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the appearing of the pairs of opposites, in that he has set before their eyes first the small and then the great, first the world and then eternity, this world being transitory, but the one to come eternal; so also ignorance precedes knowledge. 3 In the same way he has ordered the bearers of the prophetic spirit. For since the present is womanly and like a mother gives birth to children, but the future, manly time on the other hand takes up its children in the manner of a father, 4 therefore there come first the proph­ ets of this world (who prophesy falsely, and) those who have the knowledge of eternal things follow them because they are sons of the coming age. 5 Had the God-fearing known this se­ cret, then they would never have been able to go wrong, and also they would even now have known that Simon, who now confounds all, is merely a helpmate of the feeble left hand (of God, i.e., the evil one).


As regards the disposition of the prophetic mission the case is as follows. As God, who is one person, in the beginning made first the heaven and then the earth, as it were on the right hand and on the left, he has also in the course of time established all the pairs of opposites. But with humans it is no longer so—rather does he invert the pairs. 2 For as with him the first is the stronger and the second the weaker, so with humans we find the opposite, first the weaker and then the stronger. 3 Thus directly from Adam, who was made in the image of God, there issued as the first son the unrighteous Cain and as the second the righteous Abel. 4 And in the same way from the man who amongst you is called Deucalion two symbols of the Spirit, the unclean and the clean, were sent out, the black raven and after it the white dove.


5 And also from Abraham, the progen­ itor of our people, there issued two sons, the older Ishmael and then Isaac, who was blessed by God. 6 Again from this same Isaac there sprang two sons, the godless Esau and the godly Jacob. 7 Likewise there came first, as first­ born into the world, the high priest (Aaron) and then the law-giver (Moses).


The syzygy associated with Eli­ jah, which ought to have come, willingly held off to another time, being resolved to take its place when the oc­ casion arises. 2 Then in the same way there came first he who was among them that are born of women and only after that did he who belongs to the sons of men appear as the second. 3 Following up this disposition it would be possible to recognise where Simon belongs, who as first and before me went to the Gentiles, and where I be­ long, I who came after him and followed him as the light follows darkness, knowl­ edge ignorance, and healing sickness. 4 Thus then, as the true prophet has said, a false gospel must first come from an impostor and only then, after the de­ struction of the holy place, can a true gospel be sent forth for the correction of the sects that are to come. 5 And thereafter in the end Antichrist must first come again and only afterwards must Jesus, our actual Christ, appear and then, with the rising of eternal light, everything that belongs to darkness must disappear.


Since now, as has been said, many do not know this con­ formity of the syzygies with law, they do not know who this Simon, my forerunner, is. For were it known, no one would believe him. But now, as he remains

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