THE TESTAMENT OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS
Testament of Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob and Leah
Date: second century B.C.
Chapter one 1 A copy of the testament of Reuben: the things which he commanded to his sons 2 before he died in the one hundred twenty-fifth year of his life. Two years after the death of Joseph, his brother Reuben became sick and there gathered to watch 3 over him his sons and his sonsí sons. And he said to them, ďMy children, behold 4 I am dying, and I am going the way of my fathers.Ē When he saw Judah and Gad and Asher his brothers there he said to them, ďRaise me up so that I can tell my brothers and my children the things that I have hidden in my heart, for behold I 5 am departing from you now.ď And when he was raised up he kissed them and said to them, ďListen, my brothers and my sons; give heed to the things which 6 I, Reuben, your father, command you. See here, I call the God of heaven to bear witness to you this day, so that you will not behave yourselves in the ignorant ways of youth and sexual promiscuity in which I indulged myself and defiled the 7 marriage bed of my father, Jacob. But I tell you he struck me with a severe wound in my loins for seven months, and if my father, Jacob, had not prayed to the Lord 8 in my behalf, the Lord would have destroyed me. For I was thirty years old when I committed this evil deed in the sight of the Lord, and for seven months I was 9 and invalid on the brink of death. And after this, with determination of soul, for 10 seven years I repented before the Lord: I did not drink wine or liquor; meat did not enter my mouth, and I did not eat and pleasurable food. Rather, I was mourning over my sin, since it was so great. Never had anything like it been done in Israel. Chapter two 1 ďAnd now give heed to me, my children, concerning the things which I saw 2 during my time of penitence, concerning the seven spirits of deceit. For seven spirits are established against mankind, and they are the sources of the deeds of 3,4 youth. And seven other spirits are given to man at creation so that by them every human deed (is done). First is the spirit of life, with which man is created as a composite being/ The second is the spirit of seeing, with which comes desire. 5 The third is the spirit of hearing, with which comes instruction. The fourth is the 6 spirit of smell, with which is given taste for drawing air and breath. The fifth is 7 the spirit of speech, with which comes knowledge. The sixth is the spirit of taste for consuming food and drink; by it comes strength, because in food is the substance 8 of strength. The seventh is the spirit of procreation and intercourse, with which 9 come sins through fondness for pleasure. For this reason, it was the last in the creation and the first in youth, because it is filled with ignorance; it leads the young person like a blind man into a ditch and like an animal over a cliff. Chapter three 1 ďIn addition to all is an eighth spirit; sleep, with which is created the ecstasy 2 of nature and the image of death. With these are commingled the spirits of error. 3,4 First, the spirit of promiscuity resides in the nature and the senses. A second spirit of insatiability, in the stomach; a third spirit of strife, in the liver and the gall; a fourth spirit of flattery and trickery, in order that through excessive effort 5 one might appear to be at the height of his powers; a fifth spirit of arrogance, that one might be boastful and haughty; a sixth spirit of lying, which through destructiveness and rivalry, handles his affairs smoothly and secretively even with his 6 relatives and his household. A seventh spirit of injustice, with which are thefts and crooked dealings, in order that one might gain his heartís desire. For injustice 7 works together with the other spirits through acceptance of bribes. With all these 8 the spirit of sleep forms an alliance, which results in error and fantasy. And thus every young man is destroyed, darkening his mind from the truth, neither gaining 9 understanding in the Law of God nor heeding the advice of his fathers-just this was my plight in my youth. And now, my children, love truth and she will preserve you. Give heed to the words of Reuben, your father. 10 ďDo not devote your attention to a womanís looks, nor live with a woman who is already married, nor become involved in affairs with women. 11 ďFor if I had not seen Bilhah bathing in a sheltered place, I would not have fallen 12 into this great lawless act. For so absorbed were my senses by her naked femininity 13 that I was not able to sleep until I had performed this revolting act. While our father, Jacob had gone off to visit his father, Isaac, and we were at Gader near Ephratha in Bethlehem, Bilhah became drunk and was sound asleep, naked in her 14 bedchamber. So when I came in and saw her nakedness, I performed the impious deed without her being aware of it. Leaving her sleeping soundly, I went out. 15 And immediately a messenger from God revealed it to my father. He came and made lamentation over me, and never again touched her. Chapter four 1 ďDo not devote your attention to the beauty of women, my children, nor occupy your minds with their activities. But live in integrity of heart in the fear of the Lord, and weary yourself in good deeds, in learning, and in tending your flocks, until the Lord gives you the mate whom he wills, so that you do not suffer, as I 2 did. For until my fatherís death I never had the courage to look him in the face 3 or speak to any of my brothers because of my disgraceful act. Even until now my 4 conscience harasses me because of my impious act. And yet my father consoled me greatly and prayed to the Lord in my behalf so that the Lordís anger would pass me by - which is just how the Lord treated me. From that time until now I 5 have kept a careful watch and have not sinned. So then, my children, observe all 6 the things that I command you and do not sin, for the sin of promiscuity is the pitfall of life, separating man from God and leading on toward idolatry, because it is the deceiver of the mind and the perceptions, and leads youths down to hell 7 before their time. For promiscuity has destroyed many. Whether a man is old, well born, rich, or poor, he brings on himself disgrace among mankind and provides 8 Beliar with an opportunity to cause him to stumble. You heard how Joseph 9 protected himself from a woman and purified his mind from all promiscuity; He found favor before God and men. For the Egyptian woman did many thing to him, summoned magicians, and brought potions for him, but his soulís deliberation 10 rejected evil desire. For this reason the God of our fathers rescued him from every 11 visible or hidden death. For of promiscuity does not triumph over your reason, then neither can Beliar conquer you. Chapter five 1 ďFor women are evil, my children, and by reason of their lacking authority or power over men, they scheme treacherously how they might entice him to them- 2 selves by means of their looks. And whomever they cannot enchant by their 3 appearance they conquer by a stratagem. Indeed, the angel of the Lord told me and instructed me that women are more easily overcome by the spirit of promiscuity than are men. They contrive in their hearts against men, then by decking themselves out they lead menís minds astray, by a look they implant their poison, and finally 4 in the act itself they take them captive. For a woman is not able to coerce a man 5 overtly, but by a harlotís manner she accomplishes her villainy. Accordingly, my children, flee from sexual promiscuity, and order your wives and your daughters not to adorn their heads and their appearances so as to deceive menís sound minds. For every woman who schemes in these ways is destined for eternal punishment. 6 For it was thus that they charmed the Watchers, who were before the Flood. As they continued looking at the women, they were filled with desire for them, and perpetrated the act in their minds. Then they were transformed into human males, and while the women were cohabiting with their husbands they appeared to them. Since the womenís minds were filled with lust for these apparitions, they gave birth to giants. For the Watchers were disclosed to them as being as high as the heavens. Chapter six 1 ďSo guard yourself against sexual promiscuity, and if you want to remain pure 2 in your mind, protect your senses from women. And tell them not to consort with 3 men, so that they too might be pure in their minds. For even recurrent chance meetings-although the impious act itself is not committed-are for these women an incurable disease, but for us they are the plague of Beliar and an eternal disgrace. 4 Because in sexual promiscuity there is a place for neither understanding nor piety, 5 and every passion dwells in its desire. For this reason, I say to you, you will vie 6 with the sons of Levi and will seek to be exalted above them, but you will not be able: For God will perform vengeance in their behalf, and you will die an evil 7 death, since God gave Levi the authority, and to Judah with him, (as well as to 8 me and to Dan and to Joseph), to be rulers. It is for this reason that I command you to give heed to Levi, because he will know the law of God and will give instructions concerning justice and concerning sacrifice for Israel until the con- 9 summation of times; he is the anointed priest of whom the Lord spoke. I call to witness the God of heaven that you do the truth, each to his neighbor, and that 10 you show love, each to his brother. Draw near to Levi in humility of your hearts 11 in order that you may receive blessing from his mouth. For he will bless Israel and Judah , since it is through him that the Lord has chosen to reign in the presence 12 of all the people. Prostrate yourselves before his posterity, because (his offspring0 will die in your behalf in wars visible and invisible. And he shall be among you an eternal king.Ē Chapter seven 1,2 And Reuben died, having spoken these commandments to his sons. And they placed him in a coffin until they carried him up from Egypt and buried him in Hebron, in the cave where his father was. Testament of Simeon, the second son of Jacob and Leah Chapter one 1 A copy of the words of Simeon, which he spoke to his sons before he died in 2 the hundred and twentieth year of his life, at the time when his brother Joseph died. While Simeon was sick his sons came to see him, and becoming stronger, he sat up, kissed them, and said, Chapter two 1 ďListen, my children, to Simeon, your father, and I shall tell you the things which I have in my heart. 2 I was born of Jacob, a second son for my father; and Leah, my mother, called me Simeon because the Lord had heard her prayer. 3 And I became extraordinarily strong; I did not hold back from any exploit, nor did I fear anything. 4 My heart was firm, my courage was high, and my feelings were dispassionate. 5,6, ďFor by the Most High, manly courage is given to en in soul and body. In the time of my youth I was jealous of Joseph, because my father loved him more 7 than all the rest of us. I was determined inwardly to destroy him, because the Prince of Error blinded my mind so that I did not consider him as a brother nor did I 8 spare Jacob, my father. But his God and the God of our fathers sent his messenger 9 and delivered him from my hands. For when I went to Sheechem to procure an unguent for the flocks, and Reuben went to Dothan where our supplies and stores 10 were, my brother Judah sold him to the Ishmaelites. When Reuben heard this he 11 was sorrowful, for he wanted to restore him to his father. But when I heard it, I was furious with Judah because he had let him go away alive. For five months 12 I was angry with him. The Lord bound my hands and feet, however, and thus prevented my hands from performing their deeds, because for seven days my right 13 hand was partly withered. I knew, children, that this had happened to me because of Joseph, so I repented and wept. Then I prayed to the Lord God that my hand might be restored and that I might refrain from every defilement and grudge and from all folly, for I knew that I had contemplated an evil deed in the sight of the Lord and of Jacob, my father, on account of Joseph, my brother, because of my envying him. Chapter three 1 ďAnd now, my children, pay heed to me, Beware of the spirit of deceit and 2 envy. ďFor envy dominates the whole of manís mind and does not permit him to 3 eat or drink or to do anything good. Rather it keeps prodding him to destroy the one he envies. Whenever the one who is envied flourishes, the envious one 4 languishes. Out of the fear of the Lord I chastened my soul by fasting for two years. And I came to know that liberation from envy occurs through fear of the 5 Lord. If anyone flees to the Lord for refuge, the evil spirit will quickly depart 6 from him, and his mind will be eased. From then on he has compassion on the one whom he envied and has sympathetic feelings with those who love him; thus his envy ceases. Chapter four 1 Now my father was inquiring about me because he saw that I was sullen. 2 And I said to him, I am inwardly in pain, for I was more sorrowful than all of them 3 because it was I who was responsible for what had been done to Joseph. And when we went down into Egypt and he placed me in fetters as a spy, I knew that 4 I was suffering justly, and I did not lament. But Joseph was a good man, one who had within him the spirit of God, and being full of compassion and mercy he did 5 not bear ill will toward me, but loved me as well as my brothers. Guard yourselves therefore, my children, form all jealousy and envy. Live in the integrity of your heart, so that God might give you grace and glory and blessing upon your heads, 6 just as you have observed in Joseph. In all his days he did not reproach us for this deed, bu he loved us as his own life; he extolled us more than he did his own 7 sons, and he showered us with wealth, flocks, and produce. And you, my children, each of you love his brothers with a good heart, and the spirit of envy will depart 8 from you. For that attitude makes the soul savage and corrupts the body; it forments wrath and conflict in the reason, excites to the shedding of blood, drives the mind 9 to distraction, arouses tumult in the soul and trembling in the body. Even in sleep some passion for evil fills his fantasy and consumes him; by evil spirits it stirs up his soul and fills his body with terror. In distress it rouses his mind from sleep, and like an evil, penetrating spirit, so it manifests itself to human beings. Chapter five 1 Because nothing evil resided in Joseph, he was attractive in appearance and 2 handsome to behold, for the face evidences any troubling of the spirit. And now my children. Make your hearts virtuous in the Lordís sight, make your paths straight before me, and you shall continually find grace with the Lord and with men. 3 Guard yourselves from sexual promiscuity because fornication is the mother of all wicked deeds; it separates from God and leads men to Beliar. 4 For I have seen in a copy of the book of Enoch that you sons will be ruined by 5 promiscuity, and they shall injure with a sword the sons of Levi. But they shall not be able to withstand Levi, because he shall wage the Lordís war and will 6 triumph over all you battalions. These forces distributed among Levi and Judah will be few in number, and from you there will be no one for leadership, just as our father predicted in his blessings. Chapter six 1See I have told you everything, so that I might be exonerated with regard to your sin. 2 If you divest yourselves of envy and every hardness of heart, my bones will flourish as a rose in Israel and my flesh as a lily in Jacob. My odor shall be like the odor of Lebanon. Holy ones shall be multiplied from me forever and ever, and their branches shall extend to a great distance. 3 Then the seed of Canaan will be destroyed, and there will be no posterity of Amalek. All the Cappadocians shall be destroyed and all the Hittites shall be wholly obliterated. 