Testament of Job

About the Testament of Job


Prologue

Est. Date of Text - 100 B.C.

Est. Orig. Date of Text -

Orig. Language - Hebrew - Greek - Coptic

Orig. Writer -

Translated by - M. R. James -Revised English by Jeremy Kapp-



Information

Testament of Job is found in four Greek manuscripts and a fragmentary Coptic manuscript. The original language and composition are uncertain but it could have been either Palestine or Egyptian. Different scholars assign dates from 100 B.C. to 100 A.D. Some scholars ascribe the work to Merabah Mysticism and to be a fictional writing based on the book of Job.

Chapter 1

1 On the day he became sick and (he) knew that he would have to leave his bodily abode, he called his seven sons and his three daughters together and spoke to them as follows:

2 “Form a circle around me, children, and hear, and I shall relate to you what the Lord

did for me and all that happened to me.

3 For I am Job your father.

4 Know then mychildren, that you are the generation of a chosen one and take heed of your noble birth.

5 For I am of the sons of Esau. My brother is Nahor, and your mother is Dinah. By her have I become your father.

6 For my first wife died with my other ten children in bitter death.

7 Hear now, children, and I will reveal to you what happened to me.

8 I was a very rich man living in the East in the land Ausitis, (Utz) and before the Lord had named me Job, I was called Jobab.

9 The beginning of my trial was like this. Near my house there was the idol of one worshipped by the people; and I saw constantly burnt offerings brought to him as a god.

10 Then I pondered and said to myself: “Is this he who made heaven and earth, the sea and us all? How will I know the truth?”

11 And in that night as I lay asleep, a voice came and called: “Jobab! Jobab! rise up, and I will tell you who is the one whom you wish to know.

12 This, however, to whom the people bring burnt offerings and libations, is not God, but this is the power and work of the Seducer (Satan) by which he beguiles the people.”

13 And when I heard this, I fell upon the earth and I prostrated myself saying:

14 “O my Lord, who speaks for the salvation of my soul. I pray you, if this is the idol of Satan, I pray you, let me go from this place and destroy it and purify this spot.

15 For there is none that can forbid me doing this, as I am the king of this land, so that those that live in

it will no longer be led astray.”

16 And the voice that spoke out of the flame answered to me: “You can purify this spot,

17 But I announce to you what the Lord ordered me to tell you, For I am the archangel of God.”

18 And I said: “Whatever shall be told to his servant, I shall hear.”

19. And the archangel, said to me: “In this manner speaks the Lord: If you undertake to destroy and

take away the image of Satan, he will set himself with wrath to wage war against you, and he will display against you all his malice.

21 He will bring upon you many severe plagues, and take from you all that you have. He will take away your children, and will inflict many evils upon you.

22 Then you must wrestle like an athlete and resist pain, sure of your reward, overcome trials and afflictions.

23 But when you endure, I shall make your name renowned throughout all generations

of the earth until to the end of the world.

24 And I shall restore you to all that you had, and the double part of what you will lose will be given to you in order that you may know that God does not consider the person but gives to each who deserves the good.

25 And also to you shall it be given, and you will put on a crown of tassel flowers.

26 And at the resurrection you will awaken for eternal life. Then you will know that the Lord is just,

and true and mighty.”

27 After that, my children, I replied: “From the love of God I shall endure until death all that will come upon me, and I shall not shrink back.”

28 Then the angel put his seal upon me and left me.



Chapter 2

1 After this I rose up in the night and took fifty slaves and went to the temple of the idol and destroyed it to the ground.

2. And so I went back to my house and gave orders that the door should he firmly locked; saying to my doorkeepers:

3 “If somebody shall ask formed, bring no report to me, but tell him: He investigates urgent affairs. He is inside.”

4 Then Satan disguised himself as a beggar and knocked heavily at the door, saying tithe door-keeper:

5 “Report to Job and say that I desire to meet him,”

6 And the door-keeper came in and told me that, but heard from me that I was studying.

7 The Evil One, having failed in this, went away and took upon his shoulder an old, torn basket and went in and spoke to the doorkeeper saying: “Tell Job: Give me bread from your hands that I may eat.”

8 And when I heard this, I gave her burnt bread to give it to him, and I made known to him: “Expect not to eat of my bread, for it is forbidden to you.”

9 But the door-keeper, being ashamed to hand him the burnt and ashy bread, as she did not know that it was Satan, took of her own fine bread and gave it to him.

