Thursday, 7 February 2019

The Book of Bileth (Hebrew)

1. Preamble

In his Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (Peterson), the source of the more popular Goetia,  Weyer has this to say about Bileth:

§ 20. Byleth Rex magnus & terribilis, in equo pallido equitans, quem præcedunt tubæ, symphoniæ, & cuncta Musicæ genera. Quum autem coram exorcista se ostentat, turgidus ira & furore videtur, ut decipiat. Exorcista vero tum sibi prudenter caveat: Atque ut fastum ei adimat, in manu suscipiat baculum corili, cum quo orientem & meridiem versus, foris juxta circulum manum extendet, facietque triangulum. Cæterum si manum non extendit, & intrare jubet, atque spirituum Vinculum ille renuerit, ad lectionem progrediatur exorcista: mox ingredietur item submissus, ibi stando & faciendo quodcunque jusserit exorcista ipsi Byleth regi, eritque securus. Si vero contumacior fuerit, nec primo jussu circulum ingredi voluerit, reddetur forte timidior exorcista: Vel si Vinculum spirituum minus habuerit, sciet haud dubie exorcista, malignos spiritus postea eum non verituros, at semper viliorem habituros. Item si ineptior sit locus triangulo deducendo juxta circulum, tunc vas vino plenum ponatur: Et intelliget exorcista certissimè, quum è domo sua egressus fuerit cum sociis suis, prædictum Byleth sibi fautorem fore, benevolum, & coram ipso submissum quando progredietur. Venientem vero exorcista benigne suscipiat, & de ipsius fastu glorietur: Propterea quoque eundem adorabit, quemadmodum alii reges, quia nihil dicit absque aliis principibus. Item si hic Byleth accitus fuerit ab aliquo exorcista, semper tenendus ad exorcistæ faciem annulus argenteus medii digiti manus sinistræ, quemadmodum pro Amaymone. Nec est prætermittenda dominatio & potestas tanti principis, quoniam nullus est sub potestate & dominatione exorcistæ alius, qui viros & mulieres in delirio detinet, donec exorcistæ voluntatem explerint: Et fuit ex ordine Potestatum, sperans se ad septimum Thronum rediturum, quod minus credibile. Imperat octogintaquinque legionibus. 

(20) Bileth [Byleth] is a great king and a terrible, riding on a pale horsse, before whome go trumpets, and all kind of melodious musicke. When he is called up by an exorcist, he appeareth rough [turgid] and furious, to deceive him. Then let the exorcist or conjuror take heed to himself; and to allaje his courage, let him hold a hazell bat [rod, staff, or stick] in his hand, wherewithall he must reach out toward the east and south, and make a triangle without besides the circle; but if he hold not out his hand unto him, and he bid him come in, and he still refuse the bond or chain of spirits; let the conjuror proceed to reading, and by and by he will submit himselfe, and come in, and doo whatsoever the exorcist commandeth him, and he shalbe safe. If Bileth the king be more stubborne, and refuse to enter into the circle at the first call, and the conjuror shew himselfe fearfull, or if he have not the chaine of spirits, certeinelie he will never feare nor regard him after. Also, if the place be unapt for a triangle to be made without the circle, then set there a boll of wine, and the exorcist shall certeinlie knowe when he commeth out of his house, with his fellowes, and that the foresaid Bileth will be his helper, his friend, and obedient unto him when he commeth foorth. And when he commeth, let the exorcist receive him courteouslie, and glorifie him in his pride, and therfore he shall adore him as other kings doo, bicause he saith nothing without other princes. Also, if he be cited by an exorcist, alwaies a silver ring of the middle finger of the left hand must be held against the exorcists face, as they doo for Amaimon. And the dominion and power of so great a prince is not to be pretermitted; for there is none under the power & dominion of the conjuror, but he that deteineth both men and women in doting [better: "foolish" or "silly"] love, till the exorcist hath had his pleasure. He is of the orders of powers, hoping to returne to the seaventh throne, which is not altogether credible, and he ruleth eightie five legions.

