TESTAMENTS   TO INDEX

OF THE SONS OF JACOB

       Chapter 1

      TESTAMENT OF REUBEN

1.  The copy of the testament of Reuben, the commandments which he gave his sons before he died in the 125th year of his life, two years after the death of his brother Joseph.

2.  When Reuben fell ill his sons and his son's sons gathered to visit him, and he said to them; "I am dying my children, going the way of my fathers".

3.  And seeing Judah there and Gad and Asher, he said to them "Raise me up that I may pronounce the things I have hidden in my heart, for now at length I am passing away".

4.  And he kissed them and said; "Hear my brothers and you my children give ear to Reuben your father in the command, which I gave you.

5.  I call the God of heaven to witness this day that you walk not in the sins your youth, nor in the fornication wherein I was caught defiling the bed of my father Jacob.

6.  For I tell you that He smote me with a sore plague in my loins for seven months, and had not my father Jacob prayed for me to the Lord, the Lord would have destroyed me.

7.  I was thirty years old when I did this evil thing before the Lord, and for seven months I was sick unto death, after this I repented with the determination of my soul for seven years before the Lord.

8.  I did not drink wine nor strong drink, nor did flesh enter my mouth, nor pleasant food, but I mourned over my sin, for it was great, such as never had been done in Israel.

9.  And now hear my children what things I saw concerning the seven spirits of deceit during the time when I repented, for seven spirits are appointed against man, and they are leaders in the deeds of youth.

10.  And seven other spirits are given him at his creation that through them should be done every work of man.

11.  The first spirit is the spirit of life with which the constitution of man is created; the second is the sense of sight with which comes desire.

12.  The third is the sense of hearing with which comes teaching, the fourth then is of smell with which taste are given to draw air and breath.

13.  The fifth is the power of speech with which comes knowledge, the sixth is the sense of taste with which comes the eating of meats and drinks, and by it strength is produced, for in food is the foundation of strength.

14.  The seventh is the power of pro-creation of sexual intercourse with which through love of pleasure sin enters in.

15.  Wherefore it is the last in the order of creation but the first in that of youth, for it is filled with ignorance, and leads the youth as a blind man to a pit, and as a beast to a cliff.

16.  Besides these there is an eight spirit of sleep with which is brought about the trance of nature, and the image of death.

17.  With these spirits then is mingled the spirits of error, the spirit of fornication is seated in the nature and in the senses.

18.  The second is of insatiability in the belly, the third of fighting in the liver and gall, the fourth is a spirit of flattery and trickery in the efforts of which one seeks to appear more than what he is.

19.  The fifth is of pride, which may be boastful and arrogant; the sixth is of lying, which is in damnation and jealousy to practice deceit and concealment from kindred and friends.

20.  The seventh is of injustice, with which are theft and crooked dealings that a man may fulfill the desires of his heart, for injustice works together with the other spirits in taking bribes.

21.  And with these the spirit of sleep is joined, which is that of error and fantasy.

22.  And so every young man is destroyed darkening his mind from the truth, not understanding the law of God, nor obeying the admonitions of his fathers, as it was with me in my youth.

Admonition against fornication

23.  And now my children love the truth and it will preserve you, give heed to the words of your father Reuben.

24.  Do not devote your attentions to a woman's looks, nor associate with another man's wife, nor meddle with the affairs of womankind.

25.  For if I had not seen Bildah bathing in a covered place, I would not have fallen in this great iniquity, for my mind taking in the thought of a woman's nakedness did not suffer me to sleep until I had committed the revolting act.

26.  For while Jacob our father had gone to Isaac his father, when we were in Eder near to Ephrath in Bethlehem, Bildah became drunk and was asleep uncovered in her chamber.

27.  Having therefore gone in, and I beheld her nakedness; I committed the impiety without her perceiving it.

28.  Pay therefore no heed my children to the beauty of woman, nor set your mind on their affairs, but walk in singleness of heart, in the fear of the Lord.

29.  Spend your labors on good works, on study, and on your flocks until the Lord gives you a wife as He wills that you do not suffer as I did.

30.  For until the death of my father I did not have the boldness to look him in the face, or to speak to my brothers because of the reproach.

31.  Even till now my conscience causes me anguish on account of my impiety, and yet my father comforted me much, and prayed for me to the Lord that His anger might pass from me, as the Lord also did.  And from that time on I have been on my guard and sinned not.

32.  Therefore my children I say to you, observe all things that I command you, and you shall not sin, for as a pit to the soul is the sin of fornication.

33.  It separates from God and brings him to idols, for it deceives the mind and understanding, and leads young men to hell before their time.

34.  Many have been destroyed by fornication, for though a man be old or noble, rich or poor, he brings reproach on himself by men, and derision with the devil.

35.  For you have heard regarding Joseph how he guarded himself from a woman, his thoughts from all fornication, and found favor in the sight of God and man.

36.  For the Egyptian woman did many things to him, and summoned magicians and offered him love potions, but the purpose of his soul admitted no evil desire.

37.  The God of our fathers therefore delivered him from every evil and hidden death, for if fornication does not overcome the mind, neither can the devil.

38.  For women are evil my children, and since they have no power or strength over men they use their wiles by outward attraction that they may draw him to themselves.

39.  In their heart they plot against men, and by means of their beauty they first deceive their minds, instilling poison by the glances of their eyes, then by performing the act - take them prisoner.

40.  For a woman cannot force a man openly, but by a whore's cunning she beguiles him.

41.  Flee therefore from fornication my children, and command your daughters and wives that they do not adorn their heads and faces to deceive the mind, for every woman who uses these wiles has been reserved for eternal punishment.

42.  For thus they allured the watchers before the flood, for as they continually beheld them, they lusted after them, and conceiving the act in their mind they changed themselves into the shape of men, appearing to them as they were with their husbands.

43.  And the women in their minds lusted after them, for these watchers appeared them as reaching into heaven, and they gave birth to giants.

44.  Beware therefore of fornication, and if you desire to be pure in mind guard your senses from every woman, and command the women likewise not to associate with men, that they also may be pure of mind.

45.  For recurring chance meeting, though the ungodly act itself is not committed, is to them an incurable disease, and to us a destruction by the devil, and an eternal reproach.

46.  For in fornication there is neither understanding nor Godliness, and all jealousy dwells in the lust thereof.

Submission to Levi and Judah

47.  And I say to you, you will be jealous of the sons of Levi, seeking to be exalted over them, but you shall not be able to.

48.  For God will avenge them, and you shall die an evil death, for God gave to Levi the sovereignty, and to Judah with him, and to me also, and to Dan and Joseph, that we should be rulers.

49.  I command you therefore to listen to Levi, for he shall know the law of the Lord, and give ordinances for judgment.  And he shall sacrifice for all Israel until the consummation of time; he is the anointed high priest of which the Lord spoke.

50.  I adjure you by the God of heaven to keep truth each one with his neighbor, and to have love each one for his brother.

51.  And draw near to Levi in humility of heart that you may receive a blessing of his mouth, for he shall bless Israel and Judah, for the Lord chose him to be king over all the nations.

52.  Bow before his prosperity, for his seed will die on our behalf in wars both visible and invisible, and he will be among you an eternal king.

53.  And Reuben died having given these commands to his sons, and they placed him in a coffin until they carried him up from Egypt and buried him in Hebron, in the cave of his father.

 

       Chapter 2

       TESTAMENT OF SIMEON

      The copy of the words of Simeon that which he spoke to his sons before he died in the 120th year of his life, at the time when Joseph his brother also died.

1.  Simeon then was sick, and his sons came to visit him, and he strengthened himself to sit up, and having kissed them he said;

2.  "Listen my children to Simeon your father, and I will declare to you the things I have in my heart.

3.  I was born of Jacob my father as his second son, my mother Leah calling me Simeon, because the Lord had heard her prayer.

4.  And I became very strong, and drew not back from achieving anything, nor was I afraid of anything, for my heart was hard and my liver firm, and my bowels without compassion.

5.  For valor is given from God to men in soul and body, and in my youth I was jealous in many things of Joseph, for my father loved him more than all.

6.  And I set my mind to destroy him, for the prince of deceit sent a spirit of jealousy blinding my mind that I did not regard him as a brother, nor did I spare even my father Jacob.

7.  But his God, the God of my fatherís sent His angel and delivered him from my hand, for when I went to Shechem to bring ointment for the flocks, and Reuben having gone to Dothan to our stores of supplies, Judah sold him to the Ishmalites.

8.  And Reuben hearing this was grieved, for he wished to restore him to his father, but I on hearing it was angry with Judah that he let him go alive, and for five months I continued to be angry with him.

9.  But the Lord restrained me, withholding me from the power of my hands, for my right hand was half withered for seven days.

      Simeon warns against envy

10.  And I my children, I knew that this had befallen me because of Joseph, and I wept and repented, asking the Lord that my right hand may be restored, and that I might hold aloof from all pollution and envy, and of all folly.

11.  For I knew that I had devised an evil thing before the Lord and before Jacob my father on account of Joseph my brother, in envying him.

12.  And now my children listen to me, and beware of the spirit of deceit and of envy, for envy rules the whole mind of a man not suffering him to eat or drink, or to do any good thing.

13.  For it keeps suggesting to destroy the object of envy for as long as he that is envied flourishes, and he that envy's is languishes.

14.  I afflicted my soul for two years with fasting in the fear of the Lord, learning that deliverance from envy comes by the fear of God.

15.  For if a man flee to the Lord the evil spirit runs away from him, and his mind is eased, and from then on he has compassion on those he envied, forgiving those who were hostile to him.

16.  And my father, seeing me sad, inquired, but I said that I was pained in my liver, for I grieved more than any because I was guilty of the sale of Joseph.

17.  And when we went to Egypt and he bound me as a spy I knew I was suffering justly, and grieved not.  But Joseph was a good man having the Spirit of God in him, being compassionate and pitiful, he bore no malice against me, but loved me as the rest of his brothers.

18.  Watch out therefore my children for all jealousy and envy, and walk in singleness of heart, that God may give you grace and glory and blessings on your head, just as you have seen in the case of Joseph.

19.  For he did not reproach us in all his days regarding this thing, but loved us as his own soul, and glorified us beyond his own sons, giving us riches, cattle, and fruits.

20.  Do then likewise my children, love each one his brother with a good heart so that the spirit of envy will withdraw from you, for again, that attitude makes the soul savage, and destroys the body.

21.  It causes anger and war in the mind, stirring up to blood, and leads the mind into a frenzy causing tumults to the soul, and trembling in the body.

22.  For even during sleep jealousy gnaws, his soul disturbed by wicked spirits, and the trouble in his body awakening him in confusion, for like a poisonous spirit - so it appears to men.

23.  And because no wickedness dwelt in Joseph, there was comeliness in his appearance, for the troubled spirit manifests itself in one's face.

24.  Make therefore your hearts good before the Lord my children, and your ways straight before men, and you shall find grace both by God and man.

25.  Watch out for fornication, for it is the mother of all evils, separating one from God, and bringing him near to Satan.

26.  For I have seen it written in the books of Enoch, that your sons shall be corrupted in fornication, and will harm the sons of Levi with the sword.

27.  But they shall not be able to stand against Levi, for he shall wage the war of the Lord, and conquer all your host.

28.  And for leadership, there shall be few in number, principally of Levi and Judah, and none of you, as also our father prophesied in his blessings.

29.  Behold, I have told you all things, that I may be acquitted of your sins.  If you remove from you envy and rebellion, then my bones shall flourish as a rose in Israel, and my flesh as a lily in Jacob, and my odor shall be as the odor of Libanus, and as cedars shall holy ones be multiplied of me forever, and their branches reach afar.

30.  Then the seed of Canaan shall be destroyed, nor will there be a remnant to Amalek, and all Cappadicians shall perish, and Hittites be utterly destroyed.

31.  Then the land of Ham shall fail, and its people perish, and all the earth under heaven shall rest from trouble and from war.

32.  Then, the Mighty One of Israel shall glorify Shem, for the Lord God shall appear on the earth and Himself save men.

33.  Then shall all the spirits of deceit be given to be trotted under foot, with men ruling over wicked spirits.

34.  Then shall I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High for His marvelous works, for God has taken a body and eaten with men, and saved men.

35.  And now my children, obey Levi and Judah, lift not yourself against these two tribes, for from them shall arise to you the salvation of God.

36.  For the Lord shall raise up from Levi as it were a High priest, and from Judah as it were a King, God and Man, and He shall save the Gentiles and the race of Israel.

37.  I give you these commandments that you may again command your children for them to observe them through their generations.

38.  And when Simeon had made an end of commanding his sons, he slept with his fathers being 120 years old, and they laid him in a wooden coffin to take his bones to Hebron.

39.  And they took him up secretly during a war of the Egyptians, for the bones of Joseph were guarded by the Egyptians in the tombs of the kings.

40.  Because, sorcerers had told them that on the departure of the bones of Joseph there would be darkness and gloom throughout all the land, and a very great plague to the Egyptians, so that even with a lamp a man would not recognize his brother.

41.  And the sons of Simeon bewailed their father.

 

        Chapter 3

     TESTAMENT OF LEVI

1.  The copy of the words of Levi, the things which he ordained to his children in all that they should do, and what things will come to them till the day of judgment.

