The Lives of the Prophets
Date: first century A.D.
The names of the prophets, and where they are from, and where they died and how, and where they lie.
1Isaiah, from Jerusalem, died under Manasseh by being sawn in two, and was buried underneath the Oak of Rogel, near the place where the path crossed the
2aqueduct whose water Hezekiah shut off by blocking its source. And God worked the miracle of Siloam for the prophet’s sake, for, being faint before he died, he prayed for water to drink, and immediately it was sent to him from it; therefore
3it is called Siloam, which means sent. And in the time of Hezekiah, before he made the cisterns and the pools, in response to the prayer of Isaiah a little water came out, for the nation was besieged by foreigners, and (this happened) in
4order that the city might not perish for lack of water. For the enemies were
5asking, From where are they drinking? And having the city under siege they
6were encamped at Siloam. If then, the Jews were coming, water would come
7out, but if foreigners (approached), (it would) not. Wherefore to this day it comes
8out intermittently, in order that the mystery may be manifested. And since this happened through Isaiah, as a memorial of it the nation also buried him nearby with care and in great honor, so that through his prayers even after his death they might enjoy the benefit of the water, for an oracle was also given to them concerning him.
9His tomb is near the tomb of the kings, west of the tomb of the priests in the
10southern part of the city. For Solomon made the tombs, in accordance with David’s design, east of Zion, which has an entrance from Gabaon, twenty stadia
11distant from the city. And he made a secret construction with winding passages;
12and it is to this day unknown to most. There the king kept the gold from Ethiopia
13and the spices. And because Hezekiah showed the gentiles the secrets of David and Solomon and defiled the bones of the place of his fathers, God swore that his offspring should be enslaved to his enemies, and God made him sterile from that day.
1Jeremiah was from Anathoth, and he died in Taphnai of Egypt, having been
2stoned by his people. He was buried in the environs of Pharoah’s palace, because the Egyptians held him in high esteem, having been benefitted through
3him. For he prayed, and the asps left them, and the monsters of the waters,
4which the Egyptians call Nephoth and the Greeks crocodiles. And those who are God’s faithful pray at the place to this very day, and taking the dust of the place
5they heal asps’ bites. And we have heard from the children of Antigonus and Prolemy, old men, that Alexander the Macedonian, after standing at the prophet’s grave and witnessing his mysteries, transferred his remains to Alexandria and
6placed them in a circle around (the city) with due honor, and the whole race
7of asps was kept from the land, and from the river likewise the crocodiles. And to the same end he introduced the snakes which are called Argolai, which means snake-fighters, which he brought from Argos of the Peloponnesus, whence they are also called Argolai, that is, fortunate ones from Argos; for everything fortunate they call laia.
8This Jeremiah gave a sign to the priests of Egypt, that it was decreed that their idols would be shaken and collapse (through a savior, a child born of a virgin, in
9a manger). Wherefore even to this day they revere a virgin giving birth and,
10placing an infant in a manger, they worship. And when Ptolemy the king inquired about the cause, they said, It is an ancestral mystery delivered to our fathers by a holy prophet, and we are to await, he says, the consummation of his mystery,
11This prophet, before the capture of the Temple, seized the ark of the Law and
12the things in it, and made them to be swallowed up in a rock. And to those standing by he said, The Lord has gone away from Zion into heaven and will
13come again in power. And this will be for you a sign of his coming, when all
14the gentiles worship a piece of wood. And he said, This ark no one is going to bring out except Aaron, and none of the priests or prophets will any longer
13open the tablets in it except Moses, God’s chosen one. And in the resurrection the ark will be the first to be resurrected and will come out of the rock and be placed on Mount Sinai, and all the saints will be gathered to it there as they await
16the Lord and flee from the enemy who wishes to destroy them. In the rock with his finger he set as a seal the name of God, and the impression was like a carving made with iron, and a cloud covered the name, and no one knows the
17place nor is able to read the name to this day and to the consummation. And the rock is in the wilderness, where the ark was at first, between the two mountains
17on which Moses and Aaron lie. And at night there is a cloud like fire, just like
19the ancient one, for the glory of God will never cease from his Law. And God bestowed this favor upon Jeremiah, that he might himself perform the completion of his mystery, so that he might become a partner of Moses, and they are together to this day.
