THE STORY OF JOSEPH THE CARPENTER
The main text of Joseph le Carpentier is in Bohairic, with an Arabic text and fragments of a Sahidic text. The Sahidic fragments are in Rome (Catalogus codicum copticorum 1782 n°121). The Arabic text, published by Georg Wallin in Leipzig 1722 with a Latin version, is in the National Library of Paris). M.R. James used the Latin version to provide a summary of the text.
His whole life was one hundred and eleven years, and his departure from this world happened on the twenty-sixth of the month Abib, which answers to the month Ab. May his prayer preserve us! Amen. And, indeed, it was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who related this history to His holy disciples on the Mount of Olives, and all Joseph's labour, and the end of his days. And the holy apostles have preserved this conversation, and have left it written down in the library at Jerusalem. May their prayers preserve us! Amen
One day, when our good Saviour was sitting on the Mount of Olives, surrounded by his disciples, he said to them, "My beloved brethren and children of my good Father, whom he has chosen from the entire world, you know how often I have told you that I have to be crucified and taste death on behalf of all mankind, that I will rise again from the dead and that I will entrust to you the preaching of the gospel throughout the whole world. I will grant to you strength from on high and fill you with a holy spirit, so that you may preach to all the nations of the earth, telling them to repent. For it is better that a man should find a cup of water in the world to come than all the riches of the present world; a single footstep in the house of my Father is better than all the wealth of this world; and furthermore a single hour of the just rejoicing is better than a thousand years of sinners weeping and moaning, for their tears will not be wiped away and they will be consigned to oblivion. Therefore, my revered limbs, when you go forth, preach to them that my Father will settle His accounts with you using a just scale and a just measure and that everything they say will be examined. Just as there is no escape from death, so there is no escape from one's actions, whether they are good or bad. And remember this too, that nobody will escape because of his influence or wealth. Now listen, and I will tell you the life story of my father Joseph, the aged and revered carpenter."
There was a man called Joseph, who lived in the town of Bethlehem, a Jewish town that was the home of King David.
He had learned wisdom and the skill of carpentry. Joseph was married in the eyes of God, and his wife had given him sons and daughters: four boys called Judas, Justus, Jacob and Simeon, and two girls called Lysia and Lydia.
His wife died when Jacob was quite small.
He was a righteous man who praised God in all things and he worked with his two sons at his trade, which provided them with a living according to the law of Moses. And it was to this man, my human father, that my mother Mary was betrothed.
When my father Joseph became a widow, Mary, my mother for her part, she of all good and blessed ways, was in the temple of God serving Him in purity.
She was twelve years old and had spent three years with her parents and nine years in the temple of the Lord.
When the priests saw that she lived modestly and in the fear of the Lord, they said, "Let us find a good man and betroth her to him until it is time for her to marry lest we allow the custom of women to happen to her in the temple, for it would be very sinful of us."
They then summoned the tribe of Juda and selected from it twelve men in accordance with the number of tribes in Israel. The choice fell upon that worthy elder, my human father Joseph.
The priests told my mother to accompany Joseph and remain obedient to him until the wedding. Joseph took Mary home, where she found Jacob a poor orphan and set about caring for him.
And so she came to be called 'mother of Jacob'. After Joseph had installed her in his house, he went about his business as a carpenter. Mary spent two years in his house until the good time.
In the fourteenth year of her life, I came of my own accord. I came into existence inside her, I the living Jesus, your life.
After Mary had been pregnant for three months, the innocent Joseph returned home from the place where he did his carpentry and found his wife pregnant.
Troubled and afraid, he decided to put her away secretly. He was so distressed that he neither ate nor drank.
In the middle of the night Gabriel, the archangel of joy, came to him in a vision, in accordance with the instructions of my good Father.
He said to him, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife. The child she will bear is from a Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son whom you will call Jesus. He is the one who will rule all nations with a rod of iron."
The angel then left Joseph, who arose from his sleep and did as he had been instructed by the angel of the Lord. He took Mary for his wife.
After these things a decree came forth from Augustus the king that everyone in the world should give his name, each one according to his town.
Joseph, well advanced in years, took Mary my Virgin mother to his town of Bethlehem (for she was near to giving birth). He wrote his name in the presence of the scribe: Joseph the son of David with Mary his wife and Jesus his son, being from the tribe of Juda.