2.  Levi now was sound in health when he called his sons to him, for it had been revealed to him that he should die.

3.  And when they were gathered together he said to them; "I Levi was born in Haran and came with my father to Shechem.

4.  When I was young, about 20 years of age, when with Simeon I took vengeance on Hamor for our sister Dinah, I was tending the flocks at Abel-Maul when a Spirit of understanding of the Lord came on me.

5.  And I saw all men corrupting their way, sin had build walls for itself, and lawlessness sat upon towers, and as I was grieving for the race of the sons of men, I prayed to the Lord that I might be saved. 

      The vision of the heavens.

6.  Then I fell asleep, and I beheld a high mountain, and I was upon it, and the heavens were opened, and an angel of the Lord said to me; "Levi, enter".

7.  And I entered the first heaven where I saw a great sea suspended, and further down I saw a second heaven far brighter, more brilliant in boundless measure.

8.  And I said to the angel; "Why is this so?"  And he replied; "Marvel not at this for you shall see another heaven more brilliant and incomparable.

9.  And when you have come there, you shall stand near the Lord and be His minister declaring His mysteries to men, and proclaim concerning Him who is to redeem Israel.

10.  And by you and by Judah the Lord shall appear among men saving every race of men, and your life shall be from the portion of the Lord, He shall be your field, your vineyard, your fruit, your gold and your silver.

11.  Hear therefore regarding the heavens, which have been shown to you, the lowest appears gloomy to you since it beholds all the unrighteous deeds of men.

12.  Which has fire snow and ice ready for the day of judgment in the righteous judgment of God, for in it are all the spirits of retribution for vengeance on men.

13.  And in the second are the host of the armies ordained for the day of judgment to bring vengeance on the spirits of deceit, and of Beliar.

14.  And above them are the holy ones, while in the highest of all dwells the Great Glory, far above all holiness.

15.  There with Him are the archangels who minister making appropriations to the Lord for all the sins of ignorance of the righteous, offering to the Lord a sweet smelling savor, a reasonable and bloodless offering.

16.  And in the heaven below this are the angels who answer to the angels of the presence of the Lord, and with them are thrones and dominions in which they continually offer praises to God.

17.  When therefore the Lord looks upon us, we all tremble, yea, the heavens, the earth, and the abyss are shaken at the presence of His majesty.

18.  But the sons of men have no perception of these things, and they sin and provoke the Most High.

19.  Know therefore that the Lord shall execute judgment on the sons of man.  For when the stones are split, the sun is quenched, the waters dried-up, and the fire brought down, when all creation is troubled, invisible spirits melting away, and hell taking spoils by the visitation of the Most High, then men will be unbelieving, and persist in their iniquity.

20.  Therefore, they will be judged with punishment, and the Most High has heard your prayer to separate you from iniquity, that you may become a son to Him, and a servant and minister of His presence.

21.  You shall light knowledge in Jacob, and be to all the seed of Israel as the Sun, and blessings shall be given to you and your seed until the Lord shall visit all Gentiles forever.

22.  To you therefore is given counsel and understanding that you may instruct your sons concerning this, for they that bless Him shall be blessed, and they that curse Him shall perish.

23.  Then the angel opened to me the gates of heaven, and I saw the holy temple, and the Most High on His throne of glory.

24.  And He said to me; Levi I have given you the blessings of the priesthood until I come to live in the midst of Israel.

        Levi ordered to destroy Shechem.

25.  Then the angel brought me down to earth, and gave me a shield and sword, and said to me; "Execute vengeance on Shechem because of Dinah your sister, and I will be with you, for the Lord has sent me".

26.  And I destroyed all the sons of Hamor as it is written in the heavenly tablets.  And I said to the angel; "I pray Thee O Lord tell me Thy name that I may call on Thee in the day of my tribulation."

27.  And he said to me; "I am the angel who intercedes for the nation of Israel that they may not be smitten, for every evil spirit attacks it."

28.  After these things I awoke and blessed the Most High and the angel who intercedes for the nation of Israel and for all the righteous.

29.  And when I was going to my father, I found a brazen shield by the mountain Aspis, which is near Gebal to the south of Abila.

30.  And I kept these words in my heart, and afterwards counseled my father and Reuben to bid the sons of Hamor not to be circumcised, for I was zealous for the abomination which they had done on my sister.

31.   And I first slew Shechem, while Simeon slew Hamor, and we smote that city with the edge of the sword, thereafter our brothers came.

32.  And my father hearing these things was angry and grieved in that they had received the circumcision and afterwards had been put to death, and in his blessings he looked amiss on us.

33.  For in his eyes we sinned, having done this thing against his will.  And he was sick on that day, but I saw the sentence of God, which was for evil on Shechem.  For they thought to do to Sarah and Rebecca as they had done to Dinah our sister, but the Lord prevented them.

34.  And they persecuted Abraham our father when he was a stranger, vexing his flocks when they were with young, and they treated Eblaen, who was born in this house, most shamefully.

35.  And thus they did to all strangers, taking their wives by force and banishing them, but the wrath of the Lord came on them to the uttermost.

36.  And I said to my father Jacob; by you will the Lord despoil the Canaanites, and give their land to you and your seed after you.

37.  For from this day forward Shechem shall be called a city of imbeciles, for as a fool is mocked, so we mocked them, and also because they wrought a folly in Israel by defiling our sister.

 

        Chapter 4

       Vision of the priesthood.

1.  Then we departed and came to Bethel, and having been there 70 days I saw again a vision as the former, I saw seven men in white raiment saying to me;

2.  "Arise put on the robe of the priesthood and the crown of righteousness, and the breastplate of understanding, the garment of truth, the plate of faith, the turban of the head, and the Ephod of prophesy."

3.  And they severally carried these things, and placing them on me said from henceforth become a priest of the Lord you and your seed forever.

4.  The first anointed me with holy oil, and gave me a staff of judgment.  The second washed me with pure water, and fed me with bread and holy wine, and dressed me with a holy and most glorious robe.

5.  The third clothed me with the linen vestment like an Ephod, the fourth put a purple girdle around me, the fifth game me a branch of rich olive, and the sixth placed a crown on my head.

6.  And the seventh put on my head a diadem of priesthood, and filled my hands with incense that I might serve as priest to the Lord God, and he said to me;

7.  "Levi, your seed shall be divided into three offices for a sign of the glory of the Lord who is to come, the first portion shall be great, and none shall be greater.

8.  The second shall be in the priesthood, and the third shall be called by a new name, for a King shall arise in Judah and establish a new priesthood as a model to all Gentile nations.

9.  And His presence shall be beloved as a prophet of the Most High of the seed of Abraham your father, every desirable thing therefore shall be for you and your seed.

10.  You shall eat everything good to behold, and your portion shall be the table of the Lord, and some of them shall be high priests and judges and scribes, for by your mouth shall the holy place be guarded."

11.  And when I awoke I understood that this dream was like the first dream, and this also I hid in my heart, and did not tell it to any man on earth.

         Levi confirmed as priest.

12.  And after two years Judah and I went up with our father Jacob to Isaac, and he blessed me according to all the words of the vision which I had seen, but he would not come with us to Bethel.

13.  And when we came to Bethel my father saw a vision concerning me that I should be their priest to God, and he rose up early in the morning and paid tithes of all things to the Lord by me.

          Isaac instructs Levi.

14.  After this we came to Hebron to live there, and Isaac called me continually to put me in remembrance of the law of the Lord, just as the angel of the Lord also showed me.

15.  He taught me the law of the priesthood of sacrifices, whole burnt offerings, first fruits, free will, and peace offerings.

16.  Each day he instructed me making himself busy on my behalf before the Lord and saying to me; Beware of the spirit of fornication, for this shall continue, for by this your seed will pollute the holy place.

17.  Take therefore to yourself a wife without blemish or pollution while you are yet young, and not of the race of strange nations.

18.  And before entering the holy place wash yourself, and when you offer sacrifices wash yourself, and again at the completion.

19.  And offer to the Lord of twelve trees having green leaves as also Abraham taught, and of every clean beast and bird offer a sacrifice to the Lord.

20.  And of all your first fruits, and of wine offer the first as a sacrifice to the Lord God, and salted every sacrifice with salt.

21.  Observe therefore all that I command you children, for whatever I have heard from my fathers I have declared to you.

22.   And behold, I am clear from your ungodliness and transgressions, which you shall commit in the end of the ages against the Savior of the world, acting ungodly, deceiving Israel, and stirring great evils from the Lord up against it.

23.  For you will deal lawlessly together with Israel so that He will not bear with you for your wickedness, but the vale of the temple shall be rent so as not to cover your shame.

24.  And you shall be scattered and be captives among Gentiles, and be there for a curse and reproach, for the house which the Lord shall choose shall be called Jerusalem - as it is written in the book of Enoch the righteous.

        The sons of Levi.

25.   I therefore took a wife when I was 28 years old, her name Melcha, and she conceived and bore a son, and I called his name Gersam, for we were sojourners in our land.

26.  And concerning him I saw that he would not be first in rank, and Kohath was born in the 35th year of my life towards sunrise, and I saw in a vision that he was standing on high in the midst of all the congregation.

27.  Therefore did I call him Kohath, meaning; Beginning of majesty and instruction.

28.  And she bore me a third son in the 40th year of my life, and since she bore him with difficulty, I called him Merari, meaning, My bitterness, for he also was almost to die.

29.  And Jochebed was born in Egypt in my 64th year, for then I was renowned in the midst of my brothers.

30.  And Gersam took a wife and she bore him Lomni and Semei, and the sons of Kohath were Ambram, Issachar, Hebron, and Ozeel, and the sons of Merari, Mooli, and Moses.

31.  And in the 94th year Ambram took Jochebed my daughter to him for wife, for they were born in the same day, he, and my daughter.

32.  I was 8 years old when I came in the land of Canaan, and 18 years old when I slew Shechem, and at 19 I became priest, and at 28 took a wife, and at 48 went to Egypt.

33.  And Joseph died in my 118th year, and you my children, you are a third generation.

 

       Chapter 5

       Instructions to keep the law.

1.  And now my children I command you, Fear the Lord your God with your whole heart, and walk in simplicity according to all His law.

2.  And teach your children letters (to read) that they may have understanding all their life reading the law continually.

3.  For everyone who knows the law of the Lord shall be honored, and not be a stranger wheresoever he goes.

4.  He shall indeed gain friends more than his parents, and many will desire to serve him, to hear the law of his mouth.

5.  Keep therefore righteousness on the earth my children that you may have a treasure in heaven, sow good things in your soul that you may find them in your life.

6.  For if you shall sow evil things you shall reap trouble and affliction, obtain thus wisdom in the fear of God with all diligence.

7.  For though you be led in captivity, and your land and cities be destroyed, and gold and silver and all your goods perish, no-one will be able to take the wisdom away from the wise, except the blindness of ungodliness, and indifference that comes with sin.

8.  For if one keeps himself from these evil things, then his wisdom shall be a glory to him even among his enemies, and be to him a homeland in foreign lands, and a friend among foes.

9.   Whosoever teaches noble things and does them - shall be enthroned with kings, as also Joseph my brother was.

10.  And now my children I know from the writings of Enoch that in the end of the ages you will transgress against the Lord, putting your hands in evil to Him, and you shall become a scorn to Gentiles.

11.  For our father Israel is pure from the transgressions of the chief priests, and as the heaven in the sight of the Lord is more pure than the earth, so also must you be, and the light of Israel be more pure than all Gentiles.

12.  And if you are darkened by transgression, what then will the Gentiles do - who live in blindness?

13.  You will indeed bring a curse on your race, because you wished to destroy the light of the law, which was given you to enlighten every man, by teaching commandments contrary to the ordinance of God.

       Future events foretold.

14.  You will rob the offerings of the Lord, stealing the best of His portion to consume it with contemptible whores.

15.  And for greed you will teach, and pollute married women, and defile the virgins of Jerusalem, and join yourself with whores and adulterers, and take the daughters of Gentiles for wife making them pure with unlawful purification, your marriage thus shall be like Sodom and Gomorrah.

16.  And you will be proud because of your priesthood, lifting yourselves up against men, and not only is your sin against man, but against God's command.

17.  For you will have contempt for the holy things with jokes and laughter, therefore the Lord's temple, which He shall choose, will be wasted by your uncleanliness, and you shall be captives throughout all nations.

18.  And you shall be an abomination to them, receiving a reproach and everlasting shame in the righteous judgment of God, and all that hate you shall rejoice in your destruction.

19.  And were it not for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, you would not receive mercy, nor would there be left any seed for you upon the earth.

20.  I now have learned that for seventy weeks you will go astray, profaning the priesthood, polluting the sacrifices, voiding the law, and to bring to nothing the words of the prophets through evil and perversion.

21.  And you will persecute righteous men hating the Godly, and despising the faithful.  And a man who will renew the law in the power of the Most High Him you will call a deceiver, and at last lay hands on Him and kill Him not knowing His dignity bringing innocent blood on your head through wickedness.

22.  And because of Him your holy places will be wasted down to the ground, and you will have no place that is clean, but you shall be a curse among the Gentiles, and be dispersed until again He shall visit you and in pity receive you by faith and water.

23.  And now that I have told you about the seventy weeks hear also about the priesthood, for in each jubilee there shall be a priesthood.

