Emerald Tabled of Hermes Notes

The oldest alchemic text known to exist

This page features my meaning behind this text along with a line-by-line comparison of other English translations. Why? It seemed fun.

My meaning
Other's Translations

0) Apollonius of Tyana (maybe Jesus?) held a tablet made of emerald, engraved by the hands of Hermes. These are the words written upon it:

0) Balinas mentions the engraving on the table in the hand of Hermes, which says:
0) Here is that which the priest Sagijus of Nabulus has dictated concerning the entrance of Balinas into the hidden chamber... After my entrance into the chamber, where the talisman was set up, I came up to an old man sitting on a golden throne, who was holding an emerald table in one hand. And behold the following - in Syriac, the primordial language- was written thereon:
0) When I entered into the cave, I received the tablet zaradi, which was inscribed, from between the hands of Hermes, in which I discovered these words:
0) The Secret Works of CHIRAM ONE in essence, but three in aspect.

1) This is truth, this is certain, these words can be trusted by all:
1) Truth! Certainty! That in which there is no doubt!
1) Here (is) a true explanation, concerning which there can be no doubt.
1) True, without falsehood, certain, most certain.
1) This is true and remote from all cover of falsehood
1) Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
1) I speak truly, not falsely, certainly and most truly
1) It is true, no lie, certain and to be depended upon,
1) This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:-
1) It is true without untruth, certain and most true:
1) The truth, certainty, truest, without untruth.
1) True, true, with no room for doubt, certain, worthy of all trust.

2) As it is in Heaven, so it is on Earth. This unity is a miracle by the hands of mankind.
2) That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one.
2) It attests: The above from the below, and the below from the above -the work of the miracle of the One.
2) What is above is like what is below, and what is below is like that which is above. To make the miracle of the one thing.
2) Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.
2) That wch is below is like that wch is above & that wch is above is like yt wch is below to do ye miracles of one only thing.
2) These things below with those above and those with these join forces again so that they produce a single thing the most wonderful of all.
2) the superior agrees with the inferior, and the inferior agrees with the superior, to effect that one truly wonderful work.
2) What is below is like that which is above, and what is above is similar to that which is below to accomplish the wonders of the one thing.
2) As below, so above; and as above so below. With this knowledge alone you may work miracles.
2) that which is below is like that which is on high, and that which is on high is like that which is below; by these things are made the miracles of one thing.
2 )What is above is like what is below. What is below is like what is above. The miracle of unity is to be attained.
2) See, the highest comes from the lowest, and the lowest from the highest; indeed a marvelous work of the tao.

3) And as God created mankind in His likeness, everything created by mankind was also created by God.
3) As all things were from one.
3) And things have been from this primal substance through a single act. How wonderful is this work! It is the main (principle) of the world and is its maintainer.
3) And as all things were made from contemplation of one, so all things were born from one adaptation.
3) Also, as all things are made from one, by the condsideration of one, so all things were made from this one, by conjunction.
3) And as all things have been & arose from one by ye mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
3)And as the whole universe was brought forth from one by the word of one GOD, so also all things are regenerated perpetually from this one according to the disposition of Nature.
3) As all things owe their existence to the will of the only one, so all things owe their origin to the one only thing, the most hidden by the arrangement of the only God.
3) As all things were produced by the mediation of one being, so all things were produced from this one by adaption.
3) And since all things exist in and eminate from the ONE Who is the ultimate Cause, so all things are born after their kind from this ONE.
3) And as all things are, and come from One, by the mediation of One, So all things are born from this unique thing by adaption.
3) Everything is formed from the contemplation of unity, and all things come about from unity, by means of adaptation.
3) See how all things originated from It by a single process.

4) The father of God is the Spirit, and the mother of God is the Soul.
4) Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon.
4) Its father is the sun and its mother the moon; the
4) Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon.
4) The father of it is the sun, the mother the moon.
4) The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
4) It has the Sun for father and the Moon for mother:
4) The father of that one only thing is the sun its mother is the moon,
4) Its father is the sun, its mother the moon.
4) The Sun is the father, the Moon the mother;
4) The Sun is the father and the Moon the mother.
4) Its parents are the Sun and Moon.
4) The father of it (the elixir) is the sun (Yang), its mother the moon (Yin).

5) the Vital Breath that lives between Heaven and Earth created His existence, and the Earth gave Life to His creations.
5) The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly,
5) wind has borne it in its body, and the earth has nourished it.
5) The wind carried it in its womb, the earth breast fed it.
5) The wind bore it in the womb. Its nurse is the earth, the mother of all perfection.
5) the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nourse.
5) it is carried by the air as if in a womb, it is nursed by the earth.
5) the wind carries it in its belly; but its nourse is a spirituous earth.
5) the wind carried it in his belly. Earth is its nurse and its guardian.
5) The wind carries it in its stomach. The earth is its nourisher and its receptacle.
5) It was borne by the wind and nurtured by the Earth.
5) The wind bore it in its belly, and the earth nourished it.

