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EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN
THE NISIBENE HYMNS
[Translated by Rev. J. T. Sarsfield Stopford, B.A.]
1. THE SIEGE OF NISIBIS (I.-III.).
2. THE PERSIAN INVASION (IV.-XII.).
3. THE BISHOPS OF NISIBIS (XIII.-XVI.).
4. ABRAHAM THEIR SUCCESSOR (XVII.-XXI.).
5. CONCERNING SATAN AND DEATH (XXXV.-XLII., LXII,--LXVIII.).
1. O God of mercies Who didst refresh Noah, he too refreshed Thy
mercies. He offered sacrifice and stayed the flood; he presented
gifts and received the promise. With prayer and incense he
propitiated Thee: with an oath and with the bow Thou wast gracious to
him; so that if the flood should essay to hurt the earth, the bow
should stretch itself over against it, to banish it away and hearten
the earth. As Thou hast sworn peace so do Thou maintain it, and let
Thy bow strive against Thy wrath!
R.. Stretch forth Thy bow against the flood, for lo! it has
lifted up its waves against our walls!
2. In revelation, Lord! it has been proclaimed, that that lowly
blood which Noah sprinkled, wholly restrained Thy wrath for all
generations; how much mightier then shall be the blood of Thy Only
Begotten, that the sprinkling of it should restrain our flood! For
lo! it was but as mysteries of Him that those lowly sacrifices gained
virtue, which Noah offered, and stayed by them Thy wrath. Be
propitiated by the gift upon my altar, and stay from me the deadly
flood. So shall both Thy signs bring deliverance, to me Thy cross and
to Noah Thy bow! Thy cross shall cleave the sea of waters; Thy bow
shall stay the flood of rain.
3. Lo! all the billows trouble me; and Thou hast given more
favour to the ark: for waves alone encompassed it, mounds and weapons
and waves encircle me. It was unto Thee a storehouse of treasures,
but I have been a storehouse of debts: it in Thy love subdued the
waves; I in Thy wrath, am left desolate among the weapons; the flood
bore it, the river threatens me. O Helmsman of that ark, be my pilot
on the dry land! To it Thou gavest rest in the haven of a mountain;
to me give Thou rest also in the haven of my walls!
4. The Just One has chastened me abundantly, but it He loved even
among the waves. For Noah overcame the waves of lust, which had
drowned in his generation the sons of Seth. Because his flesh
revolted against the daughters of Cain, his chariot rode on the
surface of the waves. Because women defiled him not, he coupled the
beasts, whereof in the ark he joined together, all pairs in the yoke
of wedlock. The olive which with its oil gladdens the face, with its
leaf gladdened their countenances: for me the river whereof to drink
is wont to make joyful, lo! O Lord, by its flood it makes me
5. The foulness of my guilt. Thy righteousness has seen, and Thy
pure eyes abhor me. Thou hast gathered the waters by the hand of the
unclean, that Thou mightest make for me purification of my guilt; not
that in them Thou mightest baptize and purify me, but that in them
Thou mightest chasten me with fear. For the waves will stir up to
prayer, which shall wash away my guilt. The sight of them which is
full of repentance, has been to me a baptism. The sea, O Lord, which
should have drowned me, in it let Thy mercies drown my guilt. In the
Red Sea Thou didst drown bodies; in this sea drown Thou my guilt
instead of bodies!
6. An ark in Thy mercy Thou didst prepare, that Thou mightest
preserve in it all the remnants. That Thou shouldest not desolate the
earth in Thy wrath, Thy compassion made an earth of wood. Thou didst
empty them one into the other; Thou didst render them back one unto
the other. But my lands have thrice been filled and emptied again;
and now against me the waves rebel, to overwhelm the remnant that has
escaped in me. In the ark Thou didst save a remnant; save in me, O
Lord, yea in me a leaven. The ark upon the mountain brought forth;
let me in my lands bring forth my imprisoned ones!
7. O Lord, gladden Thou in me the imprisoned ones of my
fortresses, Thou Who didst gladden those prisoners with the olive
leaf! Thou sentest healing by means of the dove to the sick ones that
were drowning in every wave; it entered in and drove out all their
pains. For the joy of it swallowed up their sorrow, and mourning
vanished away in its consolation. And as the chief of a host gives
heartening to the fugitives, so the dove disseminated courage among
the forsaken. Their eyes tasted the sight of peace, and their mouth
hasted to open in Thy praise. As the olive leaf in the waves, save
Thou me, that Thou mayest gladden in me the prisoners of my
8. The flood assails, and dashes against our walls: may the all-
sustaining might uphold them! It falls not as the building of the
sand, for I have not built my doctrine upon the sand: a rock shall be
for me the foundation, for on Thy rock have I built my faith; the
secret foundation of my trust, shall support my walls. For the walls
of Jericho fell, because on the sand she had built her trust. Moses
built a wall in the sea, for on a rock his understanding built it.
The foundation of Noah was on a rock; the dwelling place of wood it
bore up in the sea.
9. Compare the souls which are in me, with the living things that
were in the ark; and instead of Noah who mourned in it, lo! Thy altar
mourning and humbled. Instead of the wedded wives that were in it,
lo! my virgins that are unmarried. Instead of Ham who went forth from
it and uncovered his father's nakedness, lo! workers of
righteousness, who have nourished and clothed apostles. In my pains,
O my Lord, I rave in my speech; blame me not if my words provoke
Thee! Thou puttest to silence the prosperous when they murmured: have
mercy on me as on them that were silenced aforetime!
10. Before Thy wrath Thou madest a house of refuge, and all the
nations rebelled against it. Noah was refreshed in rest, that his
dwelling-place should give rest according to his name. Thou didst
close the doors to save the righteous one; Thou didst open the floods
to destroy the unclean. Noah stood between the terrible waves that
were without, and the destroying mouths that were within: the waves
tossed him and the mouths dismayed him. Thou madest peace for him
with them that were within; Thou broughtest down before him them that
were without: Thou didst speedily change his troubles, for light to
Thee, O Lord, are hard things.
11. Hear and weigh the comparison of me with Noah, and though my
suffering be light beside his, let Thy mercy make our deliverance
alike; for lo! my children stand like him, between the wrathful and
the destroyer. Give peace, 0 Lord, among them that are within, and
humble before me them that are without; and give me twofold victory!
And whereas the slayer has made his rage threefold, may He of the
three days show me threefold mercy! Let not the Evil One overcome Thy
lovingkindness: seeing he has assailed me twice and thrice overcome
Thou him! Let my victory fly abroad through the world, that it may
earn Thee praise in the world! 0 Thou who didst rise on the third
day, give us not over to death in our third peril!
1. This day are opened, our mouths to give thanks. They who
opened the breaches, have opened my sons' mouths. Thank the Merciful,
who has delivered the men of our city, nor thought at that time of
exacting the debts that were due by us. When they rose up they that
took us captive, the worlds in our deliverance, tasted of Thy
R.. From all that have mouths, glory be to Thy grace!
2. He has saved us without wall, and taught us that He is our
wall: He has saved us without king and made us know that is our king:
He has saved us, in each and all, and showed us that He is All: He
has saved us in His grace and again reveals, that freely He has mercy
and quickens. From every boaster, He takes away his boasting, and
gives it to His own grace.
3. The sound of all mouths, is too little for Thy praise: for lo!
in the hour when our light was smoking, and was at the point to be
quenched (seeing that all is easy to Thee) of a sudden it awoke and
shone! Who has seen these two marvels, that for him whose hope was
cut off, hope has sprung up and increased; the hour of mourning has
been turned into good tidings?
4. This is a festival day, whereon hang the feasts: for if wrath
had taken us captive, lo! our feasts too had ceased. Whereas our
peace has conquered and triumphed, lo! I our festivals resound. This
blessed day supports all: upon it depends the city, on the city
depends the people, on the people depends peace, on peace depends
5. Out of these breaches, Thou hast multiplied triumphs. Praise
unto the Triune God goes up from the three breaches; for that He
descended and repaired them, in His mercy which restrains wrath. He
smote the enemy who understood not that He was teaching us. He taught
those within, for in His justice He made the breaches; He taught
those without, for in His goodness He repaired them.
6. Speak and give glory, my delivered ones on this day; old men
and boys, young men and maidens, children and innocents, and thou, O
Church, mother of the city! For the old men have been rescued from
captivity, the youths from torture, the sucklings from being dashed
in pieces, the women from dishonour, and the Church from mockery.
7. He came to us with hardness; we were afraid for a moment: He
came in gentleness, and we rejoiced for an hour. He turned and left
us for a little, we wandered without end; like a beast of prey which
is trained by blandishments and by fear, but if so be that men turn
from it, rebels and strays and becomes savage in the midst of peace.
8. He punished us and we feared not; He rescued us, and we were
not shamed: He straitened us and our vows were multiplied; He
enlarged us and our crimes were multiplied. When He constrained there
was a covenant, when He gave breathing-space there was straying.
Though He knew us He lowered Himself to establish us. In the evening
we exalted Him; in the morning we rejected Him. When necessity left
us, faithfulness left us.
9. He afflicted us by the breaches, that He might punish our
crimes: He raised the mounds that thereby, He might humble our
boasting. He made a breach for the seas that thereby, He might wash
away our pollution. He shut us in that we might gather together in
His Temple. He shut us in and we were quenched; He set us free and we
went astray. We are like unto wool, which passes into every colour.
10. We know that when the blessed sons of Nineveh repented, it
was not because of mounds they repented, nor yet by means of waters,
nor was it by reason of a breach, nor yet by reason of bows; it was
not at the sound of the bowstring they feared and repented. They
harkened to a feeble voice; they caused their little ones to fast;
they made their youths chaste, they made their kings humble.
11. Thou smotest us and we justified Thee, for it befel not by
chance; Thou deliveredst us and we gave thanks, for it was not that
we were worthy. Thou hadst mercy on us not because Thou erredst, in
hoping that we should repent. It was manifest to Thee that when Thou
hadst mercy on us we strayed. Thou knewest that we had sinned; Thou
knewest that we are sinners: with our iniquity that has been and is,
Thou wast acquainted when Thou hadst mercy on us.
12. Weigh our repentance, that it may outbalance our crimes! But
not in even balance, ascends either weight; for our crimes are heavy
and manifold, and our repentance is light. He had commanded that we
should be sold for our debt: His mercy became our advocate; principal
and increase, we repaid with the farthing, which our repentance
13. Ten thousand talents for that little payment, our debt He
forgave us. He was bound to exact it, that He might appease His
justice: He was constrained again to forgive, that He might make His
grace to rejoice. Our tears for the twinkling of an eye we gave Him;
He satisfied His justice, in exacting and taking a little; He made
His grace to rejoice, when for a little He forgave much.
14. Ten thousand are the crimes that He has pardoned; ten
thousand tongues, are unable to suffice, in presence of His goodness.
He has pardoned us and we have not pardoned; we have requited to Him
contrariwise; the guilt committed we write up afresh. "Pardon, O
Lord," we cry; "Requite, O Lord," we pray: "pardon" verily when we
have done wrong; "requite" verily when wrong is done us.
15. Yea not as those without, have we laboured for our lives.
They have raised their mounds, but we not even our voices: they have
broken through the wall, but we--not even the chains, the frail
chains on our heart within have we broken. God has rejected the
diligent, for the sake of the slothful; He has rejected the labour
done without, though He was rejected from within.
16. He has set free them that talked, and smitten the silent; the
wall was beaten, and the people were instructed: He spared them that
can suffer, He smote that which knows no suffering. For instead of
souls that feel, He smote the stones that feel not, that He might
chasten us. In His love He spared our bodies, and hasted to smite our
17. Who has ever seen, that a breach became as a mirror? Two
parties looked thereinto; it served for those without and those
within. They saw therein as with eyes, the Power that breaks down and
builds up: they saw Him who made the breach and again repaired it.
Those without saw His might; they departed and tarried not till
evening: those within saw His help; they gave thanks yet sufficed
18. Let the day of thy deliverance, arouse thee from sloth! When
the wall was broken through, when the elephants pressed in, when the
javelins showered, when men did valiantly, then was there a sight for
the heavenly ones. Iniquity fought there; mercy triumphed there;
lovingkindness prevailed below; the watchers shouted on high.
19. And thine enemy wearied himself, striving to smite by his
wiles, the wall that encompassed thee, a bulwark to thine
inhabitants. He wearied himself and availed not; and in order that he
might not hope, that if He broke through He should also enter and
take us captive, he broke it through and not once only; and was put
to shame, nor was that enough, even unto three times, that he might
be shamed thrice in the three.
20. Let my happiness by God's grace, be also multiplied in thy
midst! Whereas in thee my crimes have been many, many be in thee my
fruits! Whereas in thee I have sinned in my youth, in thee let there
be mercy for my old age! By the mouth of thy sons pray for thy son,
for I have sinned beyond my ability, and have repented below my
ability; I have scattered above measure, and have gathered below
1. Fix thou our hearing, that it be not loosed and wander! For it
is a-wandering if one enquire, who He is and what He is like. For how
can we avail, to paint in us the likeness, of that Being which is
like to the mind? Naught is there in it that is limited, in all of it
He sees and hears; all of it as it were speaks; all of it is in all
R.., Praise to the One Being, that is to us unsearchable!
2. His aspect cannot be discerned, that it should be portrayed by
our understanding: He hears without ears; He speaks without mouth; He
works without hands, and He sees without eyes. Because our soul
ceases not nor desists, in presence of Him Who is such; in His
graciousness He put on the fashion of humankind and gathered us into
3. Let us learn in what way that Being is spiritual and appeared
as corporeal; and how it also is tranquil and appears as wrathful.
These things were for our profit; that Being in our likeness was made
like to us that we may be made like Him. One there is that is like
Him, the Son Who proceeded from Him, Who is stamped with His
4. O Nisibis, hear these things, for, for thy sake these things
were written and spoken. Both to thyself and to others, thou hast
been in the world a cause of strife and of disputations. Mouths over
thee, O thou that wast shut up, even over thee mouths sang; when thou
didst triumph and wast enlarged, in thee mouths were opened, for
lamentation and for thanksgiving.
5. The prayer of thy inhabitants, sufficed for thy deliverance;
it was not that they were righteous, but that they were penitent:
according as they were disgraced, so did they haste to submit to the
rod. In transgressions and in triumphs they had like part. They whose
crimes were great, so be their fruit great; they who triumphed in
their sackcloth, have triumphed also in their crowns.
6. The day of thy deliverance, is king of all days, The Sabbath
overthrew thy walls, it overthrew the ungrateful; the day of the
Resurrection of the Son, raised again thy ruins; the day of
Resurrection raised thee according to its name, it glorified its
title. The Sabbath relaxed its watch; for the making of the breaches,
it took blame to itself.
7. In Samaria hunger prevailed, but in thee fulness prevailed. In
Samaria there broke in and came on her, abundance of a sudden; but in
thee there roared and came in on thee a sea of a sudden. In her was
eaten a child, and it saved her alive; in thee was eaten the body,
living and all life-giving; of a sudden He delivered them, the Eaten
delivered the eaters.
8. We know that the Blessed wills not the afflictions, that have
been in all ages; though He has wrought them, it is our offences that
are the cause of our troubles. No man can complain against our
Creator; it is for Him to complain against us, who have sinned and
constrained Him, to be wrathful though He wills it not, and to smite
though He desires it not.
9. The Earth, the vine, and the olive, are in need of
chastisement. When the olive is bruised, then its fruit smells sweet;
when the vine is pruned, then its grapes are goodly; when the soil is
ploughed its yield is goodly. When water is confined in channels,
desert places drink of it; brass, silver and gold, when they are
10. If then it be that man, by chastening makes all things
goodly; and if he who despises and rejects chastening, is hated and
all rebels against him; then by that which he chastens, let him learn
Him that chastens him; since whoso chastens does so that he may
profit thereby. For whoso chastens his servants, does so that he may
possess them; the good God chastens His servants that they may
11. Let thy afflictions be, books to admonish thee, for the
thrice-besieged, suffice to become for thee, books to meditate
therein, every hour on their histories. Because thou despisedst the
two Testaments, wherein thou mightest read thy life, therefore He
wrote for thee, three hard books wherein thou shouldst read thy
12. Let us avert by that which has been, the thing that is yet to
be; let us be taught by that which has come, to escape that which is
coming; let us remember that which is past, to avoid that which is
future. Because we had forgotten the first stroke, the second fell on
us; because we forgot the second, the third bore heavy on us. Who
will yet again forget!
1. My God, without ceasing, I will tread the threshold of Thy
house; I who have rejected all grace, I will ask with boldness. that
I may receive with confidence.
R.., Our hope, be thou our Wall!
2. For if, O Lord, the earth, enriches manifold, a single grain
of wheat, how then shall my prayers, be enriched by Thy grace!
3. Because of the voices of my children, their sighs and their
groans, open to me the door of Thy mercy! Make glad for their voices,
the mourning of their sackcloth!
4. O firstborn that wast a weaned child, and wast familiar with
the children, the accurst sons of Nazareth, hearken to my lambs that
have seen the wolves, for lo! they cry.
5. For a flock, O my Lord, in the field, if so be it has seen the
wolves, flees to the shepherd, and takes refuge under his staff, and
he drives away them that would devour it.
6. Thy flock has seen the wolves, and lo! it cries loudly. Behold
how terrified it is! Let thy Cross be a staff, to drive out them
that would swallow it up!
7. Accept the cry of my little ones, that are altogether pure. It
was He, the Infant of days, that could appease, O Lord, the Ancient
8. The day when the Babe came down, in the midst of the stall,
the Watchers descended and proclaimed, peace--may that peace be, in
all my streets for all my offspring.
9. Seventy and two old men, the elders of that people, sufficed
not for its breaches. The Babe it was, the Son of Mary, that gave
peace on every side.
10. Have mercy, O Lord, on my children! in my children call to
mind Thy childhood, Thou Who wast a child! Let them that are like Thy
childhood, be saved by Thy grace!
11. Mingled in the midst of the flock, are the cry of the
innocents, and the voice of the sheep, that call on the Shepherd of
all, to deliver them from all.
13. There is a joy that is affliction, misery is hidden in it;
there is a misery that is profit, it is a fountain of joys, in that
14. The happiness that my persecutor has gained, woes are hidden
in it; therefore I rejoice. The wretchedness that I have gained from
him, happiness is concealed for me in it.
15. Who will not give praise, to Him that has begotten us, and
can beget again, from the midst of evil rumours the voices of glad
16. Thou Healer of all, hast visited me in my sicknesses! Payment
for Thy medicines, I cannot give Thee, for they are priceless.
17. Thy mercies in richness, surpass Thy medicines: they cannot
be bought, they are given freely, it is for tears they are bartered.
18. How, O my Master, can a desolate city, whose king is far off,
and her enemy nigh, stand firm without aid of mercy?
19. A harbour and refuge, art Thou at all times. When the seas
covered me, Thy mercy descended and drew me out. Again let Thy help
lay hold on me!
20. Apply to my afflictions, the medicine of Thy salvation, and
the passion of Thy help! Thy sign can become, a medicine to heal
21. I am greatly oppressed, and I hasten to complain, against him
that troubles me. Let Thy mercy, my Lord, take the bitterness from
the cup, that my sins have mixed.
22. I look on all sides, and weep that I am desolate. Very many
though be my chiefs and my deliverers, one is He that has delivered
23. My young men have fled, O Lord, and gone forth, and are like
chickens, which an eagle pursues; lo! they hide in a secret place:
may Thy peace bring them back!
24. The sound of my grape-gatherers, lo! my ears miss it, for
their voices fail. Let it resound with the glad tidings, O Blessed
One of Thy salvation!
25. A voice of terror, I have heard on my towers; as my defenders
cry, while they guard my walls. Still Thou it with the voice of
26. The noise of my husbandmen, shall speak peace without my
walls: the shouting of my dwellers shall speak peace within my walls,
that I may give peace without and within.
27. Make an end, O Lord, of the mourning, of this Thy pure altar,
and of Thy chaste priest, who stands clothed in mourning, covered
over with sackcloth!
28. The Church and her ministers shall give praise for Thy
salvation; the city and its dwellers. Be the voice of peace, O Lord,
the reward of their voices!
1. Cause to be heard in Thy grace, the tidings of Thy salvation:
for an hearing has been made, a path of passage; our minds have been
downtrodden, by messages of terror.
R., Praises to Thy victory! Glory to Thy Dominion!
2. Comfort Thou with profits, though small and scanty, those that
have had harvest, of hurt by their labour: at a time of profit, they
have gained but loss.
3. It is manifest that He has stood, portioning wrath upon earth:
loss and profit in anger He divided. There are whom He has cast down
of a sudden, and there are whom He has puffed up of a sudden.
4. To teach us that He can, chastise in all ways; when He saw the
persecutors, were terrible before mine eyes, He laid me out before my
children, and they my beloved chastised me.
5. Lo! He taught me to fear, Himself and not man: for when there
was none to smite us, His wrath gave command of a sudden, and every
man stretched himself out, and chastised himself.
6. In like manner that Babylonian, who struck down all kings when
he was confident and hoped that there was none to smite him, God
caused that by his own hands. he should strike himself down.