24.  In the first jubilee, the first that is anointed shall be great, and speak to God as with a Father, His priesthood shall be perfect with the Lord, and in the day of His joy He shall arise for the salvation of the world.

25.  In the second, he that is anointed shall be conceived in sorrow of beloved ones, and his priesthood shall be honored and glorified by all.

26.  And the third shall be overtaken by sorrow, and the fourth shall be in pain because wickedness shall greatly gather itself against him, and all Israel shall hate each one his neighbor.

27.  The fifth shall be overtaken by darkness, and likewise with the sixth and seventh, and in the seventh there shall be such pollution as I cannot express before men, for only they who do these things can know them.

28.  Therefore shall they be captive and become a prey, their land, and their substance destroyed.

29.  And in the fifth week they shall return to their desolated country, and renew the house of the Lord.

30.  And in the seventh week, such who are idolaters will become priests, adulterers, lovers of money, arrogant, lawless, vile abusers of children and beast.

31.  And after their punishment will have come from the Lord, the priesthood will fail, the Lord raising up a new priest, and to Him all the words of the Lord shall be revealed.

32.  He shall execute a righteous judgment on the earth for a great many days, His star shall arise in heaven as of a King alighting the light of knowledge like the sun in daytime, and He will be magnified in the world.

33.  He shall shine forth on the earth like the Sun, and remove all darkness from under heaven, and there shall be peace in all the earth.

34.  In His days the heavens shall exult, and the earth be glad, and the clouds rejoice, and the knowledge of the Lord shall be poured forth on the earth as water of the sea, and the angels of the presence of the Lord shall be glad in Him.

35.  The heavens shall be opened, and sanctification shall come down on Him from the temple of glory with a fatherly voice as from Abraham to Isaac.

36.  And the glory of the Most High shall be spoken over Him, and the Spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest on Him in the water, for He will give the majesty of the Lord to His sons in truth forever.

37.  There shall be no successor to Him for all generations, and in His priesthood the Gentiles shall multiply knowledge, and be enlightened in the grace of the Lord.

38.  In his priesthood - sin shall come to an end, and lawlessness cease to do evil, He shall open the gates of Paradise and remove the threatening sword against Adam, and give the elect to eat from the tree of life, and the Spirit of holiness shall be on them.

39.  He shall bind Beliar, and He will give power to His children to tread on evil spirits, and the Lord will rejoice in His children, and be well pleased in His beloved ones forever.

40.  Then shall Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob exult, and I also shall be glad, and all shall be clothed with joy.

        Ending.

41.  And now my children you have heard it all, choose therefore either light or darkness, the works of the law, or the works of Beliar for yourselves.

42.  And his sons answered him, speaking before the Lord; we will walk according to His law.  And their father said to them; "The Lord is witness, and His angels are witness, and I am witness concerning the word of your mouth".  And his sons answered; "We are witness."

43.  Thus Levi ceased commanding his sons, and stretched out his feet on the bed and was gathered to his fathers after having lived 137 years.

44.  And the laid him in a coffin, and afterwards buried him in Hebron with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

        Chapter 6

       TESTAMENT OF JUDAH

      From the words of Judah which he spoke to his sons before he died.

      Judah's strength and valor

1.  And he said to them; Listen my children to Judah your father, I was the fourth son born to my father, and Leah my mother named me Judah saying; ďI give thanks to the Lord for He has given me a fourth son also.

2.  I was swift in my youth and obedient to my father in everything, and I honored my mother and my mother's sister.

3.  And it came to pass when I had become a man that my father blessed me saying; you shall be a king prospering in all things.

4.  And the Lord showed me favor in all my works both in the field and in the house, I know that I raced a deer catching it, and preparing the meat for my father, he ate.

5.  I used to master the Gazelle in the chase and overtook all that was in the plains; I overtook a wild mare and tamed it.

6.  I slew a lion and took the kid out of his mouth, and a bear I took by its paws and threw it over the cliff so crushing it, I also out-ran a wild bore, and catching it as I ran I tore it apart.

7.  In Hebron, a leopard ran upon my dog, and catching it by the tail I hurled it on the rocks and it was broken.

8.  I found a wild ox grazing in the field, and taking it by the horns whirling it I stunned it and slew it.

9.  And when the two kings of the Canaanites came with much people clad in armor to take our flocks, I alone rushed upon the king of Hazor.  And taking him by the legs I dragged him down and slew him, and I slew the other king as he sat on his horse, so I scattered all his people.

10.  And with a sixty pound stone I killed the horse from under Achor the king, a man of giant stature hurling javelins to my front and rear, and fighting with him for two hours, I cut his shield in half and killed him, and also cut off his feet.

11.  And as I was stripping him of his breast-plate, eight of his companions began to fight with me, and wrapping my clothing in my hand I slung stones at them killing four, and the rest fled.

12.  And Jacob my father slew Beelesath, king of all the kings, a giant in strength 12 cubits high, and so fear fell on them and they stopped making war on us.

13.  My father then was free of anxiety when in wars I was with my brothers, for in a vision he saw concerning me that an angel of might followed me everywhere so I might not be overcome.

14.  Afterwards, a greater attack than that of Shechem came on us from the south and my brothers and I joining forces, we pursued a thousand men killing two hundred of them and four kings.

15.  And I went on the wall slaying four mighty men, and so we captured Hazor, and took all their spoil.

16.  And having departed the next day the people of a city named Aretan, strong and inaccessible with walls, threatened us with death, but Gad and I came from the East Side of the city, with Levi and Reuben on the west.

17.  And those on the wall thinking we were alone, drew out against us, our brothers then secretly climbing the wall with the use of stakes, and entered the city unaware.

18.  Thus we took it with the edge of the sword, and as for those who had taken refuge in the tower, we set fire to it taking both them and it.

19.  And leaving from there we found that the men of Tappuah had taken our goods, and we fought with them killing them, recovering our goods.

20.  And when I was at the waters of Kozeba, the men of Jobel came to battle against us, and fighting with them we routed them and killed their allies from Shilon, leaving them powerless to again come against us.

21.  Then on the fifth day the men of Makir came to take our spoils, and we attacking them overcame them in a fierce battle, for they had a host of mighty men amongst them, we then took them before they could retreat to their stronghold.

22.  And coming to their city, the women rolled stones on us from the brow of the hill on which the city stood, and Simeon and I entered from behind taking the heights of the city, and destroyed it as well.

23.  And the following day we were told that the king of the city Gaash had come against us with a mighty host, Dan and I then feigned ourselves to be Amorites, entering their city as allies.

24.  And in the depth of the night we opened the gates to our brothers, and destroyed all the men, and took their substance for prey, and broke down their three-walled city.

25.  And as we came near to Thamma, where all the substance of the hostile kings were held, and being insulted by them, I was angry and rushed against them to the summit.  And they kept slinging stones and darts against me, and had not Dan my brother aided me, they would have killed me.

26.  We therefore came on them with wrath and they all fled, and passing by another direction, they pleaded with my father, and he made peace with them, thus we did them no hurt, but they became tributaries, and we restored them the spoil.

27.  And I built Thamma and my father Pabael, I was 20 years old when this war befell us, and the Canaanites feared my brothers and me.

28.  And I had much cattle, and my chief herds-man was Iram, an Adullamite.  And as I went to him, I saw the king of Adullum, Parsaba, and he conversed with us and made us a feast.  And while I was hot in wine, he gave me his daughter Bathshua for wife.

29.  And she bore me Er, Onan, and Shelah, and two of these the Lord smote, but Shelah lived, for you are his children.

 

       Chapter 7

       The sons of Esau defeated.

1.  And my father was at peace with his brother Esau and his sons for eighteen years; afterwards we came from Laban at Mesopotamia.

2.  And when these years were fulfilled, in the 40th year of my life, Esau came on us with a mighty and strong people, and Jacob smote Esau with an arrow, and wounded they took him to mount Seir and died on the way to Ahoniram.

3.  And we pursued the sons of Esau, and they having a city with walls of iron and gates of brass, which we could not enter, we encamped around it in siege.

4.  After twenty days then when they did not open to us, I setup a ladder in sight of all, and with my shield on my head I went up sustaining the assault of stones upwards to three talents of weight, and slew four of their mighty men while Reuben and Gad slew six others.

5.  Then they asked us for terms of peace, and having taken counsel with my father, we received them as tributaries giving us 500 cores of wheat, 500 baths of oil, and 500 measures of wine, until the famine when we went to Egypt.

       Judgment on the sons of Judah by Canaan.

6.  After these things, my son Er took Tamar to wife from Mesopotamia, a daughter of Aram.  Er however was wicked, and difficulty arose concerning Tamar since she was not of the land of Canaan.

7.  And on the third night an angel of the Lord smote him, and he had not known her because of the evil craft of his mother, for he did not wish to have children by her.

8.  Then still in the days of the wedding feast I gave Onan to her in marriage, and he also in wickedness knew her not even though he spend a year with her.

9.   And when I threatened him, he went into her but spilled the seeds on the ground after the command of his mother, and he also died through wickedness.

10.  And I wished to give Shelah also to her, but his mother did not permit it, she did this evil because Tamar was not of the daughters of Canaan as she herself was.

11.  And I knew that the race of Canaan was wicked, but the impulse of youth blinded my mind, for when I saw her pouring wine, I in my own intoxication was deceived and took her even though my father had counseled against it.

12.  And while I was absent she took for Shelah a wife from Canaan, and coming to know it, I cursed her in the anguish of my soul, and she also died in her wickedness together with her sons.

        Judah receives honor by Tamar.

13.  After these things while Tamar was a widow, after about two years, she heard that I was going up to shear my sheep, and she adorned herself in bridal array, and sat in the gate of the city Enaim.

14.  For it was the law of the Amorites that she who was about to marry should sit in whoredom for seven days by the gate, and I being drunk with wine, I did not recognize her, her beauty and her adorning deceiving me.

15.  And I went to her and said; "Let me go into you".  And she said; "What will you give me?"  And I gave her my staff, my girdle, and the diadem of my kingdom in pledge.

16.  And I went into her and she conceived, and not knowing what I had done I wished to slay her, but she privately sent forth my pledges putting me to shame.

17.  And when I called her, I also heard the secret words, which I spoke when lying with her in my drunkenness, I thus could not slay her since it was from the Lord, and I said; perhaps in cunning she received the pledges from another woman.

18.  But I did not again come near to her while I lived, because of the abomination, which I had done in Israel.

19.  Moreover those who were in the city said that there was no whore in the gate, for she came from another place, and was there only for the short while, and I thought that no one knew that I had gone into her.

20.  After this we came into Egypt to Joseph because of the famine, and I was 46 years old, and lived in Egypt 73 years.

        Chapter 8

       Judah counsels against lusts.

1.  And now I command you my children listen to your father Judah, and keep my words to perform all the ordinances of the Lord, obeying His commands.

2.  Do not walk after lusts, nor in the imaginations of your thoughts, or in the pride of your heart, and glory not in the deeds or strength of your youth, for this too is evil in the sight of the Lord.

3.  For I also gloried that in wars no beautiful face of a woman would ever entice me, and I reproved Reuben concerning Bildah, and the spirits of jealousy and fornication set themselves against me until I lay with Bathshua the Canaanite, and Tamar who was espoused to my sons.

4.  For I said to my father-in-law, I will take counsel with my father and so take your daughter, but he was unwilling and showed me a boundless store of gold in his daughters behalf, for he was a king.

5.  And he adorned her with gold and pearls, and caused her to pour out wine for us at the feast with the beauty of woman, and the wine turned my eyes aside, pleasure blinding my heart.

6.  And I became enticed in love and lay with her transgressing the commandment of the Lord and that of my fathers, and I took her to wife.

7.  And the Lord rewarded me according to the imagination of my heart in as much that I had no joy in her children.

8.  Therefore I say to you my children; be not drunk with wine, for wine turns the mind away from truth, and inspires the passions of lust and leads eyes into error.

9.  For the spirit of fornication has wine for a minister to bring pleasure to mind and tends to take away the mind of man.

10.  For if a man drink wine to drunkenness it disturbs the mind with filthy thoughts leading to fornication, and heats the body to carnal union, and if the occasion presents itself, the lust works the sin not being ashamed.

11.  Such is the drunken man my children, for they that are drunk reverence no man.  For look how it made me err so that I was not ashamed of the men of the city before whose eyes I turned aside to Tamar, and committed the great sin uncovering the covering of the shame of my sons.

12.  After I had drunk wine I did not reverence the commandment of God taking a Canaanite woman for wife, for much discretion is required for him who drinks wine my children.

13.  For only herein shall a man be discreet, if he drinks only as much as to preserve modesty, and if he goes beyond the spirit of deceit attacks his mind causing him to talk filthy, and to transgress not being ashamed, but even to glory in his shame, counting himself honorable.

14.  He who commits fornication is not aware that he suffers loss, nor ashamed when put to dishonor, for though a man be king, and commits fornication, he is stripped of his kingship by becoming a slave to fornication, as I suffered.

15.  For I gave my staff, that is; the stay of my tribe, and my girdle, that is; my power, and my diadem, that is; the glory of my kingdom.