10 Bathe took it and, knowing what occurred, said to the maiden: “Go from here, bad servant, and bring me the bread that was given you to hand to me.”

11 And the servant cried and spoke in grief: “You speak the truth, saying that I am a bad servant. because I have not done as I was instructed by my master.”

12 And he turned back and brought him the burnt bread and said to him: “In this way says my lord: You will not eat of my bread anymore, for it is forbidden to you.

13 And this he gave me [saying: This I give] in order that the charge may not be brought against me that I did not give to the enemy who asked.”)

14 And when Satan heard this, he sent back the servant to me, saying: “As you see this bread all burnt, so shall I soon burn your body to make it like this.”

15 And I replied: “Do what you desire to do and accomplish whatever you plot. For I am ready to endure whatever you bring upon me.”

16 And when the devil heard this, he left me, and walking up to under the [highest] heaven, he took from the Lord the oath that he might have power, over all my possessions.

17 And after having taken the power he went and instantly took away all my wealth.



Chapter 3

1 For I had one hundred and thirty thousand sheep, and of these I separated seven thousand for the clothing of orphans and widows and of needy and sick ones.

2 I had ahead of eight hundred dogs who watched my sheep and besides these two hundred to watch my house.

3 And I had nine mills working for the whole city and ships to carry goods, and I seat them into every city and into the villages to the feeble and sick and to those that were unfortunate.

4 And I had three hundred and forty thousand nomadic asses, and of these I set aside five hundred, and the offspring of these I order to he sold and the proceeds to be given to the poor and the needy.

5 For from all the lands the poor came to meet me.

6 For the four doors of my house were opened, each, being in charge of a watchman who had to see whether there were any people coming asking alms, and whether they would see me sitting at one of the door’s so that they could leave through the other and take whatever they needed.

7 I also had thirty immovable tables set at all hours for the strangers alone, and I also had twelve tables spread for the widows.

8 And if any one came asking for alms, he found food on my table to take all he needed, and I turned nobody away to leave my door with an empty stomach.

9 I also had three thousand five hundred yokes of oxen, and I selected of these five hundred and had them tend to the plowing.

10 And with these I had done all the work in each field by those who would, take it in charge and the income of their crops I laid aside for the poor on their table.

11 I also had fifty bakeries from which I sent [the bread] tithe table for the poor.

12 And I had slaves selected for their service.

13 There were also some strangers who saw my good will; they wished to serve as waiters themselves.

14Others, being in distress and unable to obtain a living, came with the request saying:

15“We pray you, since we also can fill this office of waiters (deacons) and have no possession, have pity upon us and advance money to us in order that we may go into the great cities and sell merchandise.

16 And the surplus of our profit we may give as help tithe poor, and then shall we return to you your own (money).

17 And when I heard this, I was glad that they should take this altogether from me for the husbandry of charity forth poor.

18 And with a willing heart I gave them what they wanted, and I accepted their written bond, but would not take any other security from them except the written document.

19 And they went abroad and gave to time poor as far as they were successful.

20 Frequently, however, some of their goods were lost on the road or on these, or they would he robbed of them.

21 Then they would come and say: “We pray you, act generously towards us in order that we may see how we can restore to you your own.”

22 And when I heard this, I had sympathy with them, and handed to them their bond, and often having read it before them tore it up and released them of their debt. Saying to them:

23 “What I have consecrated for the benefit of the poor, I shall not take from you”.

24 And so I accepted nothing from my debtor.

25 And when a man with cheerful heart came to me saying: I am not in need to be compelled to be a paid worker for the poor.

26 But I wish to serve the needy at your table,” and he consented to work, and he ate his share.

27 So I gave him his wages nevertheless, and I went home rejoicing.

28 And when he did not wish to take it, I forced him to do so, saying: “I know that you are a laboring man who looks for and waits for his wages, and you must take it.”

29 Never did I defer paying the wages of the hireling or any other, nor keep back in my house for a single evening his hire that was due to him.

30 Those that milked the cows and the ewes signaled to the passersby that they should take their share.

31 For the milk flowed in such plenty that it curdled into butter on the hills and by the road side; and byte rocks and the hills the cattle lay which had given birth to their offspring.

32 For my servants grew weary keeping the meat of the widows and the poor and dividing it into small pieces.

33 For they would curse and say: “Oh that we had of his flesh that we could be satisfied,” although I was very kind to them,

34 I also had six harps [and six slaves to play the harps] and also a cithara, a ten-string harp, and I struck it during the day.