7. His majesty and his mind, of a sudden became mad together: he
rent and cast off his garments; he went forth and wandered in the
desert; he drove himself out first, and then his servants drove him
8. He showed to all kings, whom he had led captive and brought
down, that not by his own power, could he have overcome: the power
that struck him down, was that which punished them.
9. I have stood and borne, O my Lord; the blows of my deliverers.
Thou art able in Thy grace, to make me profit by the smiters: Thou
art able in Thy justice to punish me by my helpers.
10. The day when the host was bold, to come up against Samaria;
their plenty and their pleasure, their treasures and their
possessions, they cast away and forsook and fled. He crowned her by
11. My beloved ones crowned me, and my deliverers healed me.
Through the guilt of my dwellers, my helpers chastised me, give me
drink from Thy vines, of the cup of consolation!
12. The corn and the vine, preserve, O my Lord, by Thy grace! Be
the husbandman cheered, by the vine of the grape-gatherer; be the
vinedresser glad, in the corn of the husbandman!
13. They are joined each to each, the corn and the grape. In the
field the reapers, wine can make cheerful, in the vineyard the
dressers, bread strengthens in turn.
14. These two things have power, to comfort my troubles: the
Trinity has power, to comfort more exceedingly; whom I will praise
because of a sudden, I was delivered through grace.
15. But the man whose life, is preserved through grace, if he
goes away to murmur, at the loss of his goods, he is thankless for
the grace, of Him who had pity on him.
16. Of His own will He destroys, one thing instead of another. He
destroys possession, and spares the possessor: He destroys our
plants, instead of our lives.
17 Let us fear to murmur, lest His own wrath be roused, and He
spare the possessions, and smite the possessor; that we may learn in
the end, His mercy in the beginning.
18. Let us learn against whom, it is meet for us to murmur. Learn
thou to murmur, not against the Chastener, but against thine own
will, that made thee sin and thou wast punished.
19. Let us put away murmuring, and turn unto prayer: for it the
possessor dies, his possessions also cease for him; but while he
survives, he seeks to recover his losses.
20. Let consolations be multiplied, in mercy to my dwellers: let
the remainder and residue, console us in the midst of wrath; and
cause Thou us to forget in the residue, the mourning of our
21. Heal and increase O my Lord, the fruits Thy wrath has left!
They seem to me like sick ones, that have escaped in pestilence. Make
me to forget in these weak ones, the suffering of the many!
22. While I speak, O my Lord, I call to mind that this too is the
month, when the blossom pined, and dropped off in blight, may it
return to soundness, to be a consolation!
23. For these escaped the pestilence, that carried off their
brethren. The vines though voiceless, wept when before them, a
multitude was cut down and felled, of trees that they loved.
24. The company of plants, lo! the earth misses! The roots for
the husbandmen, weep and cause them to weep. Their beauty had spread
and gave shade, and it was torn away in one hour.
25. The axe came nigh and struck; and struck the husbandman; the
blow was on the trees, and it caused the husbandman to suffer; every
axe that smote, he bore the pain of it.
1. I will run in my affections, to Him who heals freely. He who
healed my sorrows, the first and the second, He who cured the third,
He will heal the fourth.
R., Heal me, Thou Son the First Born!
2. My sons, O my Lord, drank and were drunken, of the tidings
which wrath had mixed; and they rushed on my adornments, and spoiled
and cast away my ornaments; they rent and spared not, my garments and
3. They uncovered me and I was made bare. Because I was shamed a
little, by means of that stripping, the first and the second, because
I was shamed a third time, lo! they have stripped me a fourth time.
4. For they have seized and taken away my garments, my ornaments
and my gardens. On the sackcloth that girds my altar, look Thou, O my
Lord, and have pity on me! Let the sackcloth be to me, O my Lord, the
breastplate of salvation!
5. Lo! it is not by the hand of the chaste, that Thou hast
chastised me, O my Master! For lo! his shame is before him, and
behind him his disgrace; for as to his marriage, adultery is better
6. Lo! his daughter is his wife. and his sister his consort; and
his mother whence he came forth, he turns again and takes her to
wife! The heavens are astonished that thus, he provokes Thee, and lo!
7. And though, O my Lord, my crimes are many, are my offences so
heavy, that Thou shouldst make over a chaste woman, mother of chaste
daughters, to foul Assyria, mother of defiled daughters?
8. Restrain him that he come not, and wag at me his head, and
stamp on me his heel, and rejoice that the voice of his fame, thus
troubles the world; and be uplifted yet a little!
9. My sons, O my Lord, have seen my nakedness, yea have uncovered
me and wept. Uncover Thou me before my children, who are pained by my
pain, and let not those mock at me, the accursed that have no pity!
10. My lands had brought forth fruits and pleasant things; good
things in the vineyard, abundance in the fields. But as I rested
secure, of a sudden wrath overtook me.
11. The husbandmen were plundered, the spoilers heaped the grain;
what thou had borrowed and sown these destroyed. With one's debt his
hunger, haply will also remain unsatisfied, for his bread is snatched
12. The husbandman, O my Lord, is plundered, for he lent to the
earth; she has received the deposit, and given it to a stranger; she
has borrowed it of the husbandman; and paid it to the spoiler.
13. Be jealous over me who am Thine, and to Thee, O my Lord: am I
betrothed! The Apostle who betrothed me to Thee, told me that Thou
art jealous. For as a wall to chaste wives is the jealousy of their
14. Samson stirred up seas, because he was mightily jealous over
Iris wife, though she was greatly defiled, and was divided against
him. Keep Thy Church, for no other, has she beside Thee!
15. Whoso is not jealous, over his spouse despises her. Jealousy
it is that can make known, the love that is within. Thou art called
jealous, that thou mayest show me Thy love.
16. The nature of woman is this; it is weak and rash: it is
jealousy keeps it, under fear every hour. Thou hast been named among
the jealous, that Thou mightest make known Thy solicitude.
17. Every man has been master, of something that was not his own;
every man has gone forth gathering, something that he scattered not.
The day of confusion, I have prepared for myself by my crimes.
18. How shall they bear the suffering, the labourers and tillers?
In the face of the vinedresser, they have cut down the vines and
driven away the flocks of the husbandman; his sowing they have reaped
and carried off.
19. They had yoked cattle sown and harrowed, they had ploughed,
planted. nurtured. They stood afar and wept; and they went away
bereft of all. The labour was for the toilers, the increase for the
20. The rulers, O my Lord, maintained not, order in the midst of
Thy wrath. If they had willed it they might have kept order, but our
iniquity suffered it not. Though wrath had greatly abated, wrath
compelled them to spoil.
21. To whom on any side, shall I look for comfort, for my
plantations that are laid low, and my possessions that are laid
waste? Let the message of the voice of peace, drive away my sadness
22. Give me not over; lest it be thought that Thou, hast given me
a writing of divorce, and sent me away and driven me out! Let them
not call me, O my Lord, the forsaken and the disgraced!
23. I have not anything, to call to mind before Thine eyes, for I
am wholly despised. Call Thou to mind for me, O my God, this only
that none other, have I set before me beside Thee!
24. Who would not weep for me, with voice and wailing? for before
the days of full moon I was chaste and crowned; and after the days of
full moon, I was uncovered and made bare.
25. My chaste daughters of the chambers, wander in the fields;
for the wrath that makes all drunken, has caused my honourable women
to be despised. Let Thy mercy which gives peace to all, restore these
beloved ones to honour!
26. My elder daughters and my younger, lo! they cry before Thee;
the damsels with their voices, they that are aged with their tears;
my virgins with their fasts, my chaste ones with their sackcloth!
27. Mine eyes to all the streets, I lift up and lo! they are
deserted. There are left of a hundred ten, and a thousand of ten
thousand. Give Thou peace and fill my streets, with the tumult of my
28. Bring back them that are without, and make them glad that are
within! Mighty is Thy grace, that Thou extendest it within and
without. Let the wings of Thy grace gather my chickens together!
29. Let the prayer of my just men, save my fugitives! The
unbelievers have plundered me, and the believers have sustained me.
In them that believe put Thou to shame them that believe not!
30. There came together on one day, two festivals as one: the
Feast of Thine Ascension, and the Feast of Thy Champions; the feast
that wove Thy Crown, and the memorial of the crowning of Thy
31. Have thou mercy because there were doubled for us, these
feasts on one day; and there were doubled for us instead of them,
even the two feasts in one, suffering from the voice of ill tidings,
and mourning from desolation!
32. Give peace to my festivals! for both my feasts have ceased;
and instead of rejoicing, of my remnants in festivals, tremblings and
desolations meet me in every place.
33. Bring home mine that are far off, make glad mine that are
nigh; and in the midst of our land shall be preached, good tidings of
joy; and I shall render in return for peace, praise from every mouth!
1. Wrath came to rebuke, the greedy who in the midst of peace,
bargained, defrauded and plundered. In calamity the greedy have waxed
rich: lo! what was theirs they have scattered, what was not theirs
they have gathered.
R., Give peace, O Son, to our land!
2. Twenty years my troubles, have been like branches, O my
Saviour! which are kept back throughout winter, but when it is time
to shoot forth, my troubles shoot forth: with our fruit our heart
3. Nisan is the time of buds: in it the ill tidings budded. When
our delights crowded on us, then crowded on us our ills. At the time
of winnowing of wheat, came the winnowing of cities,
4. For the three brethren in Babylon fled not from the fire that
men kindled, because they were steadfast: from lust they fled,
because they were perfect.
5. The fire of them that have triumphed, is able to turn the
black kids into white: the fire of vain men is able to make the lambs
into spotted leopards.
6. How great will be my cries, to be cried at any alarm! How
great my indignation to ripen at every ill tidings! How great my
harvests, to perish every mouth!
7. For the crimes of my sons He has chastened me, in their
struggling for my deliverance. The people who deliver me, bring
chastisement upon me. Restrain ye your sins, and lo! my chastisements
8. In ill tidings they are afflicted; in time of wrath they are
tortured; in time of peace they are distressed; for when every man
breathes freely, and all are unthankful for grace, they render thanks
on behalf of every man.
9. Their sackcloth is humble for my sake; their ashes are
sprinkled in my affliction; their prayer is for my victory; their
fast for my deliverance: Lo! the debt is on my ascetics, the guilt
with my nobles.
10. Great is in every age, the folly of the wise; the scribes and
eiders envied and killed the teacher, who taught all people the Law
11. Wisdom in this age is a possession that brings loss: he who
has a little folly, very small is his guilt; but he who has a little
prudence, his iniquity passes measure.
12. They build with their words, and overthrow in their deeds;
for the teachers were many and foolish, but the mouth of the judge is
both of these things, the judge and the accuser.
[Hymn VIII. is wanting, as also the earlier part of IX.] IX.
... My afflictions are as Job's. Thy justice delivered him; let
Thy grace have mercy on me!
2. In these two things is profit; that neither should the just,
be weary in supplication, nor should the rebellious, multiply
3. With the sons Thou labourest, to chastise and help them; and
that the fathers should not be grieved, by the sound of the scourge,
they left me in peace.
4. Look, O my Lord, on my woods without, how they have been cut
down! behold, O my Lord, my breasts within, that they are too weak,
for me to bear my beloved ones!
5. With swords they have cut off, my wings that are without;
again the fire kindles, in my bosom within, the incense of burnt
6. The sun-worshippers have killed, my sons in the plain: and
they that offer to Baal, have sacrificed my bulls in the city, my
sheep with my babes.
7. In my fields is lamentation; in my halls wailing; in my
vineyards terror; in my streets confusion. Who can suffice for me?
8. The Evil One who dealt treacherously, and disturbed me with
his words, stirred up trouble within, so that my inward part, is
wholly as my outward part.
9. With what face, O my Lord, shall I call on Thee to send, a
camp of holy ones, to guard my bosom, which is full of uncleanness?
10. With Thy new leaven, Thou hast chastened creation. Make Thou
the old leaven, which ensnares and humbles, to be like the new
11. By the manifest striving, of Thy power let us conquer; lest
error should crown, those that strive for Thee, cleaving to them with
12. If we look into our time, it is like our deceit;(1)--for in
the years of truthfulness, we practised divinations,--and secretly
13. If I look into the time, it provokes and into light,--brings
secret things, that our deceit may be shamed,--which wore the raiment
14. Verily it is truth, that overcomes all;(2)--and the sea with
its bitterness, cannot trouble it,--for it is pure in its nature.
15. In wisdom Thou hast made it, O my Lord, that it has laid bare
our lust.--That the foolish should come to nought, and should not be
encouraged,--Truth has withheld the crown.
16. On the tottering walls, whereon Thou hast given me victory,--
the unthankful repay Thee, with sacrifice and libation, which provoke
17. If it were at that time, sacrifices had been offered ;--there
had been room even, for delusion to suppose,--that in these I was
18 Through the multitude of deliverances, Thou hast rebuked two
things:--the delusion of graven images, and the teaching of
magicians;--for in Thee, O my Lord, have I been delivered!
1. My children have been slain; and my daughters that are without
me,--their walls are overthrown, their children scattered,--and their
holy places trodden down.
R., Blessed is Thy chastisement!
2. The fowlers have taken, my doves out of my strongholds,--which
quilted their nests, and fled to the caves;--in the net have they
3. After the manner of wax, that melts before the fire,--thus
melted and dissolved, the bodies, of my sons before the heat--and the
drought of my strongholds.
4. And instead of streams, of milk that used to flow,--for my
sons and my little ones, milk fails the sucklings, and water the
5. The suckling falls, from its mother and gasps,--because it
cannot suck, nor can she give suck:--they breathe out their spirit
6. How is it possible, that Thy grace can refrain--the welling of
its stream, when it is not possible to restrain--the abundance of its
7. And why has Thy grace, shut up its mercies,--and withheld its
streams, from the people that cry,--for one to moisten their tongue?
8. And there was a pit, between them and their brethren;--like
the rich man who cried, and there was none to answer,--to moisten his
9. And as into the midst of fire, the wretched ones were cast;--
and heat in the midst of thirst, the fire was blowing,--and kindling
10. Their carcases were melted, and dissolved by the heat;--they
that had thirsted gave in turn the earth to drink,--of the reek of
11. And the fort that with thirst, had killed, its dwellers,--it
drank in its turn of the flux from the corpses,--that were melted by
12. Who has seen a people--that were burning with thirst,--while
there surrounded them a wall of water and they could not--moisten
13. Surely with the judgment of Sodom, were my beloved judged,--
and my children smitten, with the torment of Sodom;--though that was
but for one day.
14. The torment of fire, though it be for one hour, O my Lord,--
in lingering thirst, is a lingering death, and a subtle punishment.
15. After my sorrows, O my Lord, and my bitter sufferings,--this
is the best comfort, wherewith Thou hast comforted me,--that Thou
hast multiplied my afflictions.
16. The medicine that I hoped, it is sorrow decreed;--the binding
up that I looked for, it is bitter calamity,--that it seeks to work
17. And whereas I hoped to escape, from the midst of the storm;--
worse for me is the storm in it, even in the harbour,--than that in
18. Whereas I thought in my folly, that I should anchor and
escape--from the midst of the Gulf; my sins have cast me back--again
into the midst of it.
19. Look, O my Lord, on my limbs, how the swords are thick ill
me,--and have left their mark on my arms; and the scars of the
spears,--are planted in my sides!
20. Tears in mine eyes, and in my ears ill rumours,--wailing in
my mouth, and mourning in my heart!--Add no more, O my Lord, to me!
1. Thy chastening is, as a mother of our infancy:--her rebuke is
merciful, in that Thou hast restrained,--the children from folly, and
they have been made wise!
R., Glory be to the justice.!
2. Let us search out Thy justice; for who is sufficient--to
measure its help? since by it the wanton--are oftentimes made
3. Oftentimes Thy hand, O my Lord, has made the sick whole,--for
it is the healer in secret of their diseases,--and the fount of their
4. Exceeding gently, the finger of Thy justice,--in love and
compassion, touches the wounds--of him that is to be healed.
5. Exceeding mild and merciful, is her cutting to him that is
wise:--her sharp remedy, in its mighty love,--consumes the corrupt
6. Exceeding welcome her wrath, to him that is discerning;--but
her remedies are hated, of the fool who has delight--in the trouble
of his limbs.
7. Exceeding eager is she, to bind the cut she has made;--when
she has smitten she pities, that from between these two--she may
8. Exceeding welcome her wrath, and her anger pleasant,--and
sweet her bitterness, sweetening bitter things--that they may be made
9. A cause of negligence is Thy indulgence to the careless;--a
cause of profit, is Thy rod among the slothful--so that they become
10. The cause of our affliction, it is Thy justice;--the cause of
our carelessness, it is Thy graciousness,--for our understanding has
11. Pharaoh hardened himself, because of Thy graciousness;--for
when the plagues were stayed, his cruelties waxed strong,--and he
lied to his promises.
12. Justice requited him, because he lied greatly against her,--
even Grace her freeborn sister; yea she restrained him again--that he
should not again provoke.
13. Rebuke, O my Lord, my guide, for it has been false as Egypt -
-my prayers testify, that I am not as she,--for Thy door have I not
14. Let Thy cross, O my Lord, which stands, in my breaches that
are open,--repair again the breaches that are hidden; for instead of
those without,--those within have cleft me asunder !
15. A sea has broken through, and cast down, the watch tower
wherein I had triumphed.--Iniquity has dared to set up, a temple
wherein I am shamed: its drink-offering chokes me.
16. My prayers on my walls, my persecutors have heard:--the sun
and his worshippers, are ashamed of their magicians,--for I have
triumphed by Thy cross.
17. All creatures cried out, when they saw the struggle,--while
Truth with falsehood, on my battered walls, fought and was crowned
18. The force of Truth, chastised falsehood:--in its chastisement
it felt Truth, and through its own sins, it earned her victory.
19. I have great alarm; for since my deliverance,--the honourable
and mighty, who were devoted to my altar, have built in me high
20. My seven senses, O my Lord, even though they had been as
fountains of tears, yet my tears were too little--to lament our ruin.
21. The streets that were in sackcloth, and ashes cried out,--
disturbed by the play, akin to that which was,--in the wilderness
before the calf.
22. Poison seeks and wears, the beauty of lilies;--and though
their buds may conceal, and hidden disguise it,--it blossoms in their
1. I will call in my affliction, on the Power that subdues all;--
that is able to subdue, the Captor in his wrath,--as it overcame
R., Glory to His grace !
2. The Evil One has repaid me my brethren, debts that he borrowed
not of me :tile good God likewise has repaid me, mercies that I lent
Him not.--Come and marvel ye at these two things!
3. The good God has divided and given, my misdeeds to His grace,-
-my offences to His justice; His mercy has blotted out my misdeeds--
His judgment has requited my offences.
4. Sin was exceeding wroth, and abode in alarm,--when she saw how
grace, put restraint on freedom, that she might overcome
5. Glow Thou, O my Lord, and send down Thy love, break out and
pour forth Thy wrath!--Thy wrath to destroy, Thy love to rescue--the
captives from the captor !
6. The days wherein the Evil One, decreed to cast me forth,--as
with a sling into perdition, in them the good God has bound up and
kept--my soul in the bundle of life.
7. The men of speech who keep not silence, from praising
continually,--who have kept me in the midst of waves, and supported
me that I fell not, let them give praise in my stead, O my Lord!
8. For who has at any time sufficed, in presence of tile grace,--
of the mercies which surrounded him, that I should suffice to praise-
-the mercies that encompass me?
Concerning Mar Jacob and his Companions.
1. Three illustrious priests, after the manner of the two great
lights,--have carried on and handed down one to another, the See and
the Hand and the Flock.--To us whose mounting was great for the two,
this last is wholly a consolation.
R., Glory to Thee Who didst choose them!
2. He Who created two great lights, chose for Himself these three
Lights,--and set them in the three dark seasons of siege that have
been.--When that pair of Lights was quenched, the other shone wholly
3. These three priests were treasures, who held in their
faithfulness,--the key of the Trinity; three doors they opened for
us;--each one of them with his key, unlocked and opened his door.
4. In the first was opened the door, for the chastisement that
betel us ;--in the next was opened the door, for the King's power
that came down on us,--in the last was opened the door, for the good
tidings that came up for us.
5. In the first was opened the door, for battle between two
hosts;--in the next were opened doors, for the kings from either
wind;--in the last was opened the door, for ambassadors from either
6. In the first was opened the door, for battle because of
misdeeds;--in the next was opened the door,--for the kings because of
strife;--in the last was opened the door, for ambassadors because of
7. Lo in these three successions, as in a mystery and a figure,-
-wrath is likened to the sun; it began under the first;--it waxed
strong under the next; it sank and was quenched under the last.
8. Three figures the Sun also, shows forth in the three
quarters:--its rising is keen and bright; its meridian strong and
overpowering;--and like a torch that is burnt out, its setting is
mild and pleasant.
9. Small yet bright is its rising, when it comes to waken
sleepers;--hot and overpowering its meridian, when it comes to ripen
the fruits;--tender and pleasant its setting, when it reaches its
10. Who is this daughter born of vows, enviable above all women,-
-whose successions thus proceed, and her ranks are thus manifold,--
and her degrees thus ascend, and her teachers thus excel.