16.  And indeed I repented of these things taking no wine nor flesh until my old age, nor did I behold any joy, and the angel of the Lord showed me that women do forever bear rule of king and beggar alike.

17.  From the king they take his glory, from the valiant man his might, and from the beggar even that little which he has in his poverty.

18.  Therefore my children observe the right limit in wine, for there are four evil spirits in it, of lust, heated passion, debauchery, and greed.

19.  If you will drink wine in gladness, be modest in the fear of God, for if in your joy the fear of the Lord departs, then drunkenness arises and shame sneaks in.

20.  But do not even touch wine if you will live soberly, lest you sin in speaking outrageous words, and in fighting and slander, transgressing the commandments of God, and you perish before your time.

21.  Moreover, it is so that wine reveals secrets, both that of God and of men, even as I also revealed the commandments of God and the mysteries of Jacob my father to the Canaanite women, things which God bade me not to reveal.

22.  And wine is a cause both to war and confusion, wherefore I command you my children, not to love money, nor to gaze upon the beauty of women.

       Adultery and greed destroys a man

23.  For because of beauty and money I was led astray to the Canaanite women Bathshua and I know that on account of these two things my race shall fall into wickedness.  For even the wise among my sons shall be marred, and the kingdom of Judah, which the Lord gave me for my obedience to my father, will be diminished on account of these.

24.  For I never caused grief to my father, and did everything he commanded me, and Isaac my grandfather blessed me to be king in Israel, and Jacob also further blessed me in like manner.

25.  The kingdom then will be established from me, and I also know what evils you will perform in the last days.

26.  Therefore my children; beware of fornication, and for the love of money, listen thus to your father Judah, for these things shall pull you away from God's law blinding the inclinations of the soul, teaching ignorance, and not suffering a man to have compassion on his neighbor.

27.  They rob his soul of all goodness, oppressing him with toil and troubles, driving away his sleep, and devouring his flesh.  And it hinders the prayers to God, and does not remember to bless God, nor will he listen to a prophet when he speaks, and resents the words of Godliness.

28.  For he is slave to two different passions, in which he is unable to obey God since they have blinded his soul, as one who walking in daylight it is night to him.

29.  The love of money also leads to idolatry, for when led astray by money, one names as gods those who are not gods, and it causes them to fall in madness.

30.  Because of money I lost my children, and had it not been for my repentance and humiliation, and the prayers of my father to be accepted, I would have died childless.

31.  But the God of my fathers had mercy on me since I did it in ignorance, the prince of deceit blinding me, and I sinned as a man, as flesh being corrupt by sin, and while thinking myself invincible - I learned my weakness.

32.  Know therefore my children that two spirits wait on man, the Spirit of truth, and the one of deceit, and in the middle is the spirit of understanding of the mind, who of its own will can go where it desires.

33.  The words of truth and of deceit are written upon man's heart, and the Lord knows each of them, and at no time can man's works be hid, for they are written on the heart itself before the Lord.

34.  And the Spirit of truth testifies to all things, and accuses all things, and the sinner is convicted in his own heart - unable to lift his face to the judge.

 

       Chapter 9 

       Obedience to Levi.

1.  And now my children I command you to love Levi in order that you may abide, exalt not yourself over him lest you be utterly destroyed.

2.  For to me the Lord gave the kingdom, and to Him the priesthood and God has set the kingdom beneath the priesthood.

3.  To me He gave the things on the earth, to Levi the things that are in heaven.  And as the heavens are higher than the earth - so the priesthood of God is higher than the earthly kingdom, unless by sin it falls away and the Lord gives it to be dominated by the earthly kingdom.

4.  For the angel of the Lord said to me; The Lord chose him rather than you to draw near to him that he might eat of His table and offer Him the first fruits of the best of the sons of Israel, but you shall be king of Jacob.

     The kingdom and its pitfalls.

5.  And you shall be among them as a sea, for like as on the sea both the just and unjust are tossed about - and some taken into captivity while others are enriched, so also shall every race of man be in you.

6.  Some shall be impoverished and taken captive, while others grow rich by plundering the goods of others, for kings shall be as sea-monsters.

7.  They shall swallow men like fishes, and enslave the sons and daughters of free men, and they will plunder houses, lands, flocks and moneys.

8.  And wrongfully they will feed the ravens and the cranes with the flesh of many, and increase in evil by lifting themselves up in pride.  And false prophets shall come like a tempest, and persecute all righteous men.

9.  And the Lord will bring division among them, one against the other, and there will be continually war in Israel.  And by men of another race will my kingdom be brought to an end until the salvation of Israel shall come, until the God of righteousness shall appear wherein Jacob and Gentiles may rest in peace.

10.  And He will grant the might of my kingdom forever, for the Lord swore to me by an oath that He would not destroy the kingdom from my seed forever.

        Ending words.

11.  And now I have much grief my children, for because of your lewdness and witchcraft and idolatries which you will practice against the kingdom following evil spirits, diviners and demons of error.

12.  You will make your daughters singers and whores, and you will mingle with the abominations of the Gentiles for which reason the Lord shall bring famine's pestilence, sword, and death on you.

13.  You will be pestered by enemies and reviled by friends, your children will be slaughtered, your wives raped, your possessions plundered, and the temple of God will be burned, and your land desolated, and you will be enslaved among Gentiles.

14.  And they will make some of you eunuchs for their wives until the Lord visits you - when you will repent with a perfect heart, and walk in all His commandments, and He will bring you up from captivity from among the Gentiles.

15.  For a star shall arise to you from Jacob in peace, a Man from my seed, like the Sun of righteousness, walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness, and no sin shall be found in Him.

16.  And the heavens shall be opened to Him to pour out the Spirit, the blessing of the Holy Father, so the Spirit of grace will be on you, and you shall be as sons of truth to Him, walking in His commandments first and last.

17.  The scepter of my kingdom shall shine forth, and a new stem arise from your root, and from it shall grow a rod in righteousness for all Gentiles to judge and also to save those who call upon the Lord.

18.  After these things, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob shall arise to life, and my brothers and I shall be chiefs of the tribes of Israel, Levi first, and I second, Joseph third, Benjamin fourth, Simeon fifth, Issachar sixth, and so in order.

19.  And Levi was blessed of the Lord, and I of the angels of the presence, and Semion by the powers of glory, Reuben by heaven, Issachar by earth, Zebulon the sea, Joseph, the mountains.  Benjamin the tabernacles, Dan the Luminaries, Napthali of Eden, Gad the sun, and Asher the moon.

20.  And you shall be the people of the Lord having one tongue, and there will be no spirit of deceit of Beliar, for he will be cast into the fire forever.

21.  And they who have died in grief - shall arise in joy, and those who were poor for the sake of the Lord - shall be made rich, and they that were put to death for the sake of the Lord - shall awaken to life.

22.  And the harts of Jacob shall run in joyfulness, and the eagles of Israel fly in gladness, and all the people shall glorify the Lord forever.

23.  Therefore my children observe the law of the Lord always, for there is hope for them who hold fast to His ways.

24.  And he said to them; Behold, I die before your eyes this day being 119 years old, let no one bury me in costly apparel, nor embalm me, for this is done only for kings, but carry me up to Hebron with you.

25.  And Judah having said these things fell asleep, and his sons did according to all that he commanded them, and they buried him with his fathers in Hebron.

 

       Chapter 10

       TESTAMENT OF ISSACHAR

      The scope of the words of Issachar when he called his sons and said to them; 

      The cause to his birth

1.  Listen my children to Issachar your father; give ear to him who is beloved of the Lord.

2.  I was born the fifth son to Jacob by way of hire for the mandrakes, for Reuben brought mandrakes from the field, and Rachel meeting him took them, and Reuben weeping, Leah hearing him came.

3.  These mandrakes now were sweet smelling apples which grew in the land of Haran below a waterfall, and Rachel said; I will not give them to you, but they shall be mine in place of children, for the Lord has despised me - not giving me children to Jacob.

4.  There were two apples then, and Leah said to Rachel, "Let it be enough that you have taken my husband, will you now take these also?"  And Rachel replied; "This night you shall have Jacob for the mandrakes of your son."

5.  And Leah said; "Jacob is mine, for I am the wife of his youth."  And Rachel said, "Boast not, nor vaunt yourself, for he espoused me before you, and for my sake served our father fourteen years.

6.  And had it not been for the craft and wickedness of men prospering on earth, you would not now behold the face of Jacob, for you are not his wife, but by cunning you were taken in my stead.

7.  My father deceived me - removing me on that night not allowing Jacob to see me, for if I had been there this would not have happened to him, nevertheless for the mandrakes I am hiring Jacob to you for one night."

8.  And Jacob knew Leah and she conceived and bore me, on account of the hire thus I was called Issachar.

9.  Then there appeared an angel of the Lord to Jacob saying; "Rachel shall bear two children since she refused company with her husband - choosing continence."

10.  And had not Leah my mother paid the two apples for the sake of his company, she would have borne eight sons, for this reason then she bore six, and Rachel two, the Lord visiting her on account of the mandrakes.

11.  For He knew that she wished to company with Jacob for the sake of children, and not lust or pleasure, for again in the morning she gave him up, wherefore the Lord heard Rachel for the mandrakes.

12.  And Rachel, though she desired to eat them, she did not, but offered them in the house of the Lord presenting them to the priest of the Most High.

       The true fast of Issachar.

13.  When I grew up my children, I walked in uprightness of heart and became a farmer for my father and brothers, bringing the fruits of the field in their season.

14.  And my father blessed me, for he saw that I walked in uprightness before him, and I was not a busybody in my doings, nor envious or malicious to my neighbors.  I did not slander anyone, nor censured the life of any man walking as I did in singleness of heart.

15.  When I was 35 years of age I took a wife, for my labors took all my strength, I never thought on the pleasure of women, but in my toil I was overcome by sleep.

16.  And my father rejoiced in my uprightness, for I offered to the Lord all the first-fruits by the priest and to my father also.

17.  And the Lord increased His benefits in my hands by thousand fold, and Jacob my father knew that God aided my singleness, for I bestowed the good things of the earth to all the poor and oppressed in the singleness of my heart.

18.  And now listen to me my children, and walk in singleness of heart, for I have seen that in all things "this" is well pleasing before God.

19.  The single minded man covets not gold, nor over-reaches his neighbor, he longs not for the various dainties, nor takes pleasure in varied apparel, he does not desire to live a long life, but waits only for the will of God.

20.  And the spirits of deceit have no power over him, for he looks not on the beauty of women lest he should pollute his mind with corruption.

21.  There is no envy in his thoughts, no malice causes his soul to pine away, nor is there insatiable desire in his mind.  For he walks in singleness of soul, looking on all things in the uprightness of his heart, not giving place to the errors of the world, lest he should turn away from the commandments of God.

22.  Therefore my children, keep the law of God, and singleness without guile, not playing busybody with your neighbors, but love the Lord and your neighbor, and have compassion on the poor and weak.

23.  Bend your back to your farming, and toil in the labors of all agriculture, offering gifts to the Lord with Thanksgiving.

24.  For the Lord will bless you with the first fruits of the earth, just as He blessed all the just from Abel to now, for no other portion is given you but that of the fatness of the earth whose fruit comes by labor.

25.  For my father blessed me with blessings of the earth, and of first fruits, and Levi and Judah were glorified by the Lord giving them an inheritance, Levi the priesthood, and Judah the kingdom.

26.  Obey them therefore, and walk in the singleness of your father, for to Gad it has been given to destroy the attackers coming on Israel.

 

        Chapter 11

        Admonition and example of Issachar

1.  Know therefore my children that in the last times your sons will forsake singleness cleaving to insatiable desires, and taking guile - will draw near to malice forsaking the commandments of the Lord, joining themselves with Beliar.

2.  And giving up agriculture they will follow after their own wicked devices, and will be dispersed among the Gentiles, serving their enemies.

3.  Give therefore these commandments to your children, that when they sin, they may quickly return to the Lord, for He is merciful and will deliver them to bring them back into their land.

4.  Behold, I am 126 years old and am not conscience of committing any sin, nor have I known any woman other than my wife, nor have I committed fornication with my eyes.

5.  I drank no wine to be led astray thereby, nor did I covet any desirable thing of my neighbors, no guile rose in my heart, nor did a lie pass my lips.

6.  And if any man was in distress, I joined by sorrow with his, and shared my bread with the poor, I wrought Godliness, and kept truth all my days.

7.  I loved the Lord and man with all my heart, do you therefore also these things my children, then every spirit of Beliar will flee from you, and no wicked deed of men will rule over you.

8.  You shall be able to subdue wild beasts since the God of heaven will be with you, and walk with all men in singleness of heart.

9.  And having said these things he commanded his sons that they should carry him up to Hebron to bury him there in the cave with his fathers.

10.  And he stretched out his feet and died at good old age with every limb sound and his strength unabated, sleeping the eternal sleep.

 

         Chapter 12 

         TESTAMENT OF ZEBULON

        The copy of the words of Zebulon which he gave to his sons before he died in the 114th year of his life, two years after the death of Joseph.

        The account of Joseph

1.  And he said to them.  Listen to me you sons of Zebulon; attend to the words of your father.  I Zebulon was born a good gift to my parents, for when I was born my father had increased very much both in flocks and herds when with the straked rods he had his portion.

