Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/121

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THE OLD TESTAMENT

James the brother of the Lord and not to Jacob: Lightfoot (Galatians, 276, 330, 367 etc.) was, I doubt not, right in the main in his view that we have some relics of the book in the Clementine Recognitions (Book I.) and (perhaps) in the tale of Hegesippus about James's death.


The Lost Tribes

The first document that tells us anything of the legend that the ten (or nine and a half) tribes were dwelling together as a community in a remote and unknown land is the passage in 4 Esdras xiii. 39 sq. The conception is also found in the Apocalypse of Baruch, lxxvii., lxxviii. It need not be traced out in full here; but the subject is relevant to the present work, inasmuch as there evidently was a writing (presumably Jewish) which described the conditions under which the lost tribes lived.

We find vestiges of it in various places. First come two passages of the Christian poet Commodian, who, whether he lived in the late third century, as was commonly thought, or later, was acquainted with a good many interesting apocryphal writings.

The first section of the second book of his Instructions is entitled, "Of the hidden holy people of Almighty Christ the living God." To translate his terrible Latin literally is beyond me, but something like the sense can be given. The first book of the Instructions ends by telling how Antichrist comes and performs wonders. The Jews, searching the Scriptures, cry aloud to the Most High that they have been deceived by Antichrist. Book II. begins: "The last holy hidden people, of whom we know not where they dwell, are desired." It then speaks, very obscurely, of the two and a half tribes who are separated from the nine and a half, and returns to its proper subject in line 21: "But then the things told in the law hasten to be fulfilled: Almighty Christ comes down to His elect, who have been hidden from us so long and grown to so many thousands. That is the true heavenly people, The son dies not before