From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


All the four major prophets have had spurious books fathered upon them. For Isaiah we have the extant Ascension of Isaiah; for Jeremiah the Paralipomena of Jeremiah, current in Greek, Ethiopic, and Armenian, and edited by Dr. Rendel Harris under its alternative title, The Rest of the Words of Baruch. We have also some scattered quotations attributed to him. In Matt. xxvii. 9 the prophecy, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver," etc., is, as we all know, assigned to Jeremiah. Origen (in loc.) suspects either a mistake (Jeremiah for Zechariah) or the existence of some apocryphal writing of Jeremiah in which the words occurred. Jerome (in loc.) had actually seen such a thing. "I lately read in a Hebrew book, which a Hebrew of the Nazarene sect showed me, an apocryph of Jeremiah in which I found this, word for word." We know of no continuous text comprising these words, but there is current in Ethiopic, usually appended to the canonical Book of Jeremiah, a short prophecy, which Dillmann prints and translates in his Chrestomathia Æthiopica, p. viii. I believe it to exist also in Coptic.

"A Prophecy of Jeremiah. And Jeremiah spake thus unto Pashur: But ye all your days fight against the truth, with your fathers and your sons that shall come after you. And they shall commit a sin more damnable than you: they shall sell him who hath no price, and shall hurt him who will heal pain, and shall condemn him who will forgive sin, and shall take thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom the children of Israel shall sell, and shall give that money for (into) the potter's field. As the Lord commanded me, so I speak. And therefore shall there come upon them judgment and destruction for ever, and upon their sons after them, because in their judgment they have shed innocent blood."

Nothing can be more obvious than that this was written to set right the difficulty caused by the mention