35 And I took the cithara, and the widows responded after their meals.

36 And with the musical instrument I reminded them of God that they should give praise to the Lord.

37 And when my female slaves would murmur, then I took the musical instruments and played as much as they would have done for their wages, and gave them respite from their labor and sighs.



Chapter 4

1 And my children, after having taken charge of the service, took their meals each day along with their three sisters beginning with the older brother, and made a feast.

2 And I rose in the morning and offered as sin-offering for them fifty rams and nineteen sheep, and what remained as a residue was consecrated to the poor.

3 And I said to them: “Take these as residue and pray for my children.

4 Perchance my sons have sinned before the Lord, speaking in haughtiness of spirit: We are children of this rich man. Ours are all these goods; why should we be servants of the poor?”

5 And speaking like this in a haughty spirit they may have provoked the anger of God, for overbearing pride is an abomination before the Lord.”

6 So I brought oxen as offerings to the priest at the altar saying: “May my children never think evil towards God in their hearts.”

7 While I lived in this manner, the Seducer could not bear to see the good [I did], and he demanded the warfare of God against me.

8 And he came upon me cruelly.

9 First he burnt up the large number of sheep, then the camels, then he burnt up the cattle and ally herds; or they were captured not only by enemies but also by such as had received benefits from me.

10 And the shepherds came and announced that to me.

11 But when I heard it, I gave praise to God and did not blaspheme.

12 And when the Seducer learned of my fortitude, he plotted new thing’s against me.

13He disguised himself as King of Persia and besieged my city, and after he had led off all that were therein, he spoke to them in malice, saying in boastful language:

14 “This man Job who has obtained all the goods of the earth and left nothing for others, he has destroyed and torn down the temple of god.

15 Therefore shall I repay to him what he has done to the house of the great god.

16 Now come with me and we shall pillage all that is left in his house.”

17 And they answered and said to him: “He has seven sons and three daughters.

18 Take heed for fear that they flee into other lands and they may become our tyrants and then come overuse with force and kill us.”

19 And he said: Be not at all afraid. His flocks and his wealth have I destroyed by fire, and the rest have I captured, and his children shall I kill.”

20And having spoken in this manner, he went and threw the house upon my children and killed them.

21 And my fellow-citizens, seeing that what was said by him had become true, came and pursued me, and robbed me of all that was in my house.

22 And I saw with mine own eyes the pillage of my house, and men without culture and without honor sat at my table and on my couches, and I could not remonstrate against them.

23 For I was exhausted like a woman with her loins let loose from multitude of pains, remembering chiefly that this warfare had been predicted to me by the Lord through His angel.

24 And I became like one who, when seeing the rough sea and the adverse winds, while the lading of the vessel in mid-ocean is too heavy, casts the burden into the sea, saying:

25 “I wish to destroy all this only in order to come safely into the city so that Imlay take as profit the rescued ship and the best of my things.”

26 In this manner I managed my own affairs.

27 But there came another messenger and announced to me the ruin of my own children, and I was shaken with terror.

28 And I tore my clothes and said: The Lord has given, the Lord has taken. As it has deemed best to the Lord, in this way it has come Tobe. May the name of the Lord be blessed.”



Chapter 5

1 And when Satan saw that he could riot put me to despair, he went and asked my body of the Lord in order to inflict plague on me, for the Evil one could not bear my patience.

2 Then the Lord delivered me into his hands to use my body as he wanted, but he gave him no power over my soul.

3. And he came to me as I was sitting on my throne still mourning over my children.

4 And he resembled a great hurricane and turned over my throne and threw me upon the ground.

5 And I continued lying on the floor for three hours. and he smote me with a hard plague from the top of my head to the toes of my feet.

6 And I left the city in great terror and woe and sat down upon a dunghill my body being worm-eaten.

7 And I wet the earth with the moistness of my sore body, for matter flowed off my body, and many worms covered it.

8 And when a single worm crept off my body, I put it back saying: “Remain on the spot where you have been placed until He who has sent you will order you elsewhere.”

9 In this way I endured for seven years, sitting on a dung-hill outside of the city while being plague-stricken.

10 And I saw with mine own eyes my longed-for children [carried by angels to heaven?]

11 And my humbled wife who had been brought to her bridal chamber in such great luxuriousness and with spearmen as body-guards. I saw her do a water-carrier’s work like a slave in the house of a common man in order to win some bread and bring it to me.

