Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/77

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59
THE OLD TESTAMENT
|The sole of his feet two spans long.
Esdras-John John (Venice MS.)
Holding in his right hand a cup of death.
On his forehead a writing: Antichrist. One eye like the morning star, the other like a lion's (it was "quenched" when he fell, by Christ).
Sometimes he will become a child.
And sometimes an old man.

The Armenian Seventh Vision of Daniel (tr. Issaverdens, p. 345) says:

"The joints of his knees are stiff, he is crippled in body, smooth-browed, crooked-fingered, long-headed, charming, boastful, intelligent, etc., etc."

A Latin text, a prophecy of our Lord addressed to St. Matthew, which I have only found in one MS. (Corpus Chr. Coll. Camb., 404, f. 7 (fourteenth century); see my Catalogue, ii. 270), says: "His appearance (positio) will be, a thin and tall man, with thin feet, having long hair and a long face and a long nose, with cat's eyes: † in the lower parts † having lost one tooth, in the upper marked with leprosy, having a white part in the hair on his forehead. These his marks will be unchangeable, but in the others he will be able to change himself." This shows interesting coincidences with the Latin fragment and with the Coptic and Hebrew Elias (below). It is corrupt, some words having apparently dropped out.

Similar descriptions also occur in late Hebrew Apocalypses such as the Book of Zerubbabel (see Bossuet, Antichrist, p. 102): the Midrash Vajoscha says, "He will be bald, and have one eye large and one small, his right arm will be a span long and his left two and a half ells: on his forehead will be leprosy, his right ear will be stopped up and his left open."

But to come nearer to the point again. We have two Apocalypses of Elias, and in each of them is a description of Antichrist: only neither agrees with that which we have read in the Greek fragment.

The first, which is almost complete, is in Coptic, existing in imperfect MSS. in two dialects, Achmimic and Sahidic, edited by Steindorff (1899). A very small bit of it (corresponding to 11. 6–13 of p. 169) has been found in a Greek papyrus (Papiri greci e latini, Florence, 1912, No. 7). It consists of two parts: the beginning is moral and didactic, and speaks of fasting and so on; then there is an abrupt change, and the text continues: "Concerning the King of the Assyrians and the dissolution of the Heaven and Earth: My people shall not