1Ezekiel. This man was from the land of Arira, of the priests, and he died in the land of the Chaldeans during the captivity, after having prophesied many
2things to those in Judea. The ruler of the people Israel killed him there as he
3was being reproved by him concerning the worship of idols. And they buried him in the field of Maour in the grave of Shem and Arpachshad, ancestors of Abraham, and the tomb is a double cave, for Abraham also made Sarah’s tomb
4in Hebron like it. It is called double because there is a twisting passage and an upper room which is hidden from the ground floor, and it is hung over the ground level in the cliff.
5This prophet gave a portent to the people, so that they should pay attention to the river Chebar; When it failed they should set their hope in the scythe which desolates to the end of the earth, and when it flooded, in the return to Jerusalem.
6,7For the saint also lived there, and many used to congregate to him. And once when there was a multitude with him the Chaldeans were afraid that they would
8rebel, and came up against them to destroy them. And he made the water stop
9so that they might escape by getting to the other side. And those of the enemies who dared to pursue were drowned.
10Through prayer he furnished them of his own accord with an abundant supply of fish, and for many who were at the point of dying he entreated that life should come from God.
11When the people was being destroyed by its enemies, he went to the (enemy)
12leaders and terrified by the prodigies, they ceased. He used to say this to them; Are we lost? Has our hope perished? And in the wonder of the dead bones he persuaded them that there is hope for Israel both here and in the coming (age).
13While he was there he used to show the people Israel what was happening in
14Jerusalem and in the Temple. He was snatched up from there and he went to
15Jerusalem to rebuke those who were faithless. Like Moses, this man saw the pattern of the Temple, with its wall and broad outer wall, just as Daniel also said
16that it would be built. He pronounced judgment in Babylon on the tribe of Dan and that of Gad, because they were committing sacrilege against the Lord by
17persecuting those who were keeping the Law. And respecting them he worked this great wonder, that snakes would devour their infants and all their flocks, and he foretold that on their account the people would not return to its land but would
18be in Media until the consummation of their error. And the one who killed him
19was one of them. For they opposed him all the days of his life.
1Daniel. This man was on the tribe of Judah, of the family of those prominent in the royal service, but while yet a child he was taken from Judea to the land
2of the Chaldeans. He was born in Upper Beth-Horon, and he was a chaste man, so that the Judeans thought that he was a eunuch.
3He mourned greatly over the city, and in fasts he abstained from all desirable food, and he was a man gaunt in appearance by beautiful in the favor of the Most High.
4He prayed much for Nebuchadnezzar, at the entreaty of his son Baltasar, when
5he became a wild animal and beast of the field, so that he might not perish. His fore parts with the head were like an ox, and the feet with the hind parts like a
6lion. Concerning this mystery it was revealed to the holy man the (Nebuchadnezzar) had become a beast of the field because he was fond of pleasure and stiff-necked, and because those who belong to Beliar become like an ox under yoke.
7Tyrants have these (vices) in their youth, and in the end they become monsters,
8seizing, destroying, killing, and smiting. Through divine revelation the saint
9knew that he was eating grass like an ox and that it became human food. It was also for this reason the Nebuchadnezzas, recovering a human heart after digestion, used to weep and honor the Lord, praying forty times each day and night.
10Behemoth used to come upon him, and he would forget that he had been a man; his tongue was taken from him so that he might not speak, and perceiving (this)
11he immediately wept; his eyes were like raw flesh from crying. For many were
12going out of the city and gazing at him. Daniel alone did not wish to see him. Because he was in prayer for him the whole time of his changed condition; and he kept saying, He will become a man again, and they did not believe hi.