4 The land of Ham shall be wanting, and all that people shall perish. Then the whole earth shall be at rest from trouble, and everything under heaven shall be free from war. 5 Then Shem shall be glorified; because God the Lord, the Great One in Israel, will 6 be manifest upon the earth (as a man). By himself will he save Adam. Then all the spirits of error shall be given over to being trampled underfoot. And men will 7 have mastery over the evil spirits. Then I shall arise in gladness and I shall bless the Most High for his marvels, (because God has taken a body, eats with human beings, and saves human beings.) Chapter seven 1 And now, my children, be obedient to Levi and to Judah. Do not exalt yourselves above these two tribes, (because from them will arise the Savior come 2 from God). For the Lord will raise up from Levi someone as high priest and from Judah someone as king (God and man). He will save all the gentiles and the tribe 3 of Israel. For this reason I command these things to you and you command them to your children, so that they may observe them in their successive generations. Chapter eight 1 And when Simeon had finished his instructions to his sons, he fell asleep with 2 his fathers at the age of one hundred and twenty years. They placed him in a wooden coffin in order to carry his bones up to Hebron; they took them up in 3 secret during a war with Egypt. The bones of Joseph the Egyptians kept in the tombs of the kings, since their wizards told them that at the departure of Josephís bones there would be darkness and gloom in the whole land and a great plague on the Egyptians, so that even with a lamp no one could recognize his brother. Chapter nine 1,2 And the sons of Simeon uttered lamentations for their father. And they were in Egypt until the day of their departure by the hand of Moses. Testament of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah Chapter one 1 A copy of the words of Levi; the things that he decreed to his sons concerning all they were ro do, and the things that would happen to them until the day of 2 judgment. He was in good health when he summoned them to him, but it had been revealed to him that he was about to die. When they all were fathered together he said to them: Chapter two 1,2 I, Levi, was born in Haran and came with my father to Shechem. I was a youth, about twenty years old. It was then that, together with Simeon, I performed 3 vengeance against Ham or because of our sister, Dinah. As I was tending the flocks in Abel-Maoul a spirit of understanding from the Lord came upon me, and I observed all human beings making their way in life deceitfully. Sin was erecting 4 walls and injustice was ensconced in towers. I kept grieving over the race of the 5 sons of men, and I prayed to the Lord that I might be delivered. Then sleep fell 6 upon me, and I beheld a high mountain, and I was on it. And behold, the heavens 7 were opened, and an angel of the Lord spoke to me: Levi, Levi, enter! And I 8 entered the first heaven, and saw there much water suspended. And again I saw a second heaven much brighter and more lustrous, for there was a measureless 9 height in it. And I said to the angel, Why are these things thus? And the angel said to me. Do not be amazed concerning this, for you shall see another heaven 10 more lustrous and beyond compare. And when you have mounted there, you shall stand near the Lord. You shall be his priest and you shall tell forth his mysteries 11 to men. You shall announce the one who is about to redeem Israel. Through you and Judah the Lord will be seen by men, (by himself saving every race of 12 humankind). Your life shall be from the Lordís provision; he shall be to you as field and vineyard and produce, as silver and gold. Chapter three 1 Listen, therefore, concerning the heavens which have been shown to you. 2 the lowest is dark for this reason; It sees all the injustices of humankind and contains fire, snow, and ice, ready for the day determined by Godís righteous judgment. In it are all the spirits of those dispatched to achieve the punishment 3 of mankind. In the second are the armies arrayed for the day of judgment to work vengeance on the spirits of error and of Belair. Above them are the Holy Ones. 4 In the uppermost heaven of all dwells the Great Glory in the Holy of Holies 5 superior to all holiness. There with him are the archangels, who serve and offer propitiatory sacrifices to the Lord in behalf of all the sins of ignorance of the 6 righteous ones. They present to the Lord a pleasing odor, a rational and bloodless 7 oblation. In the heaven below them are the messengers who carry the responses 8 to the angels of the Lordís presence. There with him are thrones and authorities; 9 there praises to God are offered eternally. So when the Lord looks upon us we all tremble. Even the heavens and earth and the abysses tremble before the presence 10 of his majesty. But the sons of men, being insensitive to these matters, keep sinning and provoking the anger of the Most High. Chapter four 1 Know, then, that the Lord will effect judgment on the sons of men. For even when stones are split, when the son is extinguished, the waters are dried up, fire is cowed down, all creation is distraught, invisible spirits are vanishing, and hell is snatching spoils by sufferance of the Most High, men-unbelieving still-will persist I their wrongdoing. Therefore they shall be condemned with punishment. 2 The most High has given heed to your prayer that you be delivered from wrongdoing, that you should become a son to him, as minister and priest in his 3 presence. The light of knowledge you shall kindle in Jacob, and you shall be as 4 the sun for all the posterity of Israel. Blessing shall be given to you and to all your posterity until through his sonís compassion the Lord shall visit all the nations forever, (although your sons will lay hands on him in order to impale him). 5 Therefore counsel and understanding have been given to you so that you might 6 give understanding to your sons concerning this. Because those who bless him shall be blessed, and those who curse him shall be destroyed. Chapter five 1 At this moment the angel opened for me the gates of heaven and I saw the 2 Holy Most High sitting on the throne. And he said to me, Levi, to you I have given the blessing of the priesthood until I shall come and dwell in the midst of 3 Israel. Then the angel led me back to the earth, and gave me a shield and a sword, and said to me, Perform vengeance on Shechem for the sake of Dinah, 4 your sister, and I shall be with you, for the Lord sent me. At that time I put an 5 end to the sons of Hamor, as is written in the tablets of the fathers. And I said to him, I beg you, Lord, teach me your name, so that I may call on you in the 6 day of tribulation. And he said, I am the angel who makes intercession for the 7 nation Israel, that they might not be beaten. And after this I awoke and blessed the Most High. Chapter six 1 And as I was going to my father, I found a brass shield. Thus the name of 2 the mountain is Aspis, which is near Gebal to the right of Abima. And I guarded 3 these words in my heart. Then I advised my father and Reuben that they tell the sons of Hamor that they should not be circumcised, because I was filled with zeal. 4 on account of the abominable thing they had done to my sister. And I destroyed 5 Shechem first, and Simeon destroyed Hamor. Then my brothers came and destroyed 6 that city by the sword. When my father heard of this he was angry and sorrowful, because they had received circumcision and died, and so he passed us by in his 7 blessings. Thus we sinned in doing this contrary to his opinion, and he became 8 sick that very day. But I saw that Godís sentence was Guilty, because they had wanted to do the same thing to Sarah and Rebecca that they did to Dinah, our 9 sister, But the Lord prevented them. They persecuted Abraham when he was a nomad, and they harassed his flocks when they were pregnant, and they grossly 10 mistreated Eblaen, who had been born in this house. This is how they treated 11 the nomadic people, seizing their wives and murdering them. But the wrath of God ultimately came upon them. Chapter seven 1 And I said to my father, Jacob, Through you the Lord will bring the Canaanites 2 to nothing and will give their land to you and your descendants after you. For from this day forward, Shechem shall be called City of the Senseless, because 3 as one might scoff at a fool, so we scoffed at them, because by defiling my sister 4 they committed folly in Israel, and we left there and came to Bethel. Chapter eight 1 There I again saw the vision as formerly, after we had been there seventy 2 days. And I saw seven men in white clothing, who were saying to me, Arise, put on the vestments of the priesthood, the crown of righteousness, the oracle of understanding, the robe of truth, the breastplate of faith, the miter for the head, 3 and the apron for prophetic power. Each carried one of these and put them on 4 me and said, From now on be a priest, you and all your posterity. The first 5 anointed me with holy oil and gave me a staff. The second washed me with pure water, fed me by hand with bread and holy wine, and put on me a holy and glorious 6,7 vestment. The third put on me something made of linen, like an ephod. The fourth 8 placed...around me a girdle which was like purple. The fifth gave me a branch 9,10 of rich olive wood. The sixth placed a wreath on my head. The seventh placed the priestly diadem on me and filled my hands with incense, in order that I might 11 serve as priest for the Lord God. And they said to me, Levi, your posterity shall be divided into three offices as a sign of the glory of the Lord who is coming. 12,13 The first lot shall be great; no other shall be greater than it. The second shall be 14 in the priestly role. But the third shall be granted a new name, because from Judah a king will arise and shall found a new priesthood in accord with the gentile model 15 and for all nations. His presence is beloved, as a prophet of the Most High, a 16 descendant of Abraham, our father. To you and your posterity will be everything desired in Israel, and you shall eat everything attractive to behold, and your 17 posterity will share among themselves the Lordís table. From among them will be priests, judges, and scribes, and by their word the sanctuary will be controlled. 18,19 When I awoke, I understood that this was like the first dream. And I hid this in my heart as well, and I did not report it to any human being on the earth. Chapter nine 1 And after two days Jacob and I went with our father, Jacob, to Isaac, our 2 grandfather. And my fatherís father blessed me in accord with the vision that I 3 had seen. And he did not want to go with us to Bethel. When we came to Bethel my father, Jacob, saw a vision concerning me that I should be in the priesthood. 4,5 He arose early and paid tithes for all to the Lord, through me. And thus we came 6 to Hebron to settle there. And Isaac kept calling me continually to bring to my 7 remembrance the Law of the Lord, just as the angel had shown me. And he taught me the law of the priesthood; sacrifices, holocausts, voluntary offerings of 8 the first produce, offerings for safe return. Day of day he was informing me, 9 occupying himself with me. And he said to me. Be on guard against the spirit of promiscuity, for it is constantly active and through your descendants it is about 10 to defile the sanctuary. Therefore take for yourself a wife while you are still young, a wife who is free of blame or profanation, who is not from the race of 11 alien nations. Before you enter the sanctuary, bathe; while you are sacrificing, 12 wash; and again when the sacrifice is concluded, wash. Present to the Lord the 13 twelve trees that have leaves, as Abraham taught me. And from every clean 14 living animal and bird, bring a sacrifice to the Lord. And of all your first produce and wine bring the very first as a sacrifice to the Lord God. And salt with salt every sacrificial offering. Chapter ten 1 And now, my children, observe the things which I commanded you, since 2 what I heard from my ancestors I have told to you. See, I am free of responsibility for your impiety or for any transgression which you may commit until the consummation of the ages, (against Christ, the Savior of the world) in leading Israel 3 astray and in fomenting in it great evils against the Lord. And you shall act lawlessly in Israel, with the result that Jerusalem cannot bear the presence of your wickedness, but the curtain of the temple will be torn, so that it will no longer 4 conceal your shameful behavior. You shall be scattered as captives among the 5 nations, where you will be a disgrace and a curse. For the house which the Lord shall choose shall be called Jerusalem, as the book of Enoch the Righteous maintains. Chapter eleven 1,2 I was twenty-eight when I took a wife; her name was Melcha. She conceived and gave birth to a son, and I gave him the name Gersom, because we were 3 sojourners in the land. And I saw that, as concerns him, he would not be in the 4 first rank. And Kohath was born in the thirty-fifth year of my life, before sunrise. 5 And in a vision I saw him standing in the heights, in the midst of the congregation. 6 This is why I called him Kohath, that is the Ruler of Majesty and Reconciliation. 7 And she bore me a third son, Merari, in the fortieth year of my life, and since his mother bore him with great pain, I called him Merari; that is bitterness. 8 Jochebed was born in Egypt in the sixty-fourth year of my life, for by that time I had a great reputation in the midst of my brothers. Chapter twelve 1,2 And GERSOM took a wife who bore him Lomni and Semei. The sons of 3 Kohath were Abraham, Issachar, Hebron, and Ozeel. And the sons of Merari 4 were Mooli and Moses. And in my ninety-fourth year Abraham took Jochebed, my daughter, as his wife, because he and my daughter had been born on the same 5 day. I was eight years old when I entered the land of Canaan, and eighteen years when I killed Shechem. At nineteen years I served as a priest; at twenty-eight years I took a wife; and at fourty-eight I entered Egypt. See, my children, you are a third generation. During my one hundred eighteenth year Joseph died. Chapter thirteen 1 And now, my children, I command you. Fear the Lord your God with your whole heart, and walk according to his Law in integrity. 2 Teach your children letters, also, so that they might have understanding throughout all their lives as they ceaselessly read the Law of God. 3 For everyone who knows the Law of God shall be honored wherever he goes, he shall not be a stranger. 4 He shall acquire many more friends than his parents, and many men will want to serve him and to hear the Law from his mouth. 5 Therefore, my sons, do righteousness on earth in order that you might find it in heaven. 6 Sow good things in your souls and you will find them in your lives, If you sow evil, you will reap every trouble and tribulation. 7 Acquire wisdom in fear of the Lord because if a captivity occurs, if cities and territories are laid waste, if silver and gold and every possessions are lost, nothing can take away the wisdom of the wise man except the blindness of impiety and the obtuseness of sin. 8 For if anyone preserves himself from these evil deeds, his wisdom shall be glorious, even among his opponents; it will be found to be a homeland in a foreign territory, and a friend in the midst of his enemies. 9 Whoever teaches good things and practices them shall be enthroned with kings, as was Joseph my brother. Chapter fourteen 1 And now, my children, I know from the writings of Enoch that in the end-time you will act impiously against the Lord, setting your hands to every evil deed; because of you, your brothers will be humiliated and among all the nations you 2 shall become the occasion for scorn. For your father, Israel, is pure with respect to all the impieties of the chief priests, (who laid their hands on the Savior of the 3 world,) as heaven is pure above the earth; and you should be the lights of Israel 4 as the sun and the moon. For what will all the nations do if you become darkened with impiety? You will bring down a curse on our nations, because you want to destroy the light of the Law which was granted to you for the enlightenment of every man, teaching commandments which are opposed to Godís just ordinances. 5 You plunder the Lordís offerings; form his share you steal choice parts, con- 6 temptously eating them with whores. You teach the Lordís commands out of greed for gain; married women you profane; you have intercourse with whores and adulteresses. You take gentile women for your wives and your sexual relations 7 will become like Sodom and Gomorrah. You will be inflated with pride over your priesthood, exalting yourselves not merely by human standards but contrary to the 8 commands of God. With contempt and laughter you will deride the sacred things.
