f . QQ
" Ace. No. 998101 i
: ,:.! -V-..U
Keep Your Card in This Pocket
Books will be issued only on presentation of proper
library cards. r
Unless labeled otherwise, books may be retained
tor four weeks. Borrowers finding books marked de-
faced or mutilated are expected to report same at
library desk; otherwise the last borrower will be held
responsible for all imperfections discovered
The card holder is responsible for all boob drawn
on tins card.
Penalty for over<Jue books 2c a day plus cost of
Lost cards and change of residence must be re-
Kansas City, Mo.
Keep Your Card in This Pocket
rz ENVELOPE 00., K, 0., HO.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS CHICAGO
THE BAKER & TAYLOR COMPANY, NEW YORK; THE
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, LONDON; THE MARUZEN-
KABUSHIKI-KAISHA, TOKYO, OSAKA, KYOTO, FUKUOKA,
SENDAi; THE COMMERCIAL PRESS, LIMITED, SHANGHAI
THE STORY OF THE
EDGAR J. GOODSPEED
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
JAMES W. FIFIELD, JR.
AND GENEROUS FRIEND
COPYRIGHT 1939 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PUBLISHED OCTOBER
1939. COMPOSED AND PRINTED BY THE UNIVERSITY
OF CHICAGO PRESS, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.
The Apocrypha have long been almost forgotten
by the Christian public, although their claim to a
place in the Greek, Latin, and English Bibles can
hardly be denied. Our Puritan distaste for their re-
ligious backwardness is largely responsible for this
neglect. But however unrewarding some parts of
them may be, from a Christian point of view, their
literary value is considerable and their historical im-
portance, when they are properly understood, is
What makes them of positive importance to the
New Testament, however, is the influence they
exerted upon the personalities of the New Testa-
ment and the light they throw upon its life and
thought, the groups we meet in its pages, and the
ideas there developed. For the full understanding
of the New Testament, it is not too much to say
that the Apocrypha are indispensable. As a part
too of the complete Bible, as a source book for the
cultural study of art and literature and religion,
the Apocrypha demand attention.
The Apocrypha are extremely interesting pieces
of literature, and deserve a much wider reading and
a more serious attention than they ordinarily re-
This book is intended to bring the main facts as
to the origin of the collection and of the several
books concisely before the student and the general
reader, to enable him more readily to gain from
them what they have to contribute for literature,
history, and religion. Much that it contains began
to take shape in a series of lectures on the Apoc-
rypha I had the honor of delivering at the Cali-
fornia Institute of Technology in April of this year.
I am indebted to my brother, Charles T. B.
Goodspeed, for helping me in reading the proofs.
EDGAR J. GOODSPEED
BEL-AIR, Los ANGELES
June 21, 1939
CHAPTER v PAGE
I. THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE .... i
II. THE BOOK OF TOBIT . 13
III. ECCLESIASTICUS, OR THE WlSDOM OP SlRACH 2O
IV. THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN ... 31
V. THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS . . 37
VI. THE BOOK OF JUDITH ... 45
VII. THE PRAYER OF MANASSEH . : 52
VIII. THE ENLARGED EDITION OF THE BOOK OF
IX. THE STORY OF SUSANNA . .... 65
X. BEL AND THE DRAGON . . 71
XI. THE FIRST BOOK OF MACCABEES . . 76
XII. THE SECOND BOOK OP MACCABEES . 83
XIII. THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON ... 90
XIV. THE BOOK OF BARUCH . . . 100
XV. THE LETTER OF JEREMIAH . 105
XVI. THE SECOND BOOK OP ESDRAS . . . . m
XVII. THE APOCRYPHA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT . 1 20
XVIII. THE APOCRYPHA IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 132
CHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY 141
INDEX . .... 145
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE
Most Americans know the Apocrypha, if they
know them at all, only as some mysterious books
which they used to see in their grandfather's old
Family Bible, but which for some unexplained
reason they do not find in theirs. Three questions
naturally occur to them: First, What are the Apoc-
rypha? Second, How did these books get into the
older Bibles? And third, Once in, how did they get
out? As these questions inevitably arise' in people's
minds whenever the Apocrypha are mentioned,
they must be dealt with at the outset.
The Apocrypha are the fourteen books that stand
in old English Bibles between the Old Testament
and the New. They are I and II Esdras, Tobit,
Judith, some Additions to Esther, the Wisdom of
Solomon, Ecclesiasticus or the Wisdom of Sirach,
Baruch, Susanna, the Song of the Three Children,
Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manasseh, and
I and II Maccabees.
How did these books get into the Bible?
Christianity made its first considerable progress
among people of Greek speech and culture, and so
it used the Greek Old Testament. That was its first
2 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Bible. It had arisen in Egypt, where Greek-speak-
ing Jews in the third century before Christ had be-
gun to translate their Hebrew scriptures into Greek.
They later translated some books that were not
scripture and wrote others in Greek. So in the
Greek religious literature that the early church in-
herited from Judaism, there were some books that
the Jews of Palestine never included in their He-
But it was this larger Greek Bible that the early
Christians used, though now and then one like
Melito of Sardis, about A.D. 180, would visit Pales-
tine and learn that the Jewish scriptures recognized
there, lacked a number of books he was accustomed
to find in his Bible. But it was the Greek Bible that
was presently translated into Latin, so when in A.D.
382 Pope Damasus commissioned Jerome to revise
the Latin version of the Bible, and he went back
to the older Hebrew text, he found that a dozen or
more of the books in his Latin Bible were not in the
Hebrew Old Testament of Palestine at all.
Jerome learned Hebrew, and visited Palestine,
and lived there for some years. In the east, he ob-
served that the eastern church was inclined to omit
these Old Testament books that were not in the
Hebrew Old Testament from its Bible, although
they went on being copied with the rest of the Old
Testament in the great Greek biblical manuscripts
of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. But he
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE 3
could hardly omit them from the Latin Bible he was
revising, for they were regarded in the west as
So he named them Apocrypha secret or hidden
books probably having in mind the curious story
in II Esdras, where Ezra dictates to his five
amanuenses ninety-four books in forty days, and is
then told to publish the twenty-four books that he
had written first, for the worthy and the unworthy
to read; but to keep the seventy books that were
written last, to hand down to the wise among his
people (14:45, 46). The Hebrew scriptures were
usually reckoned as twenty-two or twenty-four in
number, and they are evidently meant by the
twenty-four books that were written first. The un-
published books were to be a sort of esoteric library
for only the initiated to use.
When Jerome called these Jewish books, which
he found in the Latin and Greek Bibles but not in
the Hebrew, the Apocrypha, he did not mean to re-
ject them as spurious, but to rate them as not in-
spired, but still ecclesiastical, and suitable for a
limited church use. He left them in the Latin Bible
where he found them. He did not pick them out of
it and gather them in a group by themselves. So
they remained in the Latin Bible when he completed
his revision of it, and have formed part of the Latin
Vulgate ever since.
When in the fourteenth century the Latin Bible
4 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
was translated into German, the translation con-
tained the Apocrypha scattered through it, just as
they stood in the Latin text, and when Wyclif and
Purvey, in 1382-88, made the first English transla-
tion of the Bible, it was the Latin Bible, including the
Apocrypha, that they translated. And when about
the middle of the fifteenth century the Latin Bible
was first printed, that printing contained the Apoc-
rypha scattered through it, just as the medieval
Latin manuscript Bibles had always done.
The decisive step of gathering the books Jerome
had called Apocrypha together into a group and
putting them by themselves at the end of the Old
Testament was first taken by Martin Luther, in
1534. In that year he completed his translation of
the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into German.
When he had finished the Hebrew Old Testament,
the Greek Apocrypha still remained, and he trans-
lated them last, making them the sixth and final
part of his Bible. By his time even the Greek of one
book, II Esdras, had disappeared, and he had to
translate it from the Latin version of it. So it was
Luther who finally acted upon the suggestion
Jerome had made eleven hundred years before and
grouped the Apocrypha by themselves.
Luther was not enthusiastic about the religious
value of them, but he left them in his Bible, between
the Old and New Testaments. And in this he was
immediately followed by Myles Coverdale, in the
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE 5
first printed English Bible, which appeared the next
year, 1535. Luther's striking innovation in gather-
ing the Apocrypha out of the Old Testament and
putting them by themselves was taken up not only
by Coverdale but from him by all the Protestant
English Bibles that followed: the Matthew Bible
of 1537; the Taverner Bible of 1539; the Great
Bible of 1539, the first Authorized English Bible,
also the work of Coverdale; the Geneva Bible, pro-
duced by the Puritans in 1560; the Bishops' Bible,
the second Authorized, in 1568; and the King
James, the third Authorized, in 1611. In all these
the Apocrypha form a group by themselves, follow-
ing the Old Testament. In the Douai translation
of the Old Testament, the Catholic version made
from the Latin Vulgate, and published in 1610, the
Apocrypha remained scattered through the Old
Testament, as they still do in the Catholic Bible,
which is a revision of the Douai.
But how did the Apocrypha get out of the Bible?
The earliest of these English Bibles put at the
beginning of the Apocrypha observations qualifying
their authority. The Great Bible of 1539 in a pro-
logue to them quotes with approval Jerome's judg-
ment that they may be read for the edifying of the
people, but not to confirm and strengthen the doc-
trine of the church. /The Geneva Bible of 1560 takes
a similar position: they are to be read not for doc-
trine but for "knowledge of the history" and "in-
6 THE STORY OP THE APOCRYPHA
struction of godly manners." In the second Author-
ized Bible, the Bishops' of 1568, however, they are
introduced with no such qualification, and in the
third Authorized Bible, the King James of 1611,
they are headed simply "Apocrypha." Indeed they
were regarded as so integral a part of the King
James Bible that George Abbot, one of the New
Testament workers on that version, after he be-
came Archbishop of Canterbury issued an ordinance
that anyone who published the English Bible with-
out the Apocrypha should be imprisoned for a year.
But the Puritans had already begun to demand
copies of their own Geneva version without the
Apocrypha; they felt not so much the critical objec-
tion, that these books were not in the Hebrew
Bible, as the practical one, that they were for the
most part so sensational in character and on so low a
moral and religious level. As early as 1599 copies
of the Geneva Bible began to omit the sheets con-
taining the Apocrypha, even though the leaf
numbering which continued through the New
Testament showed that they had been left out. As
Sir Frederic Kenyon crisply puts it, "The Puritans
persecuted the Apocrypha."
The King James Bible itself, in spite of Arch-
bishop Abbot's ruling, began in 1629 to appear oc-
casionally without the Apocrypha, and while the
Sixth Article of the Church of England definitely
affirmed that they belonged to the Bible, the Puri-
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE 7
tan influence in the rising denominational move-
ments more and more pushed them into the back-
ground. This practical rejection of them found ex-
pression in 1827, in the action of the British and
American Bible societies declining to use any of the
funds given them in publishing the Apocrypha.
Most printings of the King James Bible during the
century that followed omitted them, and now it is
difficult to find the Apocrypha in any English
Bibles except those designed for pulpit use. The
Cambridge Press has recently issued one, which
can, it is true, be ordered through a bookstore, but
few American booksellers have it for sale. Almost
all the modern publishers of the King James Bible
tacitly omit the Apocrypha. Yet, whatever may be
our personal opinions of the Apocrypha, it is a his-
torical fact that they formed an integral part of
the King James Version, and any Bible claiming to
represent that version should either include the
Apocrypha, or state that it is omitting them. Other-
wise a false impression is created. "--*_-
The English Revision Committee organized in
1870, completed and published the Apocrypha in
1894, but sometimes printed them in smaller type
than the Old and New Testament. The American
Revision Committee did not revise them at all, al-
though some copies of the American Standard Ver-
sion include the English Revision of the Apocrypha,
though in smaller type than the rest of the volume.
8 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Whatever may be thought of the English Re-
vised Version of the Old and New Testaments, there
can be no doubt that the Revised Apocrypha fall
far below it in quality. Indeed the translation
of the Apocrypha has always lagged behind that of
the Old Testament, and especially of the New.
When Coverdale published his English Bible in
1535, he frankly described it on the title-page as
"faithfully and truly translated out of Dutch and
Latin into English." Coverdale did indeed have
Tyndale's translation of the New Testament from
the Greek, and his translation of the first five books
of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, and these
he introduced into his Bible. For the rest of the
Old Testament and for the Apocrypha, however,
he was dependent upon the German versions of
Zwingli (1529) and Luther (1534), the Latin Vul-
gate and the Latin version of Pagninus (1528); he
made no pretense of translating the Apocrypha
from the Greek. He simply translated them from
the Latin, with the aid of these recent German
The Thomas Matthew Bible of 1537 benefited
by Tyndale's further work on the Hebrew Old
Testament which he left half-finished at the time
of his execution in 1536. For the second half of it
and for the Apocrypha, that Bible reproduced the
work of Coverdale. The Great Bible of 1539 was a
revision by Coverdale of the Thomas Matthew
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE 9
Bible, and the Apocrypha in it therefore still rested
upon the German and Latin versions.
The makers of the Geneva Bible of 1560 knew
Greek, however, and were able to revise the Apoc-
rypha with the aid of that knowledge. Some books
of it indeed they found so imperfect that they
actually made their own translations of them from
the Greek. The Bishops' and King James versions
simply followed these earlier versions as far as the
Apocrypha were concerned, revising them cau-
tiously in the light of the Greek.
The quality of the English in the King James
Apocrypha is definitely inferior to that in the rest
of that version. It abounds in such renderings as:
Artaxerxes his letters [I Esd. 2:30],
He sticketh not to spend his life with his wife
[I Esd. 4:21],
All men do well like of her works [I Esd. 4:39],
And now is all Israel aloft [I Esd. 8:92],
That leaveth his flock in the hands of cruel wolves
[II Esd. 5:18],
Whiles the lion spake these words [II Esd. 12:1],
They slept both that night [Tob. 8:9],
He will speak submissly [Ecclus. 29:5],
Cocker thy child [Ecclus. 30:9],
They took great indignation [Bel 28],
It would have pitied a man to see [II Mace. 3:21],
Not long afore [II Mace. 10:6],
With proud brags [II Mace. 15:32].
This neglect on the part of the Apocrypha com-
mittee of 1604-11 prepares us to understand the
io THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
similar want of concern for the Apocrypha exhibited
by the English revisers of 1870-94. Most of the
above readings and many more like them persist in
that revision. But of course it was no part of the
plan of revision to remove the archaisms of the old
translations; on the contrary, the rule was that if
a rendering had to be changed, English as old as
King James or older should be employed.
On the other hand, it must be recognized that for
some books the revisers found even revision inade-
quate and virtually translated the books in question
from Greek into English. Yet it remains true that
a considerable part of the English Revised Version
still rests upon the Latin version Coverdale first
translated for his Bible of 1535.
The aversion to translating the Apocrypha from
the Greek is curiously illustrated by the transla-
tions of the Septuagint made in the nineteenth cen-
ury: the first by Charles Thomson, in 1808, and
the second by Sir Lancelot Brenton, in 1844. One
translation was made in America, and one in Eng-
land, and Brenton had not seen Thomson's, al-
though he had heard of it; but both omit the
Apocrypha from their versions.
Not less surprising is the procedure of the group
of scholars organized by Dr. R. H. Charles to pro-
duce the two large volumes, The Apocrypha and
Pseudepigrapha, published at Oxford in 1913. While
more than half of them produced new English
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE BIBLE n
translations of the individual books assigned to
them, a minority contented themselves with re-
printing the English Revised Version. So while
individual books have here and there been trans-
lated by highly competent scholars, there has been
no translation of the Greek Apocrypha directly into
English throughout, until the American translation
This neglect is all the more strange in view of the
literary character of much of the Apocrypha. To
the lively narratives and crisp epigrams in which
the Apocrypha abound, the archaisms of sixteenth-
century English are no longer appropriate, and the
familiar arguments for the standard translations,
that their language is so poetic and so familiar, and
so freighted with religious associations, certainly
have no bearing here. Very few people nowadays
know what the Apocrypha are, much less what
they have to say. Certainly the Apocrypha offer a
fair field for retranslation, especially when it is
remembered that they have so long remained un-
translated directly from Greek into English.
It has been well said that no one can have the
complete Bible as a source book for the cultural
study of art, literature, and religion without the
Apocrypha, and as an aid to understanding the New
Testament the Apocrypha are simply indispensable.
How did they originate and what are their contribu-
tions to history, literature, morality, and religion?
12 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1 . What are the Apocrypha?
2. Name them.
3. Who first called them by this name?
4. What did he mean by it?
5. Who first separated them from the Old Testament
6. How did they come to have a place in the King James
7. To what text or version do the standard English trans-
lations of the Apocrypha ultimately go back?
8. What translations of the Greek Old Testament were
made in the last century?
9. What was their attitude to the Apocrypha?
10. What did the English revisers do with the Apocrypha?
11. What did the American revisers do with them?
12. How did the Puritans treat the Apocrypha?
13. Have the Apocrypha been in all the four Authorized
English Bibles, from the Great to the English Revised?
14. What is the attitude of the Bible societies to the
THE BOOK OF TOBIT
Of all the Apocrypha the earliest in date is the
Book of Tobit, written about 200 B.C. Tobit is the
ideal Jew. In times when Greek ideals were coming
into fashion, Greeks and Jews too needed to be
reminded of the strong features of the Jewish char-
acter. Progressive young Jews had to be kept in
line, and heathen made to see the values of Judaism,
as a way of life.
So early in the second century before Christ
some Jew in Egypt wrote the Story of Tobit, to
exalt the Jewish ideal in the eyes of Jews and Gen-
tiles alike. For the Jews in Egypt were already at
work to win recognition and if possible acceptance
of their ideals from the peoples among whom they
lived. They were translating their Hebrew scrip-
tures into Greek, to make their religion and their
culture known in the stirring Greek world in which
they found themselves in Egypt. It is as a part of
*fchis missionary movement in Egyptian Judaism,
\m the days of the first Ptolemies, that Tobit must
be understood. It was probably written in Greek,
for the movement of which it was a part was putting
Hebrew literature into Greek, and would hardly
14 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
express itself in the language from which Egyptian
Judaism was so pointedly turning away.
Tobit is represented as a Jew of Galilee, in the
eighth century before Christ. He does not join in
the idolatry of the northern kingdom, but goes to
Jerusalem to the feasts, taking three-tenths of his
income to distribute there. With the rest of Israel,
he is carried into captivity by the Assyrians; but in
Nineveh he gains the king's favor and becomes his
buyer. He lays up money, and deposits it with a
friend in Ragae, in Media, With the accession of
Sennacherib, his fortunes change. His pious prac-
tice of burying the bodies of the king's Jewish vic-
tims offends the king, and Tobit is stripped of his
property and has to flee for his life.
Tinder Sennacherib's successor, Esarhaddon, To-
bit is recalled to Nineveh, through his nephew
Ahikar, who had become the new king's vizier. He
at once resumes his pious practice of burying the
neglected dead, and in consequence of his scrupu-
lous devotion to the ceremonial law contracts blind-
ness. Ahikar is transferred to Elymais, and Tobit
becomes dependent on his wife's labor for support.
They quarrel, and Tobit in his humiliation prays
Meantime far away in Ecbatana, in Media, an-
other was offering the same prayer. It was Sarah,
a kinswoman of Tobit. She had been given in mar-
riage to seven husbands in succession, and each one
THE BOOK OE TOBIT 15
had been killed in the bridal chamber by the demon
Asmodeus. The taunts of her maids drive her to
despair, and she too prays for death.
It now occurs to Tobit to recover the money he
had deposited with his friend in Ragae, so long be-
fore, and he decides to send his son Tobias to get it.
Feeling that he is sending him out to face the world
alone, he gives him a series of paternal admonitions,
and then directs him to find a traveling companion
and guide for the journey. He finds a certain
Azariah, who is the angel Raphael in disguise, and
they set off for Ragae. Lodging beside the Tigris
on their way, they catch a large fish, and Tobias, in-
structed by his guide, preserves its heart, liver, and
gall, and takes them with him. At Ecbatana they
visit Sarah's father Raguel, who is a kinsman of
Tobit, and Tobias, who has been told Sarah's story
by his guide, asks for her hand. Raguel tells him
what has happened to her seven husbands, but
Raphael has told Tobias how to deal with the
demon, and he insists upon marrying her. That
night, when the demon approaches them, Tobias
takes the ashes of the incense and puts the heart and
liver of the fish on them and makes a smoke, and
this drives the demon to the uttermost parts of
Upper Egypt, where the angel binds him. Tobias
and Sarah pray together and fall asleep. Two weeks
of marriage feasting follow, in the midst of which
Tobias sends Amriah on to Ragae to get Tobit's
1 6 THE STORY OP THE APOCRYPHA
money. When he returns with it and the days of
feasting are over, Raguel insists upon dividing his
property with his son-in-law, and Tobias and his
wife set out with Raphael for Nineveh.
