Chapter 18

1. I then surveyed the receptacles of all the winds, perceiving that they contributed to adorn the whole creation, and to preserve the foundation of the earth.

2. I surveyed the stone which supports the corners of the earth.

3. I also beheld the four winds, which bear up the earth, and the firmament of heaven.

4. And I beheld the winds occupying the exalted sky.

5. Arising in the midst of heaven and of earth, and constituting the pillars of heaven.

6. I saw the winds which turn the sky, which cause the orb of the sun and of all the stars to set; and over the earth I saw the winds which support the clouds.

7. I saw the path of the angels.

8. I perceived at the extremity of the earth the firmament of heaven above it. Then I passed on towards the south;

9. Where burnt, both by day and night, six mountains formed of glorious stones; three towards the east, and three towards the south.

10. Those which were towards the east were of a variegated stone; one of which was of margarite, and another of antimony. Those towards the south were of a red stone. The middle one reached to heaven like the throne of God; a throne composed of alabaster, the top of which was of sapphire. I saw, too, a blazing fire hanging over 1 all the mountains.

11. And there I saw a place on the other side of an extended territory, where waters were collected.

12. I likewise beheld terrestrial fountains, deep in the fiery columns of heaven.

13. And in the columns of heaven I beheld fires, which descended without number, but neither on high, nor into the deep. Over these fountains also I perceived a place which had neither the firmament of heaven above it, nor the solid ground underneath it; neither was there water above it, nor anything on wing; but the spot was desolate.

14. And there I beheld seven stars, like great blazing mountains, and like spirits entreating me.

15. Then the angel said, This place, until the consummation of heaven and earth, will be the prison of the stars, and the host of heaven.

16. The stars which roll over fire are those which transgressed the commandment of God before their time arrived; for they came not in their proper season. Therefore was He offended with them, and bound them, until the period of the consummation of their crimes in the secret year.