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THE TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS

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The Twelve Patriarchs  


THE TESTAMENT OF REUBEN, THE FIRST-BORN SON OF YAACOB BY LEAH

1:1 The copy of the Testament of Reuben, even the commands which he gave his sons before he died in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life. 2 Two years after the death of Yahusef his brother [Joseph], when Reuben fell ill, his sons and his sons' sons were gathered together to visit him. 3 He said to them: My children, behold. I am dying, and go the way of my fathers. 4 Seeing there Yahudah [Judah], Gad, and Asher, his brethren, he said to them: Raise me up, that I may tell to my brethren and to my children what things I have hidden in my heart, for behold now at length I am passing away. 5 He arose, kissed them, and said to them: Hear, my brethren, and you my children, give ear to Reuben your father in the commands which I give to you. 6 Behold, I call to witness against you this day Yahweh of heaven, that you do not walk in the sins of youth and fornication, wherein I was poured out, and defiled the bed of my father Yaacob [Jacob]. 7 I tell you He smote me with a sore plague in my loins for seven months. Had my father Yaacob not prayed for me to Yahweh, Yahweh would have destroyed me. 8 I was thirty years old when I wrought the evil thing before Yahweh, and for seven months I was sick to death. 9 After this I repented with set purpose of my soul for seven years before Yahweh. 10 I did not drink wine and strong drink, flesh did not enter into my mouth, and I ate no pleasant food. I mourned over my sin, for it was great, such as had not been in Israel.

2:1 Now hear me, my children, what things I saw concerning the seven spirits of deceit, when I repented. 2 Seven spirits are given to man at his creation, that through them should be done every work of man. 3 The first is the spirit of life, with which the constitution (of man) is created. 4 The second is the sense of sight, with which arises desire. The third is the sense of hearing, with which comes teaching. 5 The fourth is the sense of smell, with which tastes are given to draw air and breath. 6 The fifth is the power of speech, with which comes knowledge. 7 The sixth is the sense of taste, with which comes the eating of meats and drinks. Strength is produced by it, for in food is the foundation of strength. 8 The seventh is the power of procreation and sexual intercourse, with which through love of pleasure sins enter in. Wherefore it is the last in order of creation, and the first in that of youth, because it is filled with ignorance. It leads the youth as a blind man to a pit, as a beast to a precipice. Besides all these there is an eighth spirit of sleep, with which is brought about the trance of nature and the image of death. With these spirits are mingled the spirits of error.

3:1 Seven spirits are appointed against man, they are the leaders in the works of youth. First, the spirit of fornication is seated in the nature and in the senses. The second, the spirit of insatiableness, is in the belly. 2 The third, the spirit of fighting, is in the liver and gall. The fourth is the spirit of obsequiousness and chicanery, that through officious attention one may be fair in seeming. 3 The fifth is the spirit of pride, that one may be boastful and arrogant. The sixth is the spirit of lying, in perdition and jealousy, to practise deceits and concealments from kindred and friends. 4 The seventh is the spirit of injustice, with which are thefts and acts of rapacity, that a man may fulfill the desire of his heart. 5 Injustice works together with the other spirits by the taking of gifts. With all these the spirit of sleep is joined, which is (that) of error and fantasy. 6 So perishes every young man, darkening his mind from the truth, not understanding the law of Yahweh, nor obeying the admonitions of his fathers (as befell me also in my youth). 7 My children, love the truth, and it will preserve you. Hear the words of Reuben your father. Pay no heed to the face of a woman, nor associate with another man's wife, nor meddle with affairs of womankind. 8 For had I not seen Bilhah bathing in a covered place, I would not have fallen into this great iniquity. 9 Taking in the thought of the woman's nakedness, my mind did not allow me to sleep until I wrought the abominable thing. 10 While Yaacob our father went to Isaac his father, when we were in Eder, near to Ephrath in Bethlehem, Bilhah became drunk and was asleep uncovered in her chamber. I went in and beheld her nakedness. I wrought the impiety without her perceiving it, and I departed leaving her sleeping. 11 Forthwith a malak of Yahweh revealed to my father concerning my impiety. He came and mourned over me, and touched her no more.

4:1 Pay no heed, my children, to the beauty of women, nor set your mind on their affairs. Walk in singleness of heart in the fear of Yahweh. Expend labor on good works, on study, and on your flocks, until Yahweh give you a wife, whom He will, that you not suffer as I did. 2 Until my father's death I had no boldness to look in his face, or to speak to any of my brethren, because of the reproach. 3 Even until now my conscience causes me anguish on account of my impiety. 4 Yet my father comforted me much and prayed for me to Yahweh, that the anger of Yahweh might pass from me, even as Yahweh showed. 5 From then until now I have been on my guard and not sinned. Therefore, my children, I say to you, Observe all things whatsoever I command you, and you will not sin. 6 The sin of fornication is a pit to the soul, separating it from Yahweh, and bringing it near idols. Fornication deceives the mind and understanding, leading young men into hades before their time. 7 Fornication has destroyed many, though a man be old, noble, rich, or poor, he brings reproach upon himself with the sons of men and derision with Beliar. 8 You heard regarding Yahusef [Joseph] how he guarded himself from a woman, purged his thoughts from all fornication, and found favor in the sight of Yahweh and men. 9 The Egyptian woman did many things to him. She summoned magicians, and offered him love potions, but the purpose of his soul admitted no evil desire. 10 Therefore the Father of your fathers delivered him from every evil [and] hidden death. If fornication does not overcome your mind, neither can Beliar overcome you.

5:1 Women are evil, my children. Since they have no power or strength over man, they use wiles by outward attractions, that they may draw him to themselves. 2 Whom they cannot bewitch by outward attractions, him they overcome by craft. 3 Concerning them, the malak of Yahweh told me, and taught me, women are overcome by the spirit of fornication more than men. 4 In their heart they plot against men. By means of their adornment they deceive their minds, by the glance of the eye instill the poison, and then through the accomplished act they take them captive. 5 A woman cannot force a man openly, but by a harlot's bearing she beguiles him. Flee fornication, my children. 6 Command your wives and your daughters, that they not adorn their heads and faces to deceive the mind. 7 Every woman who uses these wiles has been reserved for eternal punishment. For thus they allured the Watchers who were before the flood. As these continually beheld them, they lusted after them, and they conceived the act in their mind. 8 They changed themselves into the shape of men, and appeared to them when they were with their husbands. 9 And the women lusting in their minds after their forms, gave birth to giants, for the Watchers appeared to them as reaching even to heaven.

6:1 Beware of fornication. If you wish to be pure in mind, guard your senses from every woman. 2 Command the women likewise to not associate with men, that they also may be pure in mind. 3 Even though the unrighteous deed is not wrought, constant meetings are an irremediable disease to them, and to us a destruction of Beliar and an eternal reproach. 4 In fornication there is neither understanding nor righteousness. All jealousy dwells in the lust thereof. 5 Therefore, I say to you, you will be jealous against the sons of Levi, and will seek to be exalted over them. But you will not be able. 6 Yahweh will avenge them, you will die by an evil death. 7 Yahweh gave the sovereignty to Levi [and to Yahudah with him; also to me, to Dan, and Yahusef, that we should be for rulers]. 8 I command you to hearken to Levi. He will know the law of Yahweh, will give ordinances for judgment, and will sacrifice for all Israel until the consummation of the times, as the anointed High Priest of whom Yahweh spoke. 9 I adjure you by Yahweh of heaven to do truth each one to his neighbor, and to entertain love each one for his brother. 10 Draw near to Levi in humbleness of heart, that you may receive a blessing from his mouth. 11 He will bless Israel and Yahudah, because him Yahweh chose to be king over all the nation. 12 Bow down before his seed, for on our behalf it will die in wars visible and invisible, and will be among you an eternal king.

7:1 Reuben died, having given these commands to his sons. 2 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.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF SIMEON, THE SECOND OF YAACOB BY LEAH.

1:1 The copy of the words of Simeon, the things which he spoke to his sons before he died, in the hundred and twentieth year of his life, at which time Yahusef, his brother, died. 2 When Simeon was sick, his sons came to visit him. He strengthened himself, sat up, kissed them, and said: Hearken, my children, to Simeon your father.

2:1 I will declare to you things I have in my heart. 2 I was born of Yaacob as my father's second son. My mother Leah called me Simeon, because Yahweh heard her prayer. 3 I became exceedingly strong. I shrank from no achievement, nor was I afraid of anything. 4 My heart was hard, my liver was immovable, and my bowels without compassion. 5 Valor was given from the Most High to men in soul and body. 6 In the time of my youth I was jealous in many things of Yahusef, because my father loved him beyond all. 7 I set my mind against him to destroy him, because the prince of deceit sent forth the spirit of jealousy and blinded my mind, so that I did not regard him as a brother, nor did I spare even Yaacob my father. 8 Yahweh, the Father of his fathers, sent forth His malak, and delivered him out of my hands. 9 When I went to Shechem to bring ointment for the flocks, and Reuben to Dothan where our necessaries and all our stores were, Yahudah my brother sold him to the Ishmaelites. 10 When Reuben heard these things he was grieved, for he wished to restore him to his father. 11 On hearing this I was exceedingly wroth against Yahudah, in that he let him go away alive, and for five months I continued wrathful against him. 12 But Yahweh restrained me, and withheld from me the power of my hands, for my right hand was half withered for seven days. 13 I knew, my children, that this had befallen me because of Yahusef, and I repented and wept. I besought Yahweh that my hand might be restored, and that I might hold aloof from all pollution, envy, and from all folly. 14 I knew I devised an evil thing before Yahweh and Yaacob my father, on account of Yahusef my brother, in that I envied him.

3:1 My children, hearken to me. Beware of the spirit of deceit and envy. 2 Envy rules over the whole mind of a man, and suffers him to neither eat nor to drink, nor to do any good thing. 3 It ever suggests [to him] to destroy him that he envys. 4 So long as he that is envied flourishes, he that envys fades away. Two years I afflicted my soul with fasting in the fear of Yahweh, and I learned that deliverance from envy comes by the fear of Yahweh. 5 If a man flee to Yahweh, the evil spirit runs away from him, and his mind is lightened. 6 He sympathises with him whom he envied, forgives those who are hostile to him, and so ceases from his envy.

4:1 My father asked concerning me, because he saw that I was sad. I said to him: I am pained in my liver. 2 I mourned more than they all, because I was guilty of the selling of Yahusef. 3 When we went down into Egypt, and he bound me as a spy, I knew I was suffering justly, and I did not grieve. 4 Yahusef was a good man, and had the Spirit of Yahweh within him. Being compassionate and pitiful, he bore no malice against me, but loved me even as the rest of his brethren. 5 Beware, my children, of all jealousy and envy. Walk in singleness of soul, with good heart. Keep in mind Yahusef your father's brother, that Yahweh may give you also grace and glory, and blessing upon your heads, even as you saw in Yahusef's case. 6 All his days he did not reproach us concerning this thing, but loved us as his own soul. After his own sons he glorified us, and gave us riches, cattle, and fruits. 7 You also, my children, love each one his brother with a good heart, and the spirit of envy will withdraw from you. 8 For this makes the soul savage, and destroys the body. It causes anger and war in the mind, stirs up to deeds of blood, leads the mind into frenzy, and does not suffer prudence to act in men. Moreover, it takes away sleep, [and causes tumult to the soul and trembling to the body]. 9 Even in sleep some malicious jealousy, deluding him, gnaws. With wicked spirits it disturbs his soul, causes the body to be troubled, and wakes the mind from sleep into confusion. It appears to men as a wicked and poisonous spirit.

5:1 Yahusef was comely in appearance and goodly to look upon, because no wickedness dwelt in him. 2 For the face manifests some of the trouble of the spirit. My children, make your hearts good before Yahweh, and your ways straight before men. And you will find grace before Yahweh and men. 3 Beware of fornication, for fornication is mother of all evils, separating from Yahweh, and bringing near to Beliar. 4 I saw it inscribed in the writing of Enoch that your sons will be corrupted in fornication, and will do harm to the sons of Levi with the sword. 5 But they will not be able to withstand Levi. He will wage the war of Yahweh, and will conquer all your hosts. 6 They will be few in number, divided in Levi and Yahudah, and there will be none of you for sovereignty, even as our father also prophesied in his blessings.

6:1 Behold, I told you all things, that I may be acquitted of your sin. 2 Now, if you remove from you your envy and all stiff-neckedness, my bones will flourish as a rose in Israel, my flesh as a lily in Yaacob, and my odor will be as the odor of Libanus. Sacred ones will be multiplied from me as cedars forever, and their branches will stretch afar off. 3 Then the seed of Canaan will perish, a remnant will not be to Amalek, all the Cappadocians will perish, and all the Hittites will be utterly destroyed. 4 Then the land of Ham will fail, and all the people will perish. Then all the earth will rest from trouble, and all the world under heaven from war. 5 Then the Mighty One of Israel will glorify Shem. Yahweh will appear on earth, and Himself save men. 6 Then all the spirits of deceit will be given to be trodden under foot, and men will rule over wicked spirits. 7 Then I will arise in joy, and will bless the Most High because of His marvellous works, [Because Yahweh has taken a body, eaten with men, and saved men].

7:1 My children, obey Levi and Yahudah, do not be lifted up against these two tribes, for from them the salvation of Yahweh will arise to you. 2 Yahweh will raise up from Levi as it were a High-priest, and from Yahudah as it were a King. He will save all [the Gentiles and] the race of Israel. 3 Therefore I give you these commands, that you also may command your children, that they may observe them throughout their generations.

8:1 When Simeon made an end of commanding his sons, he slept with his fathers, being a hundred and twenty years old. 2 They laid him in a wooden coffin, to take up his bones to Hebron. 3 They took them up secretly during a war of the Egyptians. 4 The bones of Yahusef the Egyptians guarded in the tombs of the kings. For the sorcerers told them that on the departure of the bones of Yahusef there should be throughout all the land darkness and gloom, and an exceeding great plague to the Egyptians, so that even with a lamp a man should not recognize his brother.

9:1 The sons of Simeon bewailed their father. 2 They were in Egypt until the day of their departure by the hand of Moses.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF LEVI, THE THIRD SON OF YAACOB BY LEAH

1:1 The copy of the words of Levi, the things which he ordained to his sons, according to all that they should do, and what things should befall them until the day of judgment. 2 He was in sound health when he called them to him, it was revealed to him that he should die.

