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FREE: Download The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses PDF (196 Pages)

Last updated on March 21st, 2023 at 10:06 pm

The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses are two mystical writings from the 18th or 19th century that have been passed down as hidden (or lost) portions of the Hebrew Bible. They are purportedly the work of Moses. It calls itself “the wonderful arts of the old Hebrews, taken from the Mosaic books of the Kabbalah and the Talmud,” but in reality, it is a grimoire—a book of magical incantations and seals—that claims to teach the reader how to cast spells that will bring about some of the miracles depicted in the Bible as well as other kinds of luck and health. The text includes allegedly magical names, words, and ideograms from the Talmud, some of which are written in Hebrew and others in the Latin alphabet.

“Seals” are mystical images with accompanying instructions that can be used to conduct a variety of functions, including as influencing the weather or other people or making touch with the deceased or Biblical religious leaders.

Copies of the texts can be found in 18th-century German pamphlets, but a printing in 1849, helped by the development of the popular press in the 19th century, spread them to German Americans throughout Germany and Northern Europe. This eventually led to the texts becoming well-known among African Americans in the United States, the Caribbean, and Anglophone West Africa. It impacted West African magical-spiritual rituals, Caribbean magical-spiritual practices, African American hoodoo folk magic, and European occult spiritualism.

History

Although there is no known original edition of this work, early editions started to appear in Germany as low-cost pamphlets in the 18th century. Parts of the “Seventh Book,” including “The Seven Semiphoras of Adam” and “The Seven Semiphoras of Moses,” seem to have originated in the seventh book of the Sefer Raziel HaMalakh’s older European editions. When Johann Scheible, an antiquarian from Stuttgart, released the work as volume 6 of Das Kloster (The Cloister) in 1849, it gained widespread attention.

German copies of the book date back to the 18th century, according to historian Owen Davies. Following its circulation there, the Pennsylvania Dutch communities in the US were where the piece initially gained popularity.

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