The Testament of Solomon, Part 13

All of the demons are upset that their once-mighty king is down cutting marble.  Thus, Solomon decides to call him back for more.  As Beelzeboul’s the only one who has been up to heaven, he decides to see what he can find out:

“If you wish to obtain a release, inform me about heavenly things.”

Asking the king of demons for information about heaven isn’t exactly the best plan ever, and Beelzeboul’s response proves it:

“Listen, King, if you burn oil of myrrh, frankincense, and bulbs of the sea along with spikenard and saffron, and light seven lamps during an earthquake, you will strengthen (your) house.  And if, being ritually clean, you light (them) at the crack of dawn, just before the sun comes up, you will see the heavenly dragons and the way they wriggle along and pull the chariot of the sun.”

This is actually not too unusual of a request, in terms of the magical procedures of the time.  The magical papyri contain a number of rites that are intended to call out to the Greek god Helios and gain his help in divination, invisibility, love, and stopping chariot races.  Unusually, this particular rite from the Testament to view the sun’s chariot doesn’t seem to have a stated intention – or is this just because Solomon gets testy and cuts Beelzeboul off?

…I rebuked him and said, “Be silent and continue cutting marble just as I ordered you.”

As usual, text from Duling’s translation.

Next time – can Solomon have a conversation with two words?  It depends on who those words are!  You read that right.

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Published in: on December 25, 2007 at 12:22 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Testament of Solomon, Part 14 You’d think that, after his conversation with Beelzeboul, Solomon would have gotten smart and realized the dangers he was in.  No such luck, unfortunately […]


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