2:1 When they were gathered together he said to them: I, Levi, was born in Haran. I came with my father to Shechem. 2 I was young, about twenty years of age, when, with Simeon, I wrought vengeance on Hamor for our sister Dinah. 3 When I was feeding the flocks in Abel-Maul, the spirit of understanding of Yahweh came upon me. I saw all men corrupting their way, unrighteousness had built walls for itself, and lawlessness sat upon towers. 4 I was grieving for the race of the sons of men, and I prayed to Yahweh that I might be saved. 5 There fell upon me a sleep, and I beheld a high mountain, and I was upon it. 6 Behold, the heavens were opened, and a malak of Yahweh said to me: Levi, enter. 7 I entered from the first heaven, and I saw a great sea hanging there. 8 Further I saw a second heaven far brighter and more brilliant, for there was a boundless light therein. 9 I said to the malak: Why is this so? The malak said to me: Do not marvel at this, you will see another heaven more brilliant and incomparable. 10 When you ascend there, you will stand near Yahweh, will be His minister, will declare His mysteries to men, and will proclaim concerning Him who will redeem Israel. 11 By you and Yahudah Yahweh will appear among men, saving every race of men. 12 From Yahweh's portion will be your life. He will be your field, vineyard, fruits, gold, and silver.

3:1 Hear, therefore, regarding the heavens which are shown to you. The lowest is for this cause gloomy to you, in that it beholds all the unrighteous deeds of men. 2 It has fire, snow, and ice made ready for the day of judgment, in the righteous judgment of Yahweh. In it are all the spirits of the retributions for vengeance on men. 3 In the second are the hosts of the armies which are ordained for the day of judgment, to work vengeance on the spirits of deceit and of Beliar. Above them are the sacred ones. 4 In the highest of all dwells the Great Glory, far above all holiness. 5 In it are the archangels (who minister and make propitiation to Yahweh for all the sins of ignorance of the righteous) offering to Yahweh a sweet-smelling savor, a reasonable and a bloodless offering. 7 [In the heaven below this] are the malaks who bear answers to the malaks of the presence of Yahweh. 8 In the heaven next to this are thrones and dominions, in which they always offer praise to Yahweh. 9 When Yahweh looks upon us, all of us are shaken. Yea, the heavens, the earth, and the abysses, are shaken at the presence of His majesty. 10 But the sons of men, having no perception of these things, sin and provoke the Most High.

4:1 Know that Yahweh will execute judgment upon the sons of men. When the rocks are being rent, the sun quenched, the waters dried up, the fire cowering, all creation troubled, and the invisible spirits melting away, hades takes spoils through the visitations of the Most High. Men will be unbelieving, and persist in their iniquity. On this account they will be judged with punishment. 2 The Most High heard your prayer: To separate you from iniquity, that you should become to Him a son, a servant, and a minister of His presence. 3 You will light up the light of knowledge in Yaacob, as the sun you will be to all the seed of Israel. 4 There will be given to you a blessing, and to all your seed, until Yahweh visits all the Gentiles in His tender mercies forever. 5 There is given to you counsel and understanding, that you might instruct your sons concerning this. 6 Those who bless Him will be blessed, and those who curse Him will perish.

5:1 The malak opened the gates of heaven to me. I saw the sacred temple, and the Most High upon a throne of glory. 2 He said to me: Levi, I give you the blessings of the priesthood until I come and sojourn in the midst of Israel. 3 The malak brought me down to the earth, gave me a shield and a sword, and said to me: Execute vengeance on Shechem because of Dinah, your sister, I will be with you because Yahweh sent me. 4 I destroyed the sons of Hamor at that time, as it is written in the heavenly tables. 5 I said to him: I pray, O master, tell me your name, that I may call upon you in a day of tribulation. 6 He said: I am the malak who intercedes for the nation of Israel that they not be smitten utterly, for every evil spirit attacks it. 7 After these things I awaked. I blessed the Most High, the malak who intercedes for the nation of Israel, and for all the righteous.

6:1 When I was going to my father, I found a brazen shield. 2 Also, the name of the mountain is Aspis, which is near Gebal, to the south of Abila, and I kept these words in my heart. 3 After this I counselled my father, and Reuben my brother, to bid the sons of Hamor to not be circumcised. I was zealous because of the abomination they wrought on my sister. 4 I slew Shechem first, and Simeon slew Hamor. 5 After this my brothers came and smote that city with the edge of the sword. 6 My father heard these things and was wroth. He was grieved in that they received the circumcision, and after that had been put to death, and in his blessings he looked amiss upon us. 7 We sinned because we did this thing against his will, and he was sick on that day. 8 But I saw that the sentence of Yahweh was for evil upon Shechem. They sought to do to Sarah and Rebecca as they did to Dinah our sister, but Yahweh prevented them. 9 They persecuted Abraham our father when he was a stranger, and they vexed his flocks when they were big with young. They most shamefully handled Eblaen, who was born in his house. 10 Thus they did to all strangers, taking away their wives by force, and they banished them. 11 But the wrath of Yahweh came upon them to the uttermost.

7:1 I said to my father Yaacob: By you Yahweh will despoil the Canaanites, and will give their land to you and to your seed after you. 2 From this day forward Shechem will be called a city of imbeciles. 3 As a man mocks a fool, so we mocked them. 4 Also because they wrought folly in Israel by defiling my sister. We departed, and came to Bethel.

8:1 There I saw a vision as the former, after we spent seventy days there. 2 I saw seven men in white raiment saying to me: Arise, put on the robe of the priesthood, the crown of righteousness, the breastplate of understanding, the garment of truth, the plate of faith, the turban of the head, and the ephod of prophecy. 3 They severally carried [these things] and put [them] on me, and said to me: From hereforth become a priest of Yahweh, you and your seed forever. 4 The first anointed me with sacred oil, and gave to me the staff of judgment. 5 The second washed me with pure water, fed me with bread and wine, [even] the most sacred things, and clad me with a sacred and glorious robe. 6 The third clothed me with a linen vestment like an ephod. 7 The fourth put round me a girdle like to purple. 8 The fifth gave me a branch of rich olive. 9 The sixth placed a crown on my head. 10 The seventh placed on my head a diadem of priesthood, and filled my hands with incense, that I might serve as priest to Yahweh. 11 They said to me: Levi, your seed will be divided into three offices, for a sign of the glory of Yahweh who is to come. 12 The first portion will be great, yea, none will be greater than it. 13 The second will be in the priesthood. 14 The third will be called by a new name. A king will arise in Yahudah, and will establish a new priesthood, after the fashion of the Gentiles [to all the Gentiles]. 15 His presence is beloved, as a prophet of the Most High, of the seed of Abraham our father. 16 Therefore, every desirable thing in Israel will be for you and for your seed, you will eat everything fair to look upon, and the table of Yahweh your seed will apportion. 17 Some of them will be high priests, judges, and scribes. By their mouth the sacred place will be guarded. 18 When I awoke, I understood that this [dream] was like the first dream. I hid this also in my heart, and did not tell it to any man upon the earth.

9:1 After two days Yahudah and I went up with our father Yaacob to Isaac our father's father. 2 My father's father blessed me according to all the words of the visions which I had seen. 3 He would not come with us to Bethel. When we came to Bethel, my father saw a vision concerning me, that I should be their priest to Yahweh. 4 He rose up early in the morning, and paid tithes of all to Yahweh through me. 5 So we came to Hebron to dwell there. 6 Isaac called me continually to put me in remembrance of the law of Yahweh, even as the malak of Yahweh showed to me. 7 He taught me the law of the priesthood, of sacrifices, whole burnt-offerings, first-fruits, freewill-offerings, and peace-offerings. 8 Each day he was instructing me, was busied on my behalf before Yahweh, and said to me: Beware of the spirit of fornication. This will continue, and will pollute the sacred place by your seed. Take to yourself a wife without blemish or pollution, while you are yet young, and not of the race of strange nations. Before entering into the sacred place, bathe. When you offer the sacrifices, wash. Again, when you finish the sacrifice, wash. Of twelve trees having leaves, offer to Yahweh, as Abraham taught me also. Of every clean beast and bird offer a sacrifice to Yahweh. Of all your first-fruits, and of wine, offer the first as a sacrifice to Yahweh. And every sacrifice you will salt with salt.

10:1 Now, observe whatsoever I command you, children. Whatsoever things I heard from my fathers I declare to you. 2 Behold, I am clear from your unrighteousness and transgression, which you will commit in the end of the ages [against the savior of the world, messiyah, acting unrighteously], deceiving Israel, and stirring up against it great evils from Yahweh. 3 You will deal lawlessly together with Israel, because of your wickedness He will not bear with Jerusalem. The veil of the temple will be rent, so as to not cover your shame. 4 You will be scattered as captives among the Gentiles, and will be for a reproach and for a curse there. 5 The house which Yahweh will choose will be called Jerusalem, as is contained in the book of Enoch the righteous.

11:1 When I took a wife I was twenty-eight years old, and her name was Melcha. 2 She conceived, and bore a son. 3 I called his name Gersam, for we were sojourners in our land. 4 I saw concerning him, that he would not be in the first rank. 5 Kohath was born in the thirty-fifth year of my life, towards sunrise. 6 I saw in a vision that he was standing on high in the midst of all the congregation. 7 Therefore I called his name Kohath [which is, beginning of majesty and instruction]. She bore me a third son, in the fortieth year of my life. Since his mother bore him with difficulty, I called him Merari, that is, 'my bitterness,' because he was like to die. 8 Jochebed was born in Egypt, in my sixty-fourth year, I was renowned then in the midst of my brethren.

12:1 Gersam took a wife, and she bore to him Lomni and Semei. 2 And the sons of Kohath, Ambram, Issachar, Hebron, and Ozeel. 3 And the sons of Merari, Mooli, and Mouses. 4 And in the ninety-fourth year Ambram took Jochebed my daughter to him to wife, for they were born in one day, he and my daughter. 5 I was eight years old when I went into the land of Canaan, eighteen years when I slew Shechem, nineteen years when I became priest, at twenty-eight years I took a wife, and at forty-eight I went into Egypt. 6 Behold, my children, you are a third generation. 7 In my hundred and eighteenth year Yahusef died.

13:1 My children, I command you. Fear Yahweh your Father with your whole heart, walk in simplicity according to all His law. 2 Teach your children letters, that they may have understanding all their life, reading unceasingly the law of Yahweh. 3 Everyone who knows the law of Yahweh will be honored, and will not be a stranger wheresoever he goes. 4 Yea, many friends he will gain more than his parents, many men will desire to serve him, and to hear the law from his mouth. 5 My children, work righteousness upon the earth, that you may have treasure in heaven. 6 Sow good things in your souls, that you may find them in your life. If you sow evil things, you will reap every trouble and affliction. 7 Get wisdom with diligence in the fear of Yahweh. Though there be a leading into captivity, cities and lands destroyed, gold, silver, and every possession perish, none can take away the wisdom of the wise (save the blindness of unrighteousness, and the callousness [that comes] of sin). 8 If one keep oneself from these evil things, then even among his enemies wisdom will be a glory to him, a fatherland in a strange country, and will prove a friend in the midst of foes. 9 Whosoever teaches noble things and does them, will be enthroned with kings, as was Yahusef my brother.

14:1 My children, I learned that at the end of the ages you will transgress against Yahweh, stretching out hands to wickedness. To all the Gentiles you will become a scorn. 2 Our father Israel is pure from the transgressions of the chief priests [who will lay their hands upon the savior of the world]. 3 As the heaven is purer in Yahweh's sight than the earth, so also be you, the lights of Israel, [purer] than all the Gentiles. 4 If you be darkened through transgressions, what, therefore, will all the Gentiles do living in blindness? Yea, you will bring a curse upon our race. The light of the law which was given to lighten every man you desire to destroy by teaching commandments contrary to the ordinances of Yahweh. 5 You rob the offerings of Yahweh, from His portion you steal choice portions, eating contemptuously with harlots. 6 Out of covetousness you teach the commandments of Yahweh. Wedded women you pollute, and the virgins of Jerusalem you defile. With harlots and adulteresses you will be joined, and the daughters of the Gentiles you will take to wife, purifying them with an unlawful purification. Your union will be like to Sodom and Gomorrah. 7 You will be puffed up because of your priesthood, lifting yourselves up against men, and not only so, but also against the commands of Yahweh. 8 For you will contemn the sacred things with jests and laughter.

15:1 The temple which Yahweh will choose, will be laid waste through your uncleanness, and you will be captives throughout all nations. 2 You will be an abomination to them, and you will receive reproach and everlasting shame from the righteous judgement of Yahweh. 3 All who hate you will rejoice at your destruction. 4 If you were not to receive mercy through Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob, our fathers, not one of our seed should be left upon the earth.

16:1 I learned that for seventy weeks you will go astray, profane the priesthood, and pollute the sacrifices. 2 You will make the law void, and set at nought the words of the prophets by evil perverseness. You will persecute righteous men, hate the righteous, [and] the words of the faithful you will abhor. 3 [A man who renews the law in the power of the Most High, you will call a deceiver. At last you will rush [upon him] to slay him, not knowing his dignity, taking innocent blood upon your heads through wickedness.] 4 Your sacred places will be laid waste even to the ground because of him. 5 You will have no place that is clean. You will be among the Gentiles a curse and a dispersion until He will visit you again, and in pity will receive you [through faith and water].

17:1 Whereas you heard concerning the seventy weeks, hear also concerning the priesthood. 2 In each jubilee there will be a priesthood. In the first jubilee, the first who is anointed to the priesthood will be great, and will speak to Yahweh as to a father. 3 His priesthood will be perfect with Yahweh, [in the day of his gladness he will arise for the salvation of the world]. 4 In the second jubilee, he that is anointed will be conceived in the sorrow of beloved ones, his priesthood will be honored and will be glorified by all. 5 The third priest will be taken hold of by sorrow. 6 The fourth will be in pain, because unrighteousness will gather itself against him exceedingly, and all Israel will each one hate his neighbor. The fifth will be taken hold of by darkness. 7 Likewise also the sixth and the seventh. And in the seventh will be such pollution as I cannot express before men, they will know it who do these things. 8 They will be taken captive, become a prey, and their land and their substance will be destroyed. 9 In the fifth week they will return to their desolate country, and will renew the house of Yahweh. 10 In the seventh week, [those who are] idolaters, adulterers, lovers of money, proud, lawless, lascivious, and abusers of children and beasts, will become priests.