And Mary my mother gave birth to me on the way to Bethelehem at the cave of Rachel, the wife of Jacob the patriarch, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.
Satan advised Herod the Great, the father of Archelaus, who had taken off the head of my beloved relative John. Thus he sought after me to kill me, thinking that my kingdom was of this world.
Joseph was told by my Father in a vision. He rose up, took me and my mother Mary, I sitting on her lap, Salome walking behind us, and we went down to Egypt.
We stayed there a full year until the body of Herod had turned into worms and he died because of the blood of the small innocent children whom he had put to death.
When that lawless Herod died, we returned to Israel and lived in a town of Galilee called Nazareth.
My father Joseph, the blessed elder, did his work as a carpenter, we living from his handiwork.
He never ate bread that was not earned, in accordance with the law of Moses.
After this long time, his body did not become weak, his eyes did not become dim, not a single tooth decayed in his mouth, he did not lose his understanding or wisdom in this whole time, but he was like a youth, having reached the age of 111 years in a good old age.
His two grown-up sons, Justus and Simeon, married and went to (live in) their own house and his two daughters likewise married, as it is appointed to everyone. Joseph lived with his youngest son Jacob.
When the Virgin gave birth to me, I lived with them in all filial submission, for I have done everything human except for sin alone.
I called Mary my mother and Joseph my father, and I obeyed them in everything they would say to me and I did not answer them back in anything, but I loved them very much.
It happened after this that the death of Joseph drew near, as it is appointed for everyone.
When his body became ill, his angel told him, "In this year you will die."
And when his soul became troubled, he went to Jerusalem and went into the temple of the Lord, made obeisance before the altar and prayed as follows:
"God the Father of all mercy and God of all flesh, the Lord of my soul, my body and my spirit. If the days of my life which you gave to me in this world are complete, then I beg you, Lord God, to send to me Michael the Archangel that he may stand beside me until my wretched soul comes forth from my body without pain or trouble, for the death of every person is a great fear and distress, whether man, beast domestic or wild, reptile or bird. In a word, every living creature that is under heaven, which has a living soul, experiences pain and distress, until their soul separates from their body.
Now then, my Lord, may your angel stand with my soul and body until they separate from each other without pain. Do not let your angel which has been assigned to me since the day you formed me until now fill his face with anger at me on my way to you. But let him be peaceful with me. Let not those with different faces give me trouble on my way to you. Let not those who are upon the gates hold back my soul and do not give me shame at your fearful tribunal. Do not let the waves of the river of fire be fierce to me, the one in which every soul is cleansed before it sees the glory of your divinity. God who gives justice to each person in truth and righteousness, now my Lord, let your mercy be a comfort to me, for you are the spring of all good things. Glory is yours for ever and ever. Amen."
It happened after these things that he came down to Nazareth, the town where he lived and fell into the illness from which he was to die, as it is appointed to every person. His illness was much more serious than all the others he had ever suffered in his life.
Here is the mode of life of my beloved father, Joseph. He was 40 when he married and spent another 49 years living with his wife, and she died.
He spent a year alone, and my mother spent another two years in his house, when she had been given to him by the priests, who instructed him to watch over her until the time for matrimony.
At the beginning of the third year in his house (when she was fifteen), she gave birth to me on earth in a mystery. There is no-one who knows it in all creation except me and my Father and the Holy Spirit, we being a unity.
The total life-span of my father Joseph, the blessed elder, were 111 years, as my good Father ordained. The day he died was the 26th of Epip.
The select gold began to change, that is the flesh of my father Joseph, and the silver transformed, that is the intellect and wisdom. He became oblivious of eating and drinking. His carpentry skills went astray.
When the dawn broke on that day, the 26th of Epip, my father Joseph became very troubled on his bed. He sighed deeply. He clapped his hands together. He cried out,
"Woe to me today, woe to the day when my mother brought me into this world. Woe to the belly from which I took the seed of life. Woe to the breasts from which I took milk. Woe to the feet at which I sat. Woe to the hands which raised me until I grew up and fell into sin. Woe to my tongue and my lips, because they have become twisted many times with evil and slander and lies and vain empty words full of deceit. Woe to my eyes, for they have looked at scandals. Woe to my ears, for they like to hear nonsense. Woe to my hands, for they have taken things that do not belong to them. Woe to my belly and nerves, for they desire to eat things that do not belong to them. When it (belly) finds things, it burns them up more than an oven burning at full flame and makes them useless in every way. Woe to my feet, these which serve my body badly, taking it on ways that are not good. Woe to my body, for it has made my soul a wasteland and alien to God who created it. What am I to do now ? I am enclosed on all sides. Truly, woe to all men who sin. Truly, this is the great trouble which I saw above Jacob my father as he was coming forth from the body; it is what is making me wretched today. But Jesus, God, the Intermediary of my soul and body performs his will in me."
