XXVIII. And when the days of Cenez drew
nigh that he should die, he sent and called all men (or all the elders), and the two prophets Jabis and Phinees, and Phinees the son of Eleazar the priest, 1 and said to them: Behold now, the Lord hath showed me all his marvellous works which he hath prepared to do for his people in the last days.
2. And now will I make my covenant with you this day, that ye forsake not the Lord your God after my departing. For ye have seen all the marvels which came upon them that sinned, and all that they declared, confessing their sins of their own accord, and how the Lord our God made an end of them for that they transgressed his covenant. Wherefore now spare ye them of your house and your sons, and abide in the ways of the Lord your God, that the Lord destroy not his inheritance.
3. And Phinees, the son of Eleazar the priest, said: If Cenez the ruler bid me, and the prophets and the people and the elders, I will speak a word which I heard of my father when he was a-dying, and will not keep silence concerning the commandment which he commanded me when his soul was being received. And Cenez the ruler and the prophets said: Let Phinees say on. Shall any other speak before the priest which keepeth the commandments of the Lord our God, and that, seeing that truth proceedeth out of his mouth, and out of his heart a shining light?
4. Then said Phinees: My father, when he was a-dying, commanded me saying: Thus shalt thou
say unto the children of Israel when they, are gathered together unto the assembly: The Lord appeared unto me the third day before this in a dream in the night, and said unto me: Behold, thou hast seen, and thy father before thee, how greatly I have laboured for my people; and it shall be after thy death that this people shall arise and corrupt their ways, departing from my commandments, and I shall be exceeding wroth with them. Yet will I remember the time which was before the ages, even in the time when there was not a man, and therein was no iniquity, when I said that the world should be, and they that should come should praise me therein, and I will plant a great vineyard, and out of it will I choose a plant, and order it and call it by my name, and it shall be mine for ever. But when I have done all that I have spoken, nevertheless my planting, which is called after me, will not know me, the planter thereof, but will corrupt his fruit, and will not yield me his fruit. These are the things which my father commanded me to speak unto this people.
5. And Cenez lifted up his voice, and the elders, and all the people with one accord, and wept with a great lamentation until the evening and said: Shall the shepherd destroy his flock to no purpose, except it continue in sin against him? And shall it not be he that shall spare according to the abundance of his mercy, seeing he hath spent great labour upon us?
6. 1 Now while they were set, the holy spirit that
him his bodily sense, and he began to prophesy, saying: Behold now I see that which I looked not for, and perceive that I knew not. Hearken now, ye that dwell on the earth, even as they that sojourned therein prophesied before me, when they saw this hour, even before the earth was corrupted, that ye may know the prophecies appointed aforetime, all ye that dwell therein. 7. Behold now I see flames that burn not, and I hear springs of water awaked out of sleep, and they have no foundation, neither do I behold the tops of the mountains, nor the canopy of the firmament, but all things unappearing and invisible, which have no place whatsoever, and although mine eye knoweth not what it seeth, mine heart shall discover that which it may learn (or say). 8. Now out of the flame which I saw, and it burned not, I beheld, and lo a spark came up and as it were builded for itself a floor under heaven, and the likeness of the floor thereof was as a spider spinneth, in the fashion of a shield. And when the foundation was laid, I beheld, and from that spring there was stirred up as it were a boiling froth, and behold, it changed itself as it were into another foundation; and between the two foundations, even the upper and the lower, there drew near out of the light of the invisible place as it were forms of men, and they walked to and fro: and behold, a voice saying: These shall be for a foundation unto men and they shall dwell therein 7000 years. 9. And the lower foundation was a pavement and the upper was of froth, and they that came forth out of the light of the invisible place, they are those that shall dwell therein, 1 and
the name of that man is <Adam>. And it shall be, when he hath (or they have) sinned against me and the time is fulfilled, that the spark shall be
quenched and the spring shall cease, and so they shall be changed.
10. And it came to pass after Cenez had spoken these words that he awaked and his sense returned unto him: but he knew not that which he had spoken neither that which he had seen, but this only he said to the people: If the rest of the
|Cf. Num. 23:10|
164:1 XXVIII. 1. The "two prophets Jabis and Phinees, and Phinees the son of Eleazar" are suspicious. I should not wonder if originally there had been but one prophet, Jabis, and Phinees the son of Eleazar. The plural prophetae, which occurs again in 3, might be a consequential change.
165:1 6 seq. There are several resemblances in this section to the diction of Ezekiel. The Spirit comes upon Kenaz as he sits among the elders: so in Ezek. 8:1 (20:1, 20:2). fundamentum may be compared with στερέωμα (Ezek. 122); subdiuum with p. 166 αἴθριον, (9:3, 10:4); imagines hominum with όμοίωμα ἀνθρώπου (1:9); similitudo with ὁμοίωσισ (1:10); ecce uox dicens with ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ὑπεράνωθεν τοῦ στερεώματοσ (1:25).
166:1 9. they are those that shall dwell therein, and the name of p. 167 that man is *. A puts an asterisk after "dwell therein" as well as at the end of the sentence. VR read: these are they which shall have the name of that man: qui habebunt nomen eius hominis. J says "and the light which is between them and illumines the path of man is Jerusalem, and there the men will dwell."
I do not think that any mystical name filled the blank, or that there was any mention of a definite place, such as Jerusalem: the lines on which the vision is drawn are too broad to admit of this. "Adam" is the most likely supplement, if we consider the words which come next: "and it shall be when he hath sinned against me, and the time is fulfilled."