2.  I am not aware that I have sinned all my days except in thought, nor do I remember having done any iniquity except the sin of ignorance which I did against Joseph, for I agreed with my brothers not to tell my father what had been done.

3.  But I wept in secret for many days on account of Joseph, for I feared my brothers having agreed that if anyone should declare the secret - he should be slain. But when they wished to kill him.

4.  I adjured them with much tears not to be guilty of this sin, for Simeon and Gad came against Joseph to kill him.  And he begged them in tears saying.  Pity me my brothers, have mercy on the bowels of Jacob our father, lay not your hands to shed innocent blood, for I have not sinned against you.  And if indeed I have sinned, then chastise me my brothers, but do not kill me for the sake of Jacob our father.

5.  And as he spoke these words, crying as he did, I was unable to bear his lamentation, and I began to weep, my courage was gone, and my inwards fainted, and I wept with Joseph, my heart pounding, and my body trembling so much that I could not stand.

6.  And when Joseph saw me weeping with him, and them coming against him to kill him, he fled behind me entreating them.

7.  Then Reuben arose and said; come my brother's let us not slay him, but let us cast him in one of these pits which our fathers dug and found no water.  (For it was on this account that Joseph might be preserved that no water was found in them.)

8  And they put him in a pit until they sold him to the Ish'maelites, and in his price I had no share my children.

9.  But Simeon and Gad and six others took the price of Joseph and bought sandals for themselves and their wives 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, for he said that he would be king over us, now let us see what becomes of his dreams.

10.  Therefore it is written in the writing of the law of Moses that whoever will not raise up seed to his brother, his sandal should be unloosened, and they should spit in his face.

11.  And since the brothers of Joseph wished not that their brother should live, the Lord removed their sandals from them before Joseph.  For when they came into Egypt the servants of Joseph had them remove their sandals outside the gate, and thus they paid homage to Joseph after the fashion of the pharaoh 's.

12.  And not only did they do obeisance to him, but they were also spit on, and falling down before him, thus they were put to shame before the Egyptians.  After this the Egyptians heard all the evils that they had done to Joseph.

13.  And so after Joseph was sold, my brothers sat down to eat and drink, but I in pity for Joseph did not eat.  And they seeing I did not eat they put me to watch him till he was sold to the Ish'maelites, and Judah also stayed near for he feared lest Simeon Dan and Gad should rush up to kill him.

14.  And when Reuben returned hearing that in his absence Joseph had been sold, he rent his garment and grieved saying How shall I look on the face of my father Jacob?  And he took the money and ran after the merchants, but failing to find them he returned grieving.

15.  The merchants now had left the broad road and gone by a shortcut through the Troglodytes Reuben however was very grieved and ate no food that day.

16.  And Dan coming to him said.  Weep not, nor grieve, for we have found what to say to our father Jacob, let us slay a kid of the goats and dip the coat of Joseph in its blood, and let us sent it to Jacob saying; Behold, is this the coat of your son?

17.  And they did so, for they stripped Joseph of his coat when they sold him, and put a slave's garment on him.  Simeon however having taken the coat would not give it up wishing to cut it up with his sword in his anger that he had not killed him.

18.  And all of us arose and said to him; If you will not give us the coat, then we will say to our father that you alone did this evil thing in Israel, and so he gave it to them, and they did as Dan had suggested.

 

       Chapter 13

       The compassion of Zebulon.

1.  And thus my children keep the commandments of the Lord, show mercy to your neighbors, and have compassion towards all, both man and beast.

2.  Because for this reason the Lord blessed me, and when all my brothers were ill, I escaped without sickness, for the Lord knows the purpose of each.

3.  Have therefore compassion in your heart for your neighbor my children, for like as a man does - so the Lord does to him.  For the sons of my brothers were ill and dying on account of Joseph in not having shown mercy in their hearts, but my sons, as you know, were without sickness.

4.  And when I was in Canaan by the seacoast catching fish for Jacob my father, many were drowned in the sea, but I escaped unharmed.

5.  I was the first to make a boat to sail upon the sea, for the Lord gave me understanding and wisdom thereto.  I positioned a rudder behind it, and stretching a sail upon an upright beam of wood in the middle I sailed along the shores catching fish for the household of my father until the day we came into Egypt.

6.  And out of compassion I used to share my catch with every stranger, or if a man were sick or aged, I boiled and dressed them offering them to all according to their needs without grief.

7.  Therefore also the Lord satisfied me with abundance of fish, for he that shares with his neighbors - receives manifold more from the Lord.

8.  For five years I caught fish and gave thereof to every man whom I saw, and I had sufficient for all the house of my father, in the summer I caught fish, and in the winter I kept the sheep with my brothers.

9.  And now I will declare to you another thing I did, I saw a man in distress, being naked in wintertime, and having compassion on him, I secretly stole a garment from my father's house and gave it to the man.

10.  You therefore my children, do likewise from that which God bestows on you show compassion and mercy without hesitation to all men, and give to every man with a-good heart.

11.  And if you have not anything to give, have mercy within yourself, when I found nothing to give to a man in need, I walked with him for seven furlongs, and my inwards yearned in compassion for him.

12.  Have compassion therefore my children towards every man with mercy that the Lord may have compassion and mercy on you, for in the last days of the earth whosesoever the Lord finds bowels of mercy - with him He will dwell.

13.  For just as a man will have compassion on his neighbor, so also the Lord will have on him, and when we went down to Egypt, Joseph bore no grudge against us, but seeing me he was moved with compassion.

14.  Thus my children approve yourselves without grudging, love one another, and count not all the evil done one against another for this shatters unity, divides kindred, and troubles the soul, destroying communality.

15.  Observe the streams when they flow together, they sweep along stones, trees, earth, and other things, but divided in many small runners the earth swallows them up, and they vanish.

16.  And so will you be also when you are divided, be not therefore divided in two heads, for the Lord made but one head, two shoulders, two hands, two feet, and all the remaining members.

17.  For in the writing of my fathers I have learned that you shall be divided in Israel, and you shall follow two kings, and work every abomination, and you shall be led captive by your enemies, and be treated evil among the Gentiles with much infirmities and tribulations.

18.  But after these things you shall remember the Lord and repent, and He shall have mercy on you, for He is merciful and compassionate.

19.  He does not hold evil against the sons of men, because they are flesh, and deceit leads them astray in their actions.

20.  By the works of your hands you will provoke the Lord to anger, and you shall be cast away from Him to the time of consummation.

21.  But after these things the Lord himself, the light of righteousness shall shine, and return you to your land, and you shall behold Him.

22.  And now my children grieve not that I am dying, nor be sad that I am coming to an end, for I shall rise again in your midst as a ruler among his sons.  And I shall rejoice in the midst of my tribe as many as shall keep the law of the Lord and the commandments of Zebulon their father.

23.  For on the ungodly the Lord will bring eternal fire, and destroy them through all generations.

24.  But I am hastening to my rest as also my fathers did, and so, fear the Lord our God with all your strength all the days of your life.

25.  And having said these things he fell asleep at a good old age, and his sons laid him in a wood coffin, and afterwards carried him up and buried him in Hebron with his fathers.

 

        Chapter 14

       TESTAMENT OF DAN 

     The copy of the words of Dan, which he spoke to his sons in the last days of his 125th year of his life.

      Admonition against anger

1.  He called his family together and said; Listen to my words my sons, give ear to the words of your father.

2.  I have proved in my heart and in my whole life that truth with just dealing is good and well pleasing to God, and that lies and anger are evil, for these teach men wickedness.

3.  This day I confess to you my children that I consented to the death of Joseph my brother, the good and true man, and I was glad when he was sold, for his father loved him more than us.

4.  For the spirit of jealousy and pride said to me, are you not also his son.  And one of the spirits of Beliar stirred me up saying Take this sword and with it kill Joseph, so shall your father love you, when he is dead.

5.  This was that spirit of anger, which persuaded me to crush Joseph like a leopard crushes a kid, but the God of my fathers did not allow him to fall into my hands, to find him alone to kill him, and a tribe be lost in Israel.

6.  And now behold, I am dying, and I tell you of a truth that unless you keep yourselves from the spirit of lies and anger, loving truth instead, and long suffering, you shall perish.

7.  For anger is blindness, which does not allow a man to see a man's face with truth.  For though it be father or mother, he is towards them as enemies, and to a brother as if he knows him not, and if he be a prophet of the Lord, he disobeys him, nor does he regard a righteous man, nor will he acknowledge a friend.

8.  For the spirit of anger surrounds him with a net of deceit, blinding his eyes, and darkens his mind with lies giving him his own peculiar vision, this vision is ensnared by the hatred in his heart in envy of his brother.

9.  For anger is an evil thing my children troubling even the soul itself, and takes his body as its own working victory over the soul with power to the body to work the iniquity.

10.  And when the body does these things the soul justifies what is done since it sees nothing aright, therefore if he that is angry happens to be a mighty man, he has threefold power in his anger.

11.  First by the help of his servants, and second, by his wealth he uses as persuasion to overcome wrongfully, and thirdly, having his own natural power he works the evil.

12.  And even if the angry man be weak he has twice that by nature, since anger aids him in his lawlessness, this spirit always goes with lies at the right hand of Satan that with cruelty and lies his works may be done.

13.  Understand therefore the power of anger, that it is vain, for first of all it provokes by words, then in actions, it strengthens him who is angry, and with sharp losses disturbs his mind so arousing his soul to great anger.

14.  When anyone speaks to you therefore be not moved to anger, and if any man praises you as a holy man - be not uplifted, not moved to either delight or disgust.

15.  For first it is pleasant to hear, which sharpens the mind to grounds for provocation then being enraged he thinks that he is justly angry.

16.  If you suffer loss or any ruin my children, be not afflicted, for this spirit uses your afflictions to cause you to desire what is perishable through your loss thereof.

17.  And whether you suffer loss voluntarily or involuntarily, be not vexed, for from vexation arises anger and lies.

18.  And anger with lies is a twofold mischief assisting one another in order to disturb the heart, and when the soul is continually disturbed - the Lord departs from it, and Beliar takes to rule it.

 

       Chapter 15

1.    Observe therefore my children the commandments of the Lord, keep His law, depart from wrath, and hate lies, so that the Lord may live among you and Beliar flee from you.

2.  Speak truth with your neighbor that you not fall in wrath nor in confusion, but having the God of peace - you shall have peace, and no war shall prevail over you.

3.  In all your life love the Lord and one another with a true heart, for I know that in the last days you shall depart from the Lord and provoke Levi to anger, and fight against Judah.

4.  But you will not prevail against them, for an angel of the Lord guides them both, for by them Israel shall stand.

5.  And whenever you depart from the Lord you will walk in all sorts of evil and perform the abominations of the Gentiles whoring after lawless women, allowing the spirits of wickedness to work in you.

Future times

6.  For I have read in the book of Enoch the righteous that your prince is Satan, and that all the spirits of wickedness and pride will conspire to constantly attend to sons of Levi to cause them to sin before the Lord.

7.  And my sons will draw near to Levi to sin with them in all things, and the sons of Judah will be greedy, plundering the goods of others like lions.

8.  Wherefore you shall be led into captivity, where you shall receive all the plagues of Egypt and all the evils of the Gentiles.

9.  But when you return to the Lord you shall obtain mercy, and bring you into His sanctuary giving you peace.

10.  And from the tribe of Judah and Levi shall arise to you the salvation of the Lord, and He will war with Beliar and execute everlasting vengeance on our enemies.

11.  And those which are captive in Beliar He will take from him, turning disobedient hearts unto the Lord, and grant eternal peace to those who call on Him.

12.  The righteous shall rest in Eden, and rejoice in the New Jerusalem, and it shall be to the glory of God forever.

13.  No longer shall Jerusalem endure desolation, nor Israel be led captive, for the Lord shall be in their midst, God living with men, for the Holy One of Israel shall reign over it in humility and lowliness, and he who believes on Him shall reign among men in truth.

14.  Fear thus the Lord my children, and beware of Satan and his spirits, draw near to God and to the angel that intercedes for you, (the Lord's Holy Spirit).  For He is a mediator between God and man, and shall stand-up for the peace of Israel against the enemies of the kingdom.

15.  It is for this reason that the enemy is so eager to destroy all that call on the Lord, for he knows that on the day on which Israel shall repent the kingdoms of the enemy shall be brought to an end.

16.  For the angel of peace shall strengthen Israel that it fall not into extreme evil.

17.  And it shall be in the time of the lawlessness of Israel that the Lord will not depart from them, but will transform them into a nation that performs His will, and none of the angels will be equal to Him.

18.  And His name will be in every place in Israel and among the Gentiles.  Keep yourselves therefore from all evil works casting away wrath and lies, but love truth and long suffering.

19.  And the things which you have heard of your father - tell them also to your children, that the Savior of the Gentiles may receive you, for He is true and long-suffering, meek and lowly, teaching the law of God by His works.

20.  Depart from all unrighteousness, cleave to the righteousness of God and your race will be saved forever.  And you bury me near my fathers.

21.  And having said these things he kissed them and fell asleep at a good old age, and his sons buried him placing him near his fathers.