The Book of Bileth is not mentioned in his description, but rather that of Gaap (Tap):

ductor est præcipuorum quatuor regum, tam potens ut Byleth. Extiterunt autem quidam necromantici, qui huic libamina & holocausta obtulere, & ut eundem evocarent, artem exercuere, dicentes sapientissimum Salomonem eam composuisse, quod falsum est: imo fuit Cham filius Noë, qui primus post diluvium cœpit malignos invocare spiritus, invocavit autem Byleth, & composuit artem in suo nomine, & librum, qui multis mathematicis est cognitus. Fiebant autem holocausta, libamina, munera, & multa nefaria, quæ operabantur exorcistæ admistis sanctissimis Dei nominibus, quæ in eadem arte sparsim exprimuntur. Epistola vero de iis nominibus est conscripta à Salomone, uti & scribunt Helias Hierosolymitanus & Heliseus. Notandum, si aliquis exorcista habuerit artem Beleth, nec ipsum coram se sistere possit aut videre, nisi per artem: Quomodo autem eundem continere oporteat, non est explicandum, quum sit nefandum, & nihil à Salomone de ejus dignitate & officio didicerim, 

 He is the guide of the foure principall kings, as mightie as Bileth. There were certeine necromancers that offered sacrifices and burnt offerings unto him; and to call him up, they exercised an art, saieng that Salomon the wise made it. Which is false: for it was rather Cham, the sonne of Noah, who after the floud began first to invocate wicked spirits. He invocated Bileth, and made an art in his name, and a booke which is knowne to manie mathematicians. There were burnt offerings and sacrifices made, and gifts given, and much wickednes wrought by the exorcists, who mingled therewithall the holie names of God, the which in that art are everie where expressed. Marie [Certainly] there is an epistle of those names written by Salomon, as also write Helias Hierosolymitanus and Helisæus. It is to be noted, that if anie exorcist have the art of Bileth, and cannot make him stand before him, nor see him, I may not bewraie how and declare the meanes to conteine him, bicause it is abhomination, and for that I have learned nothing from Salomon of his dignitie and office. 

I have employed the help of Rabbi Yosef Michael Cohen  in order to translate the version of the book contained in the Hebrew Sepher Mafteach Schelomoh, with the seals cleared up and enhanced. Here follows his work.  The Italian version, kindly made known to me by Daniel Clark, will be published separately. I am also in the process of obtaining Jean-Patrice Boudet s version of the Liber Bileth, through the help of Dan Schneider. A special thanks to  Dr. Stephen Skinner who long ago, upon finding about my plans to work on this text, sent me on his own expense a signed copy of the Teitan Press edition of the book. The only person working with the material offered by the book, to my knowledge, is Gal Sofer, who is preparing material to be published on it currently and actually did quite some research on Bilet, whose work we are all eagerly awaiting. 

2. Preface 
by Rabbi Yosef M. Cohen, translator

The following short grimoire, translated to English for the first time is found in four manuscripts of the Key of Solomon. This grimoire is entitled as “Sefer Billet” (The Book of Billet) both at the beginning and end of the text and is clearly a distinct work in it’s own right. The following translation is that of the Gollancz mss. and reference to the mss. folio numbers are noted in brackets. With the exception of one instance noted in the text, only minor textual variances were noted between the Hebrew manuscripts. The magical seals were uniform and consistent throughout. Many thanks to Mr. Daniel Clark for bringing to my attention and providing copies of the British Library and St Andrews manuscripts. A fuller, critical edition of all textual variations will be forthcoming in conjunction with Mr. Mihai Vartejaru who will be examining the Italian version.

The manuscripts
The Herman Gollancz mss. (Hebrew)
 (Amsterdam) Universiteitsbibliotheek MS Rosenthal 12 (Hebrew)
British Library ms Or 14759 (Hebrew)
 University of St Andrews msBF1608.S7 (Italian)

A total of twenty eight adjurations to various demonic authorities (many labeled as princes) or their attendants. Each adjuration is followed with a set of magical seals. The grimoire does not give specifics on how to perform the operations.

 The Book of Billeit

English translation of the Hebrew by Rabbi Yosef M. Cohen
 © 2019 All rights reserved. May be distributed only for non-commercial, including private and/or academic, use.

ספר בילט 
Sefer Billet 
(The Book of Billeit)

 [fol. 46a] I am Billet the great, god of the east. I am prepared to answer all your questions that you shall ask and fullfil your wants, desires and cravings. Ask anything from me, and I shall do it immediately.

I am Ashmodai, king of the south and the great philosopher. If you desire to know intercalculations, the hooks (?) and future events - behold, I am prepared to answer and explain your uncertainties.   : And know, all the sigils are from right to left as in the Latin script

I am “so and so” Maimun the great, who has the keys to the garments and treasuries in my hands. Whatever you ask and desire –command me, and I shall do it for you immediately.

Behold, we are prepared to break the frames of the garments and the hidden treasuries. Come to the place where it is in the treasury. Decree upon us, and we will do it immediately. [fol. 46b]

[fol. 46a] I am Angbot the great and I have the ability and strength to take one out from prison or place him there instantaneously. 

