Monday, June 05, 2006

The Testament of Solomon

The Testament of Solomon

The chosen servants of God, priests and faithful men, I excite unto desires for wicked sins, and evil heresies, and lawless deeds and sodomy


(translated from the codex of the Paris Library, after the edition of Fleck, Wissensch. Reise, bd. ii. abth. 3)

Greek title:--

1. Testament of Solomon, son of David, who was king in Jerusalem, and mastered and controlled all spirits of the air, on the earth, and under the earth.

By means of them also he wrought all the transcendent works of he Temple. Telling also of the authorities they wield against men, and by what angels these demons are brought to naught. Of the sage Solomon. Blessed art thou, O Lord God, who didst give Solomon such authority. Glory to thee and might unto the ages. Amen.

2. And behold, when the Temple of the city of Jerusalem was being builded, and the artificers were working thereat, Ornias the demon came among them toward sunset; and he took away half of the pay of the chief-deviser's (?) little boy, as well as half his food. {16} He also continued to suck the thumb of his right hand every day. And the child grew thin, although he was very much loved by the king.

3. So King Solomon called the boy one day, and questioned him, saying: "Do I not love thee more than all the artisans who are working in the Temple of God? Do I not give thee double wages and a double supply of food? How is it that day by day and hour bt hour thow growest thinner?"

4. But the child said to the king: "I pray thee, O king. Listen to what has befallen all that thy child hath. After we are all released from our work on the Temple of God, after sunset, when I lie down to rest, one of the evil demons comes and takes away from me one half of my pay and one half of my food.

Then he also takes hold of my right hand and sucks my thumb. And lo, my soul is opressed, and so my body waxes thinner every day."

5. Now when I Solomon heard this, I entered the Temple of God, and prayed with all my soul, night and day, that the demon might be delivered into my hands, and that I might gain authority over him. And it came about through my prayer that grace was given to me from the Lord Sabaoth by Michael his archangel. {He brought me} a little ring, having a seal consisting of an engraved stone, and said to me: "Take, O Solomon, king, son of David, the gift which the Lord God has sent thee, the highest Sabaoth. With it thou shalt lock up all demons of the earth, male and female; and with their help thou shalt build up Jerusalem. {But} thou {must} wear this seal of God. And this engraving of the seal of the ring sent thee is a Pentalpha."

Demons appearing before King Solomon from Das Buch Belial, reproduced in Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy by Grillot de Givry (Dover reprint, 1971); Resource

6. And I Solomon was overjoyed, and praised and glorified the God of heaven and earth. And on the morrow I called the boy, and gave him the ring, and said to him: "take this, and at the hour in which the demon shall come unto thee, throw this ring at the chest of the demon, and say to him: 'In the name of God, King Solomon calls thee hither.' And then do thou come running to me, without having any misgivings or fear in respect of aught thou mayest hear on the part of the demon."

7. So the child took the ring, and went off; and behold, at the {17} customary hour Ornias, the fierce demon, came like a burning fire to take the pay from the child. But the child according to the instructions received from the king, threw the ring at the chest of the demon, and said: "King Solomon calls thee hither." And then he went off at a run to the king. But the demon cried out aloud, saying: "Child, why hast thou done this to me? Take the ring off me, and I will render to thee the gold of the earth. Only take this off me, and forbear to lead me away to Solomon."

8. But the child said to the demon: "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, I will not brook thee. So come hither." And the child came at a run, rejoicing, to the king, and said: "I have brought the demon, O king, as thou didst command me, O my master. And behold, he stands before the gates of the court of thy palace, crying out, and supplicating with a loud voice; offering me the silver and gold of the earth if I will only bring him unto thee."

9. And when Solomon heard this, he rose up from his throne, and went outside into the vestibule of the court of his palace; and there he saw the demon, shuddering and trembling. And he said to him: "Who art thou?" And the demon answered: "I am called Ornias."

10. And Solomon said to him: "Tell me, O demon, to what zodiacal sign thou art subject." And he answered: "To thw Water-pourer. And those who are consumed with desire for the noble virgins upon earth . . . . . {there appears to be a lacuna here}, these I strangle.

But in case there is no disposition to sleep, I am changed into three forms. Whenever men come to be enamoured of women, I metamorphose myself into a comely female;

and I take hold of the men in their sleep, and play with them.

And after a while I again take to my wings, and hie me to the heavenly regions. I also appear as a lion, and I am commanded by all the demons. I am offspring of the archangel Uriel, the power of God."

11. I Solomon, having heard the name of the archangel, prayed and glorified God, the Lord of heaven and earth. And I sealed the {18} demon and set him to work at stone-cutting, so that he might cut the stones in the Temple, which, lying along the shore, had been brought by the Sea of Arabia. But he, fearful of the iron, continued and said to me: "I pray thee, King Solomon, let me go free; and I will bring you all the demons." And as he was not willing to be subject to me, I prayed the archangel Uriel to come and succour me; and I forthwith beheld the archangel Uriel coming down to me from the heavens.

12. And the angel bade the whales of the sea come out of the abyss. And he cast his destiny upon the ground, and that {destiny} made subject {to him} the great demon. And he commanded the great demon and bold Ornias, to cut stones at the Temple. And accordingly I Solomon glorified the God of heaven and Maker of the earth. And he bade Ornias come with his destiny, and gave him the seal, saying: "Away with thee, and bring me hither the prince of all the demons."