22.  Dan thus prophesied to them that they would forget their God, and be alienated from the land of their inheritance.

 

       Chapter 16
       TESTAMENT OF NAPTHALI

     The copy of the words, which he spoke to his sons in the 130th year of his life in the 7th month on the first day thereof (ML) 

1.  When Nephali was still in good health he made a feast for his children, and awakening in the morning he said to them I am dying, but they would not believe him.

2.  And glorifying the Lord he confirmed that after this day he would die, and said to them;

3.  Hear me you sons of Nephali, the words of your father, I was born from Bildah for Rachel dealt cunningly giving Bildah in her place to Jacob, and my mother bore me on Rachelís knees wherefore she called me Napthali.

4.  For Rachel loved me very much since I was born on her lap, and as a child she used to kiss me and say.  May I have a brother to you of my own womb that is like you, and Joseph was like me in like all things according to the prayers of Rachel.

5.  My mother now was the daughter of Rotheus, the brother of Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, and she was born on the same day with Rachel, and Rotheus was of the family of Abraham, a Chaldean, a God fearing freeborn and noble man.

6.  But he was taken captive, and Laban bought him and gave to him Euna his handmaid to wife, and she bore a daughter and called her Zilpah after the name of the village in which he had been taken captive.

7.  After that she bore Bildah saying, My daughter hastens after what is new for she sought the breast immediately after she was born.

8.  And I was swift on my feet like the deer, wherefore my father Jacob appointed me for all messages, and as a deer did he give me his blessings.

9.  For just as the potter knows how much his vessels are to contain gathering the clay accordingly, so the Lord makes the body after the spirit, and according to the capacity of the body He implants the spirit.

10.  One does not fall short of the other, not even by a third part of a hair, for by weight and measure and rule was all creation made.

11.  And just as the potter knows the use of each vessel, what it is meet for, so the Lord knows the body how far it will endure in goodness and where evil begins.  For there is no inclination of thought, which the Lord does not know, since He created every man after His own image.

12.  For as a man's strength is, so is his work, and as his eyes be, so is his sleep, and as his soul be, so also is his word in either the law of God or in the law of Beliar.

13.  And as there is a division between light and darkness, between seeing and hearing, so there is division between man and man, and woman to woman, wherefore it is not to be said that one is like the other in face or in mind.

14.  For God made all things good in their order, the five senses in the head, and this joined to the neck.  He also added hair for comeliness and for glory, and the heart for understanding, the belly for excrement, the stomach for grinding, the windpipe for 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 breathing, the loins for strength, and so forth.

15.  Thus my children let all your works be done with order and good intend in the fear of God, and do nothing disorderly, in scorn, or out of season.

16.  For if you bid the eyes to hear, they cannot, so likewise you cannot perform the works of light when in darkness.

17.  Be therefore not eager to corrupt your doings through coveting, nor with vain words deceive yourselves, but rather in silence and purity of heart learn to understand how to hold to the will of God, casting from you the will of Beliar.

18.  The sun, moon, and stars do not change their orders, so you likewise do not change the law of God in the disorder of your doings.

19.  The Gentiles went astray changing their order forsaking the Lord, devoting themselves to stones and sticks, to spirits of deceit.

20.  But you shall not be so my children recognize that the Lord made the firmament, the earth, the sea, and all created things, that you not become like unto Sodom that changed its order of nature.

21.  The watchers also in like manner changed their order, which the Lord cursed by the flood, for on their account was the earth made fruitless, without inhabitants.

22.  These things I say to you my children for I have read in the writings of Enoch that you also will depart from the Lord walking according to the lawlessness of the Gentiles and you will act according to all the wickedness of Sodom.

23.  The Lord then will bring captivity on you, and you will serve your enemies and be bowed down with every affliction and tribulation until you are consumed by the Lord.

24.  And after you are diminished having become few, you will return and acknowledge the Lord your God, and He will bring you back into your land according to His abundant mercies.

25.  Thereafter you will again forget the Lord becoming ungodly, and the Lord will scatter them over the whole face of the earth until in His compassion He will bring a Man who works righteousness and mercy to all who are near and far.

 

       Chapter 17

      Visions of Naphali

1.  In the 40th year of my life, on mount olive, I saw a vision, the sun and moon were standing still, and Isaac my grandfather said to us.  Run and lay hold of them each one according to his strength, and to him who seizes them they shall belong.

2.  And we all ran together, Levi then took hold of the sun, and Judah outstripped the others taking the moon, and both were lifted up with them.

3.  And when Levi became as the sun, a certain young man gave to him twelve palm branches, and Judah being bright as the moon, under his feet were twelve rays.

4.  And there was also a bull on the earth having two great horns, and wings like of eagles on his back, and we attempted to seize him but were unable, but Joseph took hold of him and ascended up on high with him.

5.  And I saw myself, and a holy writing appeared to me saying; Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, and Syrians shall hold the twelve tribes in captivity.

6.  And again after seven days I saw my father Jacob standing by the sea of Jamnia, and we were with him, and a ship came sailing by, but it was without pilot or sailors, and written on it was the ship of Jacob.

7.  And our father said to us; Come let us embark upon our ship, and having gone aboard there arose a strong wind, a mighty storm, and our father who was holding the helm - departed from us.

8.  And we being tossed with the tempest, the boat, pounded by mighty waves, took on water and broke up, and Joseph fled away on a small boat, and we were all divided on nine planks, Levi and Judah being together, and we were scattered to the ends of the earth.

9.  Then Levi girding himself with sackcloth prayed for us to the Lord, and the storm ceased, the ship reaching land as though at peace, and behold, our father came and we all rejoiced with one accord.

10.  I then told these two dreams to my father and he said; these things will be fulfilled in their season after Israel has endured many things.

11.  Then my father said to me; I believe that Joseph lives, for I behold that the Lord numbers him with you always.

12.  And weeping he said; O my son Joseph, you live even though I see you not.

 

        Chapter 18 

        TESTAMENT OF GAD

      The copy of the testament of Gad, which he spoke to his sons in the 125th year of his life saying to them;

       Gad's reason for hating Joseph.

1.  Listen my children, I was the ninth son born to Jacob and I was brave in guarding the flocks, accordingly I guarded them at night.  And whenever a lion came, or a wolf, or any wild beast, I pursued it, and overtaking it I grasped its foot with my hand and threw it about a stone's throw so killing it.

2.  Joseph my brother now was tending the flocks with me for some thirty days, and being delicate, he became sick from the heat, and returned to Hebron where our father made him to lie down near him because he loved him greatly.

3.  And Joseph told our father that the sons of Zilpah and Bildah were slaying the best of the flock and eating them against the judgment of Reuben and Judah.  For he saw how I delivered a lamb from the mouth of a bear, which afterwards we slew since it was too weak to live, and we ate it.

4.  For this cause I was angry with Joseph till he was sold, for the spirit of hatred was in me, so that I wished not to hear of him with my ears, or to see him with my eyes.  For he rebuked us to our faces saying that we were eating of the flock without Judah's consent.

5.  And whatever he told our father, he believed him, so I confess my children that I often wished to kill him, hating him from the heart.

6.  And for his dreams I hated him even worse, and like an ox licks up the grass of the field, so I wished to lick him out of the land of the living.

7.  But Judah had secretly sold him to the Ish'maelites, the God of our fathers thus delivering him from our hands that we should not work this great lawlessness in Israel.

Gad admonishes against hatred

8.  And now my children listen to the words of truth to perform righteousness and all the law of the Lord Most High, and stray not with the spirit of hatred, for it is evil in all man's deeds.

9.  For in whatever a man does, he who hates is an abomination, and though a man performs the law of God, he does not so praise God, or though he fears God and takes pleasure in doing what is righteous, he loves not God.

10.  For he reviles the truth - that envies those that prosper, and welcoming the evil speech he loves arrogance since hatred blinds his soul, even as I looked on Joseph.

11.  Beware of hatred my children, for it works lawlessness, even against the Lord Himself, for it refuses to hear the words of His commandments concerning to love one's neighbor and thus it is against God.

12.  For if a brother stumbles, hatred immediately delights to proclaim it to all men, and urges that he should be judged and punished for it, and put to death.

13.  If he be a servant, he conspires against his master, and the opportunity availing itself, he plots how he may be put to death.

14.  For hatred works with envy against those that prosper, and suffers as long as he sees and hears of their success.

15.  For even as love would raise the dead, to recall those that are condemned to die, so hatred wishes to slay the living who have but committed the smallest sin.

16.  For the spirit of hatred works together with Satan to hasten the spirits to their death, but the Spirit of love works together with God in long suffering to the salvation of man.

17.  Hatred therefore is evil, for it continually mates with lying, and makes the small appear great, and light as darkness, it calls the sweet bitter, and teaches slander, arousing wrath, stirring up war, violence, and all greed, it fills the heart with devilish poison.

18.  These things I pronounce to you from experience my children, that you may drive out hatred which is of the devil, and cleave to the love of God, for righteousness drives out evil, and humility destroys envy.

19.  For he that is just and humble is ashamed to perform what is unjust, reproved not of another, but of his own heart, for the Lord looks upon his inclination.

20.  He will not speak against a holy man because the fear of God overcomes hatred, and fearing lest he should offend the Lord, he will not do wrong to any man, even in thought.

21.  These things I learned afterwards when I had repented concerning Joseph, for true repentance in Godliness destroys ignorance, and drives away darkness enlightening the eyes, giving knowledge to the soul, and leading the mind to salvation.

22.  The things thus which are not learned from man - become known through repentance, for the Lord brought a disease of the liver on me, and had it not been for the prayers of my father Jacob, my spirit would have departed from me.

23.  For by that by which a man transgresses so also he is punished, since therefore my liver was set against Joseph without mercy, so in my liver I suffered mercilessly, and was judged for eleven months, just as long as I had been angry at Joseph.

 

       Chapter 19 

       To love one's brother and neighbor.

1.  I then admonish you my children to love one another his brother, and put hatred from your heart, love one another in deed, in word, and in the inclinations of your soul.

2.  In the presence of my father I spoke peaceably to Joseph, yet when I had gone out, the spirit of hatred darkened my mind to stir up my soul to kill him.

3.  Love one another therefore from the heart, and if a man sin against you, speak peaceably to him, and do not hold guile in your soul, and if he repents confessing, forgive him.

4.  And if he denies it, do not get into a passion with him, lest catching the poison - he takes to swearing, and you will have doubly sinned.

5.  Reveal not your secrets of your striving, lest he comes to hate you, and even your enemy to commit a great sin against you, for he may often befriend you, but it is so in guile, or he will busy himself with you but with evil intend.

6.  And though he may out of shame deny being reproved, reprove him no more, for he that denied may yet repent so as not to wrong you anymore, as in fact he may come to honor you with fear, and be at peace with you.

7.  And if he persists in his wrongdoing, even so forgive him from the heart, and leave the avenging to God.

8.  If a man prospers more than you, be not vexed, but pray rather for him that he may have perfect prosperity, for this is expedient for you.

9.  And if he be still further exalted, be not envious of him, but remember that all flesh must die, and bring praise to God who gives good and profitable things to all men.

10.  Seek out the judgments of the Lord, and your mind will rest, being at peace, and though a man becomes rich by evil means like as Esau the brother of my father, be not jealous, but wait for the end from the Lord.

11.  For when God takes away man's unjustly obtained wealth, and he repents, God forgives him, but the unrepented are reserved for eternal punishment.

12.  For the poor man that is free of envy, pleasing God in all things, will be blessed beyond all men, for he had not the travail of the vain man.

13.  Remove jealousy therefore from your souls, and love one another uprightly from the heart.

14.  And tell these things also to your children, and that they should honor Judah and Levi, for from them shall the Lord raise up salvation to Israel.

15.  For I know that in the end you children will depart from Him and walk in all wickedness and afflictions and corruptionís before God.

16.  And when he had rested for a little while, he again said; my children obey your father, and bury me near my fathers.  And he drew up his feet and fell asleep in peace.

17.  And after five years they carried him up to Hebron, and laid him with his fathers.

 

        Chapter 20

       TESTAMENT OF ASHER

      The copy of the words of Asher, which he spoke to his sons in the 125th year of his life, while he was still in good health.

1.  Hear me you children of Asher your father, and I will declare to you what is upright in the sight of the Lord.

2.  God has given two ways to the sons of men, there are two inclinations, two kinds of actions, and two issues, all things thus are by two, one over the other.

3.  For there are two ways, good and evil, and with these are the two inclinations in our breast discriminating them.

4.  Thus if the soul takes pleasure in the good inclinations, its actions are in righteousness, and if he sins, he immediately repents since his heart is set on righteousness, and casts away wickedness which then is straightway overcome, and sin uprooted.

5.  But if he inclines to the evil inclinations, all his actions are in wickedness, and the good is driven away, and he is ruled by Beliar.  For though a work may be good, he forces the issue of the action in evil for himself, since it is from a treasure filled with inclinations of evil.

6.  A person thus may in words works towards the good, yet be evil, since the issue of its action is from evil and leads to evil.

7.  In the case where one has no compassion for one who does evil, while another loves that person that does evil even to the point of dying for him, there are two aspects here, the whole being evil.

8.  For although there is indeed love (in the second) he is wicked in that he conceals evil for the sake of a good name  (or friendship) the-end result of thus is evil.

9.  Another steals, plunders, and defrauds, and with this all he pities the poor, this also has two aspects, the whole being evil.