18:1 After their punishment comes from Yahweh, the priesthood will fail. 2 Then Yahweh will raise up a new priest. To him all the words of Yahweh will be revealed. He will execute a righteous judgment upon the earth for a multitude of days. 3 His star will arise in heaven as of a king. Lighting up the light of knowledge as the sun the day, He will be magnified in the world. 4 He will shine forth as the sun on the earth, will remove all darkness from under heaven, and there will be peace in all the earth. 5 The heavens will exult in His days, the earth will be glad, the clouds will rejoice, and the malaks of the glory of the presence of Yahweh will be glad in Him. The knowledge of Yahweh will be poured forth upon the earth, as the water of the seas. 6 The heavens will be opened, and from the temple of glory sanctification will come upon Him, with the Father's voice as from Abraham to Isaac. 7 The glory of the Most High will be uttered over Him, the spirit of understanding and sanctification will rest upon Him. 8 He will give the majesty of Yahweh to His sons in truth for evermore. There will none succeed Him for all generations forever. 9 In His priesthood the Gentiles will be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and enlightened through the grace of Yahweh. In His priesthood sin will come to an end, and the lawless will cease to do evil. [And the just will rest in Him.] 10 He will open the gates of paradise, and will remove the threatening sword against Adam. 11 He will give to the saints to eat from the tree of life, and the spirit of holiness will be on them. 12 Beliar will be bound by Him, and He will give power to His children to tread upon the evil spirits. 13 Yahweh will rejoice in His children, and be well pleased in His beloved ones forever. 14 Then Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob will exult. I will be glad, and all the saints will clothe themselves with joy.

19:1 My children, you have heard all. Choose for yourselves either the light or the darkness, either the law of Yahweh or the works of Beliar. 2 His sons answered him, saying: Before Yahweh we will walk according to His law. 3 Their father said to them: Yahweh is witness, His malaks are witnesses, you are witnesses, and I am witness, concerning the word of your mouth. 4 His sons said to him: We are witnesses. Levi ceased commanding his sons, he stretched out his feet on the bed, and was gathered to his fathers, after he had lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. 5 They laid him in a coffin, and afterwards they buried him in Hebron, with Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF YAHUDAH, THE FOURTH SON OF YAACOB BY LEAH

1:1 The copy of the words of Yahudah, what things he spoke to his sons before he died. 2 They gathered themselves together, came to him, and he said to them: Hearken, my children, to Yahudah your father. 3 I was the fourth son born to my father Yaacob. 4 Leah my mother named me Yahudah, saying: I give thanks to Yahweh, because He gave me a fourth son also. 5 I was swift in my youth, and obedient to my father in everything. 6 I honored my mother and my mother's sister. It came to pass, when I became a man, that my father blessed me, saying: You will be a king, prospering in all things.

2:1 Yahweh showed me favor in all my works, both in the field and in the house. 2 I know I raced a hind, caught it, prepared the meat for my father, and he did eat. 3 I used to master the roes in the chase, and overtake all that was in the plains. 4 A wild mare I overtook, caught it, and tamed it. I slew a lion and plucked a kid out of its mouth. I took a bear by its paw, hurled it down the cliff, and it was crushed. 5 I outran the wild boar, and seizing it as I ran, I tore it in sunder. 6 A leopard in Hebron leaped upon my dog, I caught it by the tail, hurled it on the rocks, and it was broken in two. 7 I found a wild ox feeding in the fields, seized it by the horns, whirled it round, stunned it, cast it from me, and slew it.

3:1 When the two kings of the Canaanites came sheathed in armor against our flocks, and much people with them, single-handed I rushed upon the king of Hazor, smote him on the greaves, dragged him down, and so I slew him. 2 The other, the king of Tappuah, as he sat upon his horse, [I slew, and so I scattered all his people. 3 Achor the king] a man of giant stature I found, hurling javelins before and behind as he sat on horseback. I took up a stone of sixty pounds weight, hurled it, smote his horse, and killed it. 4 I fought with [this] other for two hours. 5 I clave his shield in two, I chopped off his feet, and killed him. 6 As I was stripping off his breastplate, behold his companions, nine men began to fight with me. I wound my garment on my hand, I slung stones at them, killed four of them, and the rest fled. 7 Yaacob my father slew Beelesath, king of all the kings, a giant in strength, twelve cubits high. 8 Fear fell upon them, and they ceased warring against us. 9 Therefore my father was free from anxiety in the wars when I was with my brethren. 10 He saw in a vision concerning me that a malak of might followed me everywhere, that I should not be overcome.

4:1 In the south there came upon us a greater war than that in Shechem. I joined in battle array with my brethren, pursued a thousand men, slew two hundred men of them, and four kings. 2 I went up upon the wall, and I slew four mighty men. So we captured Hazor, and took all the spoil.

5:1 On the next day we departed to Aretan, a city strong, walled, and inaccessible, threatening us with death. 2 I and Gad approached on the east side of the city, Reuben and Levi on the west. 3 Those who were upon the wall were drawn down against us, thinking that we were alone. 4 So my brothers secretly climbed up the wall on both sides by stakes, and entered the city, while the men did not know it. 5 We took it with the edge of the sword. As for those who took refuge in the tower, we set fire to the tower, taking both it and them. 6 As we were departing the men of Tappuah set upon our spoil, and delivering it up to our sons we fought with them as far as Tappuah. 7 We slew them, burnt their city, and took as spoil all that was in it.

6:1 When I was at the waters of Kozeba, the men of Jobel came against us to battle. 2 We fought with them and routed them. We slew their allies from Shiloh, we did not leave them power to come in against us. 3 The men of Makir came upon us the fifth day, to seize our spoil. We attacked them and overcame them in fierce battle. 4 There was a host of mighty men among them, and we slew them before they went up the ascent. 5 When we came to their city their women rolled stones upon us from the brow of the hill on which the city stood. Simeon and I hid ourselves behind the town, seized upon the heights, and destroyed this city also.

7:1 The next day it was told us that the king of the city of Gaash was coming against us with a mighty host. 2 I and Dan feigned ourselves to be Amorites, and went into their city as allies. 3 In the depth of night our brethren came and we opened the gates to them. We destroyed all the men and their substance, we took for a prey all that was theirs, and we cast down their three walls. 4 We drew near to Thamna, where all the substance of the hostile kings was. Being insulted by them, I was wroth, and rushed against them to the summit. 6 They kept slinging stones and darts against me. Had my brother Dan not aided me, they would have slain me. 7 We came upon them with wrath, and they all fled. 8 Passing by another way, they besought my father, and he made peace with them. 9 We did no hurt to them, they became tributary to us, and we restored to them their spoil. 10 I built Thamna, and my father built Pabael. I was twenty years old when this war befell. The Canaanites feared me and my brethren.

8:1 I had much cattle, I had Iram the Adullamite for chief herdsman. 2 When I went to him I saw Parsaba, king of Adullam. He spoke to us, and he made us a feast. 3 When I was heated he gave me his daughter Bathshua to wife. She bore me Er, Onan, and Shelah. Two of them Yahweh smote. Shelah lived, his children you are.

9:1 Eighteen years my father abode in peace with his brother Esau, and his sons with us, after we came from Mesopotamia, from Laban. 2 When eighteen years were fulfilled, in the fortieth year of my life, Esau, the brother of my father, came upon us with a mighty and strong people. 3 Yaacob smote Esau with an arrow, he was taken up wounded on Mount Seir, and as he went he died at Anoniram. 4 We pursued after the sons of Esau. They had a city with walls of iron and gates of brass, and we could not enter into it. 5 We encamped around, and besieged it. When they did not open to us in twenty days, I set up a ladder in the sight of all, and with my shield upon my head I went up, sustaining the assault of stones, upwards of three talents weight. 6 I slew four of their mighty men. Reuben and Gad slew six others. They asked terms of peace from us, and having taken counsel with our father, we received them as tributaries. 8 They gave us five hundred cors of wheat, five hundred baths of oil, five hundred measures of wine, until the famine, when we went down into Egypt.

10:1 After these things my son Er took to wife Tamar, from Mesopotamia, a daughter of Aram. 2 Now Er was wicked, he was in need concerning Tamar, because she was not of the land of Canaan. 3 On the third night a malak of Yahweh smote him. He did not know her according to the evil craftiness of his mother, he did not wish to have children by her. In the days of the wedding-feast I gave Onan to her in marriage, in wickedness he did not know her, though he spent a year with her. 5 When I threatened him he went in to her, but he spilled the seed on the ground, according to the command of his mother, and he also died through wickedness. 6 I wished to give Shelah to her, but his mother did not permit it. She wrought evil against Tamar, because she was not of the daughters of Canaan, as she herself was.

11:1 I knew that the race of the Canaanites was wicked, but the impulse of youth blinded my mind. 2 When I saw her pouring out wine, I was deceived owing to the intoxication of wine, and took her although my father had not counselled. 3 While I was away she went and took for Shelah a wife from Canaan. 4 When I knew what she did, I cursed her in the anguish of my soul. 5 She also died through her wickedness, together with her sons.

12:1 After these things, while Tamar was a widow, she heard after two years that I was going up to shear my sheep. 2 She adorned herself in bridal array, and sat in the city Enaim by the gate. It was a law of the Amorites, that she who was about to marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate. 3 Being drunk with wine, I did not recognize her. Her beauty deceived me, through the fashion of her adorning. 4 I turned aside to her, and said: Let me go in to you. And she said: What will you give me? 5 I gave her my staff, my girdle, and the diadem of my kingdom in pledge. I went in to her, and she conceived. 6 Not knowing what I did, I wished to slay her. But privately she sent my pledges, and put me to shame. When I called her, I heard the secret words which I spoke when lying with her in my drunkenness. 7 I could not slay her, because it was from Yahweh. 8 For I said: Lest haply she did it in subtlety, having received the pledge from another woman. 9 But I did not come near her again while I lived, because I did this abomination in all Israel. Moreover, they who were in the city said there was no harlot in the gate, because she came from another place, and sat for a while in the gate. 10 I thought no one knew I went in to her. 11 After this we came into Egypt to Yahusef, because of the famine. I was forty and six years old, and I lived in Egypt seventy and three years.

13:1 I command you, my children, hearken to Yahudah your father. 2 Keep my sayings to perform all the ordinances of Yahweh, and to obey the commands of Yahweh. Do not walk after your lusts, nor in the imaginations of your thoughts in haughtiness of heart. 3 Do not glory in the deeds and strength of your youth, for this is evil in the eyes of Yahweh. I gloried that in wars no comely woman's face ever enticed me, and reproved Reuben my brother concerning Bilhah, the wife of my father. But the spirits of jealousy and of fornication arrayed themselves against me, until I lay with Bathshua the Canaanite, and Tamar, who was espoused to my sons. I said to my father-in-law: I will take counsel with my father, and so I will take your daughter. 5 He was unwilling, but he showed me a boundless store of gold in his daughter's behalf, for he was a king. He adorned her with gold and pearls, and caused her to pour out wine for us at the feast with the beauty of women. 6 The wine turned aside my eyes, and pleasure blinded my heart. 7 I became enamoured of her, and I lay with her. 8 I transgressed the commandment of Yahweh, and the commandment of my fathers, I took her to wife. Yahweh rewarded me according to the imagination of my heart, inasmuch as I had no joy in her children.

14:1 My children, I say to you, do not be drunk with wine. 2 Wine turns the mind away from the truth, inspires the passion of lust, and leads the eyes into error. The spirit of fornication has wine as a minister to give pleasure to the mind. 3 These two take away the mind of man. If a man drink wine to drunkenness, it disturbs the mind with filthy thoughts leading to fornication, and heats the body to carnal union. 4 If the occasion of the lust be present, he works the sin, and is not ashamed. Such is the inebriated man, my children. 5 He who is drunken reverences no man. Lo, it made me also to err, so that I was not ashamed of the multitude in the city. 6 Before the eyes of all I turned aside to Tamar, and I wrought a great sin, I uncovered the covering of my sons' shame. 7 After I drank wine I did not reverence the commandment of Yahweh, I took a woman of Canaan to wife. 8 The man who drinks wine needs much discretion, my children. Herein is discretion in drinking wine: a man may drink so long as he preserves modesty. If he go beyond this limit the spirit of deceit attacks his mind. It makes the drunkard to talk filthily, to transgress and not be ashamed, but even to glory in his shame, and to account himself honorable.

15:1 He that commits fornication is not aware when he suffers loss, and is not ashamed when put to dishonor. 2 Even though a man is a king, and commit fornication, he is stripped of his kingship by becoming the slave of fornication, as I myself also suffered. 3 I gave my staff, that is, the stay of my tribe; my girdle, that is, my power; and my diadem, that is, the glory of my kingdom. 4 Indeed I repented of these things, wine and flesh I did not eat until my old age, nor did I behold any joy. 5 The malak of Yahweh showed me that women forever bear rule over king and beggar alike. 6 From the king they take away his glory, from the valiant man his might, and from the beggar even that little which is the stay of his poverty.

16:1 My children, observe the night's limit in wine. There are four evil spirits in it: of lust, of hot desire, of profligacy, and of filthy lucre. 2 If you drink wine in gladness, be modest in the fear of Yahweh. If in [your] gladness the fear of Yahweh departs, then drunkenness arises, and shamelessness steals in. 3 If you would live soberly do not touch wine at all, lest you sin in words of outrage, in fightings, slanders, and transgressions of the commandments of Yahweh, and you perish before your time. 4 Moreover, wine reveals the mysteries of Yahweh and men, even as I also revealed the commandments of Yahweh and the mysteries of Yaacob my father to the Canaanitish woman Bathshua, which Yahweh bade me to not reveal. 5 Wine is a cause of both war and confusion.

17:1 I command you, my children, do not love money, nor gaze upon the beauty of women. For the sake of money and beauty I was led astray to Bathshua the Canaanite. 2 I know that because of these two things my race will fall into wickedness. 3 Among my sons they will even mar wise men, and will cause the kingdom of Yahudah to be diminished, which Yahweh gave me because of my obedience to my father. 4 I never caused grief to Yaacob, my father. 5 I did all things whatsoever he commanded. 6 Isaac, the father of my father, blessed me to be king in Israel, and Yaacob further blessed me in like manner. I know that from me the kingdom will be established.

18:1 I know what evils you will do in the last days. 2 Beware, my children, of fornication, and the love of money. Hearken to Yahudah your father. 3 These things withdraw you from the law of Yahweh, blind the inclination of the soul, teach arrogance, and not suffer a man to have compassion upon his neighbor. 4 They rob his soul of all goodness, oppress him with toils and troubles, drive sleep away from him, and devour his flesh. 5 He hinders the sacrifices of Yahweh, does not remember the blessing of Yahweh, does not harken to a prophet when he speaks, and resents the words of righteousness. 6 He is a slave to two contrary passions, and cannot obey Yahweh. They blinded his soul, he walks in the day as in the night.