12 And in my sore affliction I said: “Oh that these braggart city rulers whom I soul not have thought to be equal with my shepherd dogs should now employ my wife as servant!”

13And after this I took courage again.

14 Yet afterwards they withheld even the bread that it should only have her own nourishment.

15 But she took it and divided it between herself and me, saying woefully: “Woe to me! Forthwith he may no longer feed on bread, and he cannot go to the market to ask bread of the bread-sellers in order to bring it to me that he may eat?”

16 And when Satan learned this, he took the guise of a bread-seller, and it was as if by chance that my wife met him and asked him for bread thinking that it was that sort of man.

17 But Satan said to her: “Give me the value, and then take what you wish.”

18 After that, she answered saying: Where shall I get money? Do you not know what misfortune happened to me. If you have pity, show it to me; if not, you will see.”

19 And he replied saying: “If you did not deserve this misfortune, you would not have suffered all this.

20 Now, if there is no silver piece in your hand, give me the hair of your head and take three loaves of bread for it, so that you may live on their for three days.

21 Then she said to herself: “What is the hair of my head in comparison with my starving husband?”

22 And so after having pondered over the matter, she said to him: “Rise and cut off my hair.”

23 Then he took a pair of scissors and took off the hair other head in the presence of all, and gave her three loaves of bread.

24 Then she took them and brought them to me. And Satan went behind her on the road, hiding himself as he walked and troubling her heart greatly.



Chapter 6

1 And immediately my wife came near me and crying aloud and weeping she said: “Job! Job! How long wilt you sit upon the dung-hill outside of the city, pondering yet for a while and expecting to obtain your hoped-for salvation!”

2 And I have been wandering from place to place, roaming about as a hired servant; the memory has already died away from earth.

3 And my sons and the daughters that I carried on my bosom and the labors and pains that I sustained have been for nothing?

4 And you sit in the malodorous state of soreness and worms, passing the nights in the cold air.

5 And I have undergone all trials, troubles, and pains, day and night until I succeeded in bringing bread to you.

6 For your surplus of bread is no longer allowed to me; and as I can scarcely take my own food and divide it between us, I pondered in my heart that it was not right that you should be in pain and hunger for bread.

7 And so I ventured to go tithe market without bashfulness. and when the bread-seller told me: “Give me money. And you will have bread.” I disclosed to him our state of distress.

8 Then I heard him say: “If you have no money, hand me the hair of your head, and take three loaves of bread in order that you may live on these for three days.”

9 And I yielded to the wrong and said to him “Rise and cut off my hair!” and he rose and in disgrace cut off with the scissors the hair of my head on the market place while the crowd stood by and wondered.

10 Who would then not be astonished saying: “Is this Sites, the wife of Job, who had fourteen curtains to cover her inner sitting room, and doors within doors so that he was greatly honored who would be brought near her, and now she barters off her hair for bread!

11 Who had camels laden with goods. and they were brought into remote lands to the poor, and now she sells her hair for bread!

12 Observe her who had seven tables immovably set in her house at which each poor man and each stranger ate, and now she sells her hair for bread!

13 Observe her who had the basin wherewith to wash her feet made of gold and silver, and now she walks upon the ground and [sells her hair for bread!]

14 Observe her who had her garments made of fine-textured linen interwoven with gold, and now she exchanges her hair for bread!

15 Observe her who had couches of gold and of silver, and now she sells her hair for bread!”

16 In short then, Job, after the many things that have been said to me, I now say in one word to you:

17 “Since the feebleness of my heart has crushed my bones, rise then and take these loaves of bread and enjoy them, and then speak some word against the Lord and die!

18 For I too, would exchange the torpor of death for the sustenance of my body.”

19 But I replied to her “I have been for these seven years plague-stricken, and I have stood the worms of my body, and I was not weighed down in my soul by all these pains.

20 And as to the word which you said: ‘Speak some word against God and die!’, together with you I will sustain the evil which you see. and let us endure the ruin of all that weave.

21 Yet you desire that we should say some word against God and that He should be exchanged for the great Pluto [the god of the nether world.]

22 Why do you not remember those great goods which we possessed? If these goods come from the lands of the Lord, should not we also endure evils and be high-minded in everything until the Lord will have mercy again and show pity to us?

23 Do you not see the Seducer stands behind you and confounds your thoughts in order that you should beguile me

24 And he turned to Satan and said: “Why do you not come openly to me? Stop hiding yourself you wretched one,

25 Does the lion show his strength in the weasel cage? Or does the bird flying the basket? I now tell you: Go away and wage your war against me.”

