Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sons of Jacob the Patriarch
Date: second century B.C.
Testament of Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob and Leah
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 from behind, seized its heights and completely destroyed it as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.