Meantime Tobit and his wife have become
alarmed over Tobias 7 prolonged absence, and
anxiously await his return. When he comes, under
the angel's direction he restores his father's sight
with the gall of the fish, and there is a happy re-
union. The old people welcome their daughter-in-
law, and a second marriage feast, of seven days, is
held. When they offer Tobias' guide a present, he
makes himself known as Raphael, one of the seven
holy angels, admonishes them to prayer, fasting,
charity, and uprightness, and vanishes from their
sight. Tobit bursts into a song of praise, and pre-
dicts that Jerusalem will be rebuilt in splendor. He
lives to a great age, and dies bidding his son move
to Media. Tobias obeys his father's dying wish, and
lives to hear of Nineveh's destruction. (1
Persian and Egyptian influences are marked in
Tobit. Its author was not afraid to incorporate ma-
terials from the pagan world; it is not impossible
that he wrote in part to counteract an Egyptian
work, "The Tractate of Khons," which told how,
with the aid of that Theban deity, a demon had
been cast out of a princess. Part of its action, like
part of Tobit's, is laid in Ecbatana. The writer's
ignorance of the geography of western Asia would
THE BOOK OF TOBIT 17
not be strange in Egypt; he speaks as though the
Tigris were east of Nineveh, on the way to Ecba-
tana (6:1), as the Greeks supposed, when in fact
Nineveh lay on the east bank of that river. The use
made of the organs of the fish resembles some prac-
tices of Egyptian medicine. The Story of Ahikar,
which so influenced Tobit, was well known in Egypt.
But the Persian influence is even more marked.
The appearance of angels and demons is a new
development in Judaism and reflects Persian re-
ligion, probably in the Magian stage of its develop-
ment. Asmodeus is Aeshma Daeva of Persian de-
monology, and the dog that follows Tobias on his
travels recalls the dog that attends the Persian
Sraosha. The dog was a sacred animal in Zoro-
astrianism, but dogs were generally despised by
the Jews; they did not regard dogs as companions
and friends, but as scavengers and outcasts. So
the writer gathered his materials from wide and
varied fields, and wrote with Greek breadth in
Egypt, where under the Ptolemies Greek and Jew-
ish currents met and mingled.
Tobit is a religious romance, intended for the
general reader and admirably suited to interest and
instruct him. That it begins in the first person and
presently lapses into the third is nothing strange
in a time when the author of Daniel begins in He-
brew, lapses into Aramaic in 2:4, and quietly re-
turns to Hebrew in 8 : i. The writer's art is not per-
1 8 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
feet, but he has told a good story, and clothed it
with religious meaning: God does not forget his
servants. Yet there are also unmistakable touches
of humor in Tobit, as when Raphael says to Tobit,
"Are you in search of a tribe and family, or a hired
man to go with your son?" and when Tobias begs
to be excused from the risk involved in marrying
Sarah, solely on account of the grief it would cause
his parents if he were to die (6: 14).
While the action is represented as taking place in
the eighth and seventh centuries before Christ, be-
fore and after the Fall of the Northern Kingdom,
the book was probably written early in the second
century before Christ, but before the Maccabean
uprising which began about 166 B.C. And yet the
writer of Tobit has many Pharisaic traits : "belief in
angels and demons, regard for Law and scripture,
clean foods, and ceremonial ablutions; emphasis
upon charity, fasting, and prayer; going beyond the
Law in setting aside not one but three tenths of
one's income for the purposes of the pilgrimage to
Jerusalem. Certainly this was the religious ideal of
those Jewish saints who soon after rallied about the
Maccabees, and later became the Pharisees.
The influence of Tobit on the New Testament is
very marked. It prepares us for the very specific
demonology and angelology of the gospels and the
Revelation. Gabriel and Michael are, like Raphael,
among the seven holy angels (12 : 15). Tobit 's pious
THE BOOK OE TOBIT 19
practice of burying the neglected dead prepares us
to understand the action of Joseph of Arimathea in
the gospels. The Sadducees' story of the woman
who had had seven husbands and no children re-
minds the reader of Sarah and her seven husbands.
Tobit's dream of the future glory of Jerusalem with
walls of precious stones and battlements of gold pre-
pares us for the picture of the New Jerusalem in the
In the Latin Vulgate version of Tobit and hence
in the earliest English Bibles Tobias and Sarah are
described as giving the first three nights after their
marriage to religious exercise and postponing their
wedlock until the fourth, and so this became the
practice of religious people in the Middle Ages.
SUGGESTIONS POR STUDY
1. Read the Book of Tobit through in one or more
2. What do you think of its religious level?
3. What was its purpose?
4. Where was it written?
5. What sources contributed to it?
6. How does Tobit resemble the Pharisee of later times?
7. In what period is the action placed?
8. Who is meant by Asmodeus?
9. What literary value has the story?
10. What literary weaknesses does it exhibit?
11. What is its social ideal?
12. What is its religious ideal?
ECCLESIASTICUS, OR THE WISDOM
In the first quarter of the second century before
Christ there lived in Jerusalem a Hebrew sage or
wise man of great sagacity and sense. His name was
Jeshua the son of Sirach, or Sira. While he culti-
vated the proverbial style so familiar to us from
the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, and al-
most worshiped the pursuit of wisdom, in which he
found a reflection and disclosure of the will of God,
fit to stand side by side with the Law itself, he also
appreciated as few had ever done the beauty of the
Temple ceremonial, with its stately priests and
chanting choirs. He was a man in fact of great
breadth and insight, for he perceived the religious
character of man's daily work, and said of the
farmer, the jeweler, the smith, and the potter that
they support the fabric of the world, and their
prayer is in the practice of their trade. He was alive
to the beauty of nature, the morning star, the full
moon, the rainbow, the rose, the lily, and the cy-
press. He saw the clouds flying out like birds, the
snow falling like birds fluttering down, the hoar-
frost poured over the earth like salt, or freezing into
THE WISDOM or SIRACH 21
points of thorns, and the water putting on the ice
like a breastplate.
He was no less keenly alive to the comradeship
of his fellow-men, and must have gone to many a
banquet in Jerusalem. He tells quaintly and even
humorously of how one should behave at such af-
fairs, if one is asked to preside, or speak; how one
should converse, eat, and take one's leave. It was
evidently the practice to have speaking and music
at these dinners, for one is not to prolong his re-
marks if a musical entertainment is to follow. One
is to be polite in conversation, and considerate in
one's table manners, not to be the first to help him-
self, but the first to leave off, for good manners'
The old sage had a high opinion of the physician
and his services, and a real regard for the working-
man's right to prompt payment for his work. Yet
he believed in beating a lazy or disobedient servant,
and in corporal punishment for his children. He had
a keen sense of the disadvantages under which a
poor man labors, and of the partiality generally
shown to the rich.
With much practical commbn sense, this sage of
old Jerusalem combines a great deal of moral and
of religious insight. Jewish wisdom was general-
ly religious in tone. Children are to honor their
parents by providing for their necessities. But a
father should not divide his property among his
22 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
children before his death, for he cannot be sure how
this may alter their behavior to him. While Jeshua
fully appreciates the value of a good wife, his gen-
eral view of woman is low, and he regards a daugh-
ter almost as a calamity there are so many ways in
which she may bring disgrace upon her father!
Jeshua has a great deal to say about the responsi-
bilities of friendship; one must never forsake an old
friend. One must give freely to charity, but not
spoil the gift by harsh or thoughtless words. What
a man says matters a great deal, and the mouth
needs careful discipline. Life and death, the family
and society, parents and children, employers and
employees, friends and neighbors, rich and poor,
loans and sureties, thrift and extravagance, prayer
and charity, feasting and mourning these and
many other matters are keenly handled, though not
always humanely or with refinement. In fact al-
most every aspect of ancient conduct and behavior
is discussed in the book, but with no especial plan
or system. One feels that its parts were written at
different times, as the writer's interest and observa-
tion moved him, and gradually accumulated in his
hands until they formed the book we know, which is
really a collection of all the poetic and proverbial
pieces written by Jeshua in the course of his mature
life. So it presents a fine and full picture of the
Jewish ideal of life at the beginning of the second
century before Christ.
THE WISDOM OF SIRACH 23
Jeshua must have been the leading sage of
Jerusalem in his day. But he was also a traveled
man. It was perhaps the contact with Greek ways
of thinking to which these travels had led that
moved him to associate uprightness with wisdom,
as Jewish Wisdom literature generally sought to
do. He speaks at the very end of his book of how he
had prayed for wisdom, when he was very young, be-
fore he went on his wanderings (51 : 13) ; and there
is probably something autobiographical about his
picture of the life of the ideal sage:
He will serve among great men,
And appear before rulers.
He will travel through the lands of strange peoples,
And test what is good and what is evil among men
Jeshua may have visited Egypt and Syria as an
emissary of his people, and he may refer to per-
sonal experiences in those courts when he says :
I have seen much in my travels,
And I understand more than I can describe;
I have often been in danger of death,
But I have been saved by these qualities [34: n, 12].
An unrighteous tongue uttered slander to the king;
My soul drew nigh to death,
And my life was near to Hades beneath; ....
Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, ....
And I sent up my supplication from the earth, ....
And my prayer was heard,
For you saved me from destruction .... [51 :
24 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
Jeshua found great satisfaction in the dignity and
beauty of the Temple service and ritual, as con-
ducted by his friend Simon the high priest:
How glorious he was, surrounded by the people,
As he came out of the sanctuary!
Like the morning star among the clouds,
Like the moon when it is full;
Like the sun shining forth upon the sanctuary of the
Most High; ....
When he assumed his glorious robe,
And put on glorious perfection,
And when he went up to the holy altar,
He made the court of the sanctuary glorious
There is no mistaking the genuine enthusiasm for
the ritual and the high priest in these lines.
The construction of new foundations for the
Temple inclosure, a large cistern, and fortifications
for the city which Sirach ascribes to Simon (50: 1-4)
can hardly be the improvements Josephus describes
as authorized by Antiochus the Great on his visit to
Jerusalem after his victory over Egypt in the battle
of Panion in 198 B.C., for Simon died a year or two
before that date. But it is possible that the work,
undertaken under Simon, Antiochus ordered com-
Jeshua must have written down his Wisdom
from time to time, for it is quite unorganized and
miscellaneous. The book as we have it seems to be his
accumulated writings of this kind, loosely put to-
THE WISDOM OF SIRACH 25
gether. He wrote of course in Hebrew, but the
original Hebrew of his book no longer exists. The
considerable Hebrew portions of Ecclesiasticus,
amounting to about two- thirds of the whole, that
have come to light in recent years in medieval
manuscripts are probably retranslations of it from
Greek back into its original tongue, not genuine
remains of the original Hebrew. But half a century
after he had finished his book, his grandson, in the
thirty-eighth year of King Euergetes (132 B.C.), went
down into Egypt, and there observing the current
movement to translate Jewish literature into Greek,
felt that his grandfather's voice too ought to be
heard, and translated the book into Greek.
It must have been about 130 B.C. or soon after
that this work of translation was done. The trans-
lator apologizes for any possible shortcomings in
his translation, because as he says, "Things once
expressed in Hebrew do not have the same force in
them when put into another language; and not only
this book, but the Law itself, and the prophecies,
and the rest of the books, differ not a little in trans-
lation from the original.' 7 It is evident from this re-
mark that when Jeshua's grandson made his trans-
lation the work of putting the Hebrew scriptures
into Greek was largely done. Just why it was called
Ecclesiasticus in Greek is a question; perhaps as the
ecclesiastical book par excellence, or perhaps under
the influence of the name of Ecclesiastes.
26 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
The time at which the Wisdom of Sirach was
written can also be gathered from the fact that it
gives no indication that the king of Syria was try-
ing to force the Jews to give up the observance of
the Law and adopt Greek ways of living the
policy that led to the Maccabean revolt in 1 66 B.C.
And the long account of the heroes of Jewish his-
tory that fills the latter part of the book, chapters
44-50, culminates in the great high priest Simon,
son of Onias, who died in 200 B.C. After that date
therefore and before 175 Jeshua probably finished
writing his Wisdom, which his grandson translated
into Greek half a century later.
Jeshua was fond of music; not only in the Temple
of the Lord where
The singers too praised him with their voices ;
They made sweet music in the fullest volume [50: 18].
but at dinners, where the speaking must not inter-
fere with the music (32:3), for
A carbuncle signet in a gold setting
Is a musical concert at a banquet.
An emerald signet richly set in gold
Is the melody of music with the taste of wine [32 : 5, 6].
He had a sense of humor :
If you hear something said, let it die with you!
Have courage, it will not make you burst [19: 10].
THE WISDOM OF SIRACH 27
One man keeps silence because he has nothing to say,
And another keeps silence because he knows it is
the time for it
One man buys much for little,
And yet pays for it seven times over [20:6, 12].
A man who lectures to a fool lectures to one who
And at the conclusion he will say, "What was it?"
Sand and salt and a lump of iron
Are easier to bear than a man without understanding
Who pities a snake-charmer when he is bitten,
Or all those who have to do with wild animals?
In the same way who will pity a man who approaches
And mingles with his sins [12:13, 14]?
A cheerful face is a sign of a happy heart,
But it takes painstaking thought to compose prov-
Jeshua is suspicious of the man who has no fixed
abode no address, as we say:
For who will trust an active robber
Who bounds from one city to another?
So who will trust a man who has no nest,
And spends the night wherever evening overtakes
28 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
His reflections range from the amusing to the pro-
The bee is one of the smallest of winged creatures,
But what she produces is the greatest of sweets [11:3].
One man toils and labors and hurries,
And is all the worse ofl [n : n].
Count no one happy before his death [n : 28].
For a man's soul is sometimes wont to bring him news
Better than seven watchmen sitting high on a watch-
Where there are many hands, lock things up [42 : 6],
He has much to say about after-dinner speaking :
Speak concisely; say much in few words;
Act like a man who knows more than he says
Prepare what you have to say, and then you will
be listened to [33 14].
He knew the worth of a servant:
If you have a servant, treat him like a brother,
For you need him as you do your own life [33 131].
And the insecurity of kings :
Many sovereigns have had to sit on the ground,
While a man who was never thought of has assumed
the diadem [n : 5].
And then, speaking of the Lord:
Where man ends, he begins,
And when man stops, will he be perplexed [18:7]?
THE WISDOM or SIRACH 29
The longest continuous section of the Wisdom of
Sirach is the Praise of Famous Men, chapters 44-50.
The introduction to it is the best-known passage
in the Apocrypha:
Let us now praise distinguished men,
Our forefathers before us ....
Men who exercised authority in their reigns,
And were renowned for their might! ....
Leaders of the people in deliberation and un-
Men of learning for the people,
Wise in their words of instruction;
Composers of musical airs,
Authors of poems in writing; ....
All these were honored in their generation,
And were a glory in their day
Peoples will recite their wisdom,
And the congregation declare their praise
He goes on to characterize briefly a long series of
Hebrew worthies from Enoch, Noah, and Abraham
down to Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, and finally the
great high priest Simon, his contemporary and
friend. One might almost think the whole was a
funeral oration, in poetic form, for Simon. The
omission of Ezra from the list has been remarked,
and may mean that Jeshua did not approve of the
rising scribal type of Judaism.
The Wisdom of Sirach is the longest book of Jew-
ish wisdom that we possess, and is further remark-
30 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
able as coming as a whole from the mind of one
man. So it constitutes an authentic full-length
portrait of a great Jewish sage, of wide experience,
sound feeling, and deep piety, from the last genera-
tion before the Maccabean war. Its remarkable
variety of subject and its sustained vigor and pene-
tration make it a work of unfailing interest and in-
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read Ecclesiasticus through.
2. What most impresses you about it?
3. Do you observe any particular plan of organization?
4. How do you explain this?
5. What religious message does it convey?
6. Was the writer interested in the temple ritual?
7. Was he sympathetic with the scribal movement?
8. Was he a man of wide experience or travel?
9. When did he write and where?
10. What seems to have been his social position?
11. Had he any literary gifts?
12. What picture of himself and his tastes does the writer
13. What do you think the finest parts of the book?
14. How did the book come to be preserved?
THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN
When the Syrian kings were trying, with the co-
operation of a Jewish party already attracted by
Greek civilization, to impose Greek customs upon
the Jews of Palestine, about 168 B.C., forcing them
to give up circumcision, destroying copies of the
Law wherever they found them, and breaking up
their Temple service, the deeply pious Jews, the
predecessors of the Pharisees of later days, felt it
most keenly. In those dark days one of them com-
posed a prayer of penitence, which has come down
to us imbedded in the Greek version of the Book of
Daniel. It is the Prayer of Azariah. The agonizing
situation it reflects had come about in the following
The conquests of Alexander the Great had
enormously extended the influence of Greek civil-
ization, and his successors carried on this work. It
became the fashion all over the Near East to adopt
Greek speech, sports, dress, arts, ideas, and cus-
toms. The lands about the eastern Mediterranean
were rapidly being Hellenized.
The Jews had long resisted such pressure, which
they saw threatened their religion as well as their
32 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
habits, but some even of them were beginning to
yield to Greek influences, when the accession of a
new king of Syria reinforced the Hellenizing influ-
ences and made continued Jewish isolation ap-
parently impossible. Judea was subject to Syria,
and Antiochus Epiphanes, becoming king of Syria
in 175 B.C., resolved to raise his whole realm to the
level of Greek civilization. Some Jews co-operated
with him in this campaign, but most of them re-
fused to relinquish their cherished faith and prac-
tices. His efforts culminated in the sacking and
desecration of the Temple and the erection of an
altar to Zeus on the great altar of burnt offering,
the "dreadful desecration" spoken of in Daniel.
These misguided efforts to impose Greek fashions
upon the Jews called forth violent opposition on the
part of the pious party, the Chasidim, devout ad-
herents of the Law, who became the Pharisees of
later days, and also of the patriotic party, who
came to be called the Hasmoneans, from an ancestor
of the family which assumed their leadership. For
when the agent of Antiochus went to a little town
called Modin to enforce participation in heathen
sacrifices and compel leading citizens to eat pork,
an old priest named Mattathias and his sons re-
sisted his efforts and killed him, and then fled to
inaccessible parts of the wilderness. From these re-
treats they rallied their sympathizers, and organ-
ized such successful resistance that in a little more
THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN 33
than two years they reoccupied Jerusalem and re-
dedicated the Temple.
The heroic story of the Maccabean struggle, as it
was called from the name of Mattathias' most war-
like son Judas Maccabeus, was told long afterward
in I Maccabees, but out of the days of the conflict
came the Book of Daniel, about 165 B.C. And when
Daniel was translated into Greek many years later,
some additions were made to it; among them what
we know as the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of
the Three Children, which were inserted after Dan.
3 :2 3-
The Prayer of Azariah (vss. 1-21) was probably
composed in Hebrew, by one of these Jewish
Puritans in the darkest days of religious oppression
just before the outbreak of armed resistance on the
part of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers. It sees
in the miseries of the Jews the judgment of God
upon them for their wickedness and disobedience:
All that you have brought upon us,
And all that you have done to us,
You have done in justice.
You have handed us over to enemies without law,
to hateful rebels,
And to a ruthless king, the most wicked ruler in
all the world,
Yet we cannot open our mouths
And now there is no prince, or prophet, or leader,
No burnt offering, or sacrifice, or offering, or incense,
No place to make an offering before you, or to find
34 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
The Temple worship had evidently been discon-
tinued and the altar profaned, and this enables us
to fix the date as between 168 and 165 B.C.
This great prayer of penitence and entreaty is
one of the enduring contributions of the Apocrypha
to liturgy. It was afterward introduced into the
Greek translations of the Book of Daniel partly for
its own sake and partly perhaps to permit a Jew
to take the lead in blessing and glorifying God and
not leave it to the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar,
3 : 28. Putting the prayer before the story of the de-
liverance of Azariah and his companions from the
fiery furnace has also the effect of making their de-
liverance an answer to his prayer :
Deliver us in your wonderful way,
And glorify your name, Lord [vs. 19].
Another relic of these stirring days is the Song
of the Three Children, described in the Book of
Daniel as thrown into the fiery furnace, for their
faithfulness to their ancestral religion. It too is the
work of one who had agonized through the days of
persecution and now, when the Temple was rededi-
cated and the new altar built, felt all the tremen-
dous reaction of joy and gratitude. It is a splendid
hymn of thanksgiving, doubtless composed in He-
brew in the days of the Maccabean triumph,
toward the middle of the second century before
Christ. It was evidently incorporated into the Book
of Daniel when that book was translated into
THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN 35
Greek, and in the Greek Daniel it follows the Prayer
of Azariah. It obviously owes much to Ps. 148:
Praise the Lord from the earth,
Sea-monsters and all deeps!
Fire and hail, snow and fog,
Stormy wind, fulfilling his word!
Mountains and all hills,
Fruit-trees and all cedars!
Wild beasts and all cattle,
Reptiles and winged birds [vss. 7-10] !
Its striking antiphonal character recalls Ps. 136;
with its oft repeated refrain, so familiar in the tra-
For his mercy endureth forever.
It has been much used in public worship, in
Roman and English churches, and still lives in
Christian liturgy as the Benedicite of the prayer-
book. It suggests, and perhaps suggested, St.
Francis 7 great Canticle of the Sun:
Praised be my Lord God with all his creatures, and
specially our brother the sun, ....
Praised be my Lord God for our sister the moon, and for
the stars which he has set clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for my brother the wind, and for air
and cloud, calms and all weather.
In it the worshiper calls upon all the forces of
nature waters, sun, moon, stars, rain, wind, fire,
cold, light, and darkness, clouds and mountains,
seas and rivers, whales, birds, and beasts to join
men and angels in praising God. "In this hymn of
36 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
adoration man undertakes, as Nature's priest and
spokesman, to give utterance to the silent service
of worship which the earth, through all its gradu-
ated activities, without speech or language, forever
fulfils." 1 In Ps. 136 the refrain is repeated twenty-
six times. But in the Song, the refrain or response,
Sing praise to him and greatly exalt him forever,
occurs thirty-two times, which makes it the most
extended hymn in this style in the whole Bible.