Chapter fifteen 1 Therefore the sanctuary which the Lord chose shall become desolate through 2 your uncleanness, and you will be captives in all the nations. And you shall be to them a revolting thing, and you shall receive scorn and eternal humiliation 3 through the just judgment of God. All who hate you will rejoice at your destruction. 4 And unless you had received mercy through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, not a single one of your descendants would be left on the earth. Chapter sixteen 1 Now I have come to know that for seventy weeks you shall wander astray 2 and profane the priesthood and defile the sacrificial altars. You shall set aside the Law and nullify the words of the prophets by your wicked perversity. You persecute just men; and you hate the pious; the word of the faithful you regard with revulsion. 3 A man who by the power of the Most High renews the Law you name, Deceiver, and finally you shall plot to kill him, not discerning his eminence; by your 4 wickedness you take innocent blood on your heads. I tell you, on account of him 5 your holy places shall be razed to the ground. You shall have not place that is clean, but you will be as a curse and a dispersion among the nations until he will again have regard for you, and will take you back in compassion. Chapter seventeen 1 Because you have heard about the seventy weeks, listen also concerning the 2 priesthood. In each jubilee there shall be a priesthood, In the first jubilee the first person to be anointed to the priesthood will be great, and he shall speak to God as father; and his priesthood shall be fully satisfactory to the Lord, and in the days 3 of his joy, he shall rise up for the salvation of the world, In the second jubilee the Anointed One shall be conceived in sorrow of the beloved one, and his priesthood 4 shall be prized and shall be glorified by all. The third priest shall be overtaken 5 by grief, and the fourth priesthood shall be with sufferings, because injustice shall be imposed upon him in a high degree, and all Israel shall hate each one his 5,6 neighbor. The fifth shall be overcome by darkness; likewise the sixth and the 8 seventh. In the seventh there shall be pollution such as I am unable to declare in the presence of human beings, because only the ones who do these things understand 9 such matters. Therefore they shall be in captivity and will be preyed upon; both 10 their land and their possessions shall be stolen. And in the fifth week they shall return to the land of their desolation, and shall restore anew the house of the Lord. 11 In the seventh week there will come priests; idolators, adulterers, money lovers, arrogant, lawless, voluptuaries, pederasts, those who practice bestiality Chapter eighteen 1 When vengeance will have come upon them from the Lord, the priesthood will lapse. 2 And then the Lord will raise up a new priest to whom all the words of the Lord will be revealed. He shall effect the judgment of truth over the earth for many days. 3 And his star shall rise in heaven like a king; kindling the light of knowledge as day is illumined by the sun. And he shall be extolled by the whole inhabited world. 4 This one will shine forth like the sun in the earth; he shall take away all darkness from under heaven, and there shall be peace in all the earth. 5 The heavens shall greatly rejoice in his days and the earth shall be glad; the clouds will be filled with joy and the knowledge of the Lord will be poured out on the earth like the water of the seas. And the angels of glory of the Lordís presence will be made glad by him. 6 The heavens will be opened, and from the temple of glory sanctification will come upon him, with a fatherly voice, as from Abraham to Isaac, 7 And the glory of the Most High shall burst forth upon him. And the spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest upon him (in the water). 8 For he shall give the majesty of the Lord to those who are his sons in truth forever. And there shall be no successor for him from generation to generation forever. 9 And in his priesthood the nations shall be multiplied in knowledge on the earth, and they shall be illumined by the grace of the Lord, but Israel shall be diminished by her ignorance and darkened by her grief, In his priesthood sin shall cease and lawless men shall rest from their evil deeds, and righteous men shall find rest in him. 10 And he shall open the gates of paradise, he shall remove the sword that has threatened since Adam, 11 and he will grant to the saints to eat of the tree of life. The spirit of holiness shall be upon them. 12 And Beliar shall be bound by him. And he shall grant to his children the authority to trample on wicked spirits. 13 And the Lord will rejoice in his children; he will be well pleased by his beloved ones forever. 14 Then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will rejoice, and I shall be glad, and all the saints shall be clothed in righteousness. Chapter nineteen 1 And now, my children, you have heard everything. Choose for your selves 2 light or darkness, the Law of the Lord or the works of Beliar. And his sons 3 replied, Before the Lord we will live according to his Law. And their father said to them, The Lord is my witness and his angels are witnesses, and you are 4 witnesses, and I am witness concerning the word from your mouth. And his sins said, (We are) witnesses. Then Levi finished giving instructions to his sons. He stretched out his feet on his bed and was gathered to his fathers, having 5 lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. And they put him in a coffin and later buried him in Hebron with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah Chapter one 1 A copy of the words of Judah which he spoke to his sons before he died. When 2 they gathered together and came to him, he said to them, Listen, my children, 3 to Judah, your father. I was the fourth son born to my father, Jacob, and Leah, 4 my mother, named me Judah, saying, I give thanks to the Lord, because he has 5 given me a fourth son. In my youth I was keen; I obeyed my father in accord 6 with his every word, and I honored my mother and her sister. And it happened that I matured, my father declared to me, You shall be king, achieving success in every way. Chapter two 1 And the Lord bestowed on me grace in all my undertakings, in the field and 2 at home, I know that I raced a deer, caught it, prepared it as food for my father, 3 and he ate it. By chasing it, I captured a gazelle, and everything that was in the 4 fields I overtook. I killed a lion and removed a kid from its mouth. Seizing a bear 5 by the paw, i dropped it over a cliff and it was crushed. I raced a wild boar and 6 as i ran, overtook it and dismembered it. In Hebron a leopard leapt on a dog and 7 seized it; I snatched it by the tail and broke it in two on a rock. I found a wild ox grazing in the country; grasping it by the horns and brandishing it in a circle until it was blind, I hurled it down and destroyed it. Chapter three 1 When two armor-clad kings of the Canaanites came with a large force to seize our flocks, I ran out alone against one of the kings, struck him on his leg armor, 2 knocked him down, and killed him, as I did the other, the king of Tappual, while 3 he was astride his horse, with the result that all his people were scattered. Achor, the king, a giant of a man, was shooting arrows before and behind while on a horse; I lifted a stone of sixty pounds weight, hurled it at his hose, and killed it. 4 After I had fought with Achor for two hours, I killed him, cut his shield in two, 5 and hacked off his feet. While I was removing his breastplate, eight of his 6 companions started to attack me. Wrapping my clothing in my hand, I slung 7 stones at them, killing four of them, and the rest fled. My father, Jacob, killed Belisath, king of all kings, a giant of a man in strength, twelve cubits tall. 8,9 Trembling seized them and they stopped attacking us, so that my father had no 10 anxiety about battles so long as I was with my brothers. For he saw in a vision concerning me that a powerful angel accompanied me everywhere so that no one might touch me. Chapter four 1 After that, an attack against us occurred in the south that was greater than the one at Sechem. After my brothers and I joined forces, we pursued a thousand 2 men and killed two hundred of them, and destroyed four kings. I went up on the wall and killed their king. Thus we liberated Hebron and took all the captives. Chapter five 1 Next day we went off to Areton, a city secure and strong which threatened 2 us with death. Gad and I went up from east of the city, while Reuben and Levi 3 came from the west. Those who were on the wall, supposing that we were the sole 4 attackers, were drawn out against us. And so, secretly, by means of pegs, my brothers climbed up the wall on the other sides and invaded the city without their 5 knowing it. And we captured it with the edge of the sword; those on the walls fled into a tower, which we set afire, and thereby took all of them and all their 6 possessions. As we were leaving, the men of Tappual killed them and burned their city, plundering everything that was in it. Chapter six 1 When i was in the waters of Chozeba, the men of Jabel launched an attack 2 against us. And having joined battle with them, we put them to flight, slew their 3 allies from Siloam, and we left them with no means to attack us. Again, on the fifth day, the people of Macher attacked. Marshaling our forces, we triumphed over them in a mighty onslaught, and killed them even before they could withdraw 4 into their stronghold. When we approached their city, the women rolled stones from the crest of the hill on which the city was built. But Simeon and I, entering the city secretly
Chapter seven 1 On the next day we were told that the king of the city of Gaash was coming 2 against us with a large force. So Dan and I, pretending to be Amorites, entered 3 their city as allies. In the depth of night our brothers came and we opened the gates for them. All their possessions and all their loot we destroyed; their three 4,5 wals we razed. We drew near to Thamna, where all their equipment was. Then since I was being insulted by them, I became angry and launched an attack against 6 them up to the heights, while they were slinging stones and shooting arrows. Had it not been that Dan, my brother, fought along with me, they would have killed 7 me, We went out against them with wrath and they all fled. Proceeding by another 8 route, they petitioned my father, and he made peace with them; we did them no harm, but we kept them subject to tribute and returned to them the spoils taken 9,10 from them. I built Thamna and my father built Rabael. I was twenty when this 11 battle occurred. And the Canaanites were fearful of me and my brothers. from behind, seized its heights and completely destroyed it as well. Chapter eight 1 I had many cattle; I had Hiram the Adullamite as chief herdsman. When I approached him, I saw Barsaba, the king of Adullam. He conversed with us and held a drinking party for us. When i urged him, he gave me his daughter, named 3 Saba, as a wife. She bore me Er, Onan, and Shelom. The Lord took away two of them, but Shelom lived. Chapter nine 1 For eighteen years my father was at peace with his brother Esau and his sons 2 with us, after we had come out of Mesopotamia from Laban. When the eighteen years were completed, Esau, my fatherís brother, came up against us with a force 3 powerful and strong. Jacob struck Esau with an arrow, and in death he was carried 4 up to Mount Seir. We pursued Esauís sons, who had possession of a fortified city 5 which we were unable to enter. Encamping around it, we besieged it. When they had not opened to us after twenty days, I set up a ladder and, holding a shield in 6 position over my head, climbed up in spite of being hit by stones. I killed four 7 of their powerful men while Reuben and Gad killed six others. Then they asked us for peace terms, and following consultation with our father we took them as 8 subjects under tribute. They regularly gave us 200 cors of wheat and 500 baths of oil and 500 measures of wine, until the famine, when we went down into Egypt. Chapter ten 1 After this my son Er brought from Mesopotamia Tamar, daughter of Aram, 2as a wife for himself. Er was wicked, and a difficulty arose concerning Tamar, because she was not of the land of Canaan. An angel of the Lord took him away 3on the third night. He had not had intercourse with her, in keeping with his motherís treacherous scheme, because he did not want to have children by her. 4In the days designated for the bridal chamber, I assigned Onan to fulfill the marital role with her, but in his wickedness he did not have intercourse with her even 5though he was with her for a year. When I threatened him, he lay with her, but let his semen spill out on the ground, as his mother ordered him. He also died 6through his wickedness. I wanted to gibe Shelom to her also, but his mother would not allow it. She did this evil thing because Tamar was not the daughter of Canaan as she was. Chapter eleven 1And I knew that the race of the Canaanites was evil, but youthful impulses 2blinded my reason, and when I saw her, I was led astray by the strong drink and 3had intercourse with her. While I was absent, she went off and brought from 4Canaan a wife for Shelom. When I realized what she had done, I pronounced a curse 5on her in the anguish of my soul, and she died in her wickedness, together with her children. Chapter twelve 1After the, while Tamar was a widow she heard two years later that I was 2going up to shear sheep. Decking herself in bridal array she sat at the entrance of the inn in the city of Enan, for there was a law among the Amorites that a 3woman who was widowed should sit in public like a whore. Since i was drunk with wine, I did not recognize her and her beauty enticed me because of her manner 4 of tricking herself out. I bent down and said to her, I shall go in to you. And she said, What will you give me? And I gave her my staff, my ring, my royal 5crown as a pledge. So I had intercourse with her and she conceived. Not understanding what i had done, it was my wish to kill her. But she sent me secretly 6the pledges and utterly humiliated me. I summoned her and heard the words spoken in a mystery, when I was drunk and sleeping with her. So I could not kill 7her, because it was from the Lord. I kept saying, What if she did it deceitfully, 8having received the pledge from some other woman? But I did not go near her again until the end of my life because I had done this thing which was revolting 9in all Israel. Those who were in the city were saying that there had been no whore at the gate, because she had come quickly from another district and sat at the gate. 10,11So I supposed no one knew that I had gone in to her. Afterward I went to Egypt 12to Joseph on account of the famine. I was forty-six years old and I spent seventy years in Egypt. Chapter thirteen 1And now, my children, I command you give heed to Judah, your father, and keep my words so as to perform all the Lordís just decrees and to obey the command 2of God. Do not pursue evil impelled by your lusts, by the arrogance of your heard, and do not boast the exploits and strength of your youth because this too 3is evil in the Lordís sight. Since I had boasted that during a war not even a beautifully formed womanís face would entice me, and I had scolded Reuben my brother concerning Bilhah, my fatherís wife, the spirit of envy and promiscuity plotted against me until I lay with Anan, the Canaanite woman, and with Tamar, 4who was pledged in marriage to my son. For I said to my father-in-law, I will unwilling to delay, he showed me a measureless mass of gold which was in his 5daughterís name. He decked her in gold and pearls, and made her pour out wine 6for us in a feast. The wine perverted my eyesight; pleasure darkened my heart 7I longed for her and lay with her; thus I transgressed the Lordís command and 8that of my father when i took her as my wife. And the Lord repaid me according to the rashness of my soul, because I had no delight in her children
Chapter fourteen 1And now, my children, I tell you, Do not be drunk with wine, because wine perverts the mind from the truth, arouses the impulses of desire, and leads the eyes 2into the path of error. For the spirit of promiscuity has wine as its servant for the 3indulgence of the mind; If any one of you drinks wine to the point of drunkenness, your mind is confused by sordid thoughts, and your body is kindled by pleasure 4to commit adultery. Thus he commits sin and is unashamed. Such is the drunkard, 5my children; he who is drunken has respect for no one. See, even I was deceived so that I was not ashamed before the throng in the city, because before the eyes of all I turned aside to Tamar and committed a great sin, and disclosed to my sons 6my acts of uncleanness. When I had drunk wine I floated shamelessly Godís 7command and took the Canaanite woman. He who drinks wine needs much perception, my children, and this is the perception the wine drinker requires; So 8long as he is decent, he may drink. But if he exceeds the limit, the spirit of error invades his mind and makes the drunkard become foul-mouthed and lawless; yet rather than be ashamed, he boasts in his dishonorable action and considers it to be fine. Chapter fifteen 1The promiscuous man is unaware when he has been harmed and shameless 2when he has been disgraced. For even someone who is a king, if he is promiscuous, is divested of his kingship, since he has been enslaved by sexual impulses, just 3as I experienced. For I gave my staff (that is, the stability of my tribe), my girdle 4(that is, my power), and my crown (that is, the glory of my kingdom). Since I repented of these acts, I consumed neither wine nor meat until my old age, and 5I saw no merriment at all. And the angel of the Lord showed me that women have 6the mastery over both king and poor man; From the king they will take away his glory; from the virile man, his power; and from the poor man, even the slight support that he has in his poverty. Chapter sixteen 1Take care to be temperate with wine, my children, for there are in it four 2evil spirits; desire, heated passion, debauchery, and sordid greed. If you drink wine in merriment, showing due respect for the fear of God, you shall live. But is you drink with out restraint and the fear of God departs, the result is drunkenness 3 and shamelessness sneaks in. But if you wish to live prudently, abstain completely from drinking in order that you might not sin by uttering lewd words, by fighting, by slander, by transgressing Godís commands, then you shall not die before your 4allotted time. The mysteries of God and men wine discloses, just as I disclosed to the Canaanite woman the commandments of God and the mysteries of Jacob, my father, which God gad told me not to reveal. Chapter seventeen 1And now, my children, I command you not to love money or to gaze on the beauty of women. Because it was on account of money and attractive appearance 2that I was led astray to Bathshua the Canaanite. And I know that on account of 3these two things my tribe is doomed to wickedness. For even the wise men from among my sons will be changed for the worse, and the kingdom of Judah they shall cause to be diminished, though the Lord gave it to me because of my obedience 4to my father. For at no time did I bring grief to Jacob, my father, because everything he said, I did. And Abraham, my fatherís father, blessed me as 6destined to be the king in Israel; and Jacob blessed me similarly. And so I know that through me the kingdom will be established. Chapter eighteen 1For in the books of Enoch the Righteous I have read the evil things you will 2do in the last days. Guard yourselves therefore, my children, against sexual 3promiscuity and love of money; listen to Judah, your father, for these things distance you from the law of God, blind the direction of the soul, and teach 4arrogance. They do not permit a man to show mercy to his neighbor. They deprive his soul of all goodness, and oppress him with hardships and grief, they take away 5sleep from him and utterly waste his flesh. They impede the sacrifices to God, he does not remember the blessings of God, he does not obey the prophet when 6he speaks, and he is offended by a pious word. For two passions contrary to Godís commands enslave him, so that he is unable to obey God; They blind his soul, and he goes about in the day as though it were night. Chapter nineteen 1 My children, love of money leads to idolatry, because once they are led astray by money, they designate as gods those who are not gods. It makes anyone 2who has it go out of his mind. On account of money I utterly lost my children, and had it not been for the penitence of my flesh, the humility of my soul, and 3the prayers of my father, Jacob, I would have met death childless. But the God of my fathers, who is compassionate and merciful, pardoned me because I acted 4in ignorance. The prince of error blinded me, and I was ignorant - as a human being, as flesh, in my corrupt sins - until I learned of my own weakness after supposing myself to be invincible. Chapter twenty 1So understand, my children, that two spirits await an opportunity with 2humanity; the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. In between is the conscience 3of the mind which inclines as it will. The things of truth and the things of error 4are written in the affections of man, each one of whom the Lord knows. There is no moment in which manís works cam be concealed, because they are written 5on the heart in the Lordís sight. And the spirit of truth testifies to all things and brings all accusations. He who has sinned is consumed in his heart and cannot raise his head to face the judge. Chapter twenty one 1And now, children, love Levi so that you may endure. Do not be arrogant 2toward him or you will be wholly destroyed. To me God has given the kingship and to him, the priesthood; and he has subjected the kingship to the priesthood. 