My beloved father Joseph having said these things, I got up and went in to him while he was lying down and found him disturbed in his soul and spirit.
I said to him, "Greetings, my beloved father Joseph, of goodly and blessed old age."
He replied in great fear of death, saying to me, "Many greetings, my beloved son. My soul has recovered a little now that I have heard your voice. Jesus my Lord, Jesus my King of Truth, my good and merciful Saviour, Jesus the one who restores, Jesus the guide, the protector, Jesus the one who has everything in the grip of His goodness, the one whose name is sweet in the mouth of everyone and is very powerful, Jesus the seeing eye, the hearing ear in truth, hear me today, I His servant, I beg you, I shed my tears in your presence. You are God in truth, you are the Lord in truth, as the angel has told me many times, especially that day when my heart troubled me because of a human thought towards the Blessed Virgin, because she had conceived a child and I thought that I would throw her out secretly.
As I was thinking of this, the angel appeared to me in a vision, saying, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your wife. The one whom she will bear is from a Holy Spirit. Be in no doubt about her conception. She will bear a son, and you will call him Jesus.' You are Jesus Christ, the Saviour of my soul and my body and my spirit. Do not blame me, your servant and handiwork. I did not know, my Lord, nor do I understand the mystery of your incredible birth, nor have I ever heard that a woman conceived without a man. But a Virgin has given birth, though confirmed in her virginity. O Lord, if the appointment of this were not a mystery, I would not believe in you or your sacred birth. I recall the day when the viper bit the child and he died. His people surrounded you to give you up to Herod. Your mercy touched him. You raised him about whom they said that you had killed him.
There was great joy in the house of the one who had died. At that moment I seized your ear, I said to you, 'Be wise, my Son.' At that moment you reproached me, 'If you were not my father according to the flesh, I would tell you what you have done to me.' Now, my Lord and my God, if you have reckoned with me about that dayyou have caused these signs of fear to come upon me. I beg your goodness not to bring me to be judged by you. I am your servant and the son of your servant. If you loosen my chains, I will offer a blessed sacrifice to you, namely confession of the glory of your divinity, that you are Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God in truth and the Son of Man at the same time."
As my father Joseph said these things, I did not remain tearless, and I wept as I looked at him, knowing that death had overcome him, and I heard the wretched words he said.
After this, my brothers, I thought about my death on the cross for the life of this whole world. My mother Mary then stood up, whose name is sweet in the mouth of everyone who loves me.
She said to me in great sorrow, "Woe to me, my beloved Son, is Joseph of goodly and blessed old age, your revered father according to the flesh is going to die ? "
I said to her, "My beloved mother, who among the men with a physical body (lit. who have worn flesh) will not taste death ? For death is the ruler of mankind. My blessed mother, you too will have to die like all humans. Whether it is Joseph or you, my blessed mother, your death is not a death, but an eternal life that is perfect. I myself will not die at all because of the mortal flesh that I wear. Now, therefore, my beloved mother, arise and go into the blessed elder Joseph and you will find out what has been ordained for him from on high."
She stood up and went to the bedroom and found him with the sign of death around him, my beloved, sat at his head and Mary my mother at his feet.
He raised his eyes up to my face. He was unable to speak, for the hour of death had overcome him. Then he raised his eyes and gave a great sigh.
I held his hands and his feet for a long time, he looking at me and begging me not to let him be taken. And I put my hand on his breast and found that his soul had been brought up to his throat from his body.
But before his last hour had been completed so that death could come, he was unable to prevent trembling from following him and weeping and destruction from preceding him.
When my beloved mother saw me holding on to his body, she held on to his feet. She found that the breath of life and warmth had gone and left them.
