NHC VII, 5: 118,10-127:27: THE THREE STELES OF SETH

I. Introduction: Dositheus' Vision of the Steles

11810 Dositheus’ revelation of 11 of the three steles 12 of Seth, the father of the living 13 and unshakeable race. 14 He saw and understood them. 15 After he read them, he 16 remembered them 17 and delivered them 18 to those chosen ones, just as 19 they were written there. 20
Many times I joined in 21 glorifying along with the powers, 22 and I was deemed worthy by 23 the immeasurable Magnitudes.24
 
Now they are as follows:
THE FIRST 25 STELE OF SETH

II. Hymns to Pigeradamas, Autogenes, the Barbelo Aeon, and the Supreme One

Hymn 1: Emmakha Seth praises Pigeradamas

I bless 26 you, O father Pigeradamas,
I, 27 your own son28 Emmacha Seth,
whom you 29 generated without procreation for the praise 30 of our god.

For I am 31 your own son.
And it is you 1191 who are my intellect, my father.
Now, 2 I for my part have sown and procreated 3
while you, for your part, have beheld the Magnitudes 4 and have ceaselessly stood at rest .

5 bless you, [O] Father; bless me, O6 Father.
It is because of you that I exist; 7 it is because of God that you exist.
Because 8 of you I exist in the presence of 9 that very one.

You are light, 10 beholding light; you have 11 shown forth light.
You are a 12 Mirotheid (offspring of Mirothea); it is you who are my Mirotheos. 13
I bless you as 14 a deity, I bless your 15 divinity:

Hymn 2: Emmakha Seth Praises Autogenes

Great is the16 good Autogenes who 17 stood at rest,


the God who 18 first stood at rest!
You came with goodness, 19 you appeared, and you 20 manifested goodness.

I shall utter21 your name: for you are a prime22 name.
You are unengendered: for your part, you23 have appeared
that you 24 might show forth those that are eternal. 25

It is you who are the one that is; therefore 26 you manifested those that truly exist.27
It is you who are spoken of 28 by voice, 29 but by intellect you are 30 glorified .
It is you who are 31 powerful everywhere.
Therefore because of you and your seed 32 even [the] perceptible universe 33 knows you:
you are merciful.

1201 And you derive from another kind (i.e., the primal triad) 2
and it presides over another kind (i.e., the Barbelo Aeon). 3
But now, you derive from 4 another kind,
      and it presides over another 5 kind (i.e., the seed of Seth).
You derive from another 6 kind,
      for you are [dissimilar] (i.e., to other humans).
And you 7 are merciful,
      for you are eternal.8

It is over a kind that you preside,9
      for you have caused all these (i.e., the spiritual "seed") to increase.
And (you did this) for the sake of 10 my seed,
      for it is you who know 11 that it resides in (the realms of) procreation.
And they 12 derive from another kind,
      for 13 they are dissimilar (i.e., to other humans).
And they reside above 14 other kinds (i.e., other humans),
      for they reside in 15 life.

You are a Mirotheos (perhaps “divine anointed one” myro+theos)! 16
I praise its power, which has been17 given unto me.

Hymn 3: Collective Hymn in Praise of the Barbelo Aeon as Triple Male

O you who have caused the18 truly existent masculinities to be 19 Triple Male! 20


O you who have been divided into the pentad!
O 21 you who have been given to us in triple 22 power!
O you who have been 23 ingenerately generated!
O you who 24 came forth from the superior
and for the sake of 25 the inferior
have gone 26 forth into (or: from) the middle!
You are a father 27 issued from a father, 28 a word issued from a command. 29

We praise you, O Triple Male, 30
      for you have unified the All 31 from them all,
      for you have 32 empowered us.
From Unity you originated; 33
through Unity you came forth; 34
into Unity you have entered.