11. Do these similitudes belong, only to the daughter of
Abraham,--or to thee too, O daughter, born of vows, whose adorning is
according as thy beauty?--for as thine occasion, so was thy help, and
as thy help so was its minister.
12. According to the measure of her need, there came to her the
supply of her need.--Her fathers were as was her birth; her teachers
were as was her understanding;--her training as was her growth; her
raiment as was her stature.
13. Grace weighed out to her and gave all these things as in the
scales;--she laid them in her balance, that therefrom there might be
profit;--she drew them into succession, that therefrom might be
14. In the days of him that was first, peace abounded and peace
vanished;--in the days of him that was next, kings came down and
kings went back;--but in the days of the last, hosts assailed and
15. By the first order came in, it came in with him and went out
with him;--by the next the diadem that gladdened our churches, came
nigh and withdrew far away;--but by the last there dawdled on us,
grace that was not thankfully received.
16. Against the wrath that was first, the labour of the first
contended;--against the heat that was at noon, the shade of the
second stood up;--against peace that was thankless, the last
17. For the first invader of the land was the first and
illustrious priest;--for the second invader of the land, was the
second and merciful priest:--but the prayers of him that was last,
repaired our breaches secretly.
18. Nisibis is set(3) upon waters, waters secret and open:--
living streams are within her; a noble river without her. The river
without deceived her; the fountain within has saved her.
19. The first priest was her vinedresser; he made her branches to
grow even unto heaven.--Lo! being dead and buried within her, he has
become fruit in the midst other bosom:--when therefore the pruners
came, the fruit that was in her midst preserved her.
20. The time of her pruning came; it entered and took from her
her vinedresser,-that there should not be one to pray for her. She
made haste in her subtlety;--He laid in her bosom her vinedresser,
that she should be delivered through her vine-dresser.
21. Be ye wise like Nisibis, O ye daughters of Nisibis,--for that
she laid the body within her, and it became a wall without her.--
Place ye within you the living body, that it be a wall for your
I. Under the three pastors,--there were manifold shepherds;--the
one mother that was in the city,--had daughters in all regions.--
Since Wrath has destroyed her dwellings,--Peace shall build up her
R. Blessed be He who chose out those three!
2. The kindly labour of the first,--bound up the land in her
affliction:--the bread and wine of the next,--healed the city when
site was broken:--the sweet speech of the last,--sweetened our
bitterness in affliction.
3. The first tilled the land with his labour,--he rooted out of
her the briars and thorns:--the next fenced her round about,--he made
a hedge for her of them that were saved:--the last opened the garner
of his Lord,--and sowed in her the words of her Lord.
4. The first priest by means of a fast,--closed the the doors of
men's mouths:--the second priest for the captives,--opened the mouths
of the purse:--but the last pierced through the ears,--and fastened
in them the ornament of life.
5. Aaron stripped off from the ears,--the earrings and made a
calf.--That lifeless calf in secret,--pierced and slaughtered the
camp:--those who had fashioned his horns, --he ripped them up with
6. But our priest who was the third,--pierced through the ears of
the heart:--and fastened there the earrings he had fashioned,--of the
nails that were fixed in the cross, --whereon his Lord was
crucified,--and gave life to His fellow-men.
7. A son unto death the fire brought forth;--Death feeds upon all
bodies:--the son of Death who surpassed Death,--upon the souls of men
he fed.--The calf forsook his provender,--for men's minds were the
food for him.
8. To the first Tree that which killed,--to it grace brought
forth a son.--O Cross offspring of the Tree,--that didst fight
against thy sire!--The Tree was the fount of death;--the Cross was
the fount of life.
9. The son that was born to Death,--all mouths were opened to
curse him.--He devoured bodies and souls,--and multiplied the
disgrace of his father.--But the Cross caused to pass away the
rebuke,--of its father that first Tree.
10. The two sons were even as were--the two mothers that bare
them.--The calf which the fire brought forth,--the fire consumed in
the midst of the people:--the Cross the offspring of grace,--divided
good gifts to all creation.
11. O my tongue hold thy peace and be silent of the histories of
the Cross that press to be told!--for my mind of a sudden has
conceived,--and lo! pangs of travail smite it:--it has conceived
these among the last,--and they strive to become the firstborn.
12. The babes struggled in the womb;--the elder made haste to
come forth:--the younger desiring the birthright,--laid his hand upon
his heel;--that which he obtained not by birth,--he obtained by the
mess of pottage.
13. After the like sort these later histories,--lo! they make
light of the former ones,--that themselves may come forth and take
the birthright.--Let us bring forth the history of our fathers,--for
lo! the histories of the Cross--are the firstborn of all creatures.
14. For if that which has no beginning--is the first of all
created things,--its histories also are the firstborn,--for they are
eider than all creatures.--Let the histories of Thee, O my Lord,
yield place,--that we may tell of Thy ministers!
15. The first in degree of doctrine,--His eloquence was like as
was his degree;--the next who was second in degree,--his
interpretation mounted to the height of his degree;--the last who was
third in degree,--his eloquence was great as he was.
16. The first in his simple words,--gave milk unto his infants;--
the next in his plain sayings,--gave victual to his children;--the
third in his perfect sayings,--gave meat to his that were of perfect
17. She too the daughter of instruction,--mounted from degree to
degree,--along with her teachers and fathers.--A young child she was
with the first; a simple maid was she with the next;--she came to
perfect age in the third.
18. The first dealing with her as a child,--loved her and taught
her to fear;--the next as with a damsel, rebuked her and make her
glad;--the third as with one fully instructed,--was to her a solace
19. Even the Most High with the daughter of Jacob,--gave
blandishment and the rod to her childhood;--and in her frowardness
and full age,--gave part in the sword and the Law;--and according to
her discipline and instruction,--He came to her in mildness and
20. The first that begat the flock,--his bosom bare her infancy;-
-the next of glad-some countenance,--cheered with song and made glad
her childhood;--the last grave of countenance,-lo! he guards her
chastity in her youth.
21. The first priest who begat her,--gave milk to her infancy;--
the next priest interpreted,--and gave victual to her childhood;--the
third priest nourished her, and gave meat to her perfect age.
22. The wealthy father who was first,--laid up treasures for her
childhood;--the next for her maturity--multiplied provision for her
journey;--the third the goodly olive tree,--multiplied oil in her
23. When she comes before Him who is rich,--she will show the
treasure of the first;--when she comes before the Saviour, she will
show the saved ones of the next;--when she goes forth to meet the
Bridegroom,--she will show the oil of her lamps.
24. Before Him who rewards the weary toilworn,--she will offer
the labour of the first;--before Him who loves cheerful givers,--she
will show the almsgiving of the next;--before Him who judges
doctrines,--she will offer the discourse of the last.
25. And I the sinner who have striven to be--the disciple of
these three,--when they shall see Him of the Third Day,--that he has
closed the door of His chamber,--may these three pray Him for me,
that He keep the door open a little while for me!
26. May the sinner press into and enter--rejoicing and fearing to
behold!--May the three masters call in--the one disciple in their
grace!--May he gather up under the table--the crumbs that are full of
1. If the head had not been right,--haply the members had
murmured:--for when because of a perverse head--the course of the
members is put astray,--they are wont to lay the blame on the head.
R. Blessed be He who chose thee the pride of our people!
2. If now on one that is all goodly,--on it we lay our hatred;--
how much more if we were hateful!--Yea even God though He is kind,--
bitter men complain against Him.
3. Be like the head O ye members!--Get repose in his purity--and
pleasantness in his tranquillity;--in his sanctity renown,--and in
his wisdom learning!
4. Get discernment in his mildness,--and chastity in his
gravity,--and bounty in his poverty!--As he is fully and altogether
fair,--let us be altogether fair with him!
5. See ye how meted and weighed--are his words and his actions!--
Take heed how even his steps--keep the measure of peace!--With all
his might he holds the bridle of all himself.
6. He was master over his youth;--he bound it in the yoke of
chastity:--his members were not enticed by lust;--for they were kept
under the rod:--his will he had in subjection.
7. For he was ready beforehand for his degree,--as he was ready
beforehand in his conversation,--as he laid his foundations
securely.--He became Head in his youth,-when they made him preacher
to the people.
8. Excellent was he among preachers,--learned was he among
scholars,--and understanding was he among the wise:--chaste was he
among his brethren,--and grave among his familiar friends.
9. In two abodes was he--a solitary recluse from his early days;-
-for he was holy within his body,--and solitary within his dwelling;-
-openly and secretly was he chaste.
10. But although we my brethren--have put astray those measures,-
-and we have lost that savour,--and have become teachers to
ourselves,--unto the perfection that called us.
11. Yet that measure of Truth--preserves itself in its vessel:--
Truth chose it because she saw it chose her;--she has preserved in it
her fragrance and savour,--from the beginning to the end.
12. The Head both chaste and grave,--that was not wrathful nor
hard,--nor transgressed even as we did,--set and kept his own
measures,--and cast a bridle on his thoughts.
13. He gave example in his person,--that as he kept the measure
of his time,--so was it meet that we should know our time.--We have
become strangers to our time,--for we have been witless in the time
14. In the beginning the blast of the wind--in its might chastens
the fruit;--then in the meantime the might of the sun:--but when its
mightiness is passed,--its end gathers his sweetness.
15. But we--they that were first chastened us;--and also they
that came next rebuked us;--and they that were last added sweetness
to us:--then when the time of tasting us arrives,--great was our
16. For we came to maturity,--that we might wean the children
from wantonness,--and lead them to gravity:--but our old age stood in
need--that we should be rebuked as youths.
17. Accordingly he in kindness endured, nor did he make use of
force,--that he might increase honour to our old age:--and even if it
knew not its degree,--let him be magnified who knew its time!
18. And if one say that for the multitude,--force and the rod
should govern it;-even as for the thief fear,--and for the spoiler
threatening,--and for fools open shaming.
19. Yet if with the head as first,--the members had hasted to
move as second,--they would have drawn that which was third,--and the
whole body from the end--would have followed after them.
20. They that were second despised those that were first,--and
that were third those that were second:--the degrees were set at
naught one by another.--While these within despised one another,--
they were trodden down likewise by those without.
1. Herein is a mirror to be blamed,--if its clearness is
darkened--because there are spots on its substance;--for the foulness
that is on it becomes--a covering before them that look on it.
R. Blessed be He Who polished our mirror!
2. For that comeliness is not adorned in it,--and blemishes are
not brought to view in it,--it is altogether a damage to comely
things;--seeing that their comeliness gain not--adornments as their
3. Blemishes are not rooted out by it,--likewise adornments are
not multiplied by it.--A blemish that remains is as a loss;--that
there is no adornment is a defect:--loss is met together with defect.
4. If our mirror be darkness,--it is altogether joy to the
hateful;--because their blemishes are not reproved:--but if polished
and shining,--it is our freedom that is adorned.
5. Twofold is the loss in defect,--for the hateful and for the
goodly;--in that the goodly gain no crown,--and likewise the hateful
get no adorning:--the mirror divides the loss.
6. Never does the mirror drive--by compulsion him that looks
therein:--so likewise grace which followed--upon the righteousness of
the Law,--does not possess the compulsion of the Law.
7. Righteousness was unto childhood,--its adorner of compulsion;-
-for when mankind was in childhood,--she adorned it by compulsion,--
while she robbed it not of its freedom.
8. Righteousness used blandishment,--and the rod to deal with
childhood;--when she smote it she roused it; her rod restrained
frowardness, her blandishment softened the minds.
* * * * * * * *
9. [If one turn from the Gospel,] wherewith we are adorned to-
day, my brethren,--to another gospel he is a child:--in a time of
greatness of understanding,--he is become without understanding.
10. For in the degree of full age,--he has gone down to
childhood;--and he loves the law of bondmen,--which when he is
confident smites him,--and when he rejoices buffets him.
11. Whatsoever ornament is compulsion,--is not true but is
borrowed.--This is a great thing in God's eyes,--that a man should be
adorned by himself:--therefore took He away compulsion.
12. For even as of His prudence--in its own time He employed
compulsion,--so likewise of His prudence,--He took it away at a time-
-when gentleness was desired in its stead.
13. For as it is befitting to Youth,--that it should be made to
haste under the rod;--so is it very hateful that under the rod--
Wisdom should be brought to serve,--that compulsion should be lord
14. Behold therefore how likewise--God has ordered my
successions--in the pastors I have had,--and in the teachers He has
given me,--and in the fathers He has reckoned unto me!
15. For weighed out according to their times--were the helps of
their qualities;--namely in him in whom it was needful, fear; and in
whom it was profitable, heartening; and in whom it was becoming,
16. By measure He made my steps advance:--to my childhood He
assigned terror; likewise to my youth, fear;--to my age of wisdom and
prudence,--He assigned and gave meekness.
17. In the frowardness of the degree of childhood,--my instructor
was a fear to me:--his rod restrained me from wantonness,--and from
mischief the terror of him,--and from indulgence the fear of him.
18. Another father He gave to my youth:--what there was in me of
childishness,--that was there in him of hardness; what there was in
me of maturity,--that was in him as meekness.
19. When I rose from the degrees--of childhood and of youth,--
there passed away the terror that was first,--there passed away the
fear that was second;--He gave me a kind pastor.
20. Lo! for my full age his food;--and for my wisdom his
interpretations;--and for my peace his meekness;--and for my repose
his kindness;--and for my chastity his gravity!
21. Blessed is He who as in a balance--weighed out and gave me
fathers:--for according to my times were my helps;--and according to
my sicknesses my medicines;--and according to my comelinesses my
22. We then are they that have disturbed--the succession and fair
order;--for in a time of mildness--lo! we crave for hardness,--that
Thou should rebuke us as though we were children!
CONCERNING ABRAHAM, BISHOP OF NISIBIS.
1. Suffer, O Lord, that even my lowliness, should cast into Thy
treasury its farthing, even as the merchant of our flock, who made
increase of his talent of Thy doctrine, and has departed and entered
Thy haven. I will speak of the shepherd, under him who has become
head of the flock; who was disciple of the Three, and has become our
R., Blessed be He Who has made him our comfort!
2. In one love will I cause them to shine, and as a crown will I
weave them, the splendid blossoms, and the fragrant flowers of the
teacher and of his disciple, who remained after him as Elisha; for
the horn of his election and he was consecrated and became head, and
he was exalted and became master.
R., Blessed be He Who made him chief!
3. And they in heaven rejoiced for the flock, that by the pastor
whom they fed, they feed it; the abode of the shepherds under him
rejoiced, because they saw the succession of their degrees. He took
and set him as a mind in the midst of the great body of the church,
and his members came round him to buy of him life, doctrine, new
R., Blessed be He Who made him their treasury!
4. He chose him from the multitude of shepherds, because he had
given trial of his stedfastness; the time tested him in the midst of
the flock, and length of days proved him as a crucible; for that he
gave proof in his person, He made him a wall for many. Let thy
fasting be armour to our country, thy prayer a shield to our city,
let thy censer purchase reconcilement.
R., Blessed be He Who has hallowed thy sacrifices!
5. The Pastor who has been parted from his flock, fed them on
spiritual pastures, and by his exalted staff, he defended them from
secret wolves. Fill thou up the room of thy master, which thirsts for
the sound of his melody; set up thyself as a pillar, in the city of
the trembling people; support her with thy prayers.
R., Blessed be He Who has marie thee our pillar!
6. He has committed the Hand to his disciple, the Throne to one
that is worthy of it, the Key to one that is proved faithful, the
Flock to one that has excelled. To thy hand belongs the laying-on, to
thy offering propitiation, and to thy tongue consolation. May peace
adorn thy Dominion; be the watchmen within and the congregations
R., Blessed be He Who has chosen thee for rejoicings!
7. May thy doctrine abound, in deeds more than words! In saying
few words, till Thou our land with labour, that by much tillage the
scanty seed may become rich, the increase of the old seed, may come
among us thirtyfold, and thy new seed sixtyfold.
R., Blessed be He Who multiplies an hundredfold!
8. The wrath that was against thee ceases, because peace flows
over thee altogether; the jealousy against thee is quenched, for thy
love hourly flames forth: thou hast broken the string of envy, that
it should smite none in secret; slander that confounds, to it thy ear
turns not, for open truth is pleasing to thee.
R., Blessed be He Who adorned thy members!
9. Thou shalt give counsel in the midst of thy people, like
Jethro among the Hebrews; thou shalt altogether go with him, who for
thy profit counsels thee, thou shalt altogether flee from him, who
otherwise counsels thee: Rehoboam shall be a sign to thee; thou shalt
choose counsels of profit, thou shalt refuse counsels of envy.
R., Blessed be He Who has counselled comfort!
10. The gift that has been given thee, from on high it flew and
came down: thou shall call it by a name of man, thou shall not bear
it in another power, lest haply to its place there should come, Satan
in his guile, supposing, that the sons of men have given it to thee,
so that this freeborn gift should serve in bondage to man.
R., Blessed be He Who has handed down his gift!
11. Thy master is painted in thy person; lo! his likeness is on
parted from us one with us is he. In thee we shall see those three,
the excellent ones who are parted from us. Thou shall be unto us a
wall as Jacob, and full of tenderness as Babu, and a treasury of
speech as Valgesh.
R., Blessed be He Who in one has painted them!
12. I, too, the offscouring of the flock, have not withholden
aught that was meet: I have painted the similitude of these two, in
the colours of these two; that the sheep may see their adornment, and
the flock their beauties. And I who have become a lamb endowed with
speech, unto Thee, O God of Abraham, in the posture of Abram will
give Thee praise.
R., Blessed be He Who has made me His harp!
1. O thou who art made priest after thy master, the illustrious
after the excellent, the chaste after the grave, the watchful after
the abstinent, thy master from thee has not departed; in the living
we see the deceased: for lo! in thee is his likeness painted; and
impressed upon thee are his footprints, and all of him shines from
all of thee.
R., Blessed be He Who in His stead has given us thee!
2. The fruit wherein its tree is painted, bears witness
concerning the root. Hitherto there has not failed us, the savour of
his sweetness. His words thou showest forth in bodily act, for thou
hast fulfilled them in deed. In thy conversation is painted his
doctrine, in thy conduct his exposition, in thy fulfilment his
R., Blessed be He Who has made thy lustre to excel!
3. The last pastor who was exalted, and became head unto the
members, the younger who obtained the birthright, not for price like
Jacob, not in jealousy like Aaron, whose brethren the Levites envied
him, but by love obtained he it like Moses, though he was older than
Aaron. In thee thy brethren rejoiced as in him.
R., Blessed be He Who chose thee in unanimity!
4. There is no envy or jealousy, among the members of the body;
for in love they give ear unto him, with tenderness they are visited
by him. A watch tower is the head unto the members, for on every side
he looks forth. Exalted is he yet meek in his graciousness, even to
the feet he humbleth himself, that he may turn away harm from them.
R., Blessed be He Who instilled thy love into us!
5. A small thing verily had this been, if by an old man apostasy
were overcome. Old age in its prudence submitted; youth in its season
conquered; for a youthful combatant endured, the hateful conflict
waged, by force that was full of apostacy, which like smoke waxed and
passed: with its beginning was its end.
R., Blessed be He Who blew upon it that it vanished!
6. The voice of the cornet on a sudden amazed and called Thee to
battle. Thou wentest up like a new David, by Thee was subdued a
second Goliath. Thou wast not untried in combat, for a secret warfare
day by day, Thou art waging against the Evil One. Exercise in secret
is wont to attain the crown openly.
R., Blessed be He Who chose Thee for our glory!
7. In face of trial Job trained his body and his mind, and in
temptation he was victorious. And Joseph conquered in the chamber;
Ananias and his company in the furnace, and in the midst of the den
Daniel. Satan did foolishly, when in tempting, he confirmed their
R., Blessed be He Who has multiplied shame on him!
8. And the husbandman who apostatized and was urgent, to sow
thorns with his left hand; zealous against him was the righteous
husbandman, stopped and cut off his left hand. He filled His own
right hand and sowed in the heart the words of life; and lo! our
understanding is tilled, by His prophets and His apostles. By Thee
may our souls be tilled!
R., Blessed be He Who chose Thee for our husbandman!
9. And if so be Thy words are too little, till Thou our land with
deeds, that amid much tillage, stock and root may be strengthened.
Better is a goodly deed, than the hearing of ten thousand words. Thy
seed shall yield an hundredfold, and the after crop sixtyfold, yea
that which grows of itself thirtyfold.
R., Blessed be He Who multiplied Thy increase!
10. That light should be darkened it is not meet, that salt
should lose its savour it is not right; defilement for the head is
not seemly, nor yet foulness for the mirror. Nor if medicines have
lost their savour sicknesses also are not cured; and if so be the
torch is quenched, the stumbling also are many. Thy light shall chase
away our darkness.
R., Blessed be He Who hath made Thee our lamp!
11. Appoint for thee scribes and judges, exactors also and
dispensers, overseers also and officers: to each assign his work,
lest haply by care should be rusted, or by anxiety should be
distracted, the mind and the tongue, wherewith thou offerest
supplication, for the expiation of all the people.
R., Blessed be He Who makes illustrious Thy ministry!
12. That he should purge his mind, and cleanse also his tongue;
that he should purify his hands, and make his whole body to shine;
this is too little for the priest and his title, who offers the
Living Body. Let him cleanse all himself at all hours; for he stands
as mediator, between God and mankind.