26 Then he went off from behind my wife and placed himself before me crying and he said: Job, I yield and give way to you who are but flesh while I am a spirit.

27 You are plague-stricken, but I am in great trouble.

28 For I am like a wrestler contesting with wrestler who has, in a single-handed combat, torn down his antagonist and covered him with dust and broken every limb of his, whereas the other one who lies beneath, having displayed his bravery, gives forth sounds of triumph testifying to his own superior excellence.

29 In this way you, O Job, are beneath and stricken with plague and pain, and yet you have carried the victory in the wrestling-match with me, and I yield to you.”

30. Then he left me abashed.

31 Now my children, do you also show a firm heart in all the evil that happens to you, for greater than all things is firmness of heart.



Chapter 7

1 At this time the kings heard what had happened to me and they rose and came to me. each from his land to visit me and to comfort me.

2. And when they came near me, they cried with a loud voice and each tore his clothes.

3 And after they had prostrated themselves, touching the earth with their heads, they sat down next to me for seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word.

4 They were four in numbers: Leila, the king of Taman, and Ballad, and Sophia, and Elisha.

5 And when they had taken their seat, they conversed about what had happened to me.

6 Now when for time first time they had come to me and I had shown them my precious stones, they were astonished and said:

7 “If of us three kings all our possessions would be brought together into one, it would not come up to the precious stones of Juab’s kingdom (crown?). For you are of greater nobility than all the people of the East.

8 And when, therefore, they now came tithe land of Asities “Us” to visit me, they asked in the city: “Where is Juba, the ruler of this whole land?”

9 And they told them concerning me: “He sits upon the dung-hill outside of the city for he has not entered the city’ for seven years.”

10 And then again they- inquired concerning my possessions, and there was revealed to them all that happened to me.

11 And when they had learned this, they went out of the city with the inhabitants, and my fellow-citizens pointed me out to them.

12 But these remonstrated and said: “Surely, this is not Juba.”

13 And while they hesitated, there said Elisha. the King of Taman: “Come let us step near and see.”

14 And when they came near I remembered them, and I wept very much when I learned the purpose of their journey.

15 And I threw earth upon my head, and while shaking my head I revealed to them that I was [Job].

16 And when they saw me shake my head they threw themselves down upon the ground, all overcome with emotion

17 And while their hosts were standing around, Isa the three kings lie upon the ground for three hours like dead.

18 Then they rose and said to each other: We cannot believe that this is Juba.”

19 And finally, after they had for seven day’s inquired after everything concerning me and searched for my flocks another possessions, they said:

20 “Do we not know how many goods were sent by him tithe cities and the villages round about to be given to the poor, aside from all that was given away by him within his own house? How then could he have fallen into such a state of perdition and misery!”

21 And after the seven days Elisha said to the kings: “Come let us step near and examine him accurately, whether he truly is Juba or not?”

22 And they, being not half a mile (stadium) distant from his malodorous body, they rose and stepped near, carrying perfume in their hands, while their soldiers went with them and threw fragrant incense round about them so that they could come near me.

23And after they had passed like this three hours, covering the way with aroma, they drew nigh.

24 And Elisha began and said: “Are you, indeed, Job, our fellow-king? Are youth one who owned the great glory?

25 Are you he who once shone like the sun of day upon the whole earth? Are you he who once resembled the moon and the stars effulgent throughout the night?”

26 And I answered him and said: “I am,” and upon that, all wept and lamented, and they sang a royal song of lamentation, their whole army joining theming a chorus.

27 And again Elisha said to me: “Are you he who had ordered seven thousand sheep Tobe given for the clothing of the poor? Where, then has gone the glory of your throne?

28 Are you he who had ordered three thousand cattle to do the plowing of the field forth poor? Wither, then has your glory gone!

29 Are you he who had golden couches, and now you sit upon a dung hill? [“Where then has your glory gone!”]

30 Are you he who had sixty tables set for the poor? Are you he who had censers for the fine perfume made of precious stones, and now you are in a malodorous state? Where then has your glory gone!

31 Are you he who had golden candelabras set upon silver stands; and now must you long for the natural gleam of the moon? [“Where then has your glory gone!”]

32 Are you the one who had ointment made of the spices of frankincense, and now you’re in a state of repulsiveness! [Where then has your glory gone!”]