We may think of it as first used in the days of
Judas Maccabeus' brother and successor Jonathan,
toward the middle of the second century before
Christ, when in the rededicated Temple they might
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
r. References: 'Bumpus, Dictionary of Ecclesiastical
Terms (1911), p. 33.
2. What situation is reflected in the Prayer of Azariah?
3. What is the religious attitude of the Prayer?
4. To what party did the writer belong?
5. Why was it introduced into Daniel?
6. What situation called forth the Song of the Three
7. To what type of psalm does it belong?
8. What is its theme?
9. What older psalm influenced its writer?
10. What place has it in modern worship?
11. Is it appropriate in its place in Daniel?
12. When were these additions probably introduced into
the Book of Daniel?
THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS
The recovery of Jerusalem and the restoration of
the Temple worship by Judas Maccabeus and his
followers naturally reminded the Jews of similar
events in their history long before, when after their
exile in Babylon they had come back and rebuilt
the Temple and revived its worship. So it came
about that a Jew in Egypt, inspired by the stirring
events of the Maccabean struggle and keenly in
sympathy with the scribal Judaism that Ezra had
founded, wrote in Greek an imaginative account of
those earlier restorations of Jerusalem, embellishing
the history with legend and folklore as the Jews out
in the Greek world delighted to do, and making it
all culminate in the scribal activity of Ezra, reading
and explaining the Law to the returned exiles.
He was one of those Greek-speaking Jews of
Egypt who were anxious to make their history and
culture known to the great Greek world of which
they had become a part, and he wrote his book with
that intention. He based his narrative upon parts
of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, but he did not
know them in their Greek forms. Probably they
had not yet been translated into Greek, for he
38 THE STORY oj THE APOCRYPHA
wrote about the middle of the second century be-
fore Christ, in the midst of that great Jewish move-
ment to get Jewish literature into the Greek lan-
guage and Jewish history and institutions before the
Greek world of which the Greek version of the Old
Testament was to be the most commanding mon-
ument. But he enriched his narrative with the
delightful story of the Three Guardsmen, an un-
mistakable bit of folklore, which marks his book
as unquestionably composed in Greek.
The story begins with an account of Josiah's
great celebration of the Passover in 621 B.C., when
he reformed the Jewish religion after the half-
heathen reigns of Manasseh and Amon. It goes on
to describe the collapse of the Jewish nation, para-
phrasing the account in Chronicles. Passing lightly
over the years of the Exile, it resumes with the
proclamation of Cyrus, king of Persia (538 B.C.),
permitting the Jews to return home. Sheshbazzar
heads the returning exiles, taking with him all the
fifty-four hundred and sixty-nine dishes that Nebu-
chadnezzar had taken from the Temple when he
The narrative goes on to say that in the time of
Artaxerxes (465-425 B.C.) the Samaritans and other
hostile neighbors of the returning Jews persuaded
the king to stop the rebuilding of the Temple, and it
proceeds to tell how in the second year of Darius
(520 B.C.) its resumption was authorized.
THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS 39
This came about in the following dramatic man-
ner. Three members of the king's bodyguard on
duty in his antechamber were keeping themselves
awake by debating what was the strongest thing in
the world. One said wine, another, the king, and
the third, woman, though truth was really
strongest of all. They wrote these answers down
and put them under the king's pillow, so that he
might decide between them when he awoke. But he
submitted the question to his courtiers and called
upon the three to defend their answers. The de-
cision of the company was unanimous for truth;
"Truth/' they all shouted, "is great and supremely
strong." The third guardsman was asked to name
the reward he most wanted. He turned out to be
Zerubbabel and asked to be allowed to rebuild the
The story goes on to tell the number and an-
cestry of the exiles who then proceeded with Zerub-
babel to Jerusalem to revive the ancient Jewish
worship there, Zerubbabel and his party reached
Jerusalem, carrying back the gold dishes Nebu-
chadnezzar had taken from the Temple almost
seventy years before. They began to rebuild the
Temple, in the face of protests from neighboring
governors, but the king had the records of the
matter looked up in the Persian archives and found
that Cyrus had authorized the rebuilding of it at
the beginning of his reign. Four years after, the
40 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Temple was finished and dedicated just seventy
years after its destruction as Jeremiah had proph-
esied (i : 58) and the returned exiles celebrated the
Passover with rejoicing.
More than a century later, in the seventh year of
Artaxerxes, 397 B.C. (for Artaxerxes II is proba-
bly meant), Ezra the scribe came from Babylon to
Jerusalem with another company of returning
exiles, including priests, Levites, and Temple at-
tendants. Ezra carried a commission from the king,
and takes up the story in the first person, just as he
does in Ezra 7:27, 28. He gives the names of the
leading men of his party, secures a reinforcement of
priests, and carries a large sum of money and a
quantity of Temple dishes of gold and silver.
Arrived in Jerusalem Ezra is horrified to learn
that the Jewish people, including priests and lead-
ers, have been intermarrying with non-Israelites.
He rouses them to repentance, and they promise to
cast off their foreign wives, and do so. The new
colony settles in the country, a great meeting is
held, and Ezra and his assistants read the Law
aloud and explain it to the congregation. So the
story ends, with Israel restored to its land and re-
suming its long-interrupted religious life, with the
Law and the Temple.
It will be observed that the book records three
returns of Jewish exiles, one in 538 B.C, or soon after,
headed by Sheshbazzar; one in 520 B.C., headed by
THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS 41
Zerubbabel; and one in 397 B.C., headed by Ezra,
and curiously enough each one brings back the long-
lost sacred dishes which Nebuchadnezzar had tak-
en from the Temple when he sacked it (2:12;
4:44, 57; 8:60).
It is clear that the narrative is based directly
upon II Chronicles, chapters 35, 36; Ezra i; 4: 7-24
(after which the story of the Three Guardsmen is
introduced); 2:1-70; 3:1 4:5; 4:24 10:44 (the
end of Ezra); and Neh. 7:73 8:12. Practically
nothing is added to what is supplied by these
parts of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, except
the Guardsmen story in I Esd. 3:1 5:6.
The closeness with which the Hebrew of II
Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah is followed by
I Esdras where it uses them, makes it very im-
probable that those books had been translated into
Greek when it was written, and the inclusion of the
folk tale of the Three Guardsmen shows that I
Esdras is no translation from the Hebrew but was
written in Greek; its view of woman and her posi-
tion is entirely alien to Jewish ideas, for the woman
who is praised in I Esdras is not the docile house-
wife of Jewish lore but the captivating beauty of
Greek romance. The whole story is thoroughly
pagan in tone. The Three Choices Wine, King,
Woman form a typical folklore pattern, to which
Truth has been none too skilfully added. And even
the exaltation of Truth is more Greek than Jewish;
42 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
the Jew often grew lyrical in praise of Wisdom, but
not of Truth, as used here; that is definitely a Greek
The excellent Greek of I Esdras also shows it is
no mere translation but was composed in Greek,
though with the use of the materials supplied in
Hebrew by II Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
This fully explains the evidently Hebrew char-
acter of the parts of the book that are taken directly
from the older Hebrew books. But there would be
no possible point in copying these out in Hebrew,
except to insert the Guardsmen story. But that is
so evidently Greek and not Jewish in its ideas, that
while its use might commend the Jewish portions of
the book to Greeks it could not possibly recommend
them to Hebrew-reading Jews. The idea that I Es-
dras is a translation of a Semitic work must be def-
As a historian, the writer of I Esdras leaves
much to be desired, for he makes events of the
second year of Darius that is, 520 B.C. follow
events of the reign of Artaxerxes, which began in
465 B.C. As he tells the story, Cyrus authorizes the
rebuilding of the Temple in 538 B.C.; but Artaxerxes
has it interrupted, sometime after 465 B.C.; and
then Darius orders it resumed, 520 B.C. It is evi-
dent that in paraphrasing the account in Ezra the
writer skipped from the end of chapter i to the
seventh verse of chapter 4, where the interruption of
THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS 43
the work on the Temple through the jealousy of
the Samaritans is recorded as taking place in the
reign of Artaxerxes; and then returned (5:7 ff.) to
the narrative of Ezra 2:1, thereafter following it
pretty faithfully to the end. Indeed it is its large
use of the book of Ezra that has given I Esdras its
name, for Esdras is the Greek form of Ezra, The
author evidently made the account of the interrup-
tion of the rebuilding of the Temple appear to pre-
cede the reign of Darius in order to introduce
dramatically the story of the Three Guardsmen.
The freedom with which the two sections of Ezra
are transposed, and the seven chapters of Nehe-
miah omitted, shows that the book is to be viewed
not as a history but almost as a piece of historical
fiction. Its relation to its Old Testament sources
can best be shown in a tabular view:
II Chronicles I Esdras
III-I I . . 2:i-l5
3 : 1 5 : 6 (The Three Guardsmen)
2:14:5, 24 5:7-73
5 : i 10 : 44 6 : i 9 : 36
The most famous line in I Esdras is from 4:41,
"Truth is mighty and will prevail," a loose quota-
44 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
tlon of unknown origin, but used by Thomas
Brooks as early as 1662.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read I Esdras through.
2. Is it intended as history?
3. What Old Testament sources did the writer use?
4. What Greek elements does the book contain?
5. What was its writer's purpose?
6. When and where was the book written?
7. What contemporary situation guided the writer to his
8. In what language was the book written?
9. To what party did the writer belong?
10. Why was the book called Esdras?
THE BOOK OF JUDITH
With Jerusalem recovered through the Macca-
bean struggle, and Judaism restored, a Jewish
Puritan of the rising Pharisaic party wrote a novel.
He wished to show the importance of observing
the Jewish Law faithfully and in the fullest pos-
sible sense, at all times and places, for he believed
that only by so doing could the nation escape the
danger of again displeasing God and suffering
punishment for it. So he told how his heroine
Judith went through the most perilous adventures
without ever relaxing her scrupulous observance of
the Law in any particular, and in consequence was
not only preserved but enabled to rescue her city
and nation from great danger.
Judith was a beautiful Jewish widow who lived
in the town of Bethulia (which may mean She-
chem), not long after the return from the Exile.
The forces of the Assyrian king, Nebuchadnezzar,
are overrunning Palestine and the adjacent lands,
and the Jews resist them and close their gates
against them. Bethulia is besieged. The jVssjrian
commander Holof ernes holds, a, Council of war, to
learn what this resistance means. Achior, the lelder
of his AmnTonite" allies, explains that the history
46 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
of the Jews shows that if they disobey their God
they can be easily overcome, but as long as they
obey him faithfully no one can subdue them. Holo-
fernes is indignant and has him bound and left
under the hill on which Bethulia was built. The
people of the town find him and take him in. The
Assyrians now seize the springs from which the
town gets its water, and the Hebrews begin to
suffer from thirst. They call upon the elders to
surrender the city, and the elders at last agree to
do so if rain does not come within five days.
At this point (8:1) Judith enters the story. She
summons the elders to her house and rebukes them
for putting the Lord to such a test. She hints dark-
ly at a plan she has formed and tells them to let
her leave the town with her maid that night. Then
after a prayer for strength she dresses herself in her
finest clothes, packs up some Jewish food, and with
her maid passes out of the city gates. She makes
her way to the Assyrian camp and to the tent of
Holof ernes. Taken into his presence she professes
to be acting in his interests. She declares that the
townspeople are asking the authorities in Jerusalem
to permit them to eat the consecrated first fruits
and tithes, and otherwise violate the Law, and if
this permission is granted she will inform him, and
he will find the Hebrews easy prey.
Holof ernes is enamored of her and agrees to this
plan. She is given a place in his tent, going out in
THE BOOK OF JUDITH 47
the night to bathe at the spring in the camp. She
eats the "clean" food she had brought with her, and
by her ablutions maintains her ceremonial purity.
On the fourth day, Holofernes gives a feast, and in-
structs his chief eunuch Bagoas to persuade Judith
to come and eat and drink with him, and join in
the festivity. Judith joyfully agrees. She dresses
herself beautifully and comes in, only refusing to
eat anything but what her maid prepares for her.
When the banquet is over, she is left in the tent with
Holofernes, who has fallen into a drunken sleep.
She takes his scimitar and cuts off his head. Then
she and her maid leave the camp as usual, taking
the head with them in the bag in which they had
brought their provisions. They go to Bethulia and
display the head to the townspeople. Achior recog-
nizes it as the head of Holofernes, and becomes a
convert to Judaism. Judith directs them to hang
the head upon the city wall, and at daybreak to
sally from the town to attack the Assyrians. They
do so, and the Assyrians, left leaderless by the
death of Holofernes, take to flight. The Israelites
drive them out of the country, and despoil their
camp. Holofernes 7 tent and its furniture are given
to Judith. She sings a song of triumph, like De-
borah of old. Judith gives Holofernes' dishes and
his bed canopy to God. She lives to a great age, and
no enemy dared to attack Israel as long as she lived
or for long- after.
48 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
This was the Pharisee's novel, awakening memo-
ries of Jael killing Sisera in his sleep, when the
fleeing Canaanite general had taken refuge in her
tent (Judg. 4:21). But all through the story of
Judith runs the deep concern for the Law of food,
and fasts, and washings, of tithes and first fruits.
Even in the enemy's camp, and in the heathen gen-
eral's tent, Judith does not forget the minutest re-
quirements of the Law, and God remembers her,
and through her brings a great deliverance to his
Judith was written about the middle of the
second century before Christ, perhaps in Hebrew,
but if so, it was very soon translated into Greek.
A latest possible date is perhaps indicated by the
mention of Ashdod (2 : 28), which is known to have
been desolated by Jonathan about 147 B.C.; it seems
to have been still inhabited when Judith was writ-
ten. It is noteworthy that the Old Testament quota-
tions in the book follow the Greek (Septuagint) ver-
sion, not the Hebrew text. The book is said to have
been read at the annual feast of Hanukkah, which
was established in Maccabean times, to celebrate the
rededication of the Temple, and Judas' victory over
the Syrian general Nicanor (II Mace. 15:35, 36).
It is first quoted about A.D. 95, in Clement of
Rome's Letter to the Corinthians (55:4, 5).
That Judith is a work of fiction is evident from
the first line, in which we encounter Nebuchad-
THE BOOK OP JUDITH 49
nezzar reigning over the Assyrians in Nineveh. Of
course Nebuchadnezzar was king not of Assyria but
of Babylonia; Babylon, not Nineveh, was his capi-
tal. It was he who had carried the Jews into cap-
tivity, a fact one would think no Jew could forget.
But the later Jewish writers were not always care-
ful to distinguish Assyrians from Babylonians;
II Chron. 33:11 describes the Assyrians as taking
King Manasseh as a captive to Babylon. Arphaxad,
spoken of here (i : i) as king of Media and builder
of the walls of Ecbatana, appears in the Old Testa-
ment as the name of one of the ancestors of Abra-
ham (Gen. 10:22); Herodotus says (History i. 98)
that it was Deioces who built the walls of Ecba-
tana, in 700 B.C. The names of Holof ernes and
Bagoas recall those of participants in the Egyptian
campaigns of Artaxerxes Ochus, 359-3383.0. Bagoas
fought in the campaign of 351 B.C., in which the
Jews were also involved. The mention of the
Persians and the Medes in Judith's song of triumph
(16:10) confirms the impression that the wars of
Ochus form part of the background of the Judith
So the book is more significant for the early ideals
of Pharisaism than for the history of the times
after the Exile. And among its Pharisaic traits are
concern for the Temple and its tithes, which must
in no circumstances be diverted from their sacred
uses; for the food laws, prayer, fasting, and cere-
So THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
monial washing, along with the horror of idolatry.
The readiness to employ cunning, deceit, and vio-
lence to further Jewish ideals, national and re-
ligious, must not be left out of this picture of early
Pharisaism. There is more than a hint of future
punishment in the close of Judith's song, which,
while based upon the closing lines of Isa. 66:24,
goes far beyond their meaning:
The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them
in the day of judgment,
To apply fire and worms to their bodies,
And they will feel them and wail forever [16: 17].
The story of Judith is on the whole well told,
though the heroine is very slow in making her ap-
pearance; she is not mentioned until the beginning
of the eighth chapter. The early part of the book is
devoted to accounts of the plans and counsels of
Nebuchadnezzar and Holof ernes, and their mili-
tary operations in and around Palestine. Even
these however are described with a good deal of
animation and vigor. Certainly after Judith is
introduced, the narrative does not languish. Her
stratagem in getting into Holof ernes 7 camp recalls
that of the Persian Zopyrus, related by Herodotus
(History iii. 153-58), who got into Babylon by a
similar ruse, and later betrayed the city. The au-
dacity of her exploit, especially in a Jewish woman,
was sufficiently amazing, but it is the incongruity
of her conscientious performance of her religious
THE BOOK OF JUDITH 51
duties with her ruthless murder of an unconscious
man that gives to the story of Judith its peculiar
quality. Clement of Rome summarized it, expres-
sing his approval of "the blessed Judith/' for her
courage and patriotism (I Clem. 55:4, 5). But for
the writer of Judith, her motive was more religious
than patriotic, and the dramatic narrative is simply
the vehicle for the message of Pharisaism.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read the Book of Judith through.
2. Is it history, or fiction?
3. What Old Testament heroine does it recall?
4. To what party does the writer belong?
5. What lesson does he intend to teach?
6. When was the book written?
7. What moral or religious values does the book possess?
8. What moral defects does it show?
9. What historical weaknesses has the book?
10. What historical values does it possess?
u. What Pharisaic traits can you find in the book?
12. What is its literary value?
THE PRAYER OF MANASSEH
The Prayer of Azariah was not the only great
prayer of the Maccabean age. Another Jew of that
period, probably out In the Greek world, in Egypt,
gave moving expression to the same sense of guilt
and penitence, in what is known as the Prayer of
Of all the kings of Judah, Manasseh had the
longest reign. For fifty-five years, the writers of
Kings and Chronicles agree (II Kings 21:1;
II Chron. 33 : i), he reigned in Jerusalem. This was
much longer than the reign of either David or Solo-
mon. It was also a very wicked reign. He rebuilt
the high places, erected altars for Baal, worshiped
all the host of heaven, caused his son to pass
through the fire that is, sacrificed him prac-
ticed augury and witchcraft and appointed nec-
romancers and wizards. He also shed much inno-
cent blood in Jerusalem. The prophets declared
that he had been more wicked even than the Amo-
rites that went before him, and that God would
cast his people off and wipe Jerusalem as clean as a
dish (II Kings 21:11-15) because of him.
To the writer of Chronicles it seemed impossible
THE PRAYER OE MANASSEH 53
that a man so wicked as Manasseh should not
have been overtaken on earth by the judgment of
God, and II Chronicles goes so far as to declare
that because of Manasseh's sins God brought the
Assyrians upon him and they carried him away in
chains to Babylon. It goes on to say that he re-
pented and prayed to God so earnestly that God
forgave him and restored him to his kingdom.
His prayer also, and how God was entreated by him, and
all his sin and his guilt .... behold, they are written in the
Records of the Seers [II Chron. 33 : 19].
There is not much in the Prayer at first sight to
connect it specifically with Manasseh any more than
with any other great sinner; yet it is given the name
of Manasseh, and so it may have been written to sup-
ply such a prayer as II Chronicles declared he had
written and was still extant. The mention of sins
more numerous than the sands of the sea, multi-
plied transgressions, the multitude of his iniquities
certainly suits the account of Manasseh's reign
given in both Kings and Chronicles; his being
weighed down with many an iron fetter recalls the
picture in II Chronicles of his being taken to Baby-
lon in chains; his setting-up of abominations sug-
gests Manasseh's setting-up of an idol in the house
of God; and the statement that all the host of
heaven sings God's praise is curiously reminiscent
of the statement in II Chron. 33:3 that Manasseh
worshiped all the hosts of heaven; the author of
54 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
the Prayer is evidently giving that phrase a very
Taking all this together, it seems probable that
the Prayer was composed in Maccabean times to
represent what one of the Chasidim, or Puritans, of
that time believed would, or should, have been the
emotions of the repentant Manasseh described in
II Chronicles. The whole prayer reflects a belief in
the willingness of God to forgive even the wickedest
of men if he truly repents.
Certainly its great sense of guilt and the marked
sincerity and simplicity of its appeal led the early
church to identify it with the prayer of Manasseh
mentioned in II Chronicles as uttered by that
wicked king in his distress and repentance, in Baby-
lon, toward the end of the seventh century before
Christ. But no Hebrew form of it has ever been
found; it occurs in two ancient Greek manuscripts
among the collection of Songs added to the Book of
Psalms; a number of Latin manuscripts of the
thirteenth century have the Prayer at the end of
II Chronicles. It did not appear in Coverdale's
Bible of 1535. In the Geneva Bible of 1560 it
followed II Chronicles. It was in the Matthew
Bible of 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the
Bishops' Bible of 1568, and the King James Bible
of 1 6 1 1, in all four standing between the Story of
Bel and the Dragon and the First Book of 'Macca-
bees; in the Bishops' in very small print, but in the
THE PRAYER OP MANASSEH 55
Great Bible and in King James in type the same
size as the other books. The heading in the Great
Bible reads: "The Prayer of Manasses Kyng of
Juda, when he was holden captive in Babilon," and
this is closely followed in the Bishops' and in King
The Books of Kings however give no support to
the account of Manasseh's removal to Babylon or
of his repentance there and subsequent restoration
to his throne. Certainly the connection of the
Prayer with the one ascribed to him in II Chronicles
is altogether fanciful. It has however had the effect
of preserving another fine and moving piece of
Maccabean liturgy, worthy to stand beside the
Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three
The Prayer consists of three parts: acknowledg-
ment of the greatness of God; confession of sin; and
prayer for forgiveness. It begins by addressing God
as the God of the upright Jews, the maker of the
world, a God of anger and yet of mercy, who has
ordained repentance for such sinners as the author
of the prayer. His sins overwhelm him; he has no
apology to offer; he acknowledges them fully, and
asks for forgiveness. He prays that God will not be
angry with him forever, and lay up evil for him,
and condemn him to the lowest parts of the earth.