She said to me quite openly, "Thank you, my beloved son. The moment you put your hand on his body, the warmth withdrew from him. His feet and toes became as cold as ice. "
I called his children, saying to them, "Come and speak with your father, for it is the time to speak, before the mouth stops speaking and the poor flesh becomes rigid."
He was very worried about the pain of death as he was about to leave this world.
Lysia the daughter of Joseph replied and said to her brothers, "Woe to me, my brothers, if this is not the same illness that happened to our beloved mother, and until now we have not seen her. This is also the same thing that is happening to our father Joseph, so that we will not see him ever."
Then the children of Joseph raised their voice and wept. I myself and Mary my Virgin mother wept with them, for the hour of death had arrived.
I looked to the south. I saw Death. It had come into the house, followed by Amente, who is an instrument of Death and the Devil, and a host of fire breathing decans, too numerous to count, smoke and sulphur coming from their mouths.
My father Joseph looked and saw those who had come for him, full of anger against him, as they are full of anger against every soul that comes forth from the body, especially the sinners in whom they would find a little of themselves.
When the good elder saw them, accompanied by Death, his eyes wept.
At that moment the soul of my father Joseph made a deep sigh, looking for a way to hide, so that it might be saved.
When I saw that my father Joseph sighed, because he had seen powers that he had never seen before, I arose and chided the devil together with all who accompanied him. They departed in great shame and embarrassment.
None of those sitting by my father knew, not even Mary my mother, about all the terrible forces that come for the souls of men. When Death saw that I rebuked the powers of the earth and cast them out, because they had no power over him, he (Death) was afraid. I immediately arose and spoke a prayer to my Father of great mercy, saying,
"My Father and the Father of all mercy, the seeing eye, the hearing ear, listen to your beloved son, myself, when I entreat you in the name of your handiwork, my father Joseph, to send me a great chorus of angels with Michael, the steward of goodness, and Gabriel, the herald of light, that they may accompany the soul of my father Joseph until it passes the seven dark aeons, that it may not pass on the narrow paths where there is fear, and it is very fearful to see the powers that are on them, when the river of fire comes in that place like the tide of the sea. Be merciful to the soul of my father Joseph who is coming into your holy hands, because this is the time when he needs your mercy."
I say to you, my revered brothers and my blessed apostles, that every man born into this world, when he knows the difference between good and bad, he having spent all his time dependent upon the things of his eyes, he needs the mercy of my good Father when he comes to the hour of death and when he comes to passing upon the path and the fearful tribunal and gives an account of himself. But I will turn to the exit from life of my father, a true elder.
*According to the Gospel of the Virgin Mary - Coptic manuscript of the second century, when the soul dies, it must first pass through 3 atmospheres (or aeons), then successfully pass through the 7 manifestations that arouse Divine Wrath:
1. Darkness: a soul that was attracted to all kinds of dark things.
2. Desire: a soul that continually desired what ELOHIM abhors.
3. Ignorance: a soul that did not care to know the Lord, denied his existence and did not give much consideration to his spiritual condition.
4. Deadly Jealousy: a soul that was constantly plagued by covetousness and jealousy towards others.
5. Carnal Bondage: a soul that indulged in sexual gratification, sinful sexual acts and abominable and forbidden sexual practices.
6. Maturity in Pride: an arrogant and haughty soul, who believed himself to be superior to others, and viewed himself as more elevated and of unequalled importance. This sin of pride is so detested by the Lord that Paul was deterred from committing it by receiving "a thorn in the flesh" so that he would remain humble.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 "So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I begged the Lord for this, that it might depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
7. Maturity in Deceit: a soul that was very clever in deception, Machiavellianism, trickery, scheming.
When he had given up his spirit, I embraced him. His soul was taken by the angels, who put it into a winding sheet of pure silk. When I went inside, I sat beside him, and none of those sitting beside him knew that he had died.
I caused Michael and Gabriel to watch over his soul because of the powers which were on the path. The angels sang as they went before it until they reached my good Father.
The following text is included in the Sahidic Version
It happened, after I had said the Amen, Mary my mother was there repeating my heavenly language after me. Then Michael and Gabriel and the chorus of angels came forth from heaven, they came and stood over the body of my father Joseph.
Then the death rattle and panting arose strongly upon him, and I knew that the burning hour had come. He continued to utter pangs like those about to give birth, the straits of death behind him like a strong wind and blazing fire consuming much matter.