R., Blessed be He Who has cleansed His ministers!
1. Thou who answerest to the name of Abraham, in that Thou art
made father of many; but because to Thee none is spouse, as Sarah was
to Abraham,--lo! Thy flock is Thy spouse; bring up her sons in Thy
truth; spiritual children may they be to Thee, and the sons be sons
of promise, that they may become heirs in Eden.
R., Blessed be He Who foreshowed Thee in Abraham!
2. Fair fruit of chastity, in whom the priesthood was well
pleased, youngest among Thy brethren as was the son of Jesse; the
horn overflowed and anointed Thee, the hand alighted and chose Thee,
the Church desired and loved Thee; the pure altar is for Thy
ministry, the great throne for Thy honour, and all as one for Thy
R., Blessed be He Who multiplied Thy crown-
3. Lo! thy flock, O blessed one, arise and visit it, O diligent
one! Jacob ranged the flocks in order; range Thou the sheep that have
speech, and enlighten the virgin-youths in purity, and the virgin-
maids in chastity; raise up priests in honour, rulers in meekness,
and a people in righteousness.
R. Blessed be He Who filled Thee with understanding!
4. Guard thou the sheep that are whole, and visit them that are
sick, and bind up them that are broken, and seek out them that are
lost; feed them in the pastures of the Scriptures, and give them
drink or the spring of doctrine: let the truth be a wall unto thee,
let the cross be a staff unto thee, and truthfulness be peace unto
R., Blessed be He Who multiplied Thy virtues!
5. Let there be with Thee in Thy flock, the power that was with
David; for if he plucked a straying lamb, from the mouth of the lion,
how meet is it for Thee, O exalted one, to be zealous to snatch from
the Evil One the souls that are precious above all, for by nothing
can they be bought, save by the blood of Christ!
R., Blessed be He Who was sold and bought all!
6. Unto Moses Joshua ministered, and for the reward of his
ministry, from him received the right hand. Because to an illustrious
old man thou hast ministered, he too gave thee the right hand. Moses
committed unto Joshua, a flock of which half were wolves; but to thee
is delivered a flock, whereof a fourth yea a third is sanctified.
R., Blessed be He who adorned thy flock!
7. Let the love of Moses abide in thee, for his love was a
discerning love, his zeal a discreet zeal. When Korah and Dathan
sundered themselves, he sundered the earth from beneath them; by
sundering he made the sundering to cease. In Eldad and Medad he made
known, that his good will was altogether this that all the people
R., Blessed be He who in His good will was reconciled!
8. The poor estate of Elijah, Elisha loved above wealth; a poor
man gave to a poor man, a gift that was great above all. Because thou
hast loved the poverty, of thy master who in secret was rich, the
fountain of his words shall flow from thee, that thou mayst become a
harp for the Spirit, and mayst sing to thyself inwardly His good
R., Blessed be He who made thee His treasure!
9. There is none that envies thy election, for meek is thy
headship; there is none angered by the rebuke, for thy word sows
peace; there is none terrified by thy voice, for pleasant in thy
visitation; there is none that groans against thy yoke, for it labors
instead of our neck, and lightens the burden of our souls.
R., Blessed be He who chose thee for our rest
10. Contend not with the mighty, despair not of the outcast;
soften and teach the rich, exhort and win the poor; with the harsh
join the forbearing, and the long suffering with the wrathful; catch
them that are evil by them that are good, and them that spoil by them
that give, and the defiled by means of the sanctified.
R., Blessed be He who made thee our hunter!
11. Take to thee ten thousand medicaments, and arise and go forth
among the sick; to the diseased offer medicine, and to him that is
sound a preservative; not one medicine only shalt thou offer, for the
sickness lest haply it be not meet: offer many remedies, that the
sickness may find healing; likewise thou shalt learn experience.
R., Blessed be He who laboured to heat our wounds I
12. May the land be according to thy desire; may the vineyard be
according to thy husbandry; may the flock be in the midst of thy
dwelling, and the sheep sound under thy staff! Mayest thou be a great
Head, and we the jewels of thy crown! May we be beautiful in thee and
thou be beautiful in us! for they are goodly each in the other,
people and priest when they are at one.
R., Blessed be He who has sowed among us unity!
13. Hearken to the Apostle when he saith, to that virgin whom he
had espoused; I am jealous over you with jealousy, with a jealousy
verily of God, not of the flesh but of the spirit. Be jealous
therewith thou also in pureness, that He may know what she is and
whose she is. In thee may she cherish, and in thee may she love,
Jesus the Bridegroom in truth.
R., Blessed is he whose zeal is holy!
14. As are her masters, so are her manners: for with the teacher
that lags a laggard is she, and with him that is noble, excellent is
she. The Church is like unto a mirror, for according to the face that
gazes into it, thus does it put on the likeness thereof. For as is
the king so also his host, and as is the priest so also his flock;
according as these are it is stamped on them.
R., Blessed be He Who stamped her in His likeness!
15. Without a testament they departed, those three illustrious
priests; who in Testaments used to meditate, those two Testaments of
God. Great gain have they bequeathed to us, even this example of
poverty. They who possessed nothing the blessed ones, made us their
possessions; the Church was their treasure.
R., Blessed is he who possessed in them his possessions!
16. The priest Jacob the noble, with him she was ennobled as he
was: because he joined his love to his jealousy, with fear and love
he was clothed. With Babes a lover of bounty, for money she redeemed
the captives. With Valgesh a scribe of the law, her heart she opened
to the Scriptures. With thee then may her profit be manifold!
R., Blessed be He Who has magnified her merchantmen!
1. O virgin-youth that art become bridegroom, move to a little
jealousy thy mind, towards her who is the wife of thy youth: cut off
the attachments which she had, in her girlhood with many others;
rebuke her and call together her affections, that she may know what
she is and whose she is. In thee may she desire yea love, Christ the
Bridegroom of truth.
R., Blessed be He Who betrothes her to His Only Begotten!
2. Be jealous O husbandman against the tares, which have sprung
up and entangled themselves among the wheat. Easy is it to root up
the thicket, rather than the despised : if a slight breeze
bears it, it attacks the sowing and conquers it. That which three
husbandmen have sown, may it return in threefold measure! thirty-fold
and sixty and an hundred!
R., Blessed be He Who makes rich thine increase!
3. A new shepherd for him it is right, that he should oversee the
flock in new wise, and should know what is the number of it, and
should see what are its needs. A flock it is that was purchased with
the blood, of that chief of the shepherds. Call thou and cause to
pass each sheep by its name, for it is a flock whereof the name is
written, and its reckoning in the Book of life.
R., Blessed be He Who will require the number thereof!
4. Lo the spouse of thy Lord is with thee keep her from all harm,
and from men that deal corruptly, and call the congregations by their
own names. The name of her spouse is set on her; let her not go a
whoring for another name, for she was not baptized in the name of
man; with Names wherein she was baptized let her make confession, of
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
R., Blessed be He by Whose Name she is called!
5. The Apostle her betrother was jealous over her, that she
should not be corrupted by names, yet not by names that were false,
but not even by names that were true; not by Cephas yea not by his
name. They who were true betrothers, set the Name of her betrothed
upon her; the false betrothers like whoremongers, set their own names
on the flock.
R., Glory be to Thy Name, our Creator!
6. The stamp on living creatures, O my brethren, no man destroys
openly; and a name that is signed to a letter, no man adds to or
alters: whoso effaces the stamp is a thief; and whoso alters the name
is a falsifier. The name of Christ has been altered; names Of
falsehood lo! have been set, upon the congregations that have been
R., Blessed be He Who has called His flock by His Name!
7. Look at the Prophets and Apostles, how like they are each to
the other! By the Prophets the Name of God, was set on the flock of
God; and by the Apostles the Name of Christ, was set on the Church of
Christ. The false betrothers also are like one another for by their
names are called, the congregations who commit whoredom with them.
R,, Blessed be He in Whose Name we were sanctified!
1. John who was a torch, laid bare and rebuked the wanton ones:
they made haste and quenched the torch, that they might let loose the
desire of their lust. Be thou a lamp in brightness, and make the
works of darkness cease, that whensoever thy doctrine shines, no man
may dare at its rising, to give ear to the lusts of darkness.
R., Blessed be He Who made thee our lamp!
2. A great blessing was hidden in it, even in the reproof of
Elijah. Elisha ministered unto him and sought, a twofold reward of
his ministration. Twofold glory it gave to him, for in double measure
was he clad with his virtues. Thou who hast loved the reproof of
Valgesh thy master rich in girts, mayest thou inherit the treasure of
R., Blessed be He Who makes thy Doctrine rich!
3. May greediness be overcome by thy fasting even as by the
fasting of Daniel! May lust be confounded before thy body, like as it
was confounded before Joseph! May lust of money be overcome by thee!
like as it was overcome before Sirecon, Mayest thou bind on earth
even as he, and loose on high after his likeness; for thy faith is
even as his!
R., Blessed is tire Who committed to thee His ministry!
4. Thy chastity be as Elisha's, and thy celibacy Elijah's, the
covenant with thine eyes as Job's, thy tender mercies as David's;
without envy as Jonathan, thy firmness as Jeremiah's, thy gentleness
the Apostles'! Thine be the ancient things of the prophets, thine the
new things of the Apostles,
R., Blessed be He Who filled thee with their treasures!
5. Be a crown to the priesthood, and in thee be the ministry made
to shine! Be a brother to the elders, likewise an overseer to the
deacons;, be a master to youth, a staff and a hand to old age; be a
wall to the consecrated virgins. In thy conversation may the covenant
prevail, and the Church in thy comeliness be adorned.
R., Blessed be He Who chose thee to be priest!
6. In thy poverty be brought to nought, the hateful custom of the
house of Gehazi; in thy sanctity be abolished, the abominable custom
of the house of Eli; in thy unity be done away, the treacherous
greeting of the lips of Iscariot the deceiver! Pour forth all our
thought, and form it anew from the beginning!
R., Blessed be He Who in thy crucible refines us!
7. In thy conversation let Mammon be put to shame, who has been
lord over our freedom! Let the disease be done away from us, which is
customary with us and pleasant to us; abolish the causes that have
maintained, customs that are full of harm! Evil things have possessed
us through custom: let good things possess us through custom! Be
thou, O Lord, the cause of help to us.
R., Blessed be He Who chose Thee in order to our life!
8. Let evil customs be cut off: let not the Church possess
wealth; that she be sufficed let her possess souls, and if thus she
be sufficed let it be in marvellous measure! And let not her deceased
be buried in the cutting off of hope heathenishly, with vestments and
wailing and lamentation; for the living is clothed in raiment, but
the deceased his all is a coffin,
R., Blessed be He Who to our dust turns us again!
9. A cause of evil is the lust, also the greediness of the house of
Eli, and the thievishness of the house of Gehazi, and the reviling of
Nabal. These hateful well-springs close thou up, lest there be a
great outpouring, and there come from it defilement, and even thou be
reached by its overflow. The Lord restrain their outpourings!
R., Blessed be He Who dried up their overflowings!
10. For the old man commit speech to him; for the young enjoin
silence on him; for the stranger who comes in unto thee, learns of
thee from thy discipline, namely who speaks first, and who second and
third: and if every man keeps his mouth, and every man knows his
degree, they will call thee happy.
R., Our Lord perform desire!
11. Let the voice of thy truth be single and thy assumed voices
without number; the image of truthfulness on thy heart, and on thy
face all aspects, sadness, gladness, and feebleness. To him that errs
show that thou art wrathful, to him that is chaste show that thou art
glad. Be single towards the Godhead, and to mankind be manifold.
R., Blessed be He Who with all men is all things!
12. If thou hearest an evil report, from truthful men that
deceive not, pour forth tears that thou mayst quench the fire that
burns in others; let them that are wise pray with thee, and appoint
thou a fast for them that have knowledge, and let thy dwelling be in
mourning, for him who is lost in sin, that he may turn back in
R., Blessed be He Who found the sheep that was lost!
13. To every man give not thy ear, lest liars overwhelm thee; to
every man lend not thy foot, lest vile ones misguide thee; to every
man give not thy soul, lest the insolent trample thee. Keep thy hand
from the false man, lest he gather thorns into thy hand. Be far off
and near at hand.
R., Blessed be He Who is near though far!
14. Lo the fame of the new king, resounds and comes into the
world! To the spoiled he is a comfort, and to the spoilers a terror.
On the covetous vomiting has come, that they may render up all that
they have swallowed. Let them be put to fear from before thee also,
that between a priest and a righteous king, the former customs may be
R., Blessed be He Who was angry, and turns and has mercy!
15. There is that finds opportunity and ventures, and there is
that forces and compels his will. One thinks that judgment is
reserved, and another that it is not to be at all. There is that
steals and quenches his thirst, and there is that steals and thirsts
to steal. The rich steal and the poor; but the hungry steal by
measure, and the full steal without measure.
R., Blessed be He Who has searched out all wills!
16. But now has He given opportunity, and every man has shown his
will, of what kind it is and to what it is like, and what he has
chosen for himself rather than what. He has removed temptation from
every man, lest even he who is not hateful should deny him. He has
given us opportunity that we may understand, that better think this
power is chastisement which profits much.
R., Blessed is He Who for our profit rebukes us!
17. For He wills not by compulsion, to cast his yoke on our neck;
He gave us opportunity and we waxed proud, that so when we rebelled
and were punished, we might love His light yoke, might choose His
pleasant staff. Our rest is very wearisome to us, for in His
compulsion is restfulness, and in His yoke is lightening.
R., Blessed be He Whose labour is pleasantness
18. The whole world like a body, had fallen into a heavy
sickness; for in the fever of heathenism, it burned and pined and
fell. The right hand of tender mercy touched it, and dealt with its
soul in pity; and cut off speedily its heathenism, for that was the
cause of its sickness, and it was purged and sweated and restored.
R., Glory be to the Hand that has healed
19. The land shall have peace in thy days, for it has seen thee
that thou art full of peace. In thee shall the churches be built, and
shall be clothed with their ornaments, and their books shall be
opened in them, and their tables shall be spread, and their ministers
shall be adorned; from them shall go up thanksgiving, as first fruits
to the Lord of peace.
R., Blessed is He Who revives our Churches!
20. Let thy prayer go up to heaven, with it let reconciliation go
up! May the Lord of Heaven rain down His blessings upon our [ ],
and His consolations upon our afflictions, and His gathering upon our
dispersion: may He waken His jealousy with His love; may His
righteousness avenge our disgrace, may His grace blot out our
R., Blessed is He Who blesses His flock!
21. The first priest and first king, even as if depicted each in
the other, were balanced as if in scales. So too Valgesh and so too
the son of that king, for they were gentle and calm. May these latter
be like each to other; the priests be shining lights, the king be
glowing lights, likewise illustrious judges!
R., Blessed be He Who has enlightened our souls!
22. From the king's office laws, and from the priest's office
propitiations. That both should be mild is hateful; that both should
be strong is grievous. Let one be strong and one be tender; in
prudence and in discretion, let fear with mercy be mingled. Let our
priesthood be tender, likewise our king strong.
R., Blessed be He Who has mingled our helps!
23. Let the priests pray for the kings, that they may be a wall
to mankind! From beside the kings be victory; and from beside the
priests faith! May victory save our bodies, and faith our souls! May
kings put an end to war; priests put an end to strife! May disputing
and quarrelling cease!
R., Blessed be the Son of Him Who gives peace to all! Praise to
Thee for Thy gift!
[XXII.-XXV. (wanting); XXVI. (only a fragment remains); XXVII.-
XXXIV. (relate to Edessa and Carrhae),]
CONCERNING OUR LORD, AND CONCERNING DEATH AND SATAN.
1. The Voice made proclamation: and they gathered and came; the
hosts of the Evil One, together with his ministers. The army of the
tares was gathered altogether, for they saw that Jesus had triumphed,
to the grief of all them on the left hand, for there was none of them
but had been tormented. They began one by one to relate all
whatsoever they had endured. Sin and Hell were terrified: Death
trembled and the dead rebelled; and Satan because sinners rebelled
R., To Thee be glory because the Evil One saw Thee and was
2. Sin cried aloud; she gave counsel to her sons, to the demons
and the devils, and unto them she said, Legion the head of your ranks
is not, the sea has swallowed him and his company; and likewise ye my
sons if ye despise, this Jesus will destroy you. Ye who in a snare
took Solomon, it is therefore a reproach to you, that ye should be
overcome by his disciples, takers of fish and ignorant men; for lo!
they have taken the draught of men, which had been taken by us.
3. This is great, above all evils (saith the Evil One, concerning
our Saviour); for this suffices Him not that He has spoiled us, but
likewise on us He has begun retribution for Jonah son of Amittai. On
Legion therefore He was avenging him when He seized and cast him into
the sea. Jonah emerged, after three days and came up; but Legion yea
not after a long season, for the depth of the sea closed upon him at
4. I tempted Him, after his past, with pleasant bread, but He
desired it not. To my grief I strove to learn a psalm, that by His
psalm I might take Him as a prey: I paused and learned it a second
time, but He made my second trial to be vain. I brought Him up to a
mountain and showed Him all possessions; I gave them to Him and He
was not moved. Better was it for me in the days of Adam, who gave me
no great trouble in teaching him.
5. The Evil One ceased, from his activity and said, A cause of
idleness to me, is this Jesus; for lo! the publicans and harlots take
refuge in Him. What work shall I seek for myself? I who was master to
all men, to whom shall I be a disciple? Sin again said, It must be,
that I forsake, therefore, and change from that which I am; for this
Son of Mary who is come, as a new creation, has created mankind.
6. Gluttonous Death, lamented and said, I have learned fasting,
which I used not to know; lo! Jesus gathers multitudes, but as to me,
in His feast a fast is proclaimed for me. One man has closed my
mouth, mine who have closed the mouths of many. Hell said I will
restrain my greed; hunger, therefore, is mine: this Man triumphs as
at the marriage, when He changed the water into wine, so He changes
the vesture of the dead into life.
7. And moreover, God made a flood, and washed the earth, and
purged her crimes; fire and brimstone again He sent on her, that He
might make white her stains. By fire He gave me the Sodomites, and by
flood the Giants. He closed the mouth of the hosts of Sennacherib,
and opened the mouth of Hell. These things and such as these, I
loved. But now, in place of deadly visitations of justice, He has
wrought in His Son, the quickening of the dead by grace.
8. Prophets and righteous men, said the Evil One, unto his
companions, have been seen by me; and though their strength was
exceeding mighty, there was in them a savour of that which is mine;
for the stuff whereof the sons of man are made, is near akin to our
heaven. This man has clothed Himself with the body of Adam, and is
troubling us, for our leaven has no power on Him. He is man,
therefore, and God; for His manhood in His Godhead is intermingled.
9. Adam was seen by me, that fountain from whence flowed all
races of men; his children has been sought out by me, and proved one
by one. Yet have I not seen from the beginning a man, of whom one
part was of God, and the other half, man. Moses, who shone in his
splendour, I tempted again, and in his tongue I made him to err; but
this man, yea, not in His mind, for pure exceedingly is the fountain
of His thoughts.
10. The lust of the body, is in all bodies; for even while they
sleep, it wakes in them. Him, who in his waking hours keeps himself
pure, by means of a dream, I disturb. The dregs of the body are
stirred in him, by a shaking movement in secret inwardly. The
sleeping and the waking besides, I trouble alike. This is He Who
alone keeps Himself pure, Whom not even in a dream can I disturb, Who
even in His sleep is pure and holy.
11. But separate was even His childhood, from that of the
children who have been seen by me; for I have not seen in Him any
part of that which is of me. I was afraid of His childhood;
therefore, I stirred up Herod, that among the infants He might be
slain. Because of this also that He escaped, I was greatly afraid,
for our mystery how did He find out! He received the offerings of the
Wise Men; He scorned us and departed and escaped from our sword.
12. Children have been seen by me, sons of righteous men; yea,
also youths, sons of chaste women; and I have moved them from the
womb, one by one, and I have seen in them our leaven. For they were
wrathful men and revilers, yea, also furious and gluttonous; fruits
were they that by instruction were to be ripened and sweetened. But
this man from His first planting, was a good fruit that possessed
sweetness, wherewith sinners were made sweet.
13. Even while He was an infant, He was a teacher of the sons of
men, by the splendour that was upon Him. Even the priest as he
carried Him was amazed at Him. In the prudence of old men was He
clad. Joseph stood aloof from Him: His mother gloried in His
presence. He was a help in His childhood, to every one that saw Him;
He was a profit to them that knew Him from the day when He entered
into the world, He was a helper of mankind by His excellencies.
14. From whence has it sprung up before me, this fruit of Mary,
the grape whereof the wine is not according to nature? For lo! I
stand between doubts. To turn away and leave Him, I am afraid, lest
by His teaching, they should be sweetened, they, who have acquired by
bitterness. But again to tread on Him and crush Him, is a terror to
me, lest haply He turn and become new wine unto sinners, and when
they are drunken therewith, lo! they forget their idols.
15. Lo! I am afraid of both things, as well His death, as also
His life. Then unto the Evil One His ministers made answer and
counselled Him. Though both these things be grievous, somewhat
lighter to us is the trouble, that we should choose His death rather
than his life. Let Death tell us whether any one from among the
righteous, has ever from the first been aroused again. The sons of
the Giants and the renowned ones, there is none that has issued forth
from her, even Hell, the Devourer.