13Daniel made the seven years, which he called seven seasons, become seven months, the mystery of the seven seasons was accomplished in his case, for he was restored in seven months; during the six years and six months (remaining) he prostrated himself to the Lord and confessed his impiety and after the
14forgiveness of his wickedness he restored to him the kingdom. He neither ate bread or meat nor drank wine as he made his confession, for Daniel had ordered
15him to appease the Lord with )a diet of) soaked pulse and greens. Nebuchadnezzar called him Baltasar because he wanted to make him joint heir
16with his children. But the holy man said, Far be it from me to leave the heritage
17of my fathers and cleave to the inheritances of the uncircumcized. And for other kings of the Persians he wrought many prodigies, which they did not write
18down. There he died, and was buried by himself and with great honor in the royal grotto.
19And he gave a portent with respect to the mountains which are above Babylon; When the mountain in the north smokes, the end of Babylon is coming; and
20when it lies as in fire, the end of all the earth. And if the mountain in the south pours forth water the people will return to its land, and if it pours forth blood.
21Beliar’s slaughter will take place in all the earth. And the holy man fell asleep in peace.
1Hosea.This man was from Belemoth of the tribe of Issachar, and he was
2buried in his own district in peace. And he gave a portent, that the Lord would arrive upon the earth if ever the oak which is in Shiloh were divided from itself, and twelve oaks came to be.
1Micah the Morathite was of the tribe of Ephraim. Having done many things to Ahab, he was killed by Joram his son at a cliff, because he rebuked him for
3the impieties of his fathers. And he was buried in his own district by himself, near the burial ground of the Anakim.
11,2Amos was from Tekoa. And when Amaziah had tortured him sorely, at last
3his son also killed him with a club by striking him on the temple. And while he was still breathing he went to his own district, and after some days he died and was buried there.
1Joel was from the territory of Reuben, in the countryside of Bethomoron.
2He died in peace and was buried there.
1Obadiah was from the district of Sechem, of the countryside of Bethacharam.
2This man was a disciple of Elijah, and endured much because of him, and
3escaped with his life. This was the third captain of fifty whom Elijah spared and
4(with whom) he went down to Ahaziah. After these events he left the service of
5the king and prophesied. And he died and was buried with his fathers.
1Jonah was from the district of Kariathmos near the Greek city of Azotus by
2the sea. And when he had been cast foth by the sea monster and had gone away to Nineveh and had returned, he did not remain in his district, but taking his mother along he sojourned in Sour, a territory (inhabited by) foreign nations;
3for he said, So shall I remove my reproach, for I spoke falsely in prophesying
4against the great city of Nineveh. At that time Elijah was rebuking the house
5of Ahab, and when he had invoked famine upon the land he fled. And he went and found the widow with her son, for he could not stay with uncircumcised
6people; and he blessed her. And when her son died, God raised him again from the dead through Elijah, for he wanted to show him that it is not possible to run
7away from God, And after the famine he arose and went into the land of Judah.
8And when his mother died along the way, he buried her near Deborah’s Oak.
9And after sojourning in the land of Saraar he died and was buried in the cave of
10Kenaz, who became judge of one tribe in the days of the anarchy. And he gave a portent concerning Jerusalem and the whole land, that whenever they should
11see a stone crying out piteously the end was at hand. And whenever they should see all the gentiles in Jerusalem, the entire city would be razed to the ground.
1Nahum was from Elkesi on the other side of Isbegabarin of the tribe of
2Simeon. After Jonah this man gave to Nineveh a portent, that it would be
3destroyed by fresh water and an underground fire, which also happened. For the lake which surrounds it inundated it during an earthquake, and fire coming from
4the wilderness burned its higher section. He died in peace and was buried in his own district.
1Habakkuk was of the tribe of Simeon, from the countryside of Bethzouchar.
2Before the captivity he had a vision concerning the conquest of Jerusalem, and
3he mourned greatly. And when Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem he fled to
4Ostrakine, and (later) sojourned in the land of Ishmael. When the Chaldeans turned back, and the remnant that was in Jerusalem (went) to Egypt, he was living
5in his own district and ministering to those who were harvesting his field. When he took the food, he prophesied to his own family, saying, I am going to a far
6country, and I will come quickly. But is I delay, take (food) to the harvesters.