6) The Spirit was born from this unity.
6) the father of talismen and the protector of miracles
6) It is the father of all works of wonder' (Telesmi) in the world.
6) The father of all perfection in ye whole world is here.
6) It is the cause, this, of all perfection of all things throughout the universe.
6) That one only thing is the father of all things in the Universe.
6) It is the Father of all things,
6) The Father of all the Theleme of the universal world is here.
6) Every wonder is from it
6) This is the father of wondrous works (changes and transformations), the guardian of mysteries,

6a) The perfect power of the Spirit created Light.
6a) whose powers are perfect, and whose lights are confirmed (?),
6a) Its power is complete (integra).
6a) Its power is perfected.
6a) This will attain the highest perfection of powers
6a) Its power is perfect,
6a) It is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole earth.
6a) the eternal Will is contained in it.
6a) Its force, or power, remains entire,
6a) and its power is complete.
6a) perfect in its powers, the animator of lights.

7) Turning this Light towards the Earth created Fire.
7) as Earth which shall become Fire.
7) a fire that becomes earth.
7) If cast to (turned towards- versa fuerit) earth,
7) If it is turned into earth,
7) Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
7) if it shall be reduced into earth
7) after it has been united with a spirituous earth.
7) Its power is perfect if it is changed into earth.
7) Here, on earth, its strength, its power remain one and undivded.
7) if it is converted into earth.
7) Throw it upon earth,
7) This fire will be poured upon the earth...

7a) Separating the Earth from this Fire will separate the Spirit from the Physical.
7a) Feed the Earth from that which is subtle, with the greatest power.
7a) Separate the earth from the fire, so you will attain the subtle as more inherent than the gross, with care and sagacity.
7a) it will separate earth from fire, the subtile from the gross.
7a) separate the earth from the fire, the subtle and thin from the crude and course, prudently, with modesty and wisdom.
7a) Seperate thou ye earth from ye fire, ye subtile from the gross sweetly wth great indoustry.
7a) Distribute here the earth and there the fire, thin out the density of this the suavest (suavissima) thing of all.
7a) Separate that spirituous earth from the dense or crude by means of a gentle heat, with much attention.
7a) Separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross, acting prudently and with judgement.
7a) Earth must be separated from fire, the subtle from the dense, gently with unremitting care.
7a) You separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, gently with great industry.
7a) and earth will separate from fire. The impalbable separated from the palpable.
7a) So separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, acting prudently and with art.

8) With this separation, the Spirit rises to Heaven and returns to Earth, confirming that as it is in Heaven, so is it on Earth.
8) It ascends from the earth to the heaven and becomes ruler over that which is above and that which is below.
8) It rises from earth to heaven, so as to draw the lights of the heights to itself, and descends to the earth; thus within it are the forces of the above and the below;
8) With great capacity it ascends from earth to heaven. Again it descends to earth, and takes back the power of the above and the below.
8) This ascends from the earth into the sky and again descends from the sky to the earth, and receives the power and efficacy of things above and of things below.
8) It ascends from ye earth to ye heaven & again it desends to ye earth and receives ye force of things superior & inferior.
8)Ascend with the greatest sagacity of genius from the earth into the sky, and thence descend again to the earth, and recognise that the forces of things above and of things below are one,
8) In great measure it ascends from the earth up to heaven, and descends again, newborn, on the earth, and the superior and the inferior are increased in power.
8 ) Ascend with the greatest sagacity from earth to heaven, and unite together the power of things inferior and superior;
8) It arises from the earth and descends from heaven; it gathers to itself the strength of things above and things below.
8) It climbs from the earth and descends from the sky, and receives the force of things superior and things inferior.
8) Through wisdom it rises slowly from the world to heaven. Then it descends to the world combining the power of the upper and the lower.
8) It ascends from the earth to the heavens (and orders the lights above), then descends again to the earth; and in it is the power of the highest and the lowest.