19:1 My children, the love of money leads to idolatry. When led astray through money, men name as gods those who are not gods, and it causes him who has it to fall into madness. 2 For the sake of money I lost my children. Had my repentance, my humiliation, and the prayers of my father not been accepted, I should have died childless. 3 But the Father of my fathers had mercy on me, because I did it in ignorance. 4 The prince of deceit blinded me, I sinned as a man and as flesh, being corrupted through sins. I learned my own weakness while thinking myself invincible.

20:1 My children, know that two spirits wait upon man: the spirit of truth, and the spirit of deceit. 2 In the midst is the spirit of understanding of the mind, to which it belongs to turn wheresoever it will. 3 The works of truth and the works of deceit are written upon the hearts of men, and Yahweh knows each one of them. 4 There is no time at which the works of men can be hid, for on the heart itself have they been written down before Yahweh. 5 The spirit of truth testifies all things, and accuses all. The sinner is burnt up by his own heart, and cannot raise his face to the judge.

21:1 My children, I command you, love Levi, that you may abide. 2 Do not exalt yourselves against him, lest you be utterly destroyed. 3 Yahweh gave the kingdom to me, and the priesthood to him. He set the kingdom beneath the priesthood. 4 To me He gave the things upon the earth, to him the things in the heavens. As the heaven is higher than the earth, so is the priesthood of Yahweh higher than the earthly kingdom, unless it falls away through sin from Yahweh and is dominated by the earthly kingdom. 5 The malak of Yahweh said to me: Yahweh chose him rather than you, to draw near to Him, to eat of His table, to offer Him the first-fruits of the choice things of the sons of Israel, but you will be king of Yaacob. 6 You will be among them as the sea. As just and unjust are tossed about on the sea, some taken into captivity while some are enriched, so will every race of men be in you. Some will be impoverished, being taken captive, and others grow rich by plundering the possessions of others. 7 The kings will be as sea-monsters. They will swallow men like fishes. They will enslave the sons and daughters of free men. Houses, lands, flocks, and money they will plunder. 8 With the flesh of many they will wrongfully feed the ravens and the cranes. They will advance in evil, in covetousness uplifted. 9 There will be false prophets like tempests, and they will persecute all righteous men.

22:1 Yahweh will bring upon them divisions one against another. There will be continual wars in Israel. 2 Among men of another race my kingdom will be brought to an end, until the salvation of Israel will come, until the appearing of the Master of righteousness, that Yaacob [and all the Gentiles] may rest in peace. 3 He will guard the might of my kingdom forever. Yahweh swore to me with an oath that He would not destroy the kingdom from my seed forever.

23:1 I have much grief, my children, because of your lewdness, witchcrafts, and idolatries which you practise against the kingdom, following those who have familiar spirits, diviners, and demons of error. 2 You make your daughters singing girls and harlots, and you mingle in the abominations of the Gentiles. 3 For which things sake Yahweh will bring upon you famine and pestilence, death and the sword, beleaguering by enemies, revilings by friends, the slaughter of children, the rape of wives, the plundering of possessions, the burning of the temple of Yahweh, the 4 laying waste of the land, and the enslavement of yourselves among the Gentiles. They will make some of you eunuchs for their wives. 5 Yahweh will visit you when you repent and walk in all His commandments with a perfect heart. He will bring you up from captivity among the Gentiles.

24:1 After these things a star will arise in peace to you from Yaacob. A man will arise [from my seed], like the sun of righteousness, walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness. No sin will be found in Him. 2 The heavens will be open to Him, to pour out the spirit, [even] the blessing of the sacred Father. 3 He will pour out the spirit of grace upon you. You will be to Him sons in truth, and you will walk in His commandments first and last. 4 [This Branch of Yahweh Most High, and this Fountain giving life to all.] 5 Then the sceptre of my kingdom will shine forth. 6 From your root will arise a stem, and from it a rod of righteousness will grow to the Gentiles, to judge and to save all who call upon Yahweh.

26:1 After these things Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob will arise to life. 2 I and my brethren will be chiefs of the tribes of Israel: Levi first, I the second, Yahusef third, Benjamin fourth, Simeon fifth, Issachar sixth, and so all in order. Yahweh blessed Levi; the malak of the Presence, me; the powers of glory, Simeon; the heaven, Reuben; the earth, Issachar; the sea, Zebulun; the mountains, Yahusef; the tabernacle, Benjamin; the luminaries, Dan; Eden, Naphtali; the sun, Gad; the moon, Asher. 3 You will be the people of Yahweh, and have one tongue. There will be no spirit of deceit of Beliar there, for he will be cast into the fire forever. 4 Those who died in grief will arise in joy, those who were poor for Yahweh's sake will be made rich, and those who are put to death for Yahweh's sake will awake to life. 5 The harts of Yaacob will run in joyfulness, the eagles of Israel will fly in gladness, and all the people will glorify Yahweh forever.

26:1 Observe all the law of Yahweh, my children, for there is hope for all those who hold fast to His ways. 2 He said to them: Behold, I die before your eyes this day, a hundred and nineteen years old. 3 Let no one bury me in costly apparel, nor tear open my bowels, for those who are kings do that. Carry me up to Hebron with you. 4 When he said these things, Yahudah fell asleep. His sons did according to all whatsoever he commanded them, they buried him in Hebron, with his fathers.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF ISSACHAR, THE FIFTH SON OF YAACOB BY LEAH.

1:1 The copy of the words of Issachar. 2 He called his sons and said to them: Hearken, my children, to Issachar your father. Give ear to the words of him who is beloved of Yahweh. 3 I was born the fifth son to Yaacob, by way of hire for the mandrakes. 4 Reuben my brother brought in mandrakes from the field, and Rachel met him and took them. 5 Reuben wept, and at his voice Leah my mother came forth. 6 These [mandrakes] were sweet-smelling apples which were produced in the land of Haran below a ravine of water. Rachel said: I will not give them to you, they will be to me instead of children. 7 Yahweh despised me, I have not borne children to Yaacob. 8 Now there were two apples. Leah said to Rachel: Let it suffice you that you have taken my husband, will you take these also? 9 Rachel said to her: You will have Yaacob tonight for the mandrakes of your son. 10 Leah said to her: Yaacob is mine, for I am the wife of his youth. Rachel said: Boast not, and do not vaunt yourself. He espoused me before you, and for my sake he served our father fourteen years. 11 Had craft not increased on the earth, and the wickedness of men prospered, you would not see the face of Yaacob now.

2:1 A malak of Yahweh appeared to Yaacob, saying: Rachel will bear two children, inasmuch as she refused company with her husband, and chose continency. 2 Had Leah my mother not paid the two apples for the sake of his company, she would have borne eight sons. 3 For this reason she bore six, and Rachel bore the two: on account of the mandrakes Yahweh visited her. He knew that she wished to company with Yaacob for the sake of children, not for lust of pleasure. On the morrow she again gave up Yaacob. 5 Because of the mandrakes, therefore, Yahweh hearkened to Rachel. Though she desired them, she did not eat them, but offered them in the house of Yahweh, presenting them to the priest of the Most High who was at that time.

3:1 When I grew up, my children, I walked in uprightness of heart. 2 I became a husbandman for my father and my brethren, and I brought in fruits from the field according to their season. 3 My father blessed me, for he saw that I walked in rectitude before him. 4 I was not a busybody in my doings, nor envious and malicious against my neighbor. I never slandered anyone, nor did I censure the life of any man, walking as I did in singleness of eye. 5 I took to myself a wife when I was thirty-five years old. I never thought upon pleasure with women, for my labor wore away my strength. But owing to my toil, sleep overcame me. 6 My father always rejoiced in my rectitude. I offered through the priest to Yahweh all first-fruits, then to my father also. 7 Yahweh increased ten thousandfold His benefits in my hands. 8 Yaacob, my father, knew that Yahweh aided my singleness. On all the poor and oppressed I bestowed the good things of the earth in the singleness of my heart.

4:1 Hearken to me, my children, and walk in singleness of your heart. I see in it all that is well-pleasing to Yahweh. 2 The single[-minded] man does not covet gold, he does not overreach his neighbor, he does not long after manifold dainties, he does not delight in varied apparel. 3 He does not desire to live a long life, but only waits for the will of Yahweh. 4 The spirits of deceit have no power against him, for he does not look on the beauty of women, lest he should pollute his mind with corruption. 5 There is no envy in his thoughts, [no malicious person makes his soul to pine away,] nor worry with insatiable desire in his mind. 6 He walks in singleness of soul, and beholds all things in uprightness of heart, shunning eyes evil through the error of the world, lest he should see the perversion of any of the commandments of Yahweh.

5:1 Keep the law of Yahweh, my children, and get singleness. Walk in guilelessness, not playing the busybody with the business of your neighbor. 2 Love Yahweh and your neighbor, have compassion on the poor and weak. 3 Bow down your back to husbandry, and toil in labors in all manner of husbandry, offering gifts to Yahweh with thanksgiving. 4 With the first-fruits of the earth Yahweh will bless you, even as He blessed all the saints from Abel even until now. 5 No other portion is given to you than of the fatness of the earth, whose fruits are raised by toil. 6 Our father Yaacob blessed me with blessings of the earth, and of first-fruits. 7 Levi and Yahudah were glorified by Yahweh even among the sons of Yaacob. Yahweh gave them an inheritance, to Levi He gave the priesthood, and to Yahudah the kingdom. 8 Obey them, and walk in the singleness of your father [to Gad it was given to destroy the troops that are coming upon Israel].

6:1 My children, know that in the last times your sons will forsake singleness, and will cleave to insatiable desire. They will leave guilelessness, and draw near to malice. Forsaking the commandments of Yahweh, they will cleave to Beliar. 2 Leaving husbandry, they will follow after their own wicked devices. They will be dispersed among the Gentiles, and will serve their enemies. 3 Therefore give these commands to your children, that, if they sin, they may the more quickly return to Yahweh. 4 He is merciful, and will deliver them, even to bring them back into their land.

7:1 Behold, as you see, I am a hundred and twenty-six years old. I am not conscious of committing any sin. 2 Except my wife I have not known any woman. I never committed fornication by the uplifting of my eyes. 3 I do not drink wine to be led astray thereby. I do not covet any desirable thing that is my neighbor's. 4 Guile did not arise in my heart, a lie did not pass through my lips. 5 If any man were in distress I joined my sighs with his, and I shared my bread with the poor. I wrought righteousness, all my days I kept truth. 6 I loved Yahweh, likewise also every man with all my heart. 7 You also do these things, my children, and every spirit of Beliar will flee from you. No deed of wicked men will rule over you. You will subdue every wild beast, since you have with you the Father of heaven and earth. Walk with men in singleness of heart. 8 Having said these things, he commanded his sons that they should carry him up to Hebron, and bury him there in the cave with his fathers. He stretched out his feet and died, at a good old age. With every limb sound, and with strength unabated, he slept the eternal sleep.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF ZEBULUN, THE SIXTH SON OF YAACOB BY LEAH.

1:1 The copy of the words of Zebulun, which he enjoined on his sons before he died in the hundred and fourteenth year of his life, two years after the death of Yahusef. 2 He said to them: Hearken to me, you sons of Zebulun, attend to the words of your father. 3 I, Zebulun, was born a good gift to my parents. When I was born my father was increased very exceedingly, both in flocks and herds, when he had his portion with the streaked rods. 4 I am not conscious that I have sinned all my days, save in thought. 5 Nor yet do I remember that I have done any iniquity, except the sin of ignorance which I committed against Yahusef, I covenanted with my brethren to not tell my father what was done. 6 I wept in secret many days on account of Yahusef, for I feared my brethren, because they all agreed that if any one should declare the secret, he should be slain. 7 When they wished to kill him, I adjured them much with tears to not be guilty of this sin.

2:1 Simeon and Gad came against Yahusef to kill him. 2 With tears he said to them: Pity me, my brethren, have mercy upon the bowels of Yaacob our father. 3 Do not lay your hands upon me to shed innocent blood, for I have not sinned against you. If indeed I sinned, chastise me with chastening, my brethren, but do not lay your hand upon me, for the sake of Yaacob our father. 4 He spoke these words, wailing as he did so. I was unable to bear his lamentations, began to weep, my liver was poured out, and all the substance of my bowels was loosened. 5 I wept with Yahusef. My heart sounded, the joints of my body trembled, and I was not able to stand. 6 When Yahusef saw me weeping with him, and them coming against him to slay him, he fled behind me, beseeching them. 7 But Reuben arose and said: Come, my brethren, let us not slay him, let us cast him into one of these dry pits, which our fathers dug and found no water. 8 For for this cause Yahweh forbade that water should rise up in them, in order that Yahusef would be preserved. They did so, until they sold him to the Ishmaelites.

3:1 I had no share in his price, my children. 2 Simeon, Gad, and six other of our brethren took the price of Yahusef. 3 They bought sandals for themselves, their wives, and their children, saying: We will not eat of it, for it is the price of our brother's blood. But we will assuredly tread it under foot, because he said he would be king over us, and so let us see what will become of his dreams. 4 Therefore it is written in the writing of the law of Moses, that whosoever will not raise up seed to his brother, his sandal should be unloosed, and they should spit in his face. 5 The brethren of Yahusef wished their brother would not live, and Yahweh loosed from them the sandal which they wore against Yahusef their brother. 6 When they came into Egypt they were unloosed by the servants of Yahusef outside the gate, and so they made obeisance to Yahusef after the fashion of King Pharaoh. 7 Not only did they make obeisance to him, but were spit upon also, falling down before him forthwith, and so they were put to shame before the Egyptians. 8 For after this the Egyptians heard all the evils that they did to Yahusef.

4:1 After he was sold my brothers sat down to eat and drink. 2 Through pity for Yahusef I did not eat, but watched the pit, since Yahudah feared lest Simeon, Dan, and Gad should rush off and slay him. 3 When they saw that I did not eat, they set me to watch him, till he was sold to the Ishmaelites. 5 When Reuben came and heard that [Yahusef] was sold while he was away, he rent his garments, [and] mourning, said: How will I look on the face of my father Yaacob? 6 He took the money and ran after the merchants, but he failed to find them, so he returned grieving. The merchants had left the broad road, and marched through the Troglodytes by a short cut. 7 Reuben was grieved, and ate no food that day. 8 Dan came to him and said: Do not weep, nor grieve, for we have found what we can say to our father Yaacob. 9 Let us slay a kid of the goats, and dip in it the coat of Yahusef. 10 Let us send it to Yaacob, saying: Know, is this the coat of your son? 11 And they did so. They stripped his coat off from Yahusef when they were selling him, and put upon him the garment of a slave. Simeon took the coat and would not give it up, he wished to rend it with his sword, as he was angry Yahusef lived, that he had not slain him. 12 We all rose up and said to him: If you do not give up the coat, we will say to our father that you alone did this evil thing in Israel. 13 So he gave it to them, and they did even as Dan said.