The Lord is the God of those who repent, and will
56 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
save him in spite of his unworthiness. Then he will
praise God continually as long as he lives,
For all the host of heaven sing your praise,
And yours is the glory forever. Amen.
The Prayer makes its first appearance in church
use in the Dldascalia, a manual of Christian be-
havior and of church procedure, written in Greek
in the third century, in which the story of Manas-
seh's sin and repentance is told in language mostly
drawn from II Kings, chapter 21, and II Chron-
icles, chapter 33, and the Prayer is quoted in full
as an example of true repentance and its effect. 1
It was evidently adopted into the liturgical litera-
ture of the church about the middle of the third
century after Christ. Its simplicity, deep feeling,
and power give it genuine religious worth, and re-
mind us of the genuine religious feeling that welled
up in Jewish hearts in the first great days of the
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. References: I Apostolical Constitutions, II, 22.
2. Read the Prayer of Manasseh.
3. What historical situation is it intended to reflect?
4. Is its religious value dependent on this?
5. When was it really written?
6. What Jewish group cultivated this deep sense of sin?
7. Does any New Testament writer give evidence of it?
8. Into what parts does the Prayer fall?
9. What is its religious message?
THE ENLARGED EDITION OF
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
About 100 B.C. a pious Jew of Egypt, attracted
by the romantic story of Esther, but horrified at its
failure to see the hand of God in the deliverance it
described, translated it into Greek and at the same
time introduced into it the religious note it so much
The Old Testament Book of Esther was written
in Maccabean times, probably not far from 150
B.C., to encourage the observance of the newly
instituted Feast of Purim. This was not so much a
religious as a social celebration, which had origi-
nated among the Jews of Mesopotamia. On it, the
Jews entertained one another at dinner, and ex-
changed presents. Esther seeks to show that it origi-
nated in the fifth century before Christ, to perpetu-
ate the memory of a great deliverance of the Jews
in the Persian Empire, when their enemies at the
court of Xerxes tried to have them massacred, but
the queen, a Jewish woman named Esther, inter-
ceded for them and saved them.
The Old Testament Esther is a bitterly national-
istic book, and exultingly records that the Jews,
58 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
so far from being massacred, were able to turn on
their persecutors throughout the Persian Empire
and destroy seventy-five thousand of them. There
is in fact very little that is religious in it; it does not
even mention the name of God. But when it passed
into this Greek translation, as it did within half a
century, it was enlarged by almost half its original
size by a series of six additions. These introduce a
strong religious element into the story; Mordecai
and Esther utter long prayers, and Mordecai closes
the book with a survey of its action from a very
religious point of view, explaining Purim which
means "lots" by the two lots God had made, one
for the people of God and one for all the heathen
(10: 10). The additions also seek to explain obscuri-
ties in the original story, and introduce two long
letters of Artaxerxes (meaning Xerxes) : one sup-
plying the decree mentioned in Esther 3 : 13-15 ; the
other supplying that mentioned in 8:13, canceling
the previous decree and exalting the God of the
These additions are usually grouped together in
the English Apocrypha. Even Jerome picked them
out and put them in a group at the end of Esther,
in the Latin Vulgate. But of course they can be un-
derstood only if they are read as parts of the en-
larged Book of Esther. They are:
I. The Dream of Mordecai. Mordecai has a
dream. He is already a functionary at the Persian
THE ADDITIONS TO ESTHER 59
court in Susa. His dream foreshadows the action
of the story: he sees two dragons wrestling; the
holy nation is in danger; they cry to God, and a
little spring appears. It presently becomes a river
and they are saved. This is the prelude.
Mordecai overhears a plot against the king; he re-
veals it, and the plotters are executed. The king
honors Mordecai, but Haman, a man in high honor
with the king, plans to injure him and his people.
[At this point the Old Testament Book of Esther
begins. Xerxes makes a great feast, and summons
his queen Vashti to show herself at it. She refuses,
and he divorces her, and proclaims the fact, so
that every man may be master in his own house.
In the search for a new queen, Mordecai's ward,
Esther, is chosen by the king, and becomes queen.
Mordecai learns of a plot against the king's life
and tells Esther, who warns the king, and the plot-
ters are executed. Haman the king's favorite is of-
fended at Mordecai for not bowing before him, and
resolves to destroy the Jews. He poisons the king's
mind against them, and the king issues an edict
authorizing their destruction (Esther i : 13 : 13).]
II. The First Decree. The Greek version here
quotes the decree, after Esther 3:13.
[Mordecai hears of it, and sends word to Esther
to appeal to the king and save her people: "Who
knows whether you have not come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?" Esther agrees: "I will go
60 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
to the king, which, is not according to the law; and
if I perish, I perish" (Esther 3: 14 4: 17)-]
III. The Prayers of Mordecai and Esther. Here
in the Greek version, Mordecai utters a very
earnest prayer, pleading for his nation and excusing
Ms refusal to bow before Haman, which had led to
Hainan's hostility. Esther too humbles herself and
utters a fervent prayer for courage and success in
her effort to save her people. She excuses her ac-
ceptance of heathen splendors and her relations
with her heathen husband as repugnant to her but
unavoidable in her position.
IV. Esther's Appearance before the King (taking
the place of Esther 5:1,2). When her fast is ended,
she dresses herself magnificently and goes in all her
beauty to the king. He is angry at her intrusion,
and she faints away in terror. This alarms him, and
he takes her in his arms and revives her.
[Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet.
Haman plans to hang Mordecai and prepares a
gallows. The king is reminded of how Mordecai's
warning had saved his life, and asks Haman how he
can best show a man honor. Haman supposes he is
himself the man to be honored and replies accord-
ingly, but to his chagrin Mordecai is the man. The
queen entertains the king and Haman at a second
banquet. She exposes Hainan's plot to destroy her
and her people. The king orders his execution, and
he is hung on the gallows he had prepared for
THE ADDITIONS TO ESTHER 61
Mordecai. Mordecai becomes the king's favorite, in
place of Haman. At Esther's request, the king can-
cels his decree ordering the destruction of the Jews
V. The Second Decree (following 8:12). Here
the Greek version introduces the full text of the
new decree, reciting the treasonable designs of
Haman and authorizing the Jews to defend them-
selves when they are attacked.
[The Old Testament Book of Esther goes on to
describe the relief of the Jews at their escape, and
their successful resistance to those who attacked
them; they killed seventy-five thousand of these.
In commemoration of their deliverance, the Jews
in Susa instituted the feast of Purim, which is
interpreted to mean "lots." Mordecai became the
king's prime minister. The Old Testament Book of
Esther ends (8:13 -10:3).]
VI. The Meaning of Mordecai's Dream (follow-
ing 10:3). The Greek adds, after the close of the
book, the interpretation of the Dream of Mordecai,
which it had given at the beginning. Haman and
Mordecai are the wrestling dragons, and Esther is
the tiny spring that became a river. Israel's lot pre-
vailed over the heathen's lot.
A curious postscript which concludes the Greek
Esther states that the book ("the preceding letter of
Purim") was brought to Egypt in the fourth year
of Ptolemy and Cleopatra (probably meaning 114
62 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
B.C.) by Dositheus "who said he was a priest and a
Levite" and by Ptolemy, his son. They certified
the truth of its contents and said it had been trans-
lated by "Lysimachus, the son of Ptolemy, one of
the residents of Jerusalem." The purpose of this
postscript evidently is to further the influence of the
book. The probable meaning of it is that Dositheus
and his son Ptolemy brought the original Esther
(considered as a letter of Mordecai) to Jerusalem in
114 B.C., and this Ptolemy's son, Lysimachus, later
translated it into Greek, enlarging it as he did so.
This would be somewhat like the origin of Eccle-
siasticus; the grandfather wrote it, and his grandson
translated it in Egypt. Here the grandfather im-
ported the Hebrew Esther; and his grandson trans-
lated it. It would be natural to represent the trans-
lation as the work of a Jerusalemite, in order to
enhance its authority, but the Greek version, in-
cluding the additions, was undoubtedly made in
Egypt, and probably not far from 100 B.C. Cer-
tainly the Greek translator enlarged the book as he
translated it, giving it the religious tone and the his-
torical documentation he felt were needed. It seems
clear that what the postscript purports to say is
that Dositheus and his son brought the Book of
Esther to Jerusalem, where his grandson translated
it into Greek. But what really happened was that
some such men brought the book to Egypt and
THE ADDITIONS TO ESTHER 63
there it was translated and enlarged, some time
after 114 B.C. The purpose of the postscript is to
claim the authority of Jerusalem for the enlarged
The Greek Esther was well known to Josephus,
about A.D. 90, for he paraphrases most of the Greek
form of it in Antiquities xi. 6. It was evidently
known to Clement of Rome, who speaks of Esther
as entreating the all-seeing Lord with her fasting
and humiliation (55:6, cf. Esther 15:2), which goes
beyond the statements of the Hebrew Esther, in
which neither the all-seeing God nor prayer are
ever mentioned. Clement of Alexandria refers to
Esther's "perfect prayer to God" (Slromateis iv. 19).
Origen says the Jews did not accept the Greek
additions, but thinks they are fitted to edify the
reader (Letter to Africanusiii). Yet the Jews in the
Middle Ages (ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries)
made use of parts of the Greek Esther.
It is not hard to understand why Egyptian Jews
should feel that such a national deliverance as
Esther described should be recognized as due to the
favor and mercy of God, and that the want of any
reference to God or prayer in the Old Testament
Book of Esther should be supplied.
SUGGESTIONS TOR STUDY
1. Read the Old Testament Book of Esther through.
2. What is the religious value of it?
64 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
3. Read the enlarged Esther through, fitting the inser-
tions in where they belong.
4. How did the Greek Esther improve it?
5. When was the Old Testament Esther written?
6. When was the Greek enlarged edition produced?
7. What additions did it make to the book?
8. What was the purpose of the Old Testament Esther?
9. What was the purpose of the Greek edition of it?
10. Had it also a literary purpose?
THE STORY OF SUSANNA
To secure a much-needed reform in Jewish legal
procedure, a gifted Pharisee of Jerusalem early in
the first century before Christ wrote a story. Not
long after in a fuller form it was put into Greek in
Egypt and added as an embellishment to the trans-
lation of Daniel, and finally it was made to form the
introduction to the Greek translation of that book.
It is hardly five pages long, but it became one of the
great short stories of the world. It is the Story of
Susanna. The first English Bibles Coverdale,
Matthew, the Great, and the Bishops'- called it
a "Story' 7 ; but the King James version, following
the Geneva Bible, dignified it as the History of
The situation which moved the Hebrew story-
teller was this. In the early years of the first cen-
tury before Christ, there were two rival parties
among the Jews of Judea. They were the Pharisees
and the Sadducees. The Pharisees incurred the
anger of the Jewish king, Alexander Jannaeus, and
he slaughtered thousands of them. The leader of
the Pharisees was Simeon ben Shetach. The Sad-
ducees, being in the ascendancy, through false wit-
nesses had his son condemned to death, but before
66 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
he could be executed the witnesses confessed that
they had testified falsely. Under the Law, which re-
quired only a life for a life, they could not be
punished, as no one had suffered death through their
action, and the Pharisees demanded an interpreta-
tion of the Law that would punish perjurers when
they were found out, whether anyone had actually
been put to death or not. It was to urge this reform
in the Jewish law in the most moving manner pos-
sible, that the Story was first written.
Susanna was the beautiful wife of a leading Jew
of Babylon, to whose house the Jewish elders and
judges of the city constantly came. Two of these
men became enamored of Susanna, and once when
she went into her garden to bathe, surprised her
and threatened to testify that they had found her
in the arms of a lover, if she would not submit to
them. Susanna repulsed their advances and cried
for help. The elders shouted too, and protested
that they had surprised her with a young man, but
he had escaped. When she was brought to trial the
next day, they told their story, and, though she pro-
tested her innocence, yet as there were two of them,
and their testimony agreed, under the Jewish law
she was convicted and sentenced to death.
As she was being led away to immediate execu-
tion, a young man named Daniel interrupted the
proceedings by shouting that he would not join in
stoning her to death, which had of course to be done
THE STORY OF SUSANNA 67
by the whole community (Lev. 24:14). He called
them back to the place where she had been tried and
there examined the two witnesses separately, ask-
ing each one under which tree in the garden he had
found Susanna and her supposed lover together.
One said under a mastic tree, and Daniel sternly
rejoined that the angel of God would certainly
"masticate" him! (The Greek word means literally
"cut him in two.") The other when he was ques-
tioned said under a live oak tree, and Daniel replied
with a similar bitter play upon the name of the
tree; the angel of God would saw him in two. Be-
trayed by their inconsistent answers, the guilty
elders are promptly put to death, and Susanna is
It was these plays upon words in Susanna that
led Origen's friend Julius Africanus to write him
that remarkable letter, about A.D. 240, protesting
on a number of grounds against the acceptance of
the Story as a part of Daniel; especially because
the Greek plays upon words in the names of the
trees marked the piece as a Greek composition.
Africanus also pointed out the good Greek style of
the Story, which he regarded as strange if the work
was a translation from the Hebrew. Origen in his
reply clung to his acceptance of the Story but
acknowledged that the Jews he had questioned
could not give him any Hebrew parallels for these
particular plays upon words.
68 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
The fact evidently is that Susanna was written
in Hebrew, but was paraphrased and enlarged in
Greek, and combined with the Greek translation
of the Book of Daniel. For it is one of the three ad-
ditions to Daniel made by the Greek translators of
that book, the others being the Song of the Three
Children and Bel and the Dragon. Daniel had been
written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic, in
the times of the Maccabean revolt, about 165 B.C.,
and when it passed into Greek perhaps a hundred
years later the translator embellished it, and at the
same time preserved these three short but valued
pieces, by combining them with it.
So the Story of Susanna is a Greek elaboration of
a shorter Hebrew narrative, long since lost, which
lacked the bitter puns and probably the identifica-
tion of Daniel as the young man who so successfully
interfered on Susanna's behalf.
The makers of the Septuagint translation of
Daniel probably in the first century before Christ
put Susanna at the end of the book, along with
Bel and the Dragon. But another translator, Theo-
dotion, early in the second century after Christ,
put Susanna at the very beginning of Daniel, mak-
ing it serve as an account of Daniel's debut; it is as
the rescuer of Susanna from an undeserved punish-
ment that he makes his dramatic first .appearance.
And Theodotion's version of Daniel was so much
preferred by the early church that the Septuagint
THE STORY OE SUSANNA 69
form of it was almost forgotten, and has survived
in only a single Greek manuscript.
The Story of Susanna did not fail of its effect.
When the Pharisees came into power in Judea after
the death of Alexander Jannaeus in 76 B.C., they re-
organized the Sanhedrin, and a more searching
examination of the witnesses supporting an accusa-
tion came to be required. But the Story lived in
Jewish circles only in vague memories of the wicked
elders, who were identified with the false prophets,
Ahab and Zedekiah, mentioned in Jer. 29:21-23.
In Christian circles, on the other hand, Susanna,
as the first part of the Greek Book of Daniel, formed
part of the Greek Bible of the early church. It was
quoted by Irenaeus and Tertullian; Hippolytus
allegorized it, Africanus challenged it, and Origen
defended it. Jerome, in the Latin Vulgate, put it
with Bel and the Dragon at the end of Daniel, fol-
lowing chapter 12. The English Church has a read-
ing from it in November, and the Roman Catholic
Church has one in Lent, and prays "Lord, free the
soul of thy servant as thou didst free Susanna from
a false charge."
The story recalls Tarquin and Lucrece in Roman
legend, where Lucrece is put to a somewhat similar
test. And the famous story of the adulterous woman
introduced into the Gospel of John in the sixth
century (John 7:53 8:11) reproduces many fea-
tures of the story of Susanna; a woman accused of
yo THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
the same crime and declared to have been taken in
the act, condemned by the Law and evidently being
led out to be stoned by a band of scribes and
Pharisees, when a searching remark by a great
teacher turns the tables on her accusers, and con-
victs them instead.
Susanna means lily, in Hebrew (Hos. 14:5). It
was probably chosen by our author as a symbol of
purity. It is never a proper name in the Old Testa-
ment, but appears in Luke 8:3 as the name of one
of the women who provided for Jesus. It has as-
sumed many modern forms, Susannah, Susanne,
Susan, Susie, Sue. Shakespeare named one of his
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read the Story of Susanna.
2. What is its literary worth?
3. What is its deeper purpose?
4. What is its place in the prevalent Greek version of
5. Where was the original story written?
6. What was the historical situation?
7. What changes did it undergo in passing into Greek?
8. From what Jewish party does it come?
9. Was its purpose humane?
10. What classical and New Testament parallels can you
BEL AND THE DRAGON
To save his fellow- Jews from falling into idolatry,
a Jew of Alexandria, early in the first century before
Christ, wrote the two short stories known to us as
Bel and the Dragon.
Most of the Jews lived far from Jerusalem and
the Temple, surrounded by heathen peoples and
under the shadow of great pagan temples, where the
worship of idols was carried on sometimes with the
greatest pomp and splendor. In the world in which
they lived, from the times of Alexander on, the uni-
versal tendency had been to adopt Greek or oriental
customs, social and religious. The world was mov-
ing toward uniformity of life.
So in great centers like Babylon and Alexandria
Jews were under great pressure to adopt the man-
ners and worship of the country, and earnest and
faithful Jews made repeated efforts to keep them
from doing so. These stories represent one of these
efforts. While they are meant to interest and de-
light the reader, their serious purpose is to warn
him against idolatry by exposing its shams. They
were probably written in Greek, to safeguard Jews
72 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
in Alexandria against the attractions of Egyptian
Both stories have to do with Daniel and were
probably written before the middle of the first cen-
tury before Christ and added to the Book of Daniel
by its Greek translator, and then re-written by
Theodotion about the middle of the second century
after Christ, when he retranslated Daniel from Ara-
maic and Hebrew into Greek. He put Susanna at
the beginning of it, but followed the older Septua-
gint translation in leaving the Song of the Three
Children after Dan. 3:23, and Bel and the Dragon
at the very end.
Bel and the Dragon are really two separate
stories, both written to ridicule idolatry. The first
one is one of the oldest detective stories in the
world. King Cyrus on coming to the Persian throne
finds in Daniel his chief companion and friend. He
asks him why he does not worship Bel, and points
out how much flour and oil and how many sheep
that deity consumes every day. Daniel persuades
him to deposit the usual amount in the temple and
then to close and seal the temple doors. But Daniel
first takes the precaution of scattering ashes over
the temple floor.
When they return in the morning, the food is
gone, but Daniel is able to show the king that the
floor is covered with the footprints of the priests
BEL AND THE DRAGON 73
and their wives and children, who have come in in
the night by a secret entrance under the table, and
consumed the provisions. The king is convinced,
the priests are slain, and the temple is destroyed.
The Dragon is another story of the same kind. It
is not a dragon at all, but a serpent, which the king
worships, like the serpents venerated at Greek and
oriental shrines, such as that of Aesculapius at
Epidaurus. Daniel denies its divinity and kills it by
feeding it lumps of pitch, fat, and hair. The Baby-
lonians are furious at the destruction of their divin-
ity, and declare that the king has become a Jew.
They demand that Daniel be put to death. The
king reluctantly consents and Daniel is thrown into
the lions' den. The lions are given nothing else to
eat, but they do not molest Daniel (this repeats the
story of Dan. 6:1-28). Daniel himself is miracu-
lously fed by the prophet Habakkuk who is caught
up by an angel in Judea as he is taking some
reapers their dinner, and brought to the lions' den
in Babylon. He gives Daniel the food and is im-
mediately returned to his home in Judea again.
Daniel remains in the den with the lions for six
days. On the seventh the king comes to mourn for
him, and sees him sitting there alive. He glorifies
the God of D,aniel and lifts him out of the den.
Daniel's enemies are thrown into it and immediately
74 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
The stories were both suggested by narratives in
Daniel: the gold idol (chap. 3) and the lions' den
(chap. 6). The name Dragon for the second story is
taken from the Greek and Latin words for serpent,
drakon and draco. Some scholars connect the ser-
pent with the monster Tiamat of Babylonian
mythology, slain by Marduk, but it is unnecessary
to seek so far. Alexander the Great was said to
have found huge serpents venerated in India, and
the Apology of Aristides in the middle of the second
century after Christ declares that the Egyptians
still worship "serpents and asps." The serpent wor-
ship connected with the shrine of Aesculapius at
Epidaurus has been mentioned.
