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THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM

A Literal Translation of the Hebrew Text


The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord ; that is the starting-point, for when a man refrains
from following his eyes and his heart in their tendency to satiate his concupiscence, then
knowledge comes to rest within him; furthermore, the fear of the Lord protects him from the
decrees of the heavenly bodies and from their sway as long as he lives.
Now I shall begin to discuss the decrees of the celestial bodies with respect to the astrological
judgments which the ancient generations have investigated one after the other. When this book is
finished, I shall compile a treatise explaining the astrological reasons.
And may the Lord help me, Amen.
This book is divided into ten chapters.
The first chapter deals with the form of the firmament and with its parts, its signs, and its figures,
and with the seven wandering stars and their ascent, their celestial influence, their rotation, and
their power.
The second chapter treats of the influence of the signs, their ascent, their action, the conjunction
of the stars, and their forms.
The third discusses the aspects of the degrees, and the influence of the quarters of the sphere,
and the twelve houses.
The fourth tells of the conjunction of the seven planets and their influence and all that which they
prognosticate for all creatures which exist on the earth.
The fifth pertains to the matter of the planets, when their influence increases and when it wanes.
The sixth describes the influence of the planets themselves according to their position in front or in
back of the Sun.
The seventh takes up the aspects of the planets, their conjunction, their attraction, their
separation, and the regulation of the things in which is involved the influence over all that which
they prognosticate.
The eighth relates the decision of the planets with regard to the questions, the horoscopes, and
the revolutions.
The ninth refers to the parts of the planets, the parts of the houses, and the other parts
mentioned by the astrologers.
The tenth bears upon the radiation of the light of the seven planets, the path of their course, their
movement through the degrees of the sphere, and everything pertaining to them.
Any wise man who intends to investigate this science must take into account the rotation of the
seven planets, which are hasty in their motion because they whirl around the degrees of the great
circle, their motion in their orbits, when they are opposite the superior planets which are in the
zodiac of the signs, and all the rotations which take place around the center, or the earth, which is
just like the central point of the periphery. Then he will fully realize that the action of the aforesaid
movements will vary according to the regions, even though their movements be even and straight.
This thing is determined by the number of the degrees of the sphere and its northern and southern
forms, by the information about the seven planets, their common and individual natures, and all
their effects.