5:1 My children, I bid you to keep the commands of Yahweh, to show mercy to your neighbors. Have compassion towards all, not towards men only, but also towards beasts. 2 For all this thing's sake Yahweh blessed me. When all my brethren were sick, I escaped without sickness, for Yahweh knows the purposes of each. 3 Have compassion in your hearts, my children, because even as a man does to his neighbor, even so Yahweh will do to him. 4 The sons of my brethren were sickening and were dying on account of Yahusef, because they did not show mercy in their hearts. 5 My sons were preserved without sickness, as you know. When I was in the land of Canaan, by the sea-coast, I made a catch of fish for Yaacob my father. When many were choked in the sea, I continued unhurt.

6:1 I was the first to make a boat to sail upon the sea, for Yahweh gave me understanding and wisdom therein. 2 I let down a rudder behind it, and I stretched a sail upon another upright piece of wood in the midst. 3 I sailed therein along the shores, catching fish for the house of my father, until we came to Egypt. 4 Through compassion I shared my catch with every stranger. 5 If a man were a stranger, or sick, or aged, I boiled the fish, dressed them well, and offered them to all men, as every man had need, grieving with and having compassion upon them. 6 Yahweh satisfied me with abundance of fish when catching fish, for he who shares with his neighbor receives manifold more from Yahweh. 7 For five years I caught fish and gave thereof to every man whom I saw, and sufficed for all the house of my father. 8 In the summer I caught fish, and in the winter I kept sheep with my brethren.

7:1 (Now I will declare to you what I did. I saw a man in distress through nakedness in winter time, and had compassion upon him. 2 I stole away a garment secretly from my father's house, and gave it to him who was in distress. My children, show compassion and mercy without hesitation to all men from that which Yahweh bestows upon you, give to every man with a good heart. 3 If you do not have the wherewithal to give to him that needs, have compassion for him in bowels of mercy. 4 I know that when my hand did not find the wherewithal to give to him who needed, I walked with him weeping for seven furlongs, and my bowels yearned towards him in compassion.

8:1 My children, have compassion with mercy towards every man, that Yahweh also may have compassion and mercy upon you. 2 In the last days Yahweh will send His compassion on the earth, and wheresoever He finds bowels of mercy He dwells in him. 3 To the degree in which a man has compassion upon his neighbors, in the same degree Yahweh also has upon him.) 4 We went down into Egypt, and Yahusef bore no malice against us. 5 My children, approve yourselves without malice towards Yahusef, and love one another. 6 Do not set down in account, each one of you, evil against his brother. For this breaks unity and divides all kindred, troubles the soul, and wears away the countenance.

9:1 Observe the waters. When they flow together they sweep along stones, trees, earth, and other things. 2 But if they are divided into many streams, the earth swallows them up, and they vanish away. 3 So you also will be if you are divided. 4 Do not be divided into two heads, for everything which Yahweh made has but one head, and two shoulders, two hands, two feet, and all the remaining members. 5 I learned in the writing of my fathers that you will be divided in Israel, you will follow two kings, and will work every abomination. 6 Your enemies will lead you captive, you will be evilly treated among the Gentiles, with many infirmities and tribulations. 7 After these things you will remember Yahweh, and repent, [He will cause you to return], for He is merciful and compassionate. He does not set down in account evil to the sons of men, because they are flesh, and the spirits of deceit deceive them in all their deeds. 8 After these things Yahweh Himself will arise to you, the light of righteousness, [healing and compassion will be in His wings. He will redeem all the captivity of the sons of men from Beliar, every spirit of deceit will be trodden down], and He will bring back all the Gentiles into zeal for Him. You will return to your land. You will see Him in Jerusalem, for His name's sake. 9 Again you will provoke Him to anger through the wickedness of your works, and you will be cast away by Him to the time of consummation.

10:1 My children, do not grieve that I am dying, nor be cast down in that I am coming to my end. 2 I will rise again in the midst of you, as a ruler in the midst of his sons. I will rejoice in the midst of my tribe, as many as will keep the law of Yahweh, and the commandments of Zebulun their father. 3 Yahweh will bring eternal fire upon the unrighteous, and destroy them throughout all generations. 4 I am now hastening away to my rest, as my fathers also did. 5 Fear Yahweh our Father with all your strength, all the days of your life. 6 When he said these things he fell asleep, at a good old age. 7 His sons laid him in a wooden coffin. Afterwards they carried him up and buried him in Hebron, with his fathers.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF DAN, THE SEVENTH SON OF YAACOB BY BILHAH.

1:1 The copy of the words of Dan, which he spoke to his sons in his last days, in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life. 2 He called his family together, and said: Hearken to my words, you sons of Dan. 3 Give heed to the words of your father. I proved in my heart, and in my whole life, that truth with just dealing is good and well pleasing to Yahweh. 4 Lying and anger are evil, because they teach man all wickedness. 5 I confess to you this day, my children, in my heart I resolved on the death of Yahusef my brother, the true and good man. 6 (I rejoiced that he was sold, because his father loved him more than us.) 7 The spirit of jealousy and vainglory said to me: You are his son also. One of the spirits of Beliar stirred me up, saying: Take this sword, and slay Yahusef with it. Your father will love you when he is dead. 8 This is the spirit of anger that persuaded me to crush Yahusef as a leopard crushes a kid. 9 But the Father of my fathers did not suffer him to fall into my hands, so that I should find him alone and slay him, and cause a second tribe to be destroyed in Israel.

2:1 My children, behold, I am dying. I tell you a truth, unless you keep yourselves from the spirit of lying and of anger, and love truth and longsuffering, you will perish. 2 Anger is blindness, and does not suffer one to see the face of any man with truth. 3 Though it be a father or a mother, he behaves towards them as enemies. Though it be a brother, he does not know him. Though it be a prophet of Yahweh, he disobeys him. 4 He does not regard a righteous man, and he does not acknowledge a friend. The spirit of anger encompasses him with the net of deceit, blinds his eyes, darkens his mind through lying, and gives him its own peculiar vision. 5 How does it encompasses his eyes? With hatred of heart, so as to be envious of his brother.

3:1 Anger is an evil thing, my children, it even troubles the soul itself. 2 It makes the body of the angry man its own, it gets the mastery over his soul, and it bestows power upon the body that it may work all iniquity. 3 When the body does all these things, the soul justifies what is done, since it does not see aright. 4 Therefore he that is wrathful, if he be a mighty man, has a threefold power in his anger: one by the help of his servants; a second by his wealth, whereby he persuades and overcomes wrongfully; and thirdly, having his own natural power he works the evil thereby. 5 If the wrathful man is weak, yet he has a twofold power of that which is by nature, for wrath ever aids such in lawlessness. 6 This spirit goes always with lying at the right hand of Satan, that with cruelty and lying his works may be wrought.

4:1 Understand the power of wrath, it is vain. 2 First of all it gives provocation by word, then by deeds it strengthens him who is angry, disturbs his mind with sharp losses, and so stirs up his soul with great wrath. 3 Therefore, when anyone speaks against you, do not be moved to anger. (If any man praises you as sacred men, do not be uplifted, do not be moved either to delight or to disgust). 4 First it pleases the hearing, and so makes the mind keen to perceive the grounds for provocation, then being enraged, he thinks that he is justly angry. 5 If you fall into any loss or ruin, my children, do not be afflicted. 6 This very spirit makes [a man] desire that which is perishable, in order that he may be enraged through the affliction. If you suffer loss voluntarily, or involuntarily, do not be vexed. From vexation arises wrath, with lying. 7 Moreover, a twofold mischief is wrath with lying. They assist one another in order to disturb the heart. When the soul is continually disturbed, Yahweh departs from it, and Beliar rules over it.

5:1 My children, observe the commandments of Yahweh, and keep His law. Depart from wrath, and hate lying, that Yahweh dwell among you and Beliar flee from you. 2 Speak truth each one with his neighbor. So you will not fall into wrath and confusion. You will be in peace, having Yahweh of peace, so no war will prevail over you. 3 Love Yahweh through all your life, and one another, with a true heart. 4 I know that in the last days you will depart from Yahweh, you will provoke Levi to anger, and fight against Yahudah. You will not prevail against them, for a malak of Yahweh will guide them both. By them Israel will stand. 5 Whensoever you depart from Yahweh, you will walk in all evil, work the abominations of the Gentiles, and going a-whoring after women of the lawless ones, while with all wickedness the spirits of wickedness work in you. 6 (I read in the book of Enoch, the righteous, that your prince is Satan, and all the spirits of wickedness and pride will conspire to attend constantly on the sons of Levi, to cause them to sin before Yahweh. 7 My sons will draw near to Levi, and sin with them in all things. The sons of Yahudah will be covetous, plundering other men's goods like lions.) 8 Therefore you will be led away [with them] into captivity, and there you will receive all the plagues of Egypt, all the evils of the Gentiles. 9 When you return to Yahweh you will obtain mercy. He will bring you into His sanctuary, and He will give you peace. 10 There will arise to you from the tribe of [Yahudah and of] Levi the salvation of Yahweh. He will make war against Beliar, and execute an everlasting vengeance on our enemies. 11 He will take the captivity from Beliar [the souls of the saints], turn disobedient hearts to Yahweh, and give to those who call upon Him eternal peace. 12 The saints will rest in Eden, the righteous will rejoice in the New Jerusalem, and it will be to the glory of Yahweh forever. 13 Jerusalem will endure desolation no longer, nor Israel be led captive. Yahweh will be in the midst of it, the sacred One of Israel will reign over it (in humility and in poverty, and he who believes on Him will reign among men in truth).

6:1 Fear Yahweh, my children. Beware of Satan and his spirits. 2 Draw near to Yahweh and to the malak that intercedes for you, for he is a mediator between Yahweh and man. 3 He will stand up against the kingdom of the enemy for the peace of Israel. 4 The enemy is eager to destroy all that call upon Yahweh. He knows that upon the day on which Israel will repent, the kingdom of the enemy will be brought to an end. 5 The very malak of peace will strengthen Israel, that it not fall into the extremity of evil. 6 In the time of the lawlessness of Israel it will be that Yahweh will not depart from them, but will transform them into a nation that does His will, for none of the malaks will be equal to him. 7 His name will be in every place in Israel, and among the Gentiles. 8 My children, keep yourselves from every evil work, cast away wrath and all lying. Love truth and long-suffering. 9 The things which you hear from your father, impart also to your children (that the savior of the Gentiles may receive you, for He is true and long-suffering, meek and lowly, and teaches the law of Yahweh by His works). 10 Depart from all unrighteousness. Cleave to the righteousness of Yahweh, and your race will be saved forever. Bury me near my fathers.

7:1 When he said these things he kissed them, and fell asleep at a good old age. 2 His sons buried him, and after that they carried up his bones, and placed them near Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob. 3 (Nevertheless, Dan prophesied to those they would forget Yahweh, would be alienated from the land of their inheritance, from the race of Israel, and from the family of their seed.)

 

THE TESTAMENT OF NAPHTALI, THE EIGHTH SON OF YAACOB BY BILHAH.

1:1 The copy of the testament of Naphtali, which he ordained at the time of his death in the hundred and thirtieth year of his life. 2 His sons were gathered together in the seventh month, on the first day of the month. 3 While still in good health, he made them a feast of food and wine. 4 After he was awake in the morning, he said to them: I am dying. They did not believe him. 5 As he glorified Yahweh, he grew strong, and said that after yesterday's feast he should die. 6 He began to say: Hear, my children, you sons of Naphtali, hear the words of your father. I was born from Bilhah. 7 Rachel dealt craftily, gave Bilhah in place of herself to Yaacob, she conceived, and bore me upon Rachel's knees, therefore she called my name Naphtali. 8 Rachel loved me very much because I was born upon her lap. When I was still young she was wont to kiss me, and say: May I have a brother of yours from my own womb, like to you. 9 So Yahusef was like to me in all things, according to the prayers of Rachel. 10 My mother was Bilhah, daughter of Rotheus the brother of Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, who was born on one and the self-same day with Rachel. 11 Rotheus was of the family of Abraham, a Chaldean, Yahweh-fearing, free-born, and noble. He was taken captive, and was bought by Laban. 12 He gave him Euna his handmaid to wife, she bore a daughter, and called her name Zilpah, after the name of the village in which he was taken captive. Next she bore Bilhah, saying: My daughter hastens after what is new, as soon as she was born she seized the breast and hastened to suck it.

2:1 I was swift on my feet like the deer, and my father Yaacob appointed me for all messages. 2 As a deer he gave me his blessing. 3 As the potter knows the vessel, how much it is to contain, and brings clay accordingly, so also Yahweh makes the body after the likeness of the spirit, according to the capacity of the body He implants the spirit. 4 The one does not fall short of the other by a third part of a hair. All the creation was made by weight, measure, and rule. As the potter knows the use of each vessel, what it is meet for, so Yahweh knows the body, how far it will persist in goodness, and when it begins in evil. 5 There is no inclination or thought which Yahweh does not know, for He created every man after His own image. 6 As a man's strength, so also is his work. As his mind, so also is his skill. As his purpose, so also is his achievement. As his heart, so also is his mouth. As his eye, so also is his sleep. As his soul, so also is his word, either in the law of Yahweh or in the works of Beliar. 7 As there is a division between light and darkness, between seeing and hearing, so also there is a division between man and man, and between woman and woman. 8 It is not to be said that the one is like the other either in face or in mind. Yahweh made all good things in their order, the five senses in the head. He joined the neck to the head, adding to it the hair also for comeliness and glory, then the heart for understanding, the belly for excrement, the stomach for [grinding], the windpipe for taking in [the breath], the liver for wrath, the gall for bitterness, the spleen for laughter, the reins for prudence, the muscles of the loins for power, the lungs for drawing in, the loins for strength, and so forth. 9 My children, let all your works be done in order with good intent in the fear of Yahweh, do nothing disorderly in scorn or out of its due season. 10 If you bid the eye to hear, it cannot, so neither while you are in darkness can you do the works of light.