There is little that can be called historical about
either tale, and the angel catching up Habakkuk by
the hair of his head and conveying him to Babylon
with the speed of the wind is a crowning imagina-
tive touch. These tales are pieces of Jewish fiction
and belong with Tobit, Judith, and Susanna, to
which they are of course decidedly inferior.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read Bel and the Dragon.
2. What is the story of Bel?
3. What is the purpose of it?
4. What name do we give stories of this kind now?
5. What is the story of the Dragon?
6. What traces of serpent worship have we from ancient
BEL AND THE DRAGON 75
7. What literary indebtedness to the Book of Daniel
does the story show?
8. What other pieces of fiction have we found in the
9. What other attacks upon idolatry do they contain?
(See chaps. 13 and 14.)
10. For Old Testament polemics against idolatry, see Isa.
44:9-20 and Jer. 10:1-16.
THE FIRST BOOK OF MACCABEES
Less than a hundred years before the birth of
Christ, a Sadducean admirer of the Maccabees
wrote in Jerusalem, in Hebrew, the story of the
three great brothers Judas, Jonathan, and Simon
who had freed Judea from her Syrian oppressors
and restored her worship. He was not a Pharisee, or
Puritan, but belonged to the other branch of the
Maccabean supporters, the Hasmoneans, the patri-
otic party who fought for more than religious
liberty; they aspired to political liberation. And
this the Maccabean brothers had nobly won, at the
cost of their own lives, for Judas and Eleazar had
died in battle, and Jonathan and Simon were
He wrote in the days of the Sadducean ascend-
ancy under Alexander Jannaeus, the grandson of
Simon, 103-76 B.C., after full political independence
had at last been secured, when a Sadducee would
naturally be moved to record the deeds of the three
great brothers to whom his world owed so much.
While the book opens with a general paragraph
on Alexander's conquests, its narrative really be-
gins with the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes as
king of Syria in 175 B.C. and the emergence of a
THE FIRST BOOK OP MACCABEES 77
hellenizing party in Jerusalem, which welcomed
and adopted heathen practices. Antiochus em-
barked upon a policy of compelling the Jews to
accept Greek civilization, and a series of clashes
with faithful Jews resulted, culminating after the
desecration of the Temple in the outbreak of revolt
under Mattathias and his sons at the town of
Modin, when they killed the king's officer and fled
to the mountains.
Judas is the hero of the period that follows
(3:1 9:22); with small bodies of men he defeats
one Syrian commander after another; and carries
on such a spirited campaign against the Syrian
forces sent against him that just three years after
its desecration the Temple is recovered ( i : 5 9 ; 4 : 5 2) ,
the altar rededicated, and the Jewish worship there
resumed. Judas punishes outlying foes of the Jews
but has to contend with hellenizing forces among
the Jews as well as with his Syrian foes. He sends
ambassadors to Rome, to make friends with the
Romans. This and his evident political aims led the
Puritans the Chasidim, the Pharisees of later days
who wanted only religious liberty to desert his
cause. He met the Syrian commander, Bacchides,
with an inferior force and was defeated and killed,
in 160 B.C.
His brother Jonathan succeeded him as leader
of the Jewish cause, 160-142 B.C. (I Mace. 9:23
12:53). His generalship and diplomacy extended
78 THE STOR.Y OF THE APOCRYPHA
the borders of Ms country. A new king of Syria
appointed him high priest. But he was finally
trapped in Ptolemais by his Syrian enemies and put
He was followed by his brother Simon, the third
of the three great Maccabean brothers (142-135
B.C.), who carried Jewish resistance to Syria on
until practical political independence was achieved.
He dislodged the Syrian garrison from the citadel
of Jerusalem, cultivated foreign alliances, and
practically made the Sadducees' dream of political
independence come true. But he, like Jonathan,
lost his life through treachery, being murdered at a
banquet given in his honor near Jericho. His son
John Hyrcanus succeeded him in the high priest-
hood, which now united the civil, military, and re-
ligious leadership of the Jewish people.
Such a heroic story might well attract a Sadducee
living in times of Sadducean leadership in the days
of Alexander Jannaeus, Simon's grandson, and he
tells it with enthusiasm indeed, but without much
exaggeration. Heaven he felt was on the side of the
three brothers, or they were on heaven's side, but
there was nothing miraculous about it all. There
are no angelic appearances in the book. The Law
is sacred, but it was unwise to carry the observance
of the Sabbath to the extreme of not resisting armed
force on that day. Judas and his men were wiser
when they said, "If anyone attacks us on the Sab-
THE FIRST BOOK OF MACCABEES 79
bath day, let us fight against him and not all die,
as our brothers died in the hiding places [2:41]."
The date of the writing of I Maccabees is pretty
definitely fixed by its closing statement., that the
rest of the acts of John and his wars and the exploits
that he performed, and the building of the walls that
he effected, and his deeds, are written in the chron-
icles of his high priesthood. This sounds as though
John's reign was over and the writer was writing
early in the reign of his son, Alexander Jan-
naeus, who became king in 103 B.C. The book
was probably written in the early years of the first
century before Christ, therefore, and very soon
made its way to Alexandria and was translated
into Greek, undergoing some expansion in the
It is a curious fact that the writer of I Maccabees
never mentions the name of God, but this is perhaps
only a mark of his extreme reverence for the divine
name. Certainly, he is by no means irreligious; the
reader feels that he believes in God and in his
participation in the deliverance of his people. In
fact Judas says to his men at one crisis in the strug-
gle, "He himself will crush them before us, and
you must not be afraid of them [3:22]." On an-
other occasion, when hard pressed,
they called aloud to heaven,
"What are we to do to these men [the Nazarites], and
where can we take them, when your sanctuary is trodden
8o THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
down and profaned, and your priests are grieved and humili-
ated? Here the heathen are gathered together against us to
destroy us; you know their designs against us. How can we
make a stand before them unless you help us [3: 50-53]?"
It is evident that the only thing lacking in this
prayer is the name of God. Immediately after,
Judas says, as he prepares for battle, "But he will
do just as shall be the will of heaven [3:60]." He
seems sometimes to be using the name Heaven in
the sense of God. So in 4: 10, Judas says, "So now
let us cry to heaven, if perhaps he will accept us,
and remember his agreement with our forefathers,
and crush this camp before us today. Then all the
heathen will know that there is one who ransoms
and preserves Israel. 73 Later on, when he faces a
fresh Syrian army, he prays, "Blessed are you,
Savior of Israel, who stopped the rush of the
champion by the hand of your slave David
In like manner shut up this camp in the hand of
your people Israel [4:30, 31; cf. 7:41]." Even
the priests (7:37) pray to God without mentioning
Jonathan too calls on his men to "cry out to
heaven that you may be delivered from the hands of
our enemies [9:46]." It was evidently a part of the
writer's religion to revere the name of God too
much to utter it.
His religious position is also reflected in his avoid-
ance of the miraculous or marvelous, his sincere
THE FIRST BOOK OE MACCABEES 81
concern for the Law, rather than for any Pharisaic
refinements of it, and his interest in the Temple and
the priesthood. The scope of his narrative also re-
veals the range of his interest, for he does not stop
when religious freedom has been achieved under
Judas (9:22), but pursues the story until, under
Simon, Judea is politically liberated as well.
Of the dozen or more state papers letters,
decrees, and proclamations preserved in the book,
some letters to Rome and to Sparta, in so far as
they are genuine at all, belong to later dates than
are here given them, while the decrees of the Syrian
kings may have been inserted in the book by the
hand of the Greek translator from the history of
Jason of Cyrene mentioned in II Mace. 2:23, for
Jason's five-volume history was written in Greek.
The purpose of their inclusion by any hand was of
course to enhance the importance of the Maccabean
enterprise in the eyes of the reader.
While Jerome in his Prologus Galeatus declares
that he has seen a Hebrew copy of I Maccabees, it
was only the Greek translation of it that survived
or had any literary influence. It was probably in its
Greek form that it was used by Josephus (Antiqui-
ties, xii and xiii), and it was in that translation
that it from the first formed part of the Greek Bible
of the early church. Clement of Alexandria, Hippo-
lytus in Rome, Origen, and Eusebius all know it as
part of the Bible. I Maccabees is included in most
82 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
of the leading manuscripts of the Greek Bible the
Alexandrian, the Sinaitic, and the Venetus but not
in the Vatican codex. With II Maccabees it is includ-
ed in the Clermont list of books of scripture, repre-
senting the practice of Egypt about A.D. 300. Both
books passed into the Latin Bible, and so into the
use of the medieval church, and into all the early
German and English Bibles, Catholic and Protes-
SUGGESTIONS iFOR STUDY
1. Read I Maccabees.
2. What dramatic story does it tell?
3. To what Jewish party did its writer belong?
4. What features of his book support this impression?
5. To what point does the writer trace the history?
6. What Jewish aims had been achieved by that time?
7. What is the writer's attitude to God?
8. When did he write his book?
9. Why should he have written the story then?
10. WTiat happened to the four Maccabean brothers?
11. What kingdom did they have to contend with?
12. Was there a Jewish group that favored the adoption
of Greek culture?
13. What practice of the writer makes his book of especial
value to the historian? (Cf. 1:10, 20, 54; 2:70, etc.)
THE SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES
II Maccabees is not a sequel to I Maccabees, but
a parallel account of the Maccabean struggle. A
Pharisee of Alexandria, possessed of a five-volume
work on the subject by one Jason of Cyrene, and
dissatisfied with the cold Sadducean character of
I Maccabees, undertook to summarize Jason's book
and tell from the Pharisaic point of view what
caused the Maccabean uprising and how God en-
abled his people under the leadership of Judas
Maccabeus to triumph over his enemies. We have
seen how the Greek translator of Esther felt it
necessary to remedy that book's failure to mention
the name of God, by inserting long religious pas-
sages in it, and it is not strange that in a time of
great tension between Pharisees and Sadducees, so
Sadducean an account as I Maccabees would lead
a Pharisee to retell the story in the Pharisaic
And Pharisaic the vocabulary certainly is.
Miracle, angels, martyrdom, resurrection, feasts,
Law, Sabbath are points of interest and emphasis
for the Pharisaic writer. How far these~also marked
the history by Jason which he is epitomizing we
cannot be sure, but our writer, while he summarizes
84 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
some of Jason's narrative most abruptly, dwells
fondly upon these.
The scope of his story is also significant; he stops
with Judas' victory over Nicanor and the Feast of
Nicanor, instituted in memory of it. Judas himself
was killed a few months later, but that he does not
mention. Judas is the only figure among the Macca-
beans that interests him; of the work of Jonathan
and Simon, his successors, he has nothing to say.
For it was under them and Simon's son John that
the Sadducean dream of political independence was
realized, and the Sadducees gained the ascendancy.
Their work would not interest a Pharisee. For him
Judas was the true and only hero of the great strug-
gle, and its significant result was the restoration of
the Temple and the Law, celebrated in the festival
of Hanukkah, or Dedication.
The narrative of II Maccabees indeed is organ-
ized about these celebrations. It begins with two
letters from the Jews of Palestine to the Jews of
Egypt, urging them to keep the festival of Dedica-
tion. The writer wants to have the Jews of Egypt
as well as of Palestine observe it. He declares his
intention of writing an epitome of the history of
Jason of Gyrene, a work of which nothing else is
known. He begins with the sacrilegious attempt of
Heliodorus, acting for the king of Syria, to rob the
Temple of the money deposited in it, when he was
struck down and beaten by angels. The high priest
THE SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES 85
is ousted and murdered; first one and then another
obtains the office by bribery. Antiochus Epiphanes
enters Jerusalem, killing fabulous numbers of the
people. He robs and profanes the Temple, and
tortures and kills those who will not give up the
Jewish religion. Some Pharisaic martyrdoms
those of Eleazar and the seven brothers are re-
lated in horrible detail. Judas Maccabeus now ral-
lies his countrymen (8:1) and defeats the Syrian
generals; King Antiochus who is away in Persia
hears of it and starts back to punish the Jews, but
dies a horrible death on the way, repenting of his
wickedness before the end. Judas and his men re-
cover Jerusalem and rededicate the Temple, in-
stituting the festival of Dedication (10: 1-8).
Judas continues his victories, sometimes aided
by heavenly horsemen and portents. In a final
struggle with Nicanor he defeats him again, and
Nicanor is killed. Judas cuts off his head and
arm and displays them before the Temple Nicanor
had threatened to destroy. The Jews vote to cele-
brate the day ever after, with the festival of Nica-
nor's Day (15:36). As the city remained in Jewish
hands from that time on, there seems to be nothing
more to be said, and the writer concludes his ac-
How much of this the writer obtained from Ja-
son's history we cannot tell; some of it is almost cer-
tainly his own elaboration or insertion. But the full
86 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
treatment of some events side by side with the mere
listing of others (14:25) gives the impression of an
unskilled and uneven epitomist The writer's style
is elaborate and stilted, his attitude is bitter and
partisan, he revels in horrible details of disease and
torture. He is extravagantly fond of the supernatu-
ral, and his efforts at fine writing, his homiletical ob-
servations (such as 6 : 1 2-1 7) , and his lack of restraint
defeat the purposes of his book. His martyrs are all
clearly Pharisees, and he represents the Chasidim,
the Puritan party, as the only real supporters of Ju-
das (14 : 6) . In effect, he claims Judas as the leader of
the Chasidim the Pharisees and disowns his po-
litically minded successors.
II Mace. 4:7 15:36 deals with the period
covered by I Mace, i : 10 7 : 50 (175-160 B.C.). The
book leaves off before the death of Judas, and says
nothing at all about the work of Jonathan and Si-
mon; in fact it barely mentions their names (8 122),
telling elsewhere how it was Simon's men who were
covetous and took bribes from the Idumeans in a
beleaguered fort and let some of them escape
(10 : 19, 20) a palpable slur upon the founder of the
The history by Jason of Cyrene on which the
writer bases his book is said in 2 : 19-23 to cover the
story of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, down
to the recovery of the Temple, the liberation of the
THE SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES 87
city, and the restoration of the laws. It was prob-
ably written toward 100 B.C. or not long after that
II Maccabees itself evidently rests upon I Macca-
bees as well as upon Jason's book, and its strong
Pharisaic color makes it altogether probable that
it was in part a counterblast to I Maccabees, with
its pronounced Sadducean attitude. If I Macca-
bees was written early in the first century before
Christ the times of Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C. and in
a few years was brought to Alexandria and trans-
lated into Greek, it would be natural for a Pharisee
soon to seek to offset its picture by re-writing the
story from the Pharisaic point of view, for which the
history of Jason of Cyrene would give him sufficient
material. It would be a natural product of the re-
surgence of the Pharisees in the early years of Alex-
andra's regency, which began in 76 B.C. On the
other hand, if Pompey's capture of Jerusalem in
63 B.C. had already taken place, even a Pharisee
could hardly quote or invent the friendly Roman
letter to the Jewish people that appears in 11:34-
38. II Maccabees was probably written between 76
and 63 B.C. although its date cannot be determined
with certainty. But the closing statement that the
city has been held by the Hebrews from that time
(the time of Judas Maccabeus) would be impossible
88 THE STORY OP THE APOCRYPHA
after Pompey in 63 B.C. besieged and captured the
city and entered the Holy of Holies.
II Maccabees was written in Alexandria, and it
was known to Philo ; who died about A.D. 45.
Josephus also may have known it and used it in his
Antiquities; it was certainly used by the author of
Hebrews in the last decade of the first century
(Heb. ii :3S-37) '
Women had their dead restored to them by resurrection.
Others endured torture, and refused to accept release, that
they might rise again to the better life. Still others had to
endure taunts and blows, and even fetters and prison. They
were stoned to death, they were tortured to death, they were
sawed in two, they were killed with the sword.
The reference to the martyrs of II Mace. 6:29
and chapter 7 is unmistakable.
Every historian chiefly records himself, and it is
of great interest and importance that we possess in
I and II Maccabees these self-portraits of Sad-
ducee and Pharisee from the first half of the last
century before Christ.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read II Maccabees.
2. What story does it tell?
3. To what party did its writer belong?
4. What larger history is he abbreviating?
5. Does it continue I Maccabees, or overlap it?
6. What characteristic traits of his party does the writer
show? Compare Acts 23 : 8.
THE SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES 89
7. What other books from members of his party have we
found in the Apocrypha?
8. What is the literary quality of the book?
9. What is its moral tone?
10. When and where was II Maccabees written?
11. Who is the hero of II Maccabees?
12. What is its closing scene?
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON
About forty years after the birth of Christ a Jew-
ish sage of Alexandria wrote his Wisdom. Like the
author of Ecclesiastes he wrote in the name of
Solomon, the greatest sage of all, who above every-
thing else asked Wisdom of God (I Kings 3 : 5-14) :
Give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, ....
You have chosen me out to be king of your people, ....
You told me to build a sanctuary on your holy mountain,
And an altar in the city where you dwell, .... [9:4, 7, 8].
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
And I thought wealth of no account compared with her
The writer's purpose was to protect the Jews in
Egypt from the danger of falling into skepticism,
materialism, and idolatry, and of yielding to the
pressure of persecution to which they had evidently
been exposed. In Alexandria the Jews found them-
selves surrounded with a triumphant idolatry; its
great temple, the Serapeum, was said to be, after
the Roman Capitol, the grandest structure of its
time. The Museum with its library and its scholars
gave to intellectual pursuits the most marked
THE WISDOM: OE SOLOMON 91
recognition they had ever received. The city was a
center of the great movement to make Greek lan-
guage and Greek culture universal, and the Jews
themselves had gone so far as to translate their
literature into Greek, for the benefit of Jews in the
West who had lost their Hebrew, and to induce
Greek readers to accept Judaism. In Alexandria
Jews were even writing new books in Greek Tobit,
I Esdras, Susanna, II Maccabees.
But they must not go too far. They must not let
this great Greek current sweep them away alto-
gether from their ancient moorings. The Epicurean
attitude that colors so much of Ecclesiastes must
not control them. The horizon of the soul is not
limited by this present world; they must look
It was particularly important to say this when
the Jews of Alexandria were suffering or had
recently suffered from a persecution, probably the
popular attack upon the Jews of Alexandria pre-
cipitated by the visit to that city of the young Jew-
ish prince Agrippa, upon whom the new emperor
Gaius had just conferred the title of king, to the
great annoyance of the Alexandrians. Not long
after, in A.D. 40, Gaius demanded divine honors,
and the efforts of the Alexandrians to force the
Jews to comply with this demand, and worship his
image, led to new excesses. The Jews at last sent
an embassy to Gaius, Philo himself being a member
92 THE STOHY OF THE APOCRYPHA
of it and reporting its experiences with the mad
emperor, in his Embassy to Gaius.
It was to encourage the Jews of the city to main-
tain the faith of their fathers in the face of the first
of these attacks that the first part of Wisdom was
written, probably early in the reign of Gains, or soon
after. It had a message of comfort and cheer for the
faithful; death itself must not daunt them. The
ungodly men say of the upright man,
"Let us test him with insults and torture,
So that we may learn his patience,
And prove his forbearance.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
For he will be watched over, from what he says
The souls of the upright are in the hand of God,
And no torment can reach them [3:1].
An upright man, if he dies before his time, will be at rest,
For an honored old age does not depend on length of time,
And is not measured by the number of one's years, ....
Being perfected in a little while he has fulfilled long years,
For his soul pleased the Lord;
Therefore he hurried from the midst of wickedness [4:7-14].
With this the writer combines solemn warnings
to apostate Jews against the Epicurean tendencies
for which some passages in Ecclesiastes gave so
much color. In fact, Wisdom seems sometimes to
be definitely correcting passages in Ecclesiastes, and
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON 93
putting its teaching into the mouths of those whom
Wisdom calls the wicked (2:4; cf. Eccles. 1:11).
Certainly Ecclesiastes, no doubt in its Greek trans-
lation, is often before the mind of the writer of Wis-
dom, who does not hesitate to answer it and correct
its darker reflections.
To comfort and encouragement in persecution
and to denunciation of apostasy must be added the
note of warning against idolatry which pervades
so much of the book. The emphasis laid upon this
matter and the particular mention of the deification
of kings, makes it very likely that the efforts of
the Alexandrians to force the Jews to worship the
image of Gaius are fresh in the writer's mind in
the second part of the book:
By the orders of monarchs carved images were wor-
And when men could not honor them in their presence,
because they lived far away,
They imagined how they looked, far away,
And made a visible image of the king they honored.
He goes on to tell how the people
Now regarded as an object of worship the one whom
they had recently honored as a man [14:16-20].
The book is plainly the work of two hands, one
leaving off at 11:4 and the other, who is far behind
the first in simplicity and spontaneity, continuing
from 11:5 to the end. The second writer develops
94 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
to the utmost the idea that God used the very things
that benefited his people to punish their enemies.
But he carries this out so elaborately and so revels
and delights in its intricacies that the reader's inter-
est and patience are exhausted. Indeed it has been
well said that the writer's ideas and vocabulary
have both given out long before the end. His
vocabulary is particularly artificial; he likes to use
the rarest words he can find, and feebly strains to
achieve fine writing. The two parts of the book
exhibit a strong contrast in literary quality, and all
the favorable things that have been said of the
Greek of the book rest upon the early part of it.
It would seem that the author of Wisdom i : i
11:4 wrote after the persecution of A.D. 38, when
Flaccus the Roman governor allowed the rights of
the Jews as residents, and in some cases at least as
citizens, of Alexandria, to be disregarded. The
second part (11:5 19:22), which reflects Gaius'
subsequent demand for worship in A.D. 40, was
probably written not long after that date. It
naturally has a great deal to say about idolatry.
