|The Hymn of the Robe
Also known as: The Hymn of the Pearl
(As outlined by Scott Vanatter)
"The Hymn of Judas Thomas the Apostle in the Country of the Indians"
Translation from the Syriac by William Wright, Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles
(London, 1871), pp. 238-245.
Illegible words are indicated by (...)..
text in broad paragraph outline.
(Click here for full text in detailed paragraph
Child in Heaven
When I was a little child, and dwelling in my kingdom, in my
father's house, and was content with the wealth and the luxuries of
my nourishers, from the East, our home,
B. Heavenly Parents Equipped Me and Sent Me Forth; Took
Off My Robe; Made Me a Promise
my parents equipped me (and) sent me forth;
and of the wealth of our treasury they took abundantly, (and) tied up
for me a load large and (yet) light, which I myself could carry, gold
of Beth-Ellaya, and silver of Gazak the great, and rubies of India, and
agates from Beth-Kashan, and they furnished me with the adamant, which can
crush iron. And they took off from me the glittering robe,
which in their affection they made for me, and the purple toga,
which was measured (and) woven to my stature. And they made
a compact with me, and wrote it in my heart, that it might
not be forgotten: "(a/b.) If thou goest down into Egypt, and bringest
the one pearl, (c/d.) which is in the midst
of the sea around the loud-breathing serpent, (e/f.)
thou shalt put on thy glittering robe and thy toga,
with which (thou art) contented, and with thy brother, who is next to us
in authority, thou shalt be heir in our kingdom."
C. Went Down into Egypt; Dressed
in Their Dress, Ate Their Food
I quitted the East (and) went down, there being two guardians,
for the way was dangerous and difficult, and I was very young to travel
it. I passed through the borders of Maishan, the meeting-place of the merchants
of the East, and I reached the land of Babel, and I entered the walls of
Sarbug. I went down into Egypt, and my companions parted from me.
I went straight to the serpent, I dwelt in his abode, (waiting) till
he should lumber and sleep, and I could take my pearl from him. And
when I was single and alone (and) became strange to my family,
one of my race, a free-born man, and Oriental, I saw
there, a youth fair and lovable, the son of oil-sellers; and he came and
attached himself to me, and I made him my intimate friend, and associate
with whom I shared my merchandise. I warned him against the Egyptians,
and against consorting with the unclean; And I dressed
in their dress, that they might not hold me in abhorrence, because
I was come from abroad in order to take the pearl, and arouse the serpent
against me. But in some way other or another they found out that I
was not their countryman, and they dealt with me treacherously, and gave
their food to eat.
D. I Forgot I was a Son of Kings,
and Forgot My Mission
I forget that I was a son of kings, and I served their king; and
I forgot the pearl, for which my parents had sent me,
E. Lay in a Deep Sleep
and because of the burden of their
oppressions I lay in a deep sleep. But all this things that
befell me my parents perceived, and were grieved for me; and proclamation
was made in our kingdom, that every one should come to our gate [kingdom],
kings and princes of Parthia, and all the nobles
of the East. And they wove a plan on my behalf, that I might not be left
in Egypt; and they wrote to me a letter, and every noble signed
his name to it:
F. Letter, "Remember"
a/b. "From thy father, the
king of kings, and thy mother, the mistress [Queen] of the East, and
from thy brother, our second (in authority), to thee our son, who
art in Egypt, greeting!
c/d. Call to mind that thou art a son of kings!
e/f. See the slavery,-- whom thou servest!
e/f. Remember the pearl, for which thou was sent to
c/d. Think of thy robe, and remember thy splendid toga,
which thou shalt wear and (with which) thou shalt be adorned,
a/b. when thy name hath been read out in the list of the valiant,
and thy brother, our viceroy, thou shalt be in our kingdom."
E. Arose From Sleep
My letter is a letter, which the
king sealed with his own right hand, (to keep it) from the wicked ones,
the children of Babel, and from the savage demons of Sarbug. It flew
in the likeness of an eagle, the king of all birds; it flew and alight
beside me, and became all speech. At its voice and the
sound of its rustling, I started and arose from my
sleep. I took it up and kissed it, and I began (and) read
it; and according to what was traced on my heart were the words of
D. My Noble Birth Asserted
Itself, Remembered and Accomplished My Mission
I remembered that I was a son of royal parents, and my
noble birth asserted itself. I remembered the pearl, for
which I had been sent to Egypt, and I began to charm him, the terrible loud
breathing serpent. I hushed him asleep and lulled him into slumber, for
my father's name I named over him, and the name of
our second (in power), and the [name] of my mother,
the queen of the East. And I snatched away the pearl, and turned to
go back to my father's house.