3:1 Do not be eager to corrupt your doings through covetousness, or with vain words to beguile your souls. 2 If you keep silence in purity of heart, you will understand how to hold fast the will of Yahweh, and to cast away the will of Beliar. 3 Sun, moon, and stars do not change their order, so you also do not change the law of Yahweh in the disorderliness of your doings. 4 The Gentiles went astray, forsook Yahweh, changed their order, and obeyed stocks and stones, spirits of deceit. You will not be so, my children. Recognize Yahweh who made all things in the firmament, in the earth, in the sea, and in all created things. 5 Do not become as Sodom, which changed the order of nature. In like manner the Watchers also changed the order of their nature, whom Yahweh cursed at the flood, on whose account He made the earth without inhabitants, and fruitless.

4:1 These things I say to you, my children, for I read in the writing of Enoch that you yourselves will depart from Yahweh, walking according to all the lawlessness of the Gentiles. 2 You will do according to all the wickedness of Sodom. Yahweh will bring captivity upon you, and there you will serve your enemies. 3 You will be bowed down with every affliction and tribulation, until Yahweh has consumed you all. 4 After you become diminished and made few, you will return and acknowledge Yahweh your Father. He will bring you back into your land, according to His abundant mercy. 5 It will be, after they come into the land of their fathers, they will forget Yahweh again, and become unrighteous. Yahweh will scatter them upon the face of all the earth, until the Compassion of Yahweh will come, a man working righteousness and working mercy to all those who are afar off, and to those who are near.

5:1 In the fortieth year of my life, I saw a vision on the Mount of Olives, on the east of Jerusalem, that the sun and the moon were standing still. 2 Behold, Isaac, the father of my father, said to us; Run and lay hold of them, each one according to his strength. 3 The sun and moon will belong to him who seizes them. We all of us ran together. Levi laid hold of the sun, Yahudah outstripped the others and seized the moon, and they were both of them lifted up with them. 4 When Levi became as a sun, lo, a certain young man gave to him twelve branches of palm. 5 Yahudah was bright as the moon, and under their feet were twelve rays. 6 (The two, Levi and Yahudah, ran, and laid hold of them.) 10 A bull was upon the earth, with two great horns, and eagle's wings upon its back. We wished to seize him, but could not. 7 But Yahusef came, seized him, and ascended up with him on high. 8 I saw, for I was there, and behold a sacred writing appeared to us, saying: Assyrians, Medes, Persians, [Chaldeans,] and Syrians, will possess in captivity the twelve tribes of Israel.

6:1 After seven days, I saw our father Yaacob standing by the sea of Jamnia, and we were with him. 2 Behold, there came a ship sailing by, without sailors or pilot. 3 There was written upon the ship, The Ship of Yaacob. Our father said to us: Come, let us embark on our ship. 4 When he went on board, there arose a vehement storm, a mighty tempest of wind. 5 Our father, who was holding the helm, departed from us. Being tossed with the tempest, we were borne along over the sea. 6 The ship filled with water, [and was] pounded by mighty waves, until it broke up. Yahusef fled away upon a little boat, and we were all divided upon nine planks. 7 Levi and Yahudah were together. We were all scattered to the ends of the earth. 8 Then Levi, girt about with sackcloth, prayed for us all to Yahweh. When the storm ceased, the ship reached the land as it were in peace. 9 Our father came, and we all rejoiced with one accord.

7:1 These two dreams I told to my father. He said to me: These things must be fulfilled in their season, after Israel endures many things. 2 Then my father said to me: I believe Yahweh that Yahusef lives, for I see always that Yahweh numbers him with you. 3 Weeping, he said: Ah me, my son Yahusef, you live, though I do not behold you, and you do not see Yaacob who begat you. 4 He caused me also, therefore, to weep by these words. I burned in my heart to declare that Yahusef was sold, but I feared my brethren.

8:1 Lo! My children, I have shown to you the last times, how everything will come to pass in Israel. 2 Charge your children that they be united to Levi and to Yahudah, for through them Salvation will arise to Israel, and in them Yaacob will be blessed. 3 Through their tribes Yahweh will appear [dwelling among men] on earth, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from among the Gentiles. 4 If you work that which is good, my children, both men and malaks will bless you. Yahweh will be glorified among the Gentiles through you, the devil will flee from you, the wild beasts will fear you, Yahweh will love you, (and the malaks will cleave to you). 5 A man who has trained a child well is kept in kindly remembrance, so also there is a good remembrance before Yahweh for a good work. 6 Both malaks and men will curse he who does that which is not good. Yahweh will be dishonored among the Gentiles through him, the devil will make him as his own peculiar instrument, every wild beast will master him, and Yahweh will hate him. 7 The commandments of the law are twofold, and through prudence they must be fulfilled. 8 There is a season for a man to embrace his wife, and a season to abstain therefrom for his prayer. 9 So there are two commandments, unless they be done in due order, they bring very great sin upon men. 10 So also is it with the other commandments. Be wise in Yahweh, my children, and prudent, understanding the order of His commandments, and the laws of every word, that Yahweh may love you.

9:1 When he charged them with many such words, he exhorted them that they should remove his bones to Hebron, that they should bury him with his fathers. 2 When he ate and drank with a merry heart, he covered his face, and died. 3 His sons did according to all that Naphtali their father commanded them.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF GAD THE NINTH SON OF YAACOB BY ZILPAH.

1:1 The copy of the testament of Gad, what things he spoke to his sons, in the hundred and twenty fifth year of his life, saying to them: Hearken, my children, I was the ninth son born to Yaacob. 2 I was valiant in keeping the flocks. 3 I guarded the flock at night. Whenever the lion, or the wolf, or any wild beast, came against the fold, I pursued it. 4 Overtaking [it] I seized its foot with my hand, hurled it about a stone's throw, and so killed it. Yahusef my brother was feeding the flock with us for upwards of thirty days. 5 Being young, he fell sick by reason of the heat. He returned to Hebron to our father, who made him lie down near him, because he loved him greatly. 6 Yahusef told our father that the sons of Zilpah and Bilhah were slaying the best of the flock and eating them against the judgement of Reuben and Yahudah. 7 He saw me deliver a lamb out of the mouth of a bear, and put the bear to death. 8 We killed the lamb, being grieved concerning it that it could not live, and we ate it. 9 Regarding this matter I was wroth with Yahusef until the day he was sold, the spirit of hatred was in me. I wished to not hear Yahusef with the ears, or see him with the eyes, because he rebuked us to our faces saying that we were eating of the flock without Yahudah. Whatsoever things he told our father, he believed him.

2:1 I confess now my sin, my children, that oftentimes I wished to kill him, because I hated him from my heart. 2 I hated him yet more for his dreams. I wished to lick him out of the land of the living, even as an ox licks up the grass of the field. 3 Therefore I and Simeon sold him to the Ishmaelites (for thirty pieces of gold, ten of them we hid, and showed the twenty to our brethren) 4 Through covetousness we were bent on slaying him. 5 The Father of my fathers delivered him from my hands, that I should not work lawlessness in Israel.

3:1 My children, hearken to the words of truth. Work righteousness, and all the law of the Most High. Do not go astray through the spirit of hatred, for it is evil in all the doings of men. 2 Whatsoever a man does, the hater abominates him. Though a man works the law of Yahweh, he does not praise him. Though a man fears Yahweh, and takes pleasure in that which is righteous, he does not love him. 3 He dispraises the truth, he envys him who prospers, he welcomes evil-speaking, he loves arrogance, hatred blinds his soul, as I also looked on Yahusef then.

4:1 Beware of hatred, my children, for it works lawlessness against even Yahweh Himself. 2 It will not hear the words of His commandments concerning the loving of one's neighbor, and it sins against Yahweh. 3 If a brother stumble, it delights immediately to proclaim it to all men, is urgent that he should be judged for it, be punished, and be put to death. 4 If it is a servant it stirs him up against his master, and with every affliction it devises against him if possibly he can be put to death. 5 Hatred works with envy against those who prosper. So long as it hears of or sees their success, it always languishes. 6 As love would quicken even the dead, and would call back those who are condemned to die, so hatred would slay the living, and those who sinned venially it would not suffer to live. 7 The spirit of hatred works together with Satan, through hastiness of spirit, in all things to men's death. The spirit of love works together with the law of Yahweh in long-suffering to the salvation of men.

5:1 Hatred is evil, it constantly mates with lying, speaking against the truth. It makes small things to be great, causes the light to be darkness, calls the sweet bitter, teaches slander, kindles wrath, stirs up war, violence, and all covetousness. 2 It fills the heart with evils and devilish poison. I say these things to you from experience, my children, that you may drive forth hatred, which is of the devil, and cleave to the love of Yahweh. 3 Righteousness casts out hatred, humility destroys envy. 4 He who is just and humble is ashamed to do what is unjust, being reproved not of another, but of his own heart, because Yahweh looks on his inclination. He does not speak against a sacred man, because the fear of Yahweh overcomes hatred. 5 Fearing lest he should offend Yahweh, he will not do wrong to any man, even in thought. 6 These things I learned at last, after I repented concerning Yahusef. 8 True repentance after a righteous sort [destroys ignorance,] drives away the darkness, enlightens the eyes, gives knowledge to the soul, and leads the mind to salvation. 9 Those things which it did not learn from man, it knows through repentance. 10 Yahweh brought upon me a disease of the liver. Had the prayers of Yaacob my father not succoured me, it would have caused my spirit to depart. By what things a man transgresses, by the same he is punished. 11 Since my liver was set mercilessly against Yahusef, in my liver I suffered mercilessly, and was judged for eleven months, for so long a time as I was angry against Yahusef.

6:1 My children, I exhort you, love each one his brother. Put away hatred from your hearts, love one another in deed, in word, and in the inclination of the soul. 2 In the presence of my father I spoke peaceably to Yahusef, when I went out, the spirit of hatred darkened my mind, and stirred up my soul to slay him. 3 Therefore, love one another from the heart. If a man sin against you, cast forth the poison of hate, speak peaceably to him, and do not hold guile in your soul. If he confess and repent, forgive him. 4 If he deny it, do not get into a passion with him, lest catching the poison from you he take to swearing, and so you sin doubly. 5 (Do not let another man hear your secrets when engaged in legal strife, lest he come to hate you, become your enemy, and commit a great sin against you. Oftentimes he addresses you guilefully or busys himself about you with wicked intent.) 6 Though he deny it and yet have a sense of shame when reproved, give over reproving him. 7 He who denies may repent, so as to not wrong you again. Yea, he may also honor you, and [fear and] be at peace with you. If he is shameless and persists in his wrong-doing, even so forgive him from the heart, and leave to Yahweh the avenging.

7:1 If a man prospers more than you, do not be vexed, but pray also for him, that he may have perfect prosperity. 2 For so it is expedient for you. If he be exalted further, do not be envious of him, remembering that all flesh will die. 3 Offer praise to Yahweh, who gives things good and profitable to all men. Seek out the judgments of Yahweh, your mind will rest, and be at peace. 4 Though a man become rich by evil means, even as Esau, the brother of my father, do not be jealous, wait for the end of Yahweh. 5 If he takes away [from a man] wealth gotten by evil means, He forgives him if he repent, but the unrepentant is reserved for eternal punishment. 6 If free from envy the poor man pleases Yahweh in all things, and is blessed beyond all men, because he does not have the travail of vain men. 7 Put away jealousy from your souls, and love one another with uprightness of heart.

8:1 Tell these things to your children, that they honor Yahudah and Levi, for from them Yahweh will raise up Salvation to Israel. 2 (I know that at the last your children will depart from Him, and will walk in all wickedness, affliction, and corruption before Yahweh.) 3 When he rested for a little while, he said again; My children, obey your father, and bury me near to my fathers. 4 He drew up his feet, and fell asleep in peace. After five years they carried him up to Hebron, and laid him with his fathers.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF ASHER, THE TENTH SON OF YAACOB BY ZILPAH.

1:1 The copy of the Testament of Asher, what things he spoke to his sons in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life. 2 While he was still in health, he said to them: Hearken, you children of Asher, to your father. I declare to you all that is upright in the sight of Yahweh. 3 Two ways Yahweh gives to the sons of men, and two inclinations, and two kinds of action, and two modes [of action], and two issues. 4 All things are by twos, one over against [opposite] the other. 5 There are two ways of good and evil, and with these are the two inclinations in our breasts discriminating them. 6 If the soul take pleasure in the good [inclination], all its actions are in righteousness. 7 If it sin it straightway repents. For, having its thoughts set upon righteousness, and casting away wickedness, it straightway overthrows the evil, and uproots the sin. 8 If it incline to the evil inclination, all its actions are in wickedness. It drives away the good, cleaves to the evil, and is ruled by Beliar. 9 Even though it work what is good, he perverts it to evil. Whenever it begins to do good, he forces the issue of the action into evil for him, seeing that the treasure of the inclination is filled with an evil spirit.

2:1 A person might help the good with words for the sake of the evil, yet the issue of the action leads to mischief. 2 There is a man who shows no compassion upon him who serves his turn in evil. 3 This thing has two aspects, but the whole is evil. There is a man who loves him who works evil, because he would prefer even to die in evil for his sake. Concerning this it is clear that it has two aspects, but the whole is an evil work. 4 Though indeed he has love, yet he who conceals what is evil for the sake of the good name is wicked, the end of the action tends to evil. 5 Another steals, does unjustly, plunders, defrauds, and withal pities the poor. 6 This too has a twofold aspect, but the whole is evil. He who defrauds his neighbor provokes Yahweh, and swears falsely against the Most High, yet pities the poor. 7 He sets at nought and provokes Yahweh who commands the law, and yet he refreshes the poor. He defiles the soul, and makes gay the body. He kills many, and pities a few. 8 This, too, has a twofold aspect, but the whole is evil. Another commits adultery and fornication, and abstains from meats, and when he fasts he does evil. By the power of his wealth he overwhelms many, and notwithstanding his excessive wickedness he does the commandments. 9 This, too, has a twofold aspect, but the whole is evil. 10 Such men are hares. Clean, like those that divide the hoof, but in very deed are unclean. Yahweh thus declared in the tables of the commandments.

3:1 My children, do not wear two faces like to them, of goodness and of wickedness. 2 Cleave to goodness only, for Yahweh has his habitation therein, and men desire it. Flee away from wickedness, destroying the [evil] inclination by your good works. Those who are double-faced do not serve Yahweh, but their own lusts, so that they may please Beliar and men like to themselves.