16. The blowing of the wind, a man may feel after; but the Son of
Mary, who shall search him out? for when He wept, by His tears He
robbed me; and again when I bid Him cast Himself, from the holy
Temple, I thought, that it was through fear He cast Himself not: yet
when they threw Him from the hill-top, He flew through the air. On
the well again when He was weary He sat. His variableness I
understand not, for on the dry land alike and on the water He walks.
17. I have seen Him that He hungered, as a Son of man; yet this
was done away by the bread which He multiplied. From the beginning I
proved Him and I came to Him; He questioned me as though He knew me
not; but this, too, was done away, when He showed that He knew our
secrets. Again He chose Iscariot, as though He knew him not; then He
turned and showed that He knew him, though he was binding and
loosing. I was mistaken in Him, for He was baptized and emerged and
18. But one token there is which I have seen in Him that heartens
me exceedingly above all. For while He was praying I saw Him and was
glad, because He changed colour and was afraid: His sweat was as
drops of blood, because He felt that His day was come. This is
pleasant to me, exceedingly above all, if it be not that deceiving He
has deeived me therein, But if beguiling He has beguiled me, this is
both for me and for yon alike, my ministers.
19. Then shouted the host of devils and said, Hateful is the sign
that we see in thee, for never from the beginning has it thus
happened to thee. In prompt counsels thou wast excellent: the Son of
Mary captures our cities, while thou art prolonging thy discourse.
Arise, go forth, let us fight with Him, for this were to us a
reproach, that we being many should be overcome by one. And if thou
art in pain or fear, give us counsel for the battle and stay thou
20. This Jesus out of His own words it is, that I shall teach
Him, and war with Him; for He said that he, even Satan, is divided,
himself against himself, and that he cannot stand. Though He desires
to fight with us, He has given us arms which are against Himself,
gage and divide for me His disciples, for if ye divide them, with
these yon will conquer them, even with Eve and the serpent, the weak
powers, whereby I conquered the first Adam.
21. Death unto the Evil One, made answer and said to him,
Wherefore tarriest thou not according to thy wont? for lo! it is
those that are despised and least, that thou ensnarest after thy
custom: Jesus Who is great above all, wherewith hast thou sought to
ensnare Him? The experience of His weapons moves thee to fear, which
He hurled against thee when he was tempted of thee. Thou and I with
thy followers, the host of us is too little for the battle with Him,
the Son of Mary.
22. I counsel, then, if this our strife permits us to do
anything: go thou into that disciple, let thyself loose, that head
may speak with heads; and let loose all thy host, let it go and stir
up the Pharisees. And beware, lest thou speak contentiously as thou
art wont. If thou be a god, descend from hence, with fondness kiss
them and betray Him; and, lo! we will bring on Him the envy and the
sword of the Levites.
1. Our Lord subdued His might and constrained it, that His living
death might give life to Adam. His hands He gave to the piercing of
the nails, instead of the hand that plucked the fruit: He was smitten
on the cheek in the judgment hall, instead of the month that ate it
in Eden. And because his foot bore Adam thence, His feet were
pierced. Our Lord was stripped, that He might make us modest: with
the gall and vinegar He made sweet the bitterness of the serpent,
which he had poured forth into mankind.
R. Blessed is He Who gave me the victory and quickened the dead
to His glory!
2. (DEATH.)--If thou be God show Thy power; and if thou be man,
feel our power. And if it be Adam that thou seekest, get Thee hence!
because of his transgressions he is shut up here; Cherubim and
Seraphim await not, in his stead to pay his debt. There is none among
them mortal, so as to give his life in his stead. Who can open the
month of hell, and plunge and bring him up from her, who has
swallowed him and keeps a hold on him, and that forever!
3. I am He who has conquered all the wise men; and lo! in the
corners they are heaped for me in hell. Come, enter, son of Joseph,
and see terrible things; the limbs of the giants, the mighty corpse
of Samson, and the skeleton of the stubborn Goliath; Og, moreover,
the son of the giants, who made for himself a bed of iron and lay
thereon, from whence I hurled him and cast him down; that cedar I
laid low to the gate of hell.
4. I by myself alone have conquered multitudes, and one may
single-handed seek to conquer me. Prophets and priests and men of
renown have I carried off; I have conquered kings in their armies,
and mighty men ill their hunts, and righteous men in their
excellencies. Streams of corpses are hurled by me into hell, and
though they pour into her she is athirst. Though one be near or
though he be far off, the end brings him to the gate of hell.
5. Silver I despised at the hand of the rich, and their offerings
corrupted me not. The lords of slaves never once persuaded me, to
take a slave instead of his lord, and a poor man instead of a rich
man, or an old man instead of a child. As for wise that are able to
charm wild beasts, their charms enter not into my ears. Hater of
persuasion all men call me; and I the thing that is commanded me that
6. Who is this, or whose son is He, or what His lineage who has
conquered me? The book of families is by me; lo! I went in and read
and studied the names from Adam till now, and not one of the dead do
I forget. Family by family, lo! they are written, upon my limbs.
Because of Thee, O Jesus, I went in and made a reckoning, that I
might show Thee that there is none that escapeth my hands.
7. Yet were there two men (that I He not) whose names have
escaped me in Hell. For Enoch and Elijah came not to me. In all the
world I have sought them; yea thither where Jonah descended, I
descended and sought and they were not. And though I suppose that
into Paradise, they have entered and escaped, a mighty Cherub guards
it. The ladder Jacob saw, what if haply by it they have entered into
8. Who is there that has measured the sand of the sea, and has
spilt only two grains? This harvest wherein every day there labour,
diseases as harvesters, I alone carry the handfuls and gather them
up; other gatherers in making haste, drop handfuls. Vintagers
overlook clusters; but two grapes have escaped me, in that great
vintage which I alone have plucked.
9. I am He that has taken (said Death), on sea and on dry land,
all prey in chase. Eagles of the air come to me; yea and dragons of
the deep: creeping things and fowl and cattle; old men, youths and
children. These will convince Thee, O Son of Mary, that this my power
rules over all. Thy Cross how shall it conquer me, who by a tree lo!
I have prevailed and conquered from old time?
10. But I was desirous to speak yet farther, for I am not wanting
in words; yea words are not to be sought by me, for lo! deeds call on
me close at hand. Not as you do I make promise, to the simple of
secret things, that forsooth there is to be a resurrection at some
time or other. If then Thou art very powerful, give a present pledge,
that Thy distant promise also may be believed.
11. Death ended his speech of derision: and the voice of our Lord
sounded into Hell, and He cried aloud and burst the graves one by
one. Tremblings took hold on Death; Hell that never of old had been
lighted up, into it there flashed splendours, from the Watchers who
entered in and brought out the dead to meet Him, who was dead and
gives life to all. The dead came forth, and the living were ashamed,
they who thought that they had conquered the Life Giver of all.
12. But who gave me the day of Moses, (said Death) who made a
feast for me? For that lamb that was slain in Egypt gave me, from
every house the first fruit: heaps and heaps of the first born, at
the gate of Hell he piled me them. But this Lamb of the festival, has
robbed Hell; of the dead He has taken title and carried them off from
me. That lamb filled the graves for me; but this has emptied the
graves that were full.
13. The death of Jesus to me is a torment; I prefer for myself
His life rather than His death. This is the Dead whose death (lo!) is
hateful to me; in the death of all men else I rejoice, but His Death,
even His, I detest; that He may come back to life I hope. While He
was living He brought to life and restored three that were dead; but
now by His death, at the gate of Hell they have trampled on me, the
dead who have come to life, whom I was going to shut in.
14. I will haste and will close the gates of Hell, before this
Dead, Whose death has spoiled me. Whoso hears will wonder at my
humiliation, that by a dead man who is without I am overcome. All the
dead seek to go forth, but this one presses to enter in. A medicine
of life has entered into Hell, and has restored life to its dead. Who
then has brought in and hidden from me, that living fire wherein have
reposed, the cold and dark recesses of Hell?
15. Death has seen the Watchers in Hell; the immortal instead of
the mortal; and he said Confusion has entered our abode, for in these
two things is torment to me: That the dead have come forth out of
Hell. and the Watchers that die not have entered therein. Lo! one at
the pillow in this tomb, has entered and sat down by it, and a second
his companion at His feet. I will entreat of Him and will persuade
Him, with His pledge to ascend and go to His Kingdom.
16. Be not wroth against me, gracious Jesus, for the words that
my pride has spoken before Thee! Who is there that when seeing Thy
Cross, shall have doubted that Thou art man? Who is there that shall
have seen Thy Power, and shall not believe that Thou art also God?
Lo! thus by these two things I have learnt to confess that Thou art
man and likewise art God! For as much as the dead in Hell repent
not, go up among the living, O Lord, and preach repentance.
17. O Jesus King, receive my supplication, and with my
supplication take to Thyself a pledge, even Adam the great pledge
accept for Thyself, him in whom are buried all the dead; even as when
I received him, in him were hidden all the living. The first pledge I
have given Thee, the body of Adam; go Thou up therefore and reign
over all; and when I shall hear Thy trumpet, I with mine own hand
will lead forth the dead at Thy Coming.
18. Our King living has gone forth and gone up, out of Hell, as
Conqueror. Woe He has doubled to them that are of the left hand; to
evil spirits and demons He is sorrow, to Satan and to Death He is
pain, to Sin and Hell mourning. Joy to them that are of the right
hand, has come to-day. On this great day therefore, great glory let
us give to Him, who died and is alive that, unto all He may, give
life and resurrection!
1. Death was weeping for her, even for Sheol, when he saw her
treasury that it was emptied. And he said, Who, then, has plundered
thy riches? Gehazi stole and was discovered; I am stealing every day,
but theft has not been laid to my charge. I am sent to Kings, in
their sicknesses, their guards are set around them, guards are also
at their gate. The soul of kings I snatch and I go forth.
R., Blessed is He Who has broken the sting of Death by His Cross!
2. All women grieve that are barren; Sheol rejoices because of
her barrenness; she is desolate if so be that she brings forth. The
all-compelling Power constrained it, even the bosom that was barren
and cold, and it rendered back though wont to deny its debts.
Rebekah, when the two babes afflicted her, asked for death. How great
then the pain of Sheol, when there smote her strange pangs; the dead
were roused and brake forth and came out from her bowels.
3. Is this then perchance that saying, which was heard by me from
Isaiah? (but I despised it) when he arose and said, "Who hath heard
such a thing as this? that the earth should travail in one day, and
bring forth a nation in one hour." Is it this that has come to pass?
or else, is it reserved for us hereafter? And if it be this it is a
vain shadow that I thought I am a king; I knew not it was but a
deposit I was keeping.
4. Two utterances that were different, have I heard from him,
even this Isaiah. For he said that a virgin should conceive and bring
forth; and he said again that the earth should bring forth. But lo!
the Virgin has brought Him forth, and Sheol the barren has brought
Him forth; two wombs that contrary to nature, have been changed by
Him; the Virgin and Sheol both of them. The Virgin in her bringing
forth He made glad; but Sheol He grieved and made sad in His
5. I saw in the valley that Ezekiel, who quickened the dead when
he was questioned; and I saw the bones that were in heaps and they
moved. There was a tumult of bones in Sheol, bone seeking for his
fellow, and joint for her mate. There was there none that questioned,
or that was questioned, whether those bones lived. Unquestioned, the
voice of Jesus, the Master of all creatures quickened them.
6. Sheol was made sorrowful when she saw them, even the sorrowful
dead made to rejoice. She wept for Lazarus when he went forth, "Go in
peace thou dead that livest, bewailed by two houses of mourning."
Within and without were lamentations for him; for his sisters wept
for him when he came into the grave unto me, and I wept for him as he
went forth. In his death there was weeping among the living; likewise
in Sheol is great mourning at his resurrection.
7. Now it is that I have tasted the taste of his sorrow, even of
him who weeps over his beloved. The dead that are thus beloved of
Sheol, how dear were they to their fathers! The limbs which I severed
and carried away, lo! they are shorn away and carried off from me.
If I thus suffer for the departure of him, the youth who was restored
to life, blessed is He Who had compassion on the widow; in her only
son He gave peace to her dwelling that had been made desolate.
8. Lo! this suffering which I cause men to suffer in their
beloved ones, in the end on me it gathers itself altogether. For when
the dead shall have left Sheol, for every man there will be
resurrection, and for me alone torment. And who is he then that shall
bear for me all these things, that I shall see Sheol left alone,
because this voice which has rent the graves, makes her desolate and
sends forth the dead that were in her midst?
9. If a man reads in the Prophets, he hears there of righteous
wars. But if a man meditate in the story of Jesus, he learns of grace
and tender mercy. And if a man think of Jesus, that He is a strange
God it is a reproach against me. No other strange key into the gate
of Sheol could ever be fitted. One is the key of the Creator, that
which has opened it, yea, is to open it at His Coming.
10. Who is he that is able to join the bones, save that Power
which created them? What is it that shall reunite the shreds of the
body, save the hand of the Maker? What is it that shall restore the
forms, save the finger of the Creator? He, who created and turned
and destroyed, is He that is able also to renew and raise up. Another
God is unable to enter in and restore creatures not his own.
11. But were he another Power, I should be very joyful that He is
coming to me. Into the bosom of Sheol He would descend and learn that
One alone is God. Mortals that have erred and preached that there are
Gods many, lo! they are bound for me in Sheol, and their Gods have
never grieved because of them. One God do I know, and His Prophets
and His Apostles do I acknowledge.
1. My throne was set for me in Sheol: and one arose that was
dead, and hurled me from it. Every man feared me alone, and I feared
no man. Terror and trouble were among the living, rest and peace
among the dead. In a man that was slain lo! there has entered into
Sheol He that takes her captive. I used to take all men captive: the
Son of Captivity Whom I took captive has taken me captive. He Whom I
took captive has led her away and is gone to Paradise.
R., Blessed is He Who has quickened the dead of Sheol by His
2. All men complain much against me; and I against one only have
complained. Who is there among men so just as I? Has corruption
touched my integrity? I held all men in affection, and whoso hates
me knows it; I know not all my days what a bribe is. The person of a
king have I not accepted. By me is preached equality, for bondman and
his lord in Sheol I make equal.
3. Before God it is that I minister, with Whom is no acceptance
of persons. What other is there that endures as I do, I that am
cursed when I do good? Perversely are requited to me the benefits I
have rendered. Though my deeds are goodly, my name is not goodly. Yet
my mind rests in its integrity: in God it is that I comfort myself;
for though He is good He is denied every day and endures it.
4. The old I remove from all sufferings, likewise the young from
all sins. Secret contention I quell in Sheol; in our land there is no
iniquity: it is Sheol and Heaven alone, that are removed from all
sins; this earth that lies between, in her iniquity dwells. He
therefore that is prudent will either go up into Heaven, or, if that
be too hard, will go down to Sheol which is easy.
5. To one man because of one that is dead, every man hastes to
comfort him. But for me though many of my dead have come to life,
there is none that comes in and comforts me. Satan came in, against
Whom, had been proclaimed seven woes even against him; though
mightily the Son of Mary had trodden on him, yet uplifted is his
spirit; for he is the serpent that strives though bruised. Better is
it for me to fall and worship, before this Jesus Who has conquered me
by His Cross.
6. When He enters at the gate of Sheol, in place of John who
preached before His coming, then will I cry "Lo! He that quickens the
dead is come; Thy servant am I from henceforth, Jesu! Because of The
Body I reviled Thee, for it covered Thy Godhead. Be not angry, O Son
of the King, against Thy treasury; at Thy command I have opened and
closed. Though my wings be very swift it is at thy nod I haste to
7. All that have been raised were not first born; for our Lord
is the First-born of Sheol. How can any that is dead go before Him,
that power whereby he was raised? There are last that are first, and
younger that have become first-born. For though Manasseh was first-
born, how could it be that Ephraim should take the birthright? And if
the second born was set before him, how much rather shall the Lord
and Creator prevent all in His Resurrection!
8. Lo! John as a herald declares that he is later, though he was
elder-born; for he said, "Behold a man cometh after me, and yet He
was before me." For how could he be before Him, that Power in Whom he
preached? For everything that comes to pass because of another thing,
is after that other even though it seem to be before. For the cause
which called it into being, is elder than it and before it in all
9. The cause of Adam was eider than all creatures, which were
made for him, for to him even to Adam He had respect continually, the
Creator even while he was creating. Thus though Adam as yet was not,
he was eider than all creatures. How much more then, my Lord, must
this Thy manhood be elder, which in Thy Godhead is, from eternity
with Him that begat Thee! To Thee be praise and through Thee to Thy
Father from us all!
10. To Thee be praise for Thou art the first, in Thy Godhead and
in Thy manhood! For even though Elijah was first to go up, he was not
able to prevent Him, for whose sake he was taken up. For his type
depended on Thy verity: and even though the types apparently are
before Thy fulfilment, it is before them secretly. Creatures were
before Adam; he was before them because for his sake they were made.
11. O my Lord, work for me this resurrection, not of Thy
compulsion but of Thy love. For Thy compulsion gives life to sinners
also: Iscariot would rather again choose for himself the death of
Sheol, than the life of Gehenna. Work for me then the resurrection
that is of Thy mercy; and even though Thy justice permits not, let
there be occasion for Thy grace. This only let it remember for me,
that in it I have sought refuge.
1. There have come to me ransomers from among the saints, but
none has plundered me like the Son of Mary. For lo! Elijah brought a
dead man to life; and even though be himself escaped from my hands,
yet had I consolation after him, for the dead man whom he quickened,
I carried off from him. By Elisha son of Shaphat. I was beaten as
with rods, for he brought two dead men to life. By one staff I in
turn bore away both the prophet and the dead whom he had raised.
R., Blessed is He Who cleft the tombs of Sheol by His voice
2. I feared him even Gehazi when I saw, him lay the staff upon
the youth. The thief took the staff away and returned Elisha came and
bowed himself; laid himself low as the child and raised himself up,
and walked hither and thither. I marvelled at the new mysteries which
I saw there, which restored but one youth to life. It was well with
me then when those were but mysteries, and not now when the dead have
rebelled and conquered me.
3. Moses when I saw the mighty splendour upon his face, I feared
him: yet not according to what I feared befel it me. Nisan in Sheol
he caused to spring for me; for a pasture, a pasture of corpses, of
six hundred thousand fell.--This lowly and despised whom I contemned,
has healed the sick and the diseased: to others He has multiplied
bread, but our bread even ours from our mouths He snatches.
4. A mighty feast there was in Sheol, when I swallowed up Korah
and his company. A great delight Satan made for me, when he made
strife among the Levites. A fount of milk and honey, made he flow for
me in a dry place, when the congregation of transgressors went down
to Sheol.--Lo! the righteous have lived and come forth Moses sent
down the living thither, but Jesus has revived and brought up the
5. It was well with me then, in the day of the zealous, those in
whose swords I had delight. Phinehas the zealous pierced and gave me,
on the head of his spear for my delight, Zimri and Cozbi both
together; on the head of his lance he presented them to me. To whom
then were there ever two fatted oxen, offered on the head of a
spear?--But instead of Cozbi, daughter of princes, the daughter of
Jairus has Jesus rescued from my hands.
6. The censer of Aaron caused me to fear, for he stood between
the dead and the living and conquered me. The Cross causes me to fear
more exceedingly, which has rent open the graves of Sheol. The
Crucified Whom on it I slew, now by Him am I slain. Not very great is
his reproach, who is overcome by a warrior in arms. Worse to me is my
reproach than my torment, in that by a crucified man my strength has
7. The lance of Phinehas again has caused me to fear, for by the
slaughter he wrought with it he hindered the pestilence. The lance
guarded the tree of life, it made me glad and made me sad; it
hindered Adam from life, and it hindered death from the people. But
the lance that pierced Jesus, by it I have suffered; He is pierced
and I groan. There came out from Him water and blood; Adam washed and
lived and returned to Paradise.
8. The Sadducees were as a mouth for me, and disputed with Him
after my mind, that there is no rising of the dead at all. Jesus
answered them in a saying, which I alone understood; He spake aloud
the hateful word and saddened me, "I am the God of him even of
Abraham, and God is not the God of the dead." It Was well with me
then these were but words, and He had not yet showed me the life of
the dead indeed.
9. Jesus son of Nun, slew thirty kings, and filled the graves and
pits for me; he laid waste Jericho and filled Sheol. But this Jesus
who is come, has wasted the graves of their dead, and has filled the
cities of the upper world. Wherefore thus when lo! they are like in
their names, are they unlike in their doings? That gave me the body
of Achor, but this snatched from me the body of Lazarus.
10. Moses trod down that Egyptian, with his meekness he mingled
justice. Whence has this new law sprung for me," If one smite thee on
thy cheek, turn to him thy other cheek, and see that thou hate him
not?' Instead of the strong man of zeal who trod down and slew, a new
man of mercy has risen for us. Samuel hewed Agag in pieces, but Jesus
healed the paralytic.