C. Took Off Unclean Dress; Departed
And their filthy and unclean dress I stripped off, and left
it in their country; and I took my way straight to come to the light
of our home in the East. And my letter, my awakener, I
found before me on the road; and as with its voice it had awakened
me, (so) too with its light it was leading me. It, that dwelt in the
palace, gave light before me with its form, and with its voice and its guidance
it also encouraged me to speed, and with its love it drew me
on. I went forth (and) passed by Sarbug; I left Babel on my left
hand; and I came to the great Maisan, to the haven of merchants, which sitteth
on the shore of the sea.
B. Robe Sent to Me; Received It; Mirror of
Myself; Two, Yet One; Instincts of Knowledge; Love Urged Me To Run to Meet
And my bright robe, which I
had stripped off, and the toga that was wrapped with it, from
Rantha and Reken(?) my parents had sent thither by the hand of
their treasurers, who in their truth could be trusted therewith. And
because I remembered not its fashion,-- or in my childhood I had
left it in my father's house,-- on a sudden, when I received it, the
garment seemed to me to become like a mirror of myself. I saw
it all in all, and I too received all in it, for we were
two in distinction and yet gain one in one likeness. And the treasurers
too, who brought it to me, I saw in like manner to be two (and yet)
one likeness, for one sign of the king was written on them (both), of the
hands of him who restored to me through them my trust and my wealth, my
decorated robe, which was adorned with glorious colors, with gold and beryls
and rubies and agates and sardonyxes, varied in color. And it was skillfully
worked in its home on high, and with diamond clasps were all its seams fastened;
and the image of the king of kings was embroidered and
depicted in full all over it, and like the stone of the sapphire
too its hues were varied. And I saw also that all over it the instincts
of knowledge were working, and I saw too that it was preparing
to speak. I heard the sound of its tones, which it uttered with its.....,
(saying): "(a/b.) I am the active in deeds, (c/d.)
whom they reared for him before my father; (e/f.) and
I perceived myself, that my stature grew according to his labors."
And in its kingly movements it poured itself entirely over me,
and on the hand of its givers it hastened that I might take it.
And love urged me too run to meet it and receive it; and I
stretched forth and took it. With the beauty of its colors I adorned
myself, and I wrapped myself wholly in my toga of brilliant
hues. I clothed myself with it, and went up to the
gate of salutation and prostration;
A. Mingled with His Princes; Was With Him in his Kingdom
I bowed my head and worshiped the majesty
of my father who sent me,--
B. for I had done
his commandments, and he too had done what he promised,--
and the gate of his...., I mingled
with his princes, for he rejoiced in me and received me, and I was
with him in his kingdom, and with the voice of.... all his servants
B. And he promised
that to the gate too of the king of kings with him I should go, and
with my offering and my pearl with him should present myself to our king.
The Hymn of Judas Thomas the Apostle, which he spake in prison, is ended.
OUTLINE: Hymn of Robe of Glory - Brief Summary
A. A Child in Heaven
B. Heavenly Parents Equipped Me and Sent
Me Forth; Took Off My Robe; Made Me a Promise
C. Went Down into Egypt; Dressed in
Their Dress, Ate Their Food
D. I Forgot I was a Son of Kings, and Forgot My Mission
E. Lay in a Deep Sleep
F. Letter, "Remember"
E. Arose From Sleep
D. My Noble Birth Asserted Itself,
Remembered and Accomplished My Mission
C. Took Off Unclean Dress; Departed for Home;
B. Robe Sent to Me; Received It; Mirror of Myself; Two, Yet One;
Instincts of Knowledge; Love Urged Me To Run to Meet it.
A. Mingled with His Princes; Was With Him in his Kingdom...
outline by Scott L. Vanatter.
See also a comparison to the King Follett
Return to https://www.angelfire.com/va/vanatter/index.html