3,4To me he gave earthly matters and to Levi, heavenly matters. As heaven is superior to the earth, so is Godís priesthood superior to the kingdom on earth, unless through sin it falls away from the Lord and is dominated by the earthly 5kingdom. For the Lord chose him over you to draw near to him, to eat at his table 6to present as offerings the costly things of the sons of Israel. You shall be to them like the sea; as in it the just and the unjust are tempest-tossed, some are taken captive, some become rich, so shall it be in every race of mankind. Some shall be exposed to danger, some taken captive, some shall grow rich by looting; 7Those who rule shall be like sea monsters, swallowing up human beings like fish. Free sons and daughters they shall enslave; houses, fields, flocks, goods they shall seize. 8With the flesh of many persons they shall wickedly gorge crows and cranes. They shall make progress in evil; they shall be exalted in avarice. 9Like a whirlwind shall be the false prophets; They shall harass the righteous. Chapter twenty two 1The Lord will instigate among them factions set against each other and 2conflicts will persist in Israel. My rule shall be terminated by men of alien race, until the salvation of Israel comes, until the coming of the God of righteousness, 3so that Jacob may enjoy tranquility and peace, as well as all the nations. He shall preserve the power of my kingdom forever. With an oath the Lord swore to me that the rule would not cease for my posterity. Chapter twenty three 1My grief is great, my children, on account of the licentiousness and witchcraft and idolatry that you practice contrary to the kingship, following ventriloquists, 2omen dispensers, and demons of deceit. You shall make your daughters into musicians and common women, and you will become involved in revolting gentile 3affairs. In response to this the Lord will bring you famine and plague, death and the sword, punishment by a siege, scattering by enemies like dogs, the scorn of friends, destruction and putrefaction of your eyes, slaughter of infants, the plunder of your sustenance, the rape of your possessions, consumption of Godís sanctuary 4by fire, a desolate land, and yourselves enslaved by the gentiles. And they shall 5castrate some of you as eunuchs for their wives, until you return to the Lord in integrity of heart, penitent and living according to all the Lordís commands. Then the Lord will be concerned for you in mercy and will free you from captivity under your enemies. Chapter twenty four 1And after this there shall arise for you a Star from Jacob in peace; And a man shall arise from my posterity like the Sun of righteousness, walking with the 2sons of men in gentleness and righteousness, and in him will be found no sin. And the heavens will be opened upon him to pour out the spirit as a blessing of the 3Holy Father. And he will pour the spirit of grace on you. And you shall be sons 4in truth, and you will walk in his first and final decrees. This is the Shoot of God 5Most High; this is the fountain for the life of all humanity. Then he will illumine 6the scepter of my kingdom, and from your root will arise the Shoot, and through it will arise the rod of righteousness for the nations, to judge and to save all that call on the Lord. Chapter twenty five 1And after this Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be resurrected to life and I and my brothers will be chiefs (wielding) our scepter in Israel; Levi, the first; I, 2second; Joseph, third; Benjamin, fourth; Simeon, fifth; Issachar, sixth; and all the rest in their order. And the Lord blessed Simeon; the heaven blessed Reuben, the earth blessed Issachar; the sea blessed Zebulon; the mountains blessed Joseph; the Tent blessed Benjamin; the lights blessed Dan; luxury blessed Naptali; the sun blessed Gad; the olive tree blessed Asher. 3And you shall be one people of the Lord, with one language. There shall no more be Beliarís spirit of error, because he will be thrown into eternal fire. 4And those who died in sorrow shall be raised in joy; and those who died in poverty for the Lordís sake shall be made rich; those who died on account of the Lord shall be wakened to life. 5And the deer of Jacob shall run with gladness; the eagles of Jacob shall fly with joy; the impious shall mourn and sinners shall weep, but all peoples shall glorify the Lord forever. Chapter twenty six 1Observe the whole Law of the Lord, therefore, my children, because it is 2hope for all who pursue his way, And he said to them, At one hundred nineteen 3years of age, I am dying before your eyes this day. Do not bury me in expensive clothing or disembowel me for embalming because that is what is done for royal 4rulers. But take me up to Hebron with you. When he had said this, Judah fell asleep and his sons did everything as he had instructed them, and they buried him in Hebron with his fathers. Testament of Issachar, the fifth son of Jacob and Leah Chapter one 1A copy of the words of Issachar. He called his sons to him and said, Listen children, to Issachar, your father; give ear to the words of one who is beloved of 2the Lord. I was the fifth son to be born to Jacob as a payment for mandrakes, 3for when Reuben, my brother, brought in mandrakes from the field, Rachel met 4him on the way and took them. Reuben wept, and at the sound of his voice his 5mother, Leah, came out. These were fragrant fruit produced in the land of Horan 6in the high country below a waterfall. Rachel said, I will not give you these 7because they sahll be mine in place of children. There were two of the fruits. Leah said, Is it not enough that you took the husband of my virginity? Must you 8take these as well? And Rachel said, In exchange for your sonís mandrakes let 9Jacob be yours tonight. Leah replied to her, Do not boast, and do not hold too high opinion of yourself, for Jacob is mine and I am the wife of his youth. 10Rachel said, What do you mean? I was prepared for marriage to him first and for 11my sake he served our father fourteen years. What can I do with you? Treachery and human trickery are increasing, and treachery is spreading over the earth. If 12that were not so, you would not see Jacobís face. You are not his wife, but by 13craftiness you were taken to him in my place. My father deceived me and replaced me that night, not allowing Jacob to see me. Because if I had been there this would 14not have happened. Then Rachel said, In exchange for the mandrakes I will hire out a woman to Jacob for one night. And Jacob had intercourse with Leah; she 15conceived and bore me. And on account of the hire, I was called Issachar. Chapter two 1Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Jacob and said, Rachel shall bear two children, because she despised intercourse with her husband, choosing rather 2continence. If Leah, my mother, had not given up the two fruits in exchange for sexual intercourse, she would have borne eight sons. But accordingly, she bore six and Rachel bore two, because through the use of mandrakes the Lord had 3regard for her. For he perceived that she wanted to lie with Jacob for the sake 4of children and not merely for sexual gratification. In addition, she gave up Jacob on the following day so that she might obtain the other mandrakes. Thus it was 5through the mandrakes that the Lord listened to Rachel. Even though she longed for them passionately, she did not eat them, but presented them in the house of the Lord, offering them up to the priest of the Most High who was there at that time. Chapter three Accordingly, when I grew up, my children, I lived my life in rectitude of heart; I became a farmer for the benefit of my father and my brothers, and I 2brought the produce from the fields at their appropriate times. And my father 3blessed me, since he saw that I was living in integrity. I was no meddler in my 4dealings, nor was I evil or slanderous to my neighbor. I spoke against no one, 5nor did I disparage the life of any human; I lived my life with singleness of vision. Accordingly, when i was thirty-five I took myself a wife because hard work consumed my energy, and pleasure with a woman never came to my mind; rather 6sleep overtook me because of my labor. And my father was continually rejoicing in my integrity. Whatever it was that I labored over at every harvest and whenever there was a firstborn, I first made an offering to the Lord through the priest, then 7for my father, and they for myself. And the Lord doubled the good things in my 8hands. Jacob knew that God collaborated with my integrity. In the integrity of my heart, i supplied everything from the good things of the earth to all the poor and the oppressed. Chapter four 1Now, listen to me, children, and live in integrity of heart, for in it I have observed everything that is well-pleasing to the Lord. 2The genuine man does not desire gold, he does not defraud his neighbor, nor does he want fine clothes. 3He does not make plans to live a long life, but awaits only the will of God. 4And the spirits of error have no power over him, since he does not include feminine beauty in the scope of his vision, lest by allowing distraction he might corrupt his mind. 5Envy will not penetrate his thinking; no malice dissipates his soul; no avarice intrudes upon his integrity. 6For he lives by the integrity of his soul, and perceives all things by the rectitude of his heart, making no place for an outlook made evil by this worldís error, in order that he might envision no turning aside from any of the Lordís commands. Chapter five 1Keep the law of God, my children; achieve integrity; live without malice, not tinkering with Godís commands or your neighborís affairs. 2Love the Lord and your neighbor; be compassionate toward poverty and sickness. 3Bend your back in farming, perform the tasks of the soil in every kind of agriculture, offering gifts gratefully to the Lord. 4Thus the Lord will bless you with the first fruits as he has blessed all the saints 5from Abel until the present. For to you is given no other portion than the fertility 6of the earth, from which comes produce through toil. Our father, Jacob, blessed 7me by the blessing of the earth and of the first fruits. And Levi and Judah were glorified by the Lord among the sons of Jacob. The Lord made choice among 8them; To one he gave the priesthood and to the other, the kingship. Subject yourselves to them, and live in integrity as did your father, because to God has been assigned the rout of the attackers who are coming against Israel Chapter six 1Ynderstand, my children, that in the last times your sons will abandon sincerity and align themselves with insatiable desire. Forsaking guilelessness, they will ally themselves with villainy. Abandoning the commands of the Lord, they ally them- 2selves with Beliar. Giving up agriculture, they pursue their won evil schemes, 3they will be scattered among the nations and enslaved by their enemies. Tell there things to your children, therefore, so that even though they might sin, they may 4speedily return to the Lord, because he is merciful; He will set them free and take them back to their land. Chapter seven 1I am a hundred and twenty-two years old, and I am not aware of having committed a sin unto death. 2I have not had intercourse with any woman other than my wife, nor was I promiscuous by lustful look. 3I did not drink wine to the point of losing self-control, I was not passionately eager for any desirable possession of my neighbor. 4There was no deceit in my heart; no lie passed through my lips. 5I joined in lamentation with every oppressed human being, and shared my bread with the poor. I did not eat alone; I did not transgress boundaries; 6I acted in piety and truth all my days. The Lord I loved with all my strength; likewise, I loved every human being as I love my children. 7You do these as well, my children, and every spirit of Beliar will flee from you, and no act of human evil will have power over you. Every wild creature you shall subdue, so long as you have the God of heaven with you, and walk with all mankind in sincerity of heart. 8And he instructed them that they should take him up to Hebron and bury him there 9in the cave with his fathers. And he stretched his legs and died at a good old age- the fifth son, with all his members sound and still strong; he slept the eternal sleep. Zebulon, the sixth son of Jacob and Leah Chapter one 1A copy of the testament of Zebulon, which he decreed for his sons in the one hundred fourteenth year of his life, thirty-two years after the death of Joseph. 2And he said to them, Listen to me, sons of Zebulon; heed the words of your 3father. I am Zebulon, a good gift to my parents, for when I was born my father prospered exceedingly, in flocks and herds, when he got his share of them by 4means of the spotted rods. I am not aware, my children, that I have sinned in 5all my days, except what I did to Joseph in ignorance, because in a compact with my brothers I kept from telling my father what had been done, although I wept much in secret. 6I was afraid of my brothers because they had all agreed that, if any one disclosed 7the secret, he should be killed by a sword. Even when they wanted to kill him, I exhorted them with tears not to commit this lawless act. Chapter two 1Simeon and Gad came upon Joseph to kill him. Falling on his face, Joseph 2began to say to them, have mercy on me, my brothers; pity the deep feelings of Jacob, our father. Do not put your hands on me to pour out innocent blood, 3because I have not sinned against you. If I have sinned, discipline me as one trains a child, but do not lay your hands on me for the sake of our father, Jacob. 4As he was saying these words, I was moved to pity and began to weep; my courage grew weak and all the substance of my inner being became faint within 5my soul. Joseph wept, and I with him; my heart pounded, the joints of my body 6shook and I could not stand. And when he saw me crying with him, while the 7others were coming to kill him, he rushed behind me beseeching them. Reuben stood up and said, My brothers, let us not kill him, but let us throw him into one of those dry cisterns which our fathers dug and in which there is to be found no 8water. Accordingly, the Lord prohibited any water from rising up in them so that Josephís preservation might be accomplished. 9And the Lord did this until the time when they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Chapter three 1,2I had no share in the price received for Joseph, my children. But Simeon, Gad, and our other brothers accepted the money, bought shoes for themselves 3their wives, and their children. We will not use the money for eating, which is the price of our brotherís blood, but we will trample it underfoot in response to his having said he would rule over us. Let us see what comes of his dreams. 4Accordingly, it is written in the book of the Law of Moses that anyone who is unwilling to raise up posterity for his brother, his shoe should be removed and one 5should spit in his face. Josephís brothers did not want their brother to live, and 6the Lord removed Josephís shoe from them. For when the arrived in Egypt their shoes were removed by Josephís servants before the gate, and thus they did 7obeisance to Joseph in the manner of the Pharoah. Not only did they do obeisance, but they were spit upon, prostrating themselves forthwith before him. And thus 8they were humiliated before the Egyptians. After that the Egyptians heard all the wicked things that we had done to Joseph. Chapter four 1,2After they had thrown him into the pit, they sat down and began to eat; as for me, I tasted nothing for two days and two nights, being moved with compassion for Joseph. And Judah joined me in abstaining from food; he stayed near the cistern, because he was afraid that Simeon and Gad might go out and kill Joseph. 3When they observed that I was not eating, they assigned me to guard him until 4he might be sold. He remained in the cistern three days and three nights, so that 5when he was sold he was starving. When Reuben heard that Joseph had been sold while he was away, he tore his clothing in mourning, saying, How can I look my 6father in the face? He took money and ran after the merchants, but found no one, since they had left the highway and had traveled by a shortcut through the region 7of the Troglodytes. And Reuben ate no food that day. Then Dan came to him 8and said, Do not weep; do not mourn, for I have found what we should say to 9our father, Jacob. Let us kill a goatís kid and dip Josephís coat in its blood. Then 10we shall say, Do you recognize whether this is your sonís garment? (For they had taken off from Joseph his fatherís coat when they were about to sell him 11and put on him an old garment of a slave) Simeon had the garment and was unwilling to gibe it to him, preferring to cut it up with his sword, since he was 12burning with anger that he had not killed him. But we all rose in opposition to him and said, If you donít give it up we shall say you alone did this evil deed 13in Israel. So he gave it up and they did as Dan had stated. Chapter five 1Now, my children, I tell you to keep the Lordís commands; show mercy to your neighbor, have compassion on all, not only human beings but to dumb 2animals. For these reasons the Lord blessed me, and when all my brothers were ill, I alone passed without sickness, for the Lord knows the purpose of each man. 3Have mercy in your inner being, my children, because whatever anyone does to 4his neighbor, the Lord will do tho him. For the sons of my brothers were sickly and died on account of Joseph, because they did not act in mercy out of their inner 5compassion. But you, my sons, were preserved free from illness, as you know. When I was in Canaan catching fish by the sea for our father, Jacob many were drowned in the sea, but I survived unharmed. Chapter five 1Now, my children, I tell you to keep the Lordís commands; show mercy to your neighbor, have compassion on all, not only human beings but to dumb 2animals. For these reasons the Lord blessed me, and when all my brothers were ill, I alone passed without sickness, for the Lord knows the purpose of each man. 3Have mercy in your inner being, my children, because whatever anyone does to 4his neighbor, the Lord will do tho him. For the sons of my brothers were sickly and died on account of Joseph, because they did not act in mercy out of their inner 5compassion. But you, my sons, were preserved free from illness, as you know. When I was in Canaan catching fish by the sea for our father, Jacob many were drowned in the sea, but I survived unharmed.