But Death, fear did not let him go over the body of my beloved father Joseph and separate him (from his body). When he looked at me, he saw me sitting at his head, holding his temples. When I realized that Death was afraid to go because of me. I stood up and went outside the door.
I found him (Death) waiting alone, very afraid. I said to him, 'You have come from the places of the south, and quickly do what my Father has commanded you to do. But watch over him like the light of your eyes, for he is may father according to the flesh, and he took pains with me in the days of my childhood, fleeing with me from one place to another because of the plot of Herod. I was taught by him like all children whose parents teach them for their (own) benefit.
Then Abaddon came in and took the soul of my father Joseph and brought it out of the body at the time when the sun was rising on the 26th of Epip in peace.
All the days of the life of my beloved father make 111 years. Michael took two corners of a pure noble silk sheet, Gabriel took the other corners. They received the soul of my beloved father Joseph and put it down into the sheet. None of those sitting with him knew that he had died, not even my mother Mary knew.
And I caused Michael and Gabriel to watch over the soul of my beloved father Joseph because of the robbers who are on the paths, and I caused the asomatic angels to keep singing in front of him until they brought him to heaven to my good Father.
I returned to the body of my father Joseph lying like an empty vessel. I sat and brought his eyes down. I closed them and his mouth. I stood looking at him.
I said to the Virgin, "Mary my mother, where are all the carpentry pieces that he made from his childhood to now? They have all passed in this single hour, as if he had never been born into the world."
When his sons and daughters heard me saying this to my mother Mary the Virgin, they said to me, weeping greatly, "Woe to us, Our Lord, has our father died, and we did not know?"
I said to them, "He has truly died, but the death of Joseph is not death, but life everlasting. The things which my beloved father Joseph will receive are great. From the moment his soul left the body, all pain ceased for him. He has gone to the eternal kingdom, he has left behind the weight of the body, he has left behind this world full of pain and empty care. He has gone to the resting places of my Father who is heaven, those which will never perish."
When I said to my brothers, "Your father Joseph, the blessed elder, has died", they arose and tore their garments and wept a long time.
And people of the whole town of Nazareth and Galilee heard the mourning and all gathered at the place where we were, according to the law of the Jews. They spent the whole day mourning until the 9th hour.
At the 9th hour of the day I had everyone ejected. I cast water over the body of my beloved father Joseph. I anointed him with fragrant oil.
I prayed to my good Father in heaven with heavenly prayers which I wrote with my own fingers on the slab of heaven before my incarnation through the Virgin Mary.
And when I finished my prayers, a host of angels came and I commanded two of them to spread out a sheet and gather up the blessed body of my father Joseph into the midddle of the sheet and wrap him up in it.
I put my hands upon his body, saying, "Let not the stench of death master you. Let not your ears be putrid and let not the matter dry up from your body ever. Let not your burial shroud become rotten or your flesh which I put upon you, but let it stay on your body until the day of the dinner of the thousand years. Let not the hair of your head wither, which I have grasped in my hands many times, my beloved father Joseph, and good will happen to you.
Those who think of an offering and offer it to your burial shrine on the day of your remembrance day, the 26th of Epip, I will bless them in the heavenly offering above. Those who give bread to the hand of the poor in your name, I will not let them want for the good things of this world in all the days of their life. Those who give a cup of wine to a stranger or widow or orphan on the day of his remembrance, I will grant them to you that you may take them to the dinner of the thousand years. Those who write the account of your death and all the things that came out of my mouth on this day, by your health, my beloved father Joseph, I will grant them to you in this world. If they die, I will tear up the record of their sins and they will be unable to receive any punishment except the fate of death and the river of fire that is before my Father, who purifies all souls. If there is a poor man and he does what I have said, if he has a son and calls him Joseph, giving glory to your name, let there be no evil or pestilence in that house of his, for truly your name is in him."
After these things they came to this place where the body of my father Joseph was, the important people of the town, the undertakers walking in front of them to prepare his body for burial according to the custom of the Jews.
They found that the burial preparation was complete and the shroud was wrapped around his body as if it had been secured by iron bands. When they moved him, they found no opening in the shroud.
After these things they took him to the grave. When they had dug the hole on it to open his mouth and put him with his fathers, I recalled the day when he took me to Egypt and the great troubles that happened because of me and I spread myself on his grave and wept for a long time, saying,
"O Death, who causes great weeping and grieving, he who is over all men has given you this miraculous authority and there is no guilt attached to Death, like Adam and his wife. Death does nothing without the command of my Father.