[You] have saved, 35 you have saved, you have saved us!
36 crown-bearer, O crown-bestower, 1211 we praise you eternally. 2
We praise you, we who have been saved 3 as the perfect individuals, 4
perfect because 5 of you, [having become] perfect along with you. 6

O perfect one! O perfecter! 7
The one who is complete through all these!8
The one who is everywhere similar!
O Triple Male! 9

You have stood at rest; you were first 10 to stand at rest.
You have become divided everywhere, 11 and you have remained One. 12
And 13 whomever you willed, you saved,14
and all those who are worthy, you will to be saved.
You are 15 perfect! You are perfect! 16 You are perfect!

The First 17 Stele of Seth18

THE SECOND 19 STELE OF SETH20 

Hymn 4: Collective Praise to the Barbelo Aeon as Unified Author of Multiplicity

Great is the first, 21 masculine, virginal Aeon of Barbelo,22


the first glory of the invisible Father! 23
O you (sg.) 24 who are called 25 perfect,
you yourself first saw 26 that the one who truly pre-existents 27 is non-being,
and 28 from it and through 29 it you have eternally proceeded. 30

O non-being One 31 from an undivided 32 Triple [Powered] One,
You are a triple 33 power!

You are [a] great monad 34 from [a] pure monad!
1221 You are a superior monad,
the 2 first [projection (shadow)] of the holy Father, light 3 from light! 4

[We] bless you, 5 O generator of perfection and 6 supplier of aeons!
You yourself have [seen] that the 7 eternal ones
derive from a projection (shadow). 8

And you have given rise to multiplicity:
Yet 9 you turned out to remain 10 One,
even though by giving rise to multiplicity through division
you are 11 threefold. Truly you are 12 threefold!

You are One (fem.) 13 belonging to the One (masc.),
and you derive 14 from its projection.
You are a Kalyptos (hidden one)! 15
You are a universe of understanding, 16
knowing that those belonging to the One 17 derive from a projection (shadow).
And these 18 are yours in thought.

For 19 their sake you have empowered the eternal ones by Substantiality; 20
you have empowered21 divinity by Vitality; 22
you have empowered Mentality by 23 goodness.

By 24 Blessedness you have empowered 25 the projections flowing from the One. 26
By Mentality you have empowered one; 27
By Quality (txt: "creation") you have empowered another; 28

You have empowered the equal 29 and unequal, the 30 similar and the dissimilar. 31
With generation and 32 intelligible forms
you have empowered 33 others in Being [to flourish] with generation. 34

You have empowered 1231 these—this is Kalyptos (hidden one)— 2 by thought,
and you [have] emanated unto 3 these and [out of] these.
You are divided 4 among them, and you 5 become a great male Intellect, Protophanes. 6

O paternal God! 7 Divine child! 8 Generator of multiplicity!
By division 9 of all those that truly exist 10
you have appeared to them all as 11 a Word (i.e., Autogenes?).
And you possess 12 them all ingenerately, 13 eternally, 14imperishably.

Hymn 5: Collective Invocation and Petition to the Barbelo Aeon to Enable the Ascent

Because of you 15 salvation has come to us;
from 16 you comes salvation!


You are 17 wisdom (Sophia)! You are knowledge! You 18 are truth!

Because of you is 19 Life; from you comes Life. 20
Because of you is Intellect; from 21 you comes Intellect.
You are Intellect; 22 you are a universe of truth. 23

You are a triple power; you are 24 threefold!
Truly, you are 25 triple, O Aeon of 26 aeons!
It is you alone 27 who see purely the 28 eternal and unengendered primal principles, 29
but also the primal divisions, according as 30 you have been divided.

Unify us 31 according as you have been unified! 32
Teach us [about] the things you see! 33
Empower us, that we might 1241 be saved to eternal life. 2
For, as for us, we are a projection (shadow) 3 of you,
[just] as you are 4 a projection (shadow) of the one that 5 primally preexists.

Hear 6 us first—we are eternal! 7
Hear us—the 8 perfect individuals!
It is you who are the aeon 9 of aeons, the all-perfect One 10 who is unified.

Thanksgiving to the Barbelo Aeon for enabling the Ascent

You have heard! 11 You have heard!