33 Are you he who laughed the wrong doers and sinners to scorn and now you have become a laughingstock to all!” [Where then has your glory gone]

34 And when Elisha had for a long time cried and lamented, while all the others joined him, so that the commotion was very great, I said to them:

35 Be silent and I will show you my throne, and the glory of its splendor: My glory will be everlasting.

36 The whole world shall perish, and its glory shall vanish, and all those who hold fast to it, will remain beneath, but my throne is in the upper world and its glory and splendor will beta the right of the Savior in the heavens.

37 My throne exists in the life of the “holy ones “and its glory in the imperishable world.

38 For rivers will he dried up and their arrogance shall go down to the depth of the abyss, but the streams of my land in which my throne is erected, shall not dry up, but shall remain unbroken in strength.

39 The kings perish and the rulers vanish, and their glory and pride is as the shadow in looking glass, but my Kingdom lasts forever and ever, and its glory and beauty is in the chariot of my Father).



Chapter 8

I When I spoke this way to them, Ehiphaz became angry and said to the other friends “For what purpose is it that we have come here with our hosts to comfort him? He upbraids us. Therefore let us return to our countries.

2 This man sits here in misery worm-eaten amidst an unbearable state of putrefaction, and yet he challenges its saving: ‘Kingdoms shall perish and their rulers, but my Kingdom, says he, shall last forever”.

3 Elisha, then, rose in great commotion, and, turning away from them in great fury, said: “I go from here. We have indeed come to comfort him, but he declares war to us in view of our armies.”

4 But then Ballad seized him by the hand and said: “Not in this manner ought one to speak to an afflicted man, and especially to one stricken down with so many plagues.

5 We, being in good health, dared not approach him on account of the offensive odor, except with the help of plenty of fragrant aroma. But you, Elisha. are forgetful of all this.

6 Let me speak plainly. Letups be magnanimous and learn what is the cause? Must he in remembering his former days of happiness not become mad in his mind?

7 Who should not be altogether perplexed seeing himself in this way lapse into misfortune and plagues? But let me step near him that I may find by what cause is he like this?”

9 And Ballad rose and approached me saying: “Are you Job?” and he said: “Is your heart still in good keeping?

9 And I said: “I did not hold fast to the earthly things, since the earth with all that inhabit it is unstable. But my heart holds fast to the heaven, because there is no trouble in heaven.”

10 Then Ballad rejoined and said: “We know that the earth is unstable, for it changes according to season. At times it is in a state of peace, and at times it is in a state of war. But of the heaven we hear that it is perfectly steady.

11 But are you truly in a state of calmness? Therefore let me ask and speak, and when you answer me to my first word, I shall have a second question to ask, and if again you answer in well-set words, it will be manifest that your heart has not been unbalanced.”

12 And I said: “Upon what do you set your hope?” And I said: “Upon the living God.”

13. And he said to me: “Who deprived you of all you possessed? And who inflicted you with these plagues ” And I said: “God.”

14 And he said: “If you still place your hope upon God, how can He do wrong in judgment, having brought upon you these plagues and misfortunes, and having taken from you all your possessions?

15 And since He has taken these, it is clear that He has given you nothing. No king will disgrace his soldier who has served him well as body-guard?”

16 [And I answered saying]: “Who understands the depths of the Lord and of His wisdom to be able to accuse God of injustice”?

17 [And Ballad said]: “Answer me, job, to this. Again I say to you: ‘If you are in a state of calm reason, teach me if you have wisdom:

18 Why do we see the sun rise in the East and set in the West? And again when rising in the morning we find him rise in the East? Tell me your thought about this?”

19Then said I: “Why shall I betray (babble forth) the mighty mysteries of God? And should my mouth stumble in revealing things belonging to the Master? Never!

20 Who are we that we should pry into matters concerning the upper world while we are only of flesh, nay, earth and ashes!

21 In order that you know that my heart is sound, hear what I ask you:

22 through the stomach comes food, and water you drink through the mouth, and then it flows through the same throat, and when the two go down to become excrement, they again part; that effects this separation.”

23 And Baldad said: “I do not know.” And I rejoined and said to him: “If you do not understand even the exits of the body, how can you understand the celestial circuits?”

24 Then Sophia rejoined and said: “We do not inquire after our own affairs, but we desire to know whether you are in a sound state, and we see that your reason has not been shaken.

25. What now do you wish that we should do for you? We have come here and brought the physicians of three kings, and if you wish, you may be cured by them.”

26 But I answered and said: “My cure and my restoration come from God, the Maker of physicians.”