Chapter six 1I was the first to make a boat to sail on the sea, because the Lord gave me 2understanding and wisdom concerning it. I positioned a rudder behind it, put up 3a sail on a straight piece of wood in the meddle. In it I sailed along the shores, 4catching fish for my fatherís household until we went to Egypt. Being compassionate, 5 I gave some of my catch to every stranger. If anyone were a traveler, or sick or aged, I cooked the fish, prepared it well, and offered to each person 6 according to his need, being either convival or consoling. Therefore the Lord made my catch to be an abundance of fish; for whoever shares with his neighbor 7receives multifold from the Lord. I fished for five years, sharing with every person 8whom I saw, and sufficing for my fatherís household. Summers, I fished; winters I tended the flock of my brothers. Chapter seven 1Now I will tell you what I did. I saw a man suffering from nakedness in the wintertime and I had compassion on him; I stole a garment secretly from my own 2household and gave it to the man in difficulty. You, therefore, my children, on the basis of Godís caring for you, with out discrimination be compassionate and 3merciful to all. Provide for every person with a kind heart. If at any time you do not have anything to give to the one who is in need, be compassionate and merciful 4in your inner self. For when my hand could not find the means for contributing to a needy person, I walked with him for seven stades, weeping, my inner being was in torment with sympathy for him. Chapter eight 1You also, my children, have compassion toward every person with mercy, in 2order that the Lord may be compassionate and merciful to you. In the last days God will send his compassion on the earth, and whenever he finds compassionate 3mercy, in that person he will dwell. To the extent that a man has compassion on 4his neighbor, to that extent the Lord has mercy on him. For when we went down into Egypt, Joseph did not hold a grudge against us. When he saw me, he was 5moved with compassion. Whomever you see, do not harbor resentment, my children; love one another, and do not calculate the wrong done by each to his 6brothers. This shatters unity, and scatters all kinship, and stirs up the soul. He who recalls evil receives neither compassion nor mercy. Chapter nine 1Pay heed to the streams; When they flow in the same channel they carry 2along stones, wood, and sand, but if they are divided into many channels, the 3earth swallows them and they become unproductive. And you shall be thus if you 4are divided. Do not be divided into two heads, because everything the Lord has made has a single head. He provides two shoulders, two hands, two fee, but all 5members obey one head. In the writing of the fathers I came to know that in the last days you shall defect from the Lord, and you shall be divided in Israel, and you shall follow after two kings; you shall commit every abomination and worship 6every idol. Your enemies will take you captive and you shall reside among the 7gentiles with all sorts of sickness and tribulation and oppression of soul. And thereafter you will remember the Lord and repent, and he will turn you around because he is merciful and compassionate; he does not bring a charge at wickedness against the sons of men, since they are flesh and the spirits of deceit lead them 8astray in all their action. And thereafter the Lord himself will arise upon you, the light of righteousness with healing and compassion in his wings. He will liberate every captive of the sons of men from Beliar, and every spirit of error will be trampled down. He will turn all nations to being zealous for him. And you shall see (God in a human form),. He whom the Lord will choose; Jerusalem is his name. 9You will provoke him to wrath by the wickedness of your works, and you will be rejected until the time of the end. Chapter ten 1And now, my children, do not grieve because I am dying, not be depressed 2because I am leaving you. I shall rise again in your midst as a leader among your sons, and I shall be glad in the mist of my tribe - as many as keep the Law of 3the Lord and the commandments of Zebulon, their father. But the Lord shall bring 4down fire on the impious and will destroy them to all generations. I am now 5hurrying to my rest, like my fathers. But you fear the Lord your God with all your 6strength all the days of your life. When he had said this, he fell into a beautiful sleep and his sons placed him in a coffin. Later they carried him up to Hebron and buried him with his fathers. The Testament of Dan the seventh son of Jacob and Bilhah Chapter one 1A copy of the word of Dan, which he spoke to his sons at the last of his days, 2In the one hundred twenty-fifth year of his life. Assembling his clan, he said, Sons of Dan, hear my words; give heed to what is uttered by the mouth of your 3father. I have made proof in my heart and in my life that truth with honest dealings is good and well-pleasing to God, while falsehood and anger are evil because they 4instruct mankind thoroughly in every evil. My children, I confess to you today that in my heart I rejoiced over the death of Joseph, a man who was true and good. 5I was glad about the sale of Joseph, because Father loved him more than the rest 6of us. For the spirit of jealousy and pretentiousness kept saying to me, You too 7are his son. And one of the spirits of Beliar was at work within me, saying, Take this sword, and with it kill Joseph; once he is dead, your father will love 8you. This is the spirit of anger that persuaded me that as a leopard sucks the 9blood of a kid, so I should suck the blood of Joseph. But the God of Jacob, our father, did not allow him to fall into my hands so that I might find him alone, nor did he permit me to accomplish this lawless act, lest two tribes be lost from Israel Chapter two 1And now, my children, I am dying, and I say to you in truth that if you do not guard yourselves against the spirit of falsehood and anger, and love truth and 2forbearance, you will perish. There is blindness in anger, my children, and there 3is no angry person who can perceive the face of truth. For even if one is his father or mother, he treats them as enemies; if it is a brother, he does not recognize him; if it is a prophet of the Lord, he misunderstands; if it is a just man, he is unaware 4o him; if a friend, he ignores him. For the spirit of anger ensnares him in the nets of deceit, blinds his eyes literally, darkens his understanding by means of a 5lie, and provides him with its own peculiar perspective. By what means does it ensnare the vision? By hatred in the heart, it gives him a peculiar disposition to envy his brother. Chapter three 1Anger is evil, my children, for it becomes the motivating force of the soul 2itself. That force has strange effects on the body of the angry man; it dominates his soul, and provides the body with a peculiar power so that it can accomplish 3every lawless act. When the soul acts, it justifies whatever is done since it lacks 4discernment. So them whoever is angry, if he is a powerful person, has triple strength by reason of his anger; First through the power and support of his subordinates; second through his wealth, by which he can win by persuasive acts and triumph in injustice; third, he has the natural force of his own body, and 5through it he accomplishes evil. But if the angry one is a weak person, his strength is twice that of nature, for anger always supports such persons in their transgression. 6This spirit always moves with falsehood at the right hand of Satan, in order that such deeds may be done through savagery and deception. Chapter four 1,2Understand, then, the power of anger, that it is senseless. First, it arouses by spoken word; then by actions it gives strength to the one who is aroused, by sharp looses it perturbs his mind, and thus arouses his soul with great anger. 3When anyone speakd against you, do not be moved to anger; and if anyone praises you as being kind, do not be elated, nor be carried away, neither by pleasure nor 4by shame. First it is pleasant to hear and thus it sharpens the mind to be sensitive to some provocation; and then when anyone is aroused by anger, it makes him 5suppose his self-esteem is justified. If you suffer a loss, if you undergo the destruction of anything, do not become alarmed, my children, because this spirit makes one desire what is transitory in order that he might be made angry over 6what he is missing. If you lose something, by your own action or otherwise, do 7not be sorrowful, for grief arouses anger as well as deceit. Anger and falsehood together are a double-edged evil, and work together to perturb the reason. And when the soul is continually perturbed, the Lord withdraws from it and Beliar rules it.
Chapter five 1Observe the Lordís commandments, then, my children, and keep his Law. Avoid wrath and hate lying, in order that the Lord may dwell among you, and Beliar may flee from you. 2Each of you speak truth clearly to his neighbor, and do not fall into pleasure and troublemaking, but be at peace, holding to the God of peace. Thus no conflict will overwhelm you. 3Throughout all your life love the Lord, and one another with a true heart 4For I know that in the last days you will defect from the Lord, you will be offended at Levi, and revolt against Judah; but you will not prevail over them. An angel of the Lord guides them both, because by them Israel shall stand. 5To the extent that you abandon the Lord, you will live by every evil deed, committing the revolting acts of the gentiles, chasing wives of lawless men, 6and you are motivated to all wickedness by the spirits of deceit among you. For I read in the Book of Enoch the Righteous that your prince is Satan and that all the spirits of sexual promiscuity and of arrogance devote attention to the sons of Levi in the attempt to observe them closely and cause them to commit sin before the Lord. 7My sons will draw close to Levi, will participate with them in all manner of sins; and with the sons of Judah they will share in greed, like lions snatching what belongs to others. 8Accordingly you will be led off with them into captivity; there you will receive all the plagues of Egypt, and all the evils of the gentiles. 9Therefore when you turn back to the Lord, you will receive mercy, and he will lead you into his holy place, proclaiming peace to you. 10And there shall arise for you from the tribe of Judah and (the tribe of) Levi the Lordís salvation. He will make war against Beliar; he will grant the vengeance of victory as our goal. 11And he shall take from Beliar the captives, the souls of the saints; and he shall turn the hearts of the disobedient ones to the Lord, and grant eternal peace to those who call upon him. 12And the saints shall refresh themselves in Eden; the righteous shall rejoice in the New Jerusalem, which shall be eternally for the glorification of God. 13And Jerusalem shall no longer undergo desolation, nor shall Israel be led into captivity, because the Lord will be in her midst (living among human beings). The Holy One of Israel will rule over them in humility and poverty, and he who trusts in him shall reign in truth in the heavens. Chapter six 1And now fear the Lord, my children, be on guard against Satan and his spirits. 2Draw near to God and to the angel who intercedes for you, because he is the mediator between God and men for the peace of Israel. He shall stand in opposition 3to the kingdom of the enemy. Therefore the enemy is eager to trip up all who call 4on the Lord, because he knows that on the day in which Israel trusts, the enemyís 5kingdom will be brought to an end. This angel of peace will strengthen Israel so 6that it will not succumb to an evil destiny. But in Israelís period of lawlessness it will be the Lord who will not depart form her and therefore she will seek to do 7his will, for none of the angels is like him. His name shall be everywhere 8throughout Israel; (and the Savior will be known among the nations). Keep yourselves from every evil work, my children, and cast aside anger and every lie. 9love truth and patience. What you have heard from your father pass on to your children, so that the father of nations may accept you. For he is true and patient, 10lowly and humble, exemplifying by his actions the Law of God. Forsake all 11unrighteousness and cling to the righteousness of the Law of God. And bury me near my fathers. Chapter seven 1,2When he had said this, he kissed them and slept an eternal sleep. And his sons buried him and later they carried his bones to be near Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 3Dan prophesied to them, however, that they would go astray from Godís law, that they would be estranged from their inheritance, from the race of Israel, and from their patrimony; and that is what occurred.