10.  For he who defrauds his neighbor provokes God and swears falsely against the Most High, for while he pities the poor - still he sets the law of God at nothing, and provokes Him.

11.  And those who defile the souls, taking pride, and killing many, yet pities a few, this also is twofold, the whole being evil.

12.  Another commits adultery, yet will fast, he therefore does evil in fasting, one by the power of his wealth overwhelms many, and with this he acts to perform the commandments, this also is evil.

13.  These men are like hares, they are clean as those that divide the hoof, but in reality are unclean, for thus did God declare in the table of commandments.

14.  Be you not so my children, be not two-faced like them, to be both of goodness and wickedness, but cleave to goodness only, for therein is the habitation of God, and men desire it.

15.  And flee from wickedness, destroy the evil inclinations by good things, for they that are two-faced do not serve God, but rather their own lust to please Beliar, and men like themselves.

16.  For men that are good, that are of single face, even though may be thought of by men as double-face to sin, yet are they just before God.

17.  For many do both good and evil in killing the wicked, but the whole is good in that he has uprooted and destroyed that which was evil.

18.  One who will hate one that is both merciful and unjust, that commits adultery and also fasts; here the whole is good in that he imitates the Lord in not accepting what appears fully good.

19.  Another does not wish to associate with them that riot lest he defile his soul with them.  This too has two sides, but the whole is good, for such men are like the stags and the hinds, for in appearance they seem wild and unclean, yet they are altogether clean since they walk in zeal for the Lord abstaining from what the Lord has forbade.

20.  So you see my children how there are two in all things, one against the other, the one hidden by the other, wealth hides covetous, merriment drunkenness, grief in laughter, and dissolution in wedlock.

21.  Death succeeds to life, dishonor to glory, night to day, and darkness to light, but all these lead ultimately to day, and to life, even as unjust things lead to death, and eternal life wards off death.

22.  It is not to be said that truth is a lie, nor that the right is wrong, for all truth is under the light, as are all things under God.

23.  All these things then I proved in my life, and I departed not from the truth of the Lord, and I searched out His commandments walking according to them with all my strength in singleness of heart.

24.  Take heed therefore my children to the commandments of the Lord to follow truth in singleness of heart, for the two-faced are guilty of twofold sin, doing evil and taking pleasure in following the example of the spirits of deceit that strive against mankind.

25.  Keep therefore the law of the Lord my children, and pay no heed to evil, but look to the things that are truly good, therein keep all the commandments of God having your conversation accordingly and resting therein.

26.  For the end of man will show their righteousness, or not, when they meet the angels of the Lord, or those of Satan.

27.  For when the soul is troubled, it is served by the evil spirits, which serve it in lust and evil works, but if he is peaceful in joy, he meets the angel of peace that leads him to eternal life.

28.  Become not like Sodom my children, which sinned against the angels of the Lord and perished forever.

29.  For I know that you will sin and be delivered into the hands of your enemies, and that your land shall be desolated and your holy places destroyed, and that you will be scattered to the four corners of the earth.

30.  You will be set at nothing in the dispersion as water that vanishes until the Most High shall visit the earth coming as a Man and eating and drinking with man, and breaking the head of the dragon in the water.

31.  He shall save Israel and the Gentiles, God speaking in the person of a Man, tell therefore these things again to your children that they disobey Him not.

32.  For I know that you will assuredly be disobedient and act ungodly, not paying heed to the law of God, but to the commands of men corrupted in wickedness.

33.  Wherefore you shall be scattered as Gad and Dan my brothers, and not know your land, nor your tribe or tongue.

34.  But the Lord will gather you together in faith in His tender mercy for you.

35.  But the Lord will gather you together in faith in His tender mercy for the sake of our fathers.

36.  And having said these things to them he commanded them to bury him in Hebron, and he fell asleep dicing at a good old age, and his sons did as he commanded them, carrying him to Hebron with his fathers.

 

       Chapter 21 

       TESTAMENT OF JOSEPH

       Copy of the words of Joseph when he was about to die, when he called his sons and said to them.  

1.  My brothers and my children, listen to Joseph the beloved of Israel, give ear my sons to your father.

2.  In my life I have seen envy and death yet I do not go astray but persevered in the truth of the Lord.

3.  My brothers hated me, but the Lord loved me, they wished to kill me, but the God of my fathers guarded me.

4.  They let me down into a pit, but the Most High brought me up again, I was sold into slavery, but the Lord of all made me free.

5.  I was taken into captivity, but His strong hand came to my rescue, I was beset with hunger, but the Lord Himself nourished me.

6.  I was alone, but God comforted me, I was sick and the Lord visited me, I was in prison, but my God showed me favor.

7.  I was in bonds, but He released me, slandered, but He pleaded my cause, I was bitterly spoken against by the Egyptians but He delivered me.

8.  I was envied by my fellow slaves, but He exalted me, and this chief captain of Pharaoh entrusted his household to me.

9.  I struggled with a shameless woman urging me to transgress with her, but the God of Israel my father delivered me from the burning flame.

10.  I was cast into prison beaten and mocked, but the Lord granted me mercy in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

11.  For the Lord does not forsake them that fear Him, neither in darkness nor in bonds, nor in troubles or necessities.

12.  For God is not timid as a man, nor like the sons of men who disappoint, or like those born on earth - weak and fearful.

13.  But in all these things He provided protection, giving comfort in many ways, although for a little while He departs in order to try the inclinations of your soul.

14.   In ten temptations He showed me approved, and in all of them I endured, for endurance is a mighty charm, and patience provides much good.

        Joseph Ďs trial with the Egyptian woman.

15.  Quite often did the Egyptian women threaten me with death, and often did she give me over to be punished, and calling me again threatened me, and when I was unwilling to company with her, she said to me

16.  You shall be lord over me and all that is in my house, if only you will give yourself to me, then you will be our master.

17.   But I recalled the words of my father, and going into my chambers I wept and prayed to the Lord, and I fasted in those seven years appearing to the Egyptians as one living delicately.

18.  For they who fast for the Lord receive beauty of countenance, and when my master was absent I drank no wine, nor did I take food for periods of three days, but gave it to the poor and the sick.

19.  I would awaken early and pray to the Lord weeping over the Egyptian woman of Memphis, for she troubled me relentlessly.

20.  At night she would come pretending to visit me, and because she had no male child, she pretended me as a son, and for a time she embraced me as a son, I being unaware.

21.  But afterwards she sought to lure me into fornication, and I realizing this, I sorrowed to death, and she having gone out, I got hold of myself and grieved for her many days having recognized her guile and deceit.

22.  And I declared to her the words of the Most High, if per chance she would turn from her evil lust, and so often times she would flatter me in words as to a holy man, and deceitfully praise my chastity before her husband.

23.  Meanwhile she desired to ensnare me when we were alone, for she proclaimed my chastity openly, but in secret she would say;

24.  Fear not my husband for he is convinced of your chastity, for even if they told him differently, he would not believe it.  During all this I lay on the ground asking God to deliver me from her deceit.

25.  When therefore she accomplished nothing by these means she came to me under the pretense of instructions, that she might learn the word of God, and said.  If you will that I leave my idols, then lay with me and I will also persuade my husband to depart from his idols, and we will walk in the law of your God.

26.  And I said to her; The Lord wills not that those who revere Him walk in uncleanliness, nor does He take pleasure in them that commit adultery, but in such as approach Him with a pure heart and undefiled lips.

27.  She then kept her peace seeing how she could accomplish her desire, and I gave myself yet more to fasting and prayer that the Lord might deliver me from her.

28.  For still another time she said to me, If you will not commit adultery I will kill my husband with poison, and take you for my husband.

29.  And hearing this I rent my garment and said to her.  Woman, honor God, and do not this evil deed lest you be destroyed, for know this that I indeed will declare this device of yours to all men.

30.  She therefore being afraid entreated me not to declare this, and departed soothing me with gifts, sending to me all the delights of the sons of men.

31.  Afterwards she sent me food mixed with enchantments, and when I looked at the eunuch who brought it, I beheld as were it a terrible man giving me a dish with a sword, and I perceived that it was her scheme to deceive me.

32.  And when he had gone, I wept and tasted not of it, nor any other food, and after one day she came to me, and seeing the food untouched she said; Why have you not eaten of the food?

33.  And I said; it is because you filled it with deadly enchantments, how thus do you say that do would not come near to idols, but serve God alone?

34.  Know therefore that the God of my fathers revealed your wickedness to me by an angel, and I have kept it to convict you if per chance you might repent, and learn that the wickedness of the ungodly has no power over them that worship God with chastity.

35.  For behold, I will take of it eating right before you, and having said I prayed that the God of Abraham be with me, and I ate.

36.  And seeing this, she fell on her face at my feet weeping, and I raised her up and admonished her, and she promised to perform this iniquity no more.

37.  But her heart was still set on evil, and she looked how to ensnare me, and sighing deeply she became downcast as if she were sick, and her husband seeing her said to her; why is your face so fallen?

38.  And she said to him; I have pain at my heart, the sorrow of my spirit oppresses me, and so he comforted her who was not sick.

39.  Then taking the opportunity she rushed unto me while her husband was still only outside saying; I will hang myself, or throw myself over a cliff if you will not lay with me.

40.  And seeing how the spirit of Beliar was troubling her, I prayed to the Lord, and said to her.  You wretched and blinded in sin, remember that if you kill yourself that Asteno, your husband's concubine, your rival will beat your children, and you will destroy your memorial from off the earth.

41.  And she said; Well on then, you love me, and that is sufficient for me, strive then for my life and that of my children, and I expect that I shall enjoy my desire as well.

42.  But she knew not that I had spoken thus because of the Lord and not because of her.  For when a man has fallen before the passion of a wicked desire, and is enslaved thereby, like as she was, then, whatever good he hears in regard with that passion, he receives it with a view towards his wicked desire.

43.  I declare therefore to you my children that it was about the sixth hour when she departed from me, and I knelt before the Lord all that day and night, and at dawn I rose up weeping while praying for a release from her.

44.  At last then she took hold of my garment forcibly dragging me to join with her, and when I saw how in her madness she held my garments, I left it behind and fled away naked.

45.  And holding the garment she falsely accused me, and her husband having come, cast me in prison in his house, and on the morning having beaten me, he sent me to Pharaoh's prison.

46.  And when I was in bonds, the Egyptian woman was oppressed with grief.  And as she came she heard how I gave thanks to God and sang praises in the abode of darkness, glorifying my God and rejoicing in that I was delivered from the lustful desire of the Egyptian woman.

47.  And often she sent to me saying Consent to fulfill my desire, and I will release you from your bonds, and free you from darkness, but not even in thought did I incline to her.

48.  For God loves him who in a den of iniquity combines fasting with chastity rather than the man who is in kings chambers combining luxury with folly.

49.  And if a man lives in chastity, desiring also glory, then the Most High knowing what is expedient for him grants this to him accordingly.

50.  How often did she not come at any off time acting as if she were sick, and heard my voice as I prayed, but I hearing her complaints, I kept my peace.

51.  For when I was in her house, she used to uncover her arms and breasts and legs so I might lay with her, for she was very beautiful, and very well adorned in order to beguile me, but the Lord kept me from her devices.

 

      Chapter 22 

      The account of Joseph as a slave.

1.  You see thus my children what great things patience and prayer with fasting can work out, so you also if you follow chastity with patience and prayer in humility of heart will the Lord dwell among you, for He loves chastity.

2.  And with whomever the Most High dwells, though slander or slavery falls on a man, yet the Lord for his chastity will not only deliver him by also exalt him, even as He did me.

3.  For in every way that man is lifted up, be it in deed, in word, or in thought.

4.  My brothers knew how much my father loved me, yet I did not in that mind exalt myself, for I had the fear of God in my heart, and knew that all things must pass away.

5.  I did not raise myself against them with evil intent, but out of respect for them I honored my brothers, and when I was sold I did not tell the Ishmalites that I was the son of Jacob, a great and mighty man.

6.  You also my children, do likewise having the fear of God in all your works and honor your brothers, for everyone who does the law of God shall be beloved by Him.

7.  And when I came to Indocopites with the Ishmalites, they asked me saying; Are you a slave?  And I said that I was a home-born slave, so I might not put my brothers to shame.

8.   And the oldest of them said; You are not a slave, your very appearance shows it, but I contended that I was their slave.

9.  And when we came to Egypt, they strove concerning me which of them should buy me, and it seemed good to them that I should remain in Egypt with the merchants of their trade until they should return bringing merchandise.

10.  And the Lord gave me favor in the eyes of the merchant, and he entrusted his house to me, and God blessed him because of me, increasing to him gold and silver and household servants.

11.  And I being with them three months and five days, it was at that time when the Memphis woman, the wife of Potifar, came down in a chariot with great pomp because she had heard from her eunuchs concerning me.

12.  And she told her husband that the merchant had become rich by means of a young Hebrew of whom it is said that he must surely have been stolen out of the land of Canaan.  So therefore render justice to him and take the youth to your house, so will the God of the Hebrews bless you since the grace of Heaven is upon him.

13.  And Potifar was persuaded by her words and 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 as slaves.

14.  But the merchant fell at his feet entreating him saying; I entreat you my lord I know nothing of what you say.  And Potifar said; where then is the Hebrew slave?