Some die at the age of 900 years, others live long longer. None of them said, 'I have seen Death, or 'He comes against his time causing pain.' But he does not cause them pain except for one time, and that is time when my good Father sends him for man.
At the time when He comes for him, he hears the judgement coming from heaven. If the judgement comes amid trouble and is full of anger, then Death himself comes in trouble and anger that he may carry out the commandment of my good Father to take the soul of man and give it to its Lord. Death is not able to cast it into the fire or the kingdom of heaven. As for Death, it is the bidding of God that he does.
As for Adam, he is the one who did not do the will of my Father, but he transgressed, so that my Father was angry with him when he listened to his wife and disobeyed my good Father, so that He brought death upon every soul.
If Adam had not disobeyed my good Father, He would not have brought death upon him. What is there to prevent me from begging my Father to send me a great chariot of light to put my father Joseph in it that he might not taste of death at all and that I might cause him to be taken in the flesh in which he was born to the resting places to be with my asomatic angels?
But because of the transgression of Adam these great tribulations have come upon the whole of mankind. As long as I bear the flesh of tribulation, I must taste of death in it (flesh) for the form I created that I may have mercy on them."
As I spoke these words, I embraced my father Joseph and wept for him, the mouth of the grave was opened and his body put in it next to the body of Jacob his father.
His end came in the 111th year, and not a single tooth had rotted in his mouth nor had his eyes become dim, but his sight was like that of a small boy. He never lost his strength, but worked as a carpenter until the day he fell into the illness from which he was to die.
We apostles, when we heard this from our Saviour, rejoiced.
We arose immediately and kissed his hands and feet in great joy, saying, "We thank you, Our good Saviour, that you have made us worthy to hear these words of life from you, Our Lord. But we wonder, our good Saviour, why in the case of Enoch and Elijah, you granted them immortality, and to this day they are in good things, being in the flesh in which they were born, until now their flesh has not seen destruction. But the blessed Joseph the carpenter, the one to whom you have given this great honour of being called 'father' by you and whom you obeyed in all things. You commanded us, telling us, 'If I give power to you and send upon you the call of my Father, which is the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, and send you to preach the Holy Gospel, you will also preach my father Joseph,' and 'Say these words of life in the testament of his death and 'Read these words of this testament on feast days and honoured day' and 'If someone has not been taught to write well, let him not read out this testament on feast days' and 'The one who takes from these words and adds to them to 16 make me a liar, I will reckon with him soon', and now we wonder that, from this day when you were born in Bethlehem and you called him bodily father, you did not promise him immortality and give him eternal life."
Our Saviour replied and said to us, "The judgement that my Father made about Adam will not be cancelled out as long as he disobeys His commandments. If my Father makes a judgement about man that he will be just, he (that man) is a chosen one for Him. If man loves the things of the devil in his will and sins and abandons Him and lives a long time, does he not know that he will come into His hands if he does not repent? If someone lives to a great age, his works being good, his deeds are what make him an elder. If He sees someone perishing on his path, He will cause his life to be short. This is how He takes them from the half of a day. But all the prophecies which my Father has said, they will be fulfilled upon man and every thing in them will happen. And you have spoken to me about Enoch and Elijah, that they are alive in the flesh in which they were born, about Joseph that he is my father according to the flesh, and why did I not leave him in the flesh until now. Even if he had lived to ten thousand years, he had to die.
I say to you, my holy limbs, that each time Enoch and Elijah think of death, they will wish that they were already dead and had escaped this great necessity that is upon them, especially because they will die in a day of disaster and fear and crying out and destruction and distress. The Antichrist will kill these two men and pour their blood on the earth because of a xestes (approx. half a litre) of water for the reproaches that they make against him, as they curse him.'
We replied and said, "Our Lord and God, who are these two men about whom you said that the son of destruction will kill them for a xestes of water?" Our Saviour and our Life Jesus said to us, "Enoch and Elijah."
It happened, when our good Saviour said these things to us, that we rejoiced, were happy and thanked and gave glory to him, our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom all glory comes and all honour is fitting to the Father and Him and the Holy Life-Giving Spirit, now and forever and forever.