11. Tender mercy which had as it were waxed less, lo! in this
time has waxed great. And moreover it was then detested, lest through
it one should transgress the commandment; for without mercy Saul and
Ahab, were slain because they desired, to have mercy on the evil
ones, and they were not slain who were deserving of punishment. In my
time Jesus has changed this, by giving life to all men and having
compassion on His slayers.
12. I remember Samson that lion's whelp, who brake and gave me
the pillars of Philistia; also that mighty man of valor Abner son of
Ner, took for me that fleet wild roe, Asahel son of Zeruiah, and
smote him and cast him on the ground. Benaiah in the holy temple slew
Jacob, justly as it is written.--Because justice has restrained her
sword, henceforth penitents shall rejoice in grace.
13. David measured the Edomites, by line and line and destroyed
them. How merciful then art Thou, O Son of David! David's justice was
twofold, when he put to death two lines, and saved one full line
alive.--Lo! the Son of David teaches us, "Forgive thy brother even
unto seventy times seven." There justice was measured; but here
clemency is without measure.
14. Of zeal and strength David was possessed; the lion and the
bear he slew together. He left that mighty lion and hasted, to meet
the strong giant. With a stone he quenched his light, and his soul
left him and he perished. But Jesus cried to the young man that was
dead "Young man!" Even the dead to Him are sleepers. That young man
He brought to life and rescued from me. The despised swine He drowned
for me in the sea.
15. The Levites slew because of the calf, their fathers and their
brethren. Jephthah by his own hands was ready to slay his daughter.
The King of Moab on the wall, was sacrificing his first-born son: In
presence of his sword I rejoice.--By Jesus the sword was blunted; yea
the fever was rebuked, the sister of Sheol: the mother-in-law of
Simeon was healed, but the fame of her healing smote Sheol with pain.
16. This Jesus though he be the Son of the Just One, all that He
preaches is grace. But to me this His grace is torment. Envy is the
cause of pleasure to us, for Envy at the beginning mixed for me the
first shedding of blood. Why is it guilty in the sight of the Son of
Mary Who is come commanding, "Thou shalt not be angry against thy
brother?" He has taken away the sword from between brethren; while in
the sword of Cain I had pleasure from the beginning.
17. An honeycomb in the midst of the skeleton, Samson found--was
it then a mystery? This Jesus has multiplied for us mysteries. Amid
billows of mysteries have I fallen, which show me in parable the life
of the dead, in all mysteries and in all types. "Out of the eater
came forth meat" was Samson's parable. But to me it has befallen
contrariwise; for the eater has come forth to me out of the meat, for
out of Adam lo! has come the Son of Adam Who has destroyed me.
18. Just men likewise have robbed me manifold, when by them was
preached the rising of the dead: but they mingled with my sorrows
great consolation. By the prayer of Asa and Hezekiah, I was fed upon
the dead, yea I feasted upon corpses. Elijah slew the prophets of
Baal and gave them to me, who on the bread of Jezebel had waxed fat.
The righteous has constrained me to devour, but Jesus has compelled
me to disgorge all that I had eaten.
19. I was afraid because of the sprinkled blood, which Moses
sprinkled on every door; for though the blood of the slain, it was
that which saved the living. Blood from of old I feared not, save
that blood that was on the doors, and this moreover that was on the
Tree. The blood of the slain is a delight, and is as sweet perfume:
but the blood of Jesus is to me a terror; for whenever I come and
smell His blood, the savour of life that lurks therein terrifies me.
20. Priests and pontiffs, anointed men and kings, who foreshow
types of the rising of the dead, have never triumphed through their
crosses. Crowns and diadems were set on them; and when I engaged in
struggles with them, I was smitten sometimes and sometimes also I
smote. But this carpenter's son with his crown of thorns, has humbled
and cast down my pride, in His shame and His dying: Sheol has seen
Him, yea, and fled from before Him.
21. When the sea saw Moses and fled, it feared because of his
rod, and likewise because of his glory. His splendour and his rod and
his power, the rock also saw which was cleft. But Sheol when her
graves were rent, what saw she in Him even in Jesus?--Instead of
splendour He put on the paleness of the dead and made her tremble.
And if His paleness when slain slew her, how shall she be able to
endure, when He comes to raise the dead, in His Glory!
1. The Evil One perceived his great humiliation, and boasted
himself in the presence of his servants: he spoke great words to
persuade them and said: "The knowledge which I possess, little of it
is by nature; and much of it, yea all of it, is by learning. I to
myself have been master, and have exercised my understanding. Without
a teacher I have learnt all; I have armed myself with every weapon,
and have won by it the crown which I desired among mankind."
R., Blessed is He that has come and undone the snares ode sin!
2. Among the Pharisees I clothed myself in hatred, that I might
contend with Him, even the Son of Mary. Wrath like a bow rained
shafts; boldness railed upon Him; fury rebelled against Him;
ingratitude slandered Him; envy and jealousy in their wrath, strove
with Him; and blasphemy took up stones. The Healer came in and stood
among the sick, and I stirred up the diseased in contention against
3. Because He fell not under reproach, it was in questions that I
took refuge. Many times did I stir up occasions, but I saw that my
falsehood was rebuked, and my impudence was made known, and my vain
babbling was despised. To the windings of contention I betook myself.
Everywhere that I disputed with Him, all my labor was as chaff, and
the word of truth scattered it on every side.
4. I saw that there is a warrior and a mighty lord, in cunning
within man: [and the snake that is without makes it fear.] His lusts
within him is coiled continually; his jealousy hisses like a serpent.
Deadly desires he begets, and of a fever he is in dread. Command as a
drug, is able to quell derision, which smites unto destruction. It is
love that avails to break the sting secret and bitter of the tongue.
5. Who is more foolish than men, who rather than for himself
cares for his dwelling I The garments that are in his chest he
examines daily, and a worm is lurking in his members. The rents that
are in his clothes he mends, but a rent is made in his soul. His
house is lighted up but his heart is dark. He shuts up his senses but
opens his windows. He closes his door and guards his money; his mouth
is open and the treasure of his thought is stolen.
6. The fool makes more of his beasts than of himself, for he
cares for his possessions rather than for his soul. Good seed he sows
in his ground; in his heart he sows tares. His understanding is
thrown open and cast down; but at the fences of his vineyard he
labours. He chooses and plants vine-plants; while his mind is a vine
of the vines of Sodom. He keeps off the wild ass from his sowing; but
the wild boar of the wood devours his thoughts.
7. I am a furnace to the sons of men, and in me are tried their
counsels. Therefore is it lawful to me to weave deceit. I teach the
Chaldean art: by reason of the true things that befall, the false
things are believed. In the midst of Egypt I closed men's eyes; I
showed insects, men thought they were though they were not. By
closing men's eyes I teach the signs of the Zodiac, though they are
not in the heavens.
8. By reason of my swiftness I fly and see, and I show beforehand
to the soothsayer; they who err concerning me count me a prophet. But
sometimes I make bold; and I ask that for an hour, secret things be
revealed to me, that true men may be proved by me even as Job,
likewise deceivers as Saul. For the one I revealed his sorcery; and
for the other I purged his truth and he was praised.
1. The Evil One said, "I fear Him, even Jesus, lest He destroy my
arts. For lo! I am thousands of years old, and never have I had
repose. I have seen nothing established, that I have turned from and
left. There has come One making the unchaste pure: there is sorrow
since He has destroyed all that I had built. Many have been my
labours and my teachings, that I might cover all creation with all
R., Blessed is He Who came and laid bare the wiles of the Crafty
2. I matched my speed with the swift, and I outstripped them: I
waged war; the tumult of multitudes was armour to me. In the tumult
of the people I rejoiced, because it gave me ready room, for grievous
is the onslaught of multitudes. By the strength of multitudes I
raised a great mountain, a tower I stretched unto heaven. If they
waged war with the Height, how much more shall they conquer Him whose
warfare is on earth?
3. As time serves and as help offers, I wage war, but cautiously.
The people used to hear that God is one; they made for themselves a
multitude of gods. And when they saw the Son of God, they made haste
to the One God, that as though confessing God they might deny Him,
and as though in zeal might flee from Him; so that they in all times
perverse shall be found to be without God.
4. Lo! I am ancient of many years, and no infant have I ever
rejected. The burden of children have I ofttimes borne, so that from
the beginning I might make them acquire habits that are not goodly,
that their faults might grow up with them. But there are foolish
fathers, who do not crush the seed that I have sown in their sons;
and there are some who like good husbandmen, root up faults from the
mind of their children.
5. As with a chain I have bound men with sloth, and they sat in
idleness. I have drawn away their senses from all good things; their
eyes from reading, their mouths from singing praise, their
understanding from doctrine. For hurtful and vain fables how eager
are they; for empty talk how ready! If the word of life fell among
them, they either thrust it from them, or rose and went forth from
6. How many Satans are there among men! and me even me alone
every man curses. For lo! the anger of men--it is a devil that
grinds him every day. Demons are like wayfarers, who depart if they
are compelled: but against anger though all righteous men adjure, it
is not rooted out from its place. Instead of pernicious envy, every
one hates a weak and wretched demon.
7. The enchanter is put to shame with the wizard, who every day
tames serpents. The viper that is within him is out of his power; for
the lust that is within him he tames not. Secret sin like an asp,
when it breathes on him he is scorched. Even when he takes the viper
through his cunning, delusion smites him secretly. He lulls the
snake by his incantations: he wakens against himself mighty wrath by
8. I set my stings and I sat and waited: who is long-enduring as
I with all? Beside the patient-spirited I sat, and step by step I
bewitched him, so that he came unto despair. Him who was ashamed of
his transgressions, habits subdued him: little by little I mastered
him, till he became under the yoke, till he came in to it and was
used to it and did not even wish to go forth.
9. I perceived and saw that the long-enduring is he that can
subdue all. At the time when I conquered Adam, he was but one. I left
him till he had begotten children, and I sought for myself another
task, for idleness is not to my taste. I counted the sands of the
sea, that thereby I might make my spirit patient, and might prove my
memory whether it would suffice, for the sons of men when they were
multiplied. Before they were multiplied, I proved them in many
10. The servants of the Evil One disputed with him, and they
refuted his words with their rejoinder. "But lo! Elisha brought the
dead to life, and conquered death in the upper chamber, and brought
to life the widow's son. Lo! now is he in bondage in Sheol." But
because the reasoning of the Evil One was very powerful, with their
own words he refuted their words. "How has Elisha been overcome? Lo!
in Sheol he brought the dead to life by his bones."
11. "If Elisha, who was of small power, was great in might in the
midst of Sheol, and if so be he brought one dead to life therein, how
many dead then will be raised therein, by the death of Jesus the
mighty! Hence even from this consider ye, how much greater therefore
is Jesus, than we my comrades. For lo! by His craftiness He deceived
you, and ye sufficed not to determine His greatness when ye compared
Him to the prophets.
12. "Your consolations are of small power," said the Evil One to
them of his company. "For He Who brought Lazarus to life though dead,
how can Death suffice against Him? And if Death conquers Him, it is
that He wills to be subdued unto him; and if so be He wills to be
subdued, fear ye greatly, for He dies not in vain. He has wrought in
us great terror, lest when dying He may enter in to raise Adam to
13. Death looked forth from within his den, and marvelled when he
saw our Lord crucified, and he said "O raiser of the dead to life
where art thou! Thou shalt be to me for meat, instead of the sweet
Lazarus, whose savour lo! it is still in my mouth. Jairus' daughter
shall come and see this Thy cross. The widow's son gazes on Thee. A
tree caught Adam for me: blessed be the Cross which has caught for me
the Son of David!"
14. Death opened his mouth and said, "Hast Thou not heard, O Son
of Mary, how Moses was great and excellent above all? became a God
and wrought the works of God? slew the first-born and saved the
first-born? turned aside the pestilence from the living? To the
mount I went up with Moses, and He Whose glory be blessed gave him to
me from hand to hand. For however great the son of Adam becomes, dust
he is and to his dust returns, because he is of the ground."
15. Satan came with his servants, that he might see our Lord cast
into Sheol, and might rejoice with Death his Counsellor; and he saw
Him sorrowful and mourning, because of the dead who at the voice of
the Firstborn, lived and came forth thence even from Sheol. The Evil
One arose to console Death his kinsman. "Thou hast not destroyed as
much as thou wast able. Even as Jesus is in thy midst, to thy hand
shall come they that have lived and that live.
16. "Open for us to see Him, yea and mock Him: let us answer and
say, 'Where is Thy power? For lo! three days have passed for Him, and
let us say to Him, O Thou of three days, Who didst raise Lazarus,
when he had lain four days, raise Thine own self.'" Death opened the
gates of Sheol, and there shone from it the splendour of the face of
our Lord; and like the men of Sodom they were smitten; they groped
and sought the gate of Sheol, which they had lost.
1. The Evil One wailed "Where now, is there a place for me to
flee to from the righteous? I stirred up Death to slay the Apostles,
that I might be safe from their blows. By their deaths now more
exceedingly am I cruelly beaten. The Apostle whom I slew in India is
before me in Edessa: he is here wholly and also there. I went there,
there was he: here and there I have found him and been grieved."
R., Blessed is the might that dwells in the hallowed bones!
2. The bones that merchantmen carried, or was it then that they
carried him? For lo! they made gain each of the other. But for me
what did they profit me? yea they profited each by each, while to me
from both of them there was damage. O that one would show me that bag
of Iscariot, for by it I acquired strength! The bag of Thomas has
slain me, for the secret strength that dwells in it tortures me.
3. Moses the chosen carried the bones, in faith as for gain. And
if he a great prophet believed, that there is benefit in bones, the
merchant did well to believe, and did well to call himself merchant.
That merchant made gain, and waxed great and reigned. His storehouse
has made me very poor: his storehouse has been opened in Edessa, and
has enriched the great city with benefit.
4. At this storehouse of treasure I was amazed, for small was its
treasure at first; and though no man took from it, poor was the
spring of its wealth. But when multitudes have come round it, and
plundered it and carried off its riches, according as it is
plundered, so much the more does its wealth increase. For a pent-up
spring, if one seeks it out, when deeply pierced it flows forth
mightily and abounds.
5. It is evident that Elisha was a fountain in a thirsting
people: and because they that thirsted sought him not out, his
outflow was not great. But when Naaman sought him out, he abounded
and poured forth healing. The fountain into the midst of a fountain,
he took him and plunged him; for in the river he cleansed the leper.
Jesus the Sea of benefits, into Siloam sent the blind man whose eyes
6. Gehazi, with the staff that brought to life the dead, was
unable to raise the child. And how could the famous prophet have been
brought up by the sorceress? We were they that mocked Saul, for
instead of one demon whom he questioned, two demons came up and
mocked him. From the bones of Elisha learn also of the bones of
Samuel; for though Elisha's bones brought to life the dead, the
sorcerers could not bring up the dead, the living and sacred bones.
7. And though I asked this petition, He who gives all gave it not
to me. For though the demons were troubled, by the bones of some
priest, or magician or wizard, of Chaldean or soothsayer, yet I was
aware that this was but mockery. In two ways I cause men to err:
either I make the Apostles to lie, or I make my Apostles like the
8. The party of the demons lo! it is spoiled; the party of the
devils endures stripes: though there be none that lifts the rod
openly, the demons cry out with pain; though there be none that
fetters and binds, the spirits hang bound. This silent judgment,
which is calm and still, and works not even by questioning, the one
power that is all sufficing, lo! it dwells in the bones of this
9. He gave judgment unto His Twelve, that they might judge the
twelve Tribes. And if so be that they are to judge the sons of the
great Abraham, this is then no great matter, that they shall judge
demons now. And unless they make the crucifiers fulfil the judgment
that is to be, by our judgment shall they be proved. For worse than
we did they cry out, in presence of the Apostles the judges of the
10. For a wolf was Saul the Apostle, and on the blood of the
sheep I reared him; and he waxed strong and became a singular wolf.
But nigh to Damascus suddenly, the wolf was changed into a sheep. He
said that the Apostles, are to judge Angels; for by the Angels he
signified the priest as it is written. If so be then they are thus
powerful, woe to the demons from the strokes of their bones!
CONCERNING SATAN AND DEATH.
1. I heard Death and Satan, as they disputed, which was the more
powerful, among men. R., To Thee be glory, Son of the Shepherd of
All, Who deliveredst His flock from the secret wolves that devoured
it, the Evil One and Death!--2. Death showed his power, that he
conquers all; Satan showed his guile, that he makes all to sin.--3.
Death, To thee, O Evil One, none hearkens save he that wills: to me
he that wills and he that wills not, even to me they come.--4. Satan,
Thine, O Death, is but the force of tyranny: mine are snares and nets
of subtlety.--5. D., Hear, O Evil One, that who so is subtle breaks
off thy yoke: but none is there that is able to escape my yoke.--6.
S., Thou; Death, on him that is sick provest thy might: but I over
them that are whole, am exceeding powerful.--7. D., The Evil One
prevails not over all those that revile him: but for me he that has
cursed me and he that curses me, come into. my hands.--8. S., Thou,
Death, from God, hast gotten thy might: I alone by none am I helped,
when I lead men to sin.--9. D., Thou, O Evil-One, like a weakling:
while like a king I exercise my dominion.--10. S., Thou art a fool, O
Death, not to know how great am I: who suffice to capture free will,
the sovereign power.--11. D., Thou, O Evil One, like a thief, lo!
thou goest round: I like a lion break in pieces and fear not.--12.
S., To thee, O Death, none does service or worship: to me kings do
service of sacrifice as to God.--13. D., On Death there are many that
call, as on a kind Power: on thee, O Evil One, none has called or
calls.--14. S., Markest thou not this, O Death, how many there are:
who in sundry fashions call on me and make oblation?--15. D. Hated is
thy name, O Satan nor canst thou clear it: thy name every one curses,
hide thy reproach.--16. S., Thine ear, O Death, has waxed dull, that
thou hearest not: how against thee all men groan, conceal thyself.--
17. D., My face is shown to the world, for I am guileless: not like
thee who without guile canst not abide.--18. S., Thou hast not in
aught surpassed me for it is true: that thou art hateful as I to the
sons of men.--19. D., Of me all men are afraid as of a lord: but as
for thee they hate thee as the Evil One.--20. S., For thee, O Death,
they hate thy name, and also thy work: my name they hate but my
delights they greatly love.--21. D., To bitterness of teeth is
turned, this thy sweetness: penitence of soul cleaves ever unto thy
lusts.--22. S., Sheol is hated because in her is no repentance: a pit
that swallows and closes on all movements.--23. D., Sheol is a gulf
wherein whoso falls shall rise again: sin is hated because it cuts
off the hope of man.--24. S., Though I mislike penitents, I give
place for repentance: thou cuttest off hope from the sinner who dies
in his sin.--25. D., It was of thee that at first his hope was cut
off: for he whom thou hast not caused to sin dies happily.--26.
Blessed is He who raised against each other those cursed servants:
that we might see them as they have seen us and mocked at us.--27.
This that we have seen of them is a pledge, my brethren: of what we
shall see of them hereafter when we rise again.
1. Come, let us hear how they contend for victory: the guilty
ones who never have conquered, nor will conquer.--2. Death said unto
the Evil One, In the end the victory is mine: for Death is master of
the close, as a conqueror.--3. Satan, This were to be Death indeed,
wert thou able: to bring to death a living man, by means of lusts.--
4. D., Lo! I who behold the dead, both good and bad: the righteous
who despise thee, O Evil One, me they despise not.--5. S., This dying
of the body, is sleep for a time: think not, O Death, that thou art
Death, who art as a shadow.--6. D., Thee, O Evil One, the just have
conquered, yea will conquer: but these that have conquered thee, lo!
I conquer.--7. S., Even this that thou bringest to death the just, is
not of thyself: because of Adam whom I conquered, they drink this
cup.--8. D., Lo! Sheol is full of the men of Sodom, and the
Assyrians: and the giants who were in the flood, who is like me?--9.
S., These, O Death, all of them, by me were slain: I am he that
caused them to sin so that they perished.--10. D., Joseph who
conquered thee I conquered, O Satan: in the chamber he conquered thee
but I conquered, and cast him into the tomb.--11. S., Moses who
conquered thee, O Death, by sprinkling of blood: he conquered thee in
Egypt, but at the rock, who conquered him?--12. D., Elijah who feared
thee not, O Satan: fled before Jezebel's face, because he feared me.-
-13. S., Aaron who withstood thee, O Death, with smoke of incense: to
him I gave earrings of gold: and he fashioned a calf.--14. D., Thou
wentest down to contend with Job, and he conquered thee and came up:
but I, after he had conquered thee, then conquered him.--15. S.,
David who by his sackcloth stayed that pestilence: him on the house-
top I conquered, who had conquered Goliath.--16. D., Jehu who
destroyed the house of Baal, the temple of the Evil One: was unable
to destroy Sheol, the stronghold of my realm. 17. S., Solomon who
snatched from thy mouth, a child by his judgment: him in his old age
I made a builder of idol-altars.--18. D., Samuel who in respect of
gold scorned thee, O Satan: him I conquered, the conqueror, who
conquered bribes.--19. S., Samson who in respect of the lion's whelp,
scorned thee, O Death: through Delilah, frail vessel, I yoked him to
the mill.--20. D., Josiah from his childhood despised thee, Evil One:
but me not even in his old age, could he withstand.--21. S., Hezekiah
withstood thee, Death, when he overcame the bound of life: I misled
him and he neglected the miracle, and showed his treasures.--22. D.,
John who conquered thee, Evil One, and absolved and baptized: I
extinguished that torch, which had disclosed thee.--23. S., Simon
overcame thee, when he brought to life that blessed woman: in a woman
he overcame thee and by a woman I overcame him and made him deny.--
24. S., Apostles and prophets with one voice, curse thee, O Death:
"Where is the victory of Death, and the sting of Sheol?"--25. Thy
Lord in Sheol thou hast shut up, O cursed servant: God hates thee and
also man, hold then thy peace.--26. S., It was the will of Him who
gives life to all, that shut him in Sheol: it was thou that called
Him to this, when thou madest Adam sin.--27. O comrade of Nabal who
in the wilderness reproached his lord: abhorred be thy mouth which
said to Him, "Fall down and worship me!"
