In these are given, more or less briefly, the narrative of their lives, with some particulars not to be found in the scriptural account, and there are built thereon various moral precepts for the guidance of their descendants, who may thereby be preserved from the sires into which their fathers fell. They therefore prophesy what is to come; they foretell the troubles impending on: their children. But they venture to raise more joyous strains than these. God himself is to put an end to their troubles; he will visit his people; he will break the power of sin.
Prophecies of a Messiah are brought forward by the patriarchs.
With such hopes they die. Their discourses, therefore, may justly be called Testaments when at the point of death they speak to their children their last words.
The testaments of the twelve patriarchs.
They leave to them nothing save injunctions and prophecies. The words of Benljamin c. Messianic Ideas of the Book. The Messiah, combining in himself the functions of high-priest and of king, is to arise from the tribe of Levi as well as from the tribe of Judah. Still there is a tendency throughout which aims at teaching that' his high-priestly office is greater than his kingly one. The Messianic passages having reference to the promised Messiah of Israel may be divided into such as speak of him as divine-as God coming into the world in the likeness of man-and into such as refer to him as man alone.
Of the latter we read in Test. Levi, c. And because of him shall your holy places be desolate. Judah c. Let us look at those which refer to his divine nature. Thus the patriarch Dan c. Levi c. Simeon c. Joseph c. That reference is here made to the sinlessness of the Messiah there can be no doubt.
TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS:
Hagenbach in his Dogmengeschichte, p. Thus Benjamin c. As king springing from the tribe of Judah Sim. As high-priest he was to have no successor Levi, c. The Messiah is a Savior; Levi is bidden to "proclaim concerning him who shall redeem Israel" c. The Messiah was to suffer: "Thy sons shall lay hands upon him to crucify him" Levi, c. The rending of the Temple vail is alluded to as the act in which the Spirit of God went over to the Gentiles: "'The vail of the Temple shall be rent," says Benjamin c. That he was to return to future judgment, comp.
Dogmatical and Ethical Ideas. Allusion is made to the importance of baptism for this end. Thus Levi c. Judah, c.
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Benjamin declares c. And as many as believed on him upon earth shall rejoice with him when all shall arise, some to glory and some to contempt. And the Lord shall judge Israel first, even for the wrong they did to him; for when he came as a deliverer, God in the flesh, they believed him not. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available a Cast as the words of God mediated through an unnamed prophet, the main part of the work sets forth predictions of im Book of Jubilees Guides to the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
This Guide, following the format of this successful series, gives an introduction to Jubilees that cove This book goes behind the Greek text of the Gospel of Mark and reconstructs some of its sources in the original Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. This work has been made possible by the publication of all the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, which pro Based on the text of the Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, this scholarly tool incorporates the variants found in papyri Featuring parallels from apocryphal gospels and patristic works, Aland's resource includes the Gospel of Thomas i A well-documented work offers substantive evidence that for more than 40 years, a small coterie of Catholic scholars established a stranglehold on access to the Dead Sea Scrolls This is a reproduction of a book published before The Testament closes with a warning against a war of rebellion against the Maccabean dynasty represented by the priestly tribe of Levi and by the victorious royal leader from the midst of Judah.
In the concluding words the bones of Simeon are described as placed in a coffin of incorruptible wood. According to the former ch. He was also told that he should stand in the presence of the Lord, and serve Him, and be His son; that he should be a light of knowledge and a sun to Israel; and that he should be given understanding and counsel to instruct his sons concerning God. In another vision ch. Thereupon, in accordance with a vision, Levi's father, Jacob, made him priest over his house, while his grandfather, Isaac comp. Jubilees xxxi. Levi is particularly warned against Samaritan pollution of his seed by marrying a foreign Philistine or Gentile Amorite wife; and he accordingly married his kinswoman Milkah, who bore him three sons, among whom Kehat, the ancestor of Aaron and Moses, stood forth in his vision as "one amid the haughty of the assembly.
Levi admonishes his children to walk in the way of the Law in all simplicity of heart and in the fear of God, and warns them never to cease to study it, lest they should fail to give their children knowledge which should win them honor and friends. Luke xii. According to the other version comp. Jubilees xxx. The "three kingdoms" that were to spring from Levi were, accordingly, distinct from the three classes mentioned above, being Moses, who was "faithful" Num. Josephus, "B. The Messianic prophecy in ch.