After a few words in praise of justice and wis-
dom, the writer contrasts the ungodly persecutors
of the upright with the men they persecuted, show-
ing the shallowness of the materialistic and Epi-
curean way of life :
"Let us enjoy the good things that exist, ....
Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, ....
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON 95
Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they
Let us oppress the upright poor; ....
Let us lie in wait for the upright, for he incon-
And opposes our doings,
And reproaches us with our transgressions of the Law,
Let us condemn him to a shameful death [2 : 6-12, 20] !"
God created man for immortality,
And made him the image of his own eternity [2 : 23].
The souls of the upright are in the hand of God,
And no torment can reach them
They are at peace.
For though in the sight of men they are punished,
Their hope is full of immortality [3:1,3,4].
Their persecutors will some day realize their mis-
"This is the man we fools once laughed at
And made a byword of reproach.
We thought his life was madness,
And his end dishonored.
How did he come to be reckoned among the sons
And -why is his lot among the saints [5:4, 5]?"
In a splendid passage, reflected half a century
later in Ephesians, the writer describes God as the
champion and avenger of his people (5:15-23). He
renews his contention that Wisdom is necessary to
monarchs (chap, 6), Then speaking in the char-
96 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
acter of Solomon, the greatest of the Sages (chaps.
7-9), he professes his passionate devotion to Wis-
dom. It has been pointed out that while in chapters
1-6 Wisdom is sometimes personified, in chapters
7-10 it becomes almost a substitute for God him-
self, while in the rest of the book (chaps. 11-19)
it is no more than practical godliness. The doctrine
of Wisdom reaches its peak in chapter 7 :
She is the breath of the power of God,
And a pure emanation of his almighty glory; . . .
For she is a reflection of the everlasting light,
And a spotless mirror of the activity of God,
And a likeness of his goodness [7:25, 26].
Solomon's prayer (chap. 9) shows what a great
king should think of Wisdom.
The writer traces the guiding hand of Wisdom in
the history of the patriarchs and the chosen people
(chap. 10) until Moses in the wilderness struck the
rock and gave them water (11:4).
Here the second hand takes the pen. He labors
the point that in the punishment of the Egyptians
the things that blessed the Hebrews were used to
torment their persecutors. The Hebrews found the
water from the rock refreshing and life giving; the
Egyptians found the water of the Nile turned to
blood! A long polemic against idolatry is inter-
woven with this.
This strong and even painful contrast between
the two parts of the book cannot be explained away
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON 97
by the theory of an editor gathering his materials
from here and there. For while one can imagine a
man so insensible to literary and religious values as
to write the latter part of the book, to imagine an-
other man so equally insensible as to incorporate
these unskilled meanderings into a book like Wis-
dom, doubles the difficulty of the problem. When
he must be supposed to have added such stuff to
such a book as Wisdom 1:1 11:4 would have
been, he is at once revealed as incapable of having
written or even edited Wisdom i : 111:4.
The natural explanation of Wisdom is that some
one vaguely aware of the values people seemed to
find in the original Wisdom, and wishing to secure
circulation for his peculiar theological hobby, at-
tached it to the earlier work, writing it up as nearly
in the style of that book as he knew how. Without
his excruciating addition, Wisdom would stand out
as a little gem of Alexandrian Jewish literature.
Not only the Greek version of Ecclesiastes but
also that of Proverbs was well known to the writer
of Wisdom, probably also to its continuator. The
author was also familiar with Xenophon's Memora-
bilia, and had some slight knowledge of Platonic
philosophy, though far less than his Alexandrian
There is good reason to think that Paul knew the
Book of Wisdom; he quotes it in Col. 1:15 and
seems to show acquaintance with it in Romans. The
98 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
author of Ephesians evidently knew it (Eph. 6:13-
17), and the writer to the Hebrews quotes it in his
opening lines, applying its words to Christ as the
embodiment of the divine Wisdom: "Through
whom he had made the world, He is the reflection
of God's glory, and the representation of his being,
and bears up the universe by his mighty word [Heb.
The apparent identification of the divine Wisdom
and the divine Word in Wisdom (9:1, 2) probably
influenced the Fourth Evangelist to take the mo-
mentous step of identifying Jesus not only with the
divine Wisdom as Paul and Hebrews had done, but
with the divine Word (John 1:1). So significant
was the influence of the Apocrypha in the develop-
ment of Christian thought.
Thus from the beginning the Book of Wisdom
influenced Christian thought, partly because its ac-
count of Wisdom invited comparison with Christ
and partly for its emphasis upon immortality.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Read the Wisdom of Solomon.
2. Why was it called by his name?
3. To what type of Jewish literature does it belong?
4. What is its purpose?
5. What situations does it reflect?
6. Where was it written?
7. What earlier books of the same type does it show
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON 99
8. Into what parts does it fall?
9. What is the main argument of each?
10. What different senses attach to the word "wisdom"
in the different parts of the book?
n. What is the first writer's attitude toward Ecclesiastes?
12. What contribution did the book make to Christology?
13. What New Testament writers made use of it?
14. What literary contrast does the book present?
THE BOOK OF BARUCH
The dreadful experiences of the Jews in the siege
and capture of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70
made a deep impression upon the Jews not only of
Palestine but of Egypt and the West. The despair
that must have first possessed them at the catas-
trophe gradually gave way to a mood of resignation
and even of hope. In such a spirit a Jew, probably
in Egypt about the end of the first century after
Christ, wrote the Book of Baruch, to interpret the
misfortune that had overtaken his people and to
find the silver lining in the dark cloud, very much
as the old prophets had dealt with the destruction
of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jews so long before.
He wrote in Greek, though he may have used
older Hebrew materials in the earlier parts of the
book (1:1 3:8 and 3:9 4:4); but it is by no
means certain whether these parts ever circulated
in writing before their combination in our Book of
Baruch, and their extreme brevity makes it unlike-
ly. Certainly there is no trace or record of their
earlier circulation or existence in writing except as
it may be deduced from a study of them as they now
appear in Baruch.
The book represents itself as written by Baruch,
THE BOOK OF BARTJCH 101
the friend and secretary of Jeremiah (Jer, 32:12,
16, etc.) in Babylon, in the fifth year after the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which
would be 582 B.C., and as sent to Jerusalem with a
sum of money, to help support the worship there,
though how this could be done with the priests
gone and the Temple in ruins is by no means clear.
Still it is not impossible, as the visit of pilgrims re-
ported in Jer. 41 : 5 shows. The group still lingering
in the ruined city is told to pray for ^Nebuchadnez-
zar, king of Babylon, and his son Belshazzar, mean-
ing obviously Vespasian and his son Titus, or
Domitian. 1 Bygones are to be bygones, and the
Jews are not to seek revenge, but to live under the
shadow of the emperors and serve them and find
favor in their sight. That the Jews of that period
needed such counsel is clear from the Bar-Cochba
outbreak against Rome some thirty years later,
A.D. 132-35. The Book of Baruch seeks to instil
an attitude of loyalty to the Empire, which some
Jews could not bring themselves to feel.
The book, small as it is, consists of three parts.
The most of part i is a prayer of penitence, recog-
nizing in what has befallen them the just punish-
ment of their sins, and reinforcing the plea for be-
coming law-abiding and loyal subjects of the Em-
pire. This prayer of confession the Jews are to read
on festival days and days of assembly. It is a piece
of liturgy, in the spirit of the prophets.
102 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
This prose section (1:1 3:8) is followed by a
poem in praise of Wisdom (3:9 4:4), in which
Israel's misfortunes are explained, from the Sage's
point of view, as due to her neglect of Wisdom.
The poet seeks to recall his people to the divine
Wisdom which had been intrusted to them:
Blessed are we, Israel,
Because we know the things that please God [4:4].
But he blends this Wisdom with the Law:
This is the book of the commandments of God,
And the Law that will endure forever
Come back, Jacob, and take hold of it;
Approach the radiance from her light.
Do not give your glory to another,
And your benefits to an alien people [4: 1-3].
The third part of the book (4:5 5:9) is also
poetry; it is a message of comfort and hope for the
distressed Jews. They had been delivered to the
heathen because they had angered God. Jerusalem
their mother speaks to them, in words reminiscent
of the dirges of Lamentations (4:9-29), urging
them to repent,
For he who has brought these calamities upon you
Will bring you everlasting joy with your deliverance.
Spirited messages of hope and restoration, in the
style of the later chapters of Isaiah, follow (4:30
5:9). Destruction will overtake Israel's enemy, who
THE BOOK OF BAHTJCH 103
has brought her so low, and the children of Jerusa-
lem will be brought back to her in triumph.
This third part seems to breathe a different spirit
from the first one, which was so conciliatory and
counseled adjustment to the imperial yoke, but it is
not wholly inconsistent with it; the nation's triumph
is to be left to God to accomplish.
Historical considerations did not weigh much
with the writer of Baruch: Belshazzar was not the
son of Nebuchadnezzar, as he calls him, but of
Nabonidus; Baruch's mistake is due to Dan. 5:2,
n, 13, 18, 22, where it also appears. The use of
Daniel is of importance however, for Daniel was
written about 165 B.C., and so it is plain that the
Book of Baruch was certainly not written in 582
B.C., as the first lines declare. The first and third
parts clearly belong to the last part of the first
century, and there is nothing in the second part in-
consistent with this; Israel has grown old in a
strange land, and a younger generation has settled
on the earth, which has not learned the way to
knowledge. The note of resignation and of hope
is in all three parts, different as they are in color.
An indomitable faith in God characterizes the
whole book, and gives it unity, although the three
parts may come from different hands. All three re-
flect the same Jewish disposition, a generation after
the fall of the city before the Romans, to adjust
themselves to the new conditions, acknowledge the
104 THE STORY or THE APOCRYPHA
justice of God, believe in Israel's supreme religious
heritage, and look forward to the day when their
own land would be restored to them,
. In the Greek version of the Old Testament
Baruch was early added to Jeremiah, and so came
to be quoted as Jeremiah by Christian writers like
Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. References: J The movement to make Vespasian em-
peror really began in Alexandria, when the governor of Egypt
had his soldiers swear allegiance to Vespasian.
2. Read the Eook of Baruch.
3. What situation does it purport to reflect?
4. Who was Baruch?
5. When was the Book really written?
6. What historical situation does it actually reflect?
7. What advice does it give to the Jews in their distress?
8. What reason have we to think they needed such ad-
9. Into what parts does the Book fall?
10. What is the distinctive character of each?
n. What religious value does the Book possess?
12. Where did it stand in the Greek version of the Old
THE LETTER OF JEREMIAH
Late in the first century after Christ, a Jew of
Alexandria wrote a tract to ridicule idolatry, and as
Jeremiah had done the same thing so effectively in
Jer. 10:1-16, he wrote it under Jeremiah's name.
Jeremiah had written a letter to the exiles in
Babylon (Jer. 29:1-23) and that suggested the liter-
ary pattern. The Letter usually appears as the sixth
chapter of Baruch.
Never was idolatry more splendid and over-
whelming than in Alexandria. It found expression
as we have seen in the magnificent temple of Serapis,
said to have been the most splendid building in
the world, after the Capitol in Rome. Visitors
from Upper Egypt still went to it to pray in the
third century after Christ, feeling that the prayers
they uttered went up, as one of them said, "with
far greater force in the great Serapeum" (Oxyrhyn-
chus Papyri, 1070).
Jewish residents might well need a fresh warning
against idolatry in Alexandria, in the latter part of
the first century, when their own Temple had been
destroyed and their Temple ritual had ceased. The
vocabulary is that of apocalyptic, in which Nebu-
106 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
chadnezzar means Vespasian, as it does in Baruch,
and Babylon means Rome, as it does in Baruch,
the Revelation, I Peter, and II Esdras.
The writer warns his readers that they will re-
main in Babylon for many years "seven genera-
tions/' a long but indefinite period of time a clear
evidence that he is using Babylon in a symbolic
sense, meaning the Roman Empire, as the writer of
Baruch does (Bar. 2:21). There they will see a
great deal of idolatry, but they must not fall into
it. The angel of God is with them, and will care for
them (vss. 1-7).
The idols are dressed in fine clothes, and have
scepters and axes in their hands, but they cannot
use them, even to defend themselves. The refrain,
"They are not gods, so you must not stand in awe
of them," concludes the paragraph (vss. 8-16).
They have to be locked up at night to protect
them from robbers. Decay, vermin, and smoke
spoil them and their clothes, and bats, birds, and
cats perch upon them. They are not gods, so you
must not stand in awe of them (vss. 17-23).
They have to be carried about, and picked up if
they tip over. All that is offered to them goes to
the priests; none of it goes to the poor or helpless.
Their sacrifices are not kept ceremonially clean.
So they are not gods; you must not stand in awe
of them (vss. 24-29).
Women set their tables, and their priests howl
THE LETTER OF JEREMIAH 107
and shout before them. They cannot do anything
for their worshipers. So why should anyone think
them gods, or call them so (vss. 30-40)?
Their worshipers really mock them by asking
them to do what they cannot do. Women devotees
(of Aphrodite) offer themselves to the passers-by,
and are proud of being desired. So why should any-
one think them gods, or call them so (vss. 6 : 406-
They are just as the craftsmen make them. They
cannot protect themselves in war or disaster; the
priests have to hide them. Who then can be igno-
rant that they are not gods (vss. 45-52)?
Idols can do nothing. If the temple catches fire,
they burn up like the timbers around them. Why
then should anyone believe or suppose that they
are gods (vss. 53-56)?
They cannot defend themselves against robbers.
A king, or a mere dish, or a post is of more use than
they are; the sun, moon, and stars shine, and winds
blow, but these idols settle nothing and help no-
body. So as you know they are not gods, you must
not stand in awe of them (vss. 57-65).
They cannot hurt or help, or even shine like the
sun or moon. The wild animals are better off, for
they can at least take care of themselves. It is plain
they are not gods; you must not stand in awe of
them (vss. 66-69).
They are as useless as a scarecrow in a cucumber
io8 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
patch. They are like a bush the birds light on.
From the rotting of the clothes they wear, you can
tell they are not gods. An upright man who has no
idols is far better (vss. 70-73).
The materials of the Letter are miscellaneous
and unorganized, except for the recurring refrains
(vss. 16, 23, 29, 40, 44, 52, 56, 65, 69). Something
like these refrains occurs in the Apology of Aristides,
toward the middle of the second century, and the
Letter probably influenced both it and the so-called
Preaching of Peter on which it was based. The
Letter shows the use not only of earlier polemics
against idolatry like Jer. 10: 1-16 and Isa. 44: 9-20,
but of that in the latter part of the Book of Wis-
dom, 1 which was written soon after A.D. 40.
While modern scholars have declared that the
Letter was composed in Hebrew, there is hardly a
single really Jewish touch in it, after the first para-
graph, and the older opinion that it was written in
Greek is much more likely. For one thing, its use of
Herodotus is practically certain; the highly apoc-
ryphal story of the universal prostitution of Baby-
lonian women can have no other source. 2 Indeed,
the story as it stands in the Letter (vs. 43) has
nothing to do with idols; it requires the context in
Herodotus to connect it with idolatry (Aphrodite
worship) at all. The writer evidently overlooked the
fact that he had left that out. This passage really
THE LETTER OF JEREMIAH 109
shows how far the writer lived from Babylon, and
how little he knew about it.
The reference to carrying idols in procession (vs.
26) does not indicate a Babylonian background for
the Letter; the Egyptians, too, carried their idols in
religious processions. 3 The statue of Serapis that
Ptolemy Soter, according to Plutarch, brought to
Alexandria and set up there, had a scepter in its
hand, as the Letter says one idol has (vs. 14).
While the Letter appears in the later Greek
manuscripts, in the Latin Vulgate, and in the Eng-
lish Bible as chapter 6 of the Book of Baruch, in the
oldest Greek manuscripts it stands by itself with the
title of the Letter of Jeremiah, immediately following
the Book of Baruch. It is so inferior in style and
thought to Baruch that it cannot have belonged to
it. But it did exert some influence upon early
Christian attacks upon idolatry, as its reflections
in the Preaching of Peter and the Apology of
SUGGESTIONS TOR STUDY
1. References: Compare vss. 34-37 with Wisdom 13:14-
19; "Herodotus History i. 196, 198, 199; aBreasted, Ancient
Records of Egypt, II, 357.
2. Read the Letter of Jeremiah.
3. To what period does it belong?
4. Why was it given Jeremiah's name?
5. What is its main idea?
no THE STORY CXF THE APOCRYPHA
6. What is its religious value?
7. What is its literary value?
8. Where was it written?
9. In what language was it written?
10. What other books in the Apocrypha deal with the
subject of the Letter?
11. What influence did it have?
12. How did it come to be attached to the Book of
THE SECOND BOOK OF ESDRAS
Not long after the middle of the third century
after Christ, a Greek Christian, stirred by the ap-
parent collapse of the eastern part of the Roman
Empire, took a collection of Jewish apocalypses, or
revelations, and added to it a conclusion, exulting
over Rome because punishment was at last begin-
ning to overtake it. A few years before, under
Decius, the church had suffered a cruel persecution,
but Decius himself was defeated and killed by the
Goths, in A.D. 251. Other disasters followed for the
Empire. The new king of Persia plundered the city
of Antioch and defeated the emperor Valerian at
Edessa in A.D. 260 and took him prisoner. He even
began to invade Asia Minor, but was eventually
driven back to his own borders by the prince of
Palmyra, in A.D. 263-65. After the death of that
prince in A.D. 267, his widow, the renowned Ze-
nobia, took possession of Egypt A.D. 270 but was
immediately driven out again by the Romans.
It might well seem to a Christian in the East in
the years 260-70 that the Roman Empire was at
last beginning to break down, and that the punish-
ment it deserved for its persecutions of the church
was at hand.
ii2 THE STORY OT THE APOCRYPHA
Apocalyptic was the language of persecution, and
in such times men turned back to it and wrote in it.
The man who finished II Esdras did both. "The
days of persecution are here, and I will deliver you
from them/ 3 wrote the Christian apocalyptist who
finished it (16: 74). "In the midst of these disasters
be like strangers in the earth [16:40]."
This is the key to the exultant cry of chapters 15
and 16: Alas for Babylon (that is, Rome), and
Egypt, Asia, and Syria (16: i) ! The last three were
quite literally being ravaged or threatened by orien-
tal armies from Persia or Palmyra. The Empire was
no longer the invincible force it had been so long.
"And you, Asia, partner of the beauty of Babylon
.... Alas for you [15 : 46] I" It might well seem that
God was calling together all the kings of the earth
Goths, Persians, Palmyrenes to requite the per-
secuting Empire. The eastern part of the Roman
world was out of control, and the writer saw in these
amazing disasters the judgment of God upon the
The book to which he attached this conclusion,
between A.D. 260 and 270, had already received a
Christian preface (chaps, i and 2), perhaps a cen-
tury before. In that preface the writer declared
that the kingdom formerly promised to the Jews was
to be given to the church. This idea, which appears
in the Gospel of Matthew (21:43), also colors
Justin's Dialogue, about AJ>. 160. These chapters
THE SECOND BOOK OE ESDRAS 113
make use of the language of the gospels, and their
dependence upon the Apocalypse of Zephaniah
shows they were written after the middle of the
second century. Their Christian color is very plain.
Ezra says to the angel,
"Who is that young man, who puts the crowns on them,
and the palms in their hands?" 1
He answered and said to me,
"He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world
The writer of the preface is well aware that he is
appropriating a Jewish work to Christian purposes:
"Thus speaks the Lord to Ezra: Tell my people
that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem
which I was going to give to Israel I will
give to these the everlasting dwellings which I had
prepared for those others [2: 10, n]." Ezra has of-
fered the divine message to Israel, but they have re-
fused it. "Therefore I say to you, heathen, who hear
and understand, expect your shepherd [2 134]."
The older Jewish book of revelations was evident-
ly adopted and labeled as a Christian work by the
writing of this preface, before the end of the second
century. Christian writers adopted and revised the
Jewish Sibylline Oracles in the same way.
While the beginning and end of the book are
Christian, the whole middle part of it (chaps. 3-14) ,
is of Jewish origin, and consists of seven visions,
ii4 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
written at various times in the latter part of the
first century or very early in the second. It falls
into four parts.
The first is the so-called Ezra Apocalypse (chaps.
3-10) written, probably in Hebrew, about A.D. 100,
in which Ezra asks God to explain certain theo-
logical problems which were then very much dis-
cussed among the rabbis. As the date of it is de-
scribed as thirty years after the destruction of the
city (3:1), it may be definitely dated in A.D. 100,
since the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is
The Ezra Apocalypse falls into four visions.
In the first (3:1 5:19) the seer, who calls him-
self Salathiel as well as Ezra, asks God why Israel
should be punished while Rome, which is so much
more wicked, should be allowed to prosper. Uriel is
sent to him to remind him that God's ways are be-
yond man's comprehension. Ezra also asks when
the number of the upright will be made up, and
Uriel indicates that it will not be long.
In the second (5:20 6:34), the seer asks why
God, after choosing Israel, has given him up to his
enemies. Uriel gives much the same answer as be-
fore, and they talk of the signs of the end.