13. So Ornias took the finger-ring, and went off to Beelzeboul, who has kingship over the demons. He said to him: "Hither! Solomon calls thee." But Beelzeboul, having heard, said to him: "Tell me, who is this Solomon of whom thou speakest to me?"

Then Ornias threw the ring at the chest of Beelzeboul, saying: "Solomon the king calls thee." But Beelzeboul cried aloud with a mighty voice, and shot out a great burning flame of fire; and he arose, and followed Ornias, and came to Solomon.

14. And when I saw the prince of demons, I glorified the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, and I said: "Blessed art thou, Lord God Almighty, who hast given to Solomon thy servant wisdom, the assessor of the wise, and hast subjected unto me all the power of he devil."

15. And I questioned him, and said: "Who art thou?" The demon replied: "I am Beelzebub, the exarch of the demons.

And all {19} the demons have their chief seats close to me. And I it is who make manifest the apparition of each demon." And he promised to bring to me in bonds all the unclean spirits. And I again glorified the God of heaven and earth, as I do always give thanks to him.

16. I then asked of the demon if there were females among them. And when he told me that there were, I said that I desired to see them.

So Beelzeboul went off at high speed, and brought unto me Onoskelis, that had a very pretty shape, and the skin of a fair-hued woman; and she tossed her head.

Onoskelis (Greek: "she with the ass's legs") was a female demon with a beautiful form.

The name is usually associated with the hobgoblin, Empusa, who was able to assume various shapes, however in this case, she is a satyra (female satyr). Onoskelis described her purpose as follows:

17. And when she was come, I said to her: "Tell me who art thou?'' But she said to me: "I am called Onoskelis, a spirit wrought ...{shabtai/Saturn}, lurking upon the earth. There is a golden cave where I lie. But I have a place that ever shifts. At one time I strangle men with a noose; at another, I creep up from the nature to the arms {in marg: "worms"}. But my most frequent dwelling-places are the precipices, caves, ravines.

Oftentimes, however, do I consort with men in the semblance of a woman,

and above all with those of a dark skin. For they share my star with me;

since they it is who privily or openly worship my star,

without knowing that they harm themselves, and but whet my appetite for further mischief.

For they wish to provide money by means of memory (commemoration?), but I supply a little to those who worship me fairly."

Onoskelis then describes that she was created

18. And I Solomon questioned her about her birth, and she replied: "I was born of a voice untimely, the so-called echo of a man's ordure {1} dropped in a wood."

{1. For the demon born of an echo we have an analogue in the Hebrew Bath Kol, "the daughter of a voice." In the Gnostic Hymn to Hermes, edited by Dieterich, Abrasax, p 19, we read, l. 104...}

19. And I said to her: "Under what star dost thou pass?" And she answered me: "Under the star of the full moon, for the reason that the moon travels over most things." Then I said to her: "And {20} what angel is it that frustrates thee?" And she said to me: "He that in thee {or "through thee"} is reigning." And I thought that she mocked me, and bade a soldier strike her. But she cried aloud, and said: "I am {subjected} to thee, O king, by the wisdom of God given to thee, and by the angel Joel."

and that she travels by the full moon. Solomon commanded her to spin hemp to construct the ropes used for the Temple.

20. So I commanded her to spin the hemp for the ropes used in the building of the house of God; and accordingly, when I had sealed and bound her, she was so overcome and brought to naught as to stand night and day spinning the hemp.

21. And I at once bade another demon to be led unto me; and instantly there approached me the demon Asmodeus, bound, and I asked him: "Who art thou ?'' But he shot on me a glance of anger and rage, and said: "And who art thou?'' And I said to him: "Thus punished as thou art, answerest thou me?" But he, with rage, said to me: "But how shall I answer thee, for thou art a son of man; whereas I was born an angel's seed by a daughter of man, so that no word of our heavenly kind addressed to the earth-born can be overweening. Wherefore also my star is bright in heaven, and men call it, some the Wain, and some the dragon's child. I keep near unto this star. So ask me not many things; for thy kingdom also after a little time is to be disrupted, and thy glory is but for a season. And short will be thy tyranny over us; and then we shall again have free range over mankind, so as that they shall revere us as if we were gods, not knowing, men that they are, the names of the angels set over us."

22. And I Solomon, on hearing this, bound him more carefully, and ordered him to be flogged with thongs of ox-hide, and to tell me humbly what was his name and what his business. And he answered me thus: "I am called Asmodeus among mortals, and my business is to plot against the newly wedded, so that they may not know one another. And I sever them utterly by many calamities, and I waste away the beauty of virgin women, and estrange their hearts."

23. And I said to him: "Is this thy only business?" And he answered me: "I transport men into fits of madness and desire, when they have wives of their own, so that they leave them, and go off by {21} night and day to others that belong to other men; with the result that they commit sin, and fall into murderous deeds."

24. And I adjured him by the name of the Lord SabaƓth, saying: "Fear God, Asmodeus, and tell me by what angel thou art frustrated." But he said: "By Raphael, the archangel that stands before the throne of God. But the liver and gall of a fish put me to flight, when smoked over ashes of the tamarisk." I again asked him, and said: "Hide not aught from me.

For I am Solomon, son of David, King of Israel. Tell me the name of the fish which thou reverest." And he answered: "It is the Glanos by name, and is found in the rivers of Assyria; wherefore it is that I roam about in those parts."

part I

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