4:1 Good men, even those who are of single face, though they be thought to sin by those who are double faced, are just before Yahweh. 2 In killing the wicked many do two works, of good and evil. 3 The whole is good, because he uprooted and destroyed that which is evil. One man hates the merciful and unjust man, and the man who commits adultery and fasts. 4 This has a two fold aspect, but the whole work is good, because he follows Yahweh's example, in that he does not accept the seeming good as the genuine good. Another does not desire to see a good day with those who riot, lest he defile his body and pollute his soul. This is double-faced, but the whole is good. 5 Such men are like to stags and to hinds, because in the manner of wild animals they seem to be unclean, but they are altogether clean. They walk in zeal for Yahweh, and abstain from what Yahweh also hates and forbids by His commandments, warding off the evil from the good.

5:1 My children, you see there are two in all things, one against the other. 2 And the one is hidden by the other: in wealth [is hidden] covetousness, in conviviality drunkenness, in laughter grief, in wedlock profligacy. 3 Death succeeds to life, dishonor to glory, night to day, darkness to light (all things are under the day, just things under life, unjust things under death), wherefore also eternal life awaits death. 4 Nor may it be said that truth is a lie, nor right wrong. All truth is under the light, even as all things are under Yahweh. I proved all these things in my life, and I did not wander from the truth of Yahweh. I searched out the commandments of the Most High, walking according to all my strength with singleness of face to that which is good.

6:1 Take heed, my children, to the commandments of Yahweh, follow the truth with singleness of face. 2 Those who are double-faced are guilty of a twofold sin. 3 They do the evil thing, and they have pleasure in those who do it, following the example of the spirits of deceit, and striving against mankind. My children, keep the law of Yahweh, do not give heed to evil as to good. 4 Look to the thing that is really good, and keep it in all commandments of Yahweh, having your conversation therein, and resting therein. 5 The latter ends of men show their righteousness [or unrighteousness], when they meet the malaks of Yahweh and of Satan. When the soul departs troubled, it is tormented by the evil spirit which it served in lusts and evil works. 6 But if he is peaceful with joy he meets the malak of peace, and he leads him into eternal life.

7:1 My children, do not become as Sodom, which sinned against the malaks of Yahweh, and perished forever. 2 I know that you will sin, be delivered into the hands of your enemies, your land will be made desolate, your sacred places destroyed, and you will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. 3 You will be set at nought in the dispersion, vanishing away as water. Until the Most High will visit the earth, coming Himself as man, with men eating and drinking, and breaking the head of the dragon in the water. 4 He will save Israel and all the Gentiles (Yahweh speaking in the person of man). My children, tell these things to your children, that they not disobey Him. 5 I know you will assuredly be disobedient, and assuredly act unrighteous, not giving heed to the law of Yahweh, but to the commandments of men, being corrupted through wickedness. 6 Therefore you will be scattered as Gad and Dan my brethren, you will not know your lands, tribe, and tongue. 7 Yahweh will gather you together in faith through His tender mercy, and for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob.

8:1 When he said these things to them he commanded them, saying: Bury me in Hebron. 2 He fell asleep and died at a good old age. His sons did as he commanded them, they carried him up to Hebron, and buried him with his fathers.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF YAHUSEF, THE ELEVENTH SON OF YAACOB BY RACHEL.

1:1 The copy of the Testament of Yahusef. 2 When he was about to die he called his sons and his brethren together, and said to them: My brethren and my children. Hearken to Yahusef the beloved of Israel [and the king of Egypt]. Give ear, my sons, to your father. 3 I saw in my life envy and death, yet I did not go astray. I persevered in the truth of Yahweh. 4 These my brethren hated me, but Yahweh loved me. They wished to slay me, but the Father of my fathers guarded me. They let me down into a pit, and the Most High brought me up again. 5 I was sold into slavery, and the Father of all made me free. I was taken into captivity, and His strong hand succoured me. I was beset with hunger, and Yahweh Himself nourished me. 6 I was alone, and Yahweh comforted me. I was sick, and Yahweh visited me. I was in prison, and Yahweh showed favor to me. In bonds, and He released me. 7 Slandered, and He pleaded my cause. Bitterly spoken against by the Egyptians, and He delivered me. Envied by my fellow-slaves, and He exalted me.

2:1 This chief captain of Pharaoh entrusted his house to me. I struggled against a shameless woman, urging me to transgress with her. 3 The Father of Israel my father delivered me from the burning flame. I was cast into prison, I was beaten, I was mocked, but Yahweh granted me to find mercy in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 4 Yahweh does not forsake those who fear Him, neither in darkness, nor in bonds, nor in tribulations, nor in necessities. 5 Yahweh is not put to shame as a man, nor as the son of man is He afraid, nor as one that is earth-born is He [weak or] affrighted. 6 In all those things He gives protection, and in diverse ways He comforts, (though) for a little space He departs to try the inclination of the soul. 7 In ten temptations He showed me approved, and in all of them I endured. Endurance is a mighty charm, and patience gives many good things.

3:1 How often did the Egyptian woman threaten me with death! How often did she give me over to punishment, and then call me back and threaten me. 2 When I was unwilling to company with her, she said to me: You will be lord of me, and all that is in my house. 3 If you give yourself to me, you will be as our master. 4 But I remembered the words of my father, and going into my chamber, I wept and prayed to Yahweh. I fasted in those seven years, I appeared to the Egyptians as one living delicately, for those who fast for Yahweh's sake receive beauty of face. 5 If my lord were away from home, I drank no wine, nor did I take my food for three days, but I gave it to the poor and sick. 6 I sought Yahweh early, and I wept for the Egyptian woman of Memphis. Very unceasingly she troubled me, also at night she came to me under pretence of visiting me. 7 Because she had no male child she pretended to regard me as a son, so I prayed to Yahweh, and she bore a male child. 8 For a time she embraced me as a son, and I did not know it. 9 Later, she sought to draw me into fornication. I sorrowed to death when I perceived it. When she went out, I came to myself, and lamented for her many days, because I recognized her guile, and her deceit. 10 I declared to her the words of the Most High, if haply she would turn from her evil lust.

4:1 Often she flattered me with words as a sacred man, and in her talk guilefully praise my chastity before her husband, while desiring to ensnare me when we were alone. 2 She lauded me openly as chaste, and in secret she said to me: Do not fear my husband, he is persuaded concerning your chastity. 3 Even if one should tell him concerning us, he would not believe. Owing to all these things I lay upon the ground, and besought Yahweh that Yahweh would deliver me from her deceit. 4 When she prevailed nothing thereby, she came again to me under the plea of instruction, that she might learn the word of Yahweh. 5 She said to me: If you will that I should leave my idols, lie with me. 6 I will persuade my husband to depart from his idols, and we will walk in the law of Yahweh. 7 I said to her: Yahweh does not will that those who reverence Him should be in uncleanness, nor does He take pleasure in those who commit adultery, but in those that approach Him with a pure heart and undefiled lips. 8 She held her peace, longing to accomplish her evil desire. I gave myself yet more to fasting and prayer, that Yahweh might deliver me from her.

5:1 At another time she said to me: If you will not commit adultery, I will kill my husband by poison, and take you to be my husband. 2 When I heard this, I rent my garments, and said to her: Woman, reverence Yahweh. Do not do this evil deed, lest you be destroyed. 3 For know indeed that I will declare this your device to all men. 4 Being afraid, she besought that I would not declare this device. She departed, soothing me with gifts, and sending to me every delight of the sons of men.

6:1 Afterwards she sent me food mingled with enchantments. 2 When the eunuch who brought it came, I looked up and beheld a terrible man giving me a sword with the dish, and I perceived that [her] scheme was to beguile me. 3 When he went out I wept, nor did I taste that or any other of her food. 4 So one day she came to me, observed the food, and said to me: Why is it that you have not eaten of the food? 5 I said to her: It is because you filled it with deadly enchantments. 6 Why do you say: I do not come near idols, but to Yahweh alone. Know that the Father of my father revealed your wickedness to me by His malak, I kept it to convict you, if haply you may see and repent. 7 But that you may learn that the wickedness of the unrighteous has no power over those who worship Yahweh with chastity, behold, I will take of it, and eat before you. Having so said, I prayed thus: The Father of my fathers, and the malak of Abraham, be with me. And I ate. 8 When she saw this she fell upon her face at my feet, weeping. I raised her up and admonished her. She promised to not do this iniquity anymore.

7:1 But her heart was still set upon evil, and she looked around how to ensnare me. Sighing deeply she became downcast, though she was not sick. 2 When her husband saw her, he said to her: Why is your countenance fallen? She said to him: I have a pain at my heart, and the groanings of my spirit oppress me. 3 So he comforted her who was not sick. Seizing an opportunity, she rushed to me while her husband was yet without, and said to me: I will hang myself, or cast myself over a cliff, if you will not lie with me. 4 When I saw the spirit of Beliar was troubling her, I prayed to Yahweh, and said to her: Why, wretched woman, are you troubled, disturbed, and blinded through sins? 5 Remember that if you kill yourself, Asteho, the concubine of your husband, your rival, will beat your children, and you will destroy your memorial from off the earth. 6 She said to me: Lo, then you love me. Let this suffice me, strive for my life and my children, and I expect that I will enjoy my desire also. 7 But she did not know that because of my lord I spoke thus, and not because of her. 8 If a man falls before the passion of a wicked desire and becomes enslaved by it, even as she, whatever good thing he may hear with regard to that passion, he receives it with a view to his wicked desire.

8:1 I declare to you, my children, it was about the sixth hour when she departed from me. 2 I knelt before Yahweh all day, and all the night. About dawn I rose up, weeping the while, praying for a release from her. At last she laid hold of my garments, forcibly dragging me to have connexion with her. 3 When I saw that she was holding fast to my garment in her madness, I left it behind, and fled away naked. 4 Holding fast to the garment she falsely accused me, and when her husband came he cast me into prison in his house. On the morrow he scourged me and sent me into Pharaoh's prison. 5 When I was in bonds, the Egyptian woman was oppressed with grief. She came and heard how I gave thanks to Yahweh, sang praises in the abode of darkness, and rejoiced with glad voice, glorifying Yahweh that I was delivered from the lustful desire of the Egyptian woman.

9:1 Often she sent to me saying: Consent to fulfill my desire, and I will release you from your bonds, I will free you from the darkness. 2 Not even in thought did I incline to her. Yahweh loves him who combines fasting with chastity in a den of wickedness, rather than the man who combines luxury with licence in kings' chambers. 3 If a man lives in chastity, and also desires glory, and the Most High knows that it is expedient for him, He bestows this upon me. 4 How often, though she were sick, did she come down to me at unlooked for times, and listened to my voice as I prayed! 5 When I heard her groanings I held my peace. When I was in her house she was wont to bare her arms, breasts, and legs, that I might lie with her. She was very beautiful, splendidly adorned in order to beguile me. Yahweh guarded me from her devices.

10:1 My children, you see what great things patience works, and prayer with fasting. 2 If you follow after chastity and purity with patience and prayer, with fasting in humility of heart, Yahweh will dwell among you, because He loves chastity. 3 Wheresoever the Most High dwells, even though envy, or slavery, or slander befalls [a man], Yahweh who dwells in him, for the sake of his chastity not only delivers him from evil, but also exalts him even as me. 4 In every way the man is lifted up, whether in deed, in word, or in thought. 5 My brethren knew how my father loved me, and yet I did not exalt myself in my mind. 6 Although I was a child, I had the fear of Yahweh in my heart. I knew that all things would pass away. I did not raise myself [against them] with evil intent, but I honored my brethren. Out of respect for them, even when I was being sold, I refrained from telling the Ishmaelites that I was a son of Yaacob, a great man and a mighty.

11:1 My children, have the fear of Yahweh in all your works before your eyes, and honor your brethren. 2 Everyone who does the law of Yahweh will be loved by Him. When I came to the Indocolpitae with the Ishmaelites, they asked me, saying: Are you a slave? 3 I said that I was a home-born slave, that I might not put my brethren to shame. The eldest of them said to me: You are not a slave, your appearance makes it manifest. 4 I said that I was their slave. Now when we came into Egypt they strove concerning me, which of them should buy me and take me. 5 Therefore it seemed good to all that I should remain in Egypt with the merchant of their trade, until they should return bringing merchandise. 6 Yahweh gave me favor in the eyes of the merchant, and he entrusted his house to me. 7 Yahweh blessed him by my means, and increased him in gold, silver, and in household servants. 8 I was with him three months and five days.

12:1 About that time the Memphian woman, the wife of Pentephri, came down in a chariot, with great pomp, because she heard from her eunuchs concerning me. 2 She told her husband the merchant became rich by means of a young Hebrew, and they say that he had assuredly been stolen out of the land of Canaan. 3 Now render justice to him, and take away the youth to your house. The Father of the Hebrews will bless you, for grace from heaven is upon him.

13:1 Pentephris was persuaded by her words, commanded the merchant to be brought, and said to him: What is this I hear concerning you, that you steal persons out of the land of Canaan, and sell them for slaves? 2 The merchant fell at his feet, and besought him, saying: I beseech you, my lord, I do not know what you say. 3 Pentephris said to him: Where, then, is the Hebrew slave? He said: The Ishmaelites entrusted him to me until they return. 4 He did not believe him, but commanded him to be stripped and beaten. 5 When he persisted in this statement, Pentephris said: Let the youth be brought. 6 When I was brought in, I did obeisance to Pentephris (for he was third in rank of the officers of Pharaoh). 7 He took me apart from him, and said to me: Are you a slave, or free? I said: A slave. 8 And he said: Whose? And I said: The Ishmaelites. And he said: How did you become their slave? 9 And I said: They bought me out of the land of Canaan. And he said to me: Truly you lie. Straightaway he commanded me to be stripped and beaten.

14:1 Now the Memphian woman was looking through a window at me while I was being beaten, for her house was near, and she sent to him saying: Your judgment is unjust. 2 You punish a free man who was stolen, as though he were a transgressor. 3 When I made no change in my statement, though I was beaten, he ordered me to be imprisoned, until, he said, the owners of the boy should come. 4 The woman said to her husband: Wherefore do you detain the captive, well-born lad in bonds, who ought rather to be set at liberty, and be waited upon? 5 She wished to see me out of a desire of sin, but I was ignorant concerning all these things. He said to her: It is not the custom of the Egyptians to take that which belongs to others before proof is given. 6 This he said concerning the merchant, but as for the lad, he must be imprisoned.