In the third vision (6:359:25) the seer claims
God's preference of Israel, and his scorn of all other
peoples, and again asks why God has abandoned
Israel. He also asks why so few are to be saved
THE SECOND BOOK OE ESDRAS 115
and whether the punishment of the departed takes
place immediately or is postponed. Ezra thinks the
faithfulness of the remnant should be considered.
He also appeals to the divine mercy. God answers,
"You are far from able to love what I have created
more than I [8:47]."
In the fourth vision (9:26 10:59) a mourning
woman appears who turns into the city of Zion.
The angel explains the vision to Ezra.
To the Ezra Apocalypse were afterward added
three further visions (chaps. 11-14), which may be
called visions five, six, and seven, though they are
not from the same hand as visions one to four.
The fifth (chaps, n, 12) is the Eagle Vision. The
seer sees a gigantic eagle, with three heads and
many wings, reigning over the whole earth, when a
lion comes roaring out of the forest and pronounces
its doom. The lion is the Messiah, the eagle is the
Roman Empire, and the date is in the reign of
Domitian A.IX 81-96.
The sixth vision (chap. 13) is the Vision of the
Man from the Sea. A man rises from the sea, and
when a great multitude gathers to oppose him, he
destroys them with his fiery breath. The lost Ten
Tribes, which have been hidden in the fastnesses
of a remote region beyond Assyria, reappear and be-
come his people. He is the pre-existent Messiah and
as God speaks of him as his son, the vision has a
strongly Christian tinge. The chapter was written
n6 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
about the time of the outbreak of the Jewish War,
The seventh vision is the Writing of the Books
(chap. 14). God speaks to Ezra out of a bush and
tells him to gather five rapid writers and the neces-
sary writing materials. Ezra does so and after
drinking a fiery draught is inspired to dictate to
them for forty days. In forty days ninety-four
books were written. Ezra was told to publish
twenty-four (the Old Testament scriptures as the
Jews counted them) ; but to keep the seventy that
were written last, to hand down to the wise men
among his people. It was evidently written in the
early years of the second century.
The oriental versions Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic,
and Armenian which preserve a better text than
the Latin for the Ezra Apocalypse and for the ad-
ditional chapters 11-14, here conclude with the
statement that Ezra was caught up and taken to
the land of those who were like him. These versions
contain chapters 3-14 only.
The Christian conclusion (chaps. 15, 16) has been
shown above to belong to the years following the
Decian persecution, probably A.D. 260-70. It exults
over the disasters that are overtaking the Roman
arms in the east.
The several parts of the book thus arose in the
following order: I, the sixth vision, the Man from
the Sea (chap. 13), dating from the time of the out-
THE SECOND BOOK OF ESDRAS 117
break of the Jewish War, A.D. 66; II, the fifth
vision, the Eagle and the Lion (chaps, n and 12),
dating from the reign of Domitian, A.D. 81-96;
III, the Ezra Apocalypse (chaps. 3-10), written
about A.D. 100 ; IV, the seventh vision, the Writing
of the Books (chap. 14), written soon after A.D. 100;
V, the Christian introduction (chaps, i and 2),
written soon after A.D. 150; and VI, the Christian
conclusion (chaps. 15 and 16), written between A.D.
260 and 270.
The Ezra Apocalypse itself (chaps. 3-10) must
have gone through a series of forms. Written prob-
ably in Hebrew about A.D. 100, it soon took on, by
the middle of the second century, the addition of
three more visions, of earlier or later date (chaps.
11-14). In this expanded form it passed into Greek
and thence into the oriental versions mentioned
above. Still later, probably toward the end of the
second century, it received the Christian introduc-
tion (chaps, i and 2) , and almost a century after was
completed by the addition of the Christian con-
clusion showing that the divine judgment was at
last beginning to overtake the Roman Empire. A
Greek parchment leaf from this latest part (15:57-
59)3 dating from the fourth century, was found at
Oxyrhynchus, and published among the Oxyrhyn-
chus Papyri in 19 io. 2
A large part of II Esdras (the Ezra Apocalypse)
was evidently written in Hebrew, but the opening
n8 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
and closing sections are of Greek origin and con-
sidered as a whole the book was first put together in
Greek, the Hebrew part having been earlier trans-
lated into Greek. Of the Hebrew form nothing re-
mains, and of the Greek only the few verses in the
Oxyrhynchus parchment leaf. The Ezra Apocalypse
section, including chapters n to 14, was evidently
put into Greek before the chapters that now pre-
cede and follow it were added to It, for all the
oriental versions rest upon a Greek form of chapters
3 to 14, but lack chapters i and 2 and 15 and 16,
The bracketed verse numbers in 7 : [36-105] mark the
portion missing in the Latin version, discovered by
Bensly in a Latin manuscript at Amiens and pub-
lished in 1875.
The only complete form of II Esdras is a very
careless and inaccurate Latin text, long ago trans-
lated from the Greek. As it appears in the Latin
Vulgate as IV Esdras, chapters i and 2 and chapters
15 and 1 6 are sometimes called V and VI Esdras by
modern scholars. In the Vulgate the Book of Ezra
is called I Esdras; Nehemiah, II Esdras; our I Es-
dras, III Esdras; and our II Esdras, IV Esdras,
The earliest English Bibles followed this terminol-
ogy, the Coverdale, the Great, and the Bishops'
Bibles separating III and IV from I and II and
putting them with the Apocrypha. In the Geneva
Bible of 1560, however, I and II Esdras were called
Ezra and Nehemiah, and III and IV became I and
THE SECOND BOOK OF ESDRAS 119
II. This course was followed in the King James
Version, in 1611. But in the Septuagint Greek ver-
sion of the Old Testament, I Esdras is our I Esdras,
and II Esdras consists of what we know as Ezra
Until it is understood as a series of short apoca-
lypses from various times, II Esdras may well
confuse and bewilder the reader, as it did Luther,
who is said to have declared that he threw it into the
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. References: *Cf. Rev. 2 : 10; 7 : 9; 2 0xyrhynchus Papyri,
Vol. VII, No. 1010.
2. With this outline in mind, read II Esdras.
3. How would you describe it?
4. What are its chief characteristics?
5. What Christian parts are there in it?
6. Describe the remaining portions.
7. From what times does it come?
8. What historical situations do its various parts reflect?
9. Why did Christian writers adopt Jewish apocalypses
as their own?
10. What is the apocalyptic name for Rome?
11. In what situations did Jews and Christians turn to
12. What apocalyptic writings appear in the Old and
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE
The Apocrypha are not only of great importance
for the history of Judaism in the last two centuries
before and the first century after Christ; they give
us important help in understanding the writers of
the New Testament.
If we pass directly from the reading of the Old
Testament to the reading of the New, we are im-
mediately conscious that we are in a very different
world, not only politically but also religiously and
spiritually too. TEe Temple worship is at its grand-
est, in Herod's splendid new Temple, which was
not yet finished. The religious interest of the time
is divided between two new groups, the Pharisees
men of the scribal type, who rallied about the syna-
gogue, and dealt elaborately with the Law and
ttie Sadducees the priesthood, who controlled the
Temple and its concessions. The scribes in the
Exile had found a way by which the Jewish religion
could survive the deportation of their people and
the destruction of the Temple and its worship, and
it was their tradition, carried on through the
Pharisees, that chiefly colored Judaism as it ap-
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 121
pears in the New Testament. Whence came these
groups? The Apocrypha help us to understand.
No group is more in evidence in the New Testa-
ment than the Pharisees, and the Apocrypha show
us that vigorous sect from its very infancy. They
were the saints the Chasidim of the Maccabean
era, and Paul, himself a former Pharisee, transferred
that jitle to the Christian brotherhood; he spoke
of them as the saints. We see their strivings after a
better legal procedure in the story of Susanna, their
insistence upon ceremonial observances, ablutions,
fasts, feasts, and food they considered clean, in
Judith; their heroism in persecution in the tales of
the Maccabean martyrs. But most interesting of
all are the two self-portraits which these two Jewish
sects have left us, unaltered by hostile hands, in
I and II Maccabees. For I Maccabees tells the
story of the Maccabean brothers from the point of
view of a Sadducee, and II Maccabees tells the
story of Judas Maccabeus from the standpoint of a
Pharisee. Like most historians they chiefly reflect
themselves, and these reflections are of the utmost
value for comparison with the pictures of the two
parties in the New Testament.
In the earliest gospels we find ourselves moreover
in an atmosphere of angels and demons, which is
in strong contrast with the Old Testament. The
Book of Tobit gives us the key to this mystery, for
in it we see th^s.e elements of Persian religion pass-
122 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
ing into Judaism. The revival of the marvelous in
II Maccabees helps us to see how natural this way
of telling a religious story was in the first century
before Christ, particularly in circles close to
In short, the Apocrypha introduce us to the dram-
atis personae of the New Testament Pharisees
and Sadducees, angels and demons, saints and
sinners as well as to the social, political, and re-
ligious situation into which Christianity came, and
the theological ideas that prevailed.
But how did the Apocrypha affect the writers and
even the actors the leading figures of the New
Testament itself? How far were they known to
Jesus or Paul, or to Luke or John?
When Jesus describes the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-
20) , one is reminded of the picture of Sirach 1 1 : 18 f . :
One man grows rich by carefulness and greed,
And this will be his reward:
When he says, "Now I can rest,
And enjoy my goods,"
He does not know when the time will come
When he will die and leave them to others.
So the man in the parable says,
"Soul, you have great wealth stored up for years to come.
Now take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!" But
God said to him, "You fool! This very night your soul^will
be demanded of you. Then who will have all you have pre-
pared?" That is the way with the man who lays up money
for himself, and is not rich with God.
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 123
The Sadducees with their crude question about
the woman who had married seven times and had no
children, reminds us of Sarah and her seven hus-
bands, in Tobit; and the disconsolate demon, cast
out and homeless, wandering through waterless
places recalls Asmodeus banished to the remotest
parts of upper Egypt. Of the four archangels of
later Judaism, Raphael and Uriel appear in the
Apocrypha, Gabriel and Michael in the New
Testament. The angelology and demonology of
Tobit are part of the background of the gospels.
Tobit's emphasis upon charity, prayer, and fast-
ing as the three forms of uprightness an ideal of
character that appears again in the Wisdom of
Sirach is reflected and sharply criticized in the
Sermon on the Mount: "When you give to charity,
.... When you pray, .... When you fast, . . . ."
The pious action of Joseph of Arimathea in ask-
ing Pilate for the body of Jesus in order to give it
decent burial, vividly recalls the behavior of Tobit
in giving honorable burial to the Jewish victims
of the king that he found lying dead about the
streets and bazaars of Nineveh. It was in fact di-
rectly because of this that Tobit was forced to fly
from Nineveh, for his life. The story of Tobit lays
great stress not only on ceremonial purity but on
this Jewish duty of burying the 'dead of their own
people, especially those cruelly slain by the govern-
ment. The Jewish practice required burial, 1 but
124 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
the Romans would have left the body to decay
where it hung, as bodies were left hanging in chains
in the Middle Ages in England and Europe. Yet
it was obviously no particular duty of Joseph to
bury Jesus, except as very pious Jews took the
burial of strangers and the victims of the govern-
ment upon themselves as especial acts of righteous-
ness. Joseph may have done this often. The pur-
chase of a burial ground for strangers (Matt. 27:7)
is a further expression of the same attitude.
The story of the adulterous woman brought be-
fore Jesus isjreally no part pthe Gospel of John,
but_ a^sixth-century addition, taken over from the
Old Latin version. Eusebius seems to have known
it as part of the Gospel of the Hebrews. We cannot
fail to note its resemblance to the story of Susanna,
charged with the same crime, and represented by
her accusers as taken in the very act. The scribes
and Pharisees brought her to Jesus, saying she
ought to be stoned, just as the wicked elders were
taking Susanna out to be stoned. Jesus convicts
the accusing Jews of being sinful themselves, just
as Daniel convicts the two accusing elders of them-
selves being the guilty ones. Like Susanna, the
woman goes free. A striking parallel runs through
The story in Luke of the Unjust Judge (18: 2-8)
is a sort of penumbra of a saying in Sirach 35 : 12-15 :
For the Lord is a judge,
And there is no partiality with him
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 125
He will not disregard the supplication of the orphan,
Or the widow, if she pours out her story.
Do not the widow's tears run down her cheeks,
While she utters her complaint against the man who
has caused them to fall?
The parable in Luke runs :
There was once in a city a judge who had no fear of God
and respect for men. There was a widow in the city, and
she came to him and said, "Protect me from my opponent."
And he would not for a time, but afterward he said to him-
self, "Though I have no fear of God nor respect for men, yet
because this widow bothers me, I will protect her, so that
she may not finally wear me out with her coming."
The parable sounds very much as though it was
based upon this passage in Sirach.
Jesus' instructions about behavior at a supper,
and not assuming that you are the guest of honor,
and seizing the best place, which may be intended
for someone else (Luke 14:1-24), immediately re-
calls very similar precepts in the Wisdom of Sirach,
chapters 31 and 32, about polite behavior at such
large dinners, which the Jews evidently liked to
give and to attend (cf. Matt. 23:6).
Again and again in the reported teachings of
Jesus, we seem to hear echoes of the Wisdom of
Sirach, which must have been well known either
to him or to the evangelist, or to both. This is es-
pecially true in Luke, whose use of the names
Susanna (8:3) and Zaccheus (19:2; cf. II Mace.
10 : 19) is a further hint of acquaintance with some
of the Apocrypha.
126 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
The festival of Dedication mentioned in John
10:22 is no Old Testament feast, but the new
Maccabean celebration of the rededication of the
Temple, instituted in I Mace. 4: 59 and in II Mace.
10 : 8, to commemorate the purification of the
Temple and the re-erection of the altar.
The Letter of James owes much to the Wisdom
of Sirach. Both repudiate the idea that God ever
tempts anyone or leads him astray (James 1:13;
cf . Sirach 15:11,12). The third chapter of James, es-
pecially, shows the writer's familiarity with Sirach's
Wisdom, indeed it speaks of Wisdom, good or bad,
three times in the last paragraph.
The influence of the Wisdom of Solomon upon
the letters of Paul, especially Romans, is so very
marked that it has been thought Paul must have
read or reread it not long before he wrote Romans.
The intensely personal way in which the divine
Wisdom is described in the Apocrypha, prepares us
in some degree for Paul's bold identification of
Jesus with that wisdom, in Col. 1:15: "He is the
likeness of the unseen God, born before any crea-
ture, for it was through him that everything was
created" just the thought of the Book of Wisdom
about Wisdom itself, where the same word for
"likeness" is employed:
For she is a reflection of the everlasting light,
And a spotless mirror of the activity of God,
And a likeness of his goodness [7 : 26].
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 127
Paul sees in Jesus the embodiment of the Wisdom
of God, already personified in the Apocrypha. The
same idea is carried a little farther, still under the
influence of Wisdom, in the Letter to the Hebrews,
where the famous words
He is the reflection of God's glory,
And the representation of his being,
And bears up the universe by his mighty word
reproduce the same description of Wisdom in the
Book of Wisdom (7:26). The writer of Hebrews,
like Paul before him, understands Jesus to be the
impersonation or embodiment of the divine Wis-
dom. And finally it was the apparent equating of
the divine Wisdom and the divine Word in Wisdom
Who created all things by your word,
And by your wisdom formed man,
that influenced the writer of the Gospel of John to
identify both the divine Word and the divine Wis-
dom with Jesus, in the opening words of the great
prologue: "In the beginning the Word existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was divine.
.... Everything came into existence through him.
.... So the Word became flesh and blood and lived
for a while among us, abounding in blessing and
truth. 3 '
So it is the Apocrypha rather than the Old Testa-
ment that prepare us for the Christologies of the
128 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
New. The use of Wisd. 5 : 17-20 combined with Isa.
59; 17 in Eph. 6: 13-17, in building up the figure of
the Christian soldier and his weapons, is unmistak-
able: "You must take God's armor, .... the belt
of truth, .... uprightness as your coat of mail,
.... faith for your shield, . , . . salvation for your
helmet, and for your sword the Spirit, which is the
voice of God."
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews with its list of
the heroes of faith, is clearly influenced by the
praise of famous men of Israel, in the Wisdom of
Sirach, chapters 44-50, Verse 35 refers to the suf-
ferings and hopes of resurrection of the Maccabean
martyrs of II Maccabees, chapter 7, The words
"put foreign armies to flight," may be an allusion
to Judith's routing of the army of Holofernes. The
climax of the chapter in Hebrews undoubtedly
refers to the Maccabean persecution so much dwelt
upon in II Maccabees:
Still others had to endure taunts and blows, and even
fetters and prison. They were stoned to death, they were
tortured to death, they were sawed in two, they were killed
with the sword. Clothed in. the skins of sheep or goats,
they were driven from place to place, destitute, persecuted,
misused men of whom the world was not worthy wander-
ing in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground
Some readers of the Revelation cannot believe
that Babylon there means Rome, until they find it
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 129
used in that sense in Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah,
and II Esdras. Tobit's dream of a day when Jeru-
salem would be rebuilt of sapphire and emerald,
with walls of precious stones, and towers and battle-
ments of pure gold, and streets paved with beryl,
ruby, and stones of Ophir (Tob. 13:16, 17) must
have been in the mind of the writer of the Revela-
tion when he described the New Jerusalem as a city
of pure gold, with a street of gold, and walls of
jasper, sapphire, emerald, beryl, and all kinds of
precious stones (Rev. 21:18-21).
Origen and Jerome both held that the writers of
the New Testament knew and used the Apocrypha,
and we have seen how in the gospels, the letters,
and the Revelation, the direct influence of the
Apocrypha is easily traced. They formed part of
the literary background of the first age of Christian-
ity and helped to enrich its thought, its preaching,
and its writing. Of course Christianity greatly
elevated some of this material, and some of it if
disdained; but some it appropriated to its own ends.
Scholars sometimes speak as though religion in
the Bible moved evenly onward and upward to its ,
culmination in Christ, but they have forgotten the
Apocrypha. In some of them, religion sank for a
time to a very low level, until it offered but a dark
background for the dawn of Christianity. Consider
the last page of the Apocrypha, the fifteenth chap-
130 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
ter of II Maccabees, a recognized product of
Pharisaism half a century before Christ. Judas has
just defeated the Syrian general Nicanor, and Nica-
nor has been slain. Judas triumphantly carries his
head and arm to Jerusalem to hang them up in
triumph before the sanctuary, and declares his in-
tention of cutting out Nicanor's tongue and feeding
it in little pieces to the birds. So the curtain falls
on the Apocrypha.
How different is the voice of the gospels ! "You
have heard that they were told, 'You must love
your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I tell
you, love your enemies, and pray for your persecu-
tors, so that you may show yourselves true sons of
your Father in heaven. 7 ' 2
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. References: r Deut. 21:22, 23; 2 Matt. 5:43-45.
2. What light do the Apocrypha throw upon the Phari-
3. What book throws light upon the Sadducees?
4. What book throws light on the matter of angels and
demons in the New Testament?
5. What book most influenced New Testament Christol-
6. What book seems to have influenced the parables in
7. What precedent do the Apocrypha afford for the
action of Joseph of Arimathea?
8. What interpolation in the Gospel of John reminds us of
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 131
9. What was the festival of Dedication, mentioned in
10. What scenes in the Apocrypha does Hebrews reflect?
11. In how many New Testament books can you trace
the influence of the Apocrypha?
12. Contrast the Pharisaic ethics of II Maccabees with
those of the gospels.
13. What light do the Apocrypha throw upon Matthew,
THE APOCRYPHA IN THE
Early Christian writers give abundant evidence
of their acquaintance with the Apocrypha and their
respect for them. Clement and Hernias, Polycarp
and Barnabas, contemporary with the later writers
of the New Testament itself, reflect their use, and
the greater figures that followed Irenaeus of
Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and
Cyprian of Carthage, Hippolytus of Rome, and
Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria all knew
them. For the Apocrypha were not then a definite
collection of books standing apart and thought of
together; they were scattered through the Greek
Old Testament, and were thought of as parts of it.
The earliest Christian writing outside the New
Testament that has come down to us is the Letter of
Clement, written in the name of the church at
Rome to the church at Corinth, about A.D. 95. He
ranks Judith with Esther, and says of her, "The
blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked
the elders to let her go out into the camp of the
aliens. So she exposed herself to danger, and went
out, for love of her country and her people who
IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 133
were besieged; and the Lord delivered Holof ernes
into a woman's hand [55:4]."
Twenty years later, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna,
quoted to the Philippians some of Tobit's great
words about charity: "Charity saves from death."
Tobit's advice to his son about giving to charity
is very sound and specific we still hear it quoted
sometimes in church, when the collection is taken:
"Do not let your eye begrudge what you give to
charity Give to charity in proportion to
what you have; if you have little do not be afraid to
give sparingly to charity, .... for charity will save
you from death [4:6-10; 12:9; Polycarp 10:2]."
The Letter of Barnabas (12:1), fifteen years
later, quotes the Ezra Apocalypse in II Esdras
(4:33; 5:5) as one of the prophets. With Baruch
appended to Jeremiah, it was natural to quote it
as coming from him. Athenagoras of Athens who
wrote a Plea for the Christians to the Emperor Mar-
cus Aurelius, about A.D. 180, quotes the fine saying
of Baruch, "He is our God; no other can be com-
pared with him," as inspired words, and Irenaeus
about the same time and Clement of Alexandria
soon after quote passages in Baruch as the words
The Book of Wisdom actually appears as a book
of the New Testament in the earliest list of New
Testament books we possess, that of the Mura-
torian fragment, originally composed about A.D. 200
134 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
and representing the practice of the church at
Rome. The book is spoken of as the "Wisdom com-
posed by the friends of Solomon in his honor."