15.  And he said; The Ishmalites entrusted him to me until they would return.  But he would not believe him, and commanded him to be stripped and beaten.

16.  And when he persisted in his statement, Potifar said; Let the youth be brought.  And when I was brought in I prostrated myself to Potifar, for he was third in rank of the officers of Pharaoh.

17.  And he took me apart and said; Are you a slave or free man?  And I said A slave.  And he said; whose?  And I replied The Ishmalites.

18.  Then he said; How did you become a slave?  And I said; They bought me out of the land of Canaan.  Then he said; Surely you lie.  And right then he commanded me to be stripped and beaten.

19.  The woman from Memphis now was looking through a window while I was being beaten since her house was near, and she sent to him saying; Your judgment is unjust for you are punishing a free man who has been stolen, as though he were a transgressor.

20.  And when I made no change in my statement, though I was beaten, he ordered me to be imprisoned until, so he said, the owners of the boy should come.

21.  The woman then said to her husband; Why are you detaining this captive and well-born lad in bonds?  You ought rather to set him free and be waited upon.  For she wished to see me because of her desire for sin, of which I was ignorant at the time.

22.  And he said to her; It is not the custom of the Egyptians to take what belongs to others before proof is given.  But this he said concerning the merchant, while the lad, so he said, must be imprisoned.

23.  After twenty-four days when the Ishmalites returned, and having heard that Jacob my father mourned much concerning me, they said to me.  How is it that you said that you were a slave, for we have 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.

24.  And hearing this my bowels were dissolved and my heart melted, and I greatly desired to weep, but I restrained myself in order not to put my brothers to shame, and said to them;

25.  I know not but that I am a slave.  They then took counsel to sell me so I would not be found in their hands, since they feared my father lest he should come and execute a grievous vengeance on them, for they had heard that he was mighty with God and with men.

26.  Then the merchant said to them, release me from the judgment of Potifar.  And they came saying; Say that you were bought by us with money, and he will set us free.

27.   The woman of Memphis meanwhile said to her husband; Buy the youth, for I hear that they are selling him.  And straightway she sent an eunuch to the Ishmalites asking them to sell me.

28.  But since the eunuch did not agree to purchase me at their price, he returned and told his mistress that they asked a large price for their slaves.

29.  And she sent another Eunuch saying.  Even though they demand two mines give it to them and do not spare the gold, but buy the boy, and bring him to me.

30.   The eunuch therefore went and gave them eighty pieces of gold, and he obtained me, but to his mistress he said; I gave 100.  And though I knew this but I held my peace lest the eunuch should be put to shame.

31.    You see therefore my children what great things I endured so I might not put my brothers to shame.

 

        Chapter 23 

        Joseph's kindness.

1.  You therefore also love one another and with long-suffering hide one another faults, for God delights in the unity of brothers, and in the purpose of the heart that takes pleasure in love.

2.  And when my brothers had come into Egypt learning that I had returned their money, I did not upbraid them, but comforted them.

3.  And after the death of my father I loved them even more, and all that he commanded me for them I did in abundance for them, not suffering them to be afflicted in even the smallest matter, and all that was in my hand I gave to them.

4.  And their children were my children, and my children as their servants, and their life was my life their suffering my suffering, and their sickness my infirmities, my land their land, and their counsel my counsel.

5.  I exalted not myself among them in arrogance of my worldly glory, but I was among them as one of the least.

6.  If you therefore also walk in the commandments of the Lord my children He will exalt you, and bless you with good things forever and ever.

7.  And if one seeks to do evil to you, do well to him, and pray for him, and you shall be redeemed of the Lord from all evil.

8.  For you have seen that in humility and long suffering I took to myself a wife, the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis, and a hundred talents of gold were given me with her, and the Lord made them to serve me.

9.  And He gave me beauty like a flower beyond the good ones of Israel, and preserved my strength and beauty to my old age, for I was like Jacob in all things.

        Visions of Joseph.

10.  And now my children hear the vision, which I had.  There were twelve harts feeding, and first nine were dispersed all over the earth, and afterwards the three.

11.  And I saw that from Judah was born a virgin wearing a linen garment.  And from her was born a Lamb without spot, and on His left hand there was as were it a Lion, and all the beast rushed against him, but the Lamb overcame them and destroyed them, treading them under foot.

12.  And because of Him the angels and men, and the land rejoiced, and these things shall come to pass in their season in the last days.

        Ending words.

13.  Therefore my children observe the commandments of the Lord, honor Levi and Judah for from them shall arise to you the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, One who saves all Gentiles and Israel.

14.  And His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away, but my kingdom among you shall come to an end like a watchers hammock, which disappears after the summer.

15.  For I know that after my death the Egyptians will afflict you, but God will avenge you and bring you into that which He promised to your fathers.

16.  And you shall carry up my bones with you, for when my bones are taken up - the Lord will be with you in light, and Beliar shall be in darkness with the Egyptians.

17.  And carry up Aseneth your mother to the Hippodrome, near Rachel my mother, and bury her there.

18.  And having said these things he stretched out his feet and died at good old age, and all Israel mourned for him, and also all Egypt with a great mourning.

19.  And when the children of Israel went out of Egypt they took with them the bones of Joseph, and buried him in Hebron with his fathers, the years of his life then were 110.

 

       Chapter 24

       TESTAMENT OF BENJAMIN

        The copy of the words of Benjamin, which he spoke to his sons after he had lived 125 years.

1.  And he kissed them and said; As Isaac was born to Abraham in his age, so also was I to Jacob, and since Rachel my mother died in giving birth, I had no milk wherefore I was suckled by Bildah her handmaid. 

2.  For Rachel remained barren for twelve years after which she bore Joseph, and she prayed to the Lord with fasting twelve days, and conceived and bore me. 

3.  For my father loved Rachel dearly and prayed that she might see two sons born of her, wherefore I was called Benjamin, meaning; Son of days. 

4.  And when I went into Egypt to Joseph and my brother recognized me, he said to me; What did they tell my father when they sold me?  And I said to him; dipped your coat with blood and sent it saying, see if this be your sonís coat.

5.  And Joseph said; Yes brother, when they had stripped me of my coat, they gave me to the Ishmalites who gave me a loincloth, and beat me, and told me to run.  And the one that had beaten me with the rod, met a lion and was killed, and so his associates were afraid. 

6.  You therefore my children do also love the Lord God of heaven and earth, keeping His commandments, following the example of the good and holy man 

7.  Let your minds be to good, even as you know me, for he that has his mind right, sees all things rightly. 

8.  Fear the Lord and love your neighbor, and though the spirits of Beliar afflict you with every evil, yet they will not have dominion over you, just as they did not have over Joseph my brother. 

9.  How many men wished to slay him, yet God shielded him, for he that loves and his neighbor cannot be smitten by the spirit of Beliar, since he is shielded by the fear of God.

10.  And neither can he be ruled by the devices of men or by beasts since the Lord helps him for the love, which he has for his neighbor.

11.  For Joseph also entreated his father that he would pray for his brothers, that the Lord would not impute the evil that they had done, as sin to them.

12.  And Jacob cried saying; My good child, you have prevailed over the bowels of your father Jacob.  And he embraced him and kissed him saying;

13.  In you shall be fulfilled the prophecy of heaven concerning the Lamb of God, Savior of the world.  That a blameless one shall be delivered up to lawless men, a sinless One die for ungodly men in the blood of the covenant for salvation of Gentiles and Israel, and He will destroy Beliar and his servants.

14.  Behold therefore my children the end of a good man, and be followers of his compassion with a good mind that you also may wear crowns of glory.

15.  For the good man has no dark eyes, but shows mercy to all men even though they be sinners and devise evil regarding him, for he overcomes by doing good, being shielded by God, and he loves the righteous as His own soul.

16.  If anyone is praised, he will not envy him, and if anyone is enriched, he will not be jealous.  If one is valiant, he praises Him, He praises the virtues man and that have mercy on the poor and compassion on the weak, and that man sings praises to God.

17.  If you therefore have a good mind, then will wicked men be at peace with you, and the harmful reverence you, and turn to the good, and greedy will not only cease from their inordinate desire, but even give away the things which they coveted.

18.  Even the unclean spirits will flee from you when you do well, and the beast fear you, for where there is the praise of good works and light in the mind, there darkness flees away.

19.  If one does violence to a holy man, he may repent since the holy man is merciful to his reviler and holds his peace, and if anyone betrays a righteous man, that man prays for him.

20.  The righteous are humbled for a little while, but not long afterwards he shall appear more glorious as was Joseph my brother.

21.  The inclinations of the good man are not in the power of the deceit of Beliar, because the angel of peace guides his soul.

22.  He does not gaze passionately on corruptible things, nor does he gather riches through desires of pleasure, he delights not in pleasure, nor grieves his neighbor.

23.  He does not cover himself with luxuries, nor does he err in the uplifting of his eyes, for the Lord is his portion.

24.  The good inclinations does not look for glory and honor with men, nor does it know guile, or to lie, or fighting with reviling, since the Lord dwells in him and enlightens his soul, and he rejoices towards all men always.

25.  The good mind has not two tongues, one of blessing and one of cursing, not both abuse and honor, nor peace and confusion, hypocrisy and truth, poverty and wealth, but has a single disposition, incorrupt and pure concerning all men.

26.  He has no double sight or hearing, for in everything that he speaks or sees, he knows that God is looking on his soul, and he cleanses his mind that he may not be condemned by men, nor by God.

27.  And in like manner the works of Beliar are twofold, there not being any singleness in them, wherefore my children I tell you to flee the malice of Beliar for he hands a sword to them that obey him.

28.  And the sword is the mother of seven evils; there is bloodshed, ruin, tribulation, exile, famine, panic, and destruction.

29.  Therefore also was Cain delivered over to the seven vengeance by God, for in every one hundred years the Lord brought one plague on him, he was 200 years old when he began to suffer, and in the 900th year he was destroyed.

30.  It was on account of Abel his brother that he was judged with all these evils, but Lamech seventy times seven.

31.  For those who are like Cain in envy and hatred of brothers, shall be judged forever with the same judgment.

 

      Chapter 25

1.  Flee from the evil of envy and hatred of brothers, but hold to goodness and love, he that has a pure mind in love does not look after a woman with a view to fornication since in his heart he has no defilement, the Spirit of God resting on him.

2.  For just as the sun is undefiled shining on dung and mire, but rather dries them, and driving the evil smell away, so also the pure mind, though surrounded by the defilementís of the earth, rather cleanses them, itself not being defiled.

3.  And I believe that there will be evil doings among you also, for from the words of Enoch the righteous, you shall commit fornication like that of Sodom, and you shall perish excepting a few, and you shall renew your wanton deeds with women.  And the kingdom of the Lord shall not be among you, for He will straightway take it away from you.

4.  Nevertheless the temple of God shall be in your portion, and the last temple shall be more glorious than the first, and the twelve tribes shall be gathered together there, and Gentiles.

5.  And the Most High shall sent forth His salvation in the visitation of the only begotten Prophet, and He shall enter into the first temple where He shall be treated with outrage, and He shall be lifted up on a tree.

6.  And the Vail of the temple shall be rent, and the Spirit of God shall pass on to the Gentiles even as fire spreads.  And He shall ascend from Hades and pass from earth into heaven, and I know how lowly He shall be on earth and how glorious in heaven.

7.  When Joseph now was in Egypt I longed to see him in person, in the form of his being, and through the prayers of my father Jacob I saw him as awake in the daytime, I saw his whole figure exactly as he was.

8.  And having said these things he concluded; Know now my children that I am dying, perform therefore truth with one another, and keep the law of the Lord, for these things I leave to you as inheritance.

9.  And give these things to your children also for an everlasting possession, for likewise did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

10.  For all these things they gave us for an inheritance saying.  Keep the commandments of God until the Lord shall reveal His salvation to all Gentiles.

       Ending words of the writer.

11.  Then you shall see Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rising on the right hand in gladness.  And we also shall rise each one over our tribe worshipping the King of heaven, who has appeared on the earth in the form of a man of humility, and as many as believe on Him shall rejoice with Him.

12.  Then shall many rise, some to glory, others unto shame, and the Lord will judge Israel first, for when He appeared as God in the flesh to deliver them, but they believed him not.

13.  When He appears on earth, He shall judge all Gentiles as many as did not believe in Him, and convict Israel through the chosen ones of the Gentiles even as He reproved Esau through the Mid'ianites who loved their brothers.

       As in Benjamin again.

14.  If therefore you walk in holiness according to the commandments of the Lord, you shall again dwell we me, and all Israel be gathered to the Lord.

15.  And I shall no longer be called a ravenous wolf on account of your ravages, but a worker of the Lord distributing food to those who work what is good.

16.  And in the latter days there shall arise one beloved of the Lord of the tribe of Judah and Levi, a doer of His good pleasure, and with new knowledge enlighten the Gentiles.

17.  And he shall be inscribed in the holy books, both His work, and His word, and be a chosen One of God forever.

18.  He shall range widely among men like my father Jacob saying He will fill up what is lacking in your tribe.

19.  And having said these things He stretched out his feet and died in a beautiful and good sleep.

20.  And his sons took his body and buried it in Hebron with his fathers, the number of his days of his life being 125 years.