9) With both the power of the Soul and the Light of the Spirit, the obscurity of the Soul alone shall evade you.
9) because the light of lights within it, thus does the darkness flee before it.
9) Thus you will receive the glory of the distinctiveness of the world. All obscurity will flee from you.
9) By this means you will acquire the glory of the whole world, and so you will drive away all shadows and blindness.
9) By this means you shall have ye glory of ye whole world & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
9) so as to posses the glory of the whole world- and beyond this man of abject fate may have nothing further.
9) By this wilt thou partake of the honours of the whole world. And Darkness will fly from thee.
9) thus you will possess the light of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly away from you.
9) By means of this one thing all the glory of the world shall be yours and all obscurity flee from you.
9) You will have by this way, the glory of the world and all obscurity will flee from you.
9) Thus you will have the illumination of all the world, and darkness will disappear.
9) Thus when you have the light of lights darkness will flee away from you.

10) The force of God will directly influence all that is solid and subtle.
10) The force of forces, which overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates into everything gross.
10) This is the whole most strong strength of all strength, for it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates all solid things.
10) For this by its fortitude snatches the palm from all other fortitude and power. For it is able to penetrate and subdue everything subtle and everything crude and hard.
10) Its force is above all force. ffor it vanquishes every subtile thing & penetrates every solid thing.
10) This thing itself presently comes forth stronger by reasons of this fortitude: it subdues all bodies surely, whether tenuous or solid, by penetrating them.
10) This is the strength of all powers. With this thou wilt be able to overcome all things and transmute all what is fine and what is coarse.
10) This thing has more fortitude than fortitude itself, because it will overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing.
10) It is power, strong with the strength of all power, for it will penetrate all mysteries and dispel all ignorance.
10) It is the power strong with all power, for it will defeat every subtle thing and penetrate every solid thing
10) This is the power of all strength- it overcomes that which is delicate and penetrates through solids.
10) With this power of powers (the elixir) you shall be able to get the mastery of every subtle thing, and be able to penetrate everything that is gross.

11) The structure of all things, both solid and subtle, is perfect and identical.
11) The structure of the microcosm is in accordance with the structure of the macrocosm.
Only one translation listed seems to feature line 11 instead of 11a.

11a) Because of this, the universe was created.
11a) Thus was the world created.
11a) By this means the world was founded
11a) So was ye world created.
11a) And so everything whatsoever that the world contains was created.
11a) In this manner the world was created;
11a) By it the world was formed.
11a) By it the world was created.
11a) In this way the world was created.
11a) This was the means of the creation of the world.
11a) In this way was the great world itself formed.

12) This truth and wisdom is hidden from those who do not wish to seek it.
12) And accordingly proceed the knowledgeable.
12) From this comes marvelous adaptions of which this is the proceedure.
12) and hence the marvelous cojunctions of it and admirable effects, since this is the way by which these marvels may be brought about.
12) From this are & do come admirable adaptaions whereof ye means (Or process) is here in this.
12) Hence admirable works are accomplished which are instituted (carried out- instituuntur) according to the same mode.
12) the arrangements to follow this road are hidden.
12) From it are born manifold wonders, the means to achieving which are here given
12) From it are born wonderful adaptations, of which the way here is given.
12) And in the future wonderful developements will be made, and this is the way.
12) Hence thus and thus marvellous operations will be acheived.

13) I am the Trifecta named Hermes, named this because I am graced with these three truths.
13) And to this aspired Hermes, who was threefold graced with wisdom.
13) Therefore I am called Hermes, because I have three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
13) And because of this they have called me Hermes Tristmegistus since I have the three parts of the wisdom and Philsosphy of the whole universe.
13) Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of ye philosophy of ye whole world.
13) To me therefor the name of Hermes Trismegistus has been awarded because I am discovered as the Teacher of the three parts of the wisdom of the world.
13) For this reason I am called Chiram Telat Mechasot, one in essence, but three in aspect. In this trinity is hidden the wisdom of the whole world.
13) It is for this reason that I am called Hermes Trismegistus; for I possess the three essentials of the philosophy of the universe.
13) That is why I have been called Hermes Tristmegistus, having the three parts of the universal philosophy.
13) I am Hermes the Threefold Sage, so named because I hold the three elements of all wisdom.

14) The end.
14) And I have already explained the meaning of the whole of this in two of these books of mine.
14) And this is his last book, which he concealed in the chamber.
14) And complete is what I had to say about the work of the Sun, from the book of Galieni Alfachimi.
14) My speech is finished which i have spoken concerning the solar work
14) That wch I have said of ye operation of ye Sun is accomplished & ended.
14) These then are the considerations which I have concluded ought to be written down concerning the readiest operations of the Chymic art.
14) It is ended now, what I have said concerning the effects of the sun. Finish of the Tabula Smaragdina.
14) This is is the sum total of the work of the Sun.
14) This, that I have called the solar Work, is complete.
14) And thus ends the revelation of the work of the Sun.

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