Nothing could more eloquently express the regard
felt for it in Christian circles than this impulse to
include it in the New Testament itself. We have
seen how it molded the earliest Christian thought
Hippolytus included Susanna as part of Daniel
among his commentaries on the scriptures. His
opening observation is quaintly interesting: "What
is narrated here happened at a later time although
it is placed at the beginning of the book. For it was
a custom with the writers to narrate many things in
an inverted order in their writings" a custom, we
may add, that they have never outgrown. Susanna
formed the subject of an interesting correspondence
ten years later (A.D. 240) between two of the great-
est Christian scholars of their day Origen and
Julius Africanus the latter contending on the basis
of the Greek puns in the story that it must have
been written in Greek and not in Hebrew. Origen
stoutly maintained its genuineness, going on to talk
of Tobit and Judith, which he accepted without
question as scripture.
The paintings of the Catacombs reflect familiar-
ity with the scenes and subjects of the Apocrypha.
But eastern Christianity began in the fourth cen-
tury to regard them with less esteem, although the
IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 135
great Greek Bibles written in the East, probably in
Egypt and Caesarea, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth
centuries still included them. In the seventh cen-
tury the East swung back to them, however, and in
modern times, in the seventeenth century, limited
its list of Apocrypha to Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasti-
cus, and Wisdom.
It was Jerome as we have seen who first pointed
out their absence from the Hebrew Bible of Pales-
tine, and named them Apocrypha, but he left them
in his Vulgate version, which became the Bible of
western Europe. Luther took Jerome's point so
seriously as to separate the Apocrypha from the rest
of the Old Testament and group them together fol-
lowing it, in his German Bible of 1534, and Cover-
dale followed his example in the English Bibles of
1535 and 1539. In fact all the Protestant Bibles
long followed this course, except that the Puritan
demand for a Bible without the Apocrypha led the
publishers to begin to omit the Apocrypha sheets
from some copies, from 1599 on.
This Protestant depreciation of the Apocrypha
led the Council of Trent in 1546 to reaffirm accept-
ance of them all but II Esdras and the Prayer of
Manasseh, which were relegated to an appendix
following the New Testament. Luther called them
useful and good to read, but not scripture.
The Church of England in its Sixth Article in-
dorses the reading of them for example of life and
136 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
instruction in manners. But the Westminster Con-
fession, framed principally by Presbyterian divines,
in 1648 declared they were not to be otherwise used
than other human writings.
As Sir Frederic Kenyon has put it, the Puritans
persecuted the Apocrypha, and we cannot alto-
gether blame them, for while the historical interest
and value of the Apocrypha are considerable, their
religious levels are seldom high. It was this Puritan
influence no doubt that led the British and Ameri-
can Bible societies in 1827 to decide that they would
no longer use funds given to them in the publication
of the Apocrypha. The result has been that the
Apocrypha are now seldom found in any but pulpit
or old-fashioned Family Bibles. But it cannot be
denied that they formed an integral part of the
King James Version of 1611, and George Abbot,
archbishop of Canterbury, made an ordinance that
anyone who printed the English Bible without them
should be imprisoned for a year.
In the Latin version of Tobit and in the earliest
English Bibles, Tobias and Sarah are described as
giving the first three nights after their marriage to
prayer, postponing their wedlock until the fourth.
This practice was general in the Middle Ages, and
was followed by Louis IX (St. Louis) of France and
his queen, upon their marriage in 1234, in imitation
of Tobias. To this reading of the Vulgate is due the
fact that in the earliest Book of Common Prayer
IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 137
(1549), Tobias and Sarah, not Abraham and Sarah,
are mentioned as the ideal pair: "And as thou didst
send thy angel Raphael to Thobie and Sarah, the
daughter of Raguel, to their great comfort, so
vouchsafe to send thy blessing to these thy serv-
ants." Evidently in the later marriage service,
Abraham has taken Tobias' birthright. The medi-
eval order of matrimony as laid down in the Use
of Sarum, after a similar mention of Tobias and
Sarah, concludes with the blessing of the bridal
chamber and the marriage bed by the priest, who
prays, "Keep thy servants who rest in this bed from
all phantoms and illusions of devils" a manifest
reference to the demon who had haunted Sarah and
killed her husbands.
The influence of the Apocrypha upon the litera-
ture and art of the Middle Ages was considerable.
In the Divine Comedy , the action of which began
on the Thursday before Easter in the year 1300,
Dante makes full use of them. The Wisdom of Solo-
mon, Tobit, Judith, I and II Maccabees and II
Esdras are all reflected in his lines. His vision of the
eagle (the Empire) scattering its feathers over the
cross (the church) meaning that when Constantine
removed to Constantinople, he left the imperial
authority in the West to the church is influenced
by the Eagle Vision of II Esdras. And the third
ring in the Inferno, where the betrayers of their
friends are located, is called Tolomea, after that
138 THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Ptolemy who murdered the Maccabean Simon and
his sons at a banquet (Inferno, canto 33; I Mace.
One of the most interesting monuments of the
Middle Ages is certainly the Golden Legend of Jaco-
bus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, written
about 1275. It paraphrases Judith and Tobit from
the Latin Vulgate. It was translated into English
and printed in 1483 by William Caxton, who says
of Judith that it is read (in church, that is) on the
last Sunday of October.
The Church of England still includes some lessons
from the Apocrypha in its church year, and the
place of the Apocrypha in its Bible is so secure tliat
the King on his accession cannot take the oath of
office on a Bible that does not contain them. Upon
the monument to the Prince Consort which Queen
Victoria erected at Balmoral Castle, she placed an
inscription from Wisd. 4:13, 14: "He being made
perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: for
his soul pleased the Lord : therefore hasted he to
take him away from among the wicked," The Song
of the Three Children has been sung in the Chris-
tian church as the Benedicite ever since the fourth
century, first in Latin and latterly in English.
Shakespeare named his daughters Judith and
Susanna, and the figures of the Apocrypha meet us
again and again in the pages of English literature
from Chaucer down. Indeed, long before, Gildas,
IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 139
"the earliest of British historians/' is said to have
made copious use in the sixth century of II Esdras.
Judas Maccabeus and Susanna became the sub-
jects of oratorios by Handel. Judith has in modern
times engaged the pens of Thomas Bailey Aldrich
and Arnold Bennett, and Bennett's Ghost cer-
tainly rests on Tobit's Asmodeus, who had been
the hero of one of LeSage's novels, two centuries
before. Tobit's latest literary revival is in Stella
Benson's Faraway Bride, which was suggested by the
Book of Tobit, being in fact published in England
under the title Tobit Transplanted (1931). Indeed
Susanna and the story of Bel have the leading places
in Dorothy Sayers' first Omnibus of Crime, and Su-
sanna is included in Clark and Lieber's Great Short
Stories of the World (1926) . But it would take a book
to record the literary influence of the Apocrypha.
Like the artists of the catacombs, the painters
of the Renaissance reveled in the subjects the Apoc-
rypha afforded. Judith with the head of Holofernes.
Susanna surprised by the elders, Tobias walking with
his guide, attracted the genius of a long series of
painters. Many people get their first introduction
to the Apocrypha when they see their romantic
characters and dramatic incidents represented in
European picture galleries. And it is not without
significance for the influence of the Apocrypha upon
Renaissance Italy that one of its greatest painters
was named after Tobias' guide, Raphael.
140 THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. How did early Christian writers regard the Apocrypha?
2. How far back can we trace their use by Christian
3. What did the Roman Christians think of the Book of
4. When the Latin Bible replaced the Greek in Europe,
what became of the Apocrypha?
5. How did Dante use the Apocrypha?
6. Which of them appear in the Golden Legend?
7. What light do the catacombs throw upon their history?
8. What did Luther do with them?
9. Where do they stand in the first English Bibles?
10. What influence began to eliminate them?
11. How did this first find expression?
12. What attitude have the Bible societies taken?
13. What place have the Apocrypha in the art of the
14. Do the Apocrypha still influence English literature?
15. Which do you consider their chief value literary,
historical, or religious?
Soon after 200 The Book of Tobit
200-175 - Ecclesiasticus
1 68 . The Prayer of Azariah
150 The Song of the Three Children
150 .The First Book of Esdras
150 . The Book of Judith
150-100. ... . . .The Prayer of Manasseh
100 ... The Additions to Esther
100-75 .... ... .The Story of Susanna
100-75 .Bel and the Dragon
100-75 The First Book of Maccabees
75-65 . . . .The Second Book of Maccabees
38-41 The Wisdom of Solomon
100 ... The Book of Baruch
100 The Letter of Jeremiah
66-270 The Second Book of Esdras
The Apocrypha Translated out of the Greek and Latin Tongues:
Being the Version Set forth A.D. 1611 Compared with the
Most Ancient Authorities and Revised, A.D, i8g4. Oxford:
GOODSPEED, EDGAR J. The Apocrypha: An American Trans-
lation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1938.
DEANE, W. J. The Book of Wisdom. Oxford: Clarendon
GOODRICK, A. T. S. The Book of Wisdom. With Introduc-
tion and Notes. New York: Macmillan, 1913.
DAUBNEY, W. H. The Three Additions to Daniel. Cam-
bridge: University Press, 1906.
. The Use of the Apocrypha in the Christian Church.
London: C. J. Clay, 1900.
HUGHES, H. MALDWYN. The Ethics of Jewish Apocryphal
Literature. London: R. Culley, 1910.
CHARLES, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the
Old Testament. 2 vols. Oxford, 1913.
CHARLES, R. H. Religious Development between the Old and
New Testaments. New York: Henry Holt, 1914.
WICKS, H. J. The Doctrine of God in Jewish Apocryphal
and Apocalyptic Literature. London: Hunter &Longhurst,
MARCUS, RALPH. Law in the Apocrypha. New York: Co-
lumbia University Press, 1927.
Box, G. H. Judaism in the Greek Period. Oxford: Claren-
don Press, 1932.
HERFORD, R. TRAVERS. Talmud and Apocrypha. London:
OESTERXEY, W. O. E. An Introduction to the Books of the
Apocrypha. New York: Macmillan, 1935.
MALDEN, R. H. The Apocrypha. London: Oxford Univer-
sity Press, 1936.
RANKEST, O. S. Israel's Wisdom Literature; Its Bearing on
Theology and the History of Religion. Edinburgh: T. and
T. Clark, 1936.
WALKER, THOMAS. Hebrew Religion between the Testaments.
London: J. Clarke, 1937.
WAXMAN, MEYER. A History of Jewish Literature, Vol. I:
From the Close of the Canon to the End of the Twelfth Cen-
tury. New York: Bloch, 1938.
Abbot, George, 6, 136
Abraham and Sarah, 137
Achior, 45, 46
Aesculapius, 73, 74
Aeshma Daeva, 1 7
Ahab and Zedekiah, 69
Ahikar, 14, 17
Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 139
Alexander Jannaeus, 65, 69,
76, 78, 79, 87
Alexander the Great, 31
Alexandria, 83, 88, 90-94, 97
American Standard Version, 7
American Translation, 1 1
Angels, 1 6
Angels and demons, 121-23
Antiochus Epiphanes, 32, 76, 85
Antiochus the Great, 24
Aphrodite worship, 108
Apocalyps? of Zephaniah, 113
Apocrypha, the name, 3
Apology of Aristides, 108, 109
Aramaic in Daniel, 17
Artaxerxes, 38, 42, 43, 58
Artaxerxes Ochus, 49
Ashdod, desolation of, 48
Asmodeus, 17, 139
Assyrians, Babylonians con-
Authorized Bibles, 5, 6
Azariah, Prayer of, 31, 33, 52
Azariah (Raphael), 15
Babylon-Rome, 101, 106, 112,
Babylonian women, 108
Bagoas, 46, 47
Balmoral Castle, 138
Bar-Cochba war, 101
Barnabas, Letter of, 132, 133
Baruch, Book of, 100, 101,
109, 129, 133
Bel and the Dragon, 72, 73
Belshazzar, 101, 103
Benedicite, 35, 138
Bennett, Arnold, 139
Benson, Stella, 139
Bible Societies, 7, 136
Bishops' Bible, 5, 54, 65, 118
Blindness cured, 16
Book of Common Prayer, 136
Brenton, Sir Lancelot, 10
Brooks, Thomas, 44
Burial, 123, 124
THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Cambridge Press, 7
Canticle of the Sun, 35
Catacombs, 134, 139
Caxton, William, 138
Charles, R. H., 10
Chasidim, 32, 54, 77, 121
Christian armor, 128
Christology, 98, 126-28, 131
Church of England, 138
Church of England, Sixth
Article, 6, 135
Clement of Alexandria, 63, 81,
104, 132, 133
Clement of Rome, 48, 51, 63,
Cleopatra, wife of Ptolemy, 61
Clermont list, 82
Codex Alexandrinus, 82
Codex Sinaiticus, 82
Codex Vaticanus, 82
Codex Venetus, 82
Colossians, Letter to the, 97,
Council of Trent, 135
Coverdale, 4, 5, 8, 54
Coverdale's Bible, 5, 65, 118,
Cyrus, 39, 42, 72
Damasus, Pope, 2
Daniel, 33-35, 65, 66, 72, 73,
103, 124, 134
Dante, 137, 140
Darius, 42, 43
Decian Persecution, in
Dedication, 85, 126
Desecration of the Temple, 32
Dialogue of Justin, 112
Dionysius of Alexandria, 132
Divine Comedy, 137
Domitian, 101, 117
Eagle Vision, 115, 137
Ecbatana, 14-16, 49
Ecclesiastes, 90-93, 97
Ecclesiasticus, 20, 21, 25, 135
Egyptian Judaism, 13
Egyptian medicine, 17
Embassy to Gams, 92
English of King James Apoc-
English of Revised Apocrypha,
English Revision Committee, 7
Ephesians, Letter to, 98, 128
Epicureanism, 91, 92
Esdras, I, II, III, IV, V, VI,
Esdras, I, 37-44
Esdras, II, 3, 111-19, 129, 133,
135, 137, 139
Esther, Additions to, 57-64,
Eusebius, 81, 124
Ezra, 3, 29,40, 113-16
Ezra, Book of, 118
Ezra Apocalypse, The, 114-18,
Family Bibles, i, 136
Faraway Bride, 139
Fiction, 48, 74
Folklore, 38, 39, 41
Francis, St., 35
Gabriel, 18, 123
Gaius worship, 91, 93, 94
Geneva Bible, 5, 6, 9, 54, 65,
Ghost, The, 139
Golden Legend, The, 138, 140
Gospel of John, 69, 98, 124,
Gospel of Luke, 122, 125
Gospel of Matthew, 124, 125
Gospel of the Hebrews, 124
Great Bible, 54, 65, 118
Great Short Stories, 139
Greek, Jewish writings in, 42,
62, 68, 71, 118
Greek Old Testament, i
Guardsmen, the Three, 39
Hanukkah, 48, 84
Hebrew, 25, 33, 68, 117
Hebrew Bible, 2, 135
Hebrews, Gospel of the, 1 24
Hebrews, Letter to the, 88, 98,
Herodotus, 49, 50, 108
Hippolytus, 81, 132, 134
Holof ernes, 45, 46, 128, 133,
Humor, 18, 21, 26, 27
Idolatry, 71, 73, 90, 93, 94, 96,
Immortality, 91, 92, 98
Irenaeus, 69, 104, 132
Isaiah, 102, 128
Jacobus de Voragine, 138
Jason of Cyrene, 81, 83, 84, 86,
Jeremiah, 101, 133
Jeremiah, Letter of, 105-10,
Jerome, 2, 3, 58, 69, 81, 129,
THE STORY OF THE APOCRYPHA
Jeshua (Jesus), son of Sirach,
Jewish. Apocalypses, 1 1 1
Jewish, fiction, 48, 74
Jewish ideals, 13, 22
Jewish sects, 121
Jewish War, 100, 116, 117
John, Gospel of, 69, 98, 124,
John Hyrcanus, 78
Jonathan, 77, So, 86
Joseph of Arimathea, 19, 123,
Josephus, 63, 81, 88
Josiah's Passover, 38
Judas Maccabeus, 33, 36, 37,
80, 83-87, 121, 130, 139
Judith, 45-5 1 , 121, 128, 132,
134, 135, 137-49
Judith Shakespeare, 138
Julius Africanus, 67, 69, 134
Kenyon, Sir Frederic G., 6, 136
Kkons,, Tractate of, 16
King James Bible, 5, 6, 19, 54,
King James English in Apoc-
Latin Vulgate, 2, 3, 8, 19, 58,
109, 118, 136, 138
Law, Jewish, 26, 38, 48, 49, 66,
Le Sage, 139
Letter of Jeremiah, 105-10
Lions' den, 73
Liturgy, 34, 35, 101
Louis IX, 136
Luke, Gospel of, 122, 125
Luther, 4, 5, 8, 119, 135, 140
Luther's Bible, 4, 135
Maccabean brothers, 76-81
Maccabean martyrs, 121
Maccabean persecution, 128
Maccabees, I, 76-82, 121, 126,
Maccabees, II, 83-89, 121, 122,
125, 126, 128, 130, 137
Magian religion, 1 7
Manasseh, Prayer of, 52-56,
Man from the Sea, 115, 116
Marcus Aurelius, 133
Martyrdoms, 83, 85, 86
Mattathias, 32, 33, 77
Matthew, Gospel of, 124, 125
Matthew Bible, Thomas, 65
Melito of Sardis, 2
Michael, 18, 123
Middle Ages, 19, 124, 137, 138
Muratorian fragment, 133
Name of God, 79, 80
Nature, appreciation of, 20,
Neglect of the Apocrypha, 10,
Nehemiah, 118, 119
New Jerusalem, 19, 129
New Testament, 120
Nicanor, 48, 85, 130
Nineveh, 14, 16, 17, 49, 123
Old Latin Version, 124
Omnibus of Crime, 139
Oriental versions, 116
Origen, 63, 67, 69, 81, 129, 132,
Oxyrhynchus papyri, 117-19
Palmyra, in, 112
Paul, 97, 98, 121, 126
Persecution, 90, 91, 93
Persecution, Decian, in, 116
Persia, in, 112
Persian religion, 17, 121
Pharisaic literature, 48, 49, 51,
Pharisaism, 50, 130
Pharisees, 48, 65, 70, 77, 83, 86,
1 20-22, 124
Philippians, Polycarp to the, 133
Philo, 88, 91, 92, 97
Platonic philosophy, 97
Plea for Christians, 133
Polycarp, 132, 133
Pompey, 87, 88
Praise of Famous Men, 29
Prayer of Azariah, 31, 33, 52
Prayer of Manasseh, 52-56, 135
Preaching of Peter, 108, 109
Presbyterian influence, 136
Prince Consort, 138
Psalms, The, 35, 36
Ptolemy and Cleopatra, 61
Ptolemy, son of Abubus, 138
Puritans, 5, 6, 136
Queen Victoria, 138
Ragae, 14, 15
Raguel, 15, 1 6
Raphael, 14-16, 18, 123, 137
Raphael, painter, 139
Renaissance, 139, 140
Revelation, the, 128, 129
Revision English in the Apoc-
Romans, the, 124
Romans, Letter to the, 126
Rome, 101, 106, 132
Sadducees, 65, 76, 78, 83, 120,
Sarah, 14, 15, 19, 123
Sayers, Dorothy, 139
Septuagint translators, 10
Septuagint version, 119
Serapeum, 90, 105
Sermon on the Mount, 123
THE STORY OE THE APOCRYPHA
Serpent worship, 73, 74
Seven husbands, 19
Seventy books, the, 116
Shakespeare, 70, 138
Sibylline Oracles, 113
Simeon ben Shetach, 65
Simon, the Maccabean, 78, 86
Simon, son of Onias, 24, 26, 29
Sirach, Jeshua, son of, 20-30,
Sirach, Wisdom of, 20-30, 122-
Solomon, go, 134
Solomon, Wisdom of, 90-99
Song of the Three Children,
34-36, 72, 138
Susanna, 65-70, 72, 121, 124,
125, 134, 139
Susanna Shakespeare, 70, 138
Table manners, 21
Temple dishes, 3941
Temple worship, 24, 38
Tcrtullian, 69, 132
Theodotion, version of, 68
Thomas Matthew Bible, 8
Thomson, Charles, 10
Three Guardsmen, the, 38, 39,
Titus, 1 01
Tobias, 15, 16, 19, 137, *39
Tobias and Sarah, 19, 136, 137
Tobit, 13-19, 121, 123, 129,
Tobit Transplanted, 139
Tractate of Khons, the, 16
Translation, 25, 81
Unjust Judge, the, 124, 125
Uriel, 114, 123
Use of Sarum, the, 137
Vulgate, Latin, 2, 3, 19, 58,
109, 118, 135, 136, 138
Westminster Confession, 136
Wisdom, 20, 23, 90, 96, 98, 102
Wisdom of Sirach, 20-30, 126,
Wisdom of Solomon, 90-99,
108, 126-28, 133-35, *37>
Writing of the Books, the, 116,
Wyclif and Purvey, 4
Xenophon, Memorabilia, 97
Zephaniah, Apocalypse of, 113
Zerubbabel, 39, 41
]i_IN USA (I