You have saved! You have saved! 12
We give thanks! We bless you always! 13 We will glorify you! 14

The Second Stele 15 of Seth 16
 

THE THIRD STELE 17

Hymn 6: Collective Praise and Petition to the Supreme One

We rejoice! We rejoice ! We rejoice! 18


We have seen! We have seen! We have seen the one that 19 truly preexists, 20
who truly exists, who is 21 the eternal first principle!

O unengendered one, 22 from you come the eternal ones, 23 even the aeons,
the All-perfect 24 who are unified, and the 25 Perfect individuals!

We bless you, 26 O non-being 27 Existence prior to existences, 28
first Being prior to 29 beings, Father of 30 Divinity and Vitality, 31
creator of Intellect, 32 bestower of Good, 33 bestower of 34 Blessedness!
We all bless 35 you, O knower, with 36 [glorificatory] praise,
the one 1251 on whose account all 2 [these are].

[It is you who knows those who truly] 3 [exist],
O you who know yourself 4 through yourself alone!
For there is nothing 5 that is active prior to 6 you.

You are spirit, alone and living. 7
And [you] know Unity, 8 the Unity that is yours 9 of which we cannot speak.
Indeed 10 your light is shining upon us. 11

Command us 12 to see you, so that 13 we might be saved!
It is knowledge of you that 14 is the salvation of us all. 15
Command! If you 16 command, we have been saved!

Hymn 7: Collective Thanksgiving to the Supreme One

Truly we have been 17 saved!


We have seen you by means of Intellect. 18
You are all of these, for you save 19 them all, you who 20
neither shall be saved nor have been 21 saved by them. 22
For, as for you, you have commanded us. 23

You are One, you are One!
Just as 24 one would say 25 of you that you are One,
you are a single, living spirit. 26
How shall we 27 name you? It is not ours to say! 28
For you are the Existence 29 of them all; 30
you are the Life of 31 them all;
you are the Intellect 32 of them all. 33

[For it is] you in whom [they] all rejoice.
1261 It is you who have commanded them all 2 to [be saved]
by 3 your [word to the extent that] they [are able]. 4
O [first Glory] 5 before him, [O] Kalyptos (hidden one), 6
blessed Senaon, [self-]generated one! 7
[Asi]neus! 8 Mephneus! Optaon ! Elemaon the great power! 9
Emouniar! 10 Nibareus! Kandephoros! Aphredon! 11 Deiphaneus!

You 12 who are Armedon for me,
O generator of powers: 13 Thalanatheus! Antitheus! 14
It is you who exist within 15 yourself,
you who are before 16 yourself,
and after you 17 none came into activity. 18

With what shall we 19 bless you? We cannot! 20
But as inferiors 21 we give thanks to you, 22
for you as the superior have commanded 23 us to glorify you
to the extent that we are able.24

We praise you since we have been saved; 25 we glorify 26 you constantly!
Now we 27 glorify you that we might be 28 saved to eternal salvation. 29
We have blessed you, for we are 30 able.
We have been saved, for you 31 have always desired that 32
we all do so, and we all 33 did so. 34
[We will] not [do it] through [...] 1271 [...] 2 [...] 3 [...], 4 who has 5 [...],
we together with those 6 who [have been saved].

III. Dositheus' Directions for using the Hymn during the Mystical Ascent

Whoever 7 remembers these and always 8 glorifies shall become 9 perfect among the perfect 10 and impassive beyond 11 all things. For they all bless 12 these individually and collectively, 13 and afterward they shall be 14 silent. And just as they were 15 ordained, they ascend. 16 After the silence, they descend 17 from the third; 18 they bless the second; 19 and after these, the first. 20 The path of ascent is the path 21 of descent.
Know then, 22 as those who live, that you have 23 arrived and have taught 24 yourselves about the infinites. 25 Marvel at the truth that is within 26 them, and the revelation! 27
THE THREE STELES OF SETH 28

IV. Concluding Scribal Benediction

This book belongs to the fatherhood. 29 It is the son who wrote it. 30
Bless me, O Father. I bless 31 you, O Father, in peace. 32 Amen!