7And when he had gone to Babylon and given the meal to Daniel, he approached the harvesters as they were eating and told no one what had happened; he
8understood that the people would soon return from Babylon. And he dies two
9years before the return. And he was buried alone in his own field.
10He gave a portent to those in Judea, that they would see a light in the Temple
11and so perceive the glory of the Temple. And concerning the end of the Temple
12he predicted, By a western nation it will happen. At that time, he said, the curtain of the Dabeir will be torn into small pieces, and the capitals of the two pillars will be taken away, and no one will know where they are; and they will be carried away by angels into the wilderness, where the tent of witness was
13set up in the beginning. And by means of them the Lord will be recognized at the end, for they will illuminate those who are being pursued by the serpent in darkness as from the beginning.
1,2Zephaniah was of the tribe of Simeon, of the countryside of Sabaratha. He prophesied concerning the city and about the end of the gentiles and the shaming
3of the impious. And he died and was buried in his field.
1Haggai, who is also the Messenger, came from Babylon to Jerusalem, probably as a youth, and he openly prophesied concerning the return of the people,
2and witnessed in past the building of the Temple/ And when he died he was buried near the tomb of the priests, in great honor as were they.
1Zechariah came from Chaldea when he was already well advanced in years, and there he prophesied many things to the people, and gave portents as proof.
2This man told Jozadak that he would beget a son and that he would serve as priest
3in Jerusalem. He also pronounced a blessing upon Shealtiel at the birth of his
4son, and named him Zerubbabel. And concerning Cyrus he gave a portent of his victory, and prophesied regarding the service which he was to perform for
5Jerusalem, and he blessed him greatly. His prophesying in Jerusalem was based on his visions about the end of the gentiles, Israel, the Temple, the laziness of
6prophets and priests, and he set forth the twofold judgment. And he died when he had attained a great age, and when he expired he was buried near Haggai.
1Malachi. This man was born in Sopha after the return, and while still a very
2young man he led a virtuous life. And since the whole people honored him as holy and gently, it called him Malachi, which means angel; for he was indeed
3beautiful to behold. Moreover, whatever he himself said in prophecy, on the same day an angel of God appeared and repeated (it), as happened also in the days of the anarchy as written in Spharphotim, that is, in the Book of Judges.
4And while he was still a young man he was added to his fathers in his own field.
1Nathan, David’s prophet, was from Gaba, and it was he who taught him the
2law of the Lord. And he saw that David would transgress in the Bathshebe (affair); and while he was hastening to go to tell him, Beliar hindered him, for by the road he found a dead man who had been murdered lying naked; and he
3remained there, and that night he knew that (David) had committed the sin. And he returned weeping, and when (David) killed her husband, the Lord sent (him)
4to rebuke him. And when he had grown very old he died and was buried in his own district.
1Ahijah was from Shiloh, where the tabernacle was in ancient times, of Eli’s
2city. This man said concerning Solomon that he would give offense to the Lord.
3And he rebuked Jeroboam, because he was going to walk deceitfully with the Lord; He saw a yoke of oxen trampling the people and running against the priests.
4He also foretold to Solomon that his wives would change him and all his
5posterity. And he died and was buried near the Oak of Shiloh.
1Joad was from Samereim. This is the one whom the lion attacked and he
2died when he rebuked Jeroboam over the calves. And he was buried in Bethel near the false prophet who deceived him.
1Azariah was from the district of Sybatha, (it was he) who turned from Israel
2the captivity of Judah. And he died and was buried in his own field.
Chapter twenty one
1Elijah, a Thesbite from the land of the Arabs of Aaron’s tribe, was living
2in Gilead, for Thesbe was given to the priests. When he was to be born, his father Sobacha saw that men of shining white appearance were greeting him and
3wrapping him in fire, and they gave him flames of fire to eat. And he went and reported (this) in Jerusalem, and the oracle told him, Do not be afraid, for his dwelling will be light and his word judgment, and he will judge Israel.