1. Hear, O Freedom, the dispute of two servants: how they are
convicted by each other, that they are powerless.--2.
R., To Thee be glory by Whose humiliation Adam was exalted: and
by Whose death he was raised, and regained Eden!--3. If then the Evil
One overcome thee, great is the shame: Death his comrade has
convicted him, as being weak.--4. And if again Death subdue thee, lo!
what reproach: for the Evil One his comrade derides him, as but a
shadow.--5. Their dispute is for thee a mirror, wherein thou mayest
see: that they both are but as chaff, before thy breath.--6. Yea and
Prophets and Apostles, in their promises: assure thee that they like
flowers, shall fade at the rising.--7. S., Thou, Death, art he
whom they hate, the quick and dead: for every combination thou
dissolvest, and destroyest.--8. D., It is not open death that kills,
O Satan: thy death which is secret kills the sons of men.--9. S., My
name is not hateful as thine, for the angel: showed himself in
Satan's likeness to Balaam on the way.--10. D., How fit is this thy
name, O Satan: who hast erred and made unwary Adam err, from the
way!--11. S., Wander not like one ignorant, and lose thy cause:
dispute, O Death, if thou are competent, for replying.--12. D., I
know that thou art wily, O Satan: so that thou out of sand canst
twist a snare.--13. S., Thy disputing, Death, is ended: for he who is
worsted: when his words fail and are ended, begins to rail.--14. D.,
Among all I am conqueror, and by thee am I worsted? Let Adam
persuade thee whom I have overcome, O Satan!--15. S., I am he who
bound Adam, and cast him before thee: the mighty man whom my wiles
had bound, thou didst come and subdue.--16. D., I am he who have
been crowned anew, with a diadem in the world: for Adam, chief of the
mighty, I hold captive in Sheol.--17. S., I killed him by secret
death, even Adam when he sinned: thou, Death, hast slain one that was
dead, killed by me.--18. D., In thy desire to conquer, Evil One, thou
hast made thyself hated: for thou art Death as well as Satan, and
this seems a little thing to thee.--19. S., Thou hast then been
silenced, Death, as a weakling: for neither in words nor in deeds,
hast thou strength to stand.--20. D., It is for thy evil thou
conquerest, O Evil One, if thou discernest: thy crown is wholly of
shame, if thou perceivest.--21. I shall be defeated and thou shalt be
cursed, O Satan: it is well for me to be ignorant, and not
mischievous.--22. Blessed be the Just One who divided them, though
they were quite of one mind: Blessed be the Good One who made us of
one mind, when we were divided.--23. I will overcome the Evil One
through Thy forgiveness, O All-Merciful: and I shall overcome death
through Thy Resurrection, O All-Life-giver!
1. Lot the Evil One reproached Death, and was in turn reproached:
from each and to each and against each, were their taunts.--2. R.,
To Thee be glory, Son of the lord of All, Who diedst for all: for He
was raised to give life to all, in the day of His Coming!--3, S.,
Jonah who conquered thee, and returned back from Sheol, became my
advocate in asking, why sinners were spared?--4. D., Slander not, O
Evil One, the son of Amittai: he showed a face of anger, that they
might praise thee more.--5. S., Quite powerless is all thy
persuasion, O tyrant Death: for there pleases me nothing, of all thou
hast said.--6. D., For when was the word of truth pleasing to thee?
A gulf is between thee and truthfulness, O lying one.--7. I am
righteous. all my days, with nought to repent: I am he that rescues
from thee the sons of men.--8. S., Proclaim thy repentance, Death,
thou art well come: lo! Saul also among the prophets, great cause of
scorn.--9. If thou, Death, be justified, then for myself: I cut not
off hope, likewise, of repentance.--10. D., No idol with my Lord have
I made, O hater of thy Lord! lo! thou by dead idols, slayest the
living.--11. S., That thou, Death, art half of me, I know, and I half
of thee: if half of me repents, it repents, but I marvel.--12. D.,
Thy partner am I in share, but not in sin: mine are the slain and
thine the slayers, whom thou madest sin.--13. S., My craftiness weeps
for itself, when I dispute with thee: my wiles mourn over me, when I
meet thee.--14. D., Workers of witchcraft and soothsayers, with all
their offences: the fire that thou kindledst in the world, in Sheol I
have quenched.--15. S., Thou penitent who strainest out gnats, and
swallowest the just: the chaste shall rend thee, who cry, from within
thy belly.--16. D., It is the treasure-house where I keep all the
righteous: their resurrection threatens ill to thee, who didst
persecute them.--17. S., The greedy one who carries all creatures, in
his bowels: lo! he casts up to me that I am robbed, of my
possessions.--18. D., Before the stroke lament not, for it has not
yet reached thee: the day will come when thou shalt cry out, and I
shall hear and rejoice.--19. The fire will come that shall strip off
thee thy very skin: as by the potsherd thou didst strip the skin of
Job.--20. D., The savour of sloth begins, as if to hover on me; it is
then a dream that I ceased, for a short space.--21. It was not that
words failed me, and therefore I was silent: it is for the time I
grieve, that has passed idly.--22. The hurt done by thy speech is
very great: would I had not heard it! For my whole mind is intent
upon my work.--23. This humankind that is lost, was undone by
wandering thought: slothfulness, with negligence, brought it under
yoke.--24. The madness of desire bid for wealth, and bought it:
contention with boastfulness, were the sureties.--25. With
persistence for strength, I wage my war: and if I neglect but a
little, my sway is naught.--26. By continual dropping, I clean the
rocks: for continual dropping can dissolve even a mountain.--27.
Habit even over nature, becomes master: it trains and leads even
lions, as beasts of burden.--28. Habit, repose, and increase, with
persistence; by these is freedom conquered, though stubborn above
all.--29. If its will be firmly set, it breaks the fetters; but if
lax, a fragile net, can capture it.--30. If so be that Freedom
shouts, we are scattered: but if she be silent we gather together, to
mock at her.--31. Let us cease from much speaking, lest it lead to
much sloth: with one mind let us assail the wall, and lo! it is
broken down.--32. S., Go thou and see to diseases, and I to snares:
for to me sins and to thee pestilences, are great solace.--33. And
even though I have paused, I have not paused from my cares: for my
will at no time rests, but is ready.
1. With Freedom is thy struggle, O Evil One: it can cast on thee
a muzzle, if it so please.--2. R., To Thee be glory in whose
victory we have gained strength: and in whose resurrection we defy
even Death itself!--3. Lo! again these two exposed each other, how
weak both are: Death reminded the Evil One of thy mightiness (O
Freedom).--4. Thy fire is in thy nest O Death, and thou perceivest
not: the fate of the departed, to thee is overthrow.--5. Lo! Death
and the Evil One proclaim thy mightiness (O Freedom): yea, the Evil
One calls to mind thy faith.--6. If then these that were against thee
are on thy side: this is a great thing that thy persecutors have
become thy heralds,--7. D., I confess, O Evil One, that as usury: I
lay up the King's treasures, till His Coming.--8. S., I, O Death,
rather deny that this belongs to God: this treasure of subtlety,
which I have stored.--9. D., Thy coinage is fraudulent, then, O
Satan: that into the treasuries of God, is not received.--10. S., A
new coinage do I coin, in kingly wise: lo! my merchantmen bring loss,
into the world.--11. God created everything out of nothing: and I
created great sin out of nothing--12. D., Closed and bound be thy
mouth, Evil One, who art thus bold: to set thyself, lo! in comparison
with the Creator.--13. S., To me, O Death, it is lawful to dare and
speak: thy tongue, even thine, is a slave, and under fear.--14. D., A
gulf is henceforth between us, O Satan: for madly against thy Lord,
lo! thou assailest.--15. S., Wherefore doubtest thou, O Death, of our
concord? Be to us comrade and member: and lo! we reign.--16. Come,
draw we our pair of swords, against mankind: I secretly, thou openly,
and lo! we end them.--17. Sin and Sheol they too gave counsel to
those two: saying "If ye be divided, ye are undone."--18. See the
waters how if dispersed, they run low: but if gathered they gain
strength, and thus ye likewise.--19. If divided ye perish, as the
feeble: but yoked together ye reign, as the mighty.--20. Love melts
down many, as in a furnace: and makes one powerful mass, that
overcomes all.--21. In it are wisdom and cunning, and force and
power: it is greater far than an image of sixty cubits.--22. Be
reconciled, let us assemble and go, against that party: which if it
be at one can never be defeated.--23. These things the troublers
discoursed, and gathered and came: Thy day, Lord, will gather them,
into Gehenna.--24. Through Thy mercy, Lord, will I worship Thee, when
I have risen: at Thy trumpet I will praise Thy Son, when I am purged.
1. Listen, my brethren, to Death, mocking the Evil One: that
caused the head of our race to sin, and its mother.--2. R., To
Thee be glory that by Thy humiliation, Satan is subdued: and that Thy
abasement has exalted Adam, who was abased.--3. D., Thy great
nakedness shall be seen, by the sons of Adam; as thou mockedst his
nakedness, when thou madest him sin.--4. Eve will cease from that
serpent, and rail at thee: for thou, O Dragon, wast he that beguiled
her simpleness.--5. Abel will see him, even, Cain, who has come to
thee: the disciple of his wrath will blame his cursed master.--6. S.,
Noah who conquered the flood, as it were death: by the mouth of Ham I
laughed at, when wine overcame him.--7. D., Noah was not harmed, but
thy garment, wherewith thou clothedst him: even cursings, he put on,
and became a slave.--8. S., Lot who overcame anger which is, thy
likeness, Death: to his daughters I gave such counsels, as were
pleasing to me.--9. D., And Lot's wife who was thy vessel hearkened,
to thy counsel: may half of thee be dried up, as thy whole vessel was
dried up!-10. Gehenna be overturned, upon thy head: as thy malice
overturned Sodom, its dwellers!--11. Floods of fire be stirred
against thee, in the resurrection: who against Moses and Elijah,
didst stir the people!--12. Let the just mock thee at the last, and
Joseph rejoice! whose brethren mocked him, set on by thee!--13. Let
vapour of smoke come in, and choke thy senses: as the waters of the
sea choked, the senses of the wicked! -14. Let chaste women also mock
thee, by whose counsel: the daughters of Midian mocked, the foolish
people!--15. Flame be kindled on thy head, for Samson's sake: for by
a woman thou shavedst his locks, that lion of strength!--16. S., Saul
whom I conquered by envy, by witchcraft conquered thee: for he asked
for and brought up Samuel, out of his grave.--17. D., Slander not the
living dead, for he came not up: thou wast he that came up in the
phantom for thou wast worthy.--18. Let the commandment hang thee over
the flame, thou Evil One! for by thee they hanged Absalom, upon a
tree.--19. In the fire mayst thou see thyself humbled, among vile
women! for Solomon by thee was degraded, among profane women.--20.
Justice be measured to thee, as thou didst inflame her! even Jezebel
who devoured the prophets, thou kindledst her.--21. In fire mayst
thou justly burn, who madest them drunken! the two whom Elijah burnt
up, when they went up and assailed him.--22. On thee also be coals
heaped! may he see and rejoice: that Naboth in whom thou heapedst, a
pile of stones!--23. Be thou clad in scorn in the day of judgment,
before all beholders! who clothedst Gehasi in a leprosy, by means of
thy theft.--24. With lightning for a dart be thou pierced, O Satan!
who in the heart of Josiah, didst fix thy darts.--25. Sink thou in
the dregs of Gehenna, O Satan! who didst sink Jeremiah in the mire of
the pit.26. Daniel escaped from the pit, whither thou didst cast him:
may he have comfort in seeing thee, in the furnace for ever!--27. Be
thy wickedness returned on thy head, Hater of man: as his wickedness
was returned on the head, of Haman thy fellow! --28. May the King's
Bride mock thee, as did Esther: when thou beseechest her in the
judgment-day, to plead for thee!--29. Fire released the righteous
ones, whom thou hadst bound: a mighty bond be to thee, the flame of
fire!--30. Be thou torn in sunder, and may the seven brothers, see
thy defeat: the sons of Shemuni who by thy wolves, were torn in
sunder!--31 May fire triumph over thy pate, as thou didst mock: the
two heads of Nazarites, sons of the barren!--32. May fire make mock
of thy head, for mother and daughter: triumphed over John's head,
when thou didst madden them!--33. Flame triumphed over thy head, O
Evil One: for on the charges thou didst triumph, over John's head!
1. Lo! Death was prompt beforehand, to mock Satan: him who was
doomed to become a mockery at the last.--2.
R., Glory to Thee Who by Thy crucifixion, didst conquer the Evil
One: and by Thy resurrection gain victory, likewise over Death!--3.
And for our Lord's sake Death spake curses on him: who was the cause
of His shame, and crucifixion.--4. D., The fiery pit be thy grave, O
Satan: who blasphemedst the Voice from the grave, that rent the
graves--5. My Lord I know, and the Son of my Lord, O thou Satan! thou
hast denied thy Lord, and crucified the Son of thy Lord.--6. This is
the name that fits thee, "Slayer of thy Lord": when He appears Whom
thou slewest, He shall slay thee.--7. At thee shall every one shake
the head, for by thee the chiefs: shook their heads at Him, the Lord
of life.--8. A bruised reed under the feet, of the just shall thou
be: for through thee they put a reed in His hand, Who upholds all.--
9. With a crown of thorns was He crowned, to signify: that He took
the diadem of the kingdom, of the house of David.--10. With a crown
of thorns was He crowned, the King of kings: but He took the diadem
of the kings, of those that shamed Him.--11. In the robes of mockery
that they gave him, in those He mocked them: for He took the raiment
of glory, of priests and kings.--12. To vinegar is thy memory akin, O
thou Satan: who didst offer vinegar for the thirst, of the Fount of
Life.--13. The hand shall every man lift against thee who
strengthenedst the hand that smote Him by Whose hand, all creatures
stand.--14. He was smitten by the hand and He cut off the hand, of
Caiaphas: the hand of the priesthood is cut off, in the cutting off
of the unction.--15. On the pillar again they stretched Him, as for
scourging: Him Whose pillar went before, to guide their tribes.--16.
The pillar on the pillar, He was scourged: He removed Himself from
out of Zion, and its fall came.--17. When they put two beams
together, to form the Cross: He broke them, even the two staves, the
guardians of them.-18. Ezekiel put together the sticks, the two in
one: in the two beams of the Cross, their staves have ceased.--19.
The two sticks, as it were wings, bore the people: lo! his two staves
were broken, even as his wings.--20. The bosom and wings of the
Cross, He opened in mercy: its pinions bowed and bore the nations, to
go to Eden.--21. It is akin to the Tree of Life, and unto the son of
its stock: it leads its beloved that on its boughs, they may feed on
its fruits.--22. Go howl and weep, Evil One, for me and for you: for
not one of us shall enter the "Garden of Life."--23. S., Now that
thou hast confessed O Death, come let me tell thee: that all this
discourse of thine, to me is idle talk.--24. I will go and watch the
snares, which I have set: thou too, Death, fly and look after, all
that are sick.--25. Our Lord has brought both to nought, on either
hand: the Evil One shall be brought to nought here, and Death
1. Lo! Death for us on Satan, inflicts vengeance: come let us
hear his shame and rejoice, for he rejoiced in our shame.--2. R.,
To Thee be glory from Thy flock, from Thee: are subdued both Death
and Satan, under Thy Feet!--3. D., Evil ones shall be hung upright,
but thou, head downward: for, reversely, thou crucifiedst, Simon on
the tree.--4. S., Touching all else I am silent, Death, for my time
wanes: Simon himself conjured me, "Crucify me thus."--5. Were it the
just that cursed me, I had not grieved: the curse of Death unto me,
is worse than hell.--6. D., The shame of our Lord I have not spoken
of, it is too great for my mouth: that I should weigh and compare His
Passion, with Thy torment.--7. Twelve judgment thrones shall He set,
for His Twelve: for by the twelve tribes thou, even thou, shall be
condemned.--8. A halter unbought shalt thou hang thee, O thou Satan:
as that Thy disciple hung him, a halter for a price.--9. Haply yon
hell in mercy, shall be emptied: and thou shalt dwell there alone,
with Thy ministers.--10. Manifold are Thy curses, and how shall I
count them? Lo! the sum of all thy curses, is on thy members.--11.
The evil in the fire shall stab thee, who madest them evil: they
shall upbraid thee "wherefore, broughtest thou us hither?"--12.
Sinners shall rail against thee, and haply their threats: shall be
worse to thee than the torment, of yonder hell.--13. These shall be
unto thee there, all of them Satans: as thou hast been to them here,
the one Satan.--14. The Watchers shall seize and hurl thee down,
calling' to mind: how through thee men hurled their Lord, from the
height to the depth.--15. All men will run to stone thee, not
forgetting that through thee the maddened people ran, to stone their
Maker.--16. On thee, Evil One, from all mouths shall be, the spitting
of wrath: for through thee they spat on Him Whose spittle, gave sight
to the blind.--17. On thee, Evil One, from all tongues, shall be all
curses: for through thee men blasphemed Him, Who opened dumb mouths.-
-18. Blessed is He Who avenged our wrong, though in silence: and
stirred up Death against the Evil One, to fall upon him!--19. Sound
we Hosannas, my brethren, as did Gideon:  who when he sounded, the
oppressors, fell on one another!
1. O what amazement befel the Evil One, of a sudden, my brethren:
when the sinful woman was corrected, and gained Wisdom! 2. R.,
Glory to the One Who alone, conquered the Evil One; and to Him yea
Him be also confession, Who vanquished Death!--3. The Evil One
marvelled "Where is her laughter? where her perfumes? where her
dancing and outward ornament, and inward wickedness?"--4. Instead of
that light laughter, she is given up to tears: She has cut off her
hair to wipe the dust, off the feet of Jesus.--5. Naught lasts in her
of any doctrine, nor abides in her: from our instruction she has
escaped and cast away, all that I taught her.--6. She has denied us
and our acquaintance, and even as though: she had never seen me she
has blotted my image, out of her mind.--7. The living leaven of Jesus
flew to her, Jesus was silent: but she made bold to press and enter,
though none called her.--8. She forgot our love of many years, and in
the twinkling of an eye: from between me and her she removed it and
set Death there.--9. For instead of laughter weeping delights her,
and instead of paint: a shower of tears, and instead of ornament, a
sad countenance.--10. Zaccheus I made chief of extortioners, and her
I made: chief of wantons; my two wings, Jesus has broken.--11. If so
be Zaccheus becomes his disciple, and if so be she: becomes his
hearer, henceforth they fetter, my craftiness.--12. Carved images
henceforth are a mockery and the carvers: a derision, and the
worshippers a laughing-stock.--13. I shut men's eyes that they might
not perceive, that they are carved images: Jesus opens their eyes to
see that they are the works of men's hands.--14. If Jesus has chosen
for Himself preachers, then our preaching: whereof the whole world is
full, is put to silence.--15. For lo! the Chaldeans with the
soothsayers, and lo! the wizards: with the diviners they are smitten
and the priests, with all evil ones!-16. Ye priests are ended and
have given up the Ghost from henceforth, depart ye diviners! become
husbandmen, the Chaldeans likewise, shall close their books.--17. If
the Hebrews have become His disciples, who by all miracles: were not
subdued, who of the nations, shall not obey him?--18. If he begins to
set straight the reverse, He brings to naught our speech: henceforth
He will not hesitate against us, He who rebukes all men.--19. In that
I was worshipped in all temples, our disgrace is greater: than our
honour was, for all men spit, upon our altars.--20. Flesh of
sacrifice becomes abhorred, into fragments: idols are broken, and
carven images burn, under their pots.--21. All our work becomes a
laughing-stock, and a ruin: all that we have built, and a mockery,
all that we have taught.--22. The secret mysteries that I taught
them, laboriously: are about to be spread abroad, on the housetops.--
23. Of the Egyptians I was more proud, than of any nation: for they
used to worship even, the onions and garlic.--24. Lo! I fear lest
even here, where delusion was so great: truth shall prevail that
there exceedingly, Jesus may reign.--25. And if when He was an
infant, and fled and went down, Egypt marvelled: yea lulled him--this
strangler of babes, loved their Babe.--26. Was it a pledge He went
down to give her, as a betrother: giving assurance that when of full
age, He will also take her to wife?--27. Pharaoh cannot set his foot
firm, for this is no stammerer: that he should deceive Him, and no
bondman, that he should lie unto Him.--28. Moses smote and the
Egyptians rebelled, and he chastised the people: and the Hebrews
rebelled--Jesus is smitten, and gives life to all.--29. This is hard
understand that not by force; lays He His yoke: on the rebellious: He
was rebuked, and He instructs others.--30. The spittle of His mouth,
wiped off and took away, the shame of Adam: by the smiting of His
cheeks, He rooted out our wrathfulness, from His disciples.--31. By
the nails which he received, He made me to suffer. I rejoiced when I
crucified Him: and I knew not that He was crucifying me, in His
1. In wisdom let us hearken to Death, O my beloved: how he
accuses us for our weeping, and for our mourning.--2. R., To thee
be praise Who cameth down, to follow Adam: and foundest Adam and also
in the children of Adam.--3. And rightly perhaps he says, "Ye slay:
without mercy and lo! ye weep, as though merciful."--4. Ye have made
me as a cruel one, O ye murderers: for ye slay one another, without
my help!--5. While Death was but desiring to come, the sword came
before him: let us see then against whom cries out, the blood of the
slain.--6. Against you cry out the strangled, who were suffocated:
for it shames me of the rope, of their strangulations.--7. They take
away from me even my rest, for without me: how could the strangled
and the slain, enter Sheol?--8. Lo! your infants are cast out, as
those in Egypt: your sons have ye sacrificed to demons, O demoniacs!-
-9. While Death was but desiring to taste, of your corpses: Cain
refreshed me beforehand, with blood of man.--10. While I was but
desiring to wait patiently, till Adam should die: before I had power
ye gave me power, over your bodies.--11. Cain with his sword
overthrew, the gate of Sheol: for it was closed and before the time,
he first opened it.--12. He by treading made the way of Sheol,
without my help: for in the way ye have trodden out for me, lo! I
walk therein.--13. Nine hundred years I sat and waited, for Adam to
die: but Cain not even a day, endured his brother.--14. Robbers upon
the highways, are worse than I: I am slumbering while they, are
watching to slay.--15. Lo! your slaughtered in the graves, and your
murdered in your ways; and your strangled upon your stakes!--16. "If
I rebelled against my lord, yea and slew him: who was he that slew
these here," said Jehu.--17. And if I Death have taken, your
departed: the strangled, the slain, and the slaughtered, who was it
slew them?--18. Ye are Satan to each other, and the Evil One is
abhorred: ye are pestilence to each other, and Death is blamed!--19.
