two persons deviates from it, and says, "I have no knowledge (‘habar) of it," and no one whatever is a witness, for that other person, except me.' 8. No sin whatever is worse than that, and that person himself will not go out of this world until retribution overtakes him, and in that other world his punishment is more severe than all; so that person becomes unfortunate in both worlds. 9. And it is the same if this covenant be with a righteous person or a wicked one.


287:6 Lp, B29 have 'come.'

287:7 Lp, B29 have 'understood,' and another copy in B29 has 'considered.'

287:8 Who has broken his promise.

Next: Chapter XXVI