Way Out Beyond
Chapter 66 of the Book of John makes for some difficult reading, not least because it contains unfamiliar vocabulary from Akkadian, Hebrew, Greek and even words of unknown origin such as pasemki ‘beams.’ It begins with a series of locations in the lightworlds (the splendid fruits, the courts of light, the perfect house, before finally concluding in Ayar’s garden, which is paralleled with Adam’s garden.
In this abode (hāzen dowrā), we learn that the great tell stories “with” or “in glory” (b-eqārā), evidently an adverbial use of this noun, albeit to an unclear effect. Are they recounting past glories, or is this yet another reference to a region of the lightworlds, the Pride of Glory (giwat eqārā). The juxtaposition of the garden of Adam with glory here recalls Targum Jonathan to Ezechiel 28: 13, ʾat mitpanaq kəʾîlû bə-ʿēdan gîntā də-ywy ʾat šrê ʿûtrā gêwtā wîqārā mityəhêb lāk ‘you are pampered as if you were in Eden, the garden of the Lord, an abundance of wealth, pride, and glory is given to you.’ Much the same sentiment is conveyed by the right-hand volume of the Great Treasure, Book 5, Part 2, which condemns məpanqi napšeyhon bə-giwətā ‘those who pamper themselves with pride (176:23).’