Your own will to you is Satan, yea and a murderer: but of Death and
of Satan, all men complain.--20. Poison of Death ye give also to
drink, each to other: lo! how many Deaths have ye, beside me.--21.
Wiles, stratagems, yea and snares, sword and poison: how many Deaths
from you and in you, lo! are there born.--22. The judge in the
judgment-hall, is a second Death: he slays for secret reward, but I
for naught.--23. I have seen bribery and marvelled at it, that ran
and outran me: how many slain does bribery, slay, and none
perceives!--24. I am ashamed that so unskilfully, I conduct myself:
if I take even one corpse, all men perceive it.--25. In the houses
weeping and in the streets, also wailing: and even unto the gates of
Sheol, they groan over me.--26. Groan over yourselves that ye are
thus hateful, and ye hate me: Sheol henceforth shall groan over you,
O murderers!--27. With torture, scourging and fire, yea with stoning:
ye put to death the sons of men, and ye are proud!--28. I am more
modest than you and merciful, also reverent: for with reverence I
hear away, your departed.--29. On the bed I deal gently, with him
that is sick: and quietly I lay him to sleep, for but a while.
1. Lo! Death, the King of silence, complains, my brethren: that
we have filled his abode with the wailing, of Hope cut off.-2. R.
To Him be great praise Who comest down, to us here below: and
suffered and rose again and in His Body, raises our bodies!--3. While
we weep like madmen, at the gates of Sheol: hearken what Death says,
reproaching us.--4. It shames me, says Death, that ye, have overcome
me: the half of Sheol suffices not, to contain your slain.--5. For
alien corpses together, lie heaped in Sheol: there are two divisions
there, the dead, the slain.--6, Whereas I should complain that ye
have wronged me, lo! ye are weeping: ye have burst the gate of Sheol,
and done me hurt.--7. For ye are like unto an infant, which while yet
weeping: laughs again as ye also, over your dead.--8. For there is no
discretion in your mourning, and no understanding: in your laughter--
for to me ye seem like, to a weaned babe.--9. One hour weeping and
wailing, and after a little: both jesting and wantonness, as of
children.--10. For ye are unable to become, perfect men: that weep
not yea and laugh not, as the discreet.--11. Touching your books we
are grieved, that they have toiled over them: who should read them
unto you, even the divine Scriptures.--12. The readers are crying
aloud, for ye are deaf: this their crying proves concerning you, that
ye are as stocks.--13. For since the reader and the interpreter, are
crying aloud: your ears therefore are heavy, or else your hearts.--
14. For if there were with you an ear, open to persuasion: it were
meet to hear little, and to do much.-15. But because its hearing is
closed, whoso knocks at it: the voice returns back to him, who sent
it forth.--16. There is no crying with me of mine, I am not deaf:
none that reads or interprets for me, I am not dull.--17. The breath
that is from Him commands me, sons the God of truth: and with the
command there follows, also the fulfilment.--18. With me is no
holding back, no turn-tugs aside: I wot no arrow even, could outstrip
me.--19. But your voices are scorned by me, when ye are weeping: over
the graves of your departed, in the cutting off of hope.--20. Were it
possible or permitted, when ye are weeping: I would go forth and tell
you, to your faces.--21. "I am endeavouring to give, an account of
the death: and your voices disturb me, that I err in my count. "--22.
Ye nations, let not your understanding, become childish: like that
nation whose intelligence, was never great.--23. In which prudence
bestows not itself, as in a fool: for its thoughts are darkness,
without discernment.--24. For your infants and your sons, in the
resurrection: they shall be foremost to come forth, as the first
fruits.--25. Then after them shall come the just, as victorious: last
shall come forth the sinner, as put to shame.--26. For although in
the twinkling of an eye, they be quickened: yet is it in order that
their ranks, come forth from Sheol.--27. Prophets come forth and
Apostles, and holy Fathers: following them in due array, according to
command.--28. Lo! that which now is sown, in random mixture: is
yielded back in great order, as garden-herbs.--29. For though one in
the sowing, should mix all seeds: that which is earlier than its
fellow, prevents its fellow,--30. And not as their going down was
confused, so disordered shall be: their coming up from the earth, for
its order is fixed.--31. Lo! I have been against myself, in what I
have said: for secret things which ye comprehended not, from me ye
have learned.--32. Instead of the tears that profit not, which are at
the tomb: pour them forth in your prayer, in the midst of the
Church.--33. For to the dead there is profit in these, and likewise
to the living: weep not with a weeping that afflicts, both dead and
1. Who shall weigh the recompense of Abraham? whom I marvelled at
when he bound, his only son.--2. R., To thee be glory, Voice that
bringest to life the dead in Sheol: and they have come up as
preachers, of His Son Who quickens all.!--3. At that time I came
forth in haste, to see the marvel: how that his knife was drawn out,
against his beloved.--4. I gathered my manifold memories, from all
quarters: and I collected my spirit to marvel, at that illustrious
one.--5. How therefore can ye read, that great story? ye have
despised the reading of it, in your very ears.--6. The sword of
Jephthah rebukes, him that laments: his daughter was to him a mirror
of life from the dead.--7. She gave herself for her father, so
commend ye: your life to the Father of all, in the hope of your end.-
-8. In the womb then did ye not make trial, of a mystery of Sheol?
yet in Sheol ye had more rest, than in the womb.--9. It is stubborn
in you to stand up against, my mighty will: for lo! to succour them I
take away, your departed.--10. By the king of Moab who slew, his son
with his hands: he is put to shame who laments, for the departed
one.--11. He was a profane man, lo! according, to what you read: but
ye are doctors and teachers, as ye suppose.--12. He endured, but ye
are furious, in your mourning: against the will of the Lord of all,
while ye are weeping.--13. I fear however to let pass, the story of
Job: through this feeble mouth of mine, for I am unworthy.--14. So in
like manner I turn aside, from mention of their bones: though I
praise Him who granted, that they should come to me.--15. Dishonour
not your members, by your sins: for in Sheol the bones are despised,
of evildoers.--16. Whenever I see the body of one of the evil: I
trample on it and curse, even his memory.--17. But wherever I see a
bone, of one of the just; I set it apart and honour it, and do it
worship.--18. Ye feeble ones understand not, all my ordinances: with
you orders are confused, for ye are blind.--19. It is Moses alone
that I know, to have honoured like me: the bones of that Joseph whom
I magnify.--20. But Moses did such honour, to one pure body: but I to
the body and the bones, of all the righteous.--21. Brightly shine the
bones of Prophets, and of Apostles: a lamp to me in darkness, are all
the righteous.--22 I worship Him Who lightens for me, the darkness of
Sheol: the splendour of Moses who was so great, was as the sun to me.
1. O feeble ones, why weep ye, over your dead: who in death are
at rest from sorrows and sins?--2. R., Glory to Him Who endured
all, for the sake of all men: yea tasted death for the sake of all,
to bring all to life--3. I reveal unto you, that even Satan, though
much content: at your weeping, yet laughs much, at your mourning.--4.
In mockery he winks at me and nods to me, as a jester: "Come let us
laugh at sinners, for lo! they are mad."--5. Truly they have given up
remembrance of that fire, which I have hidden for them: and lo! the
fools are drunken with weeping, for their departed.--6. Instead of
weeping as though, without provision: I had plundered and sent forth
their dead, lo! they are mad.--7. The souls of the evil are to be
afflicted, till the judgment day: and these weep over the graves,
like to madmen.--8. They care not for their own sins, that haply to-
morrow: they must go in shame of face, to join their dead.--9. And
thus shall all be put to shame alike, family by family: in Sheol the
wretches shall repent without avail.--10. Leave the drunken and the
madman, until that day: wherein each shall shake off his wine
wherewith he was maddened.--11. I will go to gather them, like
children: that they may play the wanton and the madman, until they
perish.--12. Lo! I have revealed to you the mystery, the secret of my
comrade: go forth therefore, depart, amend, in repentance.--13. Leave
me, I too will depart, I will see to my affairs: that with open face
I may give my account to my Lord.--14. I know that the wind as it
blew, has borne away my words: for ye are the same whom I, ofttimes
have proved.--15. I remember Jeremiah how he, compared boldness: to
the Indian who changes not his skin, though it is of freedom.--16.
For this too belongs to it, even to freedom: that it binds itself by
the will, as though by nature.--17. For so powerful is the will, in
them that are free: that it may be likened to nature, through its
1. Man, O Death, despise thou it not, that image of Adam: which
like a seed is committed to earth, till the Resurrection.--2. R.
To thee be glory Who didst descend and plunge, after Adam: and draw
him out from the depths of Sheol, and bring him into Eden!--3. Death,
I marvel at this seed, and at your words: for lo! after five thousand
years, it springs not yet.--4. M., Its present state passes away, as
winter does: and as a handful of corn it comes in the resurrection,
to the garner of life.--5. D., That there is vintage-time, lo! I
know, but I have not seen: the dead at any time sown, or yet reaped.-
-6. M., There is coming a reaping, O Death, that will leave thee
bare: and the Watchers shall go forth as reapers, and make thee
desolate.--7. D., When did I become husbandman, instead of vine-
dresser? who has turned Sheol the wine-press, into a tilled field?--
8. M., Does not the seed then teach thee, which decays and dies: and
is cut off from hope, yet from the rain, recovers hope?--9. D., A
dream have ye seen ye feeble ones, of life from the dead: for in
waking time the resurrection, ye do not see.--10. M., Thy drowsiness
hinders thee, that thou seest not: the multitudes of mysteries which
cry aloud, of the resurrection.--11. D., I know that seeds come to
life, but I have not seen: bones that grew in Sheol, and sprang and
came up.--12. All thy discourse is like thyself, for lo! Ezekiel: has
taught thee how in the valley, the dead come to life.--13. D., Trees
have I seen how in summer, they put on their garments: but bones in
their nakedness, are cast into Sheol.--14. M., Moses broke by his
splendour, thy heart, O Death: the son of Adam has regained and put
on, the glory of Adam.--15. D., Our law in Sheol is this, to keep
silence: for you are words and for me deeds, O feeble ones.--16. How
are the aged passed over if thou be vinedresser? He Who hindered
thee from taking their lives, the same quickens all. 17.--The babe in
the womb confutes thee, which is as buried there: to me it proclaims
life from the dead, but to thee despoiling.--18. The despised flower
despises thee, for it is shut up and passed over: yet though lost it
is not lost, but blossoms again.--19. The chick cries out from the
egg, wherein it is buried: and the graves are rent by a Voice, and
the body arises. 20. For a body too is the chick, that is in the egg:
lo! its body to our body proclaims, the life from the dead.--21. With
the locust thy plea is overthrown, and ended, O Death: for in coming
forth from the dust it teaches, the life from the dead.--22. D., I
had been content if already, the resurrection had been: for the day
of resurrection had disturbed me less, than your judgments.--23.
Merciful is the Son of the Highest, yea good and just: and will not
harshly avenge on me, the death of Adam.--24. Have ye then no
understanding, to perceive this: that your father laid on you, this
1. Hold your peace, O mortals (said Death), a little while: and
be like me who am so silent, in the midst of Sheol.--2. R., To
Thee be glory, Watcher, that didst come down, after them that slept:
and utter the voice from the Tree, and waken them!--3. Ye are
grieving, yea, weeping, for him that has gone: as though he came to
grind for me, the mill in Sheol.--4. Great is the peace I give, unto
the wearied: I wax not weary as you, nor weary them.--5. I hear all
manner of curses, from thankless men: the sons of Adam are like Adam,
who was thankless to his Lord.--6. Contrary one to the other are your
voices, and your doings: with your voices ye weep and in your doings,
ye fight daily.--7. I heard weeping and I thought to myself, that
none labours: I saw toiling and I thought to myself, that no man
dies.--8. The struggles of man made me think, that he is not mortal:
his great weeping made me think, that to-morrow he is not.--9. Hear
and let me be your counsellor, if ye be willing: for these two, these
burdens, are very bitter.--10. Cease a little while from this toil,
and from this weeping: toil ye and weep as mortals, who to-morrow
vanish.--11. Ye are frantic with weeping, for your departed: and ye
struggle in toiling, for your possessions.--12. It is well with the
infants that die, and blessed are they: for they are freed from the
misery, whereunto ye are cast.--13. Suffer me to go to Sheol, and
there to say: "Happy are ye silent dead, how tranquil are ye!"--14.
Hear the conclusion of our own words, If there be a resurrection:
weep not ye, neither labour as though strangers.--15. Ye straggle as
one who was to live, here forever: and ye weep as one who never,
should rise again.--16. Hear my words, if there be with you place for
hearing: and prepare you provision that when I call ye may answer.--
17. For I hearken even I, to Him that calls me: and will restore your
bodies, with your treasures.--18. Let there be peace between us,
until that day: and when ye come forth I will cry and say, "Depart in
peace!"--19. Come ye, you and I even now, shall give glory: to Him
that brings to death and to life, that He may give aid.--20. Praise
from us all be to thee, O Lord, the living Sacrifice! Who by the
sacrifice of Thy Body hast given life to quick and dead.--21. Praise
to Him Who clothed Himself in our body, and died and rose again: He
died in us and we live in Him, blessed be He Who sent Him!
1. Come ye, let us hear how Death convicts the People: that
harsher than Death was their sword, against the just.--2. R., To
Thee be glory, Who by Thy sacrifice, hast redeemed our disgrace: and
Whose death was instead of all deaths, that Thou mightst raise all!--
3. It was not Death indeed that crucified Jesus, but it was the
People: how-hateful then the People, that are yet more hateful than
I!--4. Into the pit they cast Jeremiah, the miry pit: but I in Sheol
allotted, honour to his bones.--5. Naboth they bruised to death with
stones, as though he were a dog: how good am I who have never stoned,
even a dog!--6. The Hebrew women in famine, ate their children: Sheol
is good who delivers and gives them up, without difficulty.--7. To
the widow I gave her son, by the hand of Elijah: to the Shunamite her
beloved, by the hand of Elisha.--8. The Hebrew women in greed, ate
their children: Sheol gave up the dead and learned, to fast soberly.-
-9. Sheol was not indeed Sheol, but its semblance: Jezebel was the
true Sheol, who devoured the just.--10. The sons of the prophets and
the prophets, she slew and cast down: to heaven Elijah escaped, from
her fury.--11. How many deaths instead of one Death, were among the
People! and how many Sheols instead of one, were there also!-12.
Samaria and Jezrael her daughters, in Israel: and Zion and Jerusalem
her sister, in Judea.--13. Prophets and just men in Judea, and in
Israel: in these two abysses, they were drowned.--14. Why then is
Sheol hated, and she alone: though there be many that are hateful,
rather than she?--15. The dead of the men of Judah, to me are right
hateful: yea, abhorred by me are their bones, in the midst of Sheol.-
-16. Would that then I had a way to cast them out: cast their bones
thence from Sheol, for they cause her to rot.--17. I wonder at the
Holy Spirit, that He thus dwelt: in the midst of a People whose
savour stank, as their conversation.--18. Onions and garlic are the
heralds of their doings: as is the food so is the understanding, of
this defiled people.--19. Through the supplication of all that bow,
and worship Thy Father: have mercy on Thy worshipper, who is
thankless for Thy love.--20. From Hebrews and Aramasans, and also
from the Watchers: to Thee be praise and through Thee to Thy Father,
be also glory!--21. For that I have a mouth to Death, who is without
mouth: may the Son Who is all mouths, hold back my offence from His
1. Man. O, Death, be not thou boastful, over the just: the sons
of thy Lord who at His command, come to dwell with thee.--2. R.,
To thee be glory that by Thy command, Death has reigned: and by Thy
Resurrection has been humbled to low estate Death. Herein am I
exceeding great, according to thy saying: that though I be bond-man I
trample on them that are free.--4 Adam was chosen and ruler, and
under his yoke: thou, Death, and the Evil One, thy fellow, became
bondmen.--5. D., This is our pride that lo! the slaves have become
lords: Death, and Satan, his fellow, have trampled on Adam.--6. M.,
Lo! the humbling of thee and thy fellow, accurst servants! how Enoch
trampled on you both, and rose aloft and reigned.--7. D., If so be
Enoch made me grieve, yet have I comfort for on Noah's dust in Sheol,
lo! I trample.-8. M., Tremble, O Death, before man, for though a
servant, the yoke of his dominion reigns on all creatures.--9. D., I
rejoice then that they are no mean foes that I have overcome: for
according to the greatness of the vanquished, he is great that
overcomes.--10. M., Well does thy voice sing triumph, O Death, over
the just: for Enoch and Elijah have broken thy pair of wings.--11.
D., I know how to weigh my sorrows with my comforts: in place of two,
lo! many are come and coming.--12. M., All that are come and coming
to thee dwell as sojourners, and depart from thy abode as Lazarus.--
13. D., This thy saying hurts me not, rather it heals me: for Lazarus
who rebelled against me, I again subdued.--14. M., Make answer, O
Death, and argue what constrained him, to be raised unless it were a
mystery, showing forth his resurrection.--15. D., Ye are famous in
arguing as idle ones, while I labour in my task to discern and
perform--16. M., Thou wast well prepared for argument, what has
checked thee? The truth of our resurrection has constrained thee by
its reputations.--17. D., Ye have made me hated by you, though I be
not hateful: I am he that gives rest to your aged, and your
afflicted.--18. Ye have made me as one that troubles, O ye mortals:
Adam brought death upon you, and I bear the blame.--19. Gently will I
expose you, for I am a slave, and ye are they that by your sins have
made me king.--20. The will of Adam roused me for I was at rest: I
was dead and ye quickened me, that ye might die by me.--21. I accuse
the lying ones, who slew and denied it: for Adam slew himself and
charges me.--22. The beginning of strife was the accursed serpent
which has rightly been crippled: which crept, entered, and set enmity
between me and you.--23. Satan is passed by and it is against me that
ye are roused: go, strive with the Evil One who made you transgress.-
-24. He is my comrade and I deny it not, but though he be much hated,
what need that I be blamed for him. I deny him henceforth.--25.
Hearken to my words, O mortals, and I will console you: I have
afflicted you and I confess the life from the dead.--26. For there
begins to steal into my ears a voice of preparation: of the trumpet
that holds itself ready to sound.--27. Hear my words and put much oil
into your lamps: for hindrance from my part there is none for you.--
28. Yet, Know ye that even although I have said these things, dear is
the sound of your voice in the solitude of Sheol.--29. For man has
been weighed by me, and great is his peace: for snakes and fishes and
birds come to meet him.--30. But it is a marvel that to the Watchers,
too, his converse is dear: yea, the Evil One in Gehenua, desires his
presence.--31. Ye shall have life from the dead, O ye mortals, and I
who am bereft shall be bereft in the midst of Sheol.--32. Let praise
ascend from all to Thee Who quickenest all, and from every quarter
gatherest the dust of Adam!
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally
by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland,
1867. (LNPF II/XIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The
Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.