In the closing chapter Levi bids his children, who, are themselves represented as speaking, to choose between the Lord and Belial, whereupon they swear allegiance to God. Judah narrates to his children ch. He also tells them of the swiftness, courage, and power which he had shown in his wondrous combats with all kinds of wild beasts that assailed his flock and with the Canaanitish kings of Hazor and Tappuah and their men, besides describing how he surpassed his brothers in the war with the Amorites and the sons of Esau comp.
Jubilees xxxiv. Wayissa'u, ed.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Jellinek, "B. A boast of immaculate youth which he made to Reuben caused him, like David Sanh. At a feast given him by Barsua', the King of Adullam, he became drunk, and in that state he fell in love with the princess Bat Sua', who was presented to him decked with gold and pearls. He married her, but the children of the union were wicked Gen. Bat Sua' hated Tamar because she was related to Abraham, being the daughter of Shem, according to Gen.
Even when Tamar contrived to be united with Judah in a levirate marriage, he was again deceived by drunkenness, due to the feast he celebrated at the waters of Kezib ch. Judah accordingly warns his children against excessive pride, covetousness, and licentiousness, but most of all against indulgence in wine, since it reveals all the secrets of God and leads to sin.
His monition concludes with the statement ch. The address closes ch. A denunciation of the royal custom of embalming, which was antagonistic to the doctrine of the resurrection, ends the Testament. In sharp contrast to this Judaic or Davidic prophecy stand the accentuation of the Levitic or Maccabean royalty ch. These are obviously interpolations by the Maccabean reviser, and ch.
Issachar, whose name is explained at length in accordance with Gen. Being a husbandman, he never failed to give the priest the first-fruits of his lands, sharing the residue with his father and with the poor and afflicted, so that he was greatly blessed.
He spoke ill of no one, nor did he meddle in the affairs of others; he harbored no lustful thoughts in his heart and was happy with his wife and his field. He accordingly admonisheshis children ch. He urges them, moreover, to find contentment in husbandry and to seek the divine blessing in the fruit of the soil, for abandonment of agricultural life would, in his view, lead them in the latter days to transgression and dispersion among the Gentiles.
This denunciation of mercantile pursuits, which were the chief occupations of the Jews in the Diaspora, indicates the period at which the original Testaments were written. With a glance at the Epicurean life of the Sadducees, Issachar concludes with the words: "I am years old, and have known no mortal sin.
Full text of "The Testaments of the twelve patriarchs"
Except my wife, I have known no woman, nor have I gone a-whoring with the lifting up of mine eyes; I have drunk no wine to lead me astray, nor have I desired the desire of my neighbor. Craft hath not been in my heart, nor hath falsehood come through my lips. I sighed with every one that was troubled, and I gave my bread to the poor. I ate not alone; I broke no oath; I wrought piety and truth all my days. I have loved the Lord with all my might, and I have loved every man even as my children. Do ye these things, my children, and every spirit of Belial will flee from you, and no deed of evil men will have power over you; and ye shall subdue every wild beast, having with you the God of heaven, that walketh with men in simplicity of heart.
Unlike the rabbinical conception of Zebulun, which is that of the merchant who supports Issachar while he devotes his life to the study of the Torah see Targ. He tells his children, moreover, that it was his deep compassion for Joseph which restrained Simeon and Gad from bloodshed, for he had joined his youngest brother in an appeal to their sympathy and had adjured them with tears not to commit the crime, thus anticipating even Reuben, who made the proposal to cast Joseph into the pit to save the young lad's life. Whenever he saw a person unclad he used to cover him with garments of his own, and he was accordingly blessed by God, nor did any sickness befall his house, for "as man showeth compassion on his fellow beings, so doth God show compassion on him" Sifre, Deut.
Zebulun therefore admonishes his children to show mercy to every man, and to bear neither grudge nor malice toward any, but to love one another, taking Joseph for their model. The closing chapter expresses the hope of resurrection as forming part of the final judgment in which Zebulun, one of the twelve judges, will appear as the ruler of his tribe. The name of Levi does not occur in this Testament. Dan, the black sheep among the tribes of Israel see Dan , tells his children ch. Dan accordingly warns his children ch. Anger may be roused by words only, yet it leads to action.