Apocalypse of Abraham ???? Testament of Abraham (Abridged)

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Abraham Apocrypha. The first part of the story of Abraham is from "The Apocalypse of Abraham" (from 00:12), translated from Slavonic by Professor N. Bonwetsch; the second part is from "The Testament of Abraham" (from 07:53), edited by James in Texts and Studies. LibriVox Recording. PUBLIC DOMAIN. I edited and amplified the audio track.
00:12 THE APOCALYPSE OF ABRAHAM (Abridged in the video) is a pseudepigraphic work (a text whose claimed authorship is uncertain) based on the Old Testament. Probably composed between about 70–150 AD from earlier writings and tradition possibly kept from the time of Abraham, it is of Jewish origin and is usually considered to be part of the Apocalyptic literature. It has survived only in Old Slavonic recensions and it is not regarded as authoritative scripture by Jews or any Christians, though it likely held some prominence up into the first century

"The Apocalypse of Abraham belongs to a body of Abraham literature flourishing about the time of Christ. "The Book is essentially Jewish," wrote George H. Box, with "features . . . which suggest Essene origin." From the Essenes it passed, he suggested, "to Ebionite circles . . . and thence, in some form, found its way into Gnostic circles," though "Gnostic elements in our Book are not very pronounced." -- Dr. Hugh Nibley (Abraham in Egypt)


Yahoel (or Iaoel) in the Apocalypse of Abraham is the mighty angel sent to guide Abraham. Yahoel introduces himself as a being possessed of the power of the Ineffable Name "whose name is like unto that of God Himself". As the angel nearer to God, or perhaps as a manifestation of the power of God himself, Yahoel is said to be also the heavenly choirmaster, the one who teaches the angels their hymn, who has the control over "the threats and attacks of the reptiles", the angel with the chief task of protecting and watching over Israel. These functions were traditionally ascribed to Michael and mark the gradual transformation of Michael, originally the guardian angel of Israel, into Meṭaṭron. Yahoel's body is depicted as being like sapphire, his face like chrysolite, his hair like snow, his turban like the appearance of the rainbow, and his garments as purple, with a golden sceptre is in his right hand. Iaoel and Yahoel have been used also as alternate names for Metatron.


In the Apocalypse of Abraham, Azazel is portrayed as an unclean bird which comes down upon the sacrifice which Abraham, the Biblical patriarch, has prepared. This is in reference to Genesis 15:11, "Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away".

And the unclean bird spoke to me and said, "What are you doing, Abraham, on the holy heights, where no one eats or drinks, nor is there upon them food for men. But these all will be consumed by fire and ascend to the height, they will destroy you."

The Apocalypse of Abraham associates Azazel with Hell. Abraham says to him, "May you be the firebrand of the furnace of the earth! Go, Azazel, into the untrodden parts of the earth. For your heritage is over those who are with you" (14:5–6). There is also the idea that God's heritage (the created world) is largely under the dominion of evil. It is "shared with Azazel" (20:5). Azazel is also identified with the serpent which tempted Eve. His form is described as a dragon with "hands and feet like a man's, on his back six wings on the right and six on the left." (23:7)


07:53 THE TESTAMENT OF ABRAHAM (abridged in the video) is a pseudepigraphic text of the Old Testament. Probably composed in the 1st or 2nd century CE, it is of Jewish origin and is usually considered to be part of the apocalyptic literature. It is regarded as scripture by Beta Israel Ethiopian Jews, but not by any other Jewish or Christian groups. It is often treated as one of a trio of very similar works, the other two of which are the Testament of Isaac and Testament of Jacob, though there is no reason to assume that they were originally a single work. All three works are based on the Blessing of Jacob, found in the Bible, in their style. The Qur'an also contains a reference to The Scrolls (Arabic: suhuf) of Abraham in Sura 87, which has no apparent relation to anything in this text.



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