Behold, we are prepared to remove anyone from prison. Moreover, we can disassemble all iron utensils [Rabbi Y.M.C.: most probably a reference to iron fetters and shackles] in order save him.

I am Berimonai ruler of coition, love and hatred; ruler of friendship and strife. Decree as you wish, and I shall do it immediately.

Behold, we are prepared to bring to you a woman you desire out of love into your hand and to the location you want to come upon her. Ask, and we will bring her there immediately.

I am Faevivantz king of the north, the great judge. Judgement will be for everyone according to your want and desire.  If you wish to avenge [yourself] from one or more, decree and it shall be done instantaneously.

Behold, we are prepared to take revenge on anyone you wish, whether justifiable or unjustifiable so, according to your desire. Decree, and speedily we shall do it for you instantaneously.

[fol. 47a] I am Dorekush, ruler of the air. Doer of wondrous feats to the land; bringer of rains, hail and the sound of thunder. [I am the] Remover of bad or good seasons. Decree, and I shall do for you immediately.

Behold, we are prepared to produce bad seasons and air pollution or remove them. Likewise, regarding lighting, hail or rain. Decree as you desire, and it shall be done immediately.

I am Geliael, the great commander of the armies. If you desire to speak and make a request from the military commanders and have them give it to you, even if you request thousands of thousands [of soldiers].

Behold, we are prepared to listen to your command to see you ( them) in any location that you wish and desire. [Whether it be] towers, distinguished cities or shortening the siege that they are under from innumerable soldiers. Decree, and immediately we will do for you.

I am the commander of the army and the stockpiles. If you wish to see all the locations of armed soldiers, decree and I will show you –even if you desire [to see] thousands of thousands.

Behold, we are prepared to listen to your command. If you wish to see all the locations of armed soldiers, decree and I will show you –even if you desire [to see] thousands of thousands. Decree, and it will immediately be done for you.

I am Gelaimael the great lord of the rivers. If you desire to place before a man a wondrous river at any location you wish, decree and so it shall be.

[fol. 47b] Behold we are prepared to make rivers and fish within them as you wish in any location you want. Decree, and so we shall do this for you.

I am Kaloai the great and wondrous king. If you desire to instantly travel to and dwell in a distant city, behold, I am prepared to bring you or others there. Decree and immediately I will do this for you.

Behold, we are prepared to transport any person you desire to a distant location and to return him as is your heart’s desire. Decree and immediately it will be done for you.

I am the great Balabulkosh  throne [of] Balditzash the prince. If you desire to frighten a person or to exact revenge, decree and immediately we will do this for you.

Behold, we are prepared to frighten, startle or exact revenge as you desire; decree, and immediately we will do this for you.

I am Vayvovish (Waywowish?) throne [of] Shafarsh the great prince. If you wish to build or destroy a tower or city, decree and immediately it will be done for you.

Behold, we are prepared to build or destroy fortified towers or cities, or to place fortification upon them. Ask according to your desire and immediately it will be done for you.
[fol. 48a]

I am Mitazin the great and distinguished philosopher. If you wish to know all natural sciences and have the strength to learn all there is to learn, decree and I will do this immediately.

Behold, we are prepared to write down all that you desire. Even should you wish for the philosophic [writings], decree, and immediately we will do this for you.

I am Talkosh. If you desire a set time and it should be with you for two or three days, decree and I will do it immediately.
[Variant text from British Library ms Or 14759:  I am Talkosh the great. I am prepared to revive the dead to whom you desire. If you wish, you can give them a set time, such as two or three years. Decree, and I will do it immediately.]

Behold, we are prepared to revive from the dead whomever you wish and they will answer all that you ask from them. Decree, and we will do this for you immediately.

I am Aktalash the great prince of the sea and winds. If you desire to see ships and boats on the ocean or rivers, ask according to your desire and I shall do this for you immediately.
Behold, we are prepared to bring forth ships and boats for you on the seas and rivers as you desire. Decree and we shall do this for you immediately.

תם ונשלם ספר בילט  
Complete and finished, the Book of Billet

If you find this helpful, share it or consider becoming a patron, in order to keep this free resource going with as much new material as possible. Thank you.  


  1. Hello, I find the Book of Bileth quite fascinating. Do you have any further information on other versions of this text and would it please be possible to have this work uploaded as a PDF for off-line study? Thank you

    1. everything that is ready for publication is published. If it s not published, it s not ready for publication. If you can read medieval Latin, sure :)))