15:1 Now the Ishmaelites came after four and twenty days, they heard that Yaacob my father was mourning much concerning me. 2 They came and said to me: How is it that you said you were a slave? 3 Lo, we learned that you are the son of a mighty man in the land of Canaan, and your father still mourns for you in sackcloth and ashes. When I heard this my bowels were dissolved, my heart melted, and I desired greatly to weep, but I restrained myself, that I should not put my brethren to shame. I said to them: I do not know, I am a slave. 4 Then they took counsel to sell me, that I should not be found in their hands. 5 They feared my father, lest he [should come and] execute upon them a grievous vengeance. 6 They heard that he was mighty with Yahweh and with men. 7 Then the merchant said to them: Release me from the judgment of Pentiphri. They came and requested me, saying: Say that you were bought by us with money, and he will set us free.

16:1 Now the Memphian woman said to her husband: Buy the youth, I hear they are selling him. 2 Straightaway she sent a eunuch to the Ishmaelites, and asked them to sell me. 3 The eunuch would not agree to buy me [at their price], having made trial of them he returned, and he made known to his mistress that they asked a large price for their slave. 4 She sent another eunuch, saying: Even though they demand two minas, give them, do not spare the gold. Buy the boy, and bring him to me. 5 The eunuch went and gave them eighty pieces of gold, and he received me. But to the Egyptian woman he said: I gave a hundred. 6 Though I knew [this] I held my peace, lest the eunuch should be put to shame.

17:1 My children, you see what great things I endured that I should not put my brethren to shame. 2 You also love one another, and with long-suffering hide one another's faults. 3 Yahweh delights in the unity of brethren, and in the purpose of a heart that takes pleasure in love. 4 When my brethren came into Egypt they learned that I returned their money to them, did not upbraid them, and comforted them. 5 After the death of Yaacob my father I loved them more abundantly. 6 All things whatsoever he commanded I did very abundantly for them, I did not allow them to be afflicted in the smallest matter. 7 I gave to them all that was in my hand. Their children were my children, and my children as their servants. 8 Their life was my life, all their suffering was my suffering, and all their sickness was my infirmity. My land was their land, and their counsel my counsel. I did not exalt myself among them in arrogance because of my worldly glory, but I was among them as one of the least.

18:1 My children, if you walk in the commandments of Yahweh, He will exalt you, and will bless you with good things for ever and ever. 2 If any one seeks to do evil to you, do well to him, pray for him, and you will be redeemed of Yahweh from all evil. 3 Behold, you see that out of my humility and long-suffering I took to wife the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis. 4 A hundred talents of gold were given to me with her, and Yahweh made them serve me. He gave me beauty as a flower beyond the beautiful ones of Israel. He preserved me in strength and in beauty to old age, because I was like in all things to Yaacob.

19:1 Hear my vision which I saw. 2 I saw twelve harts feeding. Nine of them were dispersed. Now the three were preserved, but on the following day they were dispersed also. 3 I saw that the three harts became three lambs. They cried to Yahweh, and He brought them forth into a flourishing and well watered place. Yea He brought them out of darkness into light. 4 They cried to Yahweh until the nine harts gathered together to them, and they became as twelve sheep, and after a little time they increased and became many flocks. 5 After these things I saw and behold, twelve bulls were sucking one cow, which produced a sea of milk, and there drank thereof the twelve flocks and innumerable herds. 6 The horns of the fourth bull went up to heaven and became as a wall for the flocks, and in the midst of the two horns there grew another horn. 7 I saw a bull calf which surrounded them twelve times, and it became a help to the bulls wholly. 8 I saw in the midst of the horns a virgin (wearing a many-colored garment, and from her) went forth a lamb. On his right (was as it were a lion). All the beasts and all the reptiles rushed [against him], but the lamb overcame them and destroyed them. 9 The bulls rejoiced because of him, and the cow [and the harts] exulted together with them. 10 These things must come to pass in their season. 11 My children, observe the commandments of Yahweh, and honor Levi and Yahudah. From them will arise to you (the Lamb of Yahweh, who takes away the sin of the world) one who saves [all the Gentiles and] Israel. 12 His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which will not pass away. My kingdom among you will come to an end as a watcher's hammock, which after the summer disappears.

20:1 I know after my death the Egyptians will afflict you, but Yahweh will avenge you, and will bring you into that which He promised to your fathers. 2 You will carry up my bones with you. When my bones are being taken up there, Yahweh will be with you in light, and Beliar will be in darkness with the Egyptians. 3 Carry up Asenath your mother to the Hippodrome, and bury her near Rachel your mother. 4 When he said these things he stretched out his feet, and died at a good old age. All Israel mourned for him, and all Egypt, with a great mourning. 6 When the children of Israel went out of Egypt, they took the bones of Yahusef with them, and they buried him in Hebron with his fathers. The years of his life were one hundred and ten years.

 

THE TESTAMENT OF BENJAMIN, THE TWELFTH SON OF YAACOB BY RACHEL

1:1 The copy of the words of Benjamin, which he commanded his sons to observe, after he lived a hundred and twenty-five years. 2 He kissed them, and said: As Isaac was born to Abraham in his old age, so also was I to Yaacob. 3 Since Rachel my mother died in giving me birth, I had no milk. 4 I was suckled by Bilhah her handmaid. Rachel remained barren for twelve years after she bore Yahusef. 5 She prayed to Yahweh with fasting twelve days, then she conceived, and bore me. My father loved Rachel dearly, and prayed that he might see two sons born from her. 6 Therefore I was called Benjamin (that is, a son of days).

2:1 When I went into Egypt, to Yahusef, my brother recognized me. 2 He said to me: What did they tell my father when they sold me? I said to him: They dabbled your coat with blood, sent it, and said; Know whether this is your son's coat. 3 Yahusef said to me: Even so, brother, the Canaanite merchants stole me by force, and it came to pass that as they went on their way they concealed my garment, as though a wild beast had met me and slain me. 4 So his associates sold me to the Ishmaelites. 5 They did not lie in saying this. 6 He wished to conceal from me the deeds of my brethren. 7 He called to him his brethren and said: Do not tell my father what you did to me, but tell him as I told Benjamin. 8 Let the thoughts among you be such, do not let these things come to the heart of my father.

3:1 My children, love Yahweh, Father of heaven and earth, and keep His commandments. Follow the example of the good and sacred man Yahusef. 2 Let your mind be to good, even as you know me. 3 He who has his mind right sees all things rightly. Fear Yahweh, and love your neighbor. 4 Even though the spirits of Beliar claim you to afflict you with every evil, yet they will not have dominion over you, even as they did not have dominion over Yahusef my brother. How many men wished to slay him, and Yahweh shielded him! 5 He who fears Yahweh and loves his neighbor cannot be smitten by the spirit of Beliar, being shielded by the fear of Yahweh. Nor can he be ruled over by the device of men or beasts, for he is helped by Yahweh through the love which he has towards his neighbor. 6 Yahusef also besought our father that he would pray for his brethren, that Yahweh would not impute to them as sin whatever evil they did to him. 7 Thus Yaacob cried out: My good child, you prevailed over the bowels of your father Yaacob. 8 He embraced him, and kissed him for two hours, saying: In you the prophecy of heaven will be fulfilled (concerning the Lamb of Yahweh, savior of the world). A blameless one will be delivered up for lawless men, and a sinless one will die for unrighteous men (in the blood of the covenant, for the salvation of the Gentiles and of Israel, and will destroy Beliar and his servants).

4:1 My children, see the end of the good man? 2 Be followers of his compassion, with a good mind, that you may wear crowns of glory. 3 The good man does not have a dark eye, he shows mercy to all men, even though they are sinners. Though they devise with evil intent concerning him, by doing good he overcomes evil, being shielded by Yahweh. 4 He loves the righteous as his own soul. If anyone is glorified, he does not envy him; if anyone is enriched, he is not jealous; if anyone is valiant, he praises him; he lauds the virtuous man; on the poor man he has mercy; on the weak he has compassion; to Yahweh he sings praises. 5 As for him who has the fear of Yahweh, He protects him as with a shield. He helps him who loves Yahweh, he admonishes and turns back him who rejects the Most High, and he loves as his own soul him that has the grace of a good spirit.

5:1 If you have a good mind, then both wicked men will be at peace with you, and the profligate will reverence you and turn to good. 2 The covetous will not only cease from their inordinate desire, but even give the objects of their covetousness to those who are afflicted. 3 If you do well, even the unclean spirits will flee from you, and the beasts will dread you. Were there is reverence for good works and light in the mind, even darkness flees away from him. 4 If anyone does violence to a sacred man, he repents. The sacred man is merciful to his reviler, and holds his peace. 5 If anyone betrays a righteous man, the righteous man prays. Though he be humbled for a little, yet not long after he appears far more glorious, as Yahusef my brother was.

6:1 The inclination of the good man is not in the power of the deceit of the spirit of Beliar, for the malak of peace guides his soul. 2 He does not gaze passionately upon corruptible things, nor gather together riches through a desire of pleasure. 3 He does not delight in pleasure, [he grieves for his neighbor], he does not sate himself with luxuries, he does not err in the uplifting of the eyes. 4 Yahweh is his portion. The good inclination does not receive glory nor dishonor from men. It does not know any guile, or lie, or fighting, or reviling, for Yahweh dwells in him and lights up his soul, and he rejoices towards all men always. 5 The good mind does not have two tongues, of blessing and of cursing, of contumely and of honor, of sorrow and of joy, of quietness and of confusion, of hypocrisy and of truth, [of poverty and of wealth]. 6 It has one disposition, uncorrupt and pure, concerning all men. 7 It has no double sight, nor double hearing. In everything which he does, or speaks, or sees, he knows that Yahweh looks on his soul. He cleanses his mind that he may not be condemned by men as well as by Yahweh. In like manner the works of Beliar are twofold, and there is no singleness in them.

7:1 My children, I tell you, flee the malice of Beliar. He gives a sword to those who obey him. 2 The sword is the mother of seven evils. The mind conceives through Beliar: first there is bloodshed; secondly ruin; thirdly, tribulation; fourthly, exile; fifthly, dearth; sixthly, panic; seventhly, destruction. 3 Cain was also delivered over to seven vengeances by Yahweh, in every hundred years Yahweh brought one plague upon him. 4 When he was two hundred years old he began to suffer, and in the nine-hundredth year he was destroyed. On account of Abel, his brother, with all the evils he was judged, but Lamech with seventy times seven. 5 Because forever those who are like Cain in envy and hatred of brethren, will be punished with the same judgment.

8:1 My children, flee evil-doing, envy, and hatred of brethren. 2 Cleave to goodness and love. He that has a pure mind in love, does not look after a woman with a view to fornication. He has no defilement in his heart, because the Spirit of Yahweh rests upon him. 3 The sun is not defiled by shining on dung and mire, but rather dries up both, and drives away the evil smell. So also the pure mind, though encompassed by the defilements of earth, rather cleanses [them] and is not itself defiled.

9:1 I believe there will be evil-doings among you, from the words of Enoch the righteous. You will commit fornication with the fornication of Sodom, and will perish, all save a few, and will renew wanton deeds with women. The kingdom of Yahweh will not be among you, for He will take it away. 2 Nevertheless the temple of Yahweh will be in your portion, and the last [temple] will be more glorious than the first. 3 The twelve tribes will be gathered together there, and all the Gentiles, until the Most High will send forth His salvation in the visitation of an only begotten prophet. 4 (He will enter into the [first] temple, and there Yahweh will be treated with outrage, and He will be lifted up upon a tree. The veil of the temple will be rent, and the Spirit of Yahweh will pass on to the Gentiles as fire poured forth. 5 He will ascend from Hades, and will pass from earth into heaven. I know how lowly He will be upon earth, and how glorious in heaven.)

10:1 When Yahusef was in Egypt, I longed to see his figure and the form of his countenance. Through the prayers of Yaacob my father I saw him, while awake in the daytime, even his entire figure exactly as he was. 2 When he said these things, he said to them: My children, know that I am dying. 3 Do truth and righteousness each one to his neighbor, and judgment to confirmation. Keep the law of Yahweh and His commandments. 4 These things I leave you instead of inheritance. 5 You also give them to your children for an everlasting possession. For so did Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob. 6 All these things they gave us for an inheritance, saying: Keep the commandments of Yahweh, until Yahweh will reveal His salvation to all Gentiles. Then you will see Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob, rising on the right hand in gladness. 7 Then we will also rise, each one over our tribe, worshipping the King of heaven, (who appears upon earth in the form of a man in humility. 8 As many as believe on Him on the earth will rejoice with Him). Then all men will rise, some to glory and some to shame. 9 Yahweh will judge Israel first, for their unrighteousness (for when He appears as Yahweh in the flesh to deliver them they do not believe Him). 10 Then He will judge all the Gentiles, (as many as do not believe Him when He appears upon earth). He will convict Israel through the chosen ones of the Gentiles, even as He reproved Esau through the Midianites, who deceived their brethren (so that they fell into fornication, and idolatry, and they were alienated from Yahweh), becoming therefore children in the portion of those who fear Yahweh. 11 My children, walk in holiness according to the commandments of Yahweh, you will again dwell securely with me, and all Israel will be gathered to Yahweh.

11:1 I will not be called a ravening wolf on account of your ravages, but [a worker of Yahweh, distributing food to those who work what is good. 2 And there will rise up from my seed in the latter times one] beloved of Yahweh, [hearing upon the earth His voice] and a doer of the good pleasure of His will, enlightening with new knowledge all the Gentiles, even the light of knowledge, bursting in upon Israel for salvation and tearing away from them like a wolf, and giving to the synagogue of the Gentiles. 3 Until the consummation of the age He will be in the synagogues of the Gentiles, and among their rulers, as a strain of music in the mouth of all. 4 He will be inscribed in the sacred books, both His work and His word, and He will be a chosen one of Yahweh forever. 5 Through them He will go to and fro as Yaacob my father, saying: He will fill up that which lacks of your tribe.

12:1 When he finished his words, he said: I command you, my children, carry up my bones out of Egypt, and bury me at Hebron, near my fathers. 2 So Benjamin died a hundred and twenty-five years old, at a good old age, and they placed him in a coffin. 3 In the ninety-first year from the entrance of the children of Israel into Egypt, they and their brethren brought up the bones of their fathers secretly during the Canaanitish war. They buried them in Hebron, by the feet of their fathers. 4 They returned from the land of Canaan and dwelt in Egypt until the day of their departure from the land of Egypt.







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-- Yahchanan --
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Fear Yahweh - judgment day is coming!!