4,5The signs which he did are these. Elijah prayed, and it did not rain for three
6years, and after three years he prayed again and abundant rain came. In Zerephath of Sidon through the word of the Lord he made the jar of the widow not to fail
7and the flask of oil not to diminish. Her son who had died God raised from the
8dead after (Elijah) prayed. When the question was posed by him and the prophets of Baal concerning who is the true and real God, he proposed that a sacrifice be offered both by him and by them, and that fire not be placed under (it), but that
9each should pray, and the one answering him would be God. Accordingly, the (prophets) of Baal prayed and cut themselves until the ninth hour, and no one answered them; and Elijah, when he had filled the place where the sacrifice was with much water, also prayed, and immediately fire came down and consumed
10the sacrifice, and the water was gone. And all blessed God, and killed the four
11hundred and fifty (prophets) of Baal. When King Ahaziah sent to obtain an oracle
12from idols, (Elijah) prophesied death, and he died. When two captains of fifty were sent to him from Ahaziah, the king of Israel, he invoked the Lord and fire came down from heaven, and the fire consumed them at the Lord’s command.
13,14Ravens brought him bread in the morning and meat in the afternoon. With a sheepskin he struck the Jordan and it was divided, and they crossed over with
15dry feet, both he and Elisha. Finally he was taken up in a chariot of fire.
Chapter twenty two
1,2 Elisha was from Abel Meholah in the land of Reuben. And a marvel occurred concerning this man, for when he was born in Gilgal, the golden calf bellowed shrilly, so that it was heard in Jerusalem, and the priest declared through the Urim that a prophet had been born to Israel who would destroy their carved
3images and molten idols And when he died, he was buried in Samaria.
4,5The signs which he did are these. He too struck the Jordan with Elijah’s
6sheepskin, and the water was divided, and he too passed over with dry feet. The water in Jericho was foul and sterile; and hearing this water, and no longer will death
7and sterility issue from it, and the water has remained healed to this day. When children treated him disrespectfully, he cursed them, and two bears came out and
8tore to pieces forty-two of them. The wife of a prophet who had died was being pestered by creditors, and was unable to pay; she came to Elisha, and he commanded her to gather new vessels, as many as she could, and to pour the (jar) containing very little oil into them until the vessels were full; and she did this and filled the vessels and repaid her creditors, and she had the surplus for the
9sustenance of her children. He went to Shunem and stayed with a certain woman; she was not able to bear a child, but earnestly desired to have one; he prayed and made her able to conceive and give birth; then, when the child died, he prayed
10again and raised it from the dead. He went to Gilgal and was brought before the sons of the prophets; and when the food was boiled, and a deadly herb was boiled with the food, and they were all on the brink of danger, he made the food harmless
11and sweet. When the sons of the prophets were felling trees by the Jordan, the axehead fell off and sank; and Elisha, praying, made the axehead float to the
12,13surface. Through him Naaman the Syrian was cleansed of leprosy. When his servant, named Gehazi, went to Naaman secretly, against his wishes, and asked for silver, and later upon returning denied it, Elisha rebuked and cursed him, and
14he became a leper. When the king of Syria was making war against Israel, he
15protected the king of Israel by announcing to him the plans of the enemy. When the king of Syria learned this he sent a force to bring the prophet, but he prayed and made them to be struck with blindness, and he led them to Samaria, to their
16enemies, but keeping them unharmed he preserved and fed them. When the king
17of Syria learned this he stopped making war. After Elisha’s death a man died, and as he was being buried he was thrown onto his bones, and just as he touched Elisha’s bones the dead man revived immediately.
Zechariah son of Jehoiada
Chapter twenty three
1Zechariah was from Jerusalem, son of Jehoida the priest, and Joash the king of Judah killed him near the altar, and the house of David poured out his blood in front of the Ailam, and the priests took him and buried him with his father.
2From that time visible portents occurred in the Temple, and the priests were not able to see a vision of angels of God or to give oracles from the Dabeir, or to inquire by the Ephod, or to answer the people through Urim as formerly.
Chapter twenty four
1And other prophets became hidden, whose names are contained in their genealogies in the books of the names of Israel; for the whole race of Israel are enrolled by name.