The Testament of Naphtali, the eighth son of Jacob and bilhaha Chapter one 1A copy of the testament of Naphtali, which he decred at the time of his death 2in the one hundred thirty-second year of his life. When his sons were gathered together in the seventh month, on the fourth day of the month, and he was in good 3health, he gave a feast and drinking party. After he awoke early the next morning, 4he told them, I am dying, but they did not believe him. And while he was blessing the Lord he confirmed that after the previous dayís feast he would die. 5Then he began to say to his sons, Listen, my children, sons of Naphtali, hear 6your fatherís words. I was born from Bilhah; Rachel acted by trickery, giving Bilhah to Jacob in place of herself, and she bore me on the knees of Rachel, for 7which reason she called me Naphtali. Rachel loved me because I was born in her lap; while I was tender in appearance she would kiss me and say, May I see a 8brother of your, like you, from my own womb! Thus Joseph was like me in 9every way, in keeping with Rachelís prayer. But my mother was Bilhah, daughter of Rotheos, Deborahís brother, nurse of Rebecca; she was born the very day on 10which Rachel was born. Rotheos was of Abraham;s tribe, a Chaldean, one who 11honored God, free and well-born, but he was taken captive and bought by Laban, who gave him Aina, his servant girl, as a wife. She bore a daughter and called her Zelpha from the name of the village in which he had been taken captive. 12After that she bore Bilhah, saying, My daughter is ever eager for new things; No sooner had she been born than she hurried to start sucking. Chapter two 1Since I was light on my feet like a deer, my father, Jacob, appointed me for 2all missions and messages, and, as a deer he blessed me. For just as a potter knows the pot, how much it holds, and brings clay for it accordingly, so also the Lord forms the body in correspondence to the spirit, and instills the spirit corresponding 3to the power of the body. And from one to the other there is no discrepancy, not so much as a third of a hair, for all the creation of the Most High 4was according to height, measure, and standard. And just as the potter knows the use of each vessel and to what it is suited, so also the Lord knows the body to what 5extent it will persist in goodness, and when it will be dominated by evil. For there is no form or conception which the Lord does not know since he created every 6human being according to his own image. As a personís strength, so also is his work; as is his mind, so also is his skill As is his plan, so also is his achievement; as is his heart, so is his speech; as is his eye, so also is his sleep; as is his soul. So also is his thought, whether on the Law of the lord or on the law of Beliar. 7As there is a distinction between light and darkness, between seeing and hearing, thus there is a distinction between man and man and between woman and woman. 8One cannot say they are one in appearance or in rank, for God made all things good in their order; the five senses in the head; to the head he attached the neck, in addition to the hair for the enhancement of appearance; then the heart for prudence; the belly for excretion from the stomach; the windpipe for health; the liver for anger; the gallbladder for bitterness; the spleen for laughter; the kidneys for craftiness; the loins for power; the lings for the chest; the hips for strength and 9so on. Thus my children you exist in accord with order for a good purpose in fear of God; do nothing in a disorderly manner, arrogantly, or at an inappropriate time. 10If you tell the eye to hear, it cannot; so you are unable to perform the works of light while you are in darkness. Chapter three 1Do not strive to corrupt your actions through avarice or to beguile your sould by empty phrases, because those who are silent in purity of heart will be able to 2hold fast Godís will and to shunt aside the will of Beliar. Sun, moon, and stars do not alter their order; thus you should not alter the Law of God by the disorder 3of your actions. The gentiles, because they wandered astray and forsook the Lord, have changed the order, and have devoted themselves to stones and sticks, patterning 4themselves after wandering spirits. But you, my children, shall not be like that; In the firmament, in the earth and in the sea, in all the products of his workmanship discern the Lord who made all things, so that you do not become like Sodom,. 5which departed from the order of nature. Like wise the Watchers departed from natureís order; the Lord pronounced a curse on them at the Flood. On their account he ordered that the earth be without dweller or produce. Chapter four 1I say these things, my children, because I have read in the writing of holy Enoch that you also will stray from the Lord, living in accord with every wickedness 2of the gentiles and committing every lawlessness of Sodom. The Lord will impose captivity upon you; you shall serve your enemies there and you will be engulfed 3in hardship and difficulty until the Lord will wear you all out. And after you have been decimated and reduced in number, you will return and acknowledge the Lord 4your God. And it shall happen that when they come into the land of their fathers, 5they will again neglect the Lord and act impiously, and the Lord will disperse them over the face of the whole earth until the mercy of the Lord comes, a man who effects righteousness, and he will work mercy on all who are far and near. Chapter five 1In the fortieth year of my life, I saw on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem that the sun and the moon stood still. And behold, Isaac, my fatherís father, was saying to us, Run forth, seize them, each according to his capacity; to the one 3who grasps them will the sun and the moon belong. All of them ran, but Levi seized the sun and Judah, outstripping the others, grasped the moon. Thus they 4were exalted above others. When Levi became like the sun, a certain young man 5gave him twelve date palms. And Judah became luminous like the moon, and twelve rays were under his feet. Then running toward the others, Levi and Judah 6seized them. And behold, there was a bull on the earth with two great horns and an eagleís wings on his back. They tried to lay hold of him, but were unable. 7But Joseph overtook them and seized him and went up with him into the heights. 8And I looked, since I was there, and behold a sacred writing appeared to us, which said, Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Elamites, Gelachians, Chaldeans, Syrians shall obtain a share in the twelve staffs of Israel through captivity. Chapter six 1And again after seven months I saw our father, Jacob, standing by the sea 2at Jamnia and we, his sons, were with him. And behold a ship came sailing past 3full of dried fish, with out sailor or pilot. Inscribed on it was The Ship of Jacob. 4So our father said to us, Get into our boat. As we boarded it, a violent tempest arose, a great windstorm, and our father, who had been holding us on course, was 5snatched away from us. After being tossed by the storm, the boat was filled with water and carried along on the waves until it broke apart. Joseph escaped in a light boat while we were scattered about on ten planks; Levi and Judah were on 7,8the same one. Thus we were all dispersed, even to the outer limits. Levi, putting 9on sack cloth, prayed to the Lord in behalf of all of us. When the storm ceased, 10the ship reached the land, as though at peace. Then Jacob, our father, approached, and we all rejoiced with one accord. Chapter seven 1These two dreams I recounted to my father, and he replied, These things must be fulfilled at their appropriate time, once Israel has endured many things. 2Then my father said, I believe that Joseph is alive, for I continually see that the 3Lord includes him in the number with you. And he kept saying tearfully, You live, Joseph, my son, and I do not see you, nor do you behold Jacob who begot 4you. He made me shed tears by these words of his. I was burning inwardly with compassion to tell him that Joseph had been sold, but I was afraid on my brothers. Chapter eight 1Behold, my children, I have shown you the last times, all things that will happen in Israel. 2Command your children that they be in unity with Levi and Judah, for through Judah will salvation arise for Israel, and in him will Jacob be blessed. 3Through his kingly power God will appear (dwelling among men on the earth), to save the race of Israel, and to assemble the righteous from among the nations. 4If you achieve the good, my children, men and angels will bless you; and God will be glorified through you among the gentiles. The devil will flee from youí wild animals will be afraid of you. And the angels will stand by you. 5Just as anyone who rears a child well is held in good esteem, so also there will be a virtuous recollection on the part of God for your good work. 6The one who does not do the good, men and angels will curse, and God will be dishonored among the gentiles because of him; the devil will inhabit him as his own instrument. Every wild animal will dominate him, and the Lord will hate him. 7The commandments of the Lord are double, and they are to be fulfilled with regularity. 8There is a time for having intercourse with oneís wife, and a time to abstain for the purpose of prayer. 9And there are the two commandments. Unless they are performed in proper sequence they leave one open to the greatest sin. It is the same with the other 10commandments. So be wise in the Lord and discerning, knowing the order of his commandments, what is ordained for every act, so that the Lord will love you. Chapter nine 1He gave them many similar instructions, urging them to transfer his bones to 2Hebron and bury him with his fathers. He ate and drank in soulful glee, covered his face, and died. And his sons acted in accord with the things commanded by the father, Naphtali.
The Testament of Gad, the ninth son of Jacob and Zilpah Chapter one 1A copy of the testament of Gad, concerning what he said to his sons in the one 2hundred twenty-seventh year of his life, saying, I was Jacobís ninth son; among 3the shepherds I was brave. I guarded the flock at night, and when the lion came, the wolf, the leopard, the bear or any other wild animal attacked the flock, I pursued it, seized it by the foot with my hand, crushed and blinded it, and hurled 4it a distance of twelve hundred feet. Now Joseph was tending the flocks from the heat, 5and went back to Hebron to his father. He made Joseph lie down close to him 6because he loved him. And Joseph said to his father, the sons of Zilpah and Bilhah are killing the best animals and eating them against the advice of Judah and Reuben. 7He saw that I had set free a lamb from the mouth of a bear, which I then killed, but that I had killed the lamb when I was saddened to see that it was too weak to 8live; and we had eaten it. This he told our father. On this matter I bore a grudge 9against Joseph until the day he was sold into Egypt; the spirit of hatred was in me, and I wanted to see or hear nothing of Joseph. He reproved us to our faces because we had eaten the newborn of the flocks with Judah. And whatever Joseph told our father, he believed him. Chapter two 1I now confess my sin, children, that frequently I wanted to kill him; to the depth of my soul I hated him and any inner feeling of mercy toward him was 2completely absent. Because of his dreams my hatred toward him increased and I wanted to gobble him up from among the living as an ox gobbles up grass from 3the ground. For this reason Joseph and I sold him to the Ishmaelites for thirty pieces of gold; we hid ten pieces and showed only the twenty to our brothers. 4,5Thus it was through greed that our plot to kill him was carried out. But the God of my fathers rescued him from my hands so that I might not perform a lawless deed in Israel.
Chapter three 1And now children, listen to the words of truth; to perform justice and every law of the Most High; not to be led astray by the spirit of hatred because it is evil 2beyond all human deeds. Whatever anyone does, he who hates is revolted; if he 3fears the Lord and hopes for good things, the hater has no lobe for him. The hater disparages truth, envies the successful person, relishes slander, loves arrogance, because hatred blinds his soul. It was in this way that I regarded Joseph. Chapter four 1Beware, my children, of those who hate, because it leads to lawlessness against 2the Lord himself. Hatred does not want to hear repeated his commands concerning 3love of neighbor, and thus it sins against God. For if a brother makes a false step, immediately it wants to spread the tale to everyone, and is eager to have him 4condemned for it, punished, and executed. If the hater is a slave, he conspires against his master, and whenever difficulty arises it plots how he might be killed. 5Hatred collaborates with envy, when it sees or hears about the prosperity of those 6who do well; it is perpetually peevish. Just as lobe wants to bring the dead back to life and to recall those under sentence of death, so hate wants to kill the living and does not wish to preserve alive those who have committed the slightest sin 7For among all men the spirit of hatred works by Satan through human frailty for the death of mankind; but the spirit of love works by the Law of God through forbearance for the salvation of mankind. Chapter five 1Hatred is evil, since it continually consorts with lying, speaking against the truth; it makes small things big, turns light into darkness, says that the sweet is bitter, teaches slander, conflict, violence, and all manner of greed; it fills the hears 2with diabolical venom. I tell you this, my children, from experience, so that you 3might escape hatred and cling to love of the Lord. Righteousness expels hatred; humility kills envy. For the person who is just and humble is ashamed to commit an injustice, not because someone else will pass judgment on him but out of his 4own heart, because the Lord considers his inner deliberations. He will not denounce 5a fellow man, since fear of the Most High overcomes hatred. Being concerned not to arouse the Lordís anger, he is completely unwilling to wrong anyone, even in 6his thoughts. I understood this at the last, after I had repented concerning Joseph, 7for according to Godís truth, repentance destroys disobedience, puts darkness to light, illumines the vision, furnishes knowledge for the souls, and guides the 8deliberative powers to salvation. What it has not learned from human agency, it 9understands through repentance. For God brought on me a disease of the liver, and if it had not been for the prayers of Jacob, my father, he would shortly have 10summoned from me my spirit. For by whatever human capacity anyone 11transgresses, by that he is also chastised. Since my anger was merciless in opposition to Joseph, through this anger of mine I suffered mercilessly, and was brought under judgment for eleven months, as long as I had had it in for Joseph, until he was sold. Chapter six 1Now, my children, each of you love his brother. Drive hatred out of your 2hearts. Love one another in deed and word and inward thoughts. For when I stood before my father I would speak peaceably about Joseph, but when I went out, the 3spirit of hatred darkened my mind and aroused my soul to kill him. Love one another from the heart, therefore, and if anyone sins against you, speak to him in peace. Expel the venom of hatred, and do not harbor deceit in your heart. If anyone 4confesses and repents, forgive him. If anyone denies his guilt, do not be contentious 5with him, otherwise he may start cursing, and you would be sinning doubly. In a dispute do not let and outsider hear your secrets, since out of hatred for you he may become your enemy, and commit a great sin against you. He may talk to you frequently but treacherously, or be much concerned with you, but for an evil end, 6having absorbed from you the venom. Even if he denies it and acts disgracefully out of a sense of guilt, be quiet and do not become upset. For he who denies will repent, and avoid offending you again; indeed he will honor you, will respect you 7and be at peace. But even if he is devoid of shame and persists in his wickedness, forgive him from the heart and leave vengeance to God. Chapter seven 1If anyone prospers more than you, do not be aggrieved, but pray for him that 2he may prosper completely, for this is what is precisely to your advantage. And if he becomes even more exalted, do not be envious, but remember that all humanity dies. Offer praise to the Lord who provides good and beneficial things for all 2manking. Search out the Lordís judgments, and thus you shall gain an inheritance 4and your mind will be at rest. Even if someone becomes rich by evil schemes, as did Esau, your fatherís brother, do not be jealous; wait for the Lord to set the 5limits. For if he takes away the things abstained by evil means, those who repent 6receive forgiveness, and the impenitent one receives eternal punishment. The man who is poor but free from envy, who is grateful to the Lord for everything, is richer than all, because he does not love the foolish things that are a temptation 7common to mankind. Drive hatred away from your souls, and love one another in uprightness of heart. Chapter eight Tell these things to your children as well, so that they will honor Judah and 2Levi, because from them the Lord will raise up a Savior for Israel. I know that at the end your children will depart from them and will live in all manner of 3wickedness and evildoing and corruption in the sight of the Lord. Then after he had been silent for a brief time he said again to them, My children, obey your 4father. Bury me near my fathers. He drew up his feet and fell asleep in peace. And after five years they took him up and buried him in Hebron with his fathers.
The Testament of Asher, the tenth son of Jacob and Zilpah Chapter one 1A copy of the testament of Asher, the things he spoke to his sons in the one 2hundred twenty-fifth year of his life. While he was still healthy he said to them, Listen, children of Asher, to your father, and I will show you everything that 3is right in the sight of God. God has granted two ways to the sons of men, two 4mind-sets, two lines of action, two models, and two goals. Accordingly, everything 5is in pairs, the one over against the other. The two ways are good and evil; concerning them are two dispositions within our breasts that choose between them. 6If the soul wants to follow the good way, all of its deeds are done in righteousness 7and every sin is immediately repented. Contemplating just deeds and rejecting 8wickedness, the soul overcomes evil and uproots sin. But if the mind is disposed toward evil, all of its deeds are wicked; driving out the good, it accepts the evil 9and is overmastered by Beliar, who, even when good is undertaken, presses the struggle so as to make the aim of his action into evil, since the devilís storehouse is filled with the venom of the evil spirit. Chapter two 1The souls, they say, may in words express good for the sake of evil, but the 2outcome of the action leads to evil. There is a man who has no mercy on the one who serves him in performing an evil deed; there are two aspects of this, but the 3whole is wicked. And there is a man who loves the one who does the evil, as he is himself involved in evil, so that he would choose to die in evil for the evildoerís 4sake. There are also two aspects of this, but the whole situation is evil. Although indeed lobe is there, yet in wickedness is evil concealed; in name it is as though 5it were good, but the outcome of the act is to bring evil. Someone steals, deals unjustly, robs, cheats, but yet has pity on the poor, This also has two aspects, but 6is evil as a whole. He who cheats his neighbor provokes Godís wrath; he who serves falsely before the Most High, and yet has mercy on the poor, disregards the Lord who uttered the Lawís commands; he provokes him, and yet he alleviates 7the plight of the poor day laborer. He defiles the soul and takes pride in his own body; he kills many, yet has pity on a few. This also has two aspects, but is evil 8as a whole. Someone else commits adultery and is sexually promiscuous, yet is abstemious in his eating. While fasting, he is committing evil deeds. Though the power of his wealth he ravages many, and yet in spite of his excessive evil, he 9performs the commandments. This also has two aspects, but evil as a whole. Such persons are hares, because although they are halfway clean, in truth they are 10unclean, for this is what God has said on the tables of the commandments. Chapter three 1But you, my children, do not be two-faced like them, one good and the other evil; rather, cling only to goodness, because in it the Lord God is at rest, and men 2aspire to it. Flee from the evil tendency, destroying the devil by your good works. For those who are two-faced are not of God, but they are enslaved to their evil desires, so that they might be pleasing to Beliar and to persons like themselves. Chapter four 1For persons who are good, who are single-minded - even though they are 2considered by the two-faced to be sinners - are righteous before God. For many who destroy the wicked perform two works - good and evil - but it is good as a 3whole, because evil is uprooted and destroyed. One person hates the man who, though merciful, is also unjust, or who is an adulterer, even though he fasts, and thus is two-faced. But hie work is good as a whole, because he imitates the Lord, 4not accepting the seeming good as though it were the truly good. Another person does not want to see any pleasant days among the convival, lest they disgrace the body and pollute the soul. This also has two aspects, but is good on the whole. 5For such persons are like gazelles and stags; In appearance they seem wild and unclean, but as a whole they are clean. They live by zeal for the Lord, abstaining from what God hates and has forbidden through his commandments, staying off evil by the good. Chapter five 1Children, you see how in everything there are two factors, one against the other, one concealed by the other; In possessions is greed, in merriment is 2drunkenness, in laughter is lamentation, in marriage is dissoluteness. Death is successor to life, dishonor to glory, night to day, darkness to light, but all these things lead ultimately to day; righteous actions to life, unjust actions to death, 3since eternal life wards off death. One cannot say truth is a lie, nor a righteous act is unjust, because all truth is subject ultimately to the light, just as all things 4are subject ultimately to God. I have demonstrated all these things in my life, and have not strayed from the Lordís truth. I have searched out the commandments of the Most High and lived them according to all my strength. Chapter six 1You also, my children give attention to the Lordís command, pursuing the 2truth with singleness of mind. The two-faced are doubly punished because they both practice evil and approve of others who practice it; they imitate the spirits of 3error and join in the struggle against mankind. You therefore, my children, keep the Law os the Lord; do not pay attention to evil as to good, but have regard for what is really good and keep it thoroughly in all the Lordís commandments, taking 4it as your way of life and finding rest in it. For the ultimate end of human beings displays their righteousness, since they are made known to the angels of the Lord 5and of Beliar. For when the evil soul departs, it is harassed by the evil spirit which it served through its desires and evil works. But if anyone is peaceful with joy he comes to know the angel of peace and enters eternal life. Chapter seven 1Do not become like Sodom, which did not recognize the Lordís angels and 2perished forever. For I know that you will sin and be delivered into the hands of your enemies; your land shall be made desolate and your sanctuary wholly polluted. 3You will be scattered to the four corners of the earth ; in the dispersion you shall be regarded as worthless, like useless water, until such time as the Most High visits the earth. (He shall come as a man eating and drinking with human beings,) crushing the dragonís head in the water,. He will save Israel and all the nations, 4(God speaking like a man). Tell these things, my children, to your children, so 5that they will not disobey him. For I know that you will be thoroughly disobedient, that you will be thoroughly irreligious, heeding not Godís Law but human 6commandments, being corrupted by evil. For this reason, you will be scattered like Dan and Gad, my brothers, you shall not know your own lands, tribe, or 7language. But he will gather you in faith through his compassion and on account of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Chapter eight 1After he had said these things he gave instructions, saying, Bury me in 2Hebron. And he died, having fallen into a beautiful sleep. And his sons did as he commanded them; They took him up to Hebron and buried him with his fathers.
The Testament of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and Rachel Chapter one 1A copy of the testament of Joseph. When he was about to die, he called his sons and his brothers and said to them: 2My brothers and my children, Listen to Joseph, the one beloved of Israel. Give ear to the words of my mouth. 3In my life I have seen envy and death. But I have not gone astray; I continued in the truth of the Lord. 4These, my brothers, hated me but the Lord loved me. They wanted to kill me, but the God of my fathers preserved me. Into a cistern they lowered me; the Most High raised me up 5They sold me into slavery; the Lord of all set me free. I was taken into captivity; the strength of his hand came to my aid. I was overtaken by hunger; the Lord himself fed me generously. 6I was alone, and God came to help me. I was in weakness, and the Lord showed his concern for me. I was in prison, and the Savior acted graciously in my behalf. I was in bonds, and he loosed me; 7falsely accused, and he testified in my behalf, Assaulted by bitter words of the Egyptians, and he rescued me, A slave, and he exalted me. Chapter two 1,2And this chief officer of Pharoah entrusted to me his household. I struggled with a shameless woman who kept prodding me to transgress with her, but the 3God of my father rescued me from the burning flame. I was jailed, I was whipped, I was sneered at, but the Lord granted me mercy in the sight of the prison-keeper. 4For the Lord does not abandon those who fear him, neither in darkness, or chains, or tribulation or direst need. 5For God does not disappoint as does man, nor is he timorous like a son of man nor like an earthborn is he weak or frightened away. 6In all these matters he takes his stand, and in various ways he offers assistance, even though for a brief time he may stand aside in order to test the disposition of the soul 7In ten testings he showed that I was approved, and in all of them I perserved, because preseverance is a powerful medicine and endurance provides many good things. Chapter three 1How often the Egyptian woman threatened me with death! How often, after turning me over to the tormentors she would call me back and threaten me! But 2since I was unwilling to have intercourse with her, she kept saying to me, You will be master over me and all my household if you will only give yourself over 3to me; then you will be our ruler. But I recalled my fatherís words, went weeping 4into my quarters, and prayed to the Lord. For those seven years I fasted, and yet seemed to the Egyptians like someone who was living luxuriously, for those who 5fast for the sake of God receive graciousness of countenance. If my master was absent, I drank no wine; for thee-day periods I would take no food but give it to 6the poor and the ill. I would awaken early and pray to the Lord, weeping over the Egyptian woman of Memphis because she annoyed me exceedingly and 7relentlessly. In the night she would come in to me, pretending a mere visit. 8Because she had no male child, she pretended to consider me as a son. For a time she would embrace me as a son, but them I realized later that she was trying to lure 9me into a sexual relationship. When I became aware of this I lamented to the point of death. After she had gone out, I came to myself and mourned in her behalf 10for many days, because I had recognized her deceit and her deviousness. I spoke to her the words of the Most High, hoping he might divert her from evil desire. Chapter four 1How often, then, did she flatter me with words as a holy man, deceitfully praising my self-control through her words in the presence of her husband, but 2when we were alone she sought to seduce me. Publicly she honored me for my self-control, while privately she said to me, Have no fear of my husband, for he is convinced of your chastity so that even if someone were to tell him about you, 3he would not believe it. During all these affairs I stretched out on the groung 4praying God to rescue me from her treachery. When she achieved nothing by means of it, she began to approach me for instruction, so that she might learn the 5Word of God. And she kept saying to me, If you want me to abandon the idols, have intercourse with me, and I shall persuade my husband to put away the idols, 6and we shall live in the presence of your Lord. But I kept telling her that the Lord did want worshipers who come by means of uncleanness, nor would he be pleased with adulterers, but with those who were pure in heart and undefiled 7,8in speech. She was consumed with jealousy, wanting to fulfill her desire. But I devoted myself the more to fasting and prayer that the Lord might rescue me from her. Chapter four 1How often, then, did she flatter me with words as a holy man, deceitfully praising my self-control through her words in the presence of her husband, but 2when we were alone she sought to seduce me. Publicly she honored me for my self-control, while privately she said to me, Have no fear of my husband, for he is convinced of your chastity so that even if someone were to tell him about you, 3he would not believe it. During all these affairs I stretched out on the groung 4praying God to rescue me from her treachery. When she achieved nothing by means of it, she began to approach me for instruction, so that she might learn the 5Word of God. And she kept saying to me, If you want me to abandon the idols, have intercourse with me, and I shall persuade my husband to put away the idols, 6and we shall live in the presence of your Lord. But I kept telling her that the Lord did want worshipers who come by means of uncleanness, nor would he be pleased with adulterers, but with those who were pure in heart and undefiled 7,8in speech. She was consumed with jealousy, wanting to fulfill her desire. But I devoted myself the more to fasting and prayer that the Lord might rescue me from her. Chapter five 1Again on another occasion she said to me, If you do not want to commit 2adultery, I shall kill my husband by a drug and take you as my husband. When I heard this, I tore my clothing and said to her, Woman, show reverence to God; do not commit this wicked deed, lest you be utterly destroyed. For you should 3know that I shall make it known to all that this is your scheme. Filled with fear, 4she ordered me not to disclose her plan. Then she withdrew, but kept trying to entice me with gifts and every manner of pleasurable things. Chapter six 1,2Later she sent me food mixed with enchantments. When the eunuch who was carrying it arrived, I looked up and saw a frightening man who offered me a sword 3along with a bowl. So I perceived it was a trick to lead me astray. When he departed, I wept; I tasted neither one item nor the other of the food he brought. 4A day later she came to me and said, when she recognized the food, Why didnít 5you eat the food? And I said to her, Because you filled it with a deadly enchantment. How can you say, I do not go near the idols, but only to the Lord. 6Now then understand that the God of my father revealed to me through an angel your wickedness, but I have kept it for this reason; to shame you if somehow by 7seeing it you might repent. In order for you to learn that the evil of the irreligious will not triumph over those who exercise self-control in their worship of God, I will take this and eat it in your presence. When I had said that, I prayed aloud, 8May the God of my fathers and the angel of Abraham be with me. And I ate. When she saw this, she fell upon her face at my feet weeping. I raised her up and warned her, and she agreed with me that she should no longer commit this impiety. Chapter seven 1But her heart was still inclined to evil and she turned over in her mind how she might entrap me. Shortly she was groaning and depressed, even though she 2was not sick. When her husband saw her, he said to her, Why are you so downcast? She responded to him, I am suffering from a pain in my heart, and 3groans of my spirit have taken hold of me, He tried to cure her with words. Then she seized the occasion and came tunning in to me, while her husband was still outside, and said to me, I shall hang myself, or hurl myself over the precipice 4if you do not have intercourse with me. Since I perceived that the spirit of Beliar 5was troubling her, I prayed to the Lord, but I said to her, Why, wretched female, are you troubled and disturbed, blinded by sin? Remember that if you kill yourself, Astetha, your husbandís concubine, who is filled with envy of you, will beat your 6children; thus you will destroy your memory from the earth. And she said, See, then, you do love me. That is enough. Only keep contending for my life and that 7of my children, and I shall cling to my expectation of gaining my desire. She did not understand that I spoke in this way for the Lordís sake and not for hers. 8For if anyone is subjected to the passion of desire and is enslaved by it, as she was, even when he hears something good bearing on that passion he receives it s aiding his wicked desire. Chapter eight 1I tell you, my children, it was about the sixth hour when she left me. Bending my knees before the Lord, I prayed a whole day and a whole night. Toward dawn 2I arose, crying and begging deliverance from her. Finally, she grasped my clothing, 3determined to force me into having intercourse with her. When I saw, therefore, that in her madness she had seized my garment, I shook loose and left it and fled 4naked. She held on to it, and brought false accusation against me. Her husband came and threw me in prison in his own house; then the next day he whipped me 5 and sent me to the Pharaohís prison. When I was in fetters, the Egyptian woman was overtaken with grief. She came and heard the report how I gave thanks to the voice, glorifying my God, because through her trumped-up charge I was set free from this Egyptian woman. Chapter nine 1Many times she sent messages to me saying, Acquiesce in fulfilling my desire, 2and I will release you from the fetters and liberate you from the darkness. Not even in my mind did I yield to her, for God loves more the one who is faithful in self-control in a dark cistern than the one who in royal chambers feasts on 3delicacies with excess. If a man strives for self-control and at the same time desires glory - and the Most High knows that it is appropriate for him - he brings 4it about for him, even as he did for me. How often, as though she were ill, she came down at odd hours and listened to my voice as I prayed! When I was aware 5of her groanings, I fell silent. For when I had been with her in her house, she would bare her arms and thighs so that I might lie with her. For she was wholly beautiful and splendidly decked out to entice me, but the Lord protected me from her manipulations. Chapter ten 1So you see, my children, how great are the things that patience and prayer 2with fasting accomplish. You also, if you pursue self-control and purity with patience and prayer with fasting in humility of heart, the Lord will dwell among 3you, because he loves self-control. And where the Most High dwells, even if envy befall someone, or slavery or false accusation, the Lord who dwells with him on account of his self-control not only will rescue him from these evils, but will 4exalt him and glorify him as he did for me. For these problems beset all mankind 5either in deed or word or thought. For my brothers know how much my father loved me, yet I was not puffed up in my thoughts. Even while I was a child I had 6the fear of God in my heart, for I understood that all things pass away. I did not arouse myself with evil design, but honored my brothers, and out of regard for them even when they sold me I was silent rather than tell the Ishmaelites that i was the son of Jacob, a great and righteous man. Chapter eleven 1You, therefore, my children, in every act keep the fear of God before your eyes and honor your brothers. For everyone who does the Law of the Lord will 2be loved by him. As I was going with the Ishmaelites, they kept asking me, Are you a slave? And I replied, I am a slave out of a household, so as not to disgrace 3my brothers. The greatest of them said to me, You are not a slave; even your 4appearance discloses that. But I told them that I was a slave. As we were reaching Egypt they began to squabble over me as to which of them would put up the money 5and take me. Accordingly it seemed good to all of them that I should be left in Egypt with a trader handling their trading post until they returned bringing their 6merchandise. The Lord granted me favor in the eyes of the trader and he entrusted 7me with his household. And God blessed him by my hand, and he prospered in gold and silver and in business. And I was with him three months
Chapter twelve 1At that time the Memphian woman, Pentephrisí wife, came down in a palanquin with great splendor, because she had heard about me from one of her 2eunuchs. She said to her husband that through a certain young Hebrew the trader had become rich; they say that he surely stole him out of the land of Canaan. 3Now, then, work justice concerning him; take the young man to your household, and the God of the Hebrews will bless you, because grace from heaven is with him. Chapter thirteen 1Pentephris believed her words, ordered the trader to come, and said to him, What is this I hear about you, that you steal persons from the land of Canaan and 2sell them as slaves? The trader fell at his feet and besought him saying, I pray 3you, my lord, I do not know what you are saying. Pentephris said to him, Where is this Hebrew from, then? And he said, The Ishmaelites left him with me until 4they return. But he did not believe the trader and ordered that he be stripped and 5beaten. But since he persisted in his statements, Pentephris said, Bring in the young man. When I entered I prostrated myself before Pentephris, for he was 6third in rank among Pharaohís officers. And taking me aside from the trader he 7said to me, Are you a slave or a freeman? I said to him, A slave, He said, 8Of whom? I replied, Of the Ishmaelites. He said, How did you become a 9slave? And I said, They bought me out of the land of Canaan. But he said to me, You are really lying. And immediately he ordered that I also be stripped and whipped. Chapter fourteen 1The Memphian woman was watching through the doors as they beat me, for her residence was nearby. So she sent a message to him. Your sentence is unjust, because you have punished as a wrongdoer someone who, though a freeman, was 2stolen. But since I did not change my statement while they were beating me, he ordered me to be imprisoned until, he said, the masters of the servant boy 3arrive. But the woman said to her husband, Why do you detain in bonds this 4young man who, though a captive, is well-born? Rather he should be set free and attended to by servants. She wanted to see me by reason of her sinful passion, 5but I was ignorant of all these things. He said to her, It is not proper for Egyptians to take away what belongs to others before the evidence has been presented. He said this concerning the trader, but the young man he kept incarcerated. Chapter fifteen 1Twenty-four days later the Ishmaelites came; they had heard that Jacob, my 2father, was mourning greatly over me, and they came and told me. Why did you tell us that you were a slave? Look, we now know that you are the son of a great man in the land of Canaan, and that your father is mourning for you in sackcloth 3and ashes. When I heard this my inner being was dissolved and my heart melted, and I wanted to weep very much, but I restrained myself so as not to bring disgrace 4on my brothers. So I said to them, I know nothing; I am a slave. Then they conferred about selling me so that I might not be discovered in bondage to them, 5for they feared my father, that he might come and avenge himself powerfully against them. They had heard that he was a great person in the sight of God and 6men, Then the trader said to them, Release me from Pentephris judgment. So they came and requested of me, Say that you were purchased by us with money, and then he will release us from responsibility. Chapter sixteen 1The Memphian woman said to her husband. Buy the young man, for I hear 2it said that they are selling him. Immediately she sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites, 3requesting them to sell me. But the eunuch was not willing to buy me and came away after testing them out. He told his mistress that they were asking a great deal 4of money for the boy. She sent the eunuch back again and tole him, Even if they are asking two minas; offer it. Do not be sparing of the gold; just buy the boy and 5bring him to me. The eunuch went and gave them eighty pieces of gold and took me away, but he told the Egyptian woman he had paid a hundred. Although I know the facts, I kept quiet in order not to bring the eunuch under disgrace. Chapter seventeen 1So you see, my children, how many things I endured in order not to bring 2my brothers into disgrace. You, therefore, love one another, and in patient 3endurance conceal one anotherís shortcomings. God is delighted by harmony among brothers and by the intention of a kind heart that takes pleasure in goodness. 4When my brothers came to Egypt they learned that I had returned their money 5to them, that I did not scorn them, and that I sought to console them. After the death of Jacob, my father, I lobed them beyond measure, and everything he had 6wanted for them I did abundantly in their behalf. I did not permit them to be troubled by the slightest matter, and everything I had under my control I gave to 7them. Their sons were mine, and mine were as their servants; their life was as my life, and every pain of theirs was my pain; every ailment of theirs was my 8sickness; their wish was my wish . I did not exalt myself above them arrogantly because of my worldly position of glory, but I was among them as one of the least. Chapter eighteen 1If you live in accord with the Lordís commands, God will exalt you with 2good things forever. And if anyone wishes to do you harm, you should pray for him, along with doing good, and you will be rescued by the Lord from every evil 3Indeed you can see that on account of my humility and patient endurance I took to myself a wife, the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis; a hundred talents of gold were given to me along with her, and my Lord caused them to be my servants 4And he also gave me mature beauty, more than those of mature beauty in Israel; he preserved me until old age with strength and beauty. In every way I was like Jacob. Chapter nineteen
1,2Listen, my children, concerning the dream that I saw. Twelve stags were grazing at a certain place; nine were scattered over the whole earth, and like wise also the three. (GK.) 3 4 5 6 7 8And I saw that a virgin was born from Judah, wearing a linen stole; and from her was born a spotless lamb. At his left there was something like a lion, and all the wild animals rushed against him, but the lamb conquered them, and destroyed them, trampling them underfoot. 9And the angels and mankind and all the earth rejoiced over him 10These things will take place in the last days. 11You, therefore, my children, keep the Lordís commandments; honor Levi and Judah, because from their seed will arise the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world, and will save all the nations, as well as Israel. 12For his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom which will not pass away. But my kingdom will come to an end among you, like a guard in an orchard who disappears at the end of the summer. (ARM.) 3And as I looked, the three stags became three lambs; they cried out to the Lord, and the Lord led them into a fertile, well-watered place. He led them 4out of darkness into light. And there they dried out to the Lord until the nine stags were gathered to him, and they all became like twelve sheep. After a short time they multiplied and became many 5herds. Later as I was looking, twelve bulls were nursing from one cow, who furnished a sea of milk 6The twelve herds and the innumerable herds drank from it. And the horns of the fourth bull ascended to heaven and became as a rampart for the herds. And from between the two horns there sprouted forth yet another horn. 7And I saw a heifer which surrounded them twelve times and which became to perfection an aide to the bulls. 8And I saw in the midst of the horns a certain virgin wearing a multicolored stole; from her came forth a lamb. Rushing from the left were all sorts of wild animals and reptiles, and the lamb conquered them. 9Because of him the gull rejoiced and the cow and the stags were also glad with them. 10These things must take place in their appropriate time 11And you, my children, honor Levi and Judah, because from them shall arise the salvation of Israel. 12For my kingdom shall have an end among you, like an orchard guard who disappears after the summer. Chapter twenty 1For I know that after my death the Egyptians will oppress you, but God will work vengeance on your behalf, and will lead you into the promises made to your 2fathers, You shall carry my bones along with you, for when you are taking my bones up there, the Lord will be with you in the light, while Beliar will be with the Egyptians in the dark. Take Aseneth, your mother, an bury her by the hippodrome, near Rachel, your grandmother. 4And when he had said this he stretched out his feet and fell into a beautiful 5,6sleep. And all Israel and all Egypt mourned with great lamentation. And at the departure of the sons of Israel from Egypt, they took along Josephís bones and buried him in Hebron with his fathers. The years of his life were one hundred ten.
The Testament of Benjamin, the twelfth son of Jacob and Rachel Chapter one 1A copy of the words of Benjamin which he testified to his sons, having lived 2one hundred twenty-five years. He kissed them and said, Just as Isaac was born 3to Abraham in his old age, so I was born to Jacob. Since Rachel, my mother, died as she was bearing me, I had no milk from her, but was nursed instead by Bilhah, 4her maid servant. For after Rachel bore Joseph she was sterile for twelve years; 5she prayed to the Lord, with fasting, and conceived and gave birth to me. My father loved Rachel exceedingly, and prayed that he might see two sons born from 6her. For this reason I was called Benjamin, that is son of days. Chapter two 1When I came to Joseph in Egypt and my brother recognized me, he said, 2What did they say to my father when they sold me? And I replied to him, They spattered your shirt with blood and sent it to him and said, Do you know if this 3shirt belongs to your son? And (Joseph) said to me, Yes, brother. When they stripped off my shirt and gave me to the Ishmaelites, they gave me a loincloth, 4beat me, and told me to run. One of them who had whipped me was met by a 5lion and it ate him. So his partners were terrified and kept me under a looser rein. Chapter three 1Now, my children, love the Lord God of heaven and earth; keep his 2commandments; pattern your life after the good and pious man Joseph. Let your thoughts incline to the good, as you know to be so with me, because he who has 3the right set of mind sees everything rightly. Fear the Lord and love your neighbor. Even if the spirits of Beliar seek to derange you with all sorts of wicked oppression, they will not dominate you, any more than they dominated Joseph, my brother. 4How many men wanted to destroy him, and God looked out for him! For the person who fears God and loves his neighbor cannot be plagued by the spirit of 5Beliar since he is sheltered by the fear of God. Neither manís schemes not those of animals can prevail over him, for he is aided in living by this; by the love which 6he has toward his neighbor. Joseph also urged our father to pray for his bothers, that the Lord would not hold them accountable for their sin which they so wickedly 7committed against him. And Jacob cried out, O noble child, you have crushed the inner feelings of Jacob, your father. He embraced him and kept kissing him for two hours, saying, 8Though you will be fulfilled the heavenly prophecy concerning the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world, because the unspotted one will be betrayed by lawless men, and the sinless one will die for impious men by the blood of the covenant for the salvation of the gentiles and of Israel and the destruction of Beliar and his servants. Chapter four 1See then, my children, what is the goal of the good man. Be imitators of him in his goodness because of his compassion, in order that you may wear crowns 2of glory. For a good man does not have a blind eye, but he is merciful to all 3even, though they may be sinners. And even if persons plot against him for evil ends, by doing good this man conquers evil, being watched over by God. He loves 4those who wrong him as he loves his own life. If anyone glorifies himself, he holds no envy. If anyone becomes rich, he is not jealous. If anyone is brave, he praises him. He loves the moderate person; he shows mercy to the impoverished; 5to the ill he shows compassion; he fears God. He loves the person who has the gift of a good spirit as he loves his own life. Chapter five 1If your mind is set toward good, even evil men will be at peace with you; the dissolute will respect you and will turn back to the good. The greedy will not only abstain from their passion but will give to the oppressed the things which they 2covetously hold, If you continue to do good, even the unclean spirits will flee 3from you and wild animals will fear you. For where someone has within himself respect for good works and has light in the understanding, darkness will slink away 4from that person. For if anyone wantonly attacks a pious man, he repents, since the pious man shows mercy to the one who abused him, and maintains silence. And if anyone betrays a righteous man, the righteous man prays. Even though for a brief time he may be humbled, later he will appear far more illustrious, as happened with Joseph, my brother. Chapter six 1The deliberations of the good man are not in the control of the deceitful spirit, 2Beliar, for the angel of peace guides his life. For he does not look with passionate longing at corruptible things, nor does he accumulate wealth out of love for 3pleasure. He does not find delight in pleasure, nor does he grieve his neighbor, nor does he stuff himself with delicacies, nor is he led astray by visual excitement; 4The Lord is his lot. The good set of mind does not receive glory or dishonor from men, nor does it know deceit, or lying, or conflict, or abuse. For the Lord dwells in him, illumines his life, and he rejoices in everything at every appropriate time. 5The good set of mind does not talk from both sides of its mouth; praises and curses, abuse and honor, calm and strife, hypocrisy, and truth, poverty and wealth, 6but it has one disposition, uncontaminated and pure, toward all men. There is no duplicity in its perception or its hearing. Whatever it does, or speaks, or perceives, 7it knows that the Lord is watching ever its life, for he cleanses his mind in order that he will not be suspected of wrongdoing either by men or by God. The works of Beliar are twofold, and have in them no integrity. Chapter seven 1So I tell you, my children, flee from the evil of Beliar, because he offers a 2sword to those who obey him. And the sword is the mother of the seven evils, it receives them through Beliar. The first is moral corruption, the second is destruction, the third is oppression, the fourth is captivity, the fifth is want, the 3sixth is turmoil, the seventh is desolation. It is for this reason that Cain was handed over by God for seven punishments, for in every hundredth year the Lord brought 4upon him one plague. When he was two hundred years old suffering began and in his nine hundredth year he was deprived of life. For he was condemned on account of Abel his brother as a result of all his evil deeds, but Lamech was 5condemned by seventy times seven. Until eternity those who are like Cain in their moral corruption and hatred of brother shall be punished with a similar judgment.
Chapter eight 1,2But you, my children, run from evil, corruption, and hatred of brothers; cling to goodness and love. For the person with a mind that is pure with love does not 3look on a woman for the purpose of having sexual relations. He has no pollution in his heart, because upon him is resting the spirit of God. For just as the sun is unpolluted, though it touches dung and slime, but dries up both and drives off the bad odor, so also the pure mind, though involved with the corruptions of earth, deifies instead and is not itself corrupted. Chapter nine 1From the words of Enoch the Righteous I tell you that you will be sexually promiscuous like the promiscuity of the Sodomites and will perish, with few exceptions. You shall resume your actions with loose women, and the kingdom 2of the Lord will not be among you, for he will take it away forthwith, But in your allotted place will be the temple of God, and the latter temple will exceed the former in glory. The twelve tribes shall be gathered there and all the nations, until such time as the Most High shall send forth his salvation through the ministration 3of the unique prophet. (He shall enter the first temple, and there the Lord will be abused and will be raised up on wood. And the temple, and there the Lord will be abused and will be raised up on wood. And the temple curtain shall be torn, and the spirit of God will move on to all the nations as a fire is poured out. And he shall ascend from Hades and shall pass on from earth to heaven. I understand how humble he will be on the earth, and how splendid in heaven.) Chapter ten 1When Joseph was in Egypt I earnestly desired to see his appearance and the form of his face, and through my father Jacobís prayers I saw him, while I was awake during the day, just as he was, his whole appearance. 2After he had spoken these things to them he said, You know then, my children, 3that I am dying. Do the truth, each of you to his neighbor, keep the Law of the 4Lord and his commandments, for I leave you these things instead of an inheritance. Give them, then, to your children for an eternal possession; this is what Abraham, 5Isaac, and Jacob did. They gave us all these things as an inheritance, saying, Keep Godís commandments until the Lord reveals his salvation to all the nations. 6And then you will see Enoch and Seth and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob being 7raised up at the right hand in great joy. Then shall we also be raised, each of us over our tribe, and we shall prostrate ourselves before the heavenly king. 8Then all shall be changed, some destined for glory, others for dishonor, for the 9Lord first judges Israel for the wrong she has committed, and then he shall do the 10same for all the nations. Then he shall judge Israel by the chosen gentiles as he tested Esau by the Midianites who loved their brothers. You, therefore, my 11children, may your lot come to be with those who fear the Lord. Therefore, my children, if you live in holiness, in accord with the Lordís commands, you shall again dwell with me in hope; all Israel will be gathered to the Lord. Chapter eleven 1And I shall no longer be called a rapacious wolf on account of your rapine, 2but the Lordís workerí providing food for those who do good works. And in later times there shall rise up the beloved of the Lord, from the lineage of Judah and Levi, one who does his good pleasure by his mouth, enlightening all the nations with new knowledge. The light of knowledge will mount up in Israel for her salvation, seizing them like a wolf coming upon them, and gathering the gentiles 3Until the consummation of the ages he shall be in the congregations of the gentiles 4and among the rulers, like a musical air in the mouths of all. He shall be written of in sacred books, both his work and his word. And he shall be Godís Chosen 5One forever. He shall range widely among them, like my father, Jacob, saying, He shall fill up what was lacking of your tribe. Chapter twelve 1And when he had finished his statements he said, I command you, my children, carry my bones up out of Egypt; bury me in Hebron near my fathers. 2Benjamin died last of all in his one hundred twenty-first year at a ripe old age, 3and they placed him in a coffin. And in the ninety-first year after the departure of the sons of Israel for Egypt, they and their brothers took up the bones of their fathers secretly, because of the war with Canaan, and buried them in Hebron by 4the feet of their fathers. Them they returned from the land of Canaan